Australia, blogging

Security

Germaine Greer is a legend in her own time, a leading feminist in the ‘burn the bra,’ era, yet Germaine has something to say about security.

“Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life.”

– Germaine Greer

If we think about those words, to live life we have to face risks. The trick is to balance that risk with practical common sense and find that happy medium between living and managing risk.

Zipline

Recently I attended an Adventure Climbing Park. At my age, it is an unusual thing to do and I have not done it before. But it was now or never, I thought. Last Chance station. So I gave it a go.

The task was to climb trees, harnessed in for safety about 20 metres up a tall tree, and walk across progressively more difficult and wobbly bridges and ropes from platform to platform suspended high above the ground, with no exit until the end of the course.

I was keen yet I was terrified. Terrified of falling off the bridge and hanging in my harness mid-air 20 metres up, until some 20 something park attendant could rescue me. How he would rescue me, I did not know and that was even more terrifying! This single thought propelled me onwards when I doubted my ability to continue.

This task that I was so keen to undertake was way out of my usual comfort zone and was designed to test your physical strength and mental resilience. After several reasonably easy initial steps climbing nets that gradually took us higher and higher into the trees, I faced walking across a tightrope – still harnessed in.

This was a real challenge balancing and stepping carefully and I balked at it, thinking there was no way I could do it, but as there was no way down, I inched across sideways, little by little, hanging on to the harness for grim life, until I made it safely to the other side.

NB. This was the Beginners course!

Photo credit: www.treetopchallenge.com.au/sunshine-coast-adventure

https://www.treetopchallenge.com.au/sunshine-coast-adventure

After traversing six or more wobbly poles and ropes that made my upper body muscles tremor with fear/tension? I reached the end and ziplined my way to ground again. Phew! I did it.

Would I do it again?

No! Did I enjoy it? Yes. But it was nerve wracking!

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone and performing calculated risks may allow for personal growth in confidence, ability and perhaps reduction of stress associated with the previous level of risk.

How willing are you to step out and face risks?

83 thoughts on “Security”

    1. There was a song by a band some years back, that recited parts of a speech to high school graduates with advice on life. It said something along the lines of, “do something every day that scares you! ”
      As long as it is not foolhardy, I think it is something I shall try to do.
      So how successful are you with that piece of advice, Ang?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah living under the lockdown restrictions makes it harder to find something inside the home that meets the criteria of stepping out of the comfort zone. Look after your knee! Hope it feels better soon. Another lyric I remember from that same song: Look after your knees, you will miss them when they are gone. Something my other half is finding out with each passing month.
          Have a great Sunday, Ang!
          Amanda

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Good for you Amanda! This is one thing that is so way past my comfort zone, that I couldn’t – wouldn’t – try it. A fear of heights and wobbly footholds is too much for me.

    The last thing I did that went past my comfort zone was scuba diving. I did it, am PADI certified but I would never do it again. I figure that I have enough things to try outside my comfort zone without being terrified in the process 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that, Sandy. There are limits for everyone. If I had known what was required of me, I doubt that I would have agreed. But I am glad that I didn’t know and did do it. Like you with the Scuba diving. But once is enough. Happy to sit on the ground and let my other young friends dance across on the bridges while I watch from the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Security

    On Sunday, June 6, 2021, Something to Ponder About wrote:

    > Forestwood posted: ” Germaine Greer is a legend in her own time, a leading > feminist in the ‘burn the bra,’ era, yet Germaine has something to say > about security. “Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can > happen to you; security is the denial of life.” – Ge” >

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  3. I’m not sure I would take this on. I don’t have a major issue with heights but my sense of balance is appalling! But you’re right that stepping out of our comfort zone is something we should all do from time to time. I used to have the common fear of public speaking, but as I progressed in my working life I needed to be able to do it. Someone advised me never to turn down an opportunity to speak, however nervous it made me. I followed the advice and found after a few years that I actually enjoyed public speaking and ended up doing it a lot in my career 🙂

