Tag: personal journey

Embrace the Moments

Embrace the Moments

 

The past few weeks have been quite a ride and then just 2 days ago I realized we, as a family, were about to close another chapter in our lives.

Change happens. Life keeps moving forward, even when we are not ready, even if we don’t want it to. It is inevitable.

We as humans don’t really embrace change well, it takes some getting used to but, it is what helps us grow. When we are forced out of our comfort zone, a place we’ve become accustomed to, we can feel out of control, scared, and unsure of ourselves and our path. It can be disorienting and make us feel like we are failing.

What I have learned over the past 9 years is that within moments we feel chapters closing, and our life taking on a new direction, with acceptance and positive mindset, embrace these changes, we succeed and begin fly once again.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. As a matter of fact, changes that deeply affect us and make us stumble or strike fear in us, take time to grapple with before and accept. But the sooner you accept the change the sooner you’ll find yourself flying once again, and you might even see how it’s made you grow in certain aspects of your life.

New chapters happen often throughout our lifetime. If we could only remember that and enjoy the ride, then we can stop worrying and start really living our best life, a more deep and meaningful life, taking in the moments that we often take for granted. So often we get caught up in worry and stress, wondering what will happen next, and wondering if we can handle the curveballs life is throwing at us that we forget that life is happening, and life is about the ups and downs, the journey, the struggles, the triumphs and joys. We tend to lose sight of the big picture. New chapters open and old ones close. New adventures begin and we learn more about ourselves and our people we surround ourselves with by how we handle the situations in life. But it is in the small daily moments that we must remember to embrace, and cherish. they are fleeting moments and quickly become memories.

This young man is now a 20-year-old. We said good-bye to teen years this week!😢

 

My youngest! His team won State this past weekend and he graduates high school next week!😭

 

I am in a season of change, yet again, in my life. This momma’s heart will weep and be sad for the change, but I know that new doors open, allowing us to grow some more, to build character and perseverance for the next step.

Enjoy today, for all its worth.

It may not be perfect or fun or pain-free, but find the joy. Embrace the moment. Love the challenges or triumphs you are in, right now.

Take mental pictures to store in your heart forever and love your life.

 

 

Every time you find yourself struggling with frustrations, anxiety, or fear stop and slow yourself down

Take 5-10 deep breathes in through your mouth, hold for 2 seconds and then exhale through your nose.

Next, write down:

5 things you love about your life,

or 5 things you are proud of,

or 5 things that were positives about your day.

Our minds are powerful and whatever we tell our brain, it believes!

Feed your mind positives and watch how your mindset and life change for the better.

 

As always, until next week:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

 US Army Veteran, USA Sled Hockey Teammate, Therapy Dog Trainer, Special Olympics Coach, Bilateral Below Knee Amputee

Christy does it all! She is amazing, inspiring, and constantly pushing her limits to see what is possible!

As I wrap up my interviews for Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness month (April), I have to say I am renewed, Inspired, and ready to take on the world!

Christy was planning on serving our country for the maximum number of years, until one fateful day she was hit by a local strike in an undisclosed area she was serving as a MP Sergeant. She ended up with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord damage which ultimately led to her double amputation.  She was distraught and had been told that she would never talk or walk again and would never be able to live on her own.

What saved her? How did she go from that “diagnoses” to becoming an alternate to the US Paralympic Track and Field team, a member of the women’s US Sled Hockey team, therapy/service dog trainer, and living alone?  Well, you need to listen in to hear her tell her story. Hear how a friend at the VA kept inviting her to come see what sports were available, how a dog named Moxie changed her life forever for the best, and how her unrelenting desire to be better and achieve the impossible, made everything possible once again!

 

Don’t miss this episode and an opportunity to find your own strength in Christy’s story.

Thank you, Christy, for spending time with me and blessing us with your story of hardship and triumph, and how you were able to overcome such large obstacles. You are a true warrior and such an inspiration! Best wishes in all you do.

 

Competition is such a powerful motivator for Christy…

 

But then again, so was Moxie!🐾

 

Make sure you watch the YouTube episode of my interview with Christy, as well! You can find my YouTube channel by search BAWarrior360

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Dani Aravich

What’s Your Story with Dani Aravich

Come join us as we hear Dani tell her story. Born without a forearm and hand Dani’s parents, although not expecting that, showed her that she could do anything and be anything she put her mind to.

