233. Cliff Jump

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since my last post, the end of the semester was hectic. It was all worth it though and I celebrated the end of my junior year with a bang. Timmy has been studying abroad in Sweden this semester and our schedules lined up perfectly for me to go visit him for a week.

From seeing a European football game to exploring Copenhagen, seeing arctic seals swimming in a pond at the Hoor zoo to seeing the sunrise in Kastrup, he and I were able to see and do a lot while I was visiting. Another list item that Timmy and I share is cliff jumping and the most exhilarating activity I did while visiting him was the cliff jump at Dalby Stenbrott.

Dalby Stenbrott is a quarry with a 16 meter (roughly 53 ft) cliff overhanging the water below. Tim had been there before with some of the friends he met while in Sweden. Without much hesitation we walked around the water and ascended the steep, winding dirt path to the top of the cliff. Upon reaching the top of the incline, I looked over the edge and took a mental picture of the rocks and the tree I would have to jump over.

Prior to getting to the top, Tim told me about the tree that was rooted on the cliff-side and how I’d need to have enough speed jumping off the cliff to clear it. I also noticed that water was shallow close to the edge of the cliff because I could see the big rocks hugging the intersection of the water and the cliff.

In the past, moments like these gave me butterflies but there was something about this place that calmed me. Looking back, it must have been the beautiful contrast of blues and greens that fill the view at the peak of the cliff.

Shutting off my conscience, I quickly took off my shirt and strapped on the go pro. I then jogged over to my spot and awaited Tim to give me the thumbs up. When I got the green light I took a couple strides, stuttered to adjust my footing, then sent it. At lift off, my mind went blank, transfixed by the light bouncing off the water, but then screamed upon the realization that this visual marvel was approaching faster and faster.

When I entered the water, I panicked a little and clawed as quickly as I could to the surface of the water. When I got to the top and opened my eyes back to the spectacle, I felt a new sensation: sheer chills; two chills to be exact. One chill was the same chill I get whenever I get to cross something off my list. The second chill pushed this chill aside very quickly. The water was freezing. I swam as quickly as I could to the other side of the quarry where there was an area for me to heat up in the sun. About halfway to the other side, I felt the same cramp in my leg as I did in the triathlon, so I switched to a breaststroke and took in the view some more.

Climbing out of the water, I looked back at how far I swam and the height of the cliff I jumped off of. I took a deep, content breath and I found myself wishing there was a higher one right next to it for me to jump off of. Before take-off and even right after landing I had no sense of how much fun it was. It’s only now, after re-watching the video and remembering it that I remember the thrill. It’s fascinating how instincts can take over and remove feelings of fear and reluctance.

I am deathly afraid of falling so this was a huge list item for me, especially knowing that I did it without any hesitation. Cliff jumping from a height such as this is a big step in the right direction for me to conquer my fear of falling. Next up will be bungee jumping of some kind and then the mac daddy of them all: skydiving (props to you Timmy)

Be sure to check out our new YouTube channel to see the full video featuring Tim’s jump also!

Overall rating: 8/10

– Nick

114. European Football Match

För helvete… KOM IGEN!!

I’m an American… I’ve been to plenty of football games. But football? As in a sport that’s actually played with feet? That’s something completely foreign to me. So, as a foreign exchange student in Europe, I decided I would dive right in.

I bought tickets to a Malmö FF match versus Dalkurd FF when Nick came to visit me during my last week in Sweden. Just a 15 minute train ride from where I was staying in Lund, Swedbank Stadion lies not too far from the shadow of Malmö’s iconic Turning Torso building. We arrived to the stadium plaza an hour early and went straight to the team store to pick up some of the team’s baby-blue merchandise for souvenirs.

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Donning our new colors like a pair of veteran fans, we grabbed a beer at O’Leary’s sports bar and rushed inside to make it to our section just in time for kick-off. We slid in with the Malmö faithful – a standing-room-only section with cheaper tickets and a rowdier atmosphere – for an ideal first taste of professional football in Europe. Armed with my limited knowledge of Swedish, we sang along with the chants I remembered from a Malmö hockey game, and faked our way through the ones we didn’t understand.

Dalkurd, last in the Allsvenskan coming into the game, stifled the home team defensively and connected on a 43rd minute goal despite not having possession for the majority of the first half. We were surprised to learn that Malmö, which has dominated the league historically, has struggled this season. Ignoring the team’s recent misfortunes, Nick prophesied a goal within the first fifteen minutes of the second half and a 2-1 comeback victory.

Malmö came out of halftime with furious pace, while Dalkurd seemed to be content to run out the clock. The visitors could only fight off the oncoming attacks for ten minutes before a long strike by Carlos Strandberg made good on the first part of Nick’s prediction and tied the game. The celebration was the most memorable portion of the game, as the crowd erupted in cheers briefly but quickly fell back into organized clapping and chanting.

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Unfortunately, Malmö’s effort was not enough and Dalkurd hung on for a 1-1 draw. The body language of the players and fans let us know that it was more of a loss than a tie for the home team. A disappointing result did not mar an excellent fan experience, however, and we returned home with Malmö chants stuck in our heads until we fell asleep. 6.5/10

-Timmy

17. Free climb something that scares me

I’ve been looking for a new hobby ever since I stopped playing hockey. I tried bouldering at the indoor climbing gym in Lund and found exactly what I wanted.

After climbing indoors for about three months, I finally got the opportunity to climb outdoors with some friends. They invited me along for a bouldering trip to Kjugekull, a hiking park outside of Kristianstad with an abundance of massive, glacially deposited boulders with routes of varying difficulties.

I was excited to give it the old college try and accomplish my old goal of free climbing something that scares me. I had heard from friends how different outdoor climbing would be from climbing in a gym, but I think it’s something I had to experience to fully appreciate.

First, the problems require a much more methodical approach. Instead of making dynamic moves for brightly colored holds, I had to look carefully for usable holds and make balanced movements instead of relying on strength.

Second, footwork is so much more important. This wasn’t easy for me once I got 10-12 feet above the ground. I found myself being tentative with my foot placement at first, but quickly found that trust in my feet even on small holds was imperative.

Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s just scarier! I’m already not great with heights, and no matter how many crash pads and spotters I had, my subconscious still knew that there were rocks below me, and falling would not be fun. As I got 3/4 of the way up my first route, I realized that my options were either to finish or break a bone. Needless to say, I chose the former option. The adrenaline rush powered me over the top in a way that my friend described as “graceful like a sea lion.” My heart was pounding and my legs felt like rubber… so I went back down and did it again!

I managed to complete 4 or 5 of the easier routes we found in the guidebook (which still definitely scared me), and escaped the day with zero broken bones. It was also a fun day in the park with some great people! 9/10

-Timmy