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Stephanie Churlet – Brand Store manager, Stockholm
As for many others, Stephanie Churlet’s initial plans during this year have been more or less postponed. We caught up with her to hear about how she’s coping with everything.
First off, how are you these days?
I feel good, really good actually. Looking forward to the coming adventure plans. Moreover, it is lighter in Sweden and so I do feel that my energy is blooming up as well.
How has Covid-19 and everything surrounding it affected your daily life?
I would say that my daily life here in Sweden hasn´t change so much since the Covid started. I am still working 5 days a week, (80% with kortidspermittering instead of 100%). I am a bike commuter and outdoor/Mtb lover all year round usually, so I just keep doing it.
What has been affected is all the ski travels that I had booked to the French Alps, where I come from and where my family is. There were a couple nice ski touring and climbing projects planned.
But this is not possible, that´s it. So, now, 2 choices: either I feel depressed and stuck. Or I try to make the best of the situation and make even more of my daily life an adventure. I choose to make the best of the situation. I love this sentence of Eckhart Tolle: “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation or accept it, all else is madness.”
That is exactly my way of thinking.
I don´t know when I will be able to meet my family in France. This is the hardest and I can feel sad about it of course. But I try my best not to focus on it too much. One day at the time.
Everything sounds like almost normal, but not really at the same time.
A big difference as well in my daily life is not hugging friends and colleagues anymore to say hi (or shake hands).
What are you doing to keep busy these days?
I just came back from a 2 days MTB bike-packing in the south of Stockholm together with friends. Being and sleeping in the nature gives me joy and energy.
Last week I had this dream of sleeping close by a lake together with friends, So I did it.
A lot of skype talking with my friends and family that are based in France.
What’s your new normal?
I could say that my new normal is my old normal without hugs and travels to the alps
Something new became a kind of Covid-tradition: if it is sunny on my way biking to work, I take a coffee at Bonne Mécanique at Södermalm. Really nice bike service store that has coffee and a “terrasse” in the sun.
So, if it is a sunny day, you can be sure to see me enjoying a coffee there surrounding by bikes
Have any opportunities or experiences presented themselves to you because of this? A positive through this negative time?
There is so much positive that is happening during this hard time. First, it seems that nature is taking over and our planet and it can breathe again. Second, I have been living here in Sweden since 2009 and working at our Haglöfs brand store since 2010. I have never felt so close to our customers since the Corona started. People are coming in our store but our approach to them and their approach to us is different. We are all in the same boat, right? We are all affected and worried in the same way. People are opening themselves up as never before, they want to communicate, tell about how they feel. This is a very nice human feeling in these hard times. It gives the strength and energy to stay positive and keep it on. This is inspiring.
Because of Corona, most people can´t travel anymore abroad this summer. Instead they want to start with trekking, being outdoors here in Sweden. It just makes me happy helping them in their journey to discover more about outdoor life as this is my passion.
I can´t travel back to France right now, so instead I have the opportunity to explore more around Stockholm and Sörmlandsleden for example with bike-packing. So much fun!
What is the biggest challenge so far?
Staying calm in order not to worry my daughter Ella. I always try to stay optimistic. Being an optimist doesn´t mean that I refuse to see the negative side of things, I just refuse to dwell on it. I look forward, always.
How do you see upcoming adventures? Will they change? individually/group wise?
Right now, I see my upcoming adventures in Sweden. I do not know yet if I could return to France this summer. If not, we´ll explore even more around Sweden on our bike or by trekking. I am already planning another 2-day micro adventure with MTB bike-packing in the north of Stockholm this time. Haven´t been there so much so I would like to explore the North of the city a bit more. I never really tried a kayak adventure in the archipelago either.
Today in the store, a nice customer told me that I should go to Klövbergsgrottorna, the Stockholm´s largest cave system, together with Ella. Could be something
You can find happiness exactly where you are right now. It is the way we decide to think, to act that will give us happiness or not. It is up to us to make the better of the situation.
What are you looking forward to/missing the most?
Definitely looking forward of meeting my family again together with my daughter Ella and spend time with them, hold them tight in my arms.
How do you stay motivated during these times?
By being outdoors, commuting by bike and listening Rock Klassiker (best music station in Sweden Otherwise by enjoying the nature together with my daughter Ella, enjoying Gravel/Mtb biking with friends all around Stockholm, thumbs up for my favorite playground Hellasgården.
Having “fika” with my friends (always with respect of the social distancing)
Having fun at my work keeps me motivated, with the customers, with my colleagues. They all give me energy and joy.
I feel lucky to get up in the morning with a big smile and to continue smiling om my way biking to work, because I know that I will meet people that I like to be with and that inspire me.
My life motto is “What doesn´t kill you makes you stronger”
Have you picked up any book recently, if so what and why?
Yes, I am actually reading 2 books:
Le dernier Lapon – Olivier Truc
Any tips for staying motivated and finding inspiration? Documentary, etc?
Get out in nature as much as you can and make some exercises, move yourself, it helps feeling better. 100% Keep going, never give up on your dreams, because if you can dream it, then you can achieve it. Stay away from negative people. Take care of yourself, your family and friends. There are many other ways to care than hugging as well. Small things matter. Again, what doesn´t kill you makes you stronger: soon everything will be better!