I’m a Slacker
We first saw a slackline in operation in Bern, Switzerland. Across from the lovely boutique hotel we stayed at was an army barracks and a treelined park. In the evening, the lines would come out and I was pretty curious. I assumed it was like a high-wire, Nik Wallenda style, but did some research (asked the lady at the front desk) and discovered it was a slackline. The guys walking them in the park made it look easy and I thought we’d have some family fun trying so it went on the Christmas list for Shaggy. We put it up at the cottage in May of 2017. We tried it each several times. It was taken down in September 2017 after only seeing action in May and hasn’t seen a tree since. Until now.
It always bothered me that I couldn’t “get it.” I filed that in the corner of my brain that I reserve for all my failures/learning experiences. I locked the door and threw away the key in a defiant nod to denial.
Then the door opened and I saw my glaring failure eying me up. I think it was when I opened the door to retrieve my knitting story (also a failure back in the day) that the slackline reappeared in my working brain away from the jail cell it was supposed to serve its sentence in. Ugh. Guess I’ll have to try again.
This time, we consulted some pros and got the real scoop on what to do. First thing not to do, hold on to someone. Oops. The second no-no is turning your feet out like ducks. Strike two. The third item that needed to be corrected was how tight the line was; we had to stop tightening the line to the point you could bounce a quarter off it. It is called “slack” line for a reason. No wonder we put the line away. We were already at three strikes and there was a fourth. Stop looking at your feet!
Thanks to our new friends at Toronto Slackline, now I know HOW to slackline, but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. Like most new skills, it takes some practice. Whenever it is not raining, I take 5 minutes or more to give it a go. It is not as intimidating (or as shaky) as it was in the beginning and I am starting to have fun. Not just the fun of trying something new, but the fun of gathering a new skill/party trick.
Slackliners are a pretty inclusive and open community. If you see people walking the lines in parks in your area, don’t hesitate to ask for a try and some tips. That’s how I started back up and everyone has been more than generous to share their passion. As an aside, it would be almost impossible to hurt yourself slacklining a foot from the ground and if it was possible, you know I would have done that for you already so I give it the safe stamp of approval. 👍
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