November 2nd, 2014. The tightrope walker Nik Wallenda successfully walked between skyscrapers on high wires suspended hundreds of feet above downtown, accomplishing the historic feat without a harness or a safety net—and in one case blindfolded. The Discovery Channel aired the stunt with a 10-second delay so it could cut away if Wallenda fell to his death. But that precaution proved unnecessary. 1
“You guys watching think I am crazy, but this is what I was made for.”
“What I do is extremely mental, it is more mental than physical.”
The 35-year-old tightrope walker is the great-grandson of Karl Wallenda of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family, and he has been on a high wire since before he was born—his mother, Delilah Wallenda, walked the tightrope while she was six months pregnant with him. 1
His years of experience don’t make his stunts any less harrowing to watch, though. After all, at the age of 73, his great-grandfather was killed attempting to walk between two buildings in Puerto Rico in 1978. The show aired some of that heart-stopping footage and while it may serve as a cautionary tale for most of the world, Wallenda saw it as a challenge. He completed his great-grandfather’s endeavor in 2011. 1
Brief excerpts from interviews made with Nik Walleda.
Your first thought when you step on the wire?
Nothing, probably. I’m so focused on what I’m doing, it really clears out. Depending on the weather conditions, it becomes peaceful and relaxing, so really all the troubles of the world go away. 2
How do you overcome the fear of failure and persevere in tough situations? Most of my autographs are signed “never give up,” because those are three words I live by. No matter what comes at me, whatever challenges come my way, I never give up (…) I believe in pursuing your dreams and always focusing on the positive. That’s what I chose to do in that instance. In the end I prevailed, and was able to fulfill a lifelong dream that no one in the world had ever been able to.(…) If you set your mind to it, if you train hard enough, if you focus enough, you can accomplish anything in life, no matter who you are. So many people lose their dreams because someone in their life or they … talk themselves out of it. I hope what people see me do inspires them to believe nothing is impossible. 3
Thoughts by Nik Walleda
“One of the things I enjoy is the challenge of Mother Nature.”
“First step is the hardest one, after that you are committed.”
“I have learned never to fight the elements, but rather to bend with them, accept them, embrace them, allow them to lead you and feed your spirit with quiet strength.”
1- Time magazine – http://time.com/3553676/nik-wallenda-tightrope-chicago/