Life Happens, Live It! With Jake French

In the blink of an eye, Jake’s life changed course and he ended up being paralyzed from the chin down. In just a few short days, he made the decision to choose to adopt the motto Life Happens, Live it! It took some time for him to live that motto to its fullest and he shares his journey with us here.

I want to thank Joel from Relaunch for introducing me to Jake.  What really inspired me to share Jake’s story was listening to the podcast Mere Mortals Unite, with Julie Ann Sullivan.

Jake tells us that people can see his wheelchair so they know exactly what he is dealing with, but other people have some kind of wheelchair that we just can’t see.

He is a University of Idaho graduate and a huge fan of anything outdoors.

Despite the difficulties he has encountered in his life, he is able to make others smile and turn things away from a victim mindset into a being the leader and speaker that he is today.

His Second Chance Story

Jake was on top of the world and, celebrating receiving his degree, to work in his dream job in forestry. He had been drinking and celebrating when he ran into his old childhood best friend. A freak accident took place between when his friend took him down in a headlock, and Jake couldn’t brace his fall landing head first in the pavement. He later found out he became a C6 Quadriplegic that evening. Sharing his story, we will find out how he was able to find happiness in a different way that he had planned the day he had graduated.

The Turn Around Point

When he was in the therapy room he was surrounded by people who were really hurting. He witnessed another patient whom’s way of looking at her situation changed his whole perspective. This is when he began to look around and realize that he was not the worst off in the world. He committed to healing as victoriously as he was able to.

You can listen to the whole interview to hear all the details of Jake’s experience.

A Closer Look

 What about you changed the most from this experience?

Jake was no longer able to do many of the things he once could. He tells us how his Mom was amazing and taught him to never give up. With his perseverance and courage, he learned how to do many things again including driving.

What is one piece of guidance you would like to share with us?

He tells us a hilarious story about how someone brought him a hot pink wheelchair and his friends had a good laugh and called it ManGenta. He asks what has happened in your life that you can turn into you own ManGenta situation and how can you find the funny in the situation?

What is one resource you couldn’t have made it without?

Never Give Up! Success in Life Is an Attitude Paperback – 2005.                                                                                             by Ron Heagy (Author),‎ Donita Dyer (Author) https://www.amazon.com/Never-Give-Success-Life-Attitude/dp/0975417207

Links

Train Trestle Fall to Inspiring Speaker with Dale Spencer

Dale Spencer

 Dale slipped and fell from a railroad trestle when he was 20 years old. In a moment his life was dramatically changed. He spent two and a half months in the hospital and had to learn how to live life in a wheelchair. Dale shares his journey and how his positive thinking led him to become a speaker and deliver the important message to Think First .

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Dale lives in the western suburbs of Chicago. He is a mortgage broker and a Key-note speaker, in many topics. I asked him about his religious beliefs prior to the interview, to get an idea of how they may have changed.

He was brought up Catholic and went to church every Sunday. As a kid, you don’t realize the full understanding of spirituality and faith. When it came to his injury it really put his faith to the test, as well as his family.

You can listen to the entire interview on the Podcast: Here 

Near-Death Experience

It was December or 1988. Dale was with his friends from Northern Illinois University and it was the end of his first semester, junior year.

He had to take a break from studying and they went to a local party and went on foot. They decided to take a shortcut and had to go on railroad tracks.  A very unsafe place to begin with.

He was a 20-year-old guy, wasn’t too worried, just thought they would be careful.  It was a poorly lit area, about 1 am, they were walking along the tracks, and came upon a railway trestle.

They walked across and were spread apart. Dale slipped on a railroad tie and fell about 4 stories into a river. It was only about a foot deep, and what may have saved him is the fact that he was conscious.

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After Effects and Inside the Experience

Dale knew something was wrong. He opened his eyes and tried to process that one moment he was walking along the tracks, the next he was looking up at the trestle partly submerged in freezing cold water.

He jerked his back to move and had a tremendous and very acute and sharp pain going down his vertebrae, his legs were completely numb.

He couldn’t move so he yelled out to his friends. He had no idea how far away they were. He kept screaming and screaming until they were able to follow his voice and find him. He didn’t know if it was 5 minutes or an hour.

They knew not to move him and went to a nearby house and called an ambulance. The ambulance was there within minutes. They asked him some questions and knew he had a serious injury. They didn’t want to cause further damage so they collared his neck, put a flat board underneath him, picked him up slowly, put him in the ambulance and took him to the local hospital.

They couldn’t treat him at the local hospital, so they transferred him by helicopter to, North Western Memorial Hospital, downtown Chicago,  a level one trauma center.

On the way to the hospital, they checked his vitals and they were doing a skin poking test to see where he could feel. At that time, he thought that it was just a shock to his system, he thought he would get the feeling back in his legs.

