Dress For Success

Dress For Success

An Equine Analogy For Your Motivation

 

 

You must look the part.

You need to rise up, clean up, and organize yourself if you want to achieve and succeed.

Trust me I know!

Today I found myself entranced on how much time I spend with my horses grooming them.

Why do we do that? Why do we spend so much time brushing them, wiping their faces down, conditioning their mane and tidying them up? It’s not like my horses are heading out on the town nor are they saddled and transported where others will see them… then why?

 

Getting in the Christmas Spirit last year

 

I’ll tell you why, because that keeps them looking kept and neat. It keeps them healthy and clean. I brush them, I wash them, I wipe out their nostrils and eye ducts, I clean out their hooves, all in the name of health. We need to do the same, especially when we aren’t feeling great. When we are down and out, our health depends on it, our outlook on life depends on it, and ultimately our success depends on it. It’s so easy to take the road less traveled when we are hurting and not at our best. When life throws us curveballs and tries to take us down that’s when we need to fight harder, rise quicker, and move forward. When we get wrapped up in negativity and cave to the easy path, or path of least resistance, we tend to let oursleves go, let our homes go and stop really living. That’s when we allow life to pass us by, while we wait for something better to happen to us or for us, for our situation to resolve itself. However, that’s not living life, that’s giving up and hoping things work out.

We need to rise up each day and prepare for life. We need to clean ourselves up, we need to make our bad, we need to get out and MAKE life happen! We all have issues. We will all have problems that arise, but the ones who succeed adjust and fight for what they want. The ones who succeed are the ones who dress for success, each and every day, despite what’s happening, despite the pain and frustrations they are going through. How about you? Are you “dressing” for success each day? Are you preparing for good to happen? That is the key.

I clean my horses up every single day so they are clean, healthy, and happy. When they get the grooming they need they can then attack the day with confidence and pride. Shouldn’t you be the same, if not more motivated to do so?

You are a warrior. Warriors plan for success and it starts with your physical appearance, at the very least. Start there and see where it takes you in life. You might be surprised.

So warriors, rise up and take on the day! You deserve that!

 

 

This week, take care of yourself, starting with your appearance-your physical self. Get up, get ready for the day, make your bed, and go do something.

Be active in your life.

Make life happen FOR you, not TO you.

Stop waiting for right time, the next day, or when you’ll feel better.  Sometimes we need to just start something positive and good with the simple act of looking “put together”, ready to tackle the day. That is your challenge this week.

Go get after life! You’ll be so glad you did!

 

Be an active

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

 

Compete

Compete

Find Your Purpose, Set Goals, and Get to Work

This is me BEFORE my knee injury that led to amputation

Competition gives you focus and direction in life. It helps to define your day, provides a sense of purpose, and helps build character and resilience.

All my life I have been competitive. I had big brothers around always “toughening me up”, and sports were an every moment event, whether competing on our home basketball court or joining teams that played every weekend.

I think these moments served me well, and prepared me for a life after limb loss.

For some of you, the journey has been a long and hard one. It hasn’t been easy and you may feel like giving up.

Maybe you even think that “this is as good as it gets”, but I’m here to tell you, DON’T GIVE UP!!!

You can do this! Last week I talked about mindset, well, this is the time to put your mindset to the test and work on positive self-talk.

 

 

On the hard days, when things hurt or you feel out of sorts, or maybe you are not at a point of wearing your prosthetic yet, you may get discouraged…heck! Maybe you ARE discouraged. Now is the time to buckle in and dig deep. This is the time to set those goals and reach for them.

When I find myself in the struggle where pain is winning and I feel like doing nothing and getting depressed about this moment in life that things aren’t going as planned, that’s when I find something to take my mind off of it. I usually find something that brings out the competitor in me. This gives me a goal, a purpose, and consumes my time which takes the attention off of what I’m struggling with.

 

How about you? What do you do to fill your time? Give yourself purpose? Or distract your thoughts changing them into a positive flow?

