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Slacklining Claims Cuzco

Slacklining on the Avenida de la Cultura (Photo: Walter Coraza)

Walking along a line stretched between two points, although a bit loose like a trampoline, and trying to maintain your balance is a new sport appearing in Cuzco. Called slacklining, or simply slack in Spanish, the sport intrigues all. It helps us develop our mind and our ability to keep our body relaxed.

For slacklining, a flat line stretches between two points, here generally two trees. It tends of be of nylon or polyester and is a flat line, either one or two inches wide. You walk and do tricks of balance along the line.

In Cuzco, Slack is a surprise. It has jsut barely started to become known among Cuzco’s youth and they are thronging to try it. It is also becoming stylish and popular.

You can imagine people’s surprise seeing their peers walk along a line in the air stretched between two trees on Cuzco’s main Avenida of Culture, while keeping balance. All the people in all the cars going by could not help but see and marvel. They then asked what it was and a trend was born.

Now different groups of youths compete with each other to show off the skills they have gained and do better than the others.

That area on the Avenida de la Cultura, by the Amauta bus stop is still one of the most popular places for practicing this sport. A line of trees grows there and lets people practice for hours.

Not more than a month ago I saw a group of young people slacklining in a park by the neighborhood of San Blas. They were not as good as those from the Av. de la Cultura, but I was amazed at the ability they had to walk along a narrow line and performing some tricks.

From that point on I was hooked. I am new at the sport, but is thrills me. On practicing the sport, walking long the line, my mind and body have to come into careful coordination and connection.

Thanks to my great friend Mike Booth, who lives in Utah, I was able to get a line. He is a great person and, on learning of my interest, mailed me a line. I appreciate his sharing with me this sport that unifies and harmonizes one. It also helps dynamize other people.

Every weekend since my line arrived and many free afternoons my friends and I now practice slack. We do it up in the hills, where the air is clean and healthy. There any who come by are welcome to try it. At the moment we are all just beginning to learn how to walk along the line, though we are learning fast.

Slacklinng is also a good way to teach values to people, since it is a good metaphor for life. At first it is difficult to walk along the line. You get up and fall, get on and fall. You have to keep getting ont he line. To learn you need constancy, passion, and to continue day after day no matter how many times you fall.

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