Fear of Falling

In the past few months, almost weekly I’ve been hearing about people in their 60s and 70s who had to be rescued after falling while hiking on local trails. My first reaction was disbelief. How could someone just fall off a trail? Were they near a steep slope and not paying attention?

But then it happened to me. I was hiking on a rocky trail when my feet went out from under me while I was going downhill. One minute I was standing and the next I was on the ground. In the past, when I had started to slip while hiking on similarly steep slopes, I was able to regain my balance before falling. What happened that made this different?

I’m not sure, but something like that makes you lose trust in yourself. Last year I went hiking with a friend who, I could see, had lost confidence in her body. We were hiking on a trail I thought was relatively easy, but the rocky trail was a challenge for her. I had never seen the rocks as an obstacle, but since my fall, I’ve become more wary, especially when the rocks are wet. We take our mobility for granted until we lose it.

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