• 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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Reaching Ever Greater Heights

#55 – Do something I’m sure I cannot do

It’s true, many of the items on my list could fall into this category – doing the flying trapeze, walking across a swinging bridge or jumping off a boat in the ocean, for example. A lot of what I think I can’t do is because of fear, and a lot of my fear in recent years has been about heights.

When I did the flying trapeze, I conquered that fear. Mostly.

So recently when I was in New Mexico, I was a bit surprised when the old fear resurfaced.

I was with a group at Bandelier National Monument. I learned we would have the opportunity to visit a kiva. Kivas are generally subterranean rooms, accessible by ladder, and were used by ancient people for spiritual and cultural purposes. I anticipated that the kiva would be underground … but did not realize I would have to climb 140 feet up the side of a limestone cliff to reach it!

When I heard there were three separate ladders (actually, there are four), each one going straight up the cliffside, my fears flew into action. “No, I can’t do that,” I thought to myself, very disappointed. One hundred and forty feet? I began to sink into my old story about being afraid of heights.

But I really wanted to see the kiva. What a dilemma!

As we hiked along the trail, I happened to glance up to my right. I saw a few wooden ladders, attached to the cliff, leaning upward on gentle angles.

“If it’s like that, I could do it,” I thought. Imagine my delight when I realized that those were the very ladders I’d have to climb.

I told myself that after each ladder I could stop if I wanted. I didn’t have to go all the way if I didn’t feel comfortable.

And so the climb began.

It helped that the rungs and sides of each ladder were made of wood – polished branches just big enough to grip easily. It also helped that it was a beautiful day, with a gorgeous view of Frijoles canyon at each rest point between the ladders.

I kept climbing, one rung at a time and, before I knew it, I was at the top! I stood in a huge opening in the rock that archeologists call Alcove House (click the link for a photo showing some of the ladders). In the middle of the “floor”, there was yet another ladder leading down into the interior of a reconstructed kiva. It felt like descending back in time, going into the kiva. When I re-emerged, it was like seeing the sun for the first time.

The climb back down to the ground was a bit challenging, but I made it, one step and one hand-hold at a time.

Fear of heights? Not me! 🙂

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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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