I started slacklining in college, Boston—little did I know that an excuse for skipping class would soon become my obsession, my passion, my catalyst for travel, my … my little wiggly rope thing. The slackline.

Patience, perseverance, timing, in the moment-ness, all things can be realized…

I dropped out of college early to pursue travel out west and rock climbing. But when I moved to Moab, a veritable mecca for the sport of highlining, my relationship with the one-inch nylon became much richer and exploratory. I was surrounded by some truly talented individuals. I watched them float gently over giant canyons, inspired to stand myself one day upon these thin strands of courage suspended high in the sky, above my doubts and anxieties.

With constant practice, and I mean constant, I slowly developed my sense of balance in this strange world far above the ground, which I could not float above before. To feel one’s breath and steps, movement through the universe—suspended in space, airy emptiness all around, one with the webbing, its movements stretching with one’s mind, breath and body—this is the highline. Before I knew it, this feeling had captured my attention in a very profound way.

Insight into the Slacklife image -3

After many, many, many, many attempts, you may be able to walk a highline. It’s hard to say what is so different about doing it with a leash, but it is quite different and there are many things to be learned from this practice. Patience, perseverance, timing, in the moment-ness, all things can be realized in a fleeting dream of a moment as one’s spirit passes through realms of understanding by means of rhythmic movement across a slackline high above the ground. This is just one reason why I love highlining and slacklining: there is an obvious connection between the “slacklife” and living a life in a philosophical way.


RelatedHighlining the Vajolet Towers in the Dolomites

matt_dunkelberger_slackline_10 (1)




This article was originally published on June 23, 2014.

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