My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling

by Tess on April 8, 2009

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“Live is either a daring adventure or nothing.” -Helen Keller

My daughter Kristy is in Mexico swimming with the dolphins. She posted this on Facebook three hours ago. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. When I look at this photo I see present moment joy.

Kristy is my daughter who is physically challenged. She was born without most of her right hand. She has never let that hold her back.  In fact, she is a triathlete.

Her first triathlon was in Monterey California three years ago. The first even is swimming and I stood on the beach with the anxiety only a mom would recognize. 

There are hundreds of swimmers who all jump in and go at once. Kristy swam through kelp and at one time another athlete swam right over her. She also fell when they had to get out of the water to run around a cone and swim another round.

But things like that don’t stop Kristy. They make her more determined.

Last Sunday Kristy and I ran a 1/2 marathon together. She was kind enough to hold back and run with me and offer moral support. I told her to go ahead I’d be fine. She answered “mom, I’m here to create a memory. If I run ahead I won’t have one.”

When I discovered she was going on vacation to Mexico with her friend Dana I said, “But don’t you know Mexico is dangerous? Haven’t you heard what’s going on there?” She replied, “Oh mom, we’ll be fine.”

And as you can see in the photo she is!

My lesson: Don’t project my fears on my daughter!

What about you, what holds you back?
What makes you more determined?
If there is a lesson to be learned what is yours?

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    { 30 comments… read them below or add one }

    Julie April 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Tess, you have created and nurtured a beautiful daughter, in more ways than one. And you are both living the continual blessing of goodness!

    Julie’s last blog post..Dawn


    Annie April 8, 2009 at 11:22 am

    That’s such an inspiring story in so many ways!!


    Mark Lewis April 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I always tell my mother “I’ll be fine” too. I’ve only been wrong once.

    When you focus on all the dangers in life it’s easy to miss important moments like that pictured above.

    Your daughter is an inspiration!

    Mark Lewis’s last blog post..Procrastination Is Dirty, so Clean It up


    Tess The Bold Life April 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I like that “the continual blessing of goodness.” Well put and compliment taken.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    That’s so true and obviously she is here to teach me that again and again.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    jess April 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Oh my God, I just discovered your blog and loving it. The gratitude for life is jumping of my screen!

    If you’ll excuse me now, I need to go catch up in the archives…


    Alik Levin | April 8, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Go Kristy! Go Kristy! ;)

    Alik Levin |’s last blog post..Want To Win? – Argue, Do Not Fight!


    Tess The Bold Life April 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Jess, if you spot it you got it. I just checked out your blog and love it as well.

    Thanks for all your repeated support! I love cheerleaders.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    Lance April 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    What a happy moment! And I happen to think that’s a joy she has learned to embrace because of her upbringing. So, that’s YOU Tess!

    And the whole triathlon swimming thing – I can completely relate to that experience of being kicked/swam over/going through some not-so-fun stuff. Very awesome that she’s done this.

    And even more awesome – the memory she was creating with you on your 1/2 marathon. I think that is really, really cool!!

    Kristy rocks!!!

    Lance’s last blog post..And Practice Will Go On


    Tess The Bold Life April 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’ll make sure she reads this when she returns to GA. Thanks again for the compliments. I think you’re my second biggest fan. jannie funster is first!

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    Chris Edgar | Purpose Power Coaching April 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks for this post. I definitely felt open in my heart when I looked at the photo. The whole setting looks so professional, actually, as if a trainer spent many hours getting those two dolphins to do that at the same time, but I guess it was just your daughter’s natural magnetism. :)


    cj April 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Tess what a great picture and what a good lesson. We had an offer on the house today that struck fear in me like crazy! The offer was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too low – so no deal. Turns out the guy is only approved for what he offered. We were insulted (we’ll get over it!) but you gotta admire his determination and hopefullness and I guess he didn’t let his fear of us rejecting it get in his way!!!


    Daphne April 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Tess,

    I’m glad to “meet” Kristy after reading so much about her in her book. I agree with Lance that she is who she is today, determination and all, partly or even wholly due to her upbringing. I know from your book that you never let her feel sorry for herself, and demanded as much from her as you did the other kids. That set her up for life, and the results are showing now. Lovely post!

    I’m so inspired by her reply to you: “I’m here to create a memory. If I run ahead I’ll lost that.” Such a clear head and a golden heart. I’m a fan.

    Daphne’s last blog post..Who Is Your Ideal Reader?


    Mama Zen April 8, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    As a mother of a daughter, I think I’ll steal that lesson from you!

    Mama Zen’s last blog post..Review: Memoirs Of A Fortune Teller


    Patricia April 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    What an inspiration and bold lesson! As the mother of three daughters, I hope we will make lots of memories…Thank you for sharing this one.

    I am being held back by my own will….I am trying to figure out what will be the first step to break loose and move ahead.

    I don’t truly understand this – so I think studying the will – will prove to be the first step?

    Patricia’s last blog post..Book Review: Everything Bad is Good For You ~ Steven Johnson


    Karen Chaffee April 8, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Your daughter looks radiant!