 

 

Now it’s your turn.

Let’s turn your situation into something positive and meaningful, even if you feel like everything is going wrong and you aren’t where you want to be.

 

Set goals.

Be realistic but challenging.

If you aren’t able to wear your prosthetic just yet then don’t get down on yourself, remember life is a journey, the good and bad of it, so make some lemonade while you wait.

Once you’ve reached those goals, then go ahead and set more. Keep creating challenges for yourself. Setting yourself up for success in the waiting will eventually make you see that you are not waiting for life to happen to you anymore, but that you are living it.

 

Enjoy the process.

You deserve it and you are strong enough.

You are a warrior!

Hope your goal setting is epic just like you!

And until next time, and as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Believing in Yourself

Believing in Yourself

Your Mindset is Your Greatest Asset

 

When it comes to getting it done, or being challenged to push through something tough in life, how do you fair?

Do you struggle to feel accomplished?

Do you feel like you are drowning and there is no way out?

Or how about giving up because the going got tough?

 

 

If this sounds like something you have been through before, or are going through currently, then it may be time to check your mindset and your self-talk.

There is no denying that life will through you curveballs.

Back in 2013 as I was literally kicking butt in karate for my 2nd degree black belt, I would never have thought I would have hurt myself, gone through 10 surgeries, gained almost 60 extra pounds and then elect to amputate my leg above the knee.

Just writing that sounds absolutely crazy and a horrible fiction story. But that was my reality.

Those were tough days, months and years- five years to be exact, and making the decision to amputate wasn’t the end of that journey but a beginning to a whole new shift in my life. I still had to struggle with pain, swelling, adjusting to my new body image and learning to love it. I had problems with fitting prosthetics, I had a huge neuroma that a year after my amputation I went under the knife again and had it removed. Through all of these trials, however, I was being conditioned and building my resilience to my new lifestyle.

Each of these steps I had to figure my way through physically and mentally.

Each of these moments was leading me to a better understanding of myself, my tolerance, showing my strengths and my weaknesses, so I could become better at handling the curveballs of life.

What did I find that helped me?

 

 

 

MINDSET MATTERS!

What I tell myself, how I speak to myself with my inner voice (and sometimes my outer voice). I realized that my words and thinking  could lift me up and allow me to soar,  or it was going to be my demise with negativity. Through trial and error I learned and grew.

I take challenges head on now. I am competitive with myself, and I know that my mind, my energy, and my will to succeed has brought me through tough times. I believe how I think is what has made becoming an amputee a life giving second chance for me versus my undoing.

 

 

I am no one special, but my ability to see the positive in my situation has helped me become more successful as an amputee.

It hasn’t been easy, even though it may appear that way. What you perceive as me “easily” going through something really hard has had it’s challenges, it’s pains and problems, I have cried and I have been angry, but at the end of the day I choose positive!

 

How about you?

 

 

I didn’t add a Call to Action in my podcast, forgive me. Got out of practice with April being all interviews but here’s one for those reading my site.

 

Check your attitude today.

What’s your mood?

How do you feel about yourself and your situation?

Now ask yourself if you can control what’s happening?

If you cannot control what is happening to you then this is a great time to practice patience, positive self-talk, getting active to change your thinking, and setting some goals to keep yourself motivated during the hard days.

You will get through this.

You were designed to be stronger than your circumstances, you only need too believe in yourself.

You are special!

You are unique!

You are loved!

 

Have an amazing week, be blessed.

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

 

Inventors & Innovators: Hugh Herr and Biomechatronics

Inventors & Innovators: Hugh Herr and Biomechatronics

The New Age of Bionics

 

 

What happens to you when you find yourself in a do or die situation?

Hugh Herr was in that position as a teenager, barely making it out alive while doing something he loved and excelled at, a savant at his young age. But he didn’t make it out unscathed, he lost both of his legs below the knee.

What would you do? At that young age would you have given up, abandoned your dreams, or hid from life?