He had a battery of tests, exams, and x-rays. It was conclusive that he had a spinal cord injury. It was horrific every moment he was awake, but it gave him clarity, exactly what happened to him every step of the process.

Dale believes the whole notion,  that things happen for a reason, and for the last 20 years, he has been talking to high school and middle school students about injury prevention. He takes them through the whole process of everything he went through every step of the way.

He was in the hospital for about 2 1/2 months. He had an operation right away. There are 3 sections of vertebrae that surround the spinal cord. He landed on his feet, and snapped his back forward and that t-12 sliced right into the spinal cord.

There is no cure for a spinal cord injury. The doctors didn’t want to go near it. It took nearly 11 hours for the doctors to remove the smashed vertebrae.  Listen to Dale share the procedure at 09:50.

He was taken to ICU after. He realized how important his familial and friendships were. After he was injured his best friend kind of was vapor, kind of blew him off. He tells his younger audience, “You think this is one of the most horrific things that can happen in a person’s life,  but it isn’t.”  He realized after time it was one of the best things that could have happened in his life.

He knew who supported him, who had his back, it was one of the most important life lessons he ever had.

He still feels guilty, 26 years later, for what he put these people through. He tells his students, that the decision he made caused these people to suffer.

To give back, he teaches them that our decisions have ramifications and consequences. “You have to think first and use your mind to protect your body.” His organization is called, Think First Injury Prevention.

Think First

Moving On

Dale went through rehab. The end goal was to become independent. His injury is from the hips down.  He can do everything independently except for the stairs.

He had a physical therapist, to help him build his upper body. He had lost a lot of energy and muscle mass after the injury.

The first time he put his clothes on took about 45 minutes. An occupational therapist helped him to find ways to put on socks, and shoes; now it only takes him a couple of minutes.

He learned new tasks; making a bed, opening a door, getting up a curb and many more tasks that he used to take for granted.

In 1988 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  law came into effect. It took some time for all the changes to take effect. Dale had a cell phone, which was a necessity for him. He would call ahead to find out if there was a disabled parking space, and if it was handicap accessible. If it was not, he would request they meet him and help him up the stairs.

Being vehemently independent,  Dale tried to problem solve these things himself to get from point A to point B. Rehab gave him the tools to help him get through these problems.

It took a couple of months to figure out and be able to resolve these situations. Things such as falling out of the wheelchair, happen rehab helped give him the tools to solve these things himself.

I asked Dale if he has always been so positive. He was very humble about taking a compliment and told me that he has always been, the glass is half full guy. In his case, a traumatic experience helped him realize what kind of motivation and perseverance you have inside you.

He tells us he has been put to the test and is still being put to the test. He takes to heart, to mind, learns from the past, but really focus on the journey in front of you.

Positivity can be infectious, Dale said. “I don’t pat myself on the back, I say,  If I can do it you can do it.”

He went through the five stages of grief: Anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. Everyone goes through it when they have some type of trauma in their lives.

He had an underlying goal and push forward,  to get back to school, get his degree, get back to his friends and gain meaningful employment. He had moments he felt depressed, but he always kept his eye on the prize, keeping the end goal in mind.

Family and Religion

Dale’s mom wrestled with her faith after the accident. Dale tells me it was his decision, not God’s’ decision. It is easy to blame God or someone else, but Dale is fine with taking the responsibility.

The optimism helped him and others around him, to feel better about the situation and that he was moving on with his life and not obsessing about the injury.

I asked Dale to share more about his Moms’ challenge with faith. He told me there was a time that it was hard to go back to church for a while, we may think, Why would God do this?

Situations like this can also bring us closer to God and have, be stronger with our faith and our resolve, and not only how we can help ourselves but how we can help others. 

Books or Resources

Dale never read self-help books, at 20 years old, when the accident happened. Since he has been a part of, Think First Injury Prevention, it opened his eyes to the concept of paying it forward.

Dale has 60 or 70 self-help books. His morning starts with positive affirmations, he reads every morning. It keeps his mind focused and reading in the morning gives his day a good start.

His top books are:

 Links

Escaping Death with Christopher Hostetler

Could you imagine if your child was playing in the backyard, and the next thing you know, his friend has come to get you, to let you know he has been shot?

Imagine you are in the hospital wondering if he is going to be all right. How would this affect your family and how would this affect your child? Chris shares his experience for the first time on the radio, a story of hard times, strong family, healing and then a journey to help others.

You can listen to the audio interview on the Podcast: Here 

Chris was playing in his backyard when he was only 5 years old.  His life memories pretty much start the day of the accident. He was swinging on the swing set and playing with a friend.

His neighbour was a Vietnam Vet, perhaps having an episode, thinking his gun was unloaded and shot his gun. It was not unloaded, and it shot, ricocheted off a trailer hitch and hit Christopher.

