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My Blog

The Fear of Falling

Good morning everyone.  Saturday once again.  Hope everyone has some exciting plans for the weekend.  It seems as though the older I become, the quicker the week goes by.  I guess, perhaps, it is because we think about the days more than when we were kids.  I think the only time we thought about what day it was...was during the school year! 
Well, it seems like the weather so far is going to be gloomy...By now I see the sun rising above the houses across the street and nothing so far!  Well, it really doesn't matter to me...I will be painting all day.   
I painted most of yesterday, but with a migraine that just grew as the day went on.  I finally gave up about 7 last night.  I hate getting the migraines....I am sure it has everything to do with allergies.  Here we go...the season is here.  I am not sure why I was blessed with so many, but I do believe on some levels...my body is saving me from a toxic environment! 
Well, as for today's blog....it is about my fear of falling.  Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I am a pretty strong and independent women.  I have always been that way....I suppose it came from my upbringing.  I came from a household that was comprised of only women from the time I was 12.  Before then, the only man in my life was my grandfather.  I learned to be the man around the house since my mother always worked and my grandmother was old.  That left me to tend to most of the things that men might have done around the house. 
But falling...hmmm....a story in itself.  I think subconsciously it must have had something to do with my weight.  I wasn't a fat child, just a little chunky.  But I can remember my cousin having me on a diet since I was 5 years old.  She lived with us, and she was obsessed...to say the least with weight.  I must say, I think I have been on a diet ever since those days.  Now...I think because of that...the thought of falling down frightened me. I always thought that if I fell and someone had to help me up....I would be embarrassed.  I was not by any means obese, I just wasn't thin! 
Well, this fear prevented me from doing some of the things I really wanted to do...like roller skating and ice skating. These were things that had the probability of falling and I was not about to take the chance. 
I remember when I was in Girl Scouts...they had an Roller skating event....I wanted to go...but I didn't know how to roller skate.  I remember using my cousins skates and I put them on in the house and practiced on the carpet...can you imagine.  Who can roller skate on a carpet...but I had furniture and walls and a carpet to protect me...just in case.  Well, I put on my big girl panties, and went to the event.  I was shaking on the inside...but I really wanted to do this...so I sat down and donned the pair of skates.  I was on the seats just by the wall and when I stood, I could hold onto the wall as I walked to get onto the rink.  I was petrified the entire time as I got closer and closer to the entrance opening.  Just as I was ready to step into the arena...a girl fell down right in front of me and cracked open the back of her head.  Blood was coming out...the person in the rink that watched out for everyone came skating over...the next thing I knew, they called an ambulance and took her to the hospital.  Well, now there's an invitation to step out into the rink...NOT IN THIS LIFETIME.  I felt my way right back to the seat and removed the skates.  Needless to say...I will be 60 this year and have never roller skated! 
Now years went by and by the time I became 17, I was dating a young man who ice skated and played hockey.  He convinced me that it would be a fun to go on a date ice skating.  Well, here we go again.  Ice skating has the risk of falling.  But I braved up.  I went out and purchased a brand new pair of ice skates.  I was going to prove to myself that I could do this!  He picked me up and we drove to Bell Park right off of Oak Park Ave in Chicago.  They froze the park and made it into a big ice rink.  I sat down on this bench and the young gentleman knelt down and helped me put on my skates.  Being that this was my first time, he wanted to ensure that they were on properly and that my ankles were supported.  I held me breath as he reached out his hand for me to take and we walked over to the ice.  I was almost there...and all I could think about was that moment when that girl fell. I reached the iced and panicked.  I couldn't do it.  I started to cry...I couldn't believe that I was crying, but the tears just kept flowing.....I couldn't do it!  He walked me back to the bench, and after collecting myself, told him to go and skate.  I would watch him.  After some encouragement, he did.  I think he thought that after seeing how easy it was, that I would be encouraged to try...well, that never happened!  So, here I am....never roller skated or ice skated.  I married a man who not only ice skated, but skated well into his 40's on a hockey team.  I made him teach our daughters to skate and granddaughters as well.  He has many times asked me to join them.  Vowing that he would not allow  me to fall....but unless they can wrap me up in bubble wrap, it just isn't going to happen. 
The hardest thing about it all, is that I am frustrated that I let my fear get in the way of trying something that I have always wanted to do.  The only good thing that came out of that was that It helped my to encourage my daughters to try everything.  It helped me to instill in them not to fear anything. 
I remember going with my mother to the Ice Capades.  Oh how fabulous that was.  When I watched those skaters in those gorgeous costumes float across the ice, I dreamt about the possibilities...they were so graceful.  Well, some many years later, as I watch the Olympics and the skaters...my heart yearns for a chance...but I am resigned to never stepping out on the ice.  I sure hope  that in heaven, wings will allow me to flat across that icy ground and wipe away the fear of falling down. 

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