#970 – Henrik Haapalainen

Henrik Haapalainen (00:01):

Uh, no. I can shut my other thing here.

Sevan Matossian (00:06):

Bam. We’re live. Hey, are you on a computer? Henrik?

Henrik Haapalainen (00:10):

No, I’m, uh, at my phone.

Sevan Matossian (00:12):

Okay, fine. Yeah, not a problem. Am I pronouncing your name right, Henrik?

Henrik Haapalainen (00:17):

Yeah. That’s good. That’s really good.

Sevan Matossian (00:19):

Could I hear you say it?

Henrik Haapalainen (00:20):

Hendrik.

Sevan Matossian (00:21):

Henrik. You don’t roll the r

Henrik Haapalainen (00:24):

Uh, well, not in English, but if you say it didn’t finish, it’s like, Hendrik,

Sevan Matossian (00:30):

Henrik Henrik

Henrik Haapalainen (00:32):

<laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (00:33):

And, and what and what And your last name. I’m gonna take a shot at it. Hain?

Henrik Haapalainen (00:38):

Yeah. Pretty good.

Sevan Matossian (00:40):

Lemme hear you do it.

Henrik Haapalainen (00:42):

Hopin.

Sevan Matossian (00:43):

Hopin? Yeah. All right. Shit, that sucks. I had so much fun making fun of your name. All these, the last couple years, and now that I, I’m gonna talk to you. It’s gonna be hard for me to make fun of you anymore,

Henrik Haapalainen (00:54):

<laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (00:54):

I used to call you hap Lapin, and just, I just didn’t even try. It is just such a great name to look at. So many P’s and A’s and,

Henrik Haapalainen (01:02):

Uh, but there’s only one P

Sevan Matossian (01:04):

Oh, is there? Okay, we’ll see. Yeah. You ruined it for me again. There you go. <laugh>. Um, where are you?

Henrik Haapalainen (01:11):

Uh, I’m at Virginia, uh, Che

Sevan Matossian (01:16):

In, um, that’s, uh, in Chesapeake?

Henrik Haapalainen (01:20):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (01:20):

Is that where, um, is that CrossFit Krypton?

Henrik Haapalainen (01:23):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (01:25):

Oh, wow. There’s a whole posse there.

Henrik Haapalainen (01:28):

Yeah, I think there’s like maybe 11 games athletes.

Sevan Matossian (01:32):

Okay. I had no idea. I thought it was just, uh, uh, Laura?

Henrik Haapalainen (01:38):

Ah, no, there’s like Gabby and then bk, Jan Koski, uh, Jamie Simmons and Ben Smith. Who,

Sevan Matossian (01:49):

Who, who, say it again?

Henrik Haapalainen (01:50):

Jamie Simmons.

Sevan Matossian (01:52):

Oh, Jamie Simmons. Okay. Okay.

Henrik Haapalainen (01:54):

And then Elliot Simmons as well. And then Ben Smith, her, his brother. And, uh, Ben Smith’s. Like that team is coming later. The girls.

Sevan Matossian (02:09):

Hey. Who’s El? Who’s Elliot? Simmons. Is that j uh, Jamie’s husband?

Henrik Haapalainen (02:12):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (02:14):

Do Is he going to the games? He’s an athlete.

Henrik Haapalainen (02:17):

Uh, no. No, he was competing in the semis, but he didn’t, uh, actually he wasn’t competed. This competing this year. He had some surgery, I think so.

Sevan Matossian (02:32):

Um, and, and God, this video is crazy that that’s the facility you’re training at.

Henrik Haapalainen (02:38):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (02:42):

Wow, that’s nice. Hey, uh, Henrik, where is that? Is that a bus? Is that look down there? Is that a house? Is that someone’s house down there? What’s the scene there?

Henrik Haapalainen (02:51):

You mean behind the, uh, training? Uh, the turf?

