Are Children Missing Awesome Adventures Due to Our Fears?

by Sally Matheny

Climbing uphill in the mud is not easy.

“This may be too difficult for you.”

“You might get hurt.”

“Have you been training?”

“It costs too much.”

“It can’t be done.”

“You’ll never finish.”

Are our children missing awesome adventures because they listened to someone else's fears?

I’m not talking about discernment and godly wisdom. Those are good things. 

I’m talking about the nay-sayers who naturally gravitate toward negative comments about everything. If you want to donate blood, they say you’ll probably faint. Pet the horse? Bite your finger off. Get a BB gun—shoot your eye out. You get the idea.

In addition, there are those who fear trying anything new. They never take chances for fear of failure, and feel the need to “protect” everyone else from failing. 

This reminds me of the movie, “Finding Nemo,” where Nemo’s dad declares he won’t let anything happen to his son, Nemo. Dori, the ditsy, but wise, fish, tells him how odd it is not allowing things to happen to your child. She challenges him to think about how much his son will miss.

Several years ago, my husband, and our teen daughters, wanted to participate in a 5K Mud Run. Two trained for the event, but one had been unable to train due to sickness. On such a course, whether someone trains or not, anything could happen.

Every fifteen minutes, a new group began their timed race. While my crew were waiting for their event to begin, I made my way over to the First Aid tent. 

"What's the worse injury you've had today?" I asked.

"A broken arm," replied the paramedic.

"Was that the only broken bone today?"

"Oh, no. Several runners have been to the ER for casts. Although, a few only needed stitches."

Peering over the crowd, I noticed my family lining up for their race. My heart yearned to do the  Mama-thing and rapidly scoot over there to inform them of everything I'd just heard. 

I did scoot. However, I resisted sharing the negative news. I didn’t ask them to reconsider. I just told them to be careful and have fun. 

Why did I not tell them? Because every member of my family had researched this race. They wanted to try it, and I wanted to be their cheerleader.

Each prepared for the race differently. Even though they had read about the obstacles, they didn’t fully comprehend their difficulty until they were experiencing them firsthand. Certain parts of the race were not fun. Some of it was downright nasty, grueling, hard work.

Each team consisted of four members. To complete the course, they had to work together. My family split into two different teams. They knew some of their teammates well. Other team members they did not know as well, but learned quickly how to communicate and help one another.

Why did I send my babies out into this messy, muddy crazy adventure? What could they possibly benefit from climbing slippery, 8-foot walls and swimming in 5-foot mud trenches?

Following through on a dream

Working with others as a team

Developing good communication skills

Realizing you can do more than you think you can

Realizing you can do more than what other people think you can do

Understanding not everything has to be competitive

Learning how to tackle an obstacle in life

Understanding sometimes life is really hard, and you have to push through

Helping others along the way

Completing a difficult challenge makes you feel stronger and more confident for future challenges

Persevering brings rewards

A little dirt never hurt anyone

It feels great when you finish what you start. 
Especially without broken bones! 

Finishing a challenging task is exhilarating!


  1. You're such a great Mama...and writer...and example for us to follow!!

    Blessings my friend!

    1. Thanks Kristi. Sometimes I "over-do" the Mama-thing. I'm realizing life goes by quickly so I'm trying to be adventurous (or allow others to be!) while we can.

  2. I love your writing style. I always have a smile on my face when I get to the end of your stories. Blessings on the work of your hands!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Cathy. Making others smile is a treat for me! Blessings on your work too, my friend.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Mary Jane. I'm proud of my crew. They are brave and adventurous.
      Can't wait until the Writer Beach Blitz!


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