A third season of summaries is now online. Fall is about rethinking how we do things in order to open new doors. This can be technical, this can be how we use our body, this can simply be challenging ourselves and finding out what happen then.

Fall is there and somewhat incomplete, I’d like to add more images, there might be more shuffling of chapters, maybe I will trade some day activities with other chapters. It is sure ready for feedback. Let me know what you think!

History of a Chapter

Each season are their own approaches so I had to reflect quite a lot on how to structure Fall. There are fewer dependencies between topics so it is less obvious how they should be organized. I’m happy with where it is, I ended up shuffling way more chapters than I though, I’m still unsure about this. I like to end on a strong note and I’m not sure if “Challenges” or “Aesthetic” is the best conclusion. For now I will let go, as I have to turn to Winter. Maybe once the whole thing is in place it will be easier to see the light in this.

If writing Spring was a reflection on what is the core foundation in rope, and Summer an interesting study of the body with my friends and partners. Fall was a lot of research. It was a more lonely process than the previous. There were different reasons for that, my job starting to crunch, the summer vacations, traveling for non-rope stuff, my own personal struggle with my energy budget. It was also the content, I spent a day practicing different single column ties and taking pictures of them, same with coiling. It was an interesting research to seek all the possibilities and then try out for myself. It was still very lonely.

When I made the decision to organize the activities by week, having a week with seven different single column ties was probably my very first idea. Seven different ways of coiling followed shortly after. Having activities around fluidity, ambidexterity, speed were in there even before that. It was also clear that these should not come too early in the process, as it is better to have acquired some experience to appreciate new techniques. Without a strong base, more techniques just create confusion.

Other chapters like more knots, more techniques, more hitches were just a pile cool tricks, it was only recently, as the list was getting more complete, that they ended up separating in these categories. Similar with Work Out and Craft, these were ideas lying around that ended up fusing as I had to groups things. It took a while to organize, but once it did, things felt very natural.

The idea for sabotage and challenges came from different events where people entered rope contest with challenges. I always felt I get a lot from these, trying some of these ideas in the classroom also seem to get people working in a different way, it’s definitely one of my favorite part of this season.

More column and Aesthetic were both in Spring at first. They both started a simple concept but then evolved to a point where they were no longer part of the basics. More column was initially just two column ties, when the lashings and many other joined the party, the level of complexity raised quickly. Aesthetic used to be decorative bondage, this initial title didn’t feel good, it felt too superficial, it didn’t feel inclusive of the different styles. From the moment I made the decision to expand these, they naturally made it to Fall.

Status and Next Steps

Running out of energy also meant making difficult decisions. I decided to put the Spring chapter on hold for a while so I can better continue to do the summaries. I feel like I’m breaking a promise as my initial challenge was to finish spring this year. I have to be honest and observe. I got a lot of feedback on week 1, less on week 2, and then less and less with each chapters, with absolutely no feedback on the latest. Meanwhile I’m getting more feedback on the summaries, this tells me this is where I should be focussing.

I’m confident I can get the summaries for winter done by the end of the year. The structure is in pretty good shape and my life should get less busy as I finish a big project at work. I have to let go for spring, clearly that was taking me too much time and energy to keep up and stay motivated. I’m going to continue working on week 6 at my own speed. I can sure aim to have Spring completed next year, a big bulk of the work is done so getting it to completion is not a huge step.

I have also started to reflect on 2020, what I should do. There will be the finishing the Spring chapters, and a long list of things I want to polish such as text review, concepts that could use (more) pictures, redo some of the pictures that could be better, and prepare things to be transformed into a book.  I also feel I need to go back to some research.  So four things I want to do next year:

  • Break: take some time off, and take a step back.
  • Research: start teaching again to try some concepts with a group, go back to my collection of rope book with a fresh eye, comb the internet for more ideas and references
  • Feedback: seek out more feedback on the current content, both on the format, the structure, and the detailed exercises
  • Polish: review the content, list all the things that could be improved, and actually do it!

One of the big part of this is a new teaching structure I want to  experiment with in my local community starting in January, a series of 10 workshop with a set group, every Monday night. It will be a pretty formal learning of the classic structures, but every week will also have a theme where we try out some of the exercises.

I can’t wait for all the good stuff in 2020, but before that, there is another season to go through. Winter is going to be interesting

Current page count
Spring: 336
Summer: 190
Fall: 120
Winter: 78
Total: 724

Week 27: Storing Rope – Seven different approaches to coiling and storing your ropes
Week 28: More Single Column Ties – Seven different ways to tie a single column tie
Week 29: More Columns – Knots and lashings to tie several columns together
Week 30: More Techniques – Different rope techniques to add to the toolbox
Week 31: More Hitches – Specialty hitches for different purposes
Week 32: More Knots – Interesting knots for cool tricks and spicing things up
Week 33: Fluidity and Control – Challenge yourself to develop fluid movement and increase your control when tying
Week 34: Ambidexterity and Speed – Develop your ability to tie with both hands at the desired speed
Week 35: Sabotage – Add obstacles to force yourself into difficult situations that you can learn from
Week 36: Challenges – Put yourself in challenging situations to find creative solutions
Week 37: Rope Work Out! – Learn from other fields to get into shape and steal their ideas for your rope practice
Week 38: Crafting – Make stuff with rope, create art pieces, express yourself
Week 39: Aesthetics – Experiment with different aesthetic to discover what pleases you the most