The story you are about reading is a true life story of a man who did the seemingly impossible thing in the worlds history, crossing the mighty Nigara Falls along a stretched tightrope.
Who is Charles Blondin?
Charles Blondin was a French tightrope walker and acrobat. He was born Jean François Gravelet on the 28th of February, 1824. The lad was fearless and courageous, he would climb trees and balance on walls, never missing an opportunity to test his early skills.
He practised these activities from the moment he learnt to walk. It was plain to see that he had a gift and the determination to become an impressive stunt man.
I don’t mean to bore you with history but the great Charles Blondin was so famous that he became a symbol for courageousness and achievement of the seemingly impossible. Despite a life led performing perilous feat after perilous feat he lived to the grand old age of 72.
Charles Blondin’s Greatest Feat
Charles Blondin was an acrobat and made his first major appearance as ‘The Boy Wonder’. His supreme skill and his showmanship in combination with his talent for performing his tricks in unusual ways, made him an act that soon everyone looked forward to.
Word soon spread about this child prodigy and as he grew so did his reputation as an exciting daredevil. As his audience expanded, his act evolved into a thrilling and incredible exhibition.
However, Blondin’s greatest feat came on September 14, 1860 when he became the first person to cross a tightrope stretched 11, 000 feet (over quarter of a mile) across the mighty Nigara falls. He walked across, 160 feet above the falls, several times- each time with a different daring feet.
This is what surprised many people and made him a wonder to the world; he could do it in a sack, on a bicycle, in the dark and even blindfolded. Accounts even records where he carried a stove and cooked an omelet in the middle of the rope.
Obviously, the man was a master in his craft and each time the crowd got excited and cheered him on. They echoed and aahed! as Blondin carefully walked across.
But something suddenly happened as Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience; and this is the climax of the story. Blondin asked the crowd, “Do you believe I can carry a person across in the wheelbarrow”? Of Course Blondin had already crossed with an empty wheelbarrow and after seeing all Blondin had done, there was no reason to doubt that he could do anything.
So the crowd enthusiastically yelled, Yes! We believe. So Blondin upon hearing this went ahead to ask? Okay said Blondin, “Who wants to get into the wheelbarrow”?
There was dead silence, as no one one was ready to take that step and risk his life with this great acrobat. So Blondin waited and waited to see who would step forward; after a long period of waiting, a man came out and volunteered. It was Blondin’s own manager, Harry Colcord, his manager had so much faith in him unlike the crowd, he knew blondin and could trust his life to him.
Blondin didn’t mean to carry his manager in the wheelbarrow so several days after, Blondin upon seeing the believe of his manager, decided to carry his manager on his back as they walked on the tightrope across the falls.
This was a huge risk and feat considering the weight of his manager plus his own weight, Blondin was now carrying a weight two times his size, but gradually he and his manager made it across the rope.
Blondin carrying his manager, Harry Colcord on his back across the Nigara Falls
This story depicts what faith truly is and there are some few lessons learnt from this great showmanship which I would like to put across in the light of what faith really is to the believer.
To be Continued…………..