Running back to a normal life

Running back to a normal life

Lina Falcken’s life was bright, she had started her own interior design company and was a prominent badminton player. Then just before Christmas 2009, there was a dramatic change in the 29-year-old life. A fall in a staircase in the Norwegian city Ålesund, where Lina then used to live, sent her into coma. 

She woke up days later to a whole new world and life. Thanks to the strong support of her mother Peggy and Lina’s own powerful will and optimism, she has step by step (literally), gotten back to a more active and normal life. Running has played a crucial role in her recovery and now Lina has set up a goal to run a marathon in 3h:30m.

Lina had suffered from TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury. When she woke up from the four-day coma, she could neither walk, read, write or eat. 70% of her speech was lost and the future looked dark. On top of that, Lina fell through the cracks of two healthcare systems.

The support she so desperately needed came from her closest family. Lina’s mother, Peggy Falcken, is an educated physiotherapist. Firstly, she ensured Lina was transferred to Finland. After a short time in hospital, Lina came home and the demanding and long rehabilitation began. Her mother was the one who took on the responsibility to both coping with the hospital bureaucracy and setting a plan for Lina's recovery.

Running as a lifeline

But Lina's own strong will and mindset were of course crucial. "I've always been a really happy person" says Lina, and continues "I've decided to become as good as I can get".

Lina’s cousin introduced her to running, which, in addition to Lina’s own drive and her mother's constructive support, meant extremely much.

"It started with a cousin running a marathon. Then I thought why not? Why shouldn’t I be able to do that too?” Explains Lina. "At first I only ran, but then I learned proper running technique, and that is what I practice now".

Up to 90K training per week

Lina, who now lives in Helsinki's neighboring city of Espoo, runs on average 50 and 90 kilometers each week. “I always run before lunch. It's the time of day when I am in best shape. Later on during the day, I usually get tired which also affects my speaking ability negatively.”

But during the telephone interview Lina has with World’s Marathons, there is no hearable speech impediment. Lina speaks the beautiful Swedish language as spoken in Finland. She also masters three additional languages; Finnish, Norwegian and English.

Prior to her daily exercise, she studies to get back her knowledge and skill in interior design, which was her profession before the horrible accident. After the study hours, Lina rests for a while and then continues her precious everyday life; spending time with her fiancé, who is also her running coach, and playing with their dog Shani.

Setting new targets

Lina Falcken's current goal is to run one marathon each year, but she has the door open for even more challenges, "My marathon record is 3.49, but I want to beat my cousin and then I have to cross the line at 3.30. A hefty challenge. "

Hopefully, Lina will reach her goal in one of her coming races; Espoo Ranta Marathon on September 16 2017, and Stockholm Marathon on June 2, 2018. The World’s Marathons' team is very inspired by Lina’s story and we wish her all the best going forward!