    Another thought – isn’t ‘finding that happy medium between living and managing risk’ exactly what we are all trying to do right now? How do countries start to learn to live with Covid-19, allowing their citizens a reasonable amount of freedom while protecting them from serious illness as much as possible? And when will it become a disease we can accept as an occasional risk to a person’s health rather than one that threatens us all?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Similarly, I have issues with balance much more than heights, Sarah. Balance is the first sense to deteriorate with age. Perhaps it is exacerbated as our hearing deteriorates as our middle ear is important for balance. I was lucky that I had a few muscular issues for which I was doing Physio guided balance exercises and core strengthening for some months prior to this day. That really helped me manage to do this tree climbing activity. Otherwise, I would have failed at the first bridge! My advice is to work on our balance every day. It is SO important when we age!
      Public Speaking is the number one fear for most folks, in the developed world, isn’t it, Sarah. To bare our soul to the group, and to have to hold an audience is quite daunting. If you think too much about the audience, you might freeze up totally. I have a son who has extreme anxiety in social situations, yet he has become a teacher at University level! He has learnt to wing it and ad-lib teaching sessions. I admire him for that. This is an example where practice does help. We do get better at those fearful things, as long as the risk is not too great, to begin with, lest you go backwards. Staying under the fight and flight threshold is the preferred option to allow for personal growth. Well done to you for getting to the point of enjoying something you dreaded.
      Sobering thoughts on the Covid situation. I do agree to a point, Sarah. I think we cannot lock our borders forever, but when do we open them. When everyone is vaccinated, but what happens when there is a new variant emerge and viruses do this all the time! It would be great if we could wipe it out completely but like the flu it is bound to come back time and time again. Eventualy it will come here and I am in a vulnerable category. So will I ever feel safe travelling again? Probably not. Can I take a calculated risk? Perhaps? Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe we’ll never wipe it out totally – as you say, like flu. And even if we personally were to choose not to travel, others will so that’s something we have to find a way to accommodate as a society. I think for me it will definitely reach a point at which I’ll take that risk. After all, even before Covid there were plenty of risks to travelling – diseases for which there were no vaccinations, dodgy drivers in lots of countries where there seem to be no rules of the road, plane crashes (unlikely but not impossible), poor hygiene standards etc etc. For me travel is too important not to take calculated risks for, I just need to decide when this one feels on a par with the others rather than extra risky as it is at present. Actually, personally I’m already at that point where many countries are concerned, but I’m not allowed to go as yet. As soon as borders are open we will be off to somewhere that feels no less safe than being at home, I suspect!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True words, Sarah. When it is dangerous enough in your own community, why wouldn’t you travel away from home?
          Always we have to weigh up the risks and benefits.
          I have some respiratory issues so was very lucky not to get anything other than minor illnesses when travelling, but I know enough to be very careful and at times, I would be cross if someone who was sick, was careless with their cough etiquette. Still that is life. We can’t walk around in a bubble. I have a friend who has masses of life threatening analphylactic allergies and she continues to live her life enthusiastically. She always carries her epipen injectable, otherwise she would be dead. That frames things differently.
          Where would you want to travel to first when the borders open?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The short answer is, anywhere we’re allowed! But we have a weekend in Paris booked for this September which I’d love to be able to take but fear we will have to postpone. We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary there as it’s where we honeymooned but at this rate it may have to be our 41st or even 42nd! We also have a trip to Sri Lanka booked for next February but I can’t see that happening, so we may go somewhere else then if other places are more open. And I’m hoping to go to a VT meet in Chicago in September 2022 which feels more likely 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Gosh so many places on your list already. I am 60 next year and wanted to be in Sweden to celebrate – thinking that was when I was going to retire. But well things happen. It might be Sweden in my mind. A weekend in Paris sounds delightful. Wasn’t that a movie title?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Possibly. I like the famous quote from Audrey Hepburn: ‘Paris is always a good idea’ 🙂 We’re so close that we can go any time so if not this September then some time soon. I hope you get to Sweden next year!

                Liked by 1 person

  4. “security is the denial of life.” That one statement really says it all and resonates very much. It is profound! I’m impressed that you even thought to give it a shot. I have such balance issues on ground level that just working on my terraces is risk enough. Just staying upright is a big thing. But to not do it is to give up living a full and complete life so I go with a tool for balance. You did good here with another thought provoking post. Now I must drag bags of compost up the hill to the terraces. Sigh. Have a wonderful week, Amanda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see you dragging those bags of compost, Marlene. Suck in your navel and use your core strength to protect your back!
      The quote is thought -provoking. How far do we cocoon ourselves, how much protection do we give/should we have?
      The tipping point changes with each life stage and sometimes each day! Always a challenge to challenge ourselves without too much of a challenge. Lol. But I would rather the occasional stress/scare/fear ridden activity than live a secure life – (in terms of the quote). It makes me think a little of folks who have lived through the ravages of war in their own countries where security of self and family is non-existant. They live day to day with the prospect of death. Do they cope by retreating into a cocoon upon reaching a safe place? I knew a family of Bosnian refugees and they were over-reactive to perceived threats to their safety once they had immigrated to Australia and were living quite safely.

