Children fall well. And often. They skin knees and bruise elbows, but generally they come out rather better than an adult would in the same situation. When children fall, they just fall. They don’t resist as much. They don’t fear as much. Their limbs are looser, they break less bones. Children, and drunk people. They don’t know any better. When adults fall, memories of so much previous pain flash through their heads as they stiffen and fall. Break.

I’ve been taking archery lessons. In the past two weeks, I’ve shot a lot of arrows. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like a badass, when I release that arrow and it shoots into the target with whomp. It wasn’t until my 9th or 10th arrow that I release the bow string and it hit my left arm, stinging and almost immediately bruising. In that moment, I lost some of my badass-ness. My fearlessness. From that moment, every arrow I nocked I paused to overthink where my left elbow was, to wonder if I was going to hit myself again. I told myself I needed to go back to being fearless. Yes, it hurt. But not so much that it should hold me back. It’s a human instinct to avoid pain.

It’s been almost four years since I wrote this post about being afraid to fall. This morning, Lindz and I were talking about my injury, and the children we saw skating a few weeks ago. She said she wished she could still be like that. Fearless.

I wish I could be like that in many aspects of my life, I said.

I feel like with each painful memory, physical or emotional, I close myself off a little more. I find myself wishing for fearlessness. To jump, run, shoot as if it won’t hurt. To live like that, unafraid of pain. Because the pain passes. The bruises fade. Life goes on.

And it would be much more exciting if I were more fearless.

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