Posts Tagged Motivation Monday

#37 ~ Motivation Monday – 100 Year Old Doctor, Dr. W.G. Watson

Last week I strolled through  some of my favorite blogs.  I noticed Mari at My Little Corner of the World posted a video of a dear old doctor. When I say old, I mean 100 years old! He has been practicing since 1947 and has delivered between 15,000 – 18,000 (who can keep track after 15K?) babies, still does house calls and his partner…well, he DELIVERED him!

I just had to post his story. If he doesn’t motivate you to pursue your dreams and passions, I don’t know what will.

I’ll tell you what, if I live to be this old (which is most likely to happen because I have insanely amazing genes like that), I want to be doing what I LOVE and believe in!

Be inspired and motivated …

Another video with more details of Dr. W.G. Watson’s life:  click HERE

“I’m not planning on retiring. No. I have something to get up for every morning.” – Dr. W.G. Watson

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#33 ~ Motivation Monday – The World Traveler, Jennifer Angus

How many of you have thought about just putting everything aside and traveling the world? And when I say ‘putting everything aside,’ of course I don’t mean dropping the kids off at Grandma’s and taking off. heh heh

Jennifer takes us on a wild adventure with one of the items that was on her bucket list.

Please return your seats to their upright position, fasten your seatbelt and prepare to live vicariously through her…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Tell us a little about yourself…

Jennifer: I’m a 34 year old woman named Jennifer Angus.  I’ve lived in Las Vegas since I was 4 years old.  I have an older brother and sister.   My family is pretty big now with 3 nieces and 2 nephews.  I love the internet, anime, dancing, music and arts and crafts.

Melody: What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Jennifer: I backpacked around the world with my boyfriend.  We visited most of Southeast Asia, the East Coast of Australia, Italy, France and England.

Melody: Wow, fascinating! I’ve always wanted to see Italy and I would love to eat Brie in Paris! When did backpacking around the world become a goal of yours?

Jennifer: I think most people have this dream.  I just thought it would happen someday.  I met my boyfriend Ivan in 2007.  I think he asked me in 2008 if I wanted to travel around the world with him for a year.  I thought he was nuts!  It meant giving up my job and leaving my family and friends for a whole year.  But, I thought why not?!  Everybody wants to travel around the world, but how many people actually do it?  I don’t want to have any regrets when I’m older.

Melody: Love what you just said, “I don’t want to have any regrets when I’m older.” We should live everyday like that. Why was achieving this dream so important to you?

Jennifer: I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  I was very scared of the unknown.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like backpacking.  I didn’t know if I could be away from my family for that long.  I didn’t know if my boyfriend and I would get along during traveling.  I really wanted to travel the world to learn about new cultures and see new places.

Melody: At any point, did you think you wouldn’t be able go through with it?

Jennifer: I had a lot of doubts before going.  I didn’t know if I would like backpacking and then come back to Vegas after a few months.  I never wanted to give up though. I knew this would be one of the boldest things I did, but it would be worth it in the end.

Melody: Definitely bold and totally worth it! What kept you going?

Jennifer: I loved exploring new cities and town.  It was very exciting having fun adventures with my boyfriend.  I was lucky to do other things on my bucket list while on the trip like taking a mud bath, riding a train, jumping off a cliff, riding an elephant, driving an elephant, white water rafting, going to a horse race, trying to surf, taking cooking classes and trying new foods like Nasi Goreng or Pad See Ew.

Melody: Pad See Ew? Umm, anything with “Ew” in it has to be adventurous! I have to Google that! What advice would you have for people striving to reach their goals?

Jennifer: Don’t give up!  If you have doubts, try to think positive thoughts.  Remember what your goal is, envision it and imagine how you’ll feel once you accomplish it.

Melody: Wonderful advice, Jennifer! What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?

Jennifer: I have so much I want to do!  I want to travel to even more places like India, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Ireland, etc.  I actually have an idea for an invention and hope to bring to fruition and sell it.  I want to visit all 50 US states which I crossed off a few states recently on a road trip of the USA .

Melody: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Jennifer: Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

I think you should try as many things as possible while you can.  I also think that we never stop learning.  We should continue learning all through our life.

Melody: Jennifer, thank you for sharing your amazing adventure with us! I’ll admit, there are places I want to visit, but I sometimes feel I’ll chicken out because I’m just too comfy in my own surroundings.  I’ve been to England and would love to go back…and then hop on over to several surrounding countries. I hope to one day have a story similar to yours even if it’s only half of what you’ve done!