Dani had always been into sports and her dream job is to be a GM to an NFL football team.  She went off to college, got her degree in business and started working for the Indianapolis Colts and Pacer organizations, which led to, what she thought, was her dream job working for the Utah Jazz, however she grew impatient and felt something was missing. That’s when a Paralympics came to her attention.

Growing up she always competed with “able-bodied” individuals and not until after college and working her first few jobs with elite athletic programs did she explore para-athletic events. And like a dream Dani found herself qualifying and competing in both the summer AND winter Olympics, for Team USA!

Dani’s journey allows us to dream and contemplate the realization of our own dreams, and how we, too, can live them out at any given time, we just need to have our eyes open to the possibility and a mindset that says, “Yes, I can!” and “Why not me?”

What an incredible story of believing in oneself, pushing the limits, and going for it all! Don’t miss this interview.

 

 

Dani, thank you again, for spending time with me and allowing more people to hear your story. I hope they all feel encouraged to reach for the stars and dare to dream. I know I am!

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Roni Sasaki

What’s Your Story with Roni Sasaki

 

Born with limb difference but having the drive and determination to become something more than her “disability”. Being told she may never walk and having the will to prove everyone wrong.

Daring to dream big and pushing the boundaries of being an athlete with limb difference comes the story of Roni Sasaki, Gold medalist in Alpine Skiing, author, speaker, and entrepreneur.  This lady has accomplished a lot, but it was a rough road as a child with limb difference.

Listen in as Roni tells us what it was like to look different as a child, overcoming the fears of fitting in, and then dreaming so big her dreams seemed out of reach and silly, back then.  Be inspired by her story and how dreaming big and having faith, beyond measure, saved her and gave her purpose to push forward against the odds, accomplishing those dreams…and more!

Roni on the slopes using a normal ski and boot with outriggers

Roni also has a podcast called, “A Leg Up On Life”, which you can listen to HERE . And you can even hear me being interviewed by Roni in Episode #44 on her site as well!

What an incredible journey and story Roni has shared with us. I hope you find her as inspiring as I have to live your best life and to never give up on a dream.

Roni, thank you for spending time with me and giving my audience some amazing words to live by. You are a true warrior and a blessing to know.

 

 

As always and until next week,

BE Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!!

Much love,

Angie

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Andrew Hauser: Athletic Trainer/Strength Coach to the MLB and NFL players

I am so excited to share amazing stories all month, interviewing people from all over, who have gone through losing a limb or have limb difference, and letting them share their story and how they have risen from and conquered the challenges in their lives.

This week’s interview is with Andrew Hauser, athletic trainer/strength coach in the MLB and with NFL players, who lost his leg in a scary and tragic accident at 18 years old.  He was a baseball player and getting ready to head off to college to a whole new world when this took place. Can you even imagine being 18 years old with whole world in your reach, only to have your life turned upside down in a heartbeat?!?!

Andrew’s positive outlook, and his ability to be introspective and calm, was not only astonishing at such a young age, but it probably was the key to him bouncing back and living an amazing life, full of adventure and helping others strive to reach their highest potential in the field he works in.

Listen in as you hear Andrew talk about his journey, the hurdles he had to jump through, finding a wife to love and be loved by, and embarking on a career that he hadn’t dreamed of as an 18 year old.  Hear what took place, in his own words, and how he ended up reconnecting with his identity as an athlete and having an incredible job, doing what he loves.

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your story, your journey, and the struggles and triumphs you experienced along the way!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much Love,

Angie

 

Peter Pan Said It Best

Peter Pan Said It Best

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”     -Peter Pan

And to live well, is even better.

Sometimes it might feel like the world is coming down all around you and you can barely breathe. We can get so wrapped up in our own journey, or life, that we forget that there are others out there hurting and dealing with their own struggles.  There are people who don’t know if they can make it one more day, are in so much pain, or ready to give up because they feel alone and unseen.