Thankfully Christopher’s friend ran to get help and his Dad happened to be home. He was able to resuscitate him and get him to the hospital.

Listen to the show to hear the whole story, of how Christoper recovered, the pain he endured and then the life he created. Now he is able to help others and share his story.

Christopher Hostetler is an Integrative Health Coach. He can support you with counselling on nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and physical wellness. He tailors appropriate programs to fit YOUR lifestyle. You can find him to ask a question or see if his services are what you need at:

Miracle Boy Falls From Train Trestle and Survives

Joel shares such an impactful and moving story, that I found myself tearing up during the interview a few times. Tissue alert, he was only 5 years old when he slipped from a train trestle and somehow escaped death. Joel was truly given a second chance at life and how grateful am I. Today he helps thousands of people Relaunch their life with confidence.

Joel’s Life Today

 Joel and his wife co-host together Relaunch. They do daily shows throughout the week. They bring in the hottest and in-demand authors. They share inspiring ideas and practical steps to help people set themselves up and get ready for their own relaunch. 

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Near-Death Experience

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Joel Boggess Amazing Story

Joel’s parents separated when he was 3 years old. He lived with his mom and spent weekends and holidays with his dad.

When he was 5, his dad took him hiking in the Texas hill country. He wandered off with the other kids and started their own hike. They climbed to the top of a cliff and found a bridge.

At 5, the bridge represented a jungle gym. He walked to the middle of the bridge with the other kids. They laid down on their stomachs and called to their dad’s below.

Joel doesn’t remember, but the bridge started shaking and a whistle sounded. It was a train trestle. The train has screeched to a halt, and Joel was nowhere to be found.

He was laying in a pile of his own blood on the jagged rocks on the bottom. Through heroic and divine intervention, they were able to get him to the hospital.

Religion 

I asked him if this experience had any impact on his religious beliefs later?

Yes, he tells me, he knows it was divine intervention that he survived. He had three skull fractures, he is very comfortable knowing that.

He had a Christian upbringing and fell away for a while after. He drifted away like a lot of teenagers and young adults sometimes do. He found his way back to church and renewed his relationship with Christ and with God.

He invited his dad to go back with him, and he accepted his invitation. It was another chapter in the bond and growing.

Joel Boggess
Joel Boggess

After Effects and Inside the Experience

He lost so much blood his veins collapsed, they couldn’t start a vein.  Joel was in a coma for 3 weeks, during his 6th birthday. He was in hospital for about 6 weeks.

When he woke up his family was there and he started talking. It was a tremendous occasion because the doctors had told his family he was done for.

His family was there the whole time. His mom, every minute that she could be. His dad had just started a brand new job, and was trying to support and rebuild, and kept it. They worked out a wonderful system so that someone was always there, his mom, dad, and grandparents.

Joel is not sure if he really remembers or not, but there was a lot of love, prayers, and people who came. There is a list of people who donated blood, goes on and on. He needed a lot of blood and it was in short supply.

Joel wrote a book that shares this experience called, “Finding your voice.”

When he was 6, his parents were distraught, no money, living off food stamps and 100 dollar a month gift from a family member. His mom was working to get her nursing certification when his accident happened.

Joel didn’t have life insurance at 5. The medical bills were astronomical. There were so many specialists, hospital bills, on and on and on.

The recovery was amazing. He remembers bits and pieces of it. Doctors were completely surprised at the bounce back that this poor little kid made, that was carrying the black ink of a death sentence.

 Moving On

Joel’s wife Pei, of 13 years, told him that because the doctors put in the reports that he wouldn’t be normal, and couldn’t do this or that, it motivated him to prove everyone wrong!! He thought about it and said she is right!

Today he is determined and persistent in everything he does, not just to get by but to kill it!! His book was a  bestselling book in three categories the same day, his podcast did fantastic, he has always been the person to defy the odds.

Book Recommendations and Parting Words

See you at the top, by Zig Ziglar 

Awaken the Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

Joel thinks there is a need for people to be open, to be transparent about their past experiences and see the lessons there. The learning points need to be harnessed, because fair or unfair, ugly or pretty, there are lessons. So don’t hide what you have been through, share it, explore it and learn from it.

Hope, Healing, and Encouragement is the vision Joel has for his shows and sharing his experience with us. He hopes it will give encouragement for others to share.

Contacts

Devastating Horse Accident to Thriving Business Coach

John Ramstead  

I am blessed to share an inspiring story that touched my soul and filled my heart. John overcame tremendous injury in an accident that he miraculously survived. This is a story not only about becoming Christian but also really connecting and feeling our creators love.

Today he is the co-host of The Eternal Leadership podcast, as well as a successful business coach.

