From Boot Camp to Books – How Kids Inspire Us

There’s nothing like a 12-year-old to get you out of bed at 4:30 in the morning.

My grandson Zach has gotten me to do a lot of things—raft the Colorado River’s rapids, take a one-day trip to Disneyland to sneak in a few rides (there and back in less than 18 hours!)—but now he’s actually waking Grandma long before the sun comes up so we can go to boot camp!

He’s a comp soccer player, and it’s part of his latest plan for conditioning.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to say no to this beautiful kid who has blessed our lives since the day he was born, so it’s off to boot camp we go. (I’m sore everywhere, but kind of liking it!)

Zach has been the inspiration for so many good things in our lives.

He was a big part of why I decided to go ahead and write my memoir. In it I share some of my deepest feelings, my hardest experiences—stories I might not have been able to talk about around the kitchen table—but they’re all life lessons I want my grandson to know.

There were days the writing—the remembering—felt like too much. It was so hard to relive losing our daughter, Amber. It was overwhelming to go back to the time when I was escaping domestic abuse. And it was difficult to discuss the struggle with addiction too many of us in our family have faced. But I’ve shared all of it, even the tough stuff, with the hope it can help others, especially my own family, through their own challenges.

So as the day came closer for the book to be printed and delivered, I knew exactly who I wanted to dedicate the first copy to … Zach.

I hope the stories help him have smoother sailing, make wiser choices, and that someday he can pass on those lessons—and all my love—to his own children.

But until then, I’ll keep tagging along for boot camp, river runs and lots of adventures yet to come!

How do the kids in your life inspire you? What lessons do you hope to pass along to your loved ones? I’d love to know—post your thoughts on my Facebook page, and use #BeyondMyWildest.


For more on Peggy’s book or to schedule her for speaking, go to


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