    I used to sign all of my e-mails: “just trying to stay out of my own way.”

    That still applies. When something scares me, but I want to experience it anyway, I don’t do the “toe-dip,” but squint my eyes and plunge right in.



    Tess The Bold Life April 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I will find the answer to that question. My quess is it’s a little of all, my daughter, the trainer and the photographer. There are a lot more photos that look just as good but this was my favorite! My heart opened as well.

    It sounds like you figured it all out. Lesson and all.

    Thanks so much for the compliments. You have a way with words. “a clear head and golden heart.”

    Mama Zen,
    I’ll gladly give it to you! I got it now.

    3 daughters? I get it! I know you’ll make good memories.

    Radiant says it all…I was in awe! I love that line. Let’s go one step further and say “staying out of my own way!”

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    Kathy | Virtual Impax April 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Your daughter looks positively radiant! That picture truly paints the picture of a thousand words!!!! The joy, the bliss- the lack of fear!!!

    What a magnificent illustration of what awaits when you’re able to live boldly, without fear!!!

    I know what the “fear” would be saying to me if it were my daughter…
    “Mexico is dangerous….” and “Dolphins have been known to sexually assault young women…”

    My take away lesson – look at the “bliss” that lives beyond fear!

    Thanks for sharing this!!!

    Kathy | Virtual Impax’s last blog post..Social Media and Communication: How your mindset shapes the mesage.


    Tess The Bold Life April 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Oh my, “Look at the bliss that lives beyond fear.” If that isn’t the best caption yet!
    Thanks for stopping by.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    Positively Present April 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    The questions at the end of your post really got the wheels of my mind turning. I’m definitely going to give some serious thought to what holds me back in life…Thanks for giving me something to ponder!

    Positively Present’s last blog post..a great recipe for life


    Sara B. Healy April 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm


    What a beautiful daughter you have. Her joy in the moment of this photo is so clear…it makes me smile. I really believe we are given our own challenges for a reason. They give us a choice. We can let them control our lives and make us afraid of fully living or we can choose to embrace them and live our lives as fully as possible. It’s pretty clear the choice that Kristy has made…good for her:~)

    Sara B. Healy’s last blog post..What You Can Do When Overwhelmed


    Giovanna Garcia April 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Tess

    Your daughter Kristy sounds like an amazing woman (much like her mother)
    I love the photo, she looks beautiful and full of joy.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Your dream, is power by you!


    Tess April 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm


    I think it’s the best photo I’ve got of her! Yes her choice is clear and she’s an inspiration to many.


    That she is…and thanks for stopping by!


    Marc - WelshScribe April 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    You were right, that is an awesome photo :)

    Truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing Tess

    Marc – WelshScribe’s last blog post..How To Break Out Of The Freelance Writing Rut


    Kristy April 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Well, mom, I have you and dad to thank for teaching me that I can have it all!!! I will carry this dolphin memory with me forever as I will crossing the finish line of the 1/2 marathon with you. Life is so interesting in its many lessons. The 1/2 marathon gave me a chance to give back to you all the support, words of encouragement, and belief you passed on to me. Let me know when you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. My back pack is ready as is my passport : ). Maybe for my 35th?!?!?!

    Grateful to be your daughter!


    Kristy’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    LisaNewton April 10, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Daughters are so special, and Kristy is definitely one to be proud of. When I look at each of my daughters (I have 4), I sometimes wonder how they came out as well as they did. It’s an amazing process to watch them grow, mature, and become the people they are today, knowing I had a small part in helping them become those people.

    You did good, Tess…………………….:)

    LisaNewton’s last blog post..Sun and Fun at the Santa Monica Pier


    Tess The Bold Life April 10, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Wow, I can count on one hand how many people I know who have 4 daughters. We have something BIG in common. Amazing, eh?

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    Tess The Bold Life April 10, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Hey Kristy,
    Your welcome! It’s been wonderful watching you go forward climbing every mountain on your path and pulling yourself out of all the valleys. Your joy, faith and love are gifts to us all.

    PS Mount Kilimanjaro? Is there a sag wagon somewhere? OK I’ll be ready in 2 &1/2 years.

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


    janice April 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

    What a beautiful, radiant photo!! Even better is the glow of pride in the post beneath it. Well done both of you!

    janice’s last blog post..Redefine the Recession and Revitalise Your Spirit


    Liara Covert April 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Tess, thanks for sharing this beautiful story. It is no coincidence that certain energy beings choose to incarnate in physical bodies that seem to have more challenges than other people. Each person redefines aspectrum of “normal.” In truth, energy beings who appear handicaped or missing simething on a physical level are often advanced souls. They exist to teach other human beings depth and reality of pure joy. They already know love is all there is.

    Another example is Matti Stepanek. You may have heard of this child poet who teaches supposedly normal people how to live life to the fullest . Ironically, “normal” people would describe him as sick. Illness is perception.

    Liara Covert’s last blog post..7 Things to learn from other people’s challenges


    David Hussey @ Kids triathlon July 9, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Thanks for sharing very good information. I think it is truly inspiring and awesome story.I love your story.


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