Emil Larmi didn’t even flinch at the idea of ​​jumping from the seventh floor – now he reminds us that we can survive anything | Sport

Emil Larmi didnt even flinch at the idea of ​​jumping

The city of Wheeling in West Virginia, USA is a place that hardly anyone has heard of. Not even the Americans themselves.

Wheeling, on the huge scale of America, is rather a bad village where no one wants to move to and from which everyone wants to get out at any cost.

This American Backcountry probably saw its best days in the 1870s during the Wild West. The steel town in the corner of the legendary Kauriinmätsätäjä movie is also reminiscent of Wheeling, mostly romantic.

Here somewhere far away from everything Emil Larmi drove in winter 2020.

It was here that he sank into the deepest trough of his career, both athletically and mentally. The young man’s mind and mental stamina were put to a tough cross-train far away in the American countryside. Alone, without a decent company to talk to, without anyone from the spirit tribe.

– My whole life was a vague lump that is difficult to open. It describes well how I feel at that moment. I didn’t know where I was, what I was doing here, why I was really here and where I was going, Emil Larmi opens up about his painful feelings.

The goalie’s big dream of creating a permanent NHL career started to crumble in the very first season in North America. No place opened up from Pittsburgh and the goal-oriented Finn had no use in the farm league AHL either.

In the end, the only place to play for the young man from Lahti was in Wheeling of the ECHL league, the farm league of the farm league.

– It was a rough place where there had been decent life the last time, probably 80 years ago. A city where there was no proper light except in one house. That’s where we players lived. There, all the harshness of life only began to be emphasized.

It felt so insignificant.

The mental bad feeling started to break out after an insignificant match at the end of the season, when several pucks slipped into my own. The medicine for feeling bad was found on the shelf of an American supermarket, in alcoholic form. A decision that Larmi had never made before, even in the worst moments.

– After the game, I drove half an hour to the nearest store, bought a bottle and downed it very quickly. I had never drunk alcohol alone, but at that moment the bad feeling had to be numbed by someone.

There was more going on in America’s trailer parks. The lonely young man’s bad mood only started to pile up. In his lonely, dark evenings, Larmi began to question the meaning of his entire human life.

– One night I was walking alone in a hotel room, and I couldn’t sleep and I looked down from the window of the seventh floor. I wasn’t thinking about anything concrete (jumping down), but the thought of it didn’t even scare me at that moment. It felt so insignificant.

Even if the room on the seventh floor had not had a window, none of the suicides would have happened, according to Larmi.

But the mere thought of jumping out of the window into the street is chilling for anyone.

– It was never close to me actually doing it. But that thought. However, I have not gone so far that I would plan to do something to myself. However, that thought did not scare him, he describes.

– Those are the most violent moments that have happened in my own mind.

Larmi’s thoughts ran through very dark waters that dark night.

– Seeing through life that nothing matters can even be attractive. You just enjoy that insignificance at that moment.

“Oh, you have one too”

Emil Larmi presents the almost imperceptible tattoo on his right arm on the dining table of Vaxjö’s home. The tattoo has two dots, one of which has a thin fang, a semi-dot.

It is a mystical symbol that communicates hope. Navigating difficulties. Continuation of life.

– The semicolon is a symbol that life could be the end, but it is not the end.

He has dedicated the tattoo only to himself, for the mentally difficult times in his personal life.

Mental pain has not been a daily part of Emil Larm’s life, but only a small part of the life he lived.

– For me, the tattoo tells me that life is not always easy, but everything can be overcome. For me, it’s part of accepting myself, Larmi says, looking at his hand closely.

– Sometimes in everyday situations, when playing with a child or petting a dog, you can see the symbol on the arm. Then you think that it used to be like that. You quickly realize that life is still damn cool and things are fine, he beams with a smile.

A year ago, Larmi also posted a picture of her tattoo on her own Instagram account.

– There has been such feedback that: “Oh, you have that symbol too. I wouldn’t have believed it.”

Emil Larmi has been through a lot in his life at times. Still without final, suicidal thoughts.

– There have really been moments when I have wondered if this moment would be the end of this life. I have sometimes thought about these things too, he says, looking into his eyes.

He talks about his sense of insignificance, which has sometimes taken over his thoughts. It has still been fleeting.

– I know that I am cared for and I know that I am important. Insignificance has been related to the fact that I may feel that I am insignificant to myself. There has been some sick contradiction here.

The tattoo on Emil Larm’s arm is ultimately what reminds him of overcoming difficult times and moving forward in life.

– Bring me anything, we’ll get through it. Even in good moments, you can remember that not everything has always been good in life.