Follow Jennifer’s blog for more amazing adventures! She’s always on the go go go!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.


©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#29 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Jamie Egbert

**WARNING** … reading Jamie’s interview will motivate you to get off your butt. This girl has more energy in her pinky than I have in my entire body.

Jamie and I used to work together years and years ago and we’ve recently reconnected via social media. I’ve been following her updates and have been completely inspired by her drive and determination.

Little athletic background on myself – I’m the one who took P.E. in Summer School so that I wouldn’t have to take it the entire year. Oh and FYI, a little kissing up to the coach helps you to stay inside and grade papers instead of running laps. I know, pathetic.

See for yourself why Jamie motivates me so much….

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Tell us a little about yourself…

Jamie: I am a 32 year old stay-at-home mother of 4 children who are all under the age of 6. I have lived in Southern Utah for almost 4 years now, and am originally from Las Vegas, NV. I recently became the president of the Southern Utah Triathlon Club, which helps people all over our area enjoy the sport of triathlon.

Melody: Whoa, wait…4 kids under the age of 6? Wow! What is something you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Jamie: I completed a half-iron distance triathlon.

Melody: When did the half-iron become a goal of yours?

Jamie: After I was done having children, I realized I needed something to help me a) lose the baby weight and b) define myself by something other than my kids. I thought a triathlon would be a fun thing to do, but I had no idea how to swim a lap! A friend of mine found a local Duathlon for us to participate in, which is a run/bike/run event. Crossing that finish line started an addiction and a passion that I never knew was in me!About a week later, I went to the local pool and just started swimming. I think I did about 4 full laps, got out, and felt proud. I was running up to 3 miles at a time a couple times a week, and I was lucky if I got to go ride my bike for an hour each weekend. I signed up for a local sprint-distance (.5 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) triathlon, and started working hard to learn to swim in the lake. After 2 more of those races, I set my sights on the half-iron distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).

Melody: Why was reaching this goal was so important to you?

Jamie: I wanted to accomplish something that was truly amazing, and that I would have to work really hard to get.

Melody: That is truly amazing and hard to get, for sure! At any point, did you think you wouldn’t be able to do it?

Jamie: The race was in August, and my first lake swim event had been in June. All summer, I was thinking, “What am I doing?” I’d watch other triathletes around me, and compare myself and think I wasn’t good enough.

Melody: What kept you going?

Jamie: The non-refundable $140 I had spent registering for the race! I kept thinking, “I’ll at least start it.” Then, I felt confident I would finish, so I started setting time goals as well.

Melody: That just proves the saying, “you get what you pay for!” Just look at what you got from that! What advice would you have for people striving to reach their goals?

Jamie: Just take things one day at a time. If you have a fitness goal, for me it helps to sign up for something. That looming date and the money committed really helps get me out of bed in the morning!

Melody: What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?

Jamie: Hopefully next year I’ll complete my first Ironman.

Melody: I’m sure you will! You’ll have to come back and let us know how it goes. What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Jamie: I like the one on my Facebook that says,

I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” ~Marsha Doble

Melody: One thing that really moved me in this interview is that before she started all this she didn’t even know how to swim a lap! Just think of the things that you don’t try because you haven’t done it before…your possibilities are endless!

Jamie, thank you for sharing your remarkable journey with us! We look forward to hearing how your first Ironman goes!

**Inspired to join a race? Almost all races and activities that are fitness related are on www.active.com.**

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#27 ~ Motivation Monday – The Music of Possibility

I’ve decided to switch up the “Motivation Monday” posts a bit. I’ll still be doing interviews (I have several in queue — if you’re interested in being interviewed, email me), but I thought it would be nice to share tidbits of inspiration that I find here and there as well.

I randomly came across this amazing story and just had to share it. Throughout my journey with the ‘project‘ my underlining nemesis is self-doubt. We all deal with this from time to time, but stories like Patrick Hughes’ make me feel like a whining toddler.

He was born without eyes and a tightening of the joints that prevents him from straightening his limbs. Before he turned one, Patrick began to display an amazing talent and by his second birthday, well, you’ll have to watch for yourself….

