Hangin’ around

Today has been warm and windy—a perfect day for playing outside. My siblings and I had a great time at the park. I brought along my hammock and slackline, both of which I’ve been enjoying very much this summer.

This was the first time the hammock (cutequeen brand, $12 on Amazon) has been hung up so high. A little wild, but it worked. This hammock has been a good place to read in the shade, a novelty for my nieces and nephews, and a nice place to relax. Earlier this summer I spent the night outside in the hammock. My original plan was to get in a sleeping bag inside the hammock and then wrap another sleeping bag around it for warmth. It was very warm, almost too warm, and extremely squishy. So I decided to just wrap both sleeping bags around the hammock with me in it. I tried several configurations late into the night, until sometime after midnight I was comfortable enough to fall asleep. I woke up very cold and still somewhat squished, but I still had a good time, though I probably won’t try to sleep in it again. I love sleeping under the moon and stars, and to hear the birds in the early morning. Something must change between one and five in the morning, because the mild night gave way to a chill morning.

The slackline is also a recent hobby. I like doing things that I’m good at and that challenge me, and the slackline includes both. It is like a loose, flat tightrope.  It’s exhilarating to finally master it enough to walk from end to end.

The third suspended hobby I have is rope climbing. I didn’t really think I could climb a rope until recently, and with a few YouTube tips I can climb it quite well. The trick is to use your legs more than your arms to propel yourself upward. I got the rope at Lowes (12 feet for about $8) and tied it to a swingset.

Once I went to see a group of acrobatic circus performers. The group stunned me with their strength, balance, and skill. I could tell that they truly were masters of their craft. I appreciated their dedication to the very best. The crowd would have been impressed with feats half as difficult, but the group held themselves to a standard higher than any audience would demand. They performed tricks I thought impossible: for instance, a man jumping high in the air off a teeter-totter, spinning head-down, landing with his hands on a beam of wood stuck through two ladders. Sometimes what limits us are our beliefs that the attainable is unattainable.

Since watching the circus group, I have been interested in aerial silk acrobatics. This is a beautiful, free type of gymnastics that is done by climbing fabric. Since I can climb the rope now, I’m ready to order some silks of my own. Time for some more summer fun!

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