Tag Archives: Tess Gordon

Tess’ 100th Ride

The other day, Tess Gordon reached 100 rides at JoyRide. You go, girl!

If you wonder why that’s “06880”-worthy — or think this must be a slow news day — read on.

Tess is not your average 14-year-old Westporter. A complex multitude of visual processing, and speech and language, issues make participation in regular teen sports difficult.

But Tess learned at an early age that exercise helps her process information better. She set out to find sports she could do.

JoyRide logoJoyRide owners Debbie Katz, Amy Hochhauser and Rhodie Lorenz — family friends of the Gordons — encouraged her to try the Teen Class level. She soon developed an appetite for spinning, and wanted more.

JoyRide let her take adult classes, as long as she “acted like an adult.” (JoyRide now allows all teens to take adult classes, with the same provision.)

At first it was tough. Tess sometimes shouts out during classes. A few adults found that distracting. She also needs lots of water, and got off her bike in the middle of class to refill her bottle.

Tess’ mom, Sheri, worked with JoyRide on solutions. How simple: Tess was moved to the side of the room, and she brought in 2 water bottles.

Today, Tess is a rock star. The adults in her classes love her. She’s so famous at JoyRide that recent visitors from Texas thought she was an instructor.

It’s been quite a ride. And — thanks to JoyRide, her mom and Tess herself — there will be many more ahead.

Tess Gordon and Jamie - JoyRide

Tess Gordon (left) and JoyRide instructor Jamie Falco.

Tess’ Toys For Tots

Tess Gordon is a Westport girl with language-based learning disabilities. She attends Eagle Hill School in Southport.

Tess has learned that when her body works best, her mind works best — and she is better able to learn. So she works out regularly at Southport Athletic Club, with trainer Sean O’Connor.

Tess wanted to share her passion for exercise with her friends. So she organized a gym party to celebrate her 12th birthday — today.

Because Tess realizes how lucky she is to be at Eagle Hill (where she gets the help she needs to learn) and to attend Southport Athletic Club (where she gets the help so her body can be its best), she decided to “pay it forward.” She asked guests to bring new, unwrapped toys for donation to Toys for Tots, instead of presents for herself.

Happy birthday, Tess. And may your story inspire many more Westporters to pay it forward too!

Tess Gordon and her trainer, Sean O'Connor.

Tess Gordon and her trainer, Sean O’Connor.