• 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

With Age Comes … Attitude!

#43 – Walk across a swinging bridge with ease (and grace!)

When I was a kid, I had no problem with heights. My best friend and I would get on the swing set in the park, pump our legs and go higher and higher and then … leap off! I climbed trees, shinnied up the round metal pole that held our television antenna (no one else in the neighbourhood could do that), and loved to be on the edge of cliffs, feeling the wind whip around me, imagining that I was a bird about to take flight.

Somewhere into adulthood, all that changed and I became decidedly earthbound.

I hadn’t realized how strong my fear of heights was until I visited Costa Rica ten years ago. My kids had been teasing me about not being open to taking risks anymore, so I decided to try zip-lining. Word of advice: it’s not for the faint of heart!

A friend suggested that I try Witch’s Rock Canopy Tour. She had done it earlier that year and found it exhilarating. It had 24 platforms, 11 cables from 100 to 450 metres in length, 3 suspension bridges and 3 ladders straight up the trunks of very tall trees. Fortunately for me, I didn’t know about the suspension bridges or the tree ladders when I showed up.

Although I did manage to do the zip-lining (over the tops of trees and across deep valleys), it was the first suspension bridge that nearly did me in. It crossed a steep ravine and, as people walked across, it (gulp) swayed! I took at deep breath (I was the last to go) and started across.

The first few steps were fine, but about ten steps out, the bridge began to move under my weight and I froze. I mean totally paralyzed in position, knees locked, hands clenching the tiny wires along the side, eyes glazed, holding my breath. It had happened  before and I knew from experience that no amount of willpower would get me moving again.

The guide came softly up behind me and whispered in my ear, “It’s okay, I’ll help you.”

My mind was panicking. There was no way he could “help” me. I was stuck here forever.

Then he placed his knees directly behind mine and gently nudged my right knee. As my knee bent, my foot released and inched forward. And then I froze again. He nudged my left knew, and I took another small step. We continued like this until I crossed the bridge.

So, you can imagine my consternation during my recent trip when we came upon a suspension bridge. No warning. We had hiked down the hill to the Rio Negro hot springs only to discover that the hot pools were on the other side of the river.

My heart sank. Then I remembered this blog and my challenge to myself. It’s all in my attitude, I thought.

I said to my partner, “Okay, you need to get a photo of this,” and off I went.

I may be clutching the sides, but I am smiling!

What do you think? Ease and grace??

You go, girl!!

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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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