If the video doesn’t load properly for you, you may see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qTiYA1WiY8

Let Patrick’s story (and his father’s love) inspire you. Don’t look at inabilities as disabilities, simply see them as detour signs directing you to talent you may have never known you possessed had you not been diverted….

“God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal. He gave me the ability of the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people.” – Patrick Hughes

Click here to read more about Patrick or to purchase his CDs.

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If you have achieved a goal that is on your bucket list (large or small) and are interested in being interviewed for Motivational Monday, email me.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#24 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Vivian Scott

Today’s interview is with Vivian Scott and let me tell you, she’s  no dumb-dumb! In fact, she wrote one of those books “for dummies”…you know you’ve read one or two or three. wink wink

Many of my readers from the ‘blog world’ have desires to write a book. Personally, I think they should. I’d buy a book from many of them. I have very witty readers. 😉

What keeps us from getting started? Intimidation? Small fish in a big pond syndrome? Not having a clue where to start? Fear of rejection?

Vivian takes us on her journey from being told she should write a book all the way to seeing it on the shelves of a bookstore! If you want to be the author of your own tale or just need a little extra motivation achieving something on your bucket list, read along and take some notes then get started…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Introduce yourself to us, Vivian…

Vivian: I’m 53, live in Snohomish, WA with my partner of 12 years, Brent, and am the mother of a grown daughter, Vanessa, who is in her last semester of law school.  I retired from a great (but really fast-paced and stress-filled!) career in high-tech marketing in 1999.  I went back to school, got a Liberal Arts Degree with an emphasis in American Studies and loved focusing on something that wasn’t business related.  I have a private mediation practice that allows me to help people through some of the most difficult times in their lives.  How lucky am I?

Melody: You do sound pretty lucky! I’ll admit, I’m a tad jealous that you live in the beautiful state of Washington. I love the Pacific Northwest!

Tell us what you’ve checked off your bucket list.

Vivian: Saw a book I’ve written on bookstore shelves.

Melody: How exciting! I’d fall on the ground if I saw a book of mine on the shelf of a bookstore! Tell us about how all this started for you.

Vivian: For the past 15 years I’ve kept up with an annual girls-only vacation to Scottsdale, AZ with my daughter, one of my four sisters, and her daughter.  When we realized about five years ago that we were on our 10th year my sister started saying I should write a book.  I began taking notes and thought I would write about our experiences, what we’ve learned from our annual excursions, what we still hoped to learn, and maybe throw in a few embarrassing stories just to make it more entertaining.  Little did I know that that wouldn’t be the book I’d write at all.  Still, it started as a somewhat silly joke and began to take shape as something I was “going to do one of these days”, ending up on my bucket list.

Melody: Where did the passion for writing your book come from?

Vivian: Writing a book about resolving conflict became important to me about two years ago.  I wanted to find a way to let as many people as possible know about the great things I’ve learned regarding solving problems and because I have a strong marketing background I knew I’d have to do something more than tell one person and ask them to “pass it on.”  In my past life I’ve created seminars and brochures and how-to guides and just thought a book would be a natural next step.  I also felt strongly that it had to be approachable, easy-to-understand, and give the reader practical advice.  It became clear to me that it had to be something like the “For Dummies” books.

Melody: OK, it’s confession time. Tell us if you ever felt like giving up.

Vivian: Absolutely!  My first clue that it might not work was when I went to the “Dummies” website and realized they don’t take ideas and they prefer to work with literary agents.  I didn’t have an agent, didn’t really want one, so I made a case in an email for a book on mediation and resolving conflict.  I actually was thrilled to hear back right away, but then months and months passed.  I just kept plugging along and would occasionally dip my toe back in the water.  The contract negotiations were scary (which included submitting a table of contents and a sample chapter!) and when the writing process began I wondered if there was enough to fill up an entire book, but apparently that wasn’t something I had to worry about because at the end we had to do a lot of cutting – ha!

Melody: What kept you going?

Vivian: It’s just what I do.  My reputation is really important to me and I want people to know they can count on me to do what I say.  That doesn’t mean I’ve never quit anything or had to re-work a previous agreement.  There’s no shame in admitting maybe what you thought you wanted isn’t what you wanted at all, so I gave myself permission to back out if it wasn’t going to be the right fit.  But, once the contract was signed, I just felt “a deal’s a deal.”  Plus, I really, really believe in the topic and I just knew that there were going to be people I would never meet or hear from whose situations would improve because of something they read in the book; even if it was one small thing that changed for the better because of one small phrase or sentence, my efforts would be worth it.

