Walking on the wire




Many people watched a few weeks ago when Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Not long after that a man walked across the Beau Rivage, a casino on the coast here on a tightrope, as well. I went with my brother, my son and my nephew to watch the event. You don’t realize just how high up it really is until there is someone walking across it on a rope!

As we watched him I thought about how difficult it must be to keep so many things in balance all at once. I’ve talked a lot about focus this week, and in this case it truly does take an immense amount of focus. You are standing up higher than anyone around, out over the edge (one of the only people crazy enough to try this) and you have to keep looking forward while remembering what you need to do to keep yourself in check. You have to stay calm, make sure your steps are on track, change them accordingly to ensure the rope you are walking on doesn’t get too loose, and make sure not to look down.

When we are up high and walking across the rope looking down can be hard to avoid. It’s one of the biggest pitfalls we make. When we start looking at just how high up we are and how far we’ve come, it’s easy to get disoriented. Looking down and losing focus is confusing. We become inundated immediately with thoughts that take us off track. We stop paying attention to our walk, we stop paying attention to our goal, we aren’t sure anymore what our next step should be, and it’s all because we looked down.

There are lots of people down there waiting on us to fall. There are lots of reasons that we might actually fall. But we are just as capable of standing on the wire and walking our way across. The choice in the matter is ours. Do we give in and look down? Do we go ahead and give up and take the easy way? It’s a whole lot faster getting to the ground that way, but the ground isn’t really where we want to be. And falling almost always results in injury. It may be fast, and there may be lots of people at the bottom who will be happy we’ve joined them, but is it really worth it? Fighting the urge to look down is hard. We have to know the steps we are taking. And remember that the hard road, (or the tight rope) is the only way to get there. So why not take the time to stay in check while walking on the wire.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on July 6, 2012, in family, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. You often hear people refer to something precarious and bold as a ‘real high wire act’ and living is no different. Doing it right and with goals is elevating…like your article.

  2. Great way to look at things, I always love your perspectives. The way I see it is very similar we can take the easy way take the ground but one you won’t be as happy as satisfied. It’s hard it’s scary you’re taking risk but ultimately you’re getting somewhere you want to be and that would make you happy once you reach it.

  3. “You are standing up higher than anyone around, out over the edge …….. and you have to keep looking forward ………make sure your steps are on track ……….ensure the rope you are walking on doesn’t get too loose ….and make sure not to look down.”
    Such sage advice and quite pertinent to me at the moment. Thanks 🙂

  4. Really inspiring article and quite pertinent for my situation right now, thanks for sharing it. Have tweeted it for you.

  5. Good advice..keep your eyes on your goal otherwise it’s so easy to get side-tracked…that’s what happens sometimes with young people today…one grandson of mine as an example…dropped out of college almost immediately…as it was not as he thought it would be..so took a job as a waiter ‘temporarily’ until the next year..but it has now turned out to be three years and he hasn’t made a move….Diane

  6. Great post and point of view. Do you live on the Gulf coast?

  7. Fantastic post! Lastsong I know the people under me that will catch me if I fall. All the others I’m not too sure about – – lol

  8. If you haven’t seen this film, you must:


  9. Fab post, and a wonderful reminder on staying focused.

  10. You know, this is a great post, but if I may, I’d like to point out one thing… and this comes from current personal experience…

    …often the people on the ground are cheering you on… and some will even be willing to catch you if you fall 🙂

    Clear skies!

  11. Great post! I have this conversation with students sometimes. They’re doing more, but those “at the bottom” are jeering them. They often wonder if they’re doing the right thing, and I have to remind them that those at the bottom aren’t doing anything.

  12. So true… and taking the first step can be so hard, because we fear the fall.

  13. George Hayward

    I didn’t even see the guy walking in your top photo…he’s high up! Nice encouraging post. Reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes, it’s from Siddhartha. “Siddhartha is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal.” In other words, he doesn’t look down!

  14. Great post, and very true!

  15. a beautiful post indeed…

  16. Change My Body...Change My Life

    Fantastic post!

  17. I really enjoyed reading this! We were at the Beau Rivage on the day mention, but missed the the guy walking on the wire. Nice!

  18. This is too eerie! You’ve got to read my post for today. I just posted mine – literally just now and then I checked my emails to see what posts I received. Then I saw your’s and your title. And I said ‘No’! Cannot be!

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