Watch this video to get the answer!
Today it’s halloween. I only knew that I wanted to create some kind of video with a halloween theme. I decided to go to the super market and see if they had any halloween things for sale. I didn’t find that much except pumpkins. So I bought one without having a good idea of what I wanted to do with it. First I thought about free styling with it. Felt too heavy as it was 7,6kg. Then I came up with the idea of shooting a soccer ball at the pumpkin and then enjoy the explosion through 3 different cameras. This is brilliant!
Watch the video for the final result!
A big part of becoming successful in freestyle football is about self discipline. To be dedicated to the art and stay persistent. Have clear goals and don’t stop until you’ve reached them. It doesn’t matter if you’re working towards that dream combo or if you’re looking for shows. Usually it all comes down to that moment when you quit, well… don’t. Push even further and eventually things will go your way if you work hard enough for it. Once I watched a video with a man who said something like “when you want it as bad as you want to breath, then you’ll be successful”. Your whole world need to want that thing.
When I started freestyle I got this feeling of finally finding myself. I had no ambitions on making money from it, I almost didn’t even know that it was possible. All day long while being in school I was dreaming of new tricks and tried to come up with new stuff. At night I literally dreamt about freestyle. In between school and sleep I was always freestyling trying to push my own limits but also the limits of the sport. One day I got a phone call and was asked to go to London to perform at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea played Arsenal. That gig just came to me. I believe my passion and love for the sport gave me this opportunity. After that day the performances just kept coming in without even trying too hard for some time.
I remember it like it was yesterday when I wrote on a freestyle forum that I would do a tatw and then a amatw, right to left, but without a touch in between. People reacted quite hard and told me it was impossible. My whole being just loved hearing people telling me it was impossible. That made me work so much harder to achieve my goals. I know I’ve been a favorite of many freestylers, but I’ve also always had haters. I used to read those comments feeling angry, sad or maybe even a bit of doubt in myself. But maybe it was that strong feeling that made me push to the next level.
At one point I was determined I would make it my busiest summer ever in freestyle. I did a lot of marketing and for some time I never got any calls back. But I stayed persistent and eventually I even had to turn gigs down.
I’ve been extremely motivated in all things I’ve done in freestyle. I was a pioneer in dvd making in freestyle. Same goes with freestyle merch. I believe I was probably one of the first freestylers who started my own company. The list can be made really long actually.
There are so many things I’ve learned from freestyle that I can also apply in general in life. Through my dedication I’ve already at the age of 27 done more things then many people will ever do in their lives. I’ve visited more countries then most people ever will and I’ve met people who have sincerely told me I’m their biggest inspiration in life, that’s something not too many ever get to experience.
Self discipline and dedication. Set goals that almost seem impossible. Chase that dream of yours. Live your life in a way that makes you feel proud of who you are!
I decided that I needed to refill my energy levels. So what better way to do that then spending time in nature.
When I arrived to the location I just got this impulse that I wanted to create something. A small farm perhaps? I collected some brushwood. With those I built a fence. With a couple of small stones and sticks I build a fire place. I created some cattle that lived at the farm and some grass became their food. New ideas popped into my mind constantly and this project could have been a full day thing.
In the apartment where I live there are tons of distractions which takes me away from the present moment. Even during a meal there is my smartphone for example. But out here in the wild I had brought some food i prepared. It was just me, the sounds of nature and the food. It was great to appreciate the meal, to really taste it. When I sat there listening how the sounds of the nature constantly changed I started to think about how humans are actually actively destroying all of this. How crazy is that?!? In such a short amount of time we have damaged the earth in so many ways. We have lived on this earth for such a long time, we lived together with nature. Now we destroy what has kept us alive. What are we doing? I didn’t really dare to stay in this feeling and had to brake it. I washed my plate in the water and packed my rucksack. With big steps I started to walk into the forrest, almost like I was escaping from reality. Maybe that’s something which all of us are doing most of the time? Maybe that’s why we feed ourself with stimulation from smartphones and are always connected.
To walk on my hands is something which normally don’t feel like much of a challenge. But how would that work here? The surface was uneven and a lot of roots were sticking up. I measured 10 foot that I would walk, something I actually thought I would accomplish in a short amount of time. First attempt was a total failure, I didn’t even get into the hand stand. Second attempt, same result. On the third attempt I managed one step. After about 15 minutes I had to take my sweater off. Every attempt made me feel the earth against my skin. Something which you don’t feel every day. I like that feeling. All of a sudden I saw a worm. This trail got a whole new perspective now when I just turned up side down. I started to notice so much life. I rarely think about that when I walk somewhere, that there is so much life going on under our feet. 10 minutes later I finally managed to walk those 10 foot. Something I thought I knew how to do suddenly became a big challenge. This made me think of the benefits from being barefoot. The shoe makes all surfaces feel the same. It takes away the connection to the surface as well. The humans have worked really hard to destroy our natural shoe. Actually, a lot of the problems we have in the western world doesn’t even exist in countries where they don’t use shoes… isn’t that strange? This made me untie my laces and take my shoes off. All of a sudden I got a new feeling from just walking. I was more aware. Aware of the contact with the earth. When my thoughts started to float away I stepped on a big root which was painful and took me right back to the present moment.
All of a sudden I noticed a tree which looked perfect for climbing. I took advantage of this feeling and started to climb the tree, barefoot.
What a feeling. I smelled resin. A smell that I connect with my child hood. I actually don’t think I ever climbed a tree barefoot. How sad. Once I have climbed for a bit I just stood there feeling my blood pumping through my veins. A motor boat disturbed my feeling a bit. All of a sudden I started to think of bills to pay and tasks to do today. I started to walk again. I walked towards the bridge… I wanted to have a swim even if the water was only 12 degrees. I undressed and when I stood their on the ladder I got second thoughts. The sun disappeared. Eventually I just jumped in and as my head got under the surface I promise you it was completely impossible to be somewhere else then in that moment. The sensation I felt was just over whelming. Personal challenges, appearance, what to eat, money and other things that I think about during the day just stopped. I climbed out of the water and put my towel around me. I started to think “was that feeling really that strong”? I jumped straight back into the water. And oh yes, that feeling was real, as real as it gets. Once I got back up to the surface the sun was shining and it made the whole situation so much more real somehow. I dried myself and put my clothes back on. I had brought my sleeping bag which I unpacked and got in to. I could feel how my blood was running inside of my body. How my body worked hard to stay warm while I was lying there under the trees.
Yellow, brown and red leaves all came to life when the sun hit them. I followed the leaves as they traveled from the top all the way down as they hit the ground. Some fell fast, other slow. All of a sudden I felt a sensation in my toes, almost as you’re walking barefoot in snow. The nature truly gives something which four walls can not in my opinion. Nature is constantly moving, movements that feels alive. Nature is as real as it gets.
A study shows that people who have had surgery will recover faster if they have a view of nature instead of a brick wall. Doctors have encouraged people to spend more time outside in modern times. I believe that’s not just a coincidence. Nature will give something unique. But to really feel it you have to be present. Remove all distractions and just let nature do its thing.
I felt really energized when I returned back to the city.
I left for London on tuesday morning. The way to the hotel was quite long to tell you the truth. Here’s my route:
-> 15 minutes to the bus station
-> 4.5h to Arlanda airport
-> 1.5h waiting for the flight
-> 3h flight time (due to bad weather)
-> 30 minutes through customs
-> 1.5h to the hotel
Total travel time: 11h15minutes and on the way back it was 13h.
I brought my camera to London and if you’re curious what the trip was like then press play on this video, it’s a Vlog from the trip!
Rickard “Palle” Sjölander