– However, life has a good meaning.

We all have our own story

In the spring of 2023, everything was right for Emil Larmi. There was a lot of joy, light and professional success in life. All life smiled at him brightly.

The biggest joy in Larmi’s life was brought by the expected family addition in the summer.

A great personal season in Vaxjö culminated in the Swedish championship and selection as the best player in the SHL playoffs. Larmi’s season finally ended as the first goalkeeper of the Lions World Cup team in the home games, the first prestigious games of his career.

At the time of the World Cup, he opened up to the Finnish media that his own life has included a struggle with his mind and mental endurance. Larmi had already told about it on his own Instagram account earlier in the season.

I don’t have to hide anything, and I don’t have to run away from myself.

A brave statement on mental health issues received praise from ordinary citizens during the World Cup.

– Through Some, there were messages and contacts that some have had similar experiences. I felt that I have done something right if my coming out helps someone.

– My point was that we athletes are human, just like everyone else with their own problems. I thought that if someone feels through my coming out that they are not alone with that problem, that would be great.

Many hockey followers have an image of Emil Larmi as a glowing, smiling and sincere Lahti kid who, on the surface, doesn’t seem to have any problems at all.

He has wanted to bring out another side of himself.

– I thought that I am me and we all have our own story. I don’t have to hide anything, and I don’t have to run away from myself, says Larmi.

– However, I want to take my hat off to all the people who have been open about this matter before me. I’m certainly not the first person to come forward.

Larmi has not had to go public alone with mental health issues. One of Finland’s NHL stars Patrick Laine announced that he will decide in the middle of the current season to switch to the support and treatment program for the league’s players. The center star who returned to the SM league Petri Kontiola on the other hand, said that he applied for substance abuse rehabilitation last spring.

– Transparency plays a big role today. Today, we athletes are able to really be what we really are. Who benefits from hiding problems or keeping the scenes together, Leijona-vahti thinks.

In the 2020s, elite sport is a raw activity. An athlete has a lot at stake. Making ends meet, worrying about your health and worrying about your future, if your life and entire self-image is built solely on success in elite sports. When the athlete’s expectations and the result do not meet, the whole activity can be really mentally taxing.

– When you should always get the best out of yourself in this sport every other night, you can’t go to the rink with your back straight and watch, but actually perform. When you have your own pressures and pressures imposed by outsiders, that’s when a person is twisted into a raisin, Larmi thinks.

“Why can’t I talk about it?”

The locker room of the ice hockey team is the holiest of holies for the players. For many it is a second home.

Outsiders have little business there. Wins and losses, joys and sorrows are experienced in the clothes booth.

Physical injuries are visible to all players in the dressing room, but it is not easy to bring up an individual player’s mental and mental endurance within the team.

At least you don’t shout about mental health issues and mental endurance in the locker room of the ice hockey team.

– I believe that there is still a threshold within the team to talk about it. I wish we could talk about these things in the same way as with any injury, Emil Larmi thinks.

– Mental health issues could be a topic that can be discussed in the same way as, for example, the disintegration of the knee coil. We could talk about things at a lower threshold.

For Emil Larmi, the threshold to talk about his own mental pains was suddenly lowered after he transferred to Vaxjö Lakers for the 2022–2023 season. At the team’s team building event before the season, he bravely told his own experiences with mental health challenges in front of his own club team for the first time.

Sometimes when coming home from the hall, life was quite a struggle for survival.

He wanted to openly say that the pain of his own mind has sometimes accompanied him on the journey of life.

– That was the moment when I finally thought, why can’t I talk about it.

– You can sense it if the player is having a hard time. For a player, everything can look good on the outside and the game goes well, but life outside the rink can be hell on earth, Emil Larmi states.

He himself has been in a situation in the dressing room where one’s own bad mood has to be hidden sometimes even behind a forced smile.

– Sometimes when coming home from the hall, life was quite a struggle for survival. It was an eye-opening moment for me when I realized how well I was able to hide another side of myself. Everything is definitely not always what it seems on the outside.

Emil Larmi lights two candles on the table in the living room of his home in Vaxjö. The light of the candles in the fading evening describes very well the current life of the top goalkeeper. The light symbolizes serenity and peace of mind.

Meaning, light and serenity in Larmi’s life are brought above all by his wife and a baby under one year old. Things couldn’t be better. Support and security are always present.

– My family, my wife is definitely Numero Uno in my life. I can talk to my wife about everything. He is such a big part of my own life, Larmi emphasizes.

Larmi reminds us with a smile that life can never be scripted in advance.

– Life is nice because you never know what’s going to happen. There are things you can control and things you can’t control. Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, life is cool.