Would you believe that this situation inspired Hugh to become a creator, inventor and innovator in the prosthetic world?

He went from a kid set on rising to the top as a professional climber, to figuring out how to navigate life AND climbing again as a bilateral below knee amputee with prosthesis he created!

He changed his path to one of college and higher education. Getting his masters and doctorate degrees from Harvard and MIT, and is currently a professor at the MIT Media Lab and co-leads the Yang Center for Bionics at MIT.

He is known for creating bionic limbs that emulate the movement of natural limbs and has been called the “Leader of the Bionic Age” by Time Magazine.

He has TED talks, authored/co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and patents, and most recently Hugh and his research group invented the Agonist-Antagonist Myoneural Interface, which is a surgical procedure for limb amputation that allows the person with limb loss to control their synthetic limb with thought.

His research and studies are beyond amazing! The ideas and possibilities to come for those of us with limb loss from what he is inventing are going to be incredible and will make losing a limb less traumatic and more doable with the hope of what we will be capable of accomplishing with such high-tech and realistic bionics.

The age of bionics is growing by leaps and bounds and this past December 2023, I was blessed with the opportunity to work in the MIT Media Lab, meet Hugh, and participate in the current studies with several PhD students. I was blown away, to say the least, by what they are working on and what will be out on the market in the not too distant future. We are going to be seeing more stable, more controllable, and more comfortable fitting prosthesis which will give us our lives back and with more meaning.

 

So, yea, the first time I get to meet Hugh I look like this! Strapped in and ready to do research for the greater good!

 

This week, as we close Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month with my 4th and final interview with such an important innovator, as Hugh Herr, the pioneer of our bionic age, you do NOT want to miss what he shares about what is up and coming in the world of prosthesis and bionics.

Join me and Hugh Herr for this incredible interview!

Please share today’s podcast to bring hope and excitement for what’s to come to those in our amputee community.

Again, thank you, Hugh, for giving me the time to talk with you, pick your brain, and for your genius and creativity in helping us gain back our independence and ability to move smoothly despite our limb loss. I am truly inspired and excited for the future.

 

I hope you all enjoy today’s podcast and as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

John, Me and Tony-PhD students from MIT that were in charge of the study.

 

You can watch the NOVA production of Hugh Herr’s life: NOVA “Augmented” HERE

 

Inventors & Innovators: Monster Mike Schultz

Inventors & Innovators: Monster Mike Schultz

From Athlete to Inventor: Making the World Better one Prosthetic At a Time

 

An incredible story today of a young man’s hard fought journey from super competitive athlete to amputee, to inventor who regained his competitive edge and is helping others do this as well.

Mike’s story is one for the books, and write one he did- “Driven to Ride”. His story began with huge hopes for a future in motocross racing, something he was great at, but one fateful day he lost his leg and what he was sure to be his career as a professional athlete.

 

However, like I’ve stated time and again, mindset matters and great people rise because they focus on the dreams and possibilities, not the negative and pitfalls. Mike didn’t let his accident and losing his leg, above the knee, stop him from greatness.

His story is one of success, struggles, creativity, and rising again to a level most people couldn’t begin to dream.

He used his curiosity and ingenuity to create a new prosthetic out of his own garage, built to take him to higher levels of competition that no other leg on the market could. He has refined it, created the company- BioDapt, and makes these prosthetics for other athletes wishing to take their craft to another level.

Mike’s story is one of sheer determination and love for the outdoors and competing. It’s incredible to see someone lose a limb and have the mind and knowledge to build, from scratch, an artificial leg for the purposes that he was seeking.

Listen in today to hear his story, how he came to a place that he had to get back up and start over, and how he went from amputee to gold and two-time silver medalist snowboarding Paralympian all while using his very own invention!

This is an inspirational story of never giving up on your dreams, pushing past the struggles, and achieving despite what appeared to be insurmountable circumstances. He could’ve given up at his young age after his accident, but he had bigger dreams and plans.

Husband, father, inventor, entrepreneur, olympian, and author, you don’t want to miss this amazing interview.

