Q&A Answers

Good afternoon and thank you so much for the questions 🙂

Last year I think some of you had a little too much fun with copying and pasting gigantic questionnaires into the comments section, and I didn’t even get to respond to all of them. Thankfully, I didn’t run into that problem this year; I even had time to add some pictures!

Do you have all the money for film school now?
No, I only have the first year covered, so far. Which is a miracle in itself, so we’ll see. I trust God’s plan.

Er du fortsatt singel? (English: Are you still single?)
Yes. No news since I wrote THIS post.

Name your favorite bible verse.
Philippians 4:13.

1. What’s the most dangerous thing you ever did?
 – Ooh, that’s a tough one. Some things are better left untold. Don’t they say that being alive is pretty dangerous?

2. Biggest pet peeve?
 – Conversations like these:
Random American person: You have an accent. Where are you from?
Me: Norway.
Random American person: Oh, me too!
Me: Cool, where in Norway?
Random American person: I think the town was called Stockholm. You see, my great grandmother’s, uncle’s, third cousin’s, great aunt’s sister was from Norway. Do you eat lutefisk? (Pronounced loodafisk)

3. Where would you want to live?
 – Right now I wouldn’t want to live anywhere but New York City, but maybe in a few years I’ll want to move somewhere else. I love Los Angeles equally much, but who knows. I’ll live where God wants me.

4. Your biggest mice?
 – Whooh, thankfully you didn’t replace that “m” withy a “v”. Or else I’d have to share my biggest vice, and that would’ve been bad. You can read this post and see if you’ll figure it out on your own 😉

5. Is your tattoo real?
 – Yes, they are.

6. What do you like the most and least about blogging?
 – Good question! I like that I get to express myself through writing, and the almost-theraputic effect it has on me. It’s a great outlet, de-stresser and a nice way to keep my friends and family abroad up to date with what I’m doing. I also like that it gives me a voice that reaches a little further than it otherwise would have.

I can’t find too many things I don’t like about it. It can get a little strenuous when I meet people I haven’t seen in half a decade, and they seem to know “everything” about me, and I have to ask 40 questions in a row to keep the conversation going. But that’s entirely my fault; I choose to blog about my life, so that’s a part of the deal.

7. Celebrity crush?
 – Hmm, I can honestly say I’ve never had a legitimate celebrity crush. The walls of my room have always been completely clear of posters, (besides the celebrity-drawings I made, that my mom put on the walls against my will) so this is a tough one, haha. I guess I don’t see celebrities as stars; most of the time they’re just normal people with cool jobs, and I also find it hard to have crushes on people I don’t know on a personal level. BUT, on a superficial note I must say that Chris Hemsworth and Tim Tebow are pretty handsome.

On an even more superficial note; some faces are just exceptionally good for drawing.

This makes me feel like picking up the pencil and start drawing some again.

8. Who could you marry in a heart beat?
The right one.

9. How many kids do you want? If you want kids at all.
Ooh, I feel like I’m making big decisions just answering these questions, hah! But yes, I definitely want kids at one point. How many? I have a feeling my future husband might want to have a say in it, so we’ll see.

10. How tall are you?
Somewhere between 5’7″ and 5’8″.


I’m confused, did you study media or film?
 – I majored in journalism and took a minor in theatre at Augustana. I’ll study filmmaking at NYU Tisch this coming fall. Read more HERE.

How did you fund over the bridge?
 – When we started, Sarah and I didn’t intend for Over the Bridge to become anything more than a 4-minute film, so we didn’t do any fundraising beforehand. We did however, have a fundraising campaign to pay for entry fees at film festivals.

Photo: Rachel Johnston.

Did you rent the equipment for the shoot?
 – We shot everything the minimalist-way and used our own equipment for the shoot; two DSLR-cameras, a microphone and a tripod. All-natural lighting.

Two film producers bundled up in seven layers. #SouthDakota. WIth Sarah Kocher.

Are you working on any new projects now?
– Over the Bridge turned out to be a much bigger project than anticipated, so I’ve spent all my freetime outside school on following up that project with film festivals, guest speaking, media-interviews, screenings at other schools and city council meetings etc. There hasn’t been any time for a new project, but I’m very excited to take on new projects at NYU this fall!

Hanna K:
What’s your workout and diet regimen like?
– I try to avoid anything with the word “regimen” in it, because I’ve spent so much of my life trapped inside strict training routines, both as an athlete, fitness enthusiast and “exercise addict.” Nowadays I just do some running and functional strength training. During the school year I hit the gym every morning, and now when I’m in Norway I just exercise after work. I eat pretty much everything. But then again; I’m not exactly in this shape anymore.

