Wasssssuuuppp. It’s about time I hit you with another update on life over here in Sweden. Although most weeks are basically the same (practices, games, chillin’, fika) there are always some surprises that keep life interesting. For this post I’m going to take a page out of BuzzFeed’s book and make a list for my updates. Seems like numbered lists are all the rage on the internet these days (29 Reasons Beyonce Rocks, 32 Places To See Before You Turn 32, or 10 Signs You’re a Cat Lady). So I will follow suit and give it a whirl. With that being said, I give you : “12 Updates In Eric’s Life You Need To Read Today”…
1). Disaster in Ljunskile.
We’ve played 2 games since we last spoke. The first, against Ljunskile, was nothing short of a nightmare. The combination of an early red card along with some lackluster play resulted in our worst loss of the season. This was a moment where it feels like you’re at rock bottom… However, there is no time in professional sports to feel sorry about yourself. You’re gonna get beaten. You’re gonna get knocked down. It was time for us to get together as a team and stand up to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I hope this is a moment where 10 blog posts from now, I can mark this as a turning point and the last time I need to write something like this. Just gotta keep working hard!
2). I’m coming home!
In Superettan, you play everyone twice– home and away. After playing everyone once, there is a break midseason from June 29th-July 10th. Originally I had planned on staying over here and traveling, maybe checking out Stockholm or another cool European city. However, a bunch of my teammates were leaving to take trips with their families and I really didn’t feel like going alone. With a little encouragement from the parents, I decided it was best if I came home to the US during this break. I’m so excited to see my family and friends! I’m in the states for the 4th of July (score!) and plan on packing 3 months of Summer activities into one week in LZ and Door County. If anyone is around then and wants to meet up, you can most likely find me at the nearest Chipotle.
3). Locked out.
Life has a funny way of humbling you. Within hours, I had experienced two extremes of emotion. First, one of pride and maturity. I had been getting by quite nicely: living alone in a foreign country, cooking for myself, grocery shopping, paying bills, budgeting, and other big boy things. And then, right as I was leaving to pick up some cereal for breakfast the next morning…. BAM. My apartment door shut in slow motion as I was patting my empty short pockets. No keys. My door locks automatically and suddenly I wanted nothing more than to be able to call up my college roommates and borrow their key to get back in like I had done 5 months ago. But now I was stuck. Luckily, I had Matt and Ebba to rescue me and offer up their couch for the night. I called some numbers, hoping to find someone with a master key, but no luck. It was either a locksmith or Lars Eric, Angelholm’s super fan, that had been instrumental in helping me get what I needed to feel settled. Once again he worked his magic and I was in my apartment again the next morning. Lesson learned. Stay humble, my friends.
Angelholm has a very nice beach. The past week it has really warmed up, naturally pulling me out of the apartment and onto the sand. I spent one of my recent off days with Matt and Victor at the beach playing some soccer golf. The beach was relatively empty so we were able to create some pretty impressive and challenging holes. I must admit I feel more comfortable with this version of golf than the traditional one. Victor took home the crown after the first 18 of the Summer, but I have a feeling there are many more rounds to come. The water at the moment is very “refreshing” (nice way to say COLD) but it’s nice to go in for a short period of time. Also, it’s good recovery for the legs… It may sound weird but I miss those ice baths at MU. Bikini Update: total of 2 spotted so far. I’ll keep you posted (Yes, this is for my Uncles).
Every time I Skype with my mom, she is asking about the Swedish Bakery. So I had to throw this in here to give the people what they want (it’s just who I am).
6). Gratis Biljetter
To put it nicely, the attendance at our home matches this season has been
terrible not very good. In an attempt to get more people to come to the games, 3 teammates and I, adorned in our game jerseys, took to the streets to hand out gratis biljetter (free tickets). Accompanied by our mascot, we paraded from the city square to the end of the busiest street in town. At first, not knowing Swedish left me hesitant to approach people and I got all “Middle School dance level shy.” But once we got going, I was able to flash a couple smiles and get people to listen. It was interesting to hear people’s responses. They would ask why we aren’t playing in Angelholm, and many refused tickets after hearing they’d have to make it out to Helsingborg to see us play. I could write a whole other blog post about that, but I’ll save you. As a group, I think we managed to pass out close to 1oo tickets. Whether they actually came to the game or ended up in the trash next to the pickled herring, I’ll never know.