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    1. Yes I lived to blog about it, Janis. Haha! It was just as well it panned out as it did, without me realising how difficult the obstacles were, otherwise I would have backed out. One of the obstacles was a bridge made out a log, held horizontally about 2-3 feet from the next suspended only in the middle by a fixture, so that it would tip side to side if you stepped on it. You had to find the sweet spot to put your feet or else you would fall. It was difficult but I did have my harness holding me from falling!
      A bit like a metaphor for life. Finding that sweet spot between risk and safety! And having shelter and loved ones for support! You said you like to “push yourself out of the comfort zone now and then.” I wonder what that looks like?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. To clarify, M-R, I only finished the beginners course. Practise your balance every day. Try to stand on one leg for progressively longer time frames while you are cleaning your teeth. That way you will remember to do it twice a day. Start with 5 secs each leg and gradually increase. It helps protect us from accidental falls as we get older.

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      1. Thanks for telling me that. I’ll do that for sure. Also while washing the dishes. My balance isn’t that good. I’m also supposed to walk with a walking stick when going for my walks. When I’ve got Trompie with me it’s not that bad but when I walk home from school on my own it feels at times if I want to sumble or walk more to one side.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. And always when you do it, keep sucking in your navel towards your spine. Not so much you can’t breathe, but just to tighten your core muscles and tone them up to protect your back and keep you stable.

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  5. At what age is it appropriate to do anything? I understand it’s not appropriate for a grown person to drop to the floor and cry if they don’t get what they want at a restaurant. I imagine some people think, at my age, it’s inappropriate to visit my gym bare-chested. But I don’t care. And you shouldn’t care either, Amanda, that your age is supposedly a barrier to engaging in the kind of activity you describe. Only YOU decide at what age it’s appropriate to do certain things!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Alejandro. I need to hear comments like that. Often I feel, as many women do, we opt for the most appropriate, or right thing; at times failing to consider what our heart might like. This might stem from having to put children first. With those times past, it is time for more outrageous pursuits if we desire them! Thanks for the reminder! Throw away that gym shirt of yours, for good!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When you think it will be a fun walk amongst the treetops, without fully realising the physical demands, it was an easy choice to do it. It was, believe it or not, an activity for a bridal hen’s party! The bride was really surprised I wanted to do it and double checked!! Like I said, it was now or never!

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  6. Firstly, I love Germaine Greer. Her book The Female Eunuch changed my life. Having said that, I am happy to admit that she is also capable of talking a load of balderdash. Security is the denial of life is just one such ridiculous statement.
    Like a lot of elderly folk I have problems with balance so I wouldn’t even think about the ordeal you put yourself through. I admire your courage and tenacity but I wonder why you feel the need to undertake such a daunting exercise? I go outside my comfort zone frequently but not in a physical sense. I’m apt to undertake projects that stretch my mental capacity to its limit and I gain satisfaction from the completion of such tasks but I do nothing that would put me in danger. But I’m glad you found benefit from the undertaking. You are a very brave woman.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mari! Thanks so much for your comment.
      I like that you found Germaine Greer changed your life. I think that Germaine’s quote could be seen as ridiculous for many folks and quite true for others. I guess it is all about context. Someone living through a civil war would have a different attitude towards someone living a sheltered life with all the creature comforts.
      There is no need to admire my tenacity and courage. I didn’t have either of those in agreeing to attend the Treetops challenge. I felt like I was in denial about my ability and naive about what the task entailed. Perhaps I wasted my money only doing the beginners course. If there had have been exit points along the intermediate course, I would have gone on to continue with it, but I could not see any, so stopped at the end of the beginner course.
      I am not afraid of heights and had been working to improve my balance so was determined, perhaps blindly, to give it a go. I didn’t need to, but I did want to!
      Unfortunately I was not as you thought, brave! I wish I could say that I was. It was much much harder than I thought it would be.
      I totally agree that mental challenges are satisfying enough.
      Having said that, I am still a bit of a daredevil at times. I have always wanted to skydive, but realize it is not as fun as I thought it would be. (I have seen the videos of those who did it). It is dangerous but so is crossing the street or driving on the highway in a piece of metal and rubber at 100 km/h.
      To come back to Germaine, security is an essential human need. At least Maslow thought so.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Abseiling would be okay. Rock climbing would be too hard on the upper body and hands. I think the intensity of the wind at high altitudes is too much for me to skydive now.

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  7. I am suitably impressed, and why not, I say. There is nothing like pushing our boundaries out further as the older we get; they seem to want to become smaller—an enjoyable post and inspiring for my Monday morning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that the post was inspiring for you! That is very kind of you to say so. I don’t feel that I am particularly inspirational. I feel I was a bit naive! But also determined. I thought it was going to be a lot of fun! But I did get a sense of achievement for pushing out those boundaries when I finished and a case of wobbly legs and arms. Haha!

