As parents, it’s natural to want to protect our children. Paula McGuire was a quiet, timid child. Her parents loved her so much that they protected her from all the things she was afraid of… and it turned out that she was frightened of pretty much everything.
She never learned to swim; never learned to ride a bike.
Paula developed serious anxiety as she grew up. By the time she was 30, she was afraid to leave the house on her own.
To overcome this crippling anxiety, Paula made the decision to terrify herself by trying all the Commonwealth sports – and to blog about it. She has since gone on to pursue adventure, trying the 15 jobs children most want to do when they grow up, as well as a whole load of extreme sports.
In this film, she talks about the balance between risk and being protected. She believes that it is important for children to be supported to learn about taking risks, when they’re young and most able to learn. She says,
“Being protected made me safer for those five minutes, but being protected from things that I would have been able to handle – that didn’t make me safe. That made me not understand what risk is.”
Paula is currently training for her biggest challenge yet: an 1800 mile Big Mad Swim around the coast of mainland Britain to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.