I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I had to turn away more than once while trying to watch Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon on live TV. I was there last year when Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls, but it was different. The fact Nik wore a tether meant to me that even if he fell I would not be witnessing a tragedy. Sunday night there was no such guarantee and that uncertainty made it tough viewing for yours truly.

I’m not crazy about heights and the view that the Discovery Channel used from the camera on Nik’s shirt sent chills down my spine. I cannot fathom how a man can walk out on to a steel cable with only a balancing pole in his hands some 1400 feet in the air.

Actually, to appease the naysayers out there and there are always some, Wallenda did not cross the Grand Canyon, but the Little Colorado River Gorge. Apparently the U.S Parks Service would not allow the Grand Canyon to be crossed so Wallenda cut a deal with the Navajo Nation. Still, Wallenda crossed a gorge connected to the Grand Canyon and the feat itself was beyond anything “reality TV” has ever offered.

I have witnessed some outstanding athletic feats in my time and met great athletes like Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Carl Lewis and of course all the outstanding Buffalo based pro athletes from the past thirty years, but Wallenda stands alone.

I cannot grasp the sheer guts it takes to do what Wallenda did Sunday in Arizona. I only pray his quest for glory does not end it tragedy as it did with his great grandfather and other members of his family.

He says he now wants to walk a wire between two New York City skyscrapers. I’ll for one will watch again, but like Sunday, only for seconds at a time.

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