FALL DOWN 7 TIMES, STAND UP 8.
A blog from http://eskeemohinthedark.tumblr.com/
At least that’s how the old adage goes.
In terms of my first day slacking, it was more like:
Fall down 100 times, stand up 20.
This slackline stuff is only slightly harder than I imagined, but I also thought I was imagining it to be harder than it is.
I also had no clue what to expect on the first day. No idea that the beginning – learning to get up on the line and stand- would be quite possibly the hardest part.
After only about 20 minutes of falling off mere milliseconds after my feet even touched the line, I started to get discouraged. I sat down and stared at my line, frustrated. I thought maybe I was just going to suck at this, and my highlining dreams would remain just that… Dreams. Dreams I would never actually fulfill. I forced myself to think back through all the “how-to” videos and tips I’ve seen or heard or read, and decided I couldn’t be hopeless. I like to think I have slightly better balance than a lot of people, even when I’m out of shape. So the answer slowly turned to “No, this is not impossible. Especially not for me.”
So I stood up next to the line and gave my shiny new gibbon slackline a good hard look as if to say “I WILL conquer you.. You cannot beat me!”
And then I focused my eyes at the opposite anchor point, took a deep breath, and stood up on the line.
Yes, it was brief. Maybe 3 seconds, tops. But in those first few moments of finally feeling what it was like to have the line beneath my feet, standing unaided, I felt something click into place. I’m so glad I didn’t give up too early. I practiced standing until I worked up to what I believe to be a pretty good length of time. I can’t give you too accurate of an estimate because my mind was completely focused on balancing, not counting seconds… but I would say I got up to 12 or 15 seconds before finally calling it a day.
I have no clue what kind of accomplishment this is in the realm of slacklining. I have nobody else to judge my progress off of but myself. But I actually kind of like it like that.. because instead of focusing on doing just as well as someone else, I can bask in my own accomplishments, knowing that those 12 seconds were well earned. I fought for them, with everything I had, fair and square.
And if I’d had more time to spare, I probably could have worked up to walking today. Nobody there to hold my hand, nothing to hold on to… Maybe tomorrow.