Nik Wallenda: A family affair

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SARASOTA - You may not know, but the King of the High Wire gets a lot of his training working alongside some of the other circus stunt performers in his family, including his wife Wendy, sister Lijana and cousin Blake.

"It's an amazing experience often, but of course there are times when it's not so amazing because you are dealing with family. It's hard to tell your sister that she needs to fix this or tell her she did not show up on time. For me, it's hard to be the boss of the family," said Nik.

Lijana Wallenda, Nik's elder sister, doesn't seem to mind. She enjoys the camaraderie with her brother.  "I am very blessed we have a close knit family because of our upbringing and the way we traveled together. I am happy anytime we get back together and do stuff again," said Lijana

For the last thirteen years, Nik and his wife, Wendy, have been together, both growing up in families dedicated to the life of the circus.

"We are born and raised doing this. It's who we are. It's not our job. We understand each other so much. We are so close because of that. Circus life makes you close," said Wendy.

Then there's cousin Blake Wallenda. He is the young man Nik is taking under his wing.  "You share every moment with the family. When you are up there, when you come down, and when the people tell you they enjoyed the performance. That's what it's all about," said Blake.

Nik and Wendy have three young children, two boys and one girl. The kids are already expressing interest in walking the high wire. Both parents have mixed feelings about their children following that career path, but they both agree that getting a good education comes first.

If you want to see Nik, Wendy, Lijana and Blake perform, you can do so by attending the Circus Sarasota winter show, taking place until February 15th across from Ed Smith Stadium.