When I was 38 I learned how to fall down. At the time it seemed impossible until I went slow, practiced, and got very good at it. Why aren’t we all taught how to fall down and to fall down well in an easy, habitual way? The kids that learn how to fall excel at sports because, well, think about it: if you have a plan for how to fall down, how to dissipate your weight, if you KNOW you can do it without getting injured, doesn’t that make running fast and jumping higher just that much easier?
I am currently participating in a program developed by Boston University and promoted by the National Council on Aging. It is called “Matter of Balance” and it is an evidence based cognitive behavior and exercise program. I am considering becoming a lay instructor for the Fire Department because I would like to offer this class at the Senior Center.
The piece I believe they got wrong was the assumption of the negative. So, when they describe how to re-set your mind, they want you to replace “negative thoughts” such as “I am afraid I will fall” with “positive” thoughts such as “I will not fall.”
But this, in my opinion falls short. Replace the negative with truly positive, “I will maintain my balance” and go even farther to learn deeply, “If I fall it is possible to fall well.”
Falling well means going with the flow, protecting your head, rolling softly.
Here is an article from The New York Times:
And like that Daddy and Daughter team on facebook said, “When I fall down…I get back up again!” A sentiment that I am currently drilling into my own head with regards to the political challenges we are facing. But that’s another thing.