Sevan Matossian (02:57):

Yeah. Like at one angle it looks like there’s a house down there, but then like there, right there, where is,

Henrik Haapalainen (03:01):

Uh, I, I think there’s house, but I don’t know who’s, like, it’s not Bens or anybody’s from the gym.

Sevan Matossian (03:11):

Okay. So it’s just a neighborhood that’s pushed up against, um, the gym. Yeah.

Henrik Haapalainen (03:16):

Yeah, yeah.

Sevan Matossian (03:19):

Third year at the CrossFit games.

Henrik Haapalainen (03:21):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (03:23):

Crazy is, that’s like veteran status now, right?

Henrik Haapalainen (03:28):

I guess so, yeah.

Sevan Matossian (03:31):

Do you feel, um, what’s the comparison between first year, two weeks out and third year, two weeks out? Like you feel more settled or,

Henrik Haapalainen (03:41):

Uh, yeah, definitely. Like I know where I’m, I’m going and I’m much more prepared and I know like my strengths and weaknesses and how I need to approach the workouts. Yeah. Better.

Sevan Matossian (03:57):

And, and dude, you’re with all the, I’m guessing the first year you weren’t with all these world class athletes. I mean, you’re preparing with Laura Horvat, you’re preparing with Janowski, B K G, it’s like, shit, you just took sec second at the, at the European semifinals. It’s like, shit. You’re, you’re now kind of top of the food chain <laugh>.

Henrik Haapalainen (04:16):

Actually, 2021. I was training here in crypto as well with Laura and Ben.

Sevan Matossian (04:22):

Did they know, or were you just hiding? Were you just sneaking around in 2021 and now you’re the real deal, or they knew?

Henrik Haapalainen (04:28):

Uh, well, they knew I’m competing in the games, but <laugh> maybe I was a bit sneaking.

Sevan Matossian (04:36):

Uh, and, and, and how, how is it you’re holding your own? You, you feel good? I mean, I’m, it’s, it’s kind of incredible that you took second this year and, and you’re just, I mean, just there’s, you’re just in this steady progression killing it.

Henrik Haapalainen (04:48):

Uh, yeah, it was <inaudible> pretty well. Um, yeah, but I be actually training with you on Kosky as well, like a lot and Yeah. Yeah. Like made a huge progress in two years and yeah, feeling really good.

Sevan Matossian (05:07):

You are training with Koski in, in Finland?

Henrik Haapalainen (05:10):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (05:12):

And where are you guys doing that at? You guys live in the same town?

Henrik Haapalainen (05:15):

No, we live like 30 minutes away. We don’t like train all the year together, but before the competitions, we train most of, almost most of the workouts together.

Sevan Matossian (05:27):

What’s the town you live in in Finland?

Henrik Haapalainen (05:30):

Uh, Helsinki. And then during summers, I live in Port.

Sevan Matossian (05:35):

Say this second, say this, uh, the summer City

Henrik Haapalainen (05:38):

Port

Sevan Matossian (05:40):

Porto

Henrik Haapalainen (05:41):

Vo. Yeah, it’s like one hour from <inaudible>.

Sevan Matossian (05:45):

Could you spell it for me?

Henrik Haapalainen (05:48):

P o r o O.

Sevan Matossian (05:54):

Wait, what was that letter you said? After the r

Henrik Haapalainen (05:57):

Uh, we, we, do we

Sevan Matossian (05:59):

Have that letter in? In, in, in? Yeah.

Henrik Haapalainen (06:01):

Like, like

Sevan Matossian (06:02):

Oh, V V V V V. Got it. Got it, got it. Thought you were, that was something like Chinese character or something. Okay. <laugh>. P O R V O O. You got that Caleb? Yeah. How close is that to the Arctic Circle? Do you know?

Henrik Haapalainen (06:17):

Hmm. No, I didn’t

Sevan Matossian (06:18):

Close. It’s close though, right?

