Monday, June 24, 2013

BRINGING UP PRESTO! Nik Wallenda and Competition Obedience

Just before 6:30 last night, as a helicopter carried Nik Wallenda to the starting point for his epic walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge, his wife, Erendira, told a Discovery Channel interviewer, "I'm so inspired by him, and I just hope that whoever watches him will also be inspired."

Well, he got me.  His tightrope walk could not have come at a better time for me.  His feat was the consummate inspiration; it cut to the very core of what I'm trying to achieve.

No, I'm not setting out to be a highwire walker.  I'm striving to attain what I call Dead Red Focus during training and in the ring.

Right before Wallenda got his 30-foot balance pole in place and mounted the wire, he said, "When I get out there, there's only the wire and me -- nothing else exists."  Exactly.  And I'm seeking that same perfect locked-in state.  In the ring -- as well as in practice -- there's only my dog and me.  Nothing can distract me.  That's the goal.

Then, for 23 gripping minutes, I watched him walk (1,500 feet above the rocks below, no harness, no net) focused on . . . well, focused on not falling to his death.  There is no greater focus, no greater mental discipline than what the world witnessed last night.

I may never attain that degree of focus with Presto!  But it's nothing more than a challenging test of will.  And I plan to get a cerebral hernia trying.


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