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World Famous Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda on Finding Balance With His Family

The death defying tightrope walker talks about overcoming his own psyche and crossing the Grand Canyon on a wire.


Fatherhood is a lot like hanging a tightrope. There’s a sweet spot right between being too loose and too stringent. No one knows that better than Nik Wallenda, the world-famous tightrope walker and current star of the Big Apple Circus. As a seventh-generation member of the aerialist Flying Wallendas family, death-defying feats are in his blood.

In between crossing a wire 25 feet off the ground and forming seven-person pyramids, Nik swung by Episode Four of The Fatherly Podcast. He opened up with host Joshua David Stein about self-doubt, family tragedy, and why he encouraged his son to join the Marines. Plus, he offered a peek into how circus performers are the best family you could ask for.

Elsewhere on this week’s episode, Science Editor Josh Krisch pops in for a segment of “Oh, Hey Science.” Krisch breaks down a popular experiment involving marshmallows and delayed gratification, revealing the surprising connection between patience and addiction rates. Plus, Joshua performs a live, jazz-scored reading of his new children’s book about food.

Check out Episode Four for the secrets to overcoming your own psyche and becoming a fearless funambulist (that’s a fancy term for tightrope walker). For more discussions on defying death and dominating dad-hood, tune in to The Fatherly Podcast every Tuesday.