Updated: October 8, 2015 11:28 AM ET | Originally published: May 11, 2015 3:23 PM EDT

Tightrope walking is in Nik Wallenda’s blood. As a seventh generation member of the Flying Wallendas, a circus family known for performing their stunts on the high-wire without a net, Nik has set his sights on pushing the limits of what is physically possible on a tightrope.

Many of his daredevil acts have been inspired by his fellow funambulist family members, and carrying on his family tradition has earned him 9 Guinness World Records and made him a household name.

From walking across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls to unconventional stunts like his latest walk on the 400 foot tall spinning Orlando Eye, Wallenda has brought a new generation of fans to the family tradition of high wire stunts. But Nik believes his greatest accomplishment is inspiring others to chase their dreams and to never give up.

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Write to Julia Lull at julia.lull@time.com.

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