Linnea Eriksson Success Story
Linnea Eriksson Success Story
Linnea Eriksson a martial arts athlete.
A short introduction to yourself?
My name is Linnea Eriksson and I am a 24-year-old Swedish girl! I love traveling, cooking, and working out! I am quite an introverted and shy person so at first, I can come off as very serious, but once you get to know me I think most would describe me as quite goofy! I started my martial arts and fitness journey 2,5 years ago and am learning more every day!
How did you develop your fondness for your sport and at what age did you start learning karate?
When I was a kid I loved watching action movies and was always fascinated with martial arts, but I was too anxious and scared to go to a training session for many years. What finally got me started was that my boss at work taught me some Muay Thai on our breaks. His encouragement and my knowing of the basics allowed me to muster up the courage to start training at a club.
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in?
In Muay Thai we don’t have ranks, but I would say I am intermediate level. Unfortunately, Corona restrictions have kept me from competing for over a year now. I still have much to learn but this summer I intend to compete in full contact Muay Thai in Thailand and then continue competing in Sweden as much as I can later this year. My goal is to compete for as much as possible these next few years and become an experienced fighter.
Do you have a favorite Sensei?
Right now my favorite coach is Peter Billqvist. I have not trained with him many times but so far I enjoy his style of teaching and I appreciate that he is a “technique nerd” like me. I love learning the small details in each technique and style and he’s great at breaking that down for you.
How did you get into this position and how did your journey in this sport go?
I’ve only been training for about 2,5 years, and I’ve had to work quite a bit during this time to save up for my two (and soon to be third) trips to Thailand. So my training in Sweden has been very difficult to make time for and very irregular. My trips to Thailand have made up for lost time since you train so many hours each week and get more attention from your trainers, so I progressed much faster there. I’m not an accomplished fighter yet but I think some people follow me because they’re interested to see my progression from complete beginner to- wherever I do end up in the end. A lot of times we only see the result of someone’s journey and I would like to shed more light on what happens before you’re successful in something. I want to try to be open about my failures and difficulties so others can relate and know what to expect if
they decide to go down a similar path.
Do you take sports as a profession or is it just a hobby?
It is difficult to work as a fighter in Sweden, there’s not much money to be made from fighting, so I suppose you could call it a hobby. But for me, I’d describe it more like a lifestyle and my passion in life. I intend to study to be a police officer but I hope to be training, fighting, and teaching in the future even if I have a different job as well.
What challenges have you faced in getting to where you are now?
You can also share any injury story.
I had a difficult knee injury a little over a year ago. I stretched one of my knee ligaments 2 weeks before my first match in Sweden and also left for Thailand shortly after. I lost my match 3-0 and felt utterly defeated and humiliated. Due to my injury, I was not able to train properly in Thailand and what was supposed to be a 6-month trip turned into 3 months.
I was not able to compete while there and I felt that I had failed at achieving my dream. I felt like I didn’t know how to continue forward and find my way back to feeling happy and excited about training. I had lost my confidence and I could no longer envision a bright future in Muay Thai for me.
I have had to learn to reevaluate my goals and expectations to not fall into that kind of negative mindset again. These days I try not to create an unrealistic vision in my head about how my training is going to go but rather look at the reality of my situation and how I can improve and move forward despite the obstacles I may be facing.
What motivates you most about your profession as an athlete?
It’s proving to me that I can do it. My whole life I’ve felt like I have this energy inside of me that I didn’t know what to do with, but at the same time also struggling with mental issues like anxiety, depression, and low motivation, I hated exercise and was very lazy for most of my life (Although I always secretly envied people who did sports and we’re
athletic). When I discovered Muay Thai I realized that this was something I wanted to try and see through to the end, and not give up halfway like I always used to do. I decided from the beginning that I would not give up on Muay Thai, no matter how hard it gets, and so far I have continued down this path despite all the rough times and I am very proud of that.
Do you have anything you want everyone to learn?
I would like everyone to know, that through incremental change the things you dislike about yourself can be improved. Don’t try to do it all at once, but rather take small steps to slowly improve yourself and your life. Celebrate the small victories and allow yourself to be proud of the progress you make, however small it might seem to someone else- it is a victory for you and that’s all that matters.