JohnRamstead Blog

As a kid, he had a dream to be a fighter pilot and never thought he could achieve it. John went to college on a ROTC scholarship, then Navy Flight school and through a lot of hard work became a F14 pilot. He flew in desert storm, flew combat sorties.

Then he had been given dream orders to go back and instruct at Top Gun, but he had a softball accident and suffered nerve damage to his eye.

No longer able to fly, John was completely unsure about the path of his life. His dreams were taken away and that was the only thing he wanted to do since being a child.

He needed help, direction, and purpose as his life didn’t have any meaning. John was lead to the Gospel in April of 1995 and he became a Christian. It gave him a foundation and a grounding for the rest of his life that was invaluable for him. It opened incredible doors.

A year later his wife became a Christian, he tells us it was an interesting year!

Imagine what it would be like, being given orders to go to Top Gun, flying F14’s and F16’s to selling cell phones door to door, with the planes flying above.

“When you don’t have a purpose in your life you don’t understand who you are, what you want to do and the meaning you want your life to have.”

This was 1995 and he started his own company.

He did three different tech start-up companies, then worked for a fortune 100 company, then to a Wall Street firm, then in 2011, he left to start a new company. Then 5 1/2 month into it, he was involved in an accident that radically changed his life.

The Horse Ride That Changed John’s Life

John was invited by a friend to a non-profit called Family Talk. He was invited to learn more, and perhaps become more involved. He flew himself up, and they gathered at a Ranch in Montana.

Friday, they were going to ride to the back of the Ranch, and John had his horse saddled first. He had a picture taken just before, and he had a big smile on his face, having no idea that in the next five minutes his life was going to change permanently.

John’s horse began to trot, then all of a sudden the horse did a 90-degree turn and bolted and threw him backward. John was holding on with his legs, as hard as he could.  John was able to get himself back up in time to see a steel fence coming up.

John grabbed the reins and pulled left, the horse nearly pulled the reins out of John’s hands. John pulled the horse’s head left again, but the horse pulled his head back and kept going towards the fence.

John was thinking he needed to jump, starting to panic, but would have broken his neck. He didn’t feel the horse would be suicidal and run into the wall. Soon John realized there was no way one of them wasn’t going to get really hurt.

He was a fighter pilot, he flew in combat; low-level missions, 500 mph at 100 feet and never felt this feeling before in his life.

About 20 yards from the fence, it was as if someone hit the pause button and everything slowed down. John recalls thinking, “This is not going to end well.”

The horse bucked so hard he slammed into the fence rump first. He launched John into the top bar of the fence. About a 3″ solid steel beam.

After The Accident

The beam hit John across the face, from his teeth to his left eye.

I can hardly type as I listen to this, let alone imagine what it must have been like to go through.

John lost 7  teeth,  shattered his cheek, crushed his left eye orbit, broke all the bones behind the eye socket; which severed the nerve and he lost his left eye sight. He shattered his forehead, the center of his skull, the base of his skull, his head snapped back from the impact and broke his neck in a couple of places.

He crushed 4 ribs, punctured a lung and tore up his right shoulder pretty good.

An EMT was there and helped right away. John passed out briefly and when he came to he could feel people holding down his head, shoulders, hips and this woman was holding his hand. He heard her say he was going into shock.

The pain he was in was beyond anything he could tolerate.  “It was like being underwater and running out of air when you still have 20 feet to go, that type of fear and panic, but even greater than that.”

His face was cut open, not a pretty sight, he was yelling and moaning and it was hard for the people there to comfort him.

They describe how they thought they watched him pass away, because he suddenly relaxed, and his body sunk into the ground.

The Presence Of God

He felt the presence of God come and completely surround him. It was the most intense and personal unconditional love. It was about Jesus and John Ramstead, one on one, being loved beyond comprehension.

The first thought he had, had been, “I’m not worthy of someone loving me like this.”

He had fallen away from a close relationship with God because of his business career and some of the success he had.

In scripture, they talk about that peace that passeth all understanding.  That feeling was washing over him like waves from the ocean, it was taking away all his pain, and panic and fear and it was like it had never happened.

He basked in this intense love, and as he was laying there God spoke to him.  It was not to his ears, but like a stream of consciousness flowing through his soul.

What God said is  “All things work together for good for those that love the lord. I am going to heal you and use this for all my glory. The Lord giveth the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

John told me he still wonders about that because he knew with total certainty his left eye was blind. There was no reason for him to know that at the time.

He woke up and opened his eyes, and told everyone very calmly that they didn’t need to worry because God was there and he said it was going to be ok. They were a little surprised.

For the next hour he chatted calmly, he asked questions every couple of minutes, about why his teeth were broken and about how the horse was doing.