Ready to be inspired?

 

Thank you, Mike, for spending time with me and talking about the ups and downs that life has thrown your way and how you kept on rising and following your dreams.

 

Have a blessed week,

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

 

Inventors & Innovators: Surfing Brings Healing

Inventors & Innovators: Surfing Brings Healing

Adaptive Surfing with Swell Surf Foot

 

 

The Ocean is healing.

The Mana (power) of the ocean has a way of grounding you and setting you free so you can soar. It’s an unbelievable feeling!

Just before my 1 year anniversary of my amputation I traveled to Kauai and tried my hand at surfing. I hadn’t been able to get in the ocean, or really any water, for over 5 years due to surgeries and my inability to maneuver because of my injury. I was excited, and nervous.

Once I learned the basics I found a rhythm to surfing, a rhythm to the ocean. I felt the energy it had, and I felt that energy surge through me.

I no longer felt nervous, I felt carefree and alive, and I felt that ANYTHING was possible!

Today I talk with Zach Samalonis, the co-creator/inventor of Swell Surf Foot. He and Yuhan Zhang started this endeavor for a college course. They talked with surfers in the amputee community to get the data they needed to create a prototype, then designed, created and then got a few of their original designs into the hands of amputees ready and willing to try it and give feedback. I was fortunate enough to be one of them.

 

This is my original surf leg and foot alongside the Swell Surf Foot prototype.

 

Today we discuss how this adaptive equipment came to life from thoughts and research to designing and creating.

What amazes me is that neither Zach or Yuhan are amputees, but they were charged with finding a problem that needed to be solved and a community that needed their help for their capstone project their senior year at Thomas Jefferson University. The Swell Surf Foot can help bring surfing to more amputees and also brings those people to the ocean for healing. This low cost, water-proof prosthetic was developed with an increased ankle mobility to allow for correct surfing mechanics. In a world where most adaptive surfers have repurposed and fashioned make-shift surf feet because there was nothing on the market, this was filling a need, and want, in our amputee community.

What a beautiful gift their innovation is for adaptive surfers around the world.

Their dedication solving a problem and filling a need is genuine.

In a world where big companies rule the market, it is awesome to see individuals creating and making their mark.

Listen in to hear Zach talk about their inspiration, production, and dreams for the future of their product.

Find them online, give them a follow, and reach out to them if you’d like to try their product in it’s next gen status when it comes out.

 

Thank you Zach for your time today and sharing your story.

I look forward to putting on your surf foot again soon and feeling the freedom and energy of the ocean. Thanks to you and Yuhan, I have found a foot that brings comfortability, grip, and steadiness to my surfing sessions.

 

The ocean is a place for healing and finding freedom.

The Swell Surf Foot is a step in the right direction to getting more amputees out, active, and giving them the peace they need to move forward.

 

Have a blessed week and make sure you subscribe and share so that you and the people you care about don’t miss the amazing people coming up next on this podcast; each making a difference in the lives of amputees everywhere with their creativity, ingenuity, and dedication!

Check them out on Instagram @surfwithswell

or at Zachsamdesigns.com

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

Inventors & Innovators: TheraV for Phantom Pains

Inventors & Innovators: TheraV for Phantom Pains

TheraV Founder and CEO Amira Radovic

We are kicking off Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month (LLLD) with the founder and CEO of TheraV.

Amira found her passion to help people by creating a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical device that helps soften phantom pains through the use of vibration therapy.

Phantom pains are a very real, very painful, and often times disabling reaction after losing a limb. Most amputees will experience some level of phantom pain throughout the course of their lives. I would also say that all amputees feel some sort of phantom sensation (a feeling that the missing limb is still there and feels like pins and needles or a numbing sensation), I know I feel that everyday, all day, but I have become accustom to them.

Phantom pains, on the other hand, are intense. They come without warning, last days, sometimes weeks, and can feel like you are being shocked, set on fire, or like a knife stabbing your limb and cutting you open. I have had the distinct privilege (sarcastic voice) of experiencing those crazy, uncontrollable, and sleep depriving pains four times in my five years of being an amputee! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!