Henrik Haapalainen (06:21):

Yeah. Like that’s next to

Sevan Matossian (06:25):

Where’s the Arctic circle? Oh, no, I’m not even close. Not even close. ’cause I saw, I saw the, oh yeah, look at that town, because I saw the, some of the training footage from you there and, and there’s like horses in your neighborhood and stuff.

Henrik Haapalainen (06:41):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (06:42):

It’s the country.

Henrik Haapalainen (06:43):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (06:45):

But Helsinki’s the big city.

Henrik Haapalainen (06:47):

Yeah, well, the biggest thing Finland, but not like even close to that. It is in u s a.

Sevan Matossian (06:56):

What do you do? What’s your day job? Henrik?

Henrik Haapalainen (06:59):

Uh, full-time athlete, but I like studied as, uh, electrical engineering.

Sevan Matossian (07:09):

So you’re SmartyAnts?

Henrik Haapalainen (07:12):

I don’t know. <laugh>

Sevan Matossian (07:14):

No. Smart. Yeah.

Henrik Haapalainen (07:16):

Uh, maybe.

Sevan Matossian (07:19):

Yeah. Um, uh, were you, you were born there, born in Finland? I take it. Born on around Helsinki.

Henrik Haapalainen (07:25):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (07:27):

And, uh, grew up there and, uh, played sports as a kid.

Henrik Haapalainen (07:31):

Uh, I didn’t like competing any, but, but I did like lot of, lots of on my free time. And then I competed in the like, uh, mid school competitions, like skiing and running,

Sevan Matossian (07:50):

Like, uh, cross country, cross country skiing or downhill skiing?

Henrik Haapalainen (07:53):

Yeah. Yeah. Uh, across country.

Sevan Matossian (07:56):

And I guess building an engine that, that’s a, a, a demanding sport on your, uh, on your ticker, on your metabolic capacity, huh?

Henrik Haapalainen (08:04):

Yeah, I guess so. But like most of my freight I went to that I did skateboarding.

Sevan Matossian (08:10):

How long did you do that?

Henrik Haapalainen (08:12):

Uh, 12 years.

Sevan Matossian (08:14):

Oh shit.

Henrik Haapalainen (08:15):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (08:17):

A lot of indoor, a lot of indoor, um, skateboarding.

Henrik Haapalainen (08:20):

Uh, yeah, like park stuff. Not, not in the ramps.

Sevan Matossian (08:24):

Wow. Crazy. How old are you?

Henrik Haapalainen (08:26):

Uh, 28.

Sevan Matossian (08:29):

You can you, if, if you, uh, can you still kick flip, like, I mean, 12 years? You must have learned some tricks. If I just threw you a skateboard right now, could you do a kick flip?

Henrik Haapalainen (08:37):

Yeah, easily. I, I actually tried like a couple months ago and I got like 360 flip, uh, on my third. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (08:47):

Hey, how, how is that? Would you <laugh> know Kayla? That’s crazy, right? I mean, 12 years of skateboarding. Um, is that the electrical engineering part of you? Are you, are you a pretty obsessive cat? Are you obsessive guy?

Henrik Haapalainen (08:59):

Uh, no. No. <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (09:01):

Oh, come on. You, you, you’re not obsessive. You’re, uh, elite level CrossFit athlete. That’s pretty obsessive. And skateboarding is a pretty, uh, required demands a lot of focus and obsession and electrical engineering.

Henrik Haapalainen (09:11):

I’m seeing, I got maybe I’m a bit <laugh>. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (09:15):

Where, where do you think you got your discipline and structure from?

Henrik Haapalainen (09:19):

Uh, I think like from my father and just like, yeah, maybe from my father.

Sevan Matossian (09:29):

Tell me, tell me, what do you mean? Maybe from your father? Look it, look it, people are like, um, Sevan, remember he is finished. Most humble people in the world. Okay, fine. But we gotta pry a little bit. He’s got, we gotta get him to say something. <laugh>. Um, tell me, what do you mean you got it from your father? What would that look like? What did your father do?

