Last Sunday, high wire artist Nikolas (Nik) Wallenda made history by walking a high wire with no net from one of Chicago’s Marina City skyscrapers to another skyscraper and then to another skyscraper — this time blindfolded.
Chicago and the world at large held their breath, as the wind gusts had picked up, making this venture even more risky.
Thankfully he made it. And made it look easy.
That night, right before his high wire feat, Chicago residents and visitors used many words to describe Mr. Wallenda — from crazy to daredevil to courageous.
I admit, I first dismissed his high wire act as sensationalist and the act of someone who had a death wish. But as he tamed the high wire relatively quickly, I realized I had a lot in common with Wallenda. (Though even the thought of climbing a ladder nauseates me.)
It is a cliche but it is true: since my cancer diagnosis and treatment, my life has been a high wire act. I often unwillingly find myself on the tightrope, always balancing between courage and fear.
This is, by far, the most difficult task for me. I define courage as acting in spite of one’s fears. And I do. I never give into my fears, but I’ve come close. In fact, where cancer survivorship is concerned, I always come close to losing my balance and falling into the dark abyss of fear and inaction. Fear of recurrence, fear of oncology followups, blood tests, and all things medical plague me.
But I refuse to become engulfed by fear. This is my act of defiance. Like a high wire artist, cancer survivors and patients more often than not show perseverance in spite of adversity.
Do you often find yourself on a “tightrope”?
If so, how do you handle it?
To see Wallenda’s feat, click here.
Tags: cancer survivorship, Chicago, high wire, Nik Wallenda, Nikolas Wallenda, tightrope