Amira’s father was a civil engineer and she had dreams of becoming an engineer, herself. She said she was always fascinated with the idea of using technology to enhance the human ability so she studied biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware. As a junior she had an opportunity to work at a prosthetic office. There she was introduced to the mental and physical pain that came with limb loss and the reality of phantom pain. She worked for years and talked to many amputees to come up with her TheraV for phantom pains, despite the lack of data and the stigma that surrounded phantom pains.

This week I had the honor of having her on my podcast to share where her idea came from, how it works, and where she’s taking it next. Like all great inventors, she is continuing to dive deeper into the mysterious world of phantom pains, what produces them, what helps, and how she can improve her already amazing product.

I am grateful for the time I got to speak with her and to hear her story, her passion, and what got her into the world of amputees and phantom pain.

An amazing thing about TheraV is that it can also be used by able-bodied individuals for things like restless leg syndrome or CRPS! Amazing, right?

If you are struggling with any of these issues, and would like to be rid of medications you might consider giving TheraV a shot.

Check out her website HERE.

 

With a world of big Pharma and large corporations it’s hard for the individual to break into the market. Please visit TheraV website, check them out on social media and give them a follow. By purchasing your own therapy for your home you not only have a safe way to manage pain you are helping Amira reach more people and giving them a chance to live without pain.

Thank you, Amira, for joining my podcast this week and for all you are doing for our amputee community.

Phantom pains are real pains.

Your research and devotion to reducing and eliminating them is so commendable! Thank you!

 

 

 

Remember to subscribe to my podcast so you don’t miss out on a month packed with inventors and innovators who are making a huge impact in our amputee community! also. p


lease share this link and podcast with someone who could benefit. My goal is always to help empower and educate those in need. Help me make an impact this month!

 

Thank you and have a blessed week.

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!!

 

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

Transparency

Transparency

The Truth About Being An Amputee

 

Not everyday is a picnic.

This is true for everyone around the world, but when you talk to amputees who lost their limb because of an accident, disease, war, or electively, the operation is just the beginning, not the finale.

Once we heal and begin to transition into a prosthetic- wearing person we are just then beginning to experience what amputee life is like.

I started this podcast, not because I wanted to hear myself speak (I hate hearing my own voice!), but because I wanted to be the voice of reality, and transparency for this community. I wanted to be real, no matter what that was going to look like.

The past 2 weeks have been very hard for me, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even though I have enjoyed traveling with my family, skiing and walking the Vegas strip, my residual limb has been struggling to fit properly into my skin fit socket. When the fit isn’t right it swells and becomes hard and very sore. Then through the night it settles down a little but then the next day I try to put my prosthetic on only to have an ill fit again, making it worse throughout the day.

Mind you, I have had this socket for over a year and I haven’t experienced this, then after being at higher elevations, flying, skiing without it on, I find myself not fitting well.

There’s not much to do about it but hope that I “normalize” again, soon, before it gets any worse.

This is the life of an amputee.

Some of us look like it’s all roses, but were have our days and even weeks (and some struggle for months) but we can hide it well.

Transparency is important to me because so many amputees that I’ve talked to are so frustrated because the ones they see on social media are living life and doing so well (you know, only showing the best moments) and they are not. They, and maybe YOU are one of them, that can’t figure out how you will ever wear your prosthesis or walk in it. If you’ll ever be comfortable again or without pain.

It is not an easy journey, but you can succeed in this life.

You have to understand the reality of your new circumstance and what it entails, really, before you can just be running along in your prosthetic leg. it doesn’t happen over night. it takes practice, patience, and a lot of faith.

You will feel knocked down at times, but you must get up again and keep trying, keep pushing forward.

Don’t give up….

This too shall pass and you will find your way through the challenges and struggles.

 

 

I have a simple task and request for this week.

