Learning to fall seems a worthy pursuit.
Fear dominates our lives. For some it is healthy and for others debilitating. With advancing age many people develop a fear of falling, though to be fair, there is often good reason. But learning to fall, as taught by 95 year old Elliot Royce in the article above, sounds like a great idea.
People fall for different reasons. Muscle tone plays a large part in how well the body holds itself up and handles terrain. Our muscle density decreases naturally as we age and if you don’t have much to begin with it is harder to balance and move with grace and ease.
How we fall adds another dimension to the graceful aging puzzle.
“It’s the fear of falling that makes people stick out their arms to try to catch themselves, and that’s what causes the broken wrists and arms,” Royce said. “The more you fall, the more you overcome the fear of falling.”
My take on fear and falling just adds one more wrinkle. The more you relax when you fall the less likely you will be to get injured. Teaching inversions I often remark that the student who crashes to the floor with a smile on her/his face is less likely to get injured than someone who panics on the way down.
Finally, it might be a fear of falling that prevents people from truly moving forward when they walk through life. People don’t usually believe it but almost everyone walks like R. Crumb’s Keep On Truckin’ guy below.
Maybe we are leaning backwards out of a fear of falling forwards.