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

184. Witness a solar eclipse

I’m sure most of you have heard about, and maybe even saw, the eclipse that occurred last Monday. In fact, we met someone (we believe he was from out of the country due to his accent) on our drive who had a short conversation with Tim (it was also number 31 on his list!) with the windows down going 60 something mph on the interstate about seeing the eclipse. Man that guy was awesome. He even gave a chaka back when Tim tossed him one. Even though many people saw the eclipse (as reflected by the miles upon miles of traffic we encountered) I feel incredibly honored and humbled to have seen it at such a spectacular venue. Tim and I went down to visit his best friend, Austin, at Clemson, who took us to his roommate’s old living quarters on a farm. Over the course of the hour that it took for the moon to totally cover the sun, we felt the change in temperature and the surrounding light. When totality occurred, all the animals in the area went haywire. It truly added to the experience as it reinforced the severity of this event. We met some really great people who were very accommodating and some were even more crazed than we were over the celestial phenomenon. Although there were many surreal moments that occurred during the trip and the eclipse, I think the coolest was the 360 degree sunset that resulted from the moon eclipsing the sun. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a direct picture of totality (our cameras weren’t equipped to) but we were able to capture the sunset! I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see this event and even luckier to have witnessed it with some fantastic people. 10/10

Until our next adventure!

-Nick and Timmy

41. Visit out of state family

 

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There are few things I have experienced so far in life that are more fulfilling than a road trip. They really do live up to the hype. I would know since my total road trip time this summer so far has been roughly 39 hours. Two drives about 6 hours (split in half with Jake), a 12 hour and the most recent was 14 (both by myself, cue “all by myself” by Celine Dion) because I hit some rough Chicago traffic. It worked out though because I was able to get some good pictures of downtown! Anyway I had a blast hanging out with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins up in Wisconsin this summer. I went to Devil’s lake (which is an awesome spot for hiking, swimming or picnicking if any of you are ever in the Madison/Middleton area) the Madison zoo, the Milwaukee zoo, the Milwaukee public museum (best museum I’ve ever been too, highly recommend), downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin (perfect place to see sunsets and hang out), got some putt-putting in, cooked a dinner for an entire family for the first time, the national mustard museum (maple champagne mustard is heavenly), saw a Madison Mallards baseball game (featuring Jake’s fish head), spent $75 at a movie store (worth it), celebrated Lauren’s 21st birthday and Will’s 13th, went to sky zone, skated with some great hockey players at some local pickup games, and still had time to see Die Mannshaft B team win the confederations cup! Well, if you’ve made it through all of that, then I’d like to congratulate you and gift you with my rating of this fantastic journey. 9/10 As always live today like it’s your last, or in this case live the next two months like they’re your last!

-Nick

215. Compete in a triathlon… kinda

 

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Cait, who’s on the UMD Triathlon team, helped me attempt this one. Unfortunately, I underestimated the difficulty of this challenge and didn’t train hard enough. About halfway through the swim, I pulled my hamstring and was unable to finish. Pretty soft, I know, but I’m not going to cross this one off cause I’ll be back for another attempt next year (Timmy might give it a go as well). From the small part that I was able to complete, it was a lot of fun.  My favorite part was that I had a 20 minute talk with a random person I met, who let me use his charger, after I had opted out of the competition. Talking to strangers and meeting new people is always a plus so even though I wasn’t able to cross this one off, I’d still give this experience a 7/10. Also congrats to Cait for finishing 17th in her heat (after running a 10k the previous day).
-Nick