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Life As a Tightrope

October 17, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
It's an easy analogy, life as a tightrope.

Somedays we may feel the wire is thinner, higher, longer, than other days.

But watching Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas circus family, break the Guinness World Record for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by a bike on a wire, brought the analogy to the forefront of my mind.

As Wallenda gingerly slid his feet along the wire, walking across it once before hopping on a bike for the return trip, those on the "Today Show" who were narrating his feat, pointed out the importance of core strength as he balanced himself on that very thin cable.

I wear a bracelet with the word "balance" on my wrist every day, to remind myself how important that is as I live my life. And watching Wallenda also made me realize that just a bracelet is not enough. I need to work on my core strength to continue to be balanced, physically as well as mentally.

In my yoga class just last week, Julia Payne, my wonderful, wonderful instructor, pointed out that as we work on our core, we gain confidence and strength in everything we do, not just in our bodies. If we strengthen our core, we may find we move into a meeting with more confidence, we may deal with a co-worker with more courage and authority.

Wallenda was amazing ... calm, focused, confident, happy, alive ... as he crossed the tightrope. He even stopped for a moment, sat down and pulled out his cell phone to call his friends at "The Today Show."

We all held our collective breath as he got back up, with that 45-pound bar in his hands, and continued on his way, and on his way back.

I stood in awe, in front of the television, in tree pose, for the entire time. If he can walk and ride across a wire 235 feet long, 135 feet in the air, I can certainly hold tree pose for those few minutes.

And I did.

Balance. Core. Focus. Words to live by.

I'm continuing to focus on my core, and my balance — with at least one foot on the ground, however.


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