How To Do the Difficult and Impossible In Spite of Fear

The difficult is that which can be done immediately;
the impossible that which takes a little longer.

~ George Santayna

My fearless daughter, Kristy, is living her dream in spite of being physically challenged. Born without a right hand, she learned quickly how to do the difficult things; holding on to a swing, tying her shoes, and riding her bike.

In school, she was determined to keep up with the other kids. She wanted to play sports like her three sisters. We witnessed her do the impossible things. She was a pitcher on her softball team in sixth grade, in ninth grade she defied her soccer coach and played for four years, and in twelfth grade she scored 21 points in a basketball game. 

Kristy taught us all about being bold and dreaming big.

Today, she participates in marathons and triathlons and works at New Balance. 

Read on for tips that I learned from my daughter on how to live a bold and fearless life.

Resilience.  When Kristy was in kindergarten a bully knocked her down, jumped on her, and broke her leg. She bounced back and carried on. A high school soccer coach said it was impossible for her to play soccer. She tried out anyway. Kristy went on to play for two years at the University of Chicago as well. 

Patience. It may take you twice as long as someone else to do something. It's no reason to give up. Kristy used to show up at basketball practice 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes after everyone else left in order to get extra time with the coach. It added up over the years. She also played basketball for two years in college.

Persevere.  I watched as Kristy discovered how to persevere through difficulties, obstacles, and opposition with commitment, hard work, and determination. Even as her stub chafed and bled, she would carry on. She doesn't tolerate quitting or excuses.

Support. Kristy knew we had her back. She made it a point to connect with us when it was emotionally painful. Some kids teased her and others were mean. Some adults, today, continue to pull back and refuse to shake her stub during an introduction. It's one thing to have support, it takes a wise person to use it.

Love life. Kristy lives with enthusiasm, passion, and a zest for life. Her energy is contagious. She currently volunteers for Back On My Feet, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength, and self-esteem.

Don't allow fear, doubt, or worry to hold you back. You can overcome anything in your way. If you need support, I'm here for you. I believe in you. 

Who inspires or amazes you? What have the people in your life taught you about being bold?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Susie Newday May 29, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Wow. She sounds really special and quite amazing.

  • Debora May 29, 2012, 10:33 pm

    How inspiring! Kristi is role model for us all!

  • Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer May 29, 2012, 11:43 pm

    Wonderful indeed Tess!

    You must be so very proud of your daughter for having achieved so much! Kristy surely isn’t challenged in any-way I would say, instead she is able to do a lot that other normal people often aren’t able to do.

    Great going for her and thanks so much for sharing more of her with everyone, which surely does inspire all of us. πŸ™‚

    • Tess May 30, 2012, 10:49 am

      Thanks for you wonderful words. I do think she is challenged in ways most don’t notice. I remember when she was in 6th grade and the restroom door lock was broken on her stall. She had her period. Challenged when you’ve only got one hand. Another time it began raining on her walk home from school. Her umbrella turned inside out and broke. She dropped her bookbag and her stuff fell out. Those are only two examples out of a lifetime.

      Maybe I should say she has challenging times. Something we with both hands never think twice about. As an adult she’s better equipped to handle events like these. Thanks again for stopping by.

  • Megan Bord May 30, 2012, 6:22 am

    I think I’ve learned the most from YOU, Tess, in terms of being bold. All the stories you’ve shared here – whether from your own experiences or from those you know – give me pause, and inspire me. I often leave your site thinking, “Wow, that makes really good sense,” and then I put it to use in my life. When I feel like saying “no” sometimes, your words flash before me and I say “yes,” instead. Not always, mind you, but enough that it registers as a viable option.

    • Tess May 30, 2012, 10:43 am

      I’m so happy to be your teacher. You do the same for me:) Keep saying, “Yes” to all good things that feel good. xoxo

  • rob white May 30, 2012, 7:15 am

    Your daughter is a shining example of someone who translated ‘Impossible’ to “I’m possible.” She has a consciousness of success that we can all learn from. A mind possessed with a consciousness of success is uninhibited, eager and efficient. Nothing is as powerful as a mind that believes in its capacity to win. A person with such a mind achieves things that seem absolutely impossible to the woeful onlooker.

    • Tess May 30, 2012, 10:42 am

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wisdom. I love that uninhibited, eager and efficient. I think I need to work on the efficient.

  • Elle May 30, 2012, 1:48 pm

    It isn’t amazing to me that you raised such a fearless daughter Tess. From what you’ve shared on your blog you’re pretty bold yourself. πŸ™‚ What a wonderful state of conscious that Kristy operates in, it’s breathtaking and beautiful all at the same time.