Photo: Line Valen 2013.

Hannah K:
What’s your comfort foods?
 – Pizza and ice cream. No doubt.

Hannah K:
Do you make money on blogging?
 – Nope, not a dime, but I get other things for it — which I’ll write more about later 🙂

My life as an adrenalin junkie

I don’t need a microscope to see where my high jump spikes once sliced my thigh open; the marks from the stitches are still there, and as I run my palms down my left shin I remember what a once-broken tibia feels like. The crackling sounds of worn out ankle-ligaments and a torn meniscus remind me of a time where no pain meant no gain, and ibuprofen was a part of any well-balanced meal.

Even if I don’t do competitive sports anymore, there are some traces of it that will always be a part of me: the physical marks, the memories, and the hunger for adrenalin.

While my enthusiasm for competitive sports was drowned by injuries, I still allow myself to indulge in the pleasures of a good adrenalin-high from time to time.

I do have to restrain myself though, because if I were to let loose my inner adrenalin junkie at all times, you’d probably see me flying out of planes as a skydiver five times a day, and I wouldn’t have gotten much else done.

But as a younger and less responsible human, I was not quite as advanced in this restraining thing. I won’t go into any details, but I’m pretty lucky things went as well as they did.

I actually think track helped tame that side of me; I stopped doing all those irresponsible stunts when I realized how much I disliked crutches, concussions and having to sit out track meets because of it.



My tool for self-restraint is to pretend I don’t even like those extreme things. When people ask me if I’d ever skydive, for example, I usually respond with a plain “no.” Not because I wouldn’t want to do it, but because I wouldn’t want the few minutes of pure excitement to jeopardize what I consider to be my real mission in life.

I don’t believe I was put on this earth to live for the short pleasures of extreme sports. Maybe some people are, but I know that–despite all temptation–it’s not what I was sent here for.

However, when smaller non-life threatening opportunities come my way, I do take them.

Like earlier this week, when my dear childhood-friend, Espen, asked me to join a tree top-park:


I admit it’s probably more “dangerous” than watching TV, but safer than skydiving — so it’s pretty safe.

Note: Espen is a little less good at restraining himself, (skydiving and bungee-jumping are some of his special skills) but I need to make sure I don’t become a wimp, so this was a perfect dose of adventure.

Oh, by the way, the closest to skydiving I’ve allowed myself to go was at Universal Studios in LA:

I’m not sure what was more entertaining; flying in the windtunnel or watching the creepy guy that followed me around attempt to fly in the tunnel after me. He’s not in the video, but all I can say is that he was high on other things than adrenalin… “Tumbling weed” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about his face getting smushed onto the glass walls in between every uncontrolled tumble. Maybe a rag doll in a dryer gives you a proper visual?

Thanks for reading along, and have a wonderful weekend!

Bless you,

High Jump Extravaganza

Good morning!

I’ll head to Bergen in a few minutes, but first I’ll tell you about yesterday’s attempt at picking up stones from the past.

As a tradition, I always meet up with some of my retired track mates for a reunion — at the track. This is the one day out of the year where we sacrifice kneecaps, Achilles tendons and all other sports injuries we’ve collected through the years for an extravagant jumping showdown.

This year, Ingrid and I decided to give the high jump a try. I sort of retired as a high jumper all the way back in 2009, when my ankle first started acting up, but I did a couple of jumps every year until four years ago. However, in between that last high jump and yesterday, I’d been an Olympic weightlifter, bodybuilder and a half marathon-runner, so to expect anything more than disaster would be rather… delusional.

Back in the day when I knew how it was supposed to be done.

But it went fine! I was able to hold back enough to save my kneecaps from too much pain, which I’m very proud of. You all know letting me loose on a track is like letting a kid watch the candy store without adult supervision. I don’t know when to stop.

We both cleared 1.40m (4’7.12″) without too much of a struggle, and then we called it a day.

Click on the pic below for video:

With the exception of the lack of height in yesterday’s jump, it looked pretty decent. Here: From 2009.
From the past
I actually used to jump over hurdles higher than 1.40m, heh.. well

The funny thing was that all the technical flaws we had as high jumpers seven years ago were still there. Had it not been for our lack of speed, power and springiness our form looked the exact same. Muscle memory is a cool thing.

So did this make me want to do a comeback?

No. Not at all. But it was a lot of fun catching up with old mates and Mr. High Jump.

Until next time,

A New Goal

It’s now been 10 years since I entered the wonderful world of track and field, and it’s been exactly a year since I left it. Throughout that time I’ve been training at least five days a week, and at the peak of my track and weightlifting “career” I did as many as 12 workouts each week.

