Some people enjoy painting, others are into soccer. A few among us like to risk life and limb walking across a rope suspended hundreds of feet in the air. In short, everyone has a hobby, and tightrope walkers are a prime example of just how diverse our interests can be.
That’s not to say you’re always risking life and limb if you’re a tightrope walker. You can – and should – do it in a controlled setting before you take on a more significant challenge. Before you reach the level of professional tightrope walkers, you need to prepare yourself.
If you’re ready to take the next step, here are six ways to move toward your goals. With a little bit of training, you’ll have everything you need to be successful.
1. Seek Out an Instructor
When you’re starting something new, it’s a good idea to take notes on what the professionals are doing. Of course, most people would sign up for lessons, but it isn’t always easy to find a tightrope instructor.
If you live near a large city, you might have some luck searching for an instructor on the internet. There could be one near you, depending on where you live and how far you’re willing to drive for lessons. This is also the safest option for learning how to walk a tightrope, especially if you plan to move your rope more than a couple feet off the ground.
You can always teach yourself, in smaller ways. Read books on the subject and watch instructional videos. Learn as much as you can before your feet ever leave the ground.
2. Decide Your Location
Next, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll practice. Will you set up a rope in your backyard or a public park?
Study that location to learn the wind speeds and temperature changes in the area so you know what to expect when it’s time to get on the rope.
3. Develop Mental Fortitude
Walking a tightrope is all about mental fortitude. Once you learn foot placement and how to use the pole, the only thing keeping you upright is your focus.
Before you start walking a tightrope, develop your mental toughness by testing how comfortable you are with heights. Jump off of diving boards at different heights in the summer. Visit tall tourist attractions to get comfortable with the views and wind speeds. By doing so, similar heights will seem like less of a challenge.
4. Play Video Games
Playing video games might not have been the first preparation method you thought of, but they make a huge difference. Studies show that people who play video games regularly process visual stimuli more quickly than people who rarely play video games or not at all.
Processing what you see could save you from moving your foot too far to either side while you’re on the tightrope, so get the latest game and have fun.
5. Understand the Concept
Tightrope walking is also defined as the act of funambulism, which is its Latin term. The main concept behind successful tightrope walking is the long pole that the athletes hold.
The longer the pole is, the more it balances the rotational inertia of the walker, which stabilizes them on top of the rope. Attempt to walk without the pole and you’ll quickly find yourself on the ground.
6. Perform a Few Exercises
Balance is a mental act, in addition to being a physical one. You’ll train your mind and body by performing a few exercises that optimize your balance skills.
Practice them indoors or outdoors with your tightrope pole for additional training. When one exercise gets too easy, add weights in your hand or pillows under your feet to increase the challenge.
7. Focus Your Mind
Remember that your mind is just as powerful on a tightrope as your body, if not more. You need to know how to focus your mind in any situation.
Practice this daily by eliminating distractions and practicing mindfulness so you’re in tune with what your body needs.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you want to become a great tightrope walker, you’ll need to practice every day. Find time to get up on your tightrope but test yourself in other areas as well.
It’ll all add up to refined athleticism and the ability to conquer greater heights. With time, you’ll walk with confidence across any tightrope you want.