He waited for an hour for the helicopter to arrive. He remembers looking forward to the ride, It was a beautiful Montana Day. He could only see the blades and blue sky.

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Being in God’s presence has profoundly changed who he is and what he is all about.

He was told by multiple doctors that his accident was not survivable, he should have died.

Surgery

In the last 2 1/2 years he has had 23 surgeries, 2 brain surgeries where they had to take most of his skull off to repair it with titanium plates, his entire sinus cavity was removed and a traumatic brain injury.

A hospital in Denver treats traumatic brain injury, and he spent 18 months there. When he did his testing in the end, he was 100% in everything except for visual processing. This was miraculous because they had only expected he would recover to 50% at most.

Family

The path to John healing was long and treacherous. He battled Meningitis, a fever over 107 degrees, John had post-accident amnesia, brain surgeries, and every time, they told him about the possibility of complications, and that he may not be the same person if he made it through.

His wife was his caregiver, for a year. He has three children and it was a hard time for all of them. All of his friends and family came up, especially for the first week or two all his friends and family would come up.

He tells us his wife prayed to god for some help while waiting for his second surgery. Just after, a pastor from a local church came to visit to see what he could do.

He sat with her as a friend, prayed with her, and waited 4-5 hours until the surgery was over. He came back a few more times. Just having someone there gave her the strength and courage to get through it gracefully.

Financially this made a huge difference in their lives. It challenged their boys’ faith and put them all through a really tough time.

It has been a huge blessing over the years, watching their boys come through this, watching their journey.  He and his wife have a  relationship,  he would never give up.  John no longer works 70- 80 hours a week and has more time with his family.

John is going to try to make as big of a difference, with what time he has left. He doesn’t know if it works this way, however,  he envisions seeing Jesus one day, and seeing his face break out in a smile,  and having him say, “good job buddy, come on in.”

 Community and Friends

The community was amazing. Over 400 people brought meals and thousands reached out.  People offered to take his kids to sports, mow the lawn, fix things around the house and for the 5 weeks he was away in the hospital good friends took his kids, and would not take any money for groceries.

If you’re in a situation like this, reach out and find a relationship, a book, someone who can help you hang on to hope. If you know someone who is going through something like this, reach out and serve them, do something that is inconvenient for you but will mean the world for them.

 Moving On

I asked John how he moved on? He told us that, “Every single day you wake up you have a choice”.

I reached out to mentors, read books, kept putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward.

When we have a funeral someday, it is more than just being a great husband, dad, provider, and co-worker. He wants to leave a legacy to be so much bigger than it would have been if he died two years ago.

I asked John if he thinks there is a way one can tap into these things without having a near death experience. He told me absolutely!

Our experiences made us realize that we have this incredible potential we can live up to.  If we make decisions, surround ourselves with people who are doing great things with their life. We can make a choice every day, every single day we wake up we have an opportunity for a second chance.

Creativity

If there is something stopping us, an obstacle or a roadblock, there are people out there that will help you, to give you the courage, give you the skills to get past whatever you think is in your way. It is not as big as you think!!

Today

He went back to work and could not put in the kind of hours he had before. In February of this year, he felt god talk to him again. He said, ” I want you to use this life that I have given you, to pour this life into other leaders, to equip and inspire them to work in my kingdom. ” It was very clear.

He left what he was doing, very advanced business, estate, and tax planning for business owners. He went and got certified as a coach.

He found a lot of people ask, ” how do I really understand my purpose, who I am, what are my values, what are the gifts God has given me and how do I work in those? How do I create a life outside of me that is in complete alignment of who I am inside?

When he helps those individuals, and bring those two into alignment, amazing things happen.

Life has a new colour to it, a joy and a light, it becomes fresh and exciting.  All of us know they can get there but they don’t know how.

 Contact Information

Military Training Near Death Experience in Iraq

John served 13 months in Iraq, with the USA military. He had numerous near-death experiences. Today he shares the most prominent one with us, and the effects it had on him.

After his time in the army, he was able to find his passion and created EntrepreneurOnFire, a 7 day a week podcast. He interviews top and successful entrepreneurs and has was awarded Best Of iTunes in 2013.

From there, John and Kate created an amazing forum of podcasters from around the world, called Podcasers’ Paradise,  and were featured in Forbes magazine.

How To Podcast For Profit ($2M Sales In Year 2) With Entrepreneur On Fire John Dumas

I listened to an interview he did with Ryan Holiday about Stoicism. I have been touched by learning about it, and although I could go on and on about all the good that John is doing in the world, I will let you hear in this interview for yourself. What a truly inspiring and amazing person John is, but most importantly to me, he was my first mentor in the business world, and I wouldn’t have created the podcast without his guidance.

Stay tuned after and I will share a review and a few words with you.

