Marit Beate Kasin likes to take on challenges, such as participating in long sled dog races, writing books or running marathons. She thanks her dogs for that!
"My dogs can run a thousand mile, through blizzards and whiteouts, pulling on a sled, with wagging tails and enthusiastic barks all the way. Every single day they continue to teach me all about perseverance, passion and the value of a positive attitude" says Marit Beate Kasin, former Norwegian champion in long-distance dog sledding.
The joy of perseverance
Marit says she is drawn to various challenges that require perseverance. She likes to seek out challenges that take her into the fringes of life, as there is always a lot to learn there.
"Many people find it overwhelming to stand on the starting line of a marathon, a 1000 mile sled dog race or to look at a blank page where you have to write your first word in what is to become a book. I think it is liberating. The journey to the finish line offers so many opportunities, self-discoveries and experiences, if you only take that first step."
Her debut book, Vinterdans, published in 2018, is about her first ten years as a musher. Now she is working on her third book project. The backdrop for the new book is, of course, long-distance dog sledding.
"As a writer, I never quite finish writing about sled dogs and the journeys we share with them. It is a completely unique journey every time, where everything can be turned upside down, but where life still feels right and real."
READ MORE: THE ART OF RESTING
The dog sledding culture
She has 24 dogs on the racing team this year, as well as a young yearling team that will «graduate» as sled dogs during the winter.
Her goals this season are Femundløpet in February and Finnmarksløpet in March. She praises the organizers of long-distance races in Norway, who succeed in creating a unique experience and enthusiasm for dog sledding year after year.
"Some of my best experiences are from Femundløpet and Finnmarksløpet. I am grateful for the effort put into these races and glad that I can participate in these adventures. That means a lot to each of us, but also to the dog sledding culture."
A strong team
Kasin and her partner live in a cabin at the mountains in Valdres. A lot of the time is spent training dogs, five to six days a week, all year round. Several of the dogs on the team are new talents.
"This is a very nice and inspiring group of dogs, who have performed very well in training. We have worked hard to develop talented young dogs for the past three years and we hope that we can reap the results from that work. It certainly looks good so far."
CHECK OUT: A BULLETPROOF SETUP
"My personal trainers"
She says she has learned as much from the four-legged as she has taught them.
"Dogs are the best personal trainers available. It is easy to think that anything is possible when you interact with these four-legged athletes on a daily basis. Because that is the energy they radiate. They are also the very symbol of a simple and joyful life, having the ability not to overcomplicate things or overthink. They do exactly what they want at the moment, without worrying about what others might think or what awaits for them around the corner. In many ways it is such a free life we all want to live."