Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

Continuing to Build You Fearless

You Fearless embraces one of Jen’s core beliefs: that we all can get more out of life and from ourselves, if we eradicate fear from the equation. In Jen’s case, it was a mindset that emboldened her on many fronts. Jen very much wanted You Fearless to continue to embody that mission long after she left us. And so, we honor that wish here by starting to collect and share Fearless stories that can continue to inspire people to push past their fears to build confidence, achieve more and ultimately find more happiness.

One has to be fearless in offering the first “fearless story” and so we are very grateful to Jen’s close friend Marc Lavine for offering this contribution. Marc became friends with Jen through Cycle For Survival.  With the support of over 100 sponsors, he has his fearless moment every year by riding for the entire 8-hour extreme shift at Cycle For Survival Marc’s fearless story, which follows below, shows a light but very meaningful lesson: the value of teaching our children to overcome their fears. I hope you find inspiration in this sweet story and decide to share your fearless stories – big or small – on this site. Please email me (Janet Balis Allen) at if you would like to offer a story.

It is only through the strength of this community of people who loved and followed Jen and found inspiration through her words that we can keep this mission vibrant and growing. I look forward to hearing more wonderful stories from each of you and sharing them on Without further preamble, I offer you this Fearless story from Marc Lavine:

When I think of this web site and the meaning behind it, I think beyond Jen's time with cancer.  I think about some of life's lessons I learned in her talks and the clues she gave us to her life through  One of those lessons was that being fearless is not just about battling cancer.  It's about the internal battles we all have with ourselves - overcoming fears and concerns that keep us from reaching something bigger.  Whether we are 12 or 40, we all have something that holds us back.  The question is: when faced with those fears in a moment of decision, what do we do?

My six year-old recently taught me the meaning of courage in his "fearless" moment.  He's a soccer player and was invited to try out for a special skills class.  He had been pretty pumped about it all week but on the day of tryouts, he decided that he did not want to go and that he did not care.  Without giving my wife or me a clue as to what specifically bothered him, he maintained this as his mantra for the better part of the two hours leading up to the tryout. I told him that he had to go and that if he did not want to play after today, then that was his choice, but he was not going to quit before he even gave it a try.  

As we entered the park, he still was not giving up his thoughts to me and I did not want to push it.  I walked a little ahead of him and when I announced that I could see the goals and other players, he quickly announced that he was scared.  There it was.  His expression of fear.  Just admitting it took guts.  

We sat down right where we were and started to talk about his concerns.  In his mind, they were as large as life including: a new coach, new kids with whom he would have to play, and of course, doubts as to whether or not he was as good as the others.  I told him that the only way to answer his doubts was to go out there and play.  He did not have to score and he did not have to block every attack.  He had to do one thing: walk away at the end knowing that he played his best - that he did not quit before he gave himself a chance. 

He stared at me for a minute as he processed my advice.  He got up, took my hand, and asked me to go meet his coach with him.  The rest of the tryout unfolded better than what I had prayed for as we sat on the field in that long moment of silence.  He got plenty of steals, scored 4 goals and even blocked the big shot.  His smile was unforgettable at the end of that game.  He was truly proud of himself.  I could only take him so far to believing in himself - it was my son that had to take that leap of faith that he could do it. To his pleasant surprise, he did not let himself down.  

The courageous one is not brave because he acts without fear or concern.  The courageous one is brave because he or she acts despite those fears.  My son stared his fear in the eye and moved past it.  Dare we all be that fearless. 

-Marc Lavine