I blame this post on the fact I made a not-that-funny joke about teaching therapy-doodle-Charming to slackline.
Afterward, in my inimitable way, I grew obsessed with the parallels between slacklining and life.
I used to regale anyone who would listen with stories about what terrible balance I had.
If you handed me a BOSU ball I’d mount, stand proudly aloft for a few seconds…then fall on my face.
When I took the Wii Fit Body Test the results essentially asked if I often spontaneously fell over.
I’ve learned a lot about balance in my 40’s.
Ive focused a lot on balance in my forties.
look ma! one foot!
Slacklining is the art of walking & balancing on a piece of webbing strung between 2 anchored points.
You may tie webbing between trees or poles (Austin is renown for its urban slackliners) or, if you’re a tree-loving misfit, you may purchase an anchored slackline contraption (you *can* pad trees from webbing, but I’m like The Lorax. I worry about the trees.)
The other day, as I again attempted to make my way between two firmly anchored points, it dawned upon me how slacklining paralleled my life.
The tips I offer adult-friends when asked about life-balance are the same ones I offer the Child’s friends as they ready to try our slackline.
In both cases there’s wobbling, potential for missteps and a tremendous opportunity to learn more about ourselves along the way.
Allow me to elaborate.
#1 Don’t look down!
In the same sense as don’t look behind you –you’re not going that way the act of slack lining necessitates we keep our eyes where we wish to remain: up.
The moment we pause for more than a few seconds to look down or glance behind us – – we begin to wobble
Both life and slacklining require we maintain eyes up and focused *forward.* In order to succeed we must look toward our literal/metaphorical destination. We must trust our instincts. We need to let our innate sense of balance inform us where and how to step.
#2 Chill out.
Relax. It’s important we pause to release tension from arms/shoulders before stepping on the ‘line or out into life. Worrying is praying for what we do not want. Fear based living OR slacklining doesn’t work as it only serves to limit us. Make that mind/body connection, but don’t over think it. It’s all about discovering our own unique balance (pun intended) between effort and ease.
#3 Be consistent.
Success without consistency may occasionally occur, but it’s most likely beginners luck or an ephemeral thing.
#4 Giggle. Have fun.
Life is short. And it’s most definitely too fleeting to approach it (or slacklining) in an overly serious fashion. Don’t allow yourself to have tunnel vision with regards to making it to to the end of the ‘line.
Definitely don’t place too much emphasis on the outcome as nothing cleanses life or slacklining of fun like doing that. Enjoy the process.
There exists no perfection (in life or in) ‘lining.
Incorporating play into both is always the answer.
Eyes up, shoulders down, and giggle… consistently.
Keep that in mind you’ll succeed in both endeavors.
- Have you achieved balance in either in slacklining or in life?