That’s where I want to take you today. No matter what you may be going through there is someone out there who is in need and probably worse off than you.  Maybe they feel they have no one to talk to or rely on. Maybe they are in so much pain that it has become unbearable to deal with. Maybe they got yet another piece of bad news that is pushing them to their limits.

This is where we can come in and help ourselves while helping others.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, if I sit around thinking of everything that feels painful or uncomfortable in my own life or spend time dwelling on what I can’t do then I am going to find myself throwing a pity party. This, no one wants to see.  And I can’t say that I’m truly living if I approach life like this.  What I CAN do is reach out to friends, family, neighbors, who are in need of a friend or someone to talk to and let them know I care, and that I am there for them.  I could send a note, a text, take them a coffee or lunch.  Sometimes, just taking time out of our busy days, could be what saves someone that day.

You see, we have become a society that has become so busy in our own lives, wrapped up in our own problems, it has become every man/woman for themselves, and it’s hurting us.

When I decided to amputate, sure I had my own goals about how I’d bounce back and become active, but I also wanted to make sure I was helping someone else along the way. I worked with St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Range Of Motion Project these past 3 years.  What I found by fundraising and being actively involved with these groups was that it lifted me up, too!  I found a purpose outside of my own life, helping others.  What an amazing feeling this was…so I continued to help.  Then I started hearing from people that were struggling to wear their prosthesis, so I started calling and talking with them and making videos of what it’s like to start a new activity, as an amputee, and being transparent about my own struggles.

People just want to be seen, to not feel alone in this life. Life is a big adventure, and to live it well is an even bigger adventure. One worth the journey, the heartache and the pain we sometimes feel.

“All the world is made of Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust.”    -Peter Pan

May you be someone’s “pixie dust” this week. See how you can be, below.⬇️

 

This week, reach out to someone that may need a friend.  Maybe it’s a neighbor, an old friend, or a family member. Touch base with them. Send a text, and email, pick up the phone and call them, invite them for coffee or lunch.  Try to connect with someone each day until we meet again next week.  You may be surprised what this will also do for you.

Sometimes when we put aside our own struggles to help someone else, we benefit more than we can even imagine.  Be someone’s pixie dust this week, and watch how your life changes as you do.

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Somebody’s Watching Me

Somebody’s Watching Me

….. And They’re Watching You, Too.

I know, that sounds creepy but it’s not what you think.  Did you know that you influence and impact more people daily than you realize?

As a parent I knew right away that my boys were watching me, my every move, even when it appeared that they were enthralled in a movie, game, or activity! They’d say something, or repeat me, or act the way I did. Wow! What an eye opener that was for me as a mom. Now as an amputee I am realizing that people are watching, every move feels like it’s being monitored.

At first you might think they are just being rude and it makes you feel uncomfortable, almost paralyzing, afraid of stumbling or looking weak and incapable; at least that’s how I felt.  Then I decided to make eye contact and smile….and you know what?  People started opening up!  They’d ask if it was rude to ask what happened, if I was a vet, if I’m comfortable in a prosthetic.  Some people would tell me about their journey and rough patches they were going through. Some even asked my thoughts on amputation because they were at that juncture in their own life.  I mean, wow!

Connection. Comradery. Compassion.

People are curious, they have questions and want to understand what it’s like to be an amputee and what makes us tick.

After my journey from injury to amputation, and now beyond, I feel it is my purpose, and obligation, to help others. If I have experiences that can help someone else through their trials then I need to share my experiences, good and bad. I have found that talking with others, sharing my story, my journey, not only gives them insight and a foundation to help them along their path, it also fills my bucket up, motivates me, and puts a spring in my step that day.

I love sharing my story with anyone who asks. I love showing curious children my leg and helping their parents understand that it’s ok for their children to be curious and ask questions.  I wished more amputees were so open, but the reality is that some are hurting inside, struggling to make sense of what they are going through, wondering if they can carry on.  If that’s you, I’m sorry you are going through that, but know you are not alone and you don’t have to be stuck in that mental space.

Break free from those mental and physical confines by sharing your experience, you’ll be surprised how healing that can be.  When you share your story, you let go of some of those hard emotions by allowing others to absorb them, listening to you, and validating your feelings and struggles.  And when they share their own struggles in reply you’ll realize you AREN’T alone after all, which is such a load off your heart.

