Thursday, May 27, 2010

Length and Location: Amsterdam

Chelsey here!:  After four incredible and inspiring days of training and playing with some amazing acrobats from all over the world at the Dutch Acrobatics Festival in Harrlem, we met up with fellow YogaSlacker and teammate Daniel to play in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.  I am not much of a city girl; shopping makes me dizzy and nauseas, tall buildings makes me clasterphobic, and not being able to see the mountains makes me sad….  However, if I had to live in a city, Amsterdam wouldn’t be all that bad. 
It is a city with more bikes than there are cars, the average number of bikes is 2 per person.  There are huge bike lanes and even public garages for bikes! At the grocery stores, if you don’t bring your own bag, then you are out of luck, there are metros and trams everywhere, a huge park in the middle of the city and there is water everywhere.  Apparently you can paddle and bike your way through and around the entire country.  This year we ran to the Dutch Acrobatics Festival (15 miles outside of the city) on trails, next year the plan is to paddle into the festival!

Before embarking on our epic journey to Scotland (more on this later), we decided to have a little fun in the city.  Our plan was to find a canal to slackline across.  This was not too hard to do, as every other street is a canal.  After a breakfast of french fries and mayonaise- we started our search.  Eventually, we came to the perfect starter canal- it wasn’t to wide, to narrow, and there wasn’t a lot of boat traffic and foot traffic.  It was the perfect place for us to practice our mental focus on the line. We all know that we are excemptional slackliners in the park where there is a nice landing, but when we take that same line 500 ft up in the air, next to a watefall over a icy cold pool of water or at this point over a canal in Amersterdam where the locals shun swimming  in because they think it is still filled with rats and the bubonic plague-  our ability to walk the line becomes a mental feat.
Just sitting on the line, thinking about standing up- my core was shaking and my legs no longer wanted to listen to my commands: “just stand up”, “you got this Chelsey, what is wrong!?”  "Why am I shaking so much?"  
 Moments later, after a boat passed underneath me, Jason and Daniel egging me on and plenty of locals stopping to take pictures- I stood up.  My legs shook, I took a couple more steps- and then fell in. Luckily I caught the line. “Ok, that wasn’t so bad.”  I pulled myself up, stood up, breathed and walked across.  It gave me such an awesome, empowering mental high.  We each took turns pushing our edge- Jason sat in lotus, went to knees and did an arm balance, Daniel layed down (looks relaxing, but it actually really hard!), and did a few sit starts and tried a few turns, I walked it a few more times and busted out a couple warrior 1’s.
It was a great practice day, but I think it is not even close to the nerve wracking adventure we are about to embark on in Scotland.  Even sitting here, safely writing this blog post in the backseat of our rental car while Jason drives us “North” across the England country side - I get hiccups just thinking about it. (something that happens when I am nervous) 
After a nights stay with one of our sponsors, Inov-8 (they make our feet happy), we'll be on our way to climb 3 different sea stacks off the coast of  North Scotland. However, before we get to a sea stack, we must first slackline across to it.  Well, actually (after a game of ro-sham-bo) one of us will swim the line across to the sea stack in order for us to set it up.  Once we slackline across- we will climb up the sea-stack,  dodging the puking fumars (a type of bird that intentionally spits it’s perfectly rounded, chewed up food at you) and then we will attempt to pull of an acrobatic show at the very top!
 It all seems doable, at least in Jason's here we are.  Stay Tuned....
We miss our fellow slackers Sam, Paul, Adi, Paige, Dan, Scott, Chip time, everyone needs to come and be scared!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I can't be bothered to register an account, but don't let that take away from what I have to say.

    There have been reports that bolts have been placed at the site of a Scottish sea stack recently. If it was you guys, please don't.

    Hypocrital, self-righteous and strange it may be, there never the less exists a very strong ethic in the UK about the use of bolts, especially in wild places.

    If none of you had ever climbed before and were just slacklining then you could plead ignorance, but as climbers there is no excuse for not finding out how things are done when in Rome. A two minute glance in the guide book, chat with a local or the lack of bolts in the area could have told you that.

    This would hardly be compatible with your eco expeditions policy. On top of that you stand to gain financially from the publicity.

    Do the right thing and take them out.

    If it wasn't any of you I apologise.