WATCH: Sarasota grandma with nerves of steel flies high

Still frame from video provided by Carla Wallenda Arestova

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a high-flying aerial act that gets peoples’ hearts pumping. At first glance, you may think that it’s quite a feat, but when people learn it’s an 80-year-old entertaining her audiences, they’re astonished.

Her name is Carla Wallenda and the daredevil grandmother has jaws dropping as she does acts off a 100-foot pole in Sarasota.

“It’s an exhilaration, and I love looking around at the view,” Wallenda said. “Naturally, there’s a thrill every time you get up there and get on the poll.”

It’s nothing new for this seventh generation of circus performer. Wallenda took to the tight rope when she was just 3 years old and since then, she’s never looked back.

“Naturally there’s a thrill every time you get up there and get on the poll,” she said.

One of her daughters says it’s both a blessing and a curse. “We are very blessed to do what we do and have the relationship that we have,” said Rietta Wallenda, sitting right next to her mom.  “It’s almost as if you’re watching somebody do something that you know is very dangerous and you understand the alternative of it.”

It’s a similar sentiment echoed by Carla’s granddaughter. “It’s a little nerve-wracking because I know the fear, like the dangers and the consequences of it, but I know she’s in her glory up there and doing what she loves,” Lyric Wallenda Arestov said.

If the name Wallenda rings a bell, you might think of Nik. He’s the modern day showman who has walked across the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls and even between Chicago skyscrapers.

As for Carla Wallenda, she has no plans to stop anytime soon. “The only one who can stop me from working is the Lord by just taking away my muscles and not letting me go up there,” she said.

Lyric told News Channel 8 that she’s done some research and found her grandmother is the oldest woman performing an aerial act in the entire country. So what can we expect to see next?

This is Carla’s big act right now, and there’s no word if she has anything up her sleeve for when she turns 81 in February.


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