Balancing on a wire dozens of feet in the air is no small feat. And many performers who practice high-wire acts are putting their lives in danger every time they do. In fact, even seasoned performers practice their new stunts just a few feet from the ground and might wear a harness with a pulley to aid with balance practice. Another lesson? Learning how to grab the wire when you fall.
Many high-wire acts don't use a net, and some, like the Guerrero family, cite the lack of net as a form of higher artistic expression [source: CBS]. Unfortunately, Walfer Guerrero was paralyzed at the age of 28 when he fell during a high-wire act in 1997. He was doing a trick where he jumped over another performer on the wire when he plunged 26 feet (8 meters) to the ground [source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune].