“I don’t have any data to back this up—no controlled tests to validate improvement over time. All I can say is that usingthe SlackBow to improve my balance has contributed to a heightened mental state that when engaged in active sports, has had a positive impact on my performance and my mental attitude. Yes, I feel (physically) stronger. Yes, I feel more in (psychological) control.
Yes, I am more confident when I:
Swing a golf club.
Transfer weight from ski to ski.
Control my bike on a technical downhill ride.
Need the inner peace required to navigate personal relationships.
To me, it’s the most efficient workout—both physically and mentally.” — Joe
“I have always considered myself to be a giant klutz with very poor balance. I thought that good balance was something that you had to be born with and could not learn.
I met Jim when he ordered some coats from my company. I went to his balance studio to meet him and discuss the job and he showed me around. I was instantly intrigued. In Park City we have every work out, fitness, diet and exercise program imaginable, but no one had focused only on balance. I had
to try it and was astounded with the results.
The workouts were really fun, incredibly challenging, and vigorous. After an hour session my limbs were shaking, I was sweating, but my heart was elated. Each time I was pushed well out of my comfort zone, but NEVER felt endangered. Jim or Janet were there by my side, always ready to spot or catch
me, and were masters at getting me to believe in myself enough that I could push to the next level. I felt that my improvement was astounding. And even though I had long periods of time between each session I felt like I never backslid, and I could take up each time where I left off.
The most amazing thing for me was the crossover effect it had on other sports in my life. I am a passionate skier. I love any type of skiing: powder, moguls, steeps and cliffs, and especially ski racing slalom and GS. The first day on snow after my fall SlackBow sessions was unreal. I felt like I was on a new improved set of legs. I have been skiing since age 2 and have always felt comfortable on skis. But now I felt rock solid. Everything just seemed easier. Flat light was not as difficult. Committing to the fall line, pressuring the outside ski, moving into the next turn, going over rough terrain or icy slopes and bumps was just easier. I was skiing with a new level of confidence. I now feel like I no longer look at each part of the slope thinking here is a bump, watch the compression, its icy here etc but rather just dance over the terrain. Probably the best tell was my husband. He has been a ski racing coach for 30 years, coaching everything from little kids to US ski team. He does not give praise easily. After watching me ski one day that winter he shook his head and said, “what happened to you? You are skiing like one of my FIS kids”—this is an unimaginably HUGE compliment from a crusty German Schilehrer—I just smiled and said “SLACKBOW.”
This summer we went to Alaska and backpacked the Chilkoot trail. This is not a hike for the faint of heart. We had a lot of rain. So the streams we had to cross were deep rushing cold torrents. We had to jump from boulder to boulder carrying a 45 pound backpack and a misstep or slip and fall could have been disastrous or even fatal. We also hiked through miles of steep slippery wet boulder fields and snowfields that were converted to glare ice because of the rain. When we hit thestreams I channeled Jim’s River Rocks training took a deep breath and hopped across. My new improved ski legs got me through the snow fields, and the confidence I gained on theSlackBow and SlackBoard got me over all of those slipperyboulder fields, and this was after I watched a hiker in front of me slip and fall and break her leg.
Finally, I am an Emergency Physician who has worked in emergency rooms for over 25 years. Falls, especially among the elderly, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in our country. The cost of injuries secondary to falls whether it is the actual medical bill, cost of lost productivity, or cost to
care for people who are no longer able to live in their homes because of disability secondary to the fall is astronomical. One also has to consider the emotional cost to patients and their families when they can no longer be self-sufficient. While balance training is great for athletes, If I was queen of the world, I would make it a mandatory part of our health care system for anyone over the age of 55. I am a strong believer that the long term physical improvement that we would see in a elderly population who has had good balance and strength training would greatly offset any cost that program might incur.” — Celeste Raffin, MD
“I’m not someone who ever really thought about balance. Mine was pretty good, I thought, owing to good genes from my athletic parents, which I then passed on to my children, two of whom became Division I athletes. So when I happened on Jim’s SlackBow studio in Park City, I was intrigued—and totally unprepared for the challenge that followed.
Training with Jim was a physical workout unlike any I had ever experienced. I felt like I was working my muscles hard, but there was never any soreness. I hardly broke a sweat during the workout, but the evening after, I would feel mentally exhausted, go to bed early, and sleep like a baby.
It didn’t take long for me to start seeing an impact on my performance in sports I thought I had already mastered. My tennis serve was faster, my return of serve quicker. I could drive a golf ball farther. But most surprising of all was that even five months after I’d completed my series of workouts, I found myself skiing faster, even on the first day of the season.
At first, I thought it was because my ankles felt stronger, but it then dawned on me that I was able to transfer my weight more efficiently from one ski to the other and carve my turns like never before. That’s when I remembered: it must have been the balance training that made the difference! That was
all the proof I needed. Balance became my religion, and I’ve been eager ever since to spread the word.
I spent several weeks training with Jim and Janet in Park City over a summer, but went back to New York in September with just a small foam block to practice with. One day, I foolishly climbed up on a high marble window sill in my socks to investigate a leak, and my foot slipped, sending me tumbling backward, head first toward a disastrous impact with the floor. Suddenly, I felt like I was moving in slow motion as I managed to twist myself around, break my fall by stepping on the seat of my desk chair, and hitting the floor on my padded flank.
I thought it was a miracle that instead of breaking my neck, I had nothing more than a nasty black and blue mark on my thigh. Then I realized it was not a miracle but the balance training that had taught me, unconsciously, how to fall without hurting myself.
Even the uneven sidewalks of New York City are no match for me now! I’m convinced more than ever that everyone needs balance training—especially aging baby boomers like me.” — Susan
“The first time I tried to balance on the SlackBow, the line was relatively tight, and by applying most of my weight to the foot of my right leg that is placed on the line, my leg began to shake substantially in the side-to-side direction. There was no way I was going to stand or attempt to balance on the line for more than a second. I had little to no balance. I literally looked like Charles Barkley trying to hit a golf ball. As a matter of fact, I grew up playing golf with my grandfather and played in high school. I certainly was not the best; however, I knew how to swing a golf club correctly, etc.
So, when Jim mentioned that I would see positive results when it came to golf, I was definitely determined to learn and train myself in order to have much better balance. Indeed, I was aware of the other balancing tools on the market (and could generally balance on them), but I was less interested in them since it was very easy to achieve and the results were slim. Obviously, I had some work to do to have the capability to balance on the SlackBow for more than a second.
After training on the line for a few sessions, I could already see results. I was walking differently. Not on the balls of my feet, more on the front portions. My posture seemed to be better. I felt more grounded to the floor, feeling more confident when I was walking, turning, or doing anything else on my feet.
My legs were stronger and my joints weren’t tight. I truly felt better overall, and most definitely regarding my balance. I could also see positive results in my golf game. Since I was more grounded and my balance was much better, I could remain calm while I swung, generally producing a much more fluid swing and an overall more accurate shot. I also saw results with my putting game. The feeling of being grounded after being on the SlackBow is hard to compare with anything else I’ve ever done in life. I definitely recommend it for anyone seeking that feeling of being grounded, better balance and strength, or for the challenge.” — Blake