Henrik Haapalainen (09:47):

Uh, he was like, uh, entrepreneur. He had like electrical company, but my father actually passed away for cancer in 2015. But, but yeah, he was like really hard worker and, uh, just a really good, good dude.

Sevan Matossian (10:10):

What kind of cancer?

Henrik Haapalainen (10:12):

Uh, lung cancer.

Sevan Matossian (10:14):

R Really?

Henrik Haapalainen (10:15):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (10:16):

Did, did he smoke?

Henrik Haapalainen (10:18):

No. No, just, just when he was young. Just like a couple years, but it shouldn’t like, affect anymore.

Sevan Matossian (10:25):

Shoot, I smoked for like 10 years when I was young.

Henrik Haapalainen (10:28):

Oh.

Sevan Matossian (10:29):

Uh, oh. So that was nine years ago. How old did you say you were? You’re 28?

Henrik Haapalainen (10:34):

Uh, I was 19.

Sevan Matossian (10:40):

19.

Henrik Haapalainen (10:42):

19 or 20 that time. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (10:45):

Yeah. That’s wild. That’s crazy. Was it a, was it a long, um, process his lung cancer? Or did it come quickly?

Henrik Haapalainen (10:53):

Uh, like pretty quickly. It was maybe half a year, maybe a little less.

Sevan Matossian (11:01):

And, um, and you were in college at the time?

Henrik Haapalainen (11:04):

Uh, I just got away from military and I was like starting the CrossFit about that time he got to one of my competitions, but like after that, yeah, it, it was fun.

Sevan Matossian (11:22):

Um, is that compulsory going to the military as a, uh, Finn man, everyone goes,

Henrik Haapalainen (11:30):

Yeah. You can go to the military or like, do like civil work. I don’t know how you say it in English. Like, just go to school to help students or something.

Sevan Matossian (11:45):

Right. Pick up trash on the highway or go to the military.

Henrik Haapalainen (11:49):

Uh, well not, not like that <laugh>, but then, but then of course you can get, like, if you have injury or something, you might get like papers not to need to go.

Sevan Matossian (12:00):

How, how long is that compulsory military?

Henrik Haapalainen (12:03):

Uh, six to 12 months.

Sevan Matossian (12:06):

You think every country should have that? You think that that makes your, your country? Um, uh, the finished defense force are based on a universal mail conscription. All men above 18 years of age are liable to serve either a hundred sixty five, two hundred fifty five or 347 days. Uh, yearly about 27,000 conscripts are trained. About 80% of finished mail citizens complete the service. Wow.

Henrik Haapalainen (12:29):

Hmm.

Sevan Matossian (12:32):

Hey, Caleb, can you hear my echo? I’m gonna blow my brains out.

Caleb Beaver (12:36):

Yeah, I think it’s his headphones.

Sevan Matossian (12:40):

Um, what am I gonna do? Is it me or is it him? No,

Caleb Beaver (12:49):

I think it’s his headphones. If you just use, might be able to get rid of it.

Sevan Matossian (12:54):

Oh, if he took his headphones out.

Caleb Beaver (12:57):

Yeah.

Henrik Haapalainen (12:58):

Do you want me to take these off?

Sevan Matossian (13:00):

Please? Stand, stand up with your, come out with your hands up. Okay. How’s that?

Henrik Haapalainen (13:12):

Oh, can I hear me?

Sevan Matossian (13:14):

Yeah.

Caleb Beaver (13:15):

Perfect.

Sevan Matossian (13:18):

Hey, um, you think that that makes your country a, a more unified country doing that? I was just talking with someone about that the other day. Six months doesn’t seem very long to ask, um, for the men to go, right?

Henrik Haapalainen (13:30):

Hmm. I think it’s like pretty good thing. You grow up a lot there.

Sevan Matossian (13:38):

Um, are people against it? Is the country divided on it?

