It's akin to riding on the back of a gargantuan sleeping dragon; mustn't disturb him, don't get him riled, just enjoy and try to get off with all your bones intact. Easier said than done.
Try taking children to a park and telling them to stay off the Merry Go Round, Jungle Gym, Spiral Slide, and "Don't go near the water, either...those geese will bite you!" No! Have Slickrock, Must Ride. Have sandstone bowls, must swoop. Have undulating hills with ultimate traction, must test leg strength, skill...bravado. There are good reasons why Badges of Courage are Red, for they are stained with blood of triumphs and failures. Win, lose or draw, you wear the Badge with the dignity and honor for having tried. Even though Life is a Team Sport, in the end there is no glory nor satisfaction to be had while sitting on the "bench."
Now go mount your Serpent's back and participate! You are only as old as you feel.
Peace Out from the land of Oz...