What are you afraid of? (Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!)

What are you afraid of?
(Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!)

Ten years ago, if you had asked me what I was afraid of, I would have told you: heights, a world chocolate shortage, and snakes.

Today? Getting old, getting sick, being alone, being irrelevant, peeing my pants and dying.

Ageing has a funny way of shifting the lens. (And yes, dignity is often one of the first things to go).

When we understand what we are afraid of, we also understand what we need, and that is the key to asset building.

There are all kinds of clichés I could apply to this (things like “what we fear we give power,” and that would be true) but instead of waxing poetic, I’ve decided I’m going to take that litany of self-conjured horrors and turn it on it’s head.

I’m going to turn it into the best damned fuel for a bucket list. Ever.


The Starting Line: Gotta Get Me Some Courage!

There is one thing that several of these fears have in common, or any fear, for that matter: we shrink them with courage.

There is one thing that several of these fears have in common, or any fear, for that matter: we shrink them with courage.

I’m willing to bet that this one particular “asset” — courage — makes the top of the list for many Adventure Divas when we think about the things we wish we had more of.

I learned a long time ago that the antidote to fear is confrontation.

I mentioned heights was one of the things that has held me hostage emotionally for a really long time. Try to get me to go out on the balcony of an apartment building or hotel room and look down? Not happening.

So during a trip to Toronto I ventured to the top of the CN Tower, and discovered they had a glass floor on the upper deck. (Let me reintroduce the fear of peeing your pants …) I chewed on it for maybe 5 minutes, and then in a moment of spontaneous bravado, said “screw it!” and walked right out on that glass monster and stared death in the face a whole 1,122 feet below.

The bottom dropped out of my stomach, just for a second, and then I realized I wasn’t falling, and I stood there and laughed my head off like a kid. You’d have thought I’d just climbed Mount Everest, and for my own purposes, I really had.


How Can We Apply this to Fears Associated with Ageing?

What are you afraid of? Not much after watching 82-year-old nurse-turned-action-hero, Kay D’Arcy!I was thinking about this again today in a moment of weakness. This time, it was fueled by one of those ever-more-frequent pauses to reflect on the changes I am experiencing with my age, and I found myself asking what it was that I had learned from that glass floor, and how I might apply that to the new kinds of anxieties that have been ever so slowly but surely creeping in.

The thing that occurs to me first is what I already know: that taking a look at the example of other women who are doing crazy, inspiring, death-defying things, in spite of their age, empowers me.


I come back, time and time again, to women like Kay D’Arcy, a A 82 year old woman who became a martial arts action hero!

Kay spent decades as a nurse, midwife and mother before jumping into Hollywood. Now she stars as an acrobatic assassin in the Web series ‘Agent 88,’ doing many of her own stunts. What impressed the directors is that she could go from being really frail, and looking like she could break, to a totally empowered woman. She did it right in front of them, and blew them away.

So if Kay D’Arcy can kick ass, literally, what exactly is it that I am afraid of again?


What Adventure Divas Have Inspired YOU?

Storytelling is a powerful lens through which we can refocus our view of ourselves, sometimes through the strength of others. While I’m not likely to be an acrobatic assassin any time soon, I most definitely look at Kay’s example in the context of my own bucket list and feel a whole lot more empowered. More than a decade ago, at age 69, she left her home in England to move to Hollywood to have an adventure. I’d say she nailed it, wouldn’t you?

Take the next 2 1/2 minutes to watch the video I tucked in at the top of this post, and tell me that Kay D’Arcy isn’t a hero in more ways than one? Her enthusiasm is infectious, and the way she frames aging is honest, fearless and most definitely empowering.


Who has been an inspiring example for YOU?

Come on over and put your elbows on our “Diva Discovery” kitchen table
and tell us about her!

Carpe diem, divas!




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