Daredevil Nik Wallenda Illustrates Importance of “Balance” in New Book

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Memoir Publishes on June 4 in Hardcover, eBook, & Audiobook; Nik’s Walk Across the Grand Canyon Airs Live on the Discovery Channel on June 23

"Keeping the faith is all that keeps me balanced. If I didn't believe, I'd fall in any number of ways. By believing, my spirit stays afloat."

As someone who performs death-defying stunts on a regular basis including a history-making tightrope walk hundreds of feet above Niagara Falls in 2012—one of the most highly-rated TV events of the decade—“King of the Wire” Nik Wallenda writes of his struggle to maintain his balance, on and off the high wire. In his memoir aptly titled BALANCE: A STORY OF FAITH, FAMILY, AND LIFE ON THE LINE (FaithWords/Hachette Book Group, June 4, 2013), Nik, a seventh generation descendant and member of the famous Great Wallendas, describes his faith as the ultimate balancing force in his life—equalizing the pull of ego, fame and fortune.

Writing with honesty about his stumbles, Nik relives the period when he almost lost his wife and family. After three months with fifteen successful and titillating stunts, Nik fought to regain humility. “For a guy who is supposedly an expert on maintaining balance, I feel like I’m losing it. I’m off-kilter,” confessed Nik. “My life has been tilting to one side—my side. How to correct the imbalance? How to negotiate the most challenging walk of all—the walk of life?”

Nik found the answer in a familiar source—his faith—something that sustained him even as a child born into a family of 25 generations of circus performers. “Keeping the faith is all that keeps me balanced. If I didn’t believe, I’d fall in any number of ways. By believing, my spirit stays afloat.” Nik hopes the lessons shared in his memoir help others stay spiritually grounded.

With a family legacy over 200 years in the making, including high-wire acts while still in his mother’s womb, Nik dreamed constantly of his great-grandfather, legendary Karl Wallenda who plunged to his death from a tightrope in Puerto Rico in 1978. “[Karl] is the man who entered my dreams early in my life and has remained there ever since.” Crediting Karl as the inspiration for last year’s Niagara Falls walk, Nik has worked for decades to acquire the skills needed to perform his stupefying aerial acts.

In the air, Nik insists on minimal support. “Naturally there is no net. There is never a net. There is the safety of a balance born of experience, a balance that is as natural as speaking or breathing, a balance that assures me the ride will go well.”

On the ground, Nik has the ultimate safety net. “God’s grace is the balancing pole that keeps me from falling into self-obsession and self-deception. Whatever I have achieved—and will ever achieve—is the result of my relationship with Him.”

Nik will walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23 and the walk with air live on the Discovery Channel. The walk will be higher than any he’s ever attempted before at 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River, a height greater than the Empire State Building.

About Hachette Book Group:
Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the second-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Digital.

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Shanon Stowe

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