There is a lot of talk about the "issues" with orienteering right now. It's not attractive to the masses, it's too difficult to organize events, too many rules, even the name of the sport is best not to pronounce.
I just have to say - I love orienteering. I love running through the forest and navigating by myself. I marvel at the beauty of modern ISOM/ISSOM maps that cost a fortune to make. I love standing on the start line knowing that three highly skilled peers triple checked every flag location. I love that our sport has detailed rules so that skill wins and not luck. The officialness of the Nationals in Hamilton makes my heart beat faster. Orienteering is my passion.
I love the special places in my own country and others that orienteering has taken me to, many of which, even working to some extent in the outdoors, I wouldn't even know the existence of. I love that in a completely foreign environment there's that moment on the start line when I get my first look at the map and think, right, I know what to do now (really must do more of this!) I love the community, ranging from world-class athletes to the ever-so-slightly eccentric, that I find myself somewhere in the middle of, all because we have this one particular madness in common.
I love the internationalism of the sport, I can run in Italy, Western Australia and ACT on consecutive weekends and as 1lastchance says when I get the map it is same experience. But not so many kangaroos on the side of the mountain in Italy.
I love the interesting, intelligent people I've met all over the world while attending O meets. I love the long-time O friends I've acquired..we share a secret passion. I love my wife Sari, whom I met as a result of going on an O trip to Finland.
Orienteering is My Life!
I love this thread...and that song!! Thanks you really started my day with a smile, a giggle really, and now I'm going to go orienteering. :))))
I love the sense of freedom that orienteering give me.
With a map and a compass, I can go anywhere!
All of the above plus: I love that the joy of orienteering is not evident to the average person. I love the fact that it takes years of practice to be good at it. I love that I am still competing with the same people I did thirty years ago.
I love that going off trail (guided by the map) is the smart thing to do. I love that our community has made adventurous woods explorations into regular fun, and that my children all experienced this.
I love that a couple of day ago I was walking on the map that pi is making for the 2014 Canadian Champs Middle - that I absolutely know that on the other side of this ridge is a boulder - that I "see" that boulder in a way that nobody else except pi has even seen it - and admire how it stands out, its uniqueness - I love that the boulder is a thing of beauty. I love standing there thinking about the fabulous race that will take place here next summer.
pi is at work in the city that day. I text him a photo of a marsh and challenge him to identify it on the map. I love that there is cell phone coverage on the map and that within minutes pi has sent me back a tiny snippet showing exactly the spot I was standing. I actually love that pi is my friend. Orienteering is a fabulous sport that has taken me to so many beautiful places, given me a high level of appreciation of the outdoors, and made me a great big bunch of really smart, interesting, accomplished, and fun friends. Orienteering is one of the better - most rewarding - ways I can think of to spend my life's hours and minutes.
AZ...I wish Attackpoint had a "like" button. I would have clicked it! :)
I love that I haven't got tired of finding controls right there where they should be; still 66 years after getting to the very first one right on. And it keeps me more fit than most - with thanks to my parents who provided the right genes.
I love all above and also that it feels kind of extreme sometimes. Thinking about the epic BC Champs Long last week in a torrential rain, meeting people on the course after an hour and half, still smiling and enjoying the jungle. Very happy about every control I found. I also love pi! and love that AZ is my friend...
I love the feeling of running with confidence off-trail through the woods, expecting a feature to appear and it does. And I love all of the places it's taken me, on the macro (countries) to micro (small, interesting places far off-trail) level. And of course the friends, and the fact that I'm part of a global community and can feel at home in so many places around the world.
Why did I click on this thread? It's just too much for me with people being so overly positive. If I can't have a bit of cynicism I'm going to die from sugarpoisioning:
(Will most likely not turn out to well with Google Translate, try it at your own risk.)
I love that Eriol makes really great maps ;-)
If that's how he feels turning H40, just imagine by the time he reaches M75. I love the thought of it! ;-)
I love being the first person in the woods on a revised map (by Eriol) and navigating to a feature that nobody has ever navigated to before (except Eroil) because it wasn't on the old map. There is that strangeness of something new yet something familiar all wrapped into one.
I love that every course is a different puzzle to solve. I love that solving the puzzle requires a unity of effort; physical, technical & mental. I love the sense of flow I feel when all three click into place; sadly, sweetly, a rare experience. Fortunately, I love being forced to confront & correct my mistakes, on my own.
I love orienteering as metaphor, this blueprint for life.
In adding to the positive vibe going on here... I love orienteering because it's challenging, I get to spend time outside, I meet a lot of great people, and, most importantly, it is a shared interest with my husband and my daughter. My husband and I discovered orienteering together on our first date in S.F. with BAOC in 1992.
I like using downed trees to cross reentrants, jumping over small creeks, and running as fast as I can to the finish - the only location I am reasonably sure about.
And I love packing for orienteering! AR prep is a chore. In contrast...do I have a compass? Am I wearing shoes? Let's roll!
I love this thread! particularly NickHarris comment - going to use it in corporate presentations and team building exercises
Here's why I love rogaining:
The endurance aspect of it. Other sports don't challenge it enough.
