At one of the outdoor education centers I taught at, I led students through high ropes courses. For many students, the prospect of climbing thirty feet into the air was both exhilarating and terrifying. They decided if they would climb, and if so, how far up.
I encouraged everyone to champion each others’ choices—whether it was to sit out or whether it was to take even one step off the ground. I’m pleased to say, they did. This unconditional support led the majority of the students to participate.
Some of the students who participated would look down, be overcome by the fear of falling, and request an early end to their experiment. I tried my best to reassure these students that they were safe as they were belayed down.
The high ropes courses were usually the highlights of the trip—even for the students that had panicked. They had tried something new and intimidating. They had been brave. They felt empowered— and rightfully so.
As we age, our fear of falling isn’t just limited to high ropes courses and other thrill-seeking activities. It can become part of our everyday life. While you can’t completely escape this risk of falling, you can make choices that empower you. You can take steps to decrease your risk of falling in the first place by learning a comprehensive exercise routine from a fitness professional. Even though it’s intimidating 🙂 I encourage you to ask for some support along the way.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy week.