I’m telling you, it is an AMAZING feeling to share your journey, your struggles, your successes with people who are strangers that become invested and lift you up with their words.

Embrace that you are different. Share your story, you may help someone along the way. I know you’ll be helping yourself when you do.

 

 

This week I challenge you to make eye contact, smile and see what relationships you create, and who’s lives you’ll touch with your story. It’s time to face the fears you have about your circumstance. It won’t be easy for some of you but I can tell you that I haven’t met a person who hasn’t made a difference in my life when I’ve made those connections.  I love telling people what I went through. I’m proud of the courage it took me to get here. I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to get over being self-conscience, and how hard I’ve worked to achieve things some people never thought I could do as an amputee.  Be proud of your story and the scars you have, and share it with who ever is curious. You will feel liberated and find healing in opening up.

Get out there and be brave. Share your journey.  You have so much to offer this world.

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Much love,

Angie

 

 

Rise to the Challenge

Rise to the Challenge

In a Sink or Swim World, Become a Gold Medalist in the Breaststroke

 

Each one of us struggles at one time or another. No one goes through life without challenges, even those who look like they have it “all together”, don’t go unscathed, they have just figured it out how to swim. They tackle the situation, use positivity, and keep pushing forward until they make it through the other side of pain and tribulation.  Through our challenges we are given the chance to grow and find ourselves. We build character and an appreciation of the good times.

Challenges don’t pick and choose the time they come into our lives, we need to be ready to rock and roll with them when they show up. We need to be in our top form, mentally, emotionally, and physically, so we can handle them with strength, confidence, and grace.

 

In today’s podcast I share my journey about the most recent physical challenge that turned mental and how I pushed through and rose to the occasion. As hard as today was, I made it!  While I struggled, I got a glimpse of my character and my weakness in my armor. It was then that I had to dig deep to find myself and the power I held to compete, and win.

What are you struggling with right now?  What has you on your knees, begging for help?  Whatever it is, know that you are not alone and that you CAN swim.

 

 

Odd as it may seem, when you’re struggling sometimes the best medicine is to redirect your attention elsewhere and do something that makes you feel good.

This week I want you to find something to challenge yourself with, something attainable but tough. Find a non-profit you believe in and go to work at helping them by raising funds and/or awareness while challenging yourself to get out and get active.

There’s nothing better than exercise and fresh air to make you feel better and alive.

So, get after it. You are a rockstar and ready to shine!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

 

Fear

Fear

Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.  To be able to accomplish those goals you will have to face those things that scare you or stand down and not accomplish them.  The choice is yours, every single time.

You may have also heard the saying that fear can either represent:

Forget Everything And Run

or

Face Everything And Rise

 

I understand fear, and the chance that I may not succeed. The fear of failure, or looking “stupid” trying and failing, is real. I hate NOT being able to do something that I set out to do and have really had to dig down deep to push through the fear of failing at it. Losing my leg has definitely made me face that fear every single day. It became a thrive and survive situation for me with no way out except through.  I have learned a lot about me, learned to control my emotions as I face fearful situations, and grace when I don’t succeed on the first try. I pick myself back up and try again, and again, and again, until I get it done, and done right.

The reality is that every day we all face something that can stop us in our tracks or push us to rise and conquer, and each day we have a choice on how we will handle the situations that confront us.  What will you choose? How will you handle the fears that challenge you?

I know that each of our stories is different, but fear is fear. What I have realized from overcoming amputation is that when I choose to push through the challenges and fears in my life, I am richly rewarded with success, which then helps me drive through the next situation.

This can be your story too! Don’t let fear take hold of you and dictate your life. Grab the bull by the horns and take charge. You only get this one life, you deserve to find happiness, live well, and be healthy.

 

I am still learning to function in my running blade. It isn’t easy and I have a lot of fear associated with it, as I often trip and fall hard. The past few days I have worn it into the gym and gotten on the treadmill and worked out in it. I have been pushing past the fear that people are watching and if I fall and get hurt, I would be mortified, and yet I continue to wear it and work through it, at my own pace. My stress levels are a bit higher than if I went into the gym with my normal leg, but I wouldn’t learn to rise from this fear and overcome it.  The only way to winning this war is straight through. I must have patience and grace with myself as I learn to function with this leg, so I will continue on this path until I don’t feel this way anymore.