The ability to go to places where very few people have gone before. The chance to see sights one would be hard pressed to pay attention to if moving a lot faster.
Teamwork. I'm supremely grateful to my partner for correcting my mistakes at 3 am, and always hope to repay in kind at 5 am when it's him who is sleepy.
Night navigation. Using the ability to simplify things well enough to hit checkpoints dead on while not seeing much.
The chance to use rational thinking to make good use of just about any map. Ability to go to wonderful places which would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make perfect maps of, and still enjoying a fair navigation challenge.
The ability to compare results against all teams, without exception, who participate in the event.
A mass start, head-to-head competition at least in the beginning, and the chance to socialize with everyone at the finish.
Eating all the food the stomach can fit!
T/D wrong thread to post in :)
This thread made me smile. :-)
I love the fact that after 45+ years of orienteering I get to do _more_ of it every year than I did 10, 20, 30 years ago.
As a geek/nerd & programmer I love all the new tools, like QuickRoute for gps track logs
, having Lidar point clouds available for base map generation
I love going to Jukola every year to run in the middle of the night, on a very good map, with nice courses and a perfectly hosted event.
Just reading the above comments has me revved up, because I share everyone's sentiments. I would like to add two comments: that the very first time I orienteered, I was running down a huge reentrant at Yellowood State Park in southern IN where I felt like a deer. I could see several other orienteers running in slightly different directions and I felt safe and exhilarated and happy and knew that I'd be orienteering for the rest of my life. Thirty-three years later, I have orienteered around NA and the world and appreciate orienteering for the opportunities it has given me to feel safe while alone in the woods. I have always felt at home in the woods but am afraid when I encounter men because I know I am vulnerable to them and have reason for my fear. Orienteering sets me free and allows me to feel "one with the forest" knowing that anyone I see is not likely a threat. It requires me to not just observe my surroundings but to interpret them, to study them, to figure them out so that I can find my way. The interaction with the map and the terrain, the vegetation, the rock and the water makes me feel a part of all that surrounds me. I love orienteering.
Interesting that I just found this thread after someone told me I'm being too hard on myself and asked if I was having any fun. Yes, I am having fun. Frustrating, but fun. Nick Harris was spot on. I know I can do better and it is that pursuit that keeps me coming back time after time.
I love the woods and nature and running through a clear section of woods with an o-map to guide me is fantastic.
Drinking tea from a NAOC 2012 mug and about to head out into 50+ km2 of wilderness with a suitcase of SPORTidents and a box of reflectors! can't get any better!
I love orienteering because it makes me feel one with nature and you experience nature in an unique way.
I love orienteering because it is the ultimate combination of physical, technical, tactical and mental skills.
I love orienteering because it has taken me to a lot of beautiful places which I otherwise probably would never have seen.
I love orienteering because it is social and it has given me lifetime-long friendships.
I love orienteering because it unites people and everywhere in the world you find friendly people with the same passion.
I love orienteering because there are so many people that are passionated about it and spending so much time on it, with no economic interest at all.
I love orienteering because I love to run, especially in the hills, and in the forest, and in new places.
I love ultralong distance because it is extremely demanding physically and mentally.
I love long distance because it requires a complete orienteer with the ability to master routechoices, careful orienteering, strong physical demands with regards to both speed and endurance.
I love middle distance because of the intensity and the feel when you can navigate with 100% control on a good map in very high speed is amazing.
I love relays because you compete as a team in an individual sport, with friends fighting to reach the same goal.
I love night orienteering because of the feeling when you see the reflex after accurate navigating to a really tricky control.
I love sprint orienteering... no, I actually don't :)
I love orienteering because sushi
I love this thread because I was just asked by a landowner/manager "why do people orienteer". This thread explains it wonderfully - especially marcusm post. I will paste this thread into my response
I love coming back to post from time to time.
Seeing kids doing it for the first time and having so much fun
Consider the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment a structural engineer must get when taking a set of architect’s drawings and turning them in to a fine building
A sports team gets when the coach draws up a play on a chalkboard and they are able to follow the instructions to score an important goal, or touchdown, try or points.
A musician gets when reading the notes put to paper by a Bach, Beethoven or Mozart is able to turn those notes in to music for many to enjoy
Well that is the sense of satisfaction I get when I’ve been able to look at a map, select a route choice from one control to the next and follow that route to ‘spike in’ at my next control.
That’s why I love orienteering.
Or perhaps it’s like the satisfaction one gets from reading a set of wordless instructions from IKEA and being able to assemble a piece of furniture without there being any leftover bolts or washers.
Because when the s**t hits the fan last thursday and we had to re-do 3 races (including two national championships) in 1.5 days one of my biggest concerns was that so much of my time was being taken up responding to so many offers to help from so many people!
And special recognition to Remo M. back in Italy who saw the announcement on Facebook and offered to set Sprint courses on any of the Sprint maps he'd made for us. When I woke up Friday morning he'd emailed me five sprint courses at the Banff Centre just in case we could get permission to move the Sprint there.
Has anyone said 'orienteers are really nice people'?
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