Those who know me on any level, know my love of walking.
Walking takes me back to my heart and soothes my aching soul if that is what is required.
I find uphill easier than many. I have been referred to as a mountain goat by those left in my wake as I stride to the view at the top.
I have a theory with walking uphill – the faster you go, the quicker you get there, giving the pain a chance to subside.
Downhill, however, is quite a different story.
Those who are behind me going up very quickly pass me going down.
And I am left in their wake often watching them disappear into the blind bits of the path ahead.
Why am I so slow going down?
Fear – I have bit the dust enough times going down that an unreasonable fear has trapped itself into my psyche.
While there may be more chance of me falling on the descent of a big hill, it was perfectly flat where I face planted the other day.
I don’t fear walking on the flat.
I watch people stride downhill with confidence and know the only difference between them and me is they do not fear it. Or they move through their fear. I have seen them fall, and they get up and carry on without any hindrance on their progress.
Why am I telling you this – because it is a metaphor for life.
What do we leap into, and what do we stand back from?
Are you a leaper or are you a stand back and tread carefully, type of person?
Has it changed as you have aged?
From the clients I coach and the people I spend time with, ageing means more experience and more experience can mean we become fear-based because the memories of our bruises are strong.
We hold ourselves back, potentially missing out on opportunities for love, for adventure, for new friendships, for wealth.
Because somewhere in the distant past, something happened that heeded a warning to us to hold back.
It does seem to be the difference between people who go out there and make shit happen for themselves and those that don’t.
It can be the difference between living a life enjoyed, and a life regretted.
One of the first books I read when I started my journey out of depression, was ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. It was the first time I had been introduced to the idea that what I felt was no different from a lot of people – how I dealt with it was.
I wake up at night sometimes, gripped in anxiety and doubt.
Locked in the fear that I am kidding myself and my dreams are just that – better off in my head during slumber than out in the open in the light of day.
I have talked many times about midlife being that time when we start to look at how our life has turned out and what we want to do in the second half.
I am surrounded by talented people who have built businesses and sold them, setting themselves up for financial freedom and the second half of life that has choice.
I admire them and look to them with wonder – what have they done that allowed this to happen.
One thing I do know is they did not let fear stop them.
It is not that they did not experience fear, doubt, anxiety.
It is that they moved through it and kept trucking on.
Here is a truth – things are far more likely to work out if we jump in boots and all.
There is the obvious trusting our guts, and I do believe midlife is a time when we have learned to tune into ourselves and trust that what we sense is what exists.
However, if an opportunity comes your way and it feels right, go for it.
Commit and believe that it will turn out as it is meant to.
I prefer something not turn out that I have committed 100% to than watch it fail knowing I did not give it the attention and the importance it required particularly because I let my fear of what could happen, take over.
If love comes knocking, give you heart.
If adventure taps at your soul, then dance with your spirit.
And if opportunity seeks you out, no matter how it is dressed, commit and enjoy the journey.
Life cannot be lived on the sidelines, and yes, the game is where the injuries happen.
However, I would rather live injured than die long before I am buried.