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The Balancing Act

Tanya Hunt

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You might think that Tanya Hunt wouldn’t have time for anything beyond studying, considering her courseload includes classes and labs in physics, physical chemistry, biology and biochemistry. But the counterweight to this academic overload is Hunt’s oversized passion for travel and outdoor fun. If you happen to spy a tall, thin woman walking a tightrope of sorts strung between two trees on campus, it’s a safe bet you’re watching Hunt and her friends slackline.

Slacklining, for those in the dark, is the art of walking along a narrow nylon strap suspended a few feet off the ground. Hunt and her friends usually practice this unique balancing act on campus and in the public parks around Charleston, but one summer she took her sport overseas to Spain, where she traveled for three months. Hunt spent half of her trip living in Trujillo, where the College has a study-abroad program, and the other half living out of a rental car, which presented challenges of its own.

“It was really tiny, and I’m really tall,” Hunt says of her mobile home. “That was definitely
an experience.”

She recalls one time, outside the city of Valencia, when she and her boyfriend made a friend while slacklining in a park. They invited the Spaniard back to their car for a meal of curry, and ended up talking for hours, discussing everything from Buddhist philosophy to the death penalty.

Back at the College, Hunt is trying to keep her wanderlust at bay while concentrating on her studies. When she graduates, though, she says she’ll be ready to spread her wings again, and will likely join the Peace Corps, bound for destinations unknown.

Wherever she ends up, rest assured she’ll be sure to pack a slackline.