Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wallenda's Key Message: Don't Give Up!

Last night an estimated 1 billion people watched Nik Wallenda's historic border crossing from the US to Canada.  It is historic, of course, because he was crossing over the horseshoe falls; something nobody has ever done, nor likely ever will do, again.  Yes, people had crossed Niagara Gorge on a tight-rope, but nobody had ever done it over the falls themselves with issues like the heavy mist to contend with.

Speaking of the crossing, I thought it was cute when the Canadian border guards who met him asked to see his passport and Wallenda made a joke of sighing as if he forgot it and had to go back across to get it.  It was a subtle, but wonderfully executed little joke, before he pulled the passport (which had been in a sealed plastic bag) out. He then promised them that he wasn't bringing anything across with him.  When asked the nature of his visit to Canada Wallenda said:  "To inspire people around the world."

Nik Wallenda walks over Niagara Falls on a tightrope in Niagara Falls, Ont., on Friday, June 15, 2012. (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

He certainly did that.

Wallenda fought for two years to get the permission from both countries to be able to do this stunt; in the face of being told it would never happen (stunts at Niagara Falls have been banned for almost 130 years), Nik and his family and team never gave up.  They made it happen.  They even made a small compromise with ABC, who insisted that he be tethered, for the purpose of the broadcast.  (Not that he needed the tether - he never faltered once during his trek across, which took less than half an hour - and he never lost the calm focus that kept him on track and on balance despite the challenges odds of wind, mist and low visibility)

Francine and I let Alexander stay up to watch this historic event.  And it really was something to see.  We had talked about making the trip down to see it live, but the ABC broadcast was well-done and offered some amazing views and perspective. 

In my mind, the message that Wallenda offered was a critical and important one that can be interpreted by individuals into whatever their dreams are.  For me, (for example), it would be related to writing and the importance of concentration, focus and training that Wallenda spoke about; for someone else, it is whatever dreams or goals they might hold fast in their heart.  But chances are, it involves the same sort of dedication, concentration, focus and training.

One of the wonderful scenes at Brick City on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Ontario

It was a wonderful event to watch live, but, as stated, what I was most impressed with was Wallenda's ongoing message in this stunt:  Don't give up! Pursue your dreams! 

He said it beautifully, and it's something for us to all keep in mind as we pursue our dreams and work at the goals that we set for ourselves.  I know that I'll keep his words in mind.

"The impossible isn't quite the impossible if you set your mind to it!"

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