• Fundamentals for Fun at Fifty-Five

    1. Dare to try new things

    2. Say yes to opportunities

    3. Relax, smile, dance away your worries

    4. If not now, when?

    5. Just do it (you can analyze later)

  • Discounts for Fifty-Five +

    Golden Griddle Restaurant - 10% discount (excluding alcohol)
    Shoppers Drug Mart - 20% discount on Thursdays
    Zellers - 20% discount first Monday of month
    Thrifty Rental - 5% off time and mileage
    Best Western - 10% off room rates
    Sandman Hotels - 25% off room rates
    Howard Johnson Hotels - 10% off room rates

  • Fifty-Five is …

    fabulous, fanciful, fancy-free, fantastic, far-out, fashionable, fearless, feisty, fiery, fine, flamboyant, flashy, flattering, flirtatious, folksy, forthright, fortunate, foxy, frank, free, fresh, friendly, frivolous, fulsome, fun, funky, funny
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Onward and Upward

#18 – Go rock climbing

Look up ... way up!

When I was a child, I climbed everything – furniture, trees, even the television antenna! My friends and I built our own tree fort, high in a pine tree. No fear. Then I became an adult and sometime in my twenties, I developed a fear of heights. My legs would turn to stone and I would freeze in mid-stride when I walked on a bridge over a valley or along a road near a steep hillside.

One of my goals in creating my Fun List of Things to Do At Fifty-Five is to challenge myself. That means facing my fear of heights (gulp!) So, waaayyyyyy down on the list I added “go rock climbing”. I figured I’d get to it sometime next year. Apparently my partner had other plans.

I’m happy to report that I have (already!) crossed that item off my list – and survived to tell the tale.

On my birthday, we went to Grand River Rocks, a local indoor climbing facility. Our instructor was very thorough, showing us how to strap ourselves into our harnesses, tie the ropes and work the belaying line. When it was time to climb, I gazed up at the wall in front of me. My knees buckled. I noticed that the wall sloped steeply out into the room. How would I get around that?

My partner was patiently supportive. “Even if you just get six feet up, that’s okay, Julie. Whatever you do, it’s fine.”

Alrighty then. I took a deep breath, reached up and took hold of the first two rocks, pulling my feet off the ground. So far, so good, I thought. Up I climbed, one hand-hold and toe-hold at a time. When I got to the outcrop, I hesitated. Below me, the instructor called out, “You’re doing great! Try putting your left foot on the yellow rock, and then push yourself up with your legs so you can reach the blue rock with your right hand.”

Hey, that was easy! Suddenly I was past that spot and, a few rocks later, at the top. Clutching the last two rocks, I turned my head and glanced down. Far, far below me, I could see my partner, holding the belaying rope. “Sit back in the harness,” the instructor shouted up to me, “and let go of the wall.”

Let go of the wall? Are you kidding me? I don’t remember you saying anything about that when my feet were still on solid ground!!

“It’s okay,” he called again. “Just sit back. Push yourself away from the wall with your feet.”

Holding my breath, I gingerly let go, and … floated down, gracefully (I think). Okay, so my knees gave way once my feet touched the floor and I landed in a heap.  But, hey, I did it!

We went back again on the weekend. I think I’m addicted!

... coming down!

P.S. Did I mention that seniors get a discount?? Tee hee!

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  1. Congratulations Julie… to go against your fear of heights and conquer it! I hope your adventures will inspire other 50+ (and not only) to face their fears…whatever they are!
    Looking forward to your next adventure! 🙂


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  • Julie Wise is …

    a writer, author (Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease), life/relationship coach and an intuitive healer by day. By night, she dances flamenco, thrives on chocolate and good red wine (shiraz will do!) She secretly plots to change the world, one dream at a time.
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