Here comes the second part of “Talking with the Champ” featuring Emil Johansson! In this part we will dig into more personal side of Mr. Johansson to get to know, how a proper mindset and work ethic do wonders when matched with talent. In case you have missed the first part – it still could be found here! Enjoy:
Do you have a trick list of stuff you want to claim during the season?
Emil Johansson: I don’t really have a trick list or anything like that. I know where I am at and I know where I want to go. I know a few things I want to learn specifically and I think if you ride just trick wise – you are destroying the sport for yourself. At Nine Knights, for example, I did a lot of tricks I didn’t plan on before going there. I just felt good and tried them – which is the best way of progression I would say. If you start focusing too much on one thing you loose creativity on the way.
Truth! It’s so delightful to hear so many wise words from such a young person. We keep fingers crossed for you but your future seems to be on a good track with your ideas behind it.
Thanks. It’s nice to hear someone thinks the same. There are people that don’t understand the way I think. I am definitely different in terms of mindset compared to others, I think a lot.
It’s good but I also think it slowed me down in my progression.
Well, I guess it is what others would name “calculated risk”. From my experience as the guy who was always willing to “send it” I am happy now, I didn’t try a lot of stuff while I still have some achievements unlocked. But in your case, we made “Who the Hell is” together like one and a half year ago. You moved from the spot of a rookie guest to the “top of the world” position in that period. That’s amazing and I think your mindset is something that made it happen. It kept you going but let you stay in one piece. That’s a skill that will allow you to have fun far longer on your level than your fellow riders. I would look at it as your superpower, not something that keeps you back.
Yeah, this thing helped me in many ways. I am happy where I am right now. I don’t really mind overthinking stuff like I used to.
Well, your mindset quite differs to what we are used to seeing in the MTB world in the “legendary” positions. We are used to watching the golden era of parties till the middle of the night and still hucking the gnarliest lines from the morning on. Well, based on the movies we have watched. You seem to not step into that realm. You have created your own system to get the same results, riding wise, and claim the top honors. Delivering new tricks that are not “one more spin” but matching classic style and progression.
Coming back to the “Champ talk” – is there any additions to your riding? Are you having a special diet set by a nutritionist or have any special pieces of training? As far as I know, Red Bull is doing a great job on preparing their athletes during the off-season.
For the off-season, I am trying to catch as much sleep as possible. Like, last season I felt I lacked sleep a lot. As a result, I felt I didn’t progress as much as I wanted. Waking up half past seven and going to bed just before two is not making it ideal at all. You take naps during the day, feel tired etc.
How many push-ups can you do in one take?
I don’t know really. I pretty much do what we have listed for our gym classes at school during the training. I spend my whole time on the bike pretty much outside of the gym. I need my energy for that so mixing another hour of exercising would be too much. Still, I am still trying to figure out how to hit the gym, and still be able to give 110% on the bike.
Are you taking any supplements?
100% nothing. I eat food and maybe take Vit. C when I wake up. I stick to that. I want to find a balance in my diet but till now, I got here just by eating normal food. Maybe it’s not an ideal diet but it works for me.
Do you have any team that helps you out? We know you are on rasoulution management, but to be your motivator, trainer, cook, and a rider first and foremost, how do you copy with so many responsibilities.
I am a busy person, even though rasoulution is taking care of a lot of stuff I wouldn’t be able to manage in just 24h per day. My Mom and Dad helped me a lot but otherwise, I make things on my own. After two years since I left home, I think I am pretty good on my own. Yet, it still took me some time to get routines on it. Doing everything by myself is something I enjoy for most parts.
Are you one of these people that knows how to spend quality time with just themselves?
I love hanging out with my friends but I see nothing wrong with being just by myself taking care of my own stuff.
Are you a bookworm during this periods?
Even if I had time, I wouldn’t do it (laugh). It’s not something I have gotten into yet. I read a few books in my life, a handful, from start to finish. I don’t spend much time on that or watching TV and similar stuff.
What do you do apart of riding? What do you do to chill?
There is always something to do, there are times when I feel like watching a movie or something, but if I do so, sometimes I feel uncomfortable after a while, as I know, I could be doing something more important else.
Do you sometimes feel you are wasting time if you are not progressing yourself?
Well, I feel that a lot at school.
That’s how you know, the champion is in the making (laugh).
Still, there are days where you could find me doing absolutely nothing.
Do you have an artsy side? Playing any instruments or painting? Or do you use your bike to express yourself?
I would say biking is 100% for me now and that’s the way I like to express myself.
What are your plans for 2018?
I am planning to do a video project but I can’t tell you much. I have few ideas but still, I need to finish school so I focus on that.
So maybe La Poma during the winter?
For sure! We are heading there with my school for a winter camp but I plan on going there for Happy Ride in a month! I really can’t wait to visit that place again.
As we are slowly coming to an end of this interview, do you have any shout out?
I want to say big thank you to my Mom and Dad for believing in me and supporting me all the time! Also a big shout out to all my sponsors for backing me up this season.