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  8. This adventure at the climbing park sounded incredibly fun. Very happy that you managed to complete it without falling off. Well done, Amanda. It sounded like you had full concentration, trying to control your movements as best as possible. Hope you enjoyed zipping back down after that. I agree with your sentiments at the end, and really liked that you brought up the idea that through doing things out of our comfort zone, we can reduce our stress. I had to think about that one. I do think that is true to an extent. For instance, we do things that scare us and in turn we don’t feel scared about them anymore – sort of like learning how to drive, riding a bicycle or rollerskating. Then there are things we probably can’t overcome because we just can’t. Like some of the others, heights is something that doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve done adventure climbs before but in general avoid places with heights because it gives me dizziness.

    Another thoughtful post, Amanda. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of my family members would be similar to you, Mabel. My hubby, the Moth, lost his nerve coping with heights about 10 years ago. Up until then, he was fine. It seems like vertigo can worsen with age. You are right when you said I had to concentrate. I did indeed. But the reward was a sense of real achievement that I had finished the course. I also benefited from having no fear because I didn’t know what I was in for. If I did, I would never have participated!

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      1. I like how you said it, that you didn’t know what you were in for at the start, so you just went for it. Sometimes if we know what we are getting into, we might be hesitant, and try to prepare in our heads how to react. It’s always such a good feeling when you put all your focus on something and get it done. It can motivate you to do other things you never thought of.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree, Mabel, that when we unknowingly and spontaneously stretch ourselves to do things previously off the table, we can increase our self-confidence. However, this is contingent on it being a good experience, as a bad experience might set us back further in our quest to grow mentally and physically. Smaller steps that keep us under a fear threshold may work better than one huge attempt at leaping forward, or out of a tree!

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          1. When you mentioned setback, I thought of time when I was working out to build strength. I was rushing a workout routine and ended up pulling a muscle. It wasn’t serious, but a reminder that in the process of growing we have to mindful of our limitations. As you said, small steps work better for some of us.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Such a wonderful analogy, Mabel. I think you are right. Rushing to achieve something usually results in a poorer quality outcome. Being mindful of our limitations and showing appropriate caution via smaaler steps doesn’t necessarily take away from an experience but may mean it takes a little longer to acheive the desired outcome.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. Mabel I sent a lengthy reply to your post about racism on the tram, but it seems to have disappeared in cyberspace. Perhaps I didn’t wait long enough before switching screens on my smartphone and it didn’t go through. I feel very sorry that you had to go through that experience and it seems like the guy was clearly unbalanced and should have been tossed off the tram. I think a lot of people on that tram must have been frightened of what he could do and did not want to speak up lest they provoke him to further aggression.

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          1. It is very thoughtful and kind of you to leave a reflection comment on my blog, Amanda. I had a look and I don’t see your comment in the Spam or Trash folders. So as you said, it must have disappeared into cyberspace.

            Racism is scary, and sometimes people can get really aggressive when they are in an unstable state of mind. There is no need for anti-social behaviour on public transports, and I am guessing passengers felt threatened too. Hopefully we all learn to be kinder to one another.

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  9. Woohoo! Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone, Amanda! I am so chuffed and inspired by you!

    It is indeed a challenge to balance common sense and taking risk …. something we should consider more often, methinks as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear Ju-Lyn. That is so kind of you to say so. If I can inspire someone to step a little out of their comfort zone in a positive way, my work is done!
      How are things over your way, these days. I haven’t heard Singapore much in the news lately except this morning they mentioned that a Singapore Australia travel bubble will be some time off yet.

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  10. I read this when you posted and clicked on the link but forgot to comment. Colour me impressed!! Extremely well done. It must have been amazing! I was at the start of the zipline on top of the ski jump structure in Slovenia last August and observed the start of several participants and I was never as clear about something: NEVER!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well a ski jump is a higher and longer run than the ziplines I did. Ziplines are supposed to be fun, not too terrifying that you can’t enjoy them. I found that it my zipline was over and done with before I could settle and enjoy it.

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  11. Amanda, you are amazing! I would never have even thought about attempting something like that. Hanging from the air on my harness after falling off the tightrope does not sound fun! I’m in awe! Good going. I’m out of my comfort zone playing pickleball! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marsha. I do think readers believe I have more courage than I do. It is more likely a mix of naivete and denial of aging, but I thank to for the compliment. But now I am curious – what is pickleball?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the new rage, especially for older people, but is catching on as a real sport. It’s like tennis, badminton, racket ball and ping pong. It’s played on a court smaller, but similar to tennis with a whiffle ball (only sturdier) and what looks like a larger, smoother ping pong paddle. https://binged.it/3gqYEeU

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