Health Female Adda
1 year ago
Watch This Woman Walk a Highline Thousands of Feet in the Sky

Some people chase their passions. Others, like Faith Dickey, sort of fall into them. During the summer she was 19, the Austin native was hanging at a local park when she noticed a rope tethered a few feet off the ground between two trees—and people attempting to walk across it. It was her first run-in with a slackline.

Unlike a taut wire circus tightrope, this one-inch-wide fabric webbing swings and gives with every step. Faith took a stab at it but gave up after five minutes of trying (and failing). A few weeks later, she walked away from a car crash unharmed—a seemingly random catalyst that led her back to the line. She was miserable—working five different jobs—and slacklining "became my vacation from the world," says Faith. "It's just you and the line. It doesn't affect anyone else if I cross it or if I don't. It's strictly for me."

That summer, those few steps turned to hours of practice in her free time. A year later, while traveling in Europe, she took it to the next level: highlining, or walking on lines raised hundreds and thousands of feet in the air, a small harness her only security. Today, at 26 years old, Faith is considered one of the most fearless highliners in the world. She's crossed a 345-foot void in Moab, Utah, and passed over a valley in the Swiss Alps while 4,000 feet above the ground; she owns multiple female records, from free soloing (no harness!) to waterlining (across rushing waters!) to slacklining in high heels (we repeat, high heels!).

It's not just the length or height that make each walk impressive: "Through highlining I've learned that anyone can train hard, but there is no tougher challenge than overcoming your mind," says Faith. "Even if you're not afraid of heights, putting yourself high off the ground on a wobbly one-inch-wide band goes against instinct. Raw fear is telling you to give up, that you shouldn't be here, the entire time. But there's something truly magical that happens when you can move past that."

To read more about women who've achieved amazing feats of strength, pick up the November 2015 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now.

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