• 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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The Juiciness of a Good Challenge

I’ve discovered lately that I thrive on being challenged in a certain way. I jump at the bait like a fish when someone suggests that something is out of my reach, or that I can’t possibly do that. I’m not sure why that is, but I remember how my Dad used to get me to push my perceived limits and excel merely by setting the bar a little higher.

Somehow my son has figured this out about me. I suppose nearly 30 years of knowing me has given him a few insights!

Last week, we were rock climbing at Grand River Rocks. It was one of the things he wanted to do during his summer visit, so we’ve gone several times. He loves it, scrambling up ever more challenging spots each time. Just like a monkey.

I was feeling tired that day and I’d said going in that I wasn’t sure how much climbing I’d do. I saw a quiet smile cross his face, but didn’t think anything of it at the time.

When it was my turn to climb, he said, “Mom, I’ll pay for a membership for you if you do that climb.” He was pointing at a 5.7 climb (I usually do 5.4 or 5.5 and find them challenging). I glanced up. Many of the hand and toe holds were tiny, barely out from the wall. The route went around a huge protrusion with very few holds and then curved off in another direction. The hardest holds were near the top.

I shook my head. “Pick another one.”

He was adamant. “Nope. It’s that one or nothing.”

I looked at it again. Something stirred inside me. An old memory. A reawakening of a spark of determination long dormant.

I turned and looked at him, fire in my eyes. “You’re on!”

Each hand and toe hold felt precarious and impossible, but somehow I climbed. I reached the central protrusion and nearly lost my balance. My son yelled that there was a toe hold near my left foot and that helped. I continued to climb. The closer I got to the top, the harder it was, but the more fiercely determined I was to succeed.

I made it!!!

And when I reached the ground again, I walked over to him, head high, shoulders square and held out my hand.

“Pay up!”

And he did. He bought me a 10-pass membership (at the senior’s rate). He has now said that if I have photo proof of climbing a 5.8, he’ll buy me another pass when this one runs out.

The bar has been set!

Another day, another wall

Leave a comment


  1. Very rewarding when you make it to the top….

    • Definitely! Looking at your website, I see you take climbing to a whole other level (pun intended!) I stand in awe 🙂


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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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