Next month, April, is Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness Month and I have a full month of interviews with AMAZING individuals who have spent time creating, inventing, and innovating designs and products to help our amputee community.

You really don’t want to miss out on an episode in April so my CTA is simple:

Subscribe to my podcast and my YouTube channel (BAWarrior360) so you don’t miss any of these special people and the work they are doing. Plus, please share my podcast with someone you care about who you think could benefit from some positivity and encouragement as they navigate amputation or even medical circumstances that they struggle with.

 

 

That’s it! Subscribe, Like, Share!

I hope to continue to grow my audience so I can help and motivate more and more people in the world.

Thank you, warriors, from the bottom of my heart!

Have a beautiful and blessed week until next time!

 

And as always,

‘Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

Me and my girl ♥
Fear of Being Uncomfortable

Fear of Being Uncomfortable

Skiing as an Amputee

 

The Canyons, Park City, Utah 2024

 

I don’t know about you but, sitting in a lodge, sipping a drink in front of a fire sounds wonderful. Doesn’t it?

However, I did that for 5 years, while my family all skied and I sat there with tears in my eyes, missing those special moments I knew I’d never get back.

My husband taught me to ski when we were teenagers. We had dreams of teaching our own kids someday and the retiring and skiing through life. 2013 struck me with a knee injury that sidelined me for 5 years! Then, by 2018 I elected to amputate my left leg above the knee.

 

My first goal, 3 1/2 months after amputation?  SKI!

Nice and easy

 

This is why I face my fears

 

Looks like I have 2 legs!!

 

Fast forward to last week and I can honestly tell you that despite my love of skiing and being with my family up on the mountains again, the fears I face before each day really try to take me down. Facing fears is no easy task, and yes, while sitting by the fireplace and sipping a drink in the warmth of a lodge is amazing, NOTHING compares to facing your fears and coming out on top! Not to mention, I will never regret getting out and living my life versus watching it pass before my eyes. I want to live life, and maybe that’s a product of being sidelined for so many years, but I won’t allow my irrational fears take me out of living my best life with my family.

 

Of course I’m going to challenge you to face a fear of yours. You don’t need to be an amputee, either. We all have fears that we can choose to face or turn away from. If you have been turning away, now is the time to stand up straight, adjust your hat, and take it head on! You won’t regret trying, succeed or fail. Because no matter the outcome, you did it! You faced a fear, overcame that emotion and gave it your best. No matter the outcome, you will know you tried and can feel great about yourself for going the distance.

Don’t let fears derail you and your goals. Stay the course, buckle down for the ride, and know that there is no sweeter victory than facing your fears like the true warrior you are and were built to be!

 

So today, decide what you are afraid of and take it on! Despite the butterflies, emotions that well up and want to hold you back, and no matter the outcome. Just go for it!

Rise up, warriors, rise up and face your fears head on! You will NOT regret it!!

 

Have a beautiful and blessed week!

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

Maybe I’ll see you on the mountains some day♥

“Normal”

“Normal”

Don’t Be Normal, Just Be YOU!

 

A word I try very hard to stay away from using in dialogue is “Normal”, as in, “Is it normal that I haven’t healed yet?” or “Is it normal to feel this way?”, or even “Does my limb look normal to you?”

 

The reason I stay away from it is because we are all so very different that there cannot be a NORMAL, or Norm.

We all heal differently, we feel pain differently, we became amputees because of different reasons.

We are different sexes, ages, fitness levels, etc, etc, etc.

I say just be YOU!

Learn what your new “normal” is, and how that changes day to day or even hour to hour as an amputee. Only you can decide what doesn’t look or feel right for you and your circumstance. And when in doubt, don’t ask Social media, call your doctor or medical professional.

 

 

 

 

This week practice keeping “normal” out of your conversations and just listen and tune into your own body.

Accept that you are uniquely and wonderfully made and there is only one you and YOU are normal, for you!

Have a blessed couple of weeks as I will be off next week doing family time.

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Much love,