Well, good for ol' Julius, I say. Me? I'm more in the I came; I saw; I took a picture camp. I mean, the idea of climbing a mountain simply because it's there holds absolutely no appeal to me. Nada. Zilch. Zero. If that makes me a wimp, sobeit. At least, I'm still alive.
I also have no desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, be shot out of a cannon, tame a tiger or go swimming in a waterfall.
Check out this short video of Niagara Falls:
Horseshoe Falls, AKA the Canadian Falls, is the largest of the three waterfalls that make up the Niagara Falls, which lie on the border between Ontario and New York. It's 167 feet (51 m) high and 2700 feet (820 m) wide. Amazing, isn't it? So what do you think when you look at this massive amount of roaring water? Something along the lines of WOW? I mean it's breathtakingly beautiful, which is why it's been a favorite honeymoon destination for so many years. It's kinda humbling, too, to see such a powerful force on display.
So. How many of you look at it and think, I believe I'd like to conquer all that power? Come on... show of hands. Nobody? All right, then. At least I know I'm not the only wimp around here. Unlike us, people have been challenging the falls since the 1800s. Why? Um, because it's there, I suppose.
But that was just his first attempt. In subsequent crossings, he walked the tightrope while blindfolded, pushed a wheelbarrow, and yes... even carried someone across on his back. His agent. His brave... or crazy as a bedbug... agent. (I sure hope he got paid more than the standard 10% for that gig.)
The famous daredevil Nik Wallenda:
Not interested in taking a stroll on a tightrope, huh? Nah, me neither. Heck, I twisted my ankle just walking across the bedroom floor last week. .. no tightrope involved. For sure, my middle name isn't Grace, and with good reason. So if not a tightrope, how about a... barrel?
In 1901, Annie, a widow fearful of ending up in the poorhouse, rode the barrel over the falls with the hope of gaining a better financial future. Her custom-made barrel of oak and iron was padded with a mattress, and after being tossed overboard from a boat, the river carried her barrel to and over Horseshoe Falls. She came through the ordeal relatively unscathed, with only a small cut on her head. Know what she said afterwards? If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat... I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Falls.
So. I guess it wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs, huh? What's more, her financial security was brief-lived. She earned a bit of money traveling around with her barrel and giving speeches, but her manager absconded with her barrel. The cad. She used her meager savings to track him and her barrel down, only to have him and the barrel disappear again. She lived out her life working as a clairvoyant and providing magnetic therapeutic treatments. (If she were a clairvoyant, I wonder why she couldn't find her barrel...?)
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. [Muhammed Ali]
I say staying alive is a pretty darned good accomplishment.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. [Martin Luther King, Jr.]
Agreed. Kinda makes me think of the state of world politics right now. And just as I choose not to dive into Niagara Falls, I also choose to steer clear of talking politics these days. Rather than plunge into the chaotic roar, I'll wear a slicker and stand at a nice safe distance with the other tourists, where the mist may reach me, but I won't drown in negativity. Because, you know, I wouldn't want to mess up my do.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.