Unforeseen Passion: an unconventional outdoors journal

Unforeseen Passion: an unconventional outdoors journal

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Courtesy MCT Campus

What have you done lately? Slacklining—a practice in balance that typically uses one inch nylon webbing tensioned between two anchor points is a pastime that I knew nothing about before coming to college.

College is a great time in a student’s life. It gives all students the opportunity to try new things, meet new people and essentially become a completely different person.

Unforgettable memories define my freshman year. One of those memories happens to center around slacklining.

I was first introduced to slacklining by one of my floor mates. He always has the craziest ideas and extremely fun pastimes. I, of course, thought he was off his rocker when I saw him balancing on a one-
inch rope.

Slacklining reminded me very much of tight rope walking the first time I saw it.

Now, the first time I actually saw my friends slacklining, my interest in participating came gradually.

I was very hesitant at first to try slacklining. I am very competitive by nature and the thought of initially struggling at slacklining was a discouraging thought.

I did not want to put the time in to become successful, but after watching everyone enjoying themselves and remaining injury free, I decided it was time to get on the rope.

Normally, I do not consider myself the type of person who underestimates the difficulty of a task. However, slacklining proved me wrong.

Initially, it was extremely difficult to get up onto the rope and I needed the assistance from my friends, as well as the tree that the rope was anchored too.

Then I spent most of the time with a person to my left and right holding my hand as I tried to figure out how to balance on the thin rope.

Eventually, I was able to trust myself enough to balance on the slackline without assistance, but getting up on my own was a completely different story. The first time I tried to step up on the rope, I ended up on my backside before I even realized what had
happened.

Slacklining engages your core muscle, as well as your leg muscles, specifically when getting up on the rope.

I spent two hours working on the motion of getting up on the line and then balancing. The act of actually taking steps on the slackline would have to come after I could learn how to simply get up on the line.

After learning the basics of slacklining, which really came from practice and muscle memory, I became an addict.

I bought my own slackline to practice in the summer and persuaded many of my friends to try and get better with me. I enjoyed slacklining in my backyard, as long as our puppy was not attempting to eat the line, but overall it was fun and workout in disguise.

I am no expert.  I cannot perform a back flip, jump on the line, or even make it all the way across the line for long distances, but I do recommend slacklining to everyone. It is an interactive outdoor activity that really tests your endurance and patience.