What's it like being an Athlete? With Renoun Athletes: The Ahlberg brothers.

What's it like being an Athlete? With Renoun Athletes: The Ahlberg brothers.

Meet the Ahlberg Brothers

Max & Peder

Where did you grow up skiing?

Max & Peder: Mostly in Trysil, Norway combined with other Scandinavian ski resorts, such as Åre, Sälen and Hemavan Tärnaby.

Did you travel much at a young age?

Max & Peder: When we were younger, we mostly traveled in the Nordic Region, however as me and my brothers got older we started to travel more frequently and for the most part we would end up in the Alps.

What was the turning point when you decided to become an athlete?

Max: We spent a lot of time at the local ski hill in Stockholm as the freestyle and freeride scene slowly started to grow. Knowing that I still had a lot to learn, I moved to Norway to work as a ski instructor, I practiced with the slalom team in the evenings and hit the park on the weekends. That was probably the turning point because in Norway I learned a lot. After two seasons there I moved to the Alps and started competing at the FWQ with mixed results. I loved the competitions, but I also loved to take photos and write. Later that year, I wrote my first article that got posted on the biggest ski forums in Sweden and Denmark and this year we followed it up with an article for Red Bull. My skiing went from competing to creating content as inspiration to others, to go skiing or visit new places.

Peder: For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to become good at any sport. I love the competitiveness in sport so as a kid I loved to compete no matter what. I guess that growing up with two brothers there has always been a lot of competition and pushing each other to become better. I should say that if there were any turning point when I decided to become an athlete, it would be after a couple of years working as a ski instructor in Norway knowing that my skiing had become a lot better. Around that time we planned our trip to Lofoten and we reached out to a couple of brands in order to get this trip together!

What's the hardest thing about being an athlete? [physically, mentally or otherwise]

Max: To be prepared for each season, several hours each week is spent in the gym with focus on exercises that will help during the winter season but as long as I keep the ski season in mind that is usually no problem. With the promise to deliver content comes more pressure, which can be stressful. One must find a good balance of having fun and planning. Having fun is also very important because that’s where most of the great content comes from.

Peder: To make sure you’re 100% ready physically and mentally for a long season of skiing. For me there has never been an issue going to the gym to keep the physique in place, mentally there is more about preparing for what could happen when you’re out skiing off-piste, knowing how to handle any upcoming scenarios.

What perception do people have about being an athlete that’s not true or is overblown/unrealistic (we’re myth-busting here!)

Max: One of the biggest misconceptions I encounter is that pros “just do it”. In almost every case, there is detailed planning, training and mental preparation before anything. If it is a competition run or a trip to a remote destination.

Peder: To say that athletes “were born with the skill” is overblown/unrealistic, it’s a lot of hard work behind the athlete’s success, countless hours training and practicing routines. I believe if you give it your best you can become whatever you like just dedicate yourself and put in the effort.

What do you think about when you’re in a place few, if any, have traveled?

Max: To talk to people that live there, ask them about what they find beautiful in the area, what they would recommend to do or not to do. Follow up with more detailed questions about exactly how to get there or at what time the light is the best at that spot.

Peder: How fortunate I am to be able to visit those amazing places and how awesome it is to visit those places with my friends / brothers and with two skis on my feet.

Who do you admire/look up to? Why?

Max: When it comes to skiing I look up to Jeremie Heitz for his GS turns and speed, Marcus Caston for his jump turns and playfull skiing, Nicolas Vuignier for his creativity and Candide Thovex and Marcus Eder for their complete set of skills on skis and ability to rip anything with style and playfulness. Outside skiing, I admire Elon Musk for his ability to strive for and succeed with going from idea to reality, Greta Thunberg for showing that even one person can do a lot and many more, like my girlfriend for her kindness. There is a lot of different people I admire and that I try to learn from every day.

Peder: Candide Thovex, I mean this guy is such a cool skier. If you haven’t seen his videos you should watch them right away! His unique style of skiing is what amazes me the most; how he adapts to the terrain is out of this world!

What do you do in your free time? (when not skiing)

Max: Being outdoors doing sports or just exploring with friends are the best things I know. Surfing whenever there is a storm hitting Scandinavia, playing tennis, golf, hiking, kayaking or just hanging out with friends are some things I quickly turn to when I get some time to spare.

Peder: After work I mainly go to the gym, or some sort of outdoor activity to keep my mind clear and ready for next day. Besides that, I enjoy playing golf during the summer when I find the time for it!

You’ve both worked on some pretty incredible projects, tell me about them. (Tesla, driverless trucks & probably a bunch of other things we don’t know about)

Max: I have a firm belief that we need to change the way we live our daily life in order to have winters in the future, the path we are on now is not sustainable. Tesla is a company that tries to do something about this, and I am really inspired by their work. At a beach in France, I meet a girl working for Tesla and after a few hours of discussions she offered me a job. It was amazing and it is so cool to see how far they have come by now. Just before my graduation, I started reading about this up-and-coming delivery company that wanted to transform the transport industry to a more sustainable and long-lasting business. This was Einride and I applied. Now I’ve been there for a year and we have launched the first commercial flow of goods in the world with a 10-ton vehicle that has no driver's seat, and no carbon footprint in action. Several big newspapers wrote about it like BBC, CNN or as here in New York Post. Which was a big thing for us as a company of around 60 at the time. We are now working extremely hard to try to expand this and make this a new standard. In the company, I work as a control engineer and develop the motion planning system for the trucks.

Peder: I’ve chosen a different path compared to Max, the last couple of years I’ve been working as a chef in different restaurants in Stockholm, until now after finishing of my Master’s Degree in International Economics I ended up at “ICA” which is one of the largest retail company in Sweden. In a shot way I work in a small team where we develop the assortment for fresh prepared food I all of ICA’s stores. Which is a lot of fun in a creative environment.

What’s your dream job? (doesn’t have to be skiing!)

Max: I think I’m already doing close to what my dream job is. Developing a system or technique that will have a positive impact on the world's climate, which is also cost competitive, is something I value a lot. To combine that with photo jobs, writing articles and testing new skis is an epic combination and something I would love. That combination would be my dream job!

What’s next? Any rad trips on the horizon?

Max: I just came home from a summer trip to Lofoten above the arctic circle with midnight sun and incredible mountains and fjords. To return there this winter is something that might happen, also to dive with orcas and cold-water surf!

Peder: First trip is booked to Trysil, Norway during Christmas. Other than that we don't have too much planned.

If you did it all over again, what would you do differently?

Max: At a younger age, I would think about what I really love to do and focus on that earlier and quicker. I shifted focus late, it worked, but the earlier the better.

Peder: I would say the thing I would change would be to make my own path instead of following what everybody else was doing, and focusing more on things that I found interesting and fun.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who wants to be an athlete?

Max: Think about if it is something you really want to do from the bottom of your heart. If it is, then just go for it! If you focus and practice hard you will pass anyone with talent.

Peder: Follow your dream, create your own path, take charge of your life and live it!

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