7). I’M ON A BOAT
After doing my good deed of passing out tickets and meeting fans, Freddy, Johan, Kalle, and I decided to use the rest of our off day to go on a little adventure. We decided to take the ferry from Helsinborg (Sweden) to Helsingor (Denmark). We hopped on the train from Angelholm to Helsingborg, grabbed some lunch, and then got on the ferry. It was like a mini cruise ship. There were multiple restaurants and bars and even a duty free store on the boat. Due to the high alcohol tax enforced in Sweden, it is a common thing to board the ferry and stock up on the booze you want at a much cheaper price. Since it’s only a 20 minute ferry ride across from Sweden to Denmark, there is a mad dash to the booze store that rivals Friday nights on most college campuses. Once we got to Denmark, we meandered through the streets, taking in the shops, sights, and sounds. We eventually made it to the town square, where we got an ice cream and a few drinks and just enjoyed the weather. It was packed… Scandinavians really know how to spend a Saturday afternoon. I even ran into an American family from New Jersey (Joisey) who were visiting. We explored a little more, got back on the boat, made some purchases, and arrived back in Angelhom in time to get pizzas and watch the Champions League Final… successful day. Here are some pics!
8). Modern Family
Like seriously, how funny is this show? All the characters crack me up. Just had to throw my most recent Netflix binge in there. Now back to important stuff…
9). Back on track
After a bad loss, you had to expect a tough week of training. We got just that. It was a week of hard conditioning and ups and downs in preparation for our next match against Husqvarna. Whenever I’m dead tired and my legs feel like jello, I think of how many people out there would die to be given the opportunity I have. It is all the people supporting me that make the extra sprints worth it. After working on our team mentality and toughness just as much as our play, we were set to face Husqvarna at home. We desperately needed to get 3 points and steady the shaking ship. We put together a solid performance and won 2-0! This was a much better defensive effort from our team as a WHOLE… Finally our first shutout of the year. I also thought I had my first goal of the Superettan campaign. I rose to head the ball, glanced it across goal, only to see it clang off the crossbar… so close, it’s coming one of these days! Hopefully we can keep the momentum going, on to the next one! Click the link below for highlights, my header included.
10). My Man Mau.
My college teammate and good friend John Mau just joined the blogging world. After moving from Milwaukee to Seattle to start his MBA and continue his playing career at Seattle U, he decided to share his updates and thoughts in a blog… it’s good stuff, check out the link!! #TIMBER
11). Friend Request Accepted.
The other day I had received a friend request on Facebook from a name I didn’t recognize, with no mutual friends, and a face that didn’t look all too familiar. I have gotten these kind of requests before and without much thought I would ignore them or decline. For some reason I took the time to click through the profile pictures and about five in, I stopped. It was a like a flashback… The picture was “Pappa Chocolate” holding a baby that looked just like my foster sister Ella. If you don’t now the background story, check out my post “Where There Is Love There Is Life”. I told my parents about this friend request and we began comparing facial features and putting the puzzle pieces together like detectives. I accepted request and was able to send an old picture of Ella and I to her, simply asking if this looked familiar. She responded “yes” and low and behold… we had reconnected!! This was Ella!! My parents were able to call her and her father and catch up on what is new since we last saw her 7 years ago. She is doing well, loves rap music, computers, and seems happy/healthy. Timing in life is unbelievable and I truly see this as a blessing from God. Hopefully my family will be able to see her again and share some of the old pictures/memories that we have all treasured so much. I’m just still blown away how this all happened… Cool stuff!!
12). The Junk Drawer
Everyone has that drawer in their house where you can find old batteries, rubber bands, and maybe a few extra quarters if you’re lucky. So I’ll use this section to lump in everything else I wanna share. Our next game is this Saturday against Syrianska, up in Stockholm. More crucial points on the line so be sending those good vibes our way. No Donovan on the World Cup Roster? Come on, the guy’s clutch and brings a wealth of experience to the squad. I was personally shocked to see his omission and am just hoping it doesn’t come back to bite the US in the butt. Bold strategy cotton. Shout out to my little brother Caleb who took his last final of his High School career and will be graduating soon. Feels weird just typing that… seems like yesterday that I was almost not allowed to walk in my HS graduation for wearing patent leather converse… good times. Thats all for this list of updates, hope you all are doing well. Cheers!