“Thrill” is a relative term. For Faith Dickey, the idea of a thrill is to cross the next yawning gorge on a sliver of rope; sometimes in heels. For word junkies like us, connecting with someone like her is an adrenaline shot. Her photo in a magazine left our jaws hanging, and we couldn’t wait to hear how she does what she does.
So we reached out, and to our utmost thrill, the highlining marvel responded:
Born and raised in Texas, USA, Faith Dickey is a renowned highliner and slackliner. A world record holder in her sport, she has attained what seems unattainable and emerged as one of the strongest female highliners.
Apart from nerves of steel, what does it take to become a highliner?
I’d argue that nerves of steel are not required to become a highliner. By constantly facing things that scare us, we become used to them, and we can learn how to be resilient even in the face of fear. I was never particularly gifted at extreme activities, however when I realized I wanted to walk highlines, it was dedication and curiosity that took me the farthest.
You are a natural. But can highlining be taught? If yes, where?
Highlining can be taught! The first step is to learn to walk a slackline low to the ground. If you have access to a park and trees and can afford a slackline, there is a plethora of videos online on how to set a lineup. The next step is learning to walk. Most of that is dedication and repetition! Once you are ready to try highlining, you can try and contact a local group in your community—often on Facebook. It’s vital that whoever you go highlining with has a lot of experience and can install a Highline safely because an error in the system can be fatal, even if the sport itself is relatively safe.
Another option is to travel to highline festivals, there are festivals around the world, some even in India! You can reach out the Slackline India (association) to get information, and visit Slackmitra.com.
Additionally, if you can travel, you can come to the USA and take a Highline course with me! I have just started the USA’s first Highline Guiding Business, called Elevate Outdoors Guiding, based in Moab, Utah.
You’ve said highlining is expensive. Could you give us an idea of the expense involved?
Highlining requires thousands of dollars in equipment once you are ready to own your gear. It can also be expensive to travel for the sport or travel to Highline Festivals. Though I started with very little money and hitchhiked around Europe to practice, I had the privilege of being white and coming from a wealthy country, which made things easier on me, even when I was a “poor dirtbag.” Access is a difficult part of this sport, but to begin as a slackliner in the park, you could maybe start walking a line between trees for around $50-USD 100.
Highlining in the Himalayas—done or wish to do?
I would LOVE to highline in the Himalayas. I love the mountains, and alpine projects hold a special place in my heart. It would take an experienced team, but it could be amazing. I’d also love to visit the Himalayas in general, so combining it with highlining sounds perfect!
The most gorgeous view you’ve seen when highlining. And the most stunning one you want to see next
Hard to answer this question because I’ve seen some incredible landscapes! Some that stand out as being 1000 meters high over the Fjords in Norway, looking out at the mountains all around me when I did a high altitude Highline in the French Alps near Mont Blanc, and the expansive desert valley between red cliffs and canyons in Moab, Utah, where I now call home!
What has highlining taught you about life?
Highlining introduced me to my ego and taught me that we will never be fearless, but we can accept fear and move through it. It taught me that if I avoid all risks, I’ll never know what I am capable of.
Looking for a Highlining Experience of Your Own?
Get ready to defy gravity, push your limits, and have a blast in the world of highlining. It’s time to slay the line and unleash your inner slack master! Connect with fellow slackers, get insider tips, and embark on epic slackline adventures.
You can reach out the Slackline India (association) to get information, and visit https://slackmitra.com/
Faith Dickey spoke to Travel Secrets Editor Shubhra Krishan
Featured image credits: gutsygirlsadventurefilmtour
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