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Jun 27, 2013

Well, you've probably all heard about Nik Walenda, the man who recently walked 1,500 ft above the Gran Canyon on a two inch thick wire, with no protection, and no net. I watched him 'live' as he took every step, and every breath. I actually found myself(1) holding my breath while he walked and balanced and prayed. Judging by(2) his facial expression, he was more relaxed than I was. I was so nervous; my hands were sweaty, and my fingers were tingling. And then I remembered to breathe. "Oh, that's right. He's doing it, not me." It was too much for any normal person to see comfortably. And the "Thank you Jesus", and "Halleluyah" that he repeated, which I'm sure helped his performance, made it worse for me, because I kept on(3) imagining one of those Halleluyahs turning into a "Halleluyah!" His wife and three children and a group of friends and family were watching him from the other side of the Canyon. I couldn't decide if that was good or bad. Of course his family wanted to support him by being there(4), but what about them? What if he f-e-l-l in front of them? What a tragic and bizarre situation that would be for his kids. What would they do? Gasp, and then call out a quick, "Bye!" But, Nik Walenda is good. Infact, he's spectacular. He is 7th generation of a family of tightrope walkers, so as he says, "It's in my blood." I bet his wife wishes that accounting was in his blood instead. Imagine the sleepless nights that she has experienced, the nerves, and the stress. She must be a woman of steel, and unusual patience. He's done the same across the Niagara Falls, and plans to walk between two skyscrapers in New York. He is brave, focused, and determined. And he's now a bit of a national hero. But my hat goes off to(5) his wife. Most husbands come home and talk about what went on at the office. He comes home and talks about how much he wobbled(6) in practice. She's the one who I'd love to interview. What does she do to relieve stress? Does she have any hobbies? Is she an extreme knitter? If she is, her house must be full of the most amazing sweaters and socks. Maybe it's her knitting that drives(7) Nik Walenda to get as high up and far away as possible. Ok, I'm being strange and random. But, don't you think that crossing the Gran Canyon at 1,500 ft is strange and random? Add to that a wife and children. How does that all work? Well, even though I don't understand how extreme tightrope walking and a family can work well together, it does seem to. And I think it all works because of the wife. She is like the Gran Canyon, solid as a rock, and her patience just as big. As they say here in the U.S, "He owes her big time!"

1. 'To find oneself' + gerund is a common expression in English. It implies that you started doing something almost unconsciously or that some emotion or instinct pushed you into doing it.

a. She found herself agreeing with everything he said because he was so handsome.

b. He found himself washing his car. It was a habit; he always did it on Sunday's.

2. 'Judging by' speaks for itself really. It is like a comment on what you hear or see, and then a conclusion follows.

a. Judging by his tone of voice, he was not please at all.

b. Judging by their lazy attitude, the project won't be finished on time.

3. 'I kept on imagining' to keep on + gerund is the same as 'to continue + gerund'.

a. He kept on golfing even though it was raining hard.

b. They kept on interrupting while we were talking.

4. 'To support someone by + gerund'

a. We support them by donating every month.

b. They support the arts by giving talks in schools.

5. 'My hat goes off to' means I honour/ respect/ look up to/celebrate.

a. My hat goes off to the second place runner who had a knee injury.

b. Our hats go off to the even organizers who did such a great job.

6. 'To wobble' is to move in an unbalanced way.

a. The gymnist walked across the wooden beam and didn't wobble at all.

b. That ornament wobbles each time someone walks in the room.

7. 'To drive someone to do something' means that a person is emotionally forced into a situation.

a. My noisy neighbors have driven me to talk to the police about them.

b. His bad behavior drove them to leave early.

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