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
“The funny thing about being naked is that once you are naked you don’t think twice about it. It’s getting naked that’s the embarrassing thing.”
What better time to skinny dip than winter in Sweden? I spent yesterday on a pier overlooking the Öresund in Lomma Bay, alternating between a 170° Fahrenheit sauna and sub 40° Fahrenheit water in the Sound. The sauna had a beautiful view of Malmö and Copenhagen as well! I’m glad I did it, but I think in the future I’ll stay out of the water while there’s still snow on the ground. 6/10.
I’ll preface this post by saying that I usually tell people that I’m not afraid of heights, they just make me uncomfortable. I lie… I’m absolutely afraid of heights. And that is exactly what made skydiving such a desirable experience for me.
There is nothing more exhilarating to me than going head to head with my fears and coming out on top. I even surprised myself with my lack of nerves leading up to the jump. It was only after doing a gainer out of the plane, free falling at 120mph, and descending with the parachute deployed that the adrenaline wore off and I began to feel nauseous. The brain is funny isn’t it?
My instructor, Tadas, was great and Skydive Baltimore made the jump an awesome and scenic experience. Thanks to my brother Collin for being the only one I know willing to do it with me! Rating: 9/10
Assateague Island was a blast. Timmy and I went as a way to end the summer with a bang before school started. On Assateague there are wild horses roaming about. They aren’t shy and will come right up to your camp to try and steal food. They are somewhat aggressive though so we had to make sure to keep our distance. We spent our days swimming in the ocean, and the evenings cooking dinner by the campfire and eating s’mores (obviously). We met some cool people, saw a really cute puppy, and had such a good time. If we learned anything from the trip, it’s that A Tinker’s Damn needs to add a dog to the team. Any suggestions for naming it? Rating: 9/10
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 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
The first time I saw Something More play live was about two years ago at Charm City Art Space (RIP), and there were only about ten people there to watch. Later that month, I got to see one of my best friends, Chris Swartz, play his first live show ever. Fast forward two years, and I just watched the two of them headline a sold out show at Sidebar on a Thursday… incredible.
Crowd surfing wasn’t really something I thought about prior to doing it, but that’s the beauty of music. At a concert people sweat, jump up and down, push each other around, and scream out the words because it’s one of the few places that sort of behavior is allowed. Chris and the boys in Something More are perfect examples of musicians who truly do it to provide an emotional outlet for their fans, and it’s nice to see them finally starting to get the success that they have worked so hard for. I’m so grateful to them for providing a night I won’t soon forget. Crowd surfing – 10/10.
Thanks to Kristina McComas Photography for the photos!