 Near-Death Experience

John was deployed to Iraq for 13 months. In his platoon, 4 soldiers gave their lives in sacrifice, to defend the U.S.A, and bring freedom. John saw first hand, “freedom is not free.”

John had a sense of foreboding before his very near death experience. At about month 12.5 of his 13 month period in Iraq, he was sent for training. He had a bad feeling about it.  They were sent for training in a room, at a base, watching powerpoint slides for an hour, and he could have watched the information over skype from safety.

They had to travel two hours down a road, known as RPG alley. RPG stands for a rocket-powered grenade. They were going in a slow-moving convoy, which was very appealing to the Iraqi army.

John had to follow orders, and about halfway there, a massive explosion shook his Humvee, spun it around in a circle and blew the back-end off. The big convey truck behind, slammed into them at full speed, further damaging the vehicle. John had a big gash under his chin, the lieutenant next to him was basically unconscious.

It was an IED. improvised explosive deviceThe firing started and there were bullets flying everywhere.  They had to jump to another vehicle.  The lieutenant suffered a concision and had to be flown in a helicopter, all the way to Baghdad. Then his helicopter was fired at. He had a really messed up experience. This was all because one person high in command wanted to feel important, and forced everyone to attend this training in person.

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From this near-death experience,  the entrepreneurial seed was planted.  It never lost its grip, and years later, still with the same mindset, John has turned it into a good thing, and taken control of his own life.

They proceed as nothing happened and continued their training. John had a bandage placed on his chin, still bleeding and continued as if nothing happened. Then they took the slow trip back to the base, about 5 hours round trip.

DEALING WITH TRAUMA

There is no special training, but they try. The military thrives in war, battle, winning and taking the fight to the enemy.

It comes up short re-integrating soldiers into society and the civilian world. It comes up short giving the soldiers support getting through these traumatic experiences and having a normal life after and post-military.

John tells me it is not really the militaries job. Their job is to take the fight to the enemy and win. If they dedicate a lot of resources to other things, you might not win. If you don’t win then nothing else matters.

John tells me, “don’t begrudge the army, especially not the US army, for being the most powerful military in the world. There is a lot of reasons why the US military is the best and is great. The reality is you can’t be perfect at everything. Just like being an entrepreneur, you can’t be perfect at everything.

ENTREPRENEURS AND VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS 

John has learned, with things he struggles at or is weak at, to bring in virtual assistants or partners into the business that thrive in areas that he doesn’t. This can be valuable for all entrepreneurs.

AFTER EFFECTS AND INSIDE THE EXPERIENCE 

He was still employed by the military, still an officer for about a year and a half.  He never had any strange dreams at a conscious level. He had unexplained night sweats. For the first 6 months, he was back, he would wake up drenched in sweat. The bed would be soaked, so much so that he had to take a shower and change the sheets.

In hindsight, it is so obvious that it was all that stress and anxiety and death that he saw over the 13 months, that he had to push off to the side in order to survive and remain sane.

At the time, he wondered what was wrong with him, he thought he may be sick or have a disease because he was having terrible night sweats.

John tells everyone listening, “If you’re going through a similar experience, it is probably your body trying to burn off and get rid of that unbelievably pent-up anxiety.”

HOW JOHN FOUND THE PATH TO ADDING VALUE TO THE WORLD

John was a traditionalist for so long. He thought his route to happiness and success was high school, college, army, law school and then corporate finance. By the age of 28 he found out that these things weren’t bringing him success or happiness because he didn’t have any passion or inspiration for them.

He spent the next 4 years of his life, (from the ages of  28-32) really struggling and trying to find that passion or inspiration that would allow him to pour his enthusiasm into something. It didn’t come easily for him. It was 4 years of failing and struggling trying to find what that thing was for him.

He started to surround himself with the right podcasts, audiobooks, and right people and the right mentalities, where he did have his aha moment.

Since then, he has been able to pour his enthusiasm, passion and his fire into something that is completely his own, and that he is completely passionate about.

He feels very blessed to have found his aha moment. He would like to impart to anyone listening or reading this interview, that it is not easy to find your aha moment. It is not easy to find your passion.

“Don’t worry if you are struggling, that is part of the journey, just know that it is so worth the actual aha moment, that you want to continue the struggle. It is worth it.”

PRAISE AND GUIDANCE

I am so grateful to hear my mentor tell me that he feels I am creating a podcast that fills an important niche. (Blushing now)  He encouraged me to continue forward and take the next step.

This is an amazing benefit of podcasting. Here is some amazing advice about the next step, and you can use it too!

Create a tribe and creating a mastermind where people that are having these same experiences can come together and engage with each other. They can ask questions, give support, give advice, give guidance, share ideas and things that have worked as well as what didn’t work. That is how people are going to be able to grow and get past near-death experiences.