Melody: What advice do you have for people striving to reach their goals?

Vivian: Oh, that’s easy!  Put one foot in front of the other.  Pretty simple, but time goes by whether you’re working towards goals or not.  So you may as well be working towards something that matters to you.  I told my niece the other day that Marketing 101 is “throw everything out there and sees what sticks” and Marketing 102 is “don’t be afraid to hit the ‘send’ button.”  I think that advice works for creating and achieving goals, too.  If I had been afraid to send an email to Wiley Publishing, I wouldn’t be a published author.  Don’t let the fear of rejection keep you from doing something.  It really is a numbers game; toss it out there!

Melody: I love your advice! I believe that many of us fear putting ourselves ‘out there’ because of the fear of rejection. Who cares? Just go for it!

What are some other things on your bucket list you hope to accomplish?

Vivian: Besides the obvious things like see my daughter, Vanessa, walk down the aisle, watch grandchildren grow, keep my relationship with Brent healthy and happy, and be significant to someone?   I’m achieving the next item on the list by touring New England on a fall colors tour with all of my sisters.  And, just to make sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously, my niece, daughter, and I came up with a goal to be on Family Feud.  Watch for us! 🙂

Melody: Can I come along? That sounds like a fantastically fun time!

Leave us with your favorite inspirational quote…

Vivian: Oh, gosh, that changes every day.  I used a quote by Francois de La Rochefoucauld in the intro section of “Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies” that says,

“Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.”

The quote on my Facebook page says,

“There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good ” – Storypeople.com

I suppose, though, the quote that inspires me the most is “I love you, Mama” by Vanessa Scott-Thorson

Melody: Ahhhh yes, I have to say that the quotes from my daughter inspire me the most, too! So sweet!

Vivian, thank you so much for allowing us to hear your story. Your fearlessness and dedication to reaching the goal of seeing your book sold on shelves is inspiring!

You can learn more about Vivian’s book by going to amazon.comdummies.com, or any online bookseller!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#22 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Kellie Stone

I’d like to introduce Kellie Stone. She started following my blog almost immediately after my first entry.  She’s quite the motivator and has accomplished many things in her life. When she contacted me about the interview, I was thrilled to learn that the item she crossed off her bucket list is one that sits on mine…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: Kellie, tell us a little about yourself…

Kellie: Well, I’m a forty-something mid-western mom of six who endeavors daily to make life better…or at least more interesting.  I’ve done many things (jobs) in my life including, interior design, printing consultant, owned a bookstore, weight loss consultant, makeup artist, wedding planner, jewelry maker, office manager, youth minister, and a few others that I won’t mention.  What I found out is there are no “wasted” days if you learn something from each experience.  And, yes, I have managed to do that.  Currently, I administrate the life-changing blog, Women’s Life Link, where I use every bit of my life experience to help other women find their best path to their purpose and wholeness – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  My newest endeavor is starting a life-coaching business that takes the website’s contribution to women on a one-on-one basis.  I am working on getting certified in the spiritual coaching and planning all the details of how it will work.

Melody: I had a hard time getting past the fact that you have six kids. Kudos to you! You’ve led a very exciting life. God has given you many desires and talents to follow through. What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Kellie: I wrote a novel.  It hasn’t been published yet, but I think it might have a chance!  I’ve just recently started the final edit that will hopefully make in saleable and not castrate it.  =)

Melody: I’ve always wanted to write a book. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be on your final edit! I’ve yet to write the first sentence. When did writing a novel become a goal of yours?

Kellie: Oh, heck, I’ve wanted to write books since I can remember!  I used to write children’s stories on my mom’s old typewriter.  Boy was that a chore, especially after making a mistake.  Can you say White Out?  We are so fortunate to have Microsoft Word now.  I also took courses in children’s literature that I really didn’t do anything with.  It was a good learning experience, though.  The actual “write a book” was added to my bucket list about five years ago when I created it.  It took me a couple of years before I got serious enough (fearless enough, that is) to actually start.

Melody: Yes, I can say White Out. I remember being sent to college with a brand new typewriter/word processor. Crazy!

Why was accomplishing this so important to you?