Henrik Haapalainen (13:41):

Mm Well of course there’s people who doesn’t like it and yeah, I get it. But like, I think you can never get 100%, like be able to like something or, yeah.

Sevan Matossian (13:56):

And it’s kind of cool that there’s a couple options, right? You can either do, uh, like you said, you can train to be in the military or you can do something of, of service, like you said, like teach kids or something.

Henrik Haapalainen (14:06):

Yeah, yeah.

Sevan Matossian (14:07):

Help, help the blind.

Henrik Haapalainen (14:08):

Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (14:11):

And, and, and Finland’s, um, what is, is almost everyone there Finnish? Like, like is there a part? Do you guys have a Chinatown in Helsinki?

Henrik Haapalainen (14:20):

Mm, not really.

Sevan Matossian (14:22):

Yeah. That’s crazy. That is crazy. I don’t even believe him. Caleb, find Caleb, find out if there’s a China town in Helsinki. Every city has a China town.

Henrik Haapalainen (14:30):

Uh, I don’t think we have like Chinatown,

Sevan Matossian (14:33):

<laugh>. See, even the Chinese haven’t even gone up there. Do you have Mexican food? Yeah. Do you have Mexican food?

Henrik Haapalainen (14:39):

Yeah. Yeah, we have like some tortilla places. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (14:43):

Tortilla places.

Henrik Haapalainen (14:44):

<laugh>,

Sevan Matossian (14:45):

I love it. Uh, so, um, academics played a huge role. Uh, there are no good Asian grocery stores in the same block in Hakami, but no. Chinatown. Oh, there are a few. Good. Wow. Okay. No Chinatown in, um, Helsinki. We fact check that.

Henrik Haapalainen (15:06):

<laugh>.

Caleb Beaver (15:07):

Wow. Crazy Reddit. It’s on Reddit, so it must be true.

Sevan Matossian (15:10):

Right? Thank you. Caleb. Um, sib siblings. Henrik.

Henrik Haapalainen (15:17):

Yeah. I have a younger brother and older sister.

Sevan Matossian (15:22):

And so you got, so you, you’re being brought up and you go into the military and kind of your only sports were, were you forced to do the cross country skiing?

Henrik Haapalainen (15:31):

No, I did, except like on my free time when I wanted, I didn’t do like that much, but I like to compete in the, like, like mid school competitions. It was not like that big competitions.

Sevan Matossian (15:47):

Did you? And, and why did you like competing?

Henrik Haapalainen (15:50):

I don’t know. It was just nice to like test yourself.

Sevan Matossian (15:57):

Did you wanna win?

Henrik Haapalainen (15:59):

Yeah. Yeah. I actually, I think I won all the, actually, I mean elementary school, elementary school competitions. That was only for my school. And then I got like a couple bit bigger that I was like pretty in the Okay. Rankings there as well.

Sevan Matossian (16:21):

And, and what was the other sport you did? You did, you did some running.

Henrik Haapalainen (16:25):

Yeah, but it, it was more like, just like for myself.

Sevan Matossian (16:32):

And when you went to the, um, oh, is, is that him? You found that? Caleb

Henrik Haapalainen (16:39):

<laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (16:41):

Wow. Uh, this is, um, wow. This is nine years ago. Oh, wow, okay.

Henrik Haapalainen (16:52):

<laugh>. I didn’t know. I still have that thing <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (16:56):

That’s crazy. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Uh, how big are you there?

Henrik Haapalainen (17:05):

Huh?

Sevan Matossian (17:06):

How, how much do you weigh there?

Henrik Haapalainen (17:09):

Uh, maybe 83 kilos. So it’s like 180 5.

Sevan Matossian (17:17):

And and what do you weigh now?

Henrik Haapalainen (17:19):

Uh, like two 10 pounds.

Sevan Matossian (17:23):

Oh, no. Shit. You put on a lot. Okay. Yeah, nine years, a couple pounds of muscle here. You look pretty buff there though too. You look pretty strong there too. Were you lifting weights already?

Henrik Haapalainen (17:30):

Yeah. Yeah. I went to the gym, like normal local gym.

Sevan Matossian (17:35):

Um, and what did you do? Lap pull downs, uh, bench press, tricep extensions, that kind of Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding stuff.

Henrik Haapalainen (17:43):

Uh, some of those actually. Yeah. But I, I like to do like, quite a lot of like body weight movement, like, uh, strict dips and, uh, strict pull-ups and kind of that stuff.

Sevan Matossian (17:56):

Okay. Any, anything

Henrik Haapalainen (17:57):

Else? And then of course, some machines as well. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (18:00):

You Right, right. Of course the machines don’t forget the machines. Uh, but not, but not, uh, not rope climbs or rings.

Henrik Haapalainen (18:06):

No. No.

Sevan Matossian (18:09):

And so you go into the military and someone, someone in there, or actually when you enter there, what’s your fitness like? How do you compare to the other boys?

Henrik Haapalainen (18:18):

I think what I was like in pretty good shape. I wasn’t that good at running or like, uh, like conditioning at that time. Like I, I had been in a better running condition, but I was in like quite strong for more than military level.

Sevan Matossian (18:37):

Yeah. Were you, were you like in the top 90 percentile? Like, were you already just like

Henrik Haapalainen (18:41):

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (18:43):

Look at you, brag a little bit. Let it out. Let it out. Let it out. Henry <laugh>, I would top 95%.

Henrik Haapalainen (18:49):

Uh, yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (18:51):

Did did you get No. Did you get, yeah, thank you. Look it, you even got his Instagram up there. Good job, Caleb. Yeah. Now we’re talking. And, um, did you, so you knew at that point you knew you were in better shape than the other boys?

Henrik Haapalainen (19:02):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (19:04):

And, um, and what it was in there that someone introduced you to CrossFit?

Henrik Haapalainen (19:10):

Uh, I actually, at that time, I like just found the articles about Mik za love by myself.

Sevan Matossian (19:18):

Articles?

Henrik Haapalainen (19:20):

Yeah. Like, it was in like, some Finnish magazine because Mik had won the games. And then I searched from the YouTube, the videos and there was some like, pretty like cool forest training videos.

Sevan Matossian (19:37):

And, and, and then tell me then, what was the next step? And then you had a reaction to that, you saw that and you’re like, I’m gonna look for a CrossFit gym.

Henrik Haapalainen (19:45):

Yeah. Uh, I actually didn’t go to CrossFit gym for maybe like two, two years. I, I was training at like functional fitness gym where it was like, you know, like the open area with the reiki. And then in military it was pretty good to train there and run because we did a lot of like long walks and with the backpack, and then I did some running there and swimming and then, then the gym time when I had time.

Sevan Matossian (20:18):

And, and, and when did you realize that you could be, um, competitive at it?

Henrik Haapalainen (20:23):

Uh, well, I had been doing live health a year, and then I got to my first pretty big competition in Finland. And I just got in there like from the, almost last, but from the qualifiers. And then during the competition, I, I think I finished like 18th, but I won one event, so I was like, okay, like I’m pretty at this. And then a year later of that, I went to that same competition I wanted and then I won, uh, like some other finished competitions in a row as well.

Sevan Matossian (21:01):

Um, did you do this all solo? You didn’t have a coach, you were just training by yourself? Just show up there?

Henrik Haapalainen (21:07):

Yeah. Yeah. I trained by myself at first. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (21:12):

And, and, and then you said, and what did your, what did your parents think? What, and you said your dad went to one of your competitions. What did he think? Did he think? No, son, you’re an engineer. You just got outta the military, stopped fooling around with this stuff?

Henrik Haapalainen (21:22):

Uh, I wasn’t actually engineer at that time, but, uh, he was like really supportive and he actually thought that competition was really cool. He hadn’t seen something like that before.

Sevan Matossian (21:37):

And that, so so that means that when you got outta the military, you were doing and you continued, did you ever, have you taken a break from your training between, um, 20 to the present in the last nine years?

Henrik Haapalainen (21:49):

Uh, basically not, no. Like, of course, like some shorter holidays, but no, I’ve been like training like pretty co consistently after that. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (22:03):

So that means, and then, and then when did the games, um, the idea, this crazy idea that you could go to the games pop in your head?

Henrik Haapalainen (22:11):

Uh, well, of course it was like pretty early when I saw the games videos, like, I want to be there, but, but I had some struggles, like qualifying to the originals, like the open format was pretty hard for me. And of course I needed just to improve my overall fitness and get like a lot of strength to me. Uh, but then I tried to, like, my goal was first to get to the regional. So I had some like international competitions, like between that and then, then I got to the semifinals on 21, and then I was like, okay, like I’m gonna make it now.

Sevan Matossian (22:55):

And did you believe the whole time what goes on in in Henrik’s mind? Did you believe, Hey, I I’m gonna do this?

Henrik Haapalainen (23:01):

Yeah. Yeah. 100%. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (23:05):

But I’m guessing that there were some enormous milestones. Like you could only do 20 pull-ups, or you could only clean 200 pounds or, and that it was like, holy shit, I got a double, I got a triple amount of pull-ups and double my clean.

Henrik Haapalainen (23:17):

Yeah. But I never saw that. That’s like, like a obstacle. I was like, or like I, I just like did my work every day and like gained those weights little by little and I’m like pretty, like, I like like to look really far away, but have like small steps and just grinded out.

Sevan Matossian (23:44):

What, what you, you hear these athletes talk about going to the pain cave on a regular basis, like just getting on, you know, getting on the assault bike every day and going to that dirty place. Or not being afraid to just go as hard as you can for 50 calories on the regular. Is that you, does that describe you also?

Henrik Haapalainen (24:01):

Uh, yeah. I, I think it was more like that like before, but, but now the training is like more, it’s like the quality is much better and you don’t always have to be like in the pain curve, obviously. Like, it’s much like how you say, like scientific or, yeah, of course you need to go hard. Like you can’t make it otherwise.

Sevan Matossian (24:32):

So maybe there’s some madness to it in the beginning. Just go as hard as you can and sort of feel, you’re basically feeling around in the pain cave. And after a base level of that does that, I’m guessing that goes on for a couple years, you’re like, okay, now I need to like put together a plan, a regimented plan that will actually give me, start giving me outcomes, foreseeable outcomes, something with some predictive value, like I guess you said the science.

Henrik Haapalainen (24:57):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, I think it’s like for the most that starts crush with you, you go like, maybe even a bit too hard all the time, and then you get wiser and like see that you don’t have to go like all out all the time. <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (25:14):

Why, why do you think you’ve chosen something so hard? Do you, do you have a, uh, is is there, is there, is there some sort of mantra you have in life? Like, Hey, I only have one life. I’m gonna go as hard as I can, or I’m gonna teach that girl in the second grade who wouldn’t go with me to the dance. I’m, I’ll show her <laugh>. Why, why this path? And I’m guessing you went to school during your training, so you got your engineering degree while you were doing all of this insane training.

Henrik Haapalainen (25:40):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, I always like endurance sports and like lifting weights as well. So it’s combination of that. So it was like pretty, like easy to choose CrossFit for me, and I just thought the sport is like pretty badass. Like you get to be really fit and strong at same time. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (26:05):

So, so meaning there’s a, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a, well, let me ask you this before I go there. Why not stick with skateboarding? Skateboarding’s pretty badass.

Henrik Haapalainen (26:14):

Yeah, it is, it is. I actually love skateboarding and I watch the competition still, but, uh, I don’t know, it’s just, I, I grew up from that. Like maybe my, like my friends didn’t do it anymore that much, and I just found like draining to be more interesting that time. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (26:38):

The window for skateboarding’s pretty small, right? 25 years old. And, and, and you’re kind of like, you’re getting there, right? Your body?

Henrik Haapalainen (26:46):

Uh, I don’t know. I think there’s like,

Sevan Matossian (26:48):

I guess it depends on the style, right? I guess it depends on the style.

Henrik Haapalainen (26:51):

Yeah. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (26:54):

Maybe not so much for street skating, but for, but definitely for the ramp stuff or the rail stuff, it becomes, your body just doesn’t like to fall as much after 25.

Henrik Haapalainen (27:03):

Yeah, I guess like, it’s like how many injuries you have and Yeah, it’s pretty tough for the body.

Sevan Matossian (27:14):

I’m, I’m looking at this comment down here. Uh, Magnus, uh, Holmgren? Is that, is that a finished name?

Henrik Haapalainen (27:21):

No, I think it’s with this.

Sevan Matossian (27:24):

Oh, okay. Uh, Henrik, uh, uh, tell Stevon about sushi. Does he mean sisu?

Henrik Haapalainen (27:29):

Uh, probably What

Sevan Matossian (27:31):

Susi What’s Susu?

Henrik Haapalainen (27:32):

I don’t know if it’s sisu or like sushi, like fish.

Sevan Matossian (27:35):

I, I know, I know about Sisu. I know about Sisu. Do you know what? Do you know why I made that documentary with Miko?

Henrik Haapalainen (27:42):

Yeah, yeah. No, I know. Okay, good.

Sevan Matossian (27:44):

Keep you up to date on your, on your, uh, CrossFit Media trivia <laugh>. Um, you’re, uh, second, second place at the semi-finals and a PR with the snatch there.

Henrik Haapalainen (27:56):

Hmm. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (27:58):

Crazy.

Henrik Haapalainen (28:01):

Is it?

Sevan Matossian (28:02):

Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good. Then now we’re going, I talk, you talk. This is good. Okay. Uh, yeah, be it’s in front of a big crowd. I mean, this is the kind of thing right, that you want as a competitor. You’re like, okay, uh, nerves are high. Can I show up? Can I perform? Can I use the energy of the crowd? I mean, it’s just straight. It’s, it’s gold, right?

Henrik Haapalainen (28:22):

Yeah. Yeah. I, I think I always perform better in the competitions.

Sevan Matossian (28:27):

But while you’re finished, aren’t you supposed to be like shy and like, no, no, not in front. Like I’m surprised you don’t ask him to hold up a towel in front of you so no one can see you lifting.

Henrik Haapalainen (28:36):

No, I think, I think like, like you said, like Finn cso, you, you want to be tougher than the person next to you. Okay? Like, you don’t wanna give up,

Sevan Matossian (28:48):

But you don’t want them to know that you want to be tougher than them.

Henrik Haapalainen (28:52):

Mm. Well, I don’t, I don’t care. <laugh>

Sevan Matossian (28:58):

Uh, you say in the comments here, snatch PR felt easy. You made it, uh, look easy. Um, is your, um, is your fitness on the, uh, ascent? Are you getting fitter in, in, yeah. Yeah, definitely. If you’re, how do you know?

Henrik Haapalainen (29:12):

I think like, I can hit even heavier. Like if they test thing in the games,

Sevan Matossian (29:20):

Um, taking place, uh, second place of the semifinals. What’s that mean to you? Is, is that a huge confidence boost?

Henrik Haapalainen (29:27):

Uh, it is, it is. And like that like, just tells me that I can like, beat the best and like, I was pretty confident going to the semifinals and it choke there. So it would start to be like, confident, I’m feeling that I’m gonna win this, and then be like 10 place.

Sevan Matossian (29:49):

Um, it, it, it’s a pretty, uh, it’s a pretty crazy group. Um, Janowski and eighth David, uh, SHR in seventh, oldest Ebix in sixth, then Janowski in fifth.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

Check out our other posts.