Id like to take a second and talk about some people that I truly admire in my life. It's important to realize how much of an influence we are on those around us and the following people have truly impressed me with who they are and have influenced me in many positive ways:
Libby was the first woman to walk the Lost Arrow Spire Highline and was truly my inspiration to walk it as well. I had seen her video and heard so much about her that when I got to meet her I was so psyched! It turns out that not only is she a badass highliner, rock climber, sky diver, AND traveling nurse, but she is down to earth and a great friend (not to mention quite silly). It takes a lot to balance that many things at once but she does it with ease and probably has no idea, but helps me to try and do the same.
Jerry is, in my eyes, the most solid and knowledgable longliner on the planet. Despite his talent, Jerry is so modest and kind and just a pleasure to spend time with. Sometimes its hard not to let ego run your life, but to me it seems like ego isn't even on Jerrys radar. He continues to push the limits with longlining, rigging, and developing new revolutionary gear for the sport.
Taylor has shown me so much strength in the past year I don't even know how to sum it up. I became close with her directly after her boyfriends traumatic climbing accident in October 2010 and since then I've seen such a beautiful progression into the person she is today. She has gotten through almost losing someone she loves while simultaneously transforming into a very talented trickliner, loyal friend, and true beliver that everything will be ok in the end. I am so proud to call her my friend!
Andrew fell 100+ feet in a climbing accident last year that we all thought he wouldn't survive. Despite severe head trauma, a broken leg, and other extensive injuries Andrew pushed through a Coma and is today, 5 months later, taking steps on a slackline, rock climbing, and getting re- tested for his drivers liscence. All the nurses called him a fighter and one of the strongest patients they had seen. Andrew was, and still is, determined to getting back to 100 percent. I am so inspired by his will to live. I can personally see now that bad things are bound to happen, but with a positive attitude and will power there is nothing we can't get through in this life.
I met Elli in Germany this year at the ISPO slackline competition. I was so inpressed with all of her trickline videos prior to meeting her and was amazed to see that she is just as good in person! She has inspired me to work hard at tricklining and to branch into an array of tricks that I never thought I could do (jumping, butt bounce combos....flips). Elli was the first female ever to land a front flip AND backflip on a slackline and is really one of the sweeetest most modest people I've met in the slackline community thus far.
Yes, he's my boyfriend. I considered not mentioning him because I'm sure I have a bias. BUT, despite our relationship I have always been intrigued by Mike and his view on the world. Being one of the top all-around slackliners in the world (world champion trickliner, top male highliner, and skilled longliner), he gets a lot of attention and praise. But, he doesn't let it get to his head. He doesn't embellish himself or talk incessantly about his skills, rather, he rarely brings it up. Every time he gets on a slackline I am wowed by how solid he is. He works really hard at it and pushes himself not for the fame or attention, but for the love of the sport. He's # 1 in my book ;-)