I couldn’t resist. I had a few quirky things lined up for my weekly post, but after watching Nik Wallenda walk a tightrope across the Niagara and into the pages of history, I decided to shelve the items I had compiled to write about something, someone, far more entertaining and far more inspiring. As I – and the rest of the world – watched Nik take step after death-defying step on a wet, unsteady tightrope from the US to Canada, I saw more than just a man who set out to follow his dreams. I also saw a man who
1. Honors his family legacy so much that he decides to follow in their footsteps. Nik Wallenda comes from a long line of death-defying, daredevil, entertaining Wallendas dating back to the 1700s. Most of them defied death to entertain and inspire others. Only three of them didn’t make it, including Nik’s great-grandfather who fell to his death in 1978.
2. Has confidence in God and in himself. While I held my breath and prayed many times during the walk, Nik seemed calm and confident, although we could hear him praying and thanking God during the most challenging times. Blinding mist, wrap-around winds and rushing waters could have easily caused him to lose his focus and his balance. At one point, when his father asked him how he was doing, Nik said, “I feel my hands getting numb, my body feels weak.” But he kept his eyes on the prize.
3. Perseveres despite the odds. Nik said it took him twenty years to get to this moment of success. For two of those years he sought permission from US and Canadian government agencies, who all rejected the idea. Sounds familiar? But Nik was not about to give up, and he reaped the reward.
4. Has the support of his family. Nik seemed so small and alone on that wire suspended 200 feet above the cascading, pounding waters of the Falls, but he knew that on the other side his wife, children and his dad were eagerly awaiting his safe return. His father even spoke to him during the walk.
5. Celebrates his victory. Nik is a born entertainer. When he dropped to his knees and blew a kiss to the crowd just a few feet from the tower, I thought, here’s a man who knows how to celebrate. We’ve seen athletes and entertainers cry after a big event, but not Nik. He celebrates with joy. One of the reporters said that Nik usually calls his wife from his cell phone, but he didn’t do it this time.
As Nik handed his passport to Canadian immigration officials, he was asked what was the purpose of his walk. He replied, “To inspire people around the world.” He inspired me, and I’m sure, a lot of people. As writers, we can emulate Nik’s example. There will always be challenges, but if we trust God, have the support of family and friends, and do not give up, we too will one day be able to celebrate our victory.Leave a Comment »