    • Tess May 31, 2012, 3:17 am

      Thanks for your awesome thoughts. Yes that state of consciousness is wonderful. That’s a great way to put it. The power and intention of our minds…a lesson for all of us.

  • Paige | simple mindfulness May 30, 2012, 4:44 pm

    We’re all so used to coming up with reasons why we can’t do something amazing – like it’s only for other people to achieve. These “reasons” are excuses we create to avoid facing the fears of actually doing something great. It’s people like Kristy who show us that those excuses are only in our minds. We can all do whatever we want if we want it badly enough. You have an amazing family Tess!!

    • Tess May 31, 2012, 3:19 am

      Yes I agree reasons are excuses. They really weren’t allowed in our home. We just didn’t have room or time for them;) After she left I missed her high energy for a long time. Now I have to motivate myself;)

  • Vidya Sury May 30, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I am always inspired to read your daughter’s story. I remember the first time I read it, quite some time ago – on that particular day, I was fretting over something, and after I read your post, suddenly my “problems” seemed non-existent and I was grateful I was able to rise above it. Thank you for sharing. In my life, my Mother is my inspiration. She passed away in Feb 2010, but continues to inspire me. I am also lucky to know people such as yourself, who inspire on a daily basis. Thank you, Tess. πŸ™‚

  • Tess May 31, 2012, 3:21 am

    Yes I know what you mean. I really don’t have problems. Only minor inconveniences that I blow out of proportion every once in a while. Your mom sounds like she lives on in all that you do.

  • Scott Vong May 31, 2012, 8:54 am

    Fear is an illusion created by the mind. Once we realize that, there’s nothing to fear in life.

  • Jen Gresham May 31, 2012, 9:31 am

    What a wonderful post! Those are good lessons indeed, and I think ones we need to learn over and over. I just posted a quote on my FB page:

    There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. -Walt Streightiff

    Kids are surely one of the wonders of the world.

  • Vaishali May 31, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Such an inspiring mother-daughter. I am truly blessed to be reading this. Funny, we keep complaining about everything and here is this amazing young lady who puts us to shame. You are my mentor for teaching me to be BOLD. Baby steps……..I know one day i too will win.

  • Charmagne June 1, 2012, 8:42 am

    A really inspiring person with a good view in life! She is a real inspiration to us, Thank you for letting us get inspired by her, I love how she lived life in a better way inspite of her being a physically challenge individual.. Kudos to her! Thanks for sharing this article.. πŸ™‚

  • Christopher Foster June 1, 2012, 11:26 am

    Beautiful story Tess. I celebrate your daughter’s remarkable spirit and attitude, it makes the heart sing. You exhibit such a beautiful, brave spirit, it’s so cool to see Kristy following in your footsteps so to speak. My love to you both.

  • Arthur June 1, 2012, 12:02 pm

    I truly had a great time reading this post. It is actually quite a good read. Totally recommended. What is the most important thing to remember about this topic?


  • Galen Pearl June 1, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Your story about your intrepid daughter reminded me of my foster son Dan. Dan is autistic and mildly retarded. When he was 14, both his parents died and he came to live with me and my family. In spite of having lost everything–his family, his home, his neighborhood, everything–he adapted to his new home and his new life with a positive attitude that most of us, even without his developmental challenges, would be hard pressed to summon. Dan is the original glass-is-half-full guy. He has been part of my family for 12 years, and over and over, I see him meet disappointments and challenges with a can do attitude. He is awesome. Thanks for a wonderful post.

  • Greg June 1, 2012, 2:47 pm

    Absolutely wonderful post! I love the way wisdom comes at me from such unexpected sources. And obviously, your daughter had some great parenting. Thanks for sharing!

    One day, I’d like to get your permission to run this post on my own blog. I’m sure my readers would profit IMMENSELY.

  • David Hamilton | Everlution June 1, 2012, 6:45 pm

    I agree fantastic story to relay feeling the fear and acting anyway. Resilience and Persistence, two of my favorite ones. Might I add in a little gratitude into the mix? πŸ˜‰

  • Casey Berman June 2, 2012, 10:36 am

    This is a great post, thank you for the personal insights. It’s in line with one tenet that has really worked for me – baby steps. A great way to persevere is to focus on one step at a time. This helps me reduce the temptation to be overwhelmed!

    Thanks again!

  • Fran Sorin June 2, 2012, 11:43 pm

    Tess…Each story that you share about Kristy is filled with compassion, love, resilience and guts. The essence of Kristy and what she is doing with her life has a ripple effect….she leaves an imprint on those of us who don’t know her. xxoo-Fran

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