If John had something like this, he could have clung onto, back in 2004/2005 when he was really struggling with his near-death experience, it would have been amazing.

It is almost 10 years ago, and it is still easy for him to recall. It never goes away but it is really important for people who have just experienced it, to have a resource to go to.

You, fabulous listeners of our show, can take this advice in any niche, and apply it, and do it.

I shared with John, that when I was in the hospital with my heart issues, I couldn’t find any support groups on Google, and I could hear his voice, telling me I should start one.

That was his story with EntrepreneurOnFire. He wanted to fill the void, of needing a 7 day a week podcast, with new content to listen to.

SHORTCUT TO FIND YOUR PASSION

You need to work your creative muscle by doing this over and over again. It may not come the first few times, but keep on doing it over and over again, and you may be surprised by the results.

THE MORE

RESOURCES

The army did have a reintegration program. They were voluntary, and John never did go to them. At the time he was a decorated combat Veteran coming back from a year of war, and he felt invincible. He regrets not utilizing them and wishes he did.

If you are going through this, John encourages you to look around.  Go look at meetup.com,  if there are no groups in your area, create a meetup, if only one person shows up then it is a success, “You can create a tribe with one!!”

CONTACTS

Concussion Survivor to Healing Others with Terri Lawton

Terri Lawton: Bicycle Crash and Concussion Survivor to Healing Others 

Terri was given a second chance at life after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. She had a backpack full of flowers that she had picked for her, then boyfriend, now husband, that just may have saved her life.

Unfortunately,  she was not wearing a helmet and ended up with a serious concussion that left her having to learn life all over again. The neurologist told her it would take 14 years to recover.  Amazingly she completed her schooling and recovered within only 11 months. As she created a life-changing program to help others, she ended up healing her own brain. You can listen to the audio interview on the Podcast: Here

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, concussion, PTSD or have ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, a reading problem, Schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s, then this interview explains how the program she created may be able to make a big difference in your life.

*****  An amazing bonus to this interview was that I was able to see the joy this work brings to her. Teri is a scientist and whenever she was explaining the brain to me, she looked alive, excited and passionate!! This I hope for each of you, may you find work that lights you up and makes you shine*****

I am pleased to introduce Dr. Teri Lawton. She is a mother and a Scientist that has dedicated 40 of her life to her studies.

After being hit by an Edison truck,  she suffered trauma that left her unconscious for 48 hours. She had not been wearing a helmet and suffered more damage. Teri had to learn how to go through every developmental stage again and relearn life again.

Slowly she learned to redo all these tasks.  She healed very quickly and was able to take her Ph.D. Dissertation and passed with flying colors. She healed her own brain finishing her software program, although she had not realized it at the time.

There was a lot of static and crosstalk and Teri felt the myelin had shattered in her brain.  By doing her program, it enabled the supportive tissue in the brain to repair itself. It enabled the pathways to be reestablished.

Teri helped many people who have had brain injuries and speech problems to overcome them and then they wanted to know how she was able to make such amazing progress.

This attention has spread the news of this life-changing program, you can see movies that explain it all at http://www.pathtoreading.com/

For the veterans that listen on this show, she is trying to help people at Camp Pendelton . She believes this can make PTSD go away. I would be very interested in learning more about this myself. Should any of you check it out, please let me know your experience.

They have payment plans, and their main goal is to help people, so they want to make it affordable for everybody. I have not used this myself, however, Dennis from The FIVE Minute Bark Podcast has been using it, and it was his show that I first heard about this. You can hear the interview on episode 15  on itunes where he had been using himself.

Helping with Dyslexia

Dyslexia runs in their family. Teri noticed her daughter showed the signs at 5 years old. Since she was always on the computer, Teri’s daughter wanted to be in her experiments.

It was when Teri’s daughter commented that she must have healed her own brain, that Teri realized the neurologist had told her it would take 14 years to heal her brain. Her brain had recovered in 11 months.

She ended up helping her own daughter overcome Dyslexia and improve her reading and by the end of first grade, she was the best reader in the class. Her teacher was amazed and it aroused curiosity, that curiosity led to the program helping another child. In only one week that child took off and there have been many more since.

I am such a big advocate of reading and this has really caught my attention. Imagine that this program makes it to every child that is struggling with reading? How could it change the quality of their lives, the teacher’s lives and our communities as a whole?

To hear the rest of the interview just click the link below. I hope you find it as interesting as I did and would love to hear your comments below!

Links

Dr. Teri Lawton

CEO, Founder, Director of Research
Perception Dynamics Institute

Early Childhood Parenting Institute
P.O. Box 2206, Del Mar, CA 92014
(310) 903-6009
www.pathtoreading.com
tlawton@pathtoreading.com

Naval Fire Fighting Training Accident with David Rachford

David Rachford wanted to get off the farm and joined the military.  He had a dream of going to explosive ordnance disposal school. First, he had to do some time as a Naval Fire Fighter, stationed on the USS Abraham Lincoln,  which was an aircraft carrier, on the Persian Golf.

