8MMSQUAD note: Robson works with Darby Thomas, Anni Simola, Mikko Vekkeli, Mikki Hyryläinen, Veera Kaakinen, Ohto Aakko among others.
As I decided to take on the challenge of triathlon, I began to mentally coach myself. I would train physically and mentally. In the beginning, it was an unconscious process. The further the distances grew and the more serious I got about triathlon, I wanted to learn more and expand my understanding of the mind and its impact. I have always believed, that if you want anything bad enough and work hard enough, you will get it. I have never been afraid of hard work, sweat, tears or asking if I don’t understand. It is making the decision to pursue a goal that is the most important part.
This would become obvious to me after I suffered a traumatic brain injury the 18th of February 2016. After two months of being totally lost, afraid of how my TBI had changed me and if I would ever become the same. One night, after crying for four straight nights in the shower, I made the most important decision of my life: to become the world’s best traumatic brain injury patient. Even though, I felt like I had lost my coordination and slowly thought I was losing my mind, I had made a decision. The next day I woke up, feeling like a new person. After this I used all of my tools and tricks, I had learnt and honed during my 30 years of existence.
In 2016 Anni Simola, my trainer partner, friend and inspiration, offered me the chance to try my wings as a mental coach. After a few sessions together, she left for her first race of that season. After that race, Anni called to tell me that the methods we had invented during our sessions worked. She had also qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Anni had reached a huge milestone. I had found my passion and purpose in life.
Symmetry is beautiful. However, I am fascinated by the asymmetrical process of what happens in the mind, when someone goes from good to great. I believe a lot of these barriers, preventing someone from becoming great, can be torn down by the power of discussion. Mental coaching is so fascinating because every case is different. The ultimate goal is to find each individual athletes way that suits him/her.
During my rehab and looking back now at my life, I have always been interested in people. I have always wanted to ask, discuss and learn about people and their backgrounds. What they find interesting and what they are passionate about. In short, their stories. Mental coaching gives me the means to do this. Mental coaching is something abstract but it becomes tangible through emotions, results, achievements, ever day actions and what I call, brutal honest conversation.
For as long as I can remember, I have totally sucked at sitting still. Being still, is the only thing I have ever felt comfortable sucking at. Unless sitting still, was made a race. This has lead me to try all the sports I have ever laid my eyes on. The ones that stuck were motocross and snowmobiling. After 16 it was sailing, foredeck to be exact. In 2012, after making a bet and finishing an Olympic distance in 2013, I became possessed with triathlon. To date, I have done 3 Olympic distances, 4 Ironman 70.3’s and an Ironman distance in 10h14min. Now suffering from TBI (read more in the blog), I aim to win a World Championship in Ironman when I have recovered.
In all things I have done, I am only happy with my best effort. Always craving to learn more and an insatiable curiosity, resulted in that I didn’t only watch sports. I studied sports. To be more exact, I studied top performances in any sport and soon I branched out to any top performance. Recently, I caught myself trying to figure out how a top fashion designer thinks, by watching a documentary on Netflix. He would not agree with my sense of fashion.
Although the amount of tools that can be applied are endless. The only common denominator is conversation.