BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It started off just like every other show in the past month, but eighth generation circus performer Annaliese Nock said she knew right away something was not quite right. She contemplated not doing a split on the high wire, but decided to do it anyways.
"My back leg just slid off the wire and it just happened really fast, but I knew from training my instinct was to grab the wire so I grabbed it with my right arm," Annaliese Nock said. "I thought I was okay and thought I was going to let myself down on my feet, but instead I hit a metal beam below me."
She got up and was ready to step back on the high wire.
"The adrenaline kicks in and you don't realize what happened and you want to get back up there, but we wanted to be safe," Annaliese Nock said. "We don't want to be reckless, because if we were, this wouldn't have been my first injury. We wanted to play it smart so we went to the hospital."
Annaliese fractured two ribs and bruised her back. Her dad, Bello Nock, who is also the star of the show, saw the terrifying fall.
"I was about 50 feet in the air, I saw it happen," Bello Nock said. "I waited a minute and then I said, 'Let me go check her out, she's my baby.' I went over, checked her out, she was fine. She wanted to go back out, but the dad in me said, 'You know, let's just hold on for a second.'"
The show went on and within minutes Bello was walking that same high wire. Both performers say the fall was a reality check.
"Every once in a while I might look at myself and think [I'm] a little invincible," Annaliese Nock said. "Before, falling off the wire was never an option because I was confident in it. And, you know, no matter how safe you are and how well trained, random things like that can happen."
Bello Nock said, "People would say when you walk a wire, you probably have no fear and that's not true. You are taught to know what that fear is. You are taught to not overcome it, but respect it."
Annaliese is back rehearsing with the cast again.
"I'm really not scared to get back up; I'm anxious to get back to the show, really," Annaliese Nock said.
She hopes to be able to return to the show sometime next week.