An unfortunate accident happened while training and took away his chances of leaving him crippled and devastated at only 23 years old. David slipped into depression and ended up facing a narcotic addiction.

Today he is a successful web developer, host of two podcasts and a blog. He has succeeded in healing and has come today to share the story of his difficult journey.  He tells us how he overcomes his injury and addiction, weight loss of over 70 lbs, and how he created a healthy lifestyle.

There seems to be a definite link between mental and physical health. By listening to others, my hope is that you may be able to avoid going down some of these dark allies by finding positive people to surround yourselves with and finding ways to keep your head up while you follow your own healing journey.

Listening to Davids story is sure to help you get a good leg up on your own journey! You can hear the audio on the Podcast: Here

The Accident

They were training in Somali off the Coast of Mogadishu and while doing a drill David was pushed down and suffered a really severe back injury, he felt things pop in his back, his legs collapsed under him and wasn’t able to get up.

At only 23 years old he had been in the best physical shape of his life, being able to do over 100 push-ups and could run forever. Going from being, really fit to crippled, was devastating.

Treatment

A military hospital is equipped for triage, not for treatment. They are not known for the best of care. He was given a couple of Advil and a light duty certificate.

This went on for a few months until he went back to the US.

The Accident

There was a fire that was pretty big in a chemical storage room when David was on duty. Acids and chemicals were on fire and became a toxic soup that they were wading through. It ate holes through his coveralls and flesh and gave them second and third-degree chemical burns.

They were the only fire team on board so they weren’t able to leave until the next day. David experienced shell shock and a PTSD moment. He never felt that there was any gratitude for what they did and no one was there for them.

The Slide Into Darkness

David’s back injury became worse and led to his discharge. This meant the loss of his dream as he would no longer be able to go to the school. He joined the Veterans Administrations Treatment Program.

It was pain management, which was narcotics and the option of surgery. The prognosis was not that great, so he decided not to have it. He was now 24 and tells us he became addicted to the medication and received sympathy and money for college.

A friend told him he looked like Santa Clause when he was ready to graduate. He had put on about 70 lbs while eating burritos nightly. He was so mad and knew he needed a change.

David became attached to his business credentials and had an ego and ended up staying in his new career too long.

Treatment

David was guided by some traditional and non-traditional healing methods.

  • Chiropractic
  • jiu-jitsu
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

He began to walk better, lift weights and run for a couple of minutes. He was able to work up to running for 30 minutes. He began to think about the training he wanted to do in the Navy again as he began dreaming about running long distances.

He felt that was his ego talking. I love the quote he mentions,

“The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them”  ― Jim Rohn

It took him about 6-8 months to lose the weight and then he began to train to run his first marathon. He trained for about 6 months to run his first marathon and had a base of about 20 miles that he had worked up to over about 6 months.

Situational Depression

David’s back injury recurred and his mother passed away. For a couple of years, he felt really down as he had lost his fitness ability for some time and grieved his mother. The meditation really helped him to become more open and he found yoga. Yoga led him back to fitness.

He had a limiting belief that yoga was only for, “bendy housewives”!! He decided it wouldn’t be a bad thing to join in with, “bendy housewives” and do yoga, this led to some good laughs, it is so good to laugh!!!!!

David went to the Vipassana yoga retreat twice. The second time, he found easier having a solid yoga foundation that gave him strength.

Parting Advice

He would have sought out instruction in breathing and mindfulness much earlier on. When he went through this there weren’t podcasts with so much free information. If you are listening to one of these shows and you know someone in pain share the resources. Someone may not be ready to hear it when they are acute, but, keep talking to people, always be looking to help someone and do whatever you can to shine a light where it needs to be shone for them.

If someone is in pain, seek teaching and training in breath and mindfulness. The breathing is the window into the parasympathetic nervous system and subconscious. By changing the way we breathe, it can allow us to get into the subconscious parts where all the healing happens.

 

Links

David Ratchford’s website http://davidrachford.com/

David’s story on his podcast, epi 6,  The Better Human Show https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/better-human-show-006-david/id1032733576?i=354705440&mt=2

Hal Higdon Marathon training: http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51135/Marathon-Training-Guide

The Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan https://www.strategiccoach.com/

Book mention: Never Eat alone Keith Ferrazzi

Vipassana Meditation http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index

Yoga Journal http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/western-doctors-prescribing-yoga-therapy/

Music thank you to freesound.org

http://www.freesound.org/people/cheesepuff/sounds/112071/#comments