Kellie: I am a natural writer and communicator.  There are so many stories and characters in my head that sometimes I think they will commit mutiny and escape through multiple orifices if I don’t create a permanent home for them. Also, it is simply a passion that I’ve always had.  It was a triumph for me as well because I’d never had the guts to start (and finish) something so detailed and complicated as writing a book.  The research alone took forever.  As you can see from the photo, it took a lot of materials to get to the last page.

Melody: Was there ever a time you just wanted to throw in the towel and give up?

Kellie: An interesting thing about my book-writing project, I started it when I was in the middle of one of the most difficult times of my life physically.  While mostly in bed with chronic migraine and severe hypersensitivity, I was tired of feeling sorry for myself so I started to write whatever popped into my head – not surprised, my first character was a woman with migraine headaches and emotional trauma.  Write what you know, right?

The up-and-down physical challenges started to get to me.  I actually wrote the first 150 pages by hand because I couldn’t use the computer without triggering headaches and eye strain.  Writers need regular break periods, but mine were lengthy at times…days and weeks.  I often wondered if it was any good or if it was worth all the time (and pain) it was going to require to complete.  A huge turning point was when my husband came home with my book printed out on copier paper.  Seeing how much work, how many pages I’d actually written made it more real to me—the big picture.

Melody: Many of us give up just because of not having the willpower to get past the “how do I get started” stage. Add in physical challenges and most would say forget it. What kept you motivated?

Kellie: During one of my “breaks”, I saw an advertisement for a writing contest.  It was the Court TV: Find the next great crime writer contest.  I was definitely interested in entering my book, but I had a problem: It wasn’t finished.  The submission deadline was less than a month away, and I had a whole lot more book to write, not to mention the editing.  I’ve always known that I thrive under pressure; this case was no exception.  In less than three weeks, I had completed my novel.  Now, I’m not saying it was anywhere near the condition it should have been in to be in that contest, but at least the deadline push got me to finish it.  I received great feedback and met some people who truly encouraged me to continue my writing.

The other thing that kept me tapping away at the keys was the fact that I honestly loved the characters and wanted to visit them.  I know that sounds corny, but if I don’t love them, who else will?  Currently, my book, Unaware, is safe on my hard drive undergoing minor surgery…again.  I do plan to query some agents in hopes of hooking one to represent me.  However, even if it never goes anywhere further than my Dell, I will keep writing, always.

Melody: I admire your dedication to writing this novel even if it never goes anywhere. I think that proves that you’re doing it for the right reasons. What advice do you have for people striving to reach their goals?

Kellie: Sometimes the biggest obstacle to reaching any goal is that we look at how big it is and get intimidated—the move the mountain syndrome.  Writing a book, running a marathon, building a deck or a business are the kinds of goals that present like monsters when you don’t know how to start.  My best advice, in these cases, is to just do something.  Get started with a smaller piece of your goal.  I wrote one letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter at a time.  When I saw how easy it was to meet the little challenges, I started to understand and believe that it was possible to finish the big goal.  It also helps to be passionate about whatever you’re trying to do.  In other words, if you hate fish, don’t go fishing!  Find activities that mesh with your inner callings and talents.  You will more likely stick to projects that energize you and give a feeling of accomplishment.  And, remember, it’s never too late to start something new!

A little story:

A woman (now in her mid-forties) was asked by a dear friend what she wanted to do when she was a young girl.

“I wanted to be a doctor,” she disdainfully replied.

“Why do you say it like that?” Her friend asked.

The woman dropped her head and frowned.  “I never was able to finish college because of kids and other responsibilities.”

“Well, why don’t you just go back to school and become a doctor?”

She cocked her head inquisitively.  “That’s ridiculous; I’d be fifty-eight before I’d even be practicing medicine.”

Her friend graciously smiled and said, “You know what?  You’re going to be fifty-eight anyway…you might as well be a doctor when you get there.

Melody: “Move the mountain syndrome” – I like that. I concur 100%. Your little story is so true. It reminds me of the quote that John shared with us last week by George Elliot, “It is never too late to be who you might have been.”

I’d love to know what other things are on your bucket list.

Kellie: I would love to run a marathon at some point.  Again, this is a gigantic goal that will require dedication and definitely some sweat to do.  Some smaller, more obtainable bucket-listees include, riding in a hot air balloon, rock climbing, going to Australia, see the Blue Man Group, and have my entire house decorated the way I want it.  I think the best way to ensure that you get your list accomplished is to look at it often.  Print it out and hang it where you have to see every day.  Add some cool, new stuff to it, too!

