Who’s the greatest daredevil/stuntman to have walked the earth? There was a time Evil Knievel would get top votes. Then Steve Irwin came along rising to stardom as a crocodile hunter. These days Nik Wallenda is make high-wire walking look easy. He must be the craziest person living beyond his wildest dreams.
Wallenda is a seventh generation performer whose most recent stunt was broadcast live on cable. He did a couple death-defying acts in walking across Chicago skyscrapers. He set two Guinness World Records for steepest climb and doing the second blindfolded. He says this is his calling and what he’s made to do.
In a sense he feels what he’s made to do is what makes him do these crazy stunts. Just think of the risks associated with what he does. Wallenda says these performances are about upping his game and inspiring others to do the same. He shows the world how life’s calling will make us do things that inspire.
This latest feat was a tough act to watch. When the cameras zoomed in it looked like just another wall in the park. But when the cameras zoomed out, he looked like an ant walking towards the nest. What we’re made to do doesn’t have to be this crazy. But it might involve something we’re dared to do.
This takes some perspective that requires zooming-in and zooming-out. When we zoom in on our goals we become more committed to making them real. When we zoom-out we get a sense for the kind of impact we can make. This ‘in and out’ creates a balanced approach to squashing fears and shifting gears.
At the end of the ‘double-jeopardy’ Wallenda was asked about his confidence going into the event. He talked about how much he had prepared for this performance and how his confidence had grown after crossing the Grand Canyon. These two factors were important for believing it was more than possible.
He was asked if he heard the roar of the crowd while crossing the wire. He said it was such a boost to his confidence. He even wanted to pause and take a selfie midway through the stunt. It’s as if he was saying that what we’re here to do and prepared to do gives us something for which we’ll be cheered to do.
What’s next for Wallenda the flying squirrel? His wife might prefer to say “we’re going to Disney World.” But Wallenda says his next act is to honor his great-grandfather. He wants to do two headstands while straddling across Tallulah canyon, a 1000-ft gorge in the mountains of Georgia. So what’s our excuse?