The Word: How Nik Wallenda conquered his fear

Daredevil Nik Wallenda waves to crowd after his 1,500-foot (457 meters) tightrope walk 100 feet (30.5 meters) above the beach August 9, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA        (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)
Daredevil Nik Wallenda waves to the crowd after his 1,500-foot tightrope walk in Atlantic City, N.J., in 2012. Credit: AFP

Not only did Nik Wallenda complete a death-defying 1,500-foot walk across the Grand Canyon on live television Sunday night, he did it without a net or a safety line. How did the scion of the famous Flying Wallendas family conquer millions of years of evolution screaming at us not to hang out over very large holes? He just decided not to give into fear.

“I think you have a choice,” Nik told the Hollywood Reporter. “You can decide whether you want to get scared by something or not. You can go into a haunted house with the mindset of, ‘This is going to freak me out,’ or go into the haunted house with the mindset of, ‘Who cares; this is all set up; it’s all gimmicks and it’s not going to scare me at all.’”

Neat! Of course, haunted houses are fake, whereas Nik’s stunt was 1,500 feet of very real danger. But whatever gets him across the wire, I guess.

Previously, Nik walked a tightrope over Niagara Falls on June 15 of last year.

Nik, 33, walked a 2-inch cable strung 1,800 feet across Niagara Falls gorge. It was the first such tightrope feat between the United States and Canada in more than a century.



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