Melody: You should contact Jessie when you’re ready to train for the marathon. She was my first interview for Motivation Monday and has a great story behind the marathon she ran. If you’re ever in Vegas, I can try to score you some Blue Man Group tickets! I’m going to add the house decorating item to my list. Sometimes I’d be satisfied to have one room fully decorated!

I’d love to know your favorite inspirational quote.

Kellie: My favorite inspirational quote came from my seventh grade English teacher, Dorothy Hicks.  She wrote it in my yearbook on the last day of school, and I’ve always remembered it.  She wrote:

“Nothing in life worth having comes easily.”

By the way, I plan to dedicate my first published book to her memory. =)

Melody: That’s why I always want to share favorite quotes…you never know which ones will last a lifetime. I look forward to hearing how the rest of your story unfolds. I’m sure that your novel will grace the shelves of stores one day. Be sure to let us know when that happens so we can buy a copy!

If writing a book is on your list of things to do, here are a few sites that will help you get started…

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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#20 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with John Corippo

I’ve had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ John Corippo through my blog. He became a follower of 6 Feet Over and emailed  me about the lengthy ‘bucket list’ he’s tackling. This fellow blogger is a wonderfully supportive husband, loving dad (check out his adorable son in all the photos below), dedicated firefighter/captain and an awesome goal setter. His story proves that with both self-discipline and support from loved ones, you can achieve amazing things….even if NOT eating bacon is involved.  Read on, you’ll see…

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Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one ”kicks the bucket.”

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Melody: John, share a little about yourself…

John: I am a 32 year old father and husband. Which would be enough because I hit the jackpot when my wife married me almost three years ago and then gave birth to my son 13 months ago. However I was lucky enough to get the best job in the world…as a firefighter. Actually I am a fire captain in the town that I grew up in, Ukiah California. Pretty much have the perfect life…awesome wife, terrific kid and a job that I love.

I left my hometown and went to college for four years at Chico State. During my last semester I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working in a cubicle underneath fluorescent lights and I left college and moved home where I found firefighting and made that my career. I worked in photo labs through college and really got into photography during that time and am just now getting back into that hobby.  I have always been a reader and love books. I love gadgets and always think that I “have” to have the latest tech toy that’s out. I live and die for the San Francisco Giants and 49ers, but I am also a big fan of the Boston Red Sox (way before they finally won the Series!) and sports in general. My own crowning achievement in sports was completing a half Ironman triathlon. I love getting outdoors and especially enjoy seeing waterfalls, but I don’t get out nearly as much as I feel I should. I have to say that my friends are my family and some of the most cherished gifts in my life. I would not be who I am today without the love and support of all of them. Another random fact is that I am a lifelong Parrothead, and if you don’t know what that is…you are missing out on really living life!

My bucket, life, to do (whatever you might want to call it) list was really inspired by my mom coming up with a 50 things to do before she turned 50 list. I just wanted to add some adventures to my life, mostly to be able to be an inspiration to my son. Someone that he can look to and be proud of. That his dad isn’t just a go to work and sit on the couch when he gets home guy. That we actually go out and live life, not just live to work if you know what I mean.

Something that I’ve been plagued with my entire life is having lots of interests, but never really pulling through on any of it. Having the list has given me motivation to get out and finish some of these things that I would like to accomplish.

Melody: What is one item you’ve checked off your bucket list?

John: An item that I recently crossed off my list was becoming a vegetarian for 30 days.

Melody: I’m impressed…I don’t think I could last 3 days!  I’ll admit I have wanted to try though. Why did this become a goal of yours?

John: This became a goal of mine because I was intrigued when my wife decided to become vegan about 6 months ago. I supported her, but thought that it was a passing fad or something. I am really proud of her for sticking with it. I never really thought about how “meat centered” that our society and my own life really was until I was watching her change her lifestyle.

Melody: I think it’s awesome you were so supportive of your wife’s goal. You get definite points for that! Other than being a fabulous husband, why was going meatless so important to you?

John: Sticking to the entire 30 days “veggie vow,” as I came to call it, became more a battle with will power than anything else. It also became a battle between myself and all the people that said I couldn’t make it. I also thought that it would be a healthy challenge and would kick-start another goal of mine, getting my weight down to 185lbs.

