The International Church of slacklife
Jun 16, 2018

Discovering slackling

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My experience goes back to 2015. I was at Electric Forest in Rothbury Michigan when I saw my first slackline. I of course gave it a shot and im sure you know how it went. Fast forward to the fall of 2015 and I send out a post on the EF subreddit asking if any forest fam attended my university (GVSU in Michigan). One guy name Matt responded and we exchanged numbers. We eventually met up and got to know eachother and he turned out to be someone who slacked. We set up his line and I was instantly addicted. Slacklining gave me a challenge and I had to accept. I never felt so focused. I was so sore the next day too which, I wasn’t aware of how amazing the workout is mentally and physically. Anyway, nowadays I’m incredibly comfortable and stepped foot on a longline a few times and felt that same challenge present itself again. Slacking has given me insights about who I am. I admit my ego fueled it in the beginning. I thought I was cool for being someone who could slackline. I came to terms with that and ran away from that mindset and turned it into the transformative experience that it is. I’ve always been grateful for Matt. He opened the door to my college experience and also made a deep imprint on my spiritual journey and for that i’ll be forever grateful, because it let me here and to Breathe Fest. I still have so much to learn!

 

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  • I first slacked 5 or 6 years ago and thought it was really neat but never got into it, later I got into climbing and last summer I started using a 2inch classic line to train for my climbing. This summer a friend and I started slacking more and more eventually we hooked our 2 50 ft gibbon classic lines together to make a 100 ft line. that is where I discovered flow. Ever since i haven’t been able to stop now I have a 90m setup and THE STOKE IS SO FUCKING HIGH!!
  • I remember vividly the very first time I walked on a slackline in my back yard 5 years ago. It was the beginning of the most wonderfully fulfilling activity I have ever taken part in. Every step was a fight at first. I was pretty terrible for a long time until eventually the hours of practice finally started coming together after I bought a 100m 1 inch aero line. Before long I had outgrown it and now have progressed to a 240m Mantra mk4 line. The longer it gets I thought, the more intense it would feel and the more time I could get in the flow state. And it was more intense. Then when I began highlining the feeling of sending and floating only became more surreal than in the parks and meadows. There is really nothing more meaningful in the world to me beside my girlfriend than slacklining. There is something about being suspended above ground in such a delicate balance between floating and whipping harshly that gets me so gripped in an oddly subtle way. It's almost as if the heavens have been extended down to you, and there is nothing better in the entire world than that exact moment. The flow is when I feel the most alive. The most focused, in an intrinsic meditative sort of dance with the forces that be. It wakes me up inside. I feel my spirit being entertained and nourished. Like a little kid who plays his heart out, I am filled with joy after walking a line of any length, height, or tension. There are no words to make someone feel this way through explanation. You have to experience the flow to know what it means to be enlightened by the passion that exists within you. I believe that when you cultivate a moment where you send a 100m line after spending so many hours practicing, the satisfaction of that accomplishment is what really makes me so excited about slacklining. There's nothing like the reward of learning a new trick, setting a new PR or just getting out and letting yourself relax and get to know a new type of line length and tension. Getting in the flow is something I noticed is present during any of these progressive moments. Just being totally in the present, 110% focus/effort and not letting your preconceived limitations of mind or body or spirit, as Kim Weglin would say, get the upper hand on you. The flow is the way to break boundaries and kick some motherfucking ass. It is also the way I enlighten myself and feel zen. The flow gives me strength, clarity, peace, and happiness. As well as a myriad of other emotions. While some Buddhist monk out there spends eternity attempting to reach nirvana. I feel like jumping on a slackline may just be just as sublime of an experience. PS I would like to give a shout out to Kim for putting International Church of Slacklife into fruition. Thank you so much for this, it is so huge to have a way to share and see others share their testimonies on slacking. You're super rad and a great leader of the community of slackers we have!