On the Sharp End of Life, with Dierdre Wolownick

Enjoy this very inspiring episode with Dierdre Wolownick!  Her resiliency, determination, love of our Mother Nature, and views on raising children, and facing our fears are lessons we should all apply into our own lives.

Dierdre’ has taught 5 foreign languages on 3 continents for 44 years. Her writings and her independent publishing company produced several award-winners and international sellers.  A musician all her life, Dierdre founded and conducted the West Sacramento Community Orchestra, and plays in many community orchestras . At 55, she began running, and has done marathons, and half-marathons. At 59, she began rock climbing, and at 66, she became the oldest woman to climb Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan (with her son, Alex Honnold, of “Free Solo” fame). In 2021, she celebrated her 70th birthday by going up El Cap again and camping on the summit. She just returned from a 3-country speaking tour in Europe, and in 2023, the documentary about her life, “Climbing Into Life,” will be available at film festivals across the country.

You can find Dierdre here:

• The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story   — Mountaineers Books
• Blog: dierdrew.us
• IG: @DierdreWolownick

 Here are her key takeaways:

  1. Lifelong learning is who we are as humans. It is the key to happiness. We are happiest when we have a goal and we are learning something.
  2. The main job of any parents is to make themselves obsolete! Raise your children so they don’t need us – that’s our biggest job. 
  3. You can’t really know what you’re capable of, until you try!
  4. There are 2 types of fear 1) real kind that warrants listening to , and 2) perceived fear – we think there is danger, and we react to that perception.
  5. Fear is always a choice and we have to learn to make that choice wisely. You have to expand your comfort zone to include whatever it is that scares you.
  6. The opposite of fear is not courage – it is foolhardiness – or daredevil-ness. You have to learn to talk yourself into no longer believing that fear. 
  7. Mother nature has everything that we need. She has all the answers. We need to relearn that connection with our mother.
  8. The view from the top is not just a reward for your hard work, it’s a reminder of how small we are in the grand scheme of things, and how beautiful the world can be if we’re willing to push ourselves to see it.
  9. Humans are so tiny and insignificant on this planet. We are like little ants.  Appreciate the grandeur of mother nature and all that she offers us – life is beautiful, it really is!

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