Tell you one secret talent of mine: good balance!
Slacklining is basically what you see in the picture – walking or jumping or doing whatever you like on a tiny rope. It should be founded in Brazil (if I understand correctly) and is quite a popular sport around the world now.
I remember I saw it once on the TV and at that time I was like ‘wow, that’s pretty hard and need good balance!’ Imagine people are doing this between cliffs and buildings up in the sky, what the hell?! I have no idea why do people risk their lives for extreme sports like this.
So we ran into some guys doing slacklining on the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, and Kanya was really excited about it (she told me this was her goal in Brazil.) So you know what happened next, we asked them if we could try and they let us! OUR VERY FIRST TIME DOING SLACKLINING!
A moment ago I was still teasing at Kanya for how bad she was on the line, couldn’t balance herself and kept falling down, and when I actually tried to get on to the rope, it’s like the first attempt of swimming when that tiny bit of distance away from the side annoys you so much that the last thing you want is going to the deeper end.
I was thinking to put one foot on the line first, bending my body towards the ankle, then maybe it’s possible to put the other on it as well. BUT IT NEVER WORKED OUT! The line was just too shaky to be the base for any movement of my body. I tried several times more and our ‘guide’ told me I should ‘jump’ on it instead of bending myself and getting solid with it.
What do you mean?! How am I supposed to jump on it provided that I couldn’t even balance the only foot that was on it!
It turned out that I should take the advantage of the elastic nature of the rope and bounce myself on it. Yes, BOUNCING is the key. One foot on the line, bounce yourself, then put the other foot slightly in front of the original one on the rope. Here you go, everybody! Getting ready for slacklining literally took me a good old 10 minutes or so.
The next thing I did was to grab a hand lol. I did successfully get on to the rope, but that doesn’t mean I can do anything with it afterwards. I think for 20 minutes time I was practising with a helping hand next to me, and another one sitting in the middle of the line or pressing it to make it more stable.
IN THE END, I managed to walk a few steps without anyone helping me (ok I reckon Kanya was still sitting in the middle.) But that’s already pretty amazing! I have good balance anyway, just give me another half an hour I would be able to walk to the end!!
Overall it’s really fun and a new experience once again, in this beautiful and delightful country. My advice traveling to Brazil in the winter time is to look for someone doing slacklining or playing volleyball or footvolley in the renowned Ipanema beach or Copacabana beach, so that you can have a little fun with the locals. (I think footvolley is also exclusive in Brazil, which is as simple as combining volleyball and football together.)