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Amanda on the slackline.jpg

Amanda Gallop’s first day on the Slackline

When was the last time you got introduced to a new hobby activity or sport?

As a child this could happen daily. As an adult I have found that it does not happen very often at all.

Recently I got introduced to a new sport and as can be the pattern for many new things, I resisted trying it. It is called, “Slacklining” and I was encouraged to try it by a brilliant Dutch fellow named Tjitze Postma.

Slacklining is a sport that was invented by rock climbers decades ago and has gained rapid popularity in many cities around the world in recent years. It involves tying a 1″ or 2″ thick line between two trees or anchors and then balancing on it. Advanced ‘slackers’ will bounce on it, do yoga poses and all kinds of tricks.

On an August evening in Ontario I found myself in Mountain Equipment Co-op deciding if I was going to buy one of these Slacklines before having ever tried it. Initially I was not planning to make the $85 investment but once Tjitze offered to buy it for me and to donate it to the Mindcamp Creativity conference I came to my senses. If this guy felt so strongly that I’d like this sport that he was willing to buy the equipment for me, I thought I’d better give it a go. In the end, we split the cost of the line and agreed that we would donate it to the conference next year.

Later that week, I got to try it for the first time and as he had told me, I loved it. I felt instantly drawn towards this sport because it forces you to become grounded, to focus on the present moment, and it’s challenging.  It has since become a wonderful part of my life.

Check out this brief message from the Slackline video below.

Because the sport is such a visual spectacle, many people tend to approach and ask about it. The learning curve is quite quick, and this social element is one of my favorite things about it. It is a very easy way to meet good people. As a result of playing with this back in Calgary, I have been introduced to the Yoga community here – which is something that I’ve appreciated for years but until last week had only tried a half dozen times or so.

I have now done Yoga the past 4 out of 5 days! I’ve also been introduced into Acro-Yoga which is a more advanced and acrobatic type of Yoga that I can see myself really enjoying in the near future.

There have been things that I’ve seen in other peoples’ lives that I thought for some reason I’d like to have in mine, but just never got around to actually doing. Has this ever happened to you? Perhaps it was something that you thought you didn’t have the time or money to explore. Truthfully, most of us have thoughts or ideas around the person who we would like to be compared to the person who we currently are and there are ways to bring the two closer together.

In my situation, I felt the familiar resistance to trying something that I was being told would be good for me. The solution was that I allowed myself to feel a little uncomfortable, and tried the new thing anyway. It’s totally normal for new experiences to make us feel uncomfortable not only if they are good for us, but I argue especially if they are good for us. Change equals growth and growth usually comes with some discomfort.

Who is shaping your life?

Who are the people that have had the greatest influence in your life until now? Are you living the life that you want to live? If not, why not? Why not allow yourself to explore some of the new things that some people in your life have already offered? If you can’t remember any offers, why not seek those interests out on your own?

Think Healthier. Live Healthier.

I’m not suggesting that we can completely re-vitalize our entire lives by adding a new activity to it, but I am suggesting that by doing so you will open the door to many wonderful new possibilities…

Thank you Tjitze Postma for introducing me to the Slackline and to Kris Lapenskie for taking the video footage.

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