A few weeks ago, I wrote about creating a positive retirement challenge for ourselves. Shortly after that, I received my own retirement challenge. Donna, a much younger friend, invited me to go rock climbing with her and, like a fool, I readily agreed.
Then, I began to fear that this retirement challenge could be the biggest one I had ever experienced. What if I fall, what if I cannot get up to even the first rock? Most of all, I worried, what if don’t have enough strength to pull myself up from rock to rock? Or, worse yet, would I fall and break something?
Truthfully, some of these questions were foolish. Having previously taken my granddaughter to rock climb, I knew that “newbies” are harnessed and the landing is on foam rubber. To me, it seemed impossible to hurt oneself, but I still quaked each time I anticipated the outing. The only thing I really had to fear was the embarrassment of being too weak to pull myself up the wall.
Sooo– I started praying! I thought, maybe my friend will have to cancel. Perhaps we’ll have a hurricane and the power will go out or I’ll break a leg before our appointed date. None of these things ever happened, and I don’t like to disappoint friends, so we went.
Moving Beyond the Retirement Challenge
I quickly learned that my fears were truly unfounded. The staff at the “rock emporium” was helpful and reassuring. They convinced me that, despite possibly being the oldest person they had ever seen there, I would be safe. They even began to make me believe that I would enjoy the day.
Eventually, I came to believe them! The more I climbed the better I felt. Affirming that I could test myself by doing new and strenuous activities became exhilarating. That feeling got even better when my children and grandchildren expressed admiration that I had “it in me”.
Why is a retirement challenge important?
I mention this because, for me at least, it’s a good example of how accomplishing something we had feared is empowering. Do you have things you might like to do, but no longer feel capable of accomplishing? Honestly, just making the effort of doing something that seems beyond our ability is intoxicating. I hope you’ll try a new challenge today. You’ll probably be happy you did!
Name Your Retirement Challenge
What will you challenge yourself to do today? Will you share your thoughts below, post them on your favorite social media or share this post with others? I hope so—you might make someone’s day a little more exciting!