Today, I reached for the book not to read the January 4 entry, but instead was looking for any mention of “fear“–this, after reading a friend’s Facebook post. She’d been reading a book (didn’t mention which one) that prompted her query:
Do you think it is possible to eliminate fear from your life?
NO, was my gut reaction to the question posed. And I have to admit I was slightly irritated by the pretext of the question, the consideration of eliminating fear. Granted, it’s a philosophical question. But still.
Why on earth would I want to do that?
Some of my most inspired and exciting moments have included an element of fear. It’s not that I’m driven by fear, nor that it’s the initial emotion that prompts my actions in most situations, but I’m conscious of it, believe it’s there for a reason, and without it, I wouldn’t be able to evaluate and then act accordingly in the best way possible. I couldn’t imagine any interesting experience or situation in my past that hasn’t included fear. Goodness, life would be absolutely boring without fear.
Over a hundred people responded to the post. I’m not going to respond. But I’ll Like this one:
Fear has a place, it shouldn’t paralyze one though, in most applications
Got me to thinking…
Yesterday, after the snowstorm, I convinced a friend to purchase with me a livingsocial.com $99 ski package deal to Hunter Mountain–transportation, lift ticket, rental equipment included.
I’m an experienced skier, as is she, but neither of us has skied in years and we both, unsurprisingly, exchanged what I guess would be called words of caution about being old and those creaky bones. I would add atrophied quads to my list (she wouldn’t; she lifts weights).
At some point, my friend asked if helmets were included in our package.
–Helmets? I said. I don’t wear a helmet. I don’t do tricks or jumps. Moguls and an occasional bowl if there is one. I don’t need a helmet.
–Times have changed, she said while pulling up images of skiers and snowboarders on Hunter Mountain–all of whom were wearing helmets.
I’ve always advocated wearing a helmet while bike riding, I suppose a helmet on the slopes isn’t unreasonable.
I definitely know there are risks to skiing. Breaking my arm or wrist (happened to my sister, stepfather, friend) or having my bindings not properly adjusted and injuring my knees. Concussion. Paralysis. But I’ve had far too many accidents and illnesses over the years off the slopes that I don’t see how skiing with or without a helmet can be any more dangerous than riding the subway.
My stepfather, who skied with me for years (now he’s 92), always told my sister and me not to be afraid of falling–falling, tumbling, crashing on the slopes. He’d say, If you don’t fall once in a while then you’re being too cautious, not improving, not letting yourself go enough to really feel the rush of downhill skiing.
I’d like to believe the same holds true for life.
No fear, no fun.