 

Now it’s your turn:

Start now. What are you most fearful of right now in your life? Start small, if you must, fear is fear. Your goal this week is to face your fear head on and push through. You may get burned, you may stumble and fall-metaphorically or literally like in my case, but work at it. Each day spend time facing it, dealing with it, instead of pushing it aside for “another day”. This is the day to rise up and feel great about yourself. By completing something difficult or challenging yourself to something you fear you grow. You build character and come out a little stronger, and a little wiser, ready to take on the next roadblock that appears in your life.

Best of luck at kicking fear aside and rise from the situation this week. Attack and don’t give up. Have grace with yourself if you fall down, pick yourself up by the bootstraps, and go at it again, until you find success. You can do it, I have faith in you!

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

The look of facing fear and coming out on top! 💪
Hit the Pause Button

Hit the Pause Button

Now is the time. You deserve it and you probably need it, too.  It’s time to slow down, breathe, and enjoy your life.

If you can spare 5-10 minutes each day to stop what’s on your schedule, slow yourself down, and put aside your to-do list you can reap the benefits.  Set down your phone, eliminate distractions, and make time for YOU!

It’s not always easy to find the time, I get it, but start small and build on it.

I feel like I spend all day working on this thing or that.  I don’t slow down, and my list grows and grows on what needs to be done. I find myself always on the next step while doing the previous task, telling myself that if I get X, Y, Z done then I will sit down and rest for a moment…. but you know those times never come, right?  Can you relate?

What I HAVE figured out is that it takes time to work out the schedule that fits your life. I know people who have set their routines up and have told me to just do it “first thing in the morning”, like them. or at lunch break or right before bed, but the truth of the matter is, you need to figure out what works for you.

As a mom and wife, I have felt that even certain years in my life there was no time for me, and that’s unfortunate, because those moments when I was a new wife or a mommy to my babies, I probably needed “me” time more than ever. I guess that’s just part of the journey, better late than never.

I want you to know and learn to do this, spending time for yourself, earlier than I did, if you can. I want to help you make the most of your life, wherever you are at in it. There are so many benefits to slowing down and learning to breathe correctly, no matter how old you are, or what you are going through.

 

 

To my surprise this week, as I began taking my mornings to be still and outside in our Arizona sun, feeling the fresh air go deep in my lungs, quieting my thoughts, and shutting down my phone, my dogs let me know we had an unusual visitor.  A large mule deer, a buck, was laying out in our backyard. He, too, was enjoying our warm sun.  What a gift it was to watch him, photograph him and be present and enjoy his beauty.  Any other day, I would have missed him, and that got me thinking. What else have I missed?

Well, no more! I plan to make a moment in my day, each day, all about disconnecting with my regularly scheduled programming, to connect with nature, breathe, silence my mind, and listen to the sounds of the world…. even if only for 5-10 minutes a day.

How about you? What do you have to lose? I challenge you to give it a try and see what benefits you see in your day to day thinking, emotions, and health.

 

This week I want you to figure out what works for you, make time for yourself, where can you afford to take a 5-10 minute break.  I get it, it won’t be easy to find the time, but YOU A WORTH IT! Make it happen. Leave your phone off, stop all actions. Find a place where you won’t be tempted to do ANYTHING, a place, preferably outside.  Even if it’s still wintery cold where you live, poke your head or body outside for 5 minutes and breathe slow, dep breathes. Feel the air enter your lungs and clear your head.  If you struggle letting go of your thoughts then practice counting while you breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold.  Count to 10, slowly, as you breathe in.  Hold your breathe for 4 seconds then breathe out, slowly, as you count to ten again, then hold.

Do this for at least 5-10 minutes a day for the next week.  See what happens from it. How do you feel afterward? How productive are you this week because of that time you spent on yourself?

You might be surprised at the results, even if you are just a bit happier, isn’t your mental well-being worth it? I think it is, and so are you!

 

Give it a try and let me know how it’s going.

Have an amazing week,

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie