Chances are you’ve heard the old saying about Ginger Rogers – she did everything Fred Astaire did, only backward and in high heels.
Faith Dickey does what only a few men have dared to do, and in hot pink heels. She holds records in highlining, a sport that looks like tightrope walking, and was most recently photographed walking in high heels, her skirt billowing in the wind, almost a mile above sea level in Rio de Janeiro.
Dickey visits the Texas Standard studio to talk about highlining, a subset of slacklining.
“Slacklining is a flat rope that’s dynamic and stretches and moves when you walk on it,” she says, describing its difference from tightrope walking. “Highliners and slackliners don’t use a pole to balance, we just use our arms and our center of weight.”
Dickey says she keeps her focus on her destination – at the end of the line.
“It’s very hard when you have all that space beneath you,” she says. “We’re used to having the ground just a few feet away and when you’re on a highline, it’s just this drop sucking you down.”
First exposed to sport in Austin’s Zilker Park, Dickey has been the practicing highlining for six years.
“Highlining is a really personal sport,” she says. “When I’m out there, there’s a lot of thoughts going through my mind. But overall, I’m learning how to manage my fear and it’s a really incredible experience to concentrate fear like that, to realize that I don’t have to be fearless in order to succeed.”
Listen to the full interview in the player above.