I’ve learned quite a lot over the past few months. Mainly about slack-lining, but also about myself and life in general. The biggest piece of knowledge I have obtained in that time is to not overestimate the time it takes to learn a skill. At the beginning of this project, I had very high expectations of what I would learn in what I now know is a very short period of time. I definitely have not progressed as much as I would have liked to, but I’m still happy that I started to learn slacklining. It gives me the chance to continue and learn further into the future. While I’m somewhat disappointed at my progress overall, there was still a fair amount of progress from the beginning to the end of the project.
Now, onto my progress over this past month. Because of spring break, I had lots of time to practice, but I mostly practiced in shorter sessions, so I unfortunately did not setup a camera for most of them. I don’t have a video today due to that, but I will be taking more time in preparing my final presentation. I’ve mostly just worked on the basics again because I’ve realized that I’ll need much more time before I can learn more difficult and interesting tricks. Refining the basics will ensure I can learn more intermediate to advanced skills better.
Chapter 9: Concepts
There are many different skills and techniques involved in slacklining, but at the centre of it is balance. Balance is the baseline for every single trick involved in slacklining. From simply walking across to various advanced skills, balance is the most important concept overall. One of the main parts of this project was actually for me to improve my balance as well. Furthermore, another main concept I discussed with my mentor that is included within balance is proper technique. Proper technique at a basic level makes all other skills and tricks easier to learn later. This is part of the reason why I am focusing on the basics as much as I can right now. These concepts help to create a better understanding of what I am learning and brings to attention how I can learn better.
Chapter 10: Alternatives
In De Bono’s book, it goes over alternatives and how important they can be for learning. It states that, “Progress, energy, change, improvement, and simplification are all based on the search for alternatives”, this helped me understand how I find other ways to solve problems or learn new skills. With a skill like slacklining, there’s generally not too many different ways to learn it. At the beginning of the project, my mentor suggested a couple different ways to practice at the start though. The first method was to jump (metaphorically) straight onto the slackline to get experience with it and learn how to balance with the unusual movement. The second being to learn better balance on unmoving ground first by using thinner elevated surfaces to begin with. The last method was to practice balancing with another person on the slackline, like an assisted practice. Due Covid-19, I refrained from using this method because it meant that I would need to be physically touching someone.
I chose the first method because I personally prefer going right into practicing a skill rather than the alternative. Later on I did end up practicing a little with the alternative because I felt like the initial progress was slow. Unfortunately, it seemed that it did not help much after I had already practiced on the slackline. Regardless, I think alternatives are really important in learning anything because everyone learns at different speeds and with alternative methods. Just because one way works for a single person, does not mean it will work for another.
Considering I haven’t made as much progress as I initially planned, my final In-Depth presentation will be a little different than I expected. I will make more of a focus on the progress rather than a final show of everything I have learned into one presentation. I still plan to try juggling on the slackline as I mentioned in my In-Depth contract, but I’m not quite sure if it will work or not. Otherwise, I’m still pretty excited to be creating a presentation for this project. I really want to be able to create a good final video for a satisfying conclusion for this project. Only a finale for the project of course. I still plan to continue practicing into the future on the slackline. Eventually I want to become what I consider as good on the slackline.
Thanks for reading my In-Depth progress!