Ice Ice Baby
Recent communications grad Luke Adams ’20 (CLAS) standing barefoot atop a glacier in Greenland.
Yup, he jumped!
Recent communications grad Luke Adams ’20 (CLAS) trained for five months with a professional freediver to scale an iceberg in Greenland (barefoot!) and then jump into the 28-degree water below to draw attention to men’s mental health. (See photo below.)
Adams says he wanted to not only push his own physical limits by freediving — scuba diving without an oxygen tank — but also visually symbolize how many people hide their “invisible battles and mental health struggles below the surface” the way most of a glacier hides underwater.
The stunt had to be repeated several times to obtain footage for Adams’ short film, “Into the Dark Blue”: Adams dove below the glacier more than 15 times in one week, hitting depths of more than 70 feet and holding his breath for over three minutes. Pro ice climber Tim Emmett helped Adams safely mount the glacier, and a team of safety divers were on standby.
Adams underneath that same glacier.
“We definitely felt a significant difference between that water and what we trained in, just a few degrees warmer” at 33 degrees Fahrenheit, says Adams, who hopes to make the topic of mental health less taboo among men in particular.
Men commit suicide at a rate nearly 4 times that of women, and middle-aged white men have the highest rate of suicide of any group, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Adams, who founded his visual storytelling company Story Real Studios after graduating, teamed up with men’s health charity organization Movember on a fundraiser related to the feat and hopes to show the film at festivals to keep the conversation going.
“My message to others is to realize just how much goes on below the surface. A man may appear strong, calm and collected but be struggling to stay afloat on the inside,” Adams wrote in a story for Movember’s website. “You’re stronger than you think and by embracing adversity, you can accomplish anything. The philosophy I learned from this experience was that by facing what I’m most afraid of — I will come out stronger.”