A Love Letter to the Tightwire

Here’s the thing. When you first start wirewalking, you take one step onto the wire and lose your balance and fall. And that’s OK. That’s how it’s supposed to go. That’s how you learn. You land on your feet and get back up on the wire and try again. And it takes time, so much time, before you get to two steps, and then three, and then four, and you keep falling. A controlled fall is better than an uncontrolled one that injures you, anyways. (You learn this the hard way.)

And then comes the day when you make it all the way across the wire, and it’s a shock, because you’ve come so close more times than you can count, and immediately you lose it. The next time you try to cross you fall after two steps, or one, or three. And it takes you a while to get all the way across again, and when you do, it feels like a miracle. You’ve done it.

And you keep walking, and you keep getting better, and eventually it isn’t a miracle when you cross the wire, one step after another, from end to end. And you become so frustrated with yourself when you cannot keep your balance and fall, and fall, and fall again. And you keep walking, because you love this, and it has become a part of who you are, never mind how your feet are screaming in pain.

And you keep walking, and you start to learn how to do new things on the wire, and you fall. Over and over and over as you learn. And then one day you can walk backwards. And turn. And kneel.

The day you start walking on turned-out feet, you almost start crying from how badly it hurts.

When you first learn to sit down on the wire, you fall. Again and again and again. And maybe you still have trouble with it; maybe it still always makes you fall. That’s OK. You can’t be good at everything.

Here’s what you are good at: changements. The little jumps from two turned-out feet, straight up, switching the placement of your feet in midair. You love these. You want to do these all day. They make you feel free, and happy, and they make your feet hurt.

You learn new ways to turn, new ways to walk, new tricks. You never stop learning.

You never stop falling.

You never stop getting back up and trying again.


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