Melody: I completely understand how others saying you couldn’t do it became an inspiration in itself! Hmmm, I just may blog about that later. I applaud you for wanting to become more healthy, too!

At any point, did you want to give up?

John: I wanted to give up on this almost everyday. Temptation was everywhere. One day I walked into work at the station to one of the firefighters cooking bacon in a pot. He didn’t eat it, just cooked bacon in a pot and went home. He just wanted the aroma of bacon lingering in the station during my work day. That was one of the hardest of the 30 days. We also went out to dinner at restaurants a couple of times and to an awards banquet for my department where there was lots of meat options, and very few vegetarian choices.

Melody: BACON? Seriously, bacon? That’s just cruel! I think I would have caved at that point. I love bacon. I want some bacon now just talking about it. Mmmmm, bacon.

Your “veggie vow” was truly challenging. What kept you going?

John: I really had three things that really got me through to the end of the goal. My wife was extremely supportive and held my hand through the entire month. She worked hard at coming up with new meal options and just kept my eye on the prize.

The Cartman, a friend that I work with, took on the challenge with me. It was essential, looking back, that I had a partner in crime at work. I found that was where temptation was strongest, and I was at my weakest. In fact I was ready to quit even before we got started. On day one of the challenge I was ready to postpone and start the challenge later, but The Cartman flat out refused and flat out told me that we were doing this and that was that. It was motivation for the rest of the month. I knew that if I caved I was going to have to face The Cartman. It would have been embarrassing if he completed what was a challenge on my list, and I couldn’t.

The third thing was my blog. I had put my list and the progress out there for anyone to stumble across to read and really didn’t want to explain that everyone that said it couldn’t be done was right. I really underestimated how powerful that blogging was going to be. My blog doesn’t get a ton of traffic, but it’s enough to keep me in line. I know this sounds like a plug, but AdventureWannaBe has been the strongest motivating factor and a great new hobby all in one. It’s also great to hear from people that leave comments of support.

Melody: I think having people on your side (your wife and The Cartman) is essential to achieving anything in life. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish simply by having someone to cheer us on. Accountability is crucial as well. Needless to say, I agree with you 100% about how blogging holds you accountable. It’s the reason I started this blog.

What advice would you have for people striving to reach their goals?

John: I think that everyone has goals or a list in their life. Those looking for advice, I can only comment on what has worked for me. Write it down, and let people know. I have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support that I have received since publishing my list. People that I thought might be critical or make fun of me have gone way out of their way to help me. A friend has hired someone to teach me to ride a horse and hooked me up with a friend of his that can teach me to fly a glider. Another has gotten my tickets to a conference where I am going to meet someone with the same name as me. People I don’t even know have left comments saying that they are willing to give me opportunities. So my advice is to put it down where you’ll look at it all the time and tell people about what you are trying to do. All of a sudden you’ll have more opportunities than you have time to accomplish them.

Melody: I have been meaning to do the same…post my list. I think it’s inspiring that you have your list on your blog! Tell us a few of the other items on your bucket list you’re still seeking to accomplish.

John: Some other things that are still on my list, and there is a bunch, are growing a full beard, visiting 50 waterfalls, hiking the John Muir Trail, learning to play my guitar and playing on the street to see how much I can earn, meeting multiple heroes of mine, seeing multiple landmarks of the world, and making one of my son’s dreams come true. There are many many others, in fact 200 of them but you can check it out on my blog if you’re interested in the entire list.

Melody: I think you should post a video of yourself playing the guitar and put a PayPal link next to it! I’ll throw in some change for sure! 😉 Wonderful list you have…I’ve read all 200 items!!

Leave us with  your favorite inspirational quote?

John: My favorite inspirational quote is “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” ~ George Elliot

Melody:  John, thank you so much for sharing your 30 day “veggie vow” journey with us! You not only showed us how challenging this was, but you also took what, to some, could seem like an easy task and turned it into a life lesson. Your adventure to the vegetarian side proved to be more than a diet change. It not only took mental strength, but a supportive team. I believe goals need just that in order to be obtained. Your story is inspiring! I can’t wait to see more of your items checked off that list!

If going vegetarian is on your list of things to do, here are a few websites that will help you get started:

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I’m working on a blog makeover and will have my full bucket list posted. I had wanted to post the list before, but seeing John’s list motivates me to add more to it!

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in a Motivation Monday interview, just click HERE to email me and we’ll chat.

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley

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