Slacklining changed my life. Climbing was my gateway to finding the slacklife. In 2004, after doing the tourist thing in Yosemite, I discovered climbing and wanted to climb El Cap. I was singularly focus on that goal while learning how to climb and I accomplished it in 2008. I continued to push my limits and did 17 successful bigwalls in yosemite until I evenutally used all my free time to highline (roughly the last 6 years). I first stepped on a line in 2005 and tried a short highline in 2006 at Joshua Tree. I rigged it terrible and after scaring the shit out of myself after my unlocked carabiner almost came off I didn’t attempt another highline until 2010. I slacklined in the park religiously for years and thought the lost arrow spire was the El Cap of highlines so I trained and practiced rigging techniques in the park basically reinventing all the wheels that were already invented. What took me years to develop and think up at home, I learned in 5 minutes from people who already figured it all out when I went to my first slackline festival in Humbolt. Now I know what I’m doing but I had a rough journey to get here.
So rewind now... I obviously liked climbing and slacking but here is the real life shit now. I grew up super christian. SUPER christian. I can’t tell you how deep into that shit I was in. I was married before (hint: don’t marry 19 year olds, 23 or not, don’t do it). I didn’t kiss my ex-wife until we got married... yes you read that right. I gave enough money away to usless christian shit to buy a house, not exaggerating. I thought the earth was only 6,000 years old. I spent years being a ”missionary” at my local mosque with the intentions of going to Pakistan to spread the effing gospel. Want to trade some goat shit for some horse shit anyone? So being the white privelage, Jesus loves me, god has a plan for me entitled ass hole that I was, I’m sure you can imagine how I emotionally handled it when my ex finished nursing school 4 years into the marriage and then said... ”Adios”. I get it now. It all makes sense now and because I’m not entitled to a perfect life, it really isn’t that big of a deal.
So life is in the shit hole at this point. I failed at my first Lost Arrow attempt 2010. I rigged that bitch, don’t get me wrong, but my best ”walk” was 6 steps. What a mind fuck when you aren’t use to it haha. But now I’m freshly divorced, it’s 2011, and I have even more free time to slack. I thought I would start small and work my way up, novel thought, I know! There is a 20 footer at th Rostrum and I rigged it solo (not walked it solo, don’t worry) and got my first send shorty after hitting bottom. I got bit hard by the slacklife. If you haven’t experienced your first send yet, especially when you aren’t a natural and after wanting it for 6 years, its better than drugs, according to Kim’s flow state research :).
I had a repeating broken record playing in my head, day and night, of the previous 4 years of being married and the shit that went down. I couldn’t get it to stop. When I highlined, it required 100,000% of my focus in that moment because it was so scary and it taught me to live in the moment, like this very moment, the very second I was in. Everyone has a different mantra (not the webbing haha) that they focus on when walking, some people count, other people sing, I repeat ”left foot, right foot, left foot.....”. This has helped me to live in the moment. As lines have gotten much easier for me as they are more familiar, I have found lines over 200 meters to have a new attraction to me. I can’t just hold my breath if i’m scared like I could for a short line. I can’t focus on the anchor and just hope I get there soon... because I can’t even see the dam anchor. I literally have to look down or at 2 tapes in front of me and truly live in the moment, for a fucking hour. It is so hard. Not that I have sent a big big line yet, but walking is much easier on the big boys but living in the moment for so long is the hard part. It is still part of my journey and the slackline is my training partner.
I met my unicorn turned goddess at unicorn graveyard in San Francicsco in 2014 and after dating a few months Kim asked me if I actually thought Jesus existed. That was the dumbest thing I ever heard, so I did what any good researcher would do... I youtubed it! Believe it or not, I do like to look at things from both sides so I can make an informed decision. I got addicted, literally addicted to atheist youtube channels for 6 months around 2015. 3 hours a night addicted. Apparently I liked having my neurons firing the way they were designed... i mean... evolved to. I felt like I could think. It didn’t take me long to get over myself when I didn’t believe there was an all powerful diety whose entire existance was to give a shit about me and if I was giving him enough kuddos. Now you know the root of my obsession with youtube haha.
From 2012 to today, if I’m not rigging a line, I’m planning a line, or making youtube videos about the slacklife on HowNOTtoHighline. As much as I like living in the moment, there is another thing I love about slacklife. I find that the slack community is built on the common denominator that we all are hooked on flow state and that attracts amazing people. The stoke this community brings us replaces that hole I felt after leaving the church... the big church. That is why I enjoy doing what I can to contribute to the group. I want to make learning curves a bit easier for people and also to spread stoke. The slack community is a great group of people I’m proud to call my family and I’m glad Kim worked so hard so we can have an official platform for stoke and real life shit like the International Church of Slacklife.