Why do we invent ever more creative, and often dangerous, ways to experience life? Why are there things like Bungee Jumping, Bull Riding, Sky Diving, and Heli-skiing?

Are humans hard-wired to push the envelope of possibility?

Is this how we’ve come so far? Maybe it’s one of the few impulses that undeniably set us apart from the apes and jaguars. Intelligent animals run on impulse (and we do that a fair amount of the time too), but we can choose to turn our backs on our instincts and push through the unknown.

Could the photo above be a metaphor for what humans have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years?

Yesterday I was driving through an average neighborhood in an average small town. Then I saw a very long strap of strong fabric stretched between two trees, about 4 feet off the ground, with a young girl trying to walk on it.

I paused long enough to see her indomitable spirit shining through her repeated falls. It was a delight to see someone so young exuding such joy, in the face of adversity.

It turns out she was trying out her hand at an emerging popular sport called Slacklining. A pastime that combines strength, balance, creativity, and a lot of moxie!

Take a look at this little bit of wonder, and then we’ll explore more human edges of possibility…

I loved everything about that video: the cinematography, the drama, the humor, and the way nature and human nature seem to combine.

That video is spot on when it comes to the kinds of things that we love to share here at EWC.

At Ever Widening Circles, we celebrate this kind of project and bring you one article each day, to prove it is still an amazing world.

Now let’s get back to the possibilities that slacklining demonstrates for us all. (Yes, all… We each have our own kind of slackline.)

We’ll take you through the remarkable scope of this sport today and finish with something jaw-dropping, but let’s start with the purest. Here’s a video from the Globetrotter World Slackline Masters

Slacklining for all…

One of the things I love about this sport is that it seems so accessible to ordinary people. Take a look at a little of these next two videos. The first is a very low-budget operation, and yet just as fun and skilled as all the “expert” practitioners.

Here’s the second video that demonstrates how “every person” this sport can be!

Via: Olucko 4

Pushing us beyond…

And lastly, there are those humans who are not satisfied with a slackline 5 feet off the ground. Here’s where this can go with some “thought leaders” (albeit, completely crazy thought leaders) pushing the envelope…

*for those with sensitive ears, there are a number curse words dropped in this video*

Did you notice the title of that last video, Longer Than the Gods Allow? That probably sums up the sensibilities of history’s greatest “thought leaders”, people who were able to accept the longest odds and push past what conventional thought defined as “possible.”

Where would we be without the likes of Leonardo DaVinci, Amelia Earhart, Lewis and Clark, Darwin, Rosa Parks, Shakespeare, Henry Ford, and Jane Goodall?

Unfortunately, some of the greatest risk takers are unknown to us. They took the long odds and lost, but they drove the process forward, so some future “hero” would have more information with which to inform their success.

In fact, there’s a great book called The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, that is filled with “ah-ha” moments about how progress follows leaps of faith; A black swan is any event or outcome – good or bad – that was deemed so improbable that it causes massive shifts in thinking or huge consequences.

We’ll be sharing a lot about the positive Black Swans in this world here at EverWideningCircles.com. Visit us daily if you’d like a spring in your step.

Meanwhile, stay open, curious and always hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “Headway.” YouTube. Louis Boniface, 03 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArqWsxtiLuo>.
  2. “World Slackline Masters 2015 // FINAL // AMERICA vs. ESTONIA.” YouTube. Philip Bitnar, 08 July 2015. Web. 16 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRezj9BOEBQ>.
  3. “Slackline 2016! SFL.” YouTube. Martin 99 Slacklife, 07 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znSxeHKBdhY>.
  4. “Little Kids Slackline.” YouTube. Olucko, 09 Jan. 2010. Web. 16 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft_K8kUmulk>.
  5. “Across the World’s Longest Highline/Slackline in Switzerland Destroyed by a Lightning.” YouTube. Slacktivity, 07 Sept. 2015. Web. 16 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZAmoZvZMqE>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.