339011_10150785216225150_7701184_o 326067_10150785216890150_3250774_o
Photo: Vegard Henriksen

As you all know, I decided to retire from competitive sports last year, but it didn’t take me long before I found a new goal to pursue. I ran my first half marathon a couple of months ago. And the moment I crossed the finish line I was ready to start training for a full marathon, but guess what! I made a discovery that changed things a little.

Looking through my training journals (Nerd alert: Yes, I’ve logged every single session for a decade…) I noticed I’ve only had 10 weeks off — in 10 years!


Man, I deserve a vacation!

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to let my body recover for a few weeks. Believe me, it’d rather be training for that marathon, but I’m going to challenge myself to rest until I can step out of bed without pain in the morning, and until I can kneel on the floor without feeling like someone pinched clothespins around my kneecaps. It may never get completely pain-free, but I’ll give it some time anyway.


You’re probably asking yourself why I didn’t do this earlier, and why I even considered running a 21-kilometer street race if my legs and feet hurt that bad? Well, you see, the discomfort of jogging for two hours didn’t even come close to the pain I experienced on a daily basis as a long/triple jumper, so it never occurred to me that it’d be a good idea to slow down. The weeks following the race my feet have been killing me though, so I guess I finally came to my senses.

If someone’s trying to lose 50 pounds, stop smoking or go vegetarian they often make it public to eliminate the option of cheating or walking away from it. That’s why I decided to write this post. Working out is second nature to me, so by making my “vacation” public I kind of have to stick to it. I’m sure it sounds weird, but that’s what a 10-year long habit does to you, haha.

Wish me luck, xoxo

Editorial: Firing a shot at the IAAF

In November 2015, the International Association of Athletics Federations made the decision to initiate a doping ban that will keep all Russian track athletes from participating in international competitions, including the World Championships – even if the majority of them have never officially tested positive. And now, with less than three months remaining until the Olympic torch is lit inside the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, hundreds of Russian athletes are left without the opportunity to compete.

Yelena Isinbayeva
Pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva never tested positive for doping, but was still banned from the World Championships last year. Photo by Malien Bravo

It was after Hajo Seppelt, a German investigative journalist, released his two documentaries “Secret doping dossier: How Russia produces its winners,” and “Doping – top secret: The shadowy world of athletics” last year, that hell broke loose for Russian track athletes. Not only were several of the biggest stars caught admitting their use of performance enhancing drugs on camera, but the film also alleged systematic state-sponsored doping throughout the whole Russian Federation, and history’s biggest doping scandal in the sport of athletics was just starting to emerge.

But by banning an entire nation, the IAAF declares that the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t apply to the victims of the Eastern European system.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 19.19.23
Photo by Anson Henry/CBS Sports

Although it seems like Russia never quite recovered from the cheater’s mentality that started evolving behind the Iron Curtain in the USSR in the 1970s, it’s wrong to let today’s athletes suffer because the system is useless. The severe corruption and pressure from the government has paralyzed the country’s anti-doping work, and according to The Sunday Times, a database-leak revealed that blood tests from 5,000 Russian athletes showed extraordinary signs of doping.

If that’s true, banning all the athletes who did test positive would seem like a fair deal, but the real concerning issue here is that all those 12,000 blood samples were never disclosed to the public, or even to the World Anti-Doping Association.

That means the Russian Anti-Doping Association failed to do its job, and it should be punished instead of just sweeping all athletes into the same ditch – regardless of whether or not they have tested positive.

The IAAF used its most powerful tool by suspending the whole federation, and even if the ban will keep many doped athletes from entering the result lists, it only treats the symptoms of this whole epidemic.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 19.21.37
Mariya Savinova was caught discussing her use of performance enhancing drugs on video. According to the New York Times she said: “Well, really, what should we do? How should it go differently? That is our system and in Russia that only works only with pharma.” Photo by: Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press

The reason why so many athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs is because they think they can get away with it – or their coaches and their team organizations think they can get away with it. If the RUSADA had done its job, the athletes who actually did cheat would have been plucked out of the circuit before it got to this point.

Punishing all the athletes from participating at the Olympics is just like deporting all Mexicans from the US because someone said the crime rates have been shown to be higher among the Hispanic population – it’s too generalizing and makes innocent people suffer more than they have to.

Now that Hajo Seppelt has found information that implies that the doping culture in Russia is, in fact, run by the government, the IAAF should see that they caught the wrong guys.

Editorial by Maria Lavelle

Copyright © 2017 marialavelle.com

Privacy & cookies | Terms & conditions | Copyright