50/50

As a follow-up to my ‘let the season begin’ post, here is a video of my first try on a 50′ line for the 2014 season.

50/50: My first 50 foot line as a 50 year old! Plus, I figure I’ve retained about half of my ability after taking the winter off from serious slacklining.

The two videos below try to show the difference between my abilities toward the end of last season and what I’ve got left after taking the winter off. One thing to note, I only made it to the halfway point yesterday. True, the line from 2014 is more slack (difficult) than the line from 2013. In any case, I hope you are getting out there starting this Spring!

 

 

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First Taste of a Long Line

Today we had the chance to try out a long line. We help set it up, and the owners offered to let us have a go. This line was in the neighborhood of 150-175 feet in length! The longest I had done previously was 50 feet. Needless to say, I could barely stand at one end of the line, and although I took one or two steps, it was as though I was a true beginner! I had two spotters, and used them both! It is a wild feeling standing there watching a pulse-wave go down the line, bounce off the other end, and come back at you. You see it coming, but there’s not much you can do about it! This is a total blast!

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Progress Update

Today’s entry includes a video link below.

We spent about an hour or two with the slackline set up in the backyard on Friday afternoon. Then about another hour or so on Saturday. My wife was able to take four steps on Saturday! She is improving, although not as fast as she’d like. She took today (Sunday) off from slacking, to use the day to prepare for a 10K tomorrow.

I set up the line and walked this afternoon. This was the first time I set it up by myself. Usually, it takes two of us to pull the line tight enough so that I am not on the ground. This time, the line was as high as my inseam. I found the line to be a bit more loose, and took a bit to get used to it again.

After getting used to the line and walking a bit, I started trying to turn around on the line. I can now walk most of the line in one direction, so I figured it would be a good time to start learning to turn around. This video shows various methods of turning. I use a version of Adam’s shown first in the video. I step backwards and spin as I shift my weight to my back foot.

It’s been two weeks since Mother’s Day, and I am now learning to turn around. I was able to do it successfully, although not very pretty, about 3 or 4 times. It takes some chance, and some getting used to the art of spinning your weight around without losing balance, but this is yet another milestone in my trek to be proficient. I hope you folks see this as encouragement.

Walk the Line

Today’s entry includes a video below.

After a couple rest days, we tackled the line wholeheartedly today. We set up the line, and started getting back into the sport. At first, it seemed we had gone backwards in terms of our ability. The line was shaky, and legs were weak. But we were persistent, and spent about one hour taking turns on the line. My wife made real progress today, as she got to take her first step (twice!). As for me, I pushed and pushed, and finally was able to walk most of the length of our 33 foot line. Ahh, determination. It took me about a minute and a half to make the complete trek, but I’ve compressed it down into a 23 second video (see below)

Today marks the 14th day that I have been practicing to walk a Slackline. I hope this provides some encouragement to those who are considering this sport. It is great exercise, and the learning curve doesn’t seem to be as long as one might expect (certainly not as long as I would have thought!). Get to it!!

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