Family Fun on the Slackline

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2 Oct 13So today my sister came and visited with me (she lives an 8 hour drive away) and I thought I’d show her the slack line.  While she couldn’t have a go (due to a recent operation and still being in recovery), I was sure her kids would enjoy it.

So I pulled it out and had a good time strapping it to the trees without my husband (who usually does the threading and tightening).   Turns out it’s super easy and we were up and running in no time.  I jumped on first to give a demonstration to my sister and her kids and then they had a go.

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The first to get up was my nephew, who is eleven.  He is an awesome young fella who, when focused, doesn’t give up.   It only took him a couple of turns before he started  taking a few steps.   I tell you, I wish I was still a kid – they’ve got no fear to overcome and pick up these things a lot quicker than I do (and I thought I was picking up the slack-lining really quick).

One thing I have come to really enjoy with the slack-lining is how family friendly it can be.   Because the trees we have found are right next to the playground, it’s easy to set up and then let the kids run around while we get our exercise – while keeping an eye on them.   Seeing Mum and Dad having a go also helps motivate them and even my two little ones want to give it a go.   You can see in this last picture my son (who is aged six) having a casual stroll along the line, with my four year old daughter waiting to have a go.

So far, we’ve been slack-lining for less than two weeks – going at least 2-3 times each week and I can’t fault it as a fun exercise.   The only issue I might have with it, is I don’t think it’ll be safe to do in the rain.   I don’t know, maybe I’ll have to try it one day?

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Introducing the slackline…

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Well my husband decided it would be a good idea to buy a slackline so we did, and who would have thought a piece of strap could be so much fun?

Let me start from day one, which was Wednesday.   We’d gotten the slackline in the mail and just had to try it straight away.   Never mind feeling a little sore from gymnastics the day before, and never mind the fact that it was wet outside, we were going to do it.   At least we thought we were going to do it.

jwj-slackline-0041__17561_zoomBefore we got the slackline delivered to us, we checked out the dimesions.   We measured spaces between trees at our local park and thought we were pretty sweet to go.  Until we got there with the slackline.   The trees we had thought were perfect were about  —>|this—far|<—  too far apart.   So we tried another two which were closer to each other and because one was too fat, they were still too far apart.

Third time lucky, right?    No chance.   Nor with the fourth or fifth.   Now there aren’t a lot of trees at this park, so we were running out of options, thinking that we’d wasted our money buying a slackline that was too short, but then we found some trees that were suitably apart.

Slackline attached to the tree, ready to go.  So I was volunteered to be the first guinea pig.   I put my foot tentatively on the strap and began to shift my weight to it.    Ever got the speed wabbles before?   Well I wasn’t going anywhere fast, but the strap must have thought it was, because it got wobbles – and my leg decided to join in.   However I got both feet on it (clinging on for dear life to my husband) and began my journey across it.    Definitely not my cup of tea – there was no way I was going to master this thing.   My husband was no better – his hands were grasping into my shoulder like a wedge tailed Eagle’s claws.

Disappointed, we packed up and went home (although bored children had a lot to do with that).

Today we decided to give it a go again.   We decided to visit the other park this time (with a few more trees) and found some suitably situated away from each other (perhaps a little too close if anything) right next to the playground so the kids wouldn’t get bored – score!

Again, I was made to be the first guinea pig.   God forbid the thing would snap and kill me or anything…  Again, my feet and the line began their wobble dance, but I got on and started to walk… while my entire body fought between getting to the other end and dancing with my leg and the line.   Again – holding onto dear life to my husband).    Then it was my husband’s turn.   It wasn’t as bad as the time before – with him only gently touching me if he began to lose his focus.

Then I got the bright idea to see who could balance the longest in one spot.   I figured it was a good starting point.   1… 2… 3…  I didn’t last very long.   But after a few goes, I was the champion with a count of 7.   My husband with only 5 his highest.   Then he tried to walk.   It was funny to watch so I had to have a go.

I stood next to the line and focused my mind – you’d be surprised at how much your mind plays a part in being able to do this thing well.   “Breathe in.   Center yourself.   Eye on the target.   Get up.   Steady….   Steady….  Step.   Step.  Step.  Wobble.   Windmill arms.   Fall off.”  After a few times, I ended up to the other side.   Only 2 days ago, I couldn’t even get on the thing, and now (while it was not very graceful) I was walking the length.

I got to the across the line 3 times, one of them I got almost half way back too (after turning around) and have claimed the title for the day.   The only bad thing about the slackline (in my opinion) was I didn’t want to go home, but it was dinner time.   It was great to do something where you can see the progress in just one session.