Shawn MClaren Interview: Slackline to conquering fear through stillness and concentration

I wanted to share with you a little insight about one of our awesome teachers here at Fused to Move, Shawn MClaren. 

Shawn never ceases to amaze us with his passion for climbing high things, developing and refining his movement ability as well as just being an all round nice human. I thought I would ask him a few questions to help us dive in a little deeper into his slackline passion and what thoughts maybe going thought his head and his journey into pursuing greater slackline missions (challenges).

How long have you been slack lining?

I tried my first slackline 5 years ago, but I gave up quickly when I found it too hard. Then something drew me back to it, and I've been slacklining consistently for 3 years now.

what made you keen to jump on a slackline?

As I said before when I first tried slacklining 5 years ago, I found it really hard, in fact I thought it was actually impossible for my body to be able to stand on this wobbly line, so I gave up. But the seed had been planted, and about 2 years later I had this tremendous urge to conquer what I had previously thought was impossible.

what is the biggest motivation for doing this?

When I first started slacklining, my main motivation was finding absolute stillness and concentration because the only way I could walk across the line was by remaining focused. And this is still a huge motivation, but now my biggest motivation for slacklining is exploring and discovering beautiful places in nature, and then walking where no one has walked before.

what was your biggest conquer on the slackline?

My biggest achievement in slacklining was definitely walking my first highline


Describe your most transformative highline experience. Why?

The highline is located on Sydneys sea cliffs and is approximately 60m high. The reason this was such a big achievement was not necessarily in the auspiciousness of walking across such a huge gap, but rather in overcoming my own doubt, failure, and most of all fear. I failed so many times in trying to walk my first highline that it once again felt impossible for me (like Slacklining had felt to begin with). So to be able to overcome that in the face of unwavering fear was incredibly satisfying and rewarding, I will never forget that feeling of walking my first highline.


Shawn will be hosting a 3 week basics to slackline course here in the Sydney CBD at the end of the month. Check our events page for more info or click here to find feet off ground on facebook and instagram. $99 for 3 x 1.5 hour session in a small group of 10-12 people.