Finally an Excuse to Slack Off

Finally an Excuse to Slack Off

Read more


Every week this semester seems never ending for me. Taking 18 credits, going to practice and helping plan our next Raider Relief project leaves only a little wiggle room to have some fun. One way I try to take advantage of my free time is to just slack off. I am very focused at school, but the slacking off I’m referring to involves some nylon webbing and two trees. Slacklining is a balance sport, which utilizes nylon webbing stretched tight between two anchor points, and is an activity that has rapidly grown in popularity. Maybe you have seen some people by the campus lakes having a slack off, just trying to balance their school work with their social life.

Slacklining began when climbers who were hanging out in campgrounds became bored and started playing with their equipment. Since slacklining’s development in the late 1970s, slacklining has grown into an international craze, and is a common and popular pastime within the outdoor community. Slacklining has become so popular because anyone can do it. Some people do it for fun, while others do it for the obvious athletic benefits, and some still do it for a meditative purpose (seeking a higher state of mind). It’s just a great way to get a little exercise and hangout with friends. There is lowlining (basic slacklining low to the ground), tricklining (people do flips and spins) and highlining (extremists put lines over canyons and rivers). For now, I am going to stick to lowlining.

I encourage people to try slacklining because with it combines an emphasis on focus, balance and strength. For the adventurous, it’s an effective cross-training activity for yoga enthusiasts, surfers, climbers and snowboarders. Also, it’s just as much an exceptional form of exercise as it is a spiritual quest, where your mind and body exist in complete balance with nature. Slacklining presents individuals with the opportunity to truly live in the moment with an emphasis on focus, fulfillment and fun. What are some other ways you like to slack off?

UMU Wilderness Trip in the Adirondacks

UMU Wilderness Trip in the Adirondacks

Read more

This past summer from August 5 – 14, I was fortunate to participate in the Mount Union’s wilderness trip in the Adirondack High Peaks in New York. For some course credit, myself and about 20 other students went to the woods to discuss environmental ethics and to lead a rather simple life for a week.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Thoreau

My smaller group of eight was given the name of “Team Donut” when we decided to make a rest stop at Dunkin’ Donuts rather than McDonald’s. We quickly embraced this name, and we referenced the hilarious video of former Cleveland Cavalier Delonte West. With our team motto being “I don’t care if you gotta fly…planes, trains, and automobiles you better have my donuts,” we adopted some crafty nicknames like R-Nut, K-Sprinkle and D-Hole.

Aside from having too much fun, laughing most of the day and engaging in unforgettable conversations, we had a pretty eventful trip. Our group was fortunate to hike through Cold Brook Pass, which is a stretch of trail that few hikers pass through because of its tough terrain. We also made it to the summit of Mt. Haystack and Mt. Marcy, the highest point in the state of New York. We hiked a total of about 40 miles on the whole trip, 10.1 being our longest day when making both summits. It is crazy to think that people hiking the Appalachian Trail average about 20 to 25 miles a day hiking! We also had some great nights while staying in lean-tos at Bushnell Falls and Lake Colden. Awesome views!

“Take nothing but memories, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints.”

What made our trip even more exciting was that we got to rock climb, repel, swim, visit Lake Placid and Inlet and some of us paid to go on a half hour charter plane ride. While flying out of Long Lake, we were able to see the mountains we climbed and Vermont ranges in the distance, which made for incredible views. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite pictures because words can simply not describe this wonderful experience.

Right when I got back to school, I read an article about A Semester in the Woods from St. Lawrence University. The program is about “Students who swap cell phones and indoor plumbing for handwritten letters and a composting toilets.” This doesn’t sound like too much fun to many, but you should definitely read the article.

Through this wilderness trip, I was able to meet and create everlasting relationships at Mount with people I thought I never would have. This is just another way to get involved on campus and a great way to meet new people.

Someone take me back to the mountains!