Amy Quincy – Writer

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Amy, here’s what you should know about her:

When Amy Quincy graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, she did what many with writing degrees do: she found an unrelated job to pay the bills and wrote whenever she could during her off-hours.

But a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage in 2006 unfortunately left her with limited mobility, yet allowed her the opportunity to focus on her writing full-time.  Today she’s working on her memoir. [Read more...]

You’ve been part of something IMPORTANT.

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Wow.

Let’s say that again: Wow.

I’ve mentioned before on my main blog that my mission statement in life is “To do cool shit with cool people.” And I’d just like to say that the Badass Project conference, which we held for free last Thursday and Friday, was the perfect embodiment of that mission.

If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. We hosted 18 speakers — folks who are some of the best, smartest, most badass thinkers online. The conference itself was like putting on a rock concert. It was like riding a rocket sled down a hill. We switched presenters every 20 minutes and the time absolutely flew. I was inspired and on a high the entire time, and that feeling has persisted. If you were there, I’ll bet you felt the same way. [Read more...]

The Badass Project conference is January 26th & 27th. 18 speakers. Online. Totally free.

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So you like the idea of being a badass? You’re sold on badassery? You admire people who are badasses, and you want to become more badass yourself?

Are you sold on the idea that excuses suck, that most excuses are bullshit, and that the minute we learn to master our own true abilities is the minute our lives become amazing and virtually unlimited?

Well, lucky you. By joining us online for the Badass Project Conference 2012, you can immerse yourself in an insane amount of badassery — taught by 18 amazing speakers — for FREE.

Here are the details on the conference.

So, I just want to make sure we’re clear about this.

This is virtual (online), meaning that you can attend from anywhere with an internet connection.

18 amazing who believe in our cause are joining us: Leo Babauta, Carole Brown, Brian Clark, Jonathan Fields, Charlie Gilkey, Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, Matt Glowaki, Seth Godin, Joe Hall, Thor Holt, Warren MacDonald, Anissa Mayhew, Jon Morrow, Amber “Miss Destructo” Osborne, Amber Rae, Julien Smith, John Unger, and Tommy Walker.

They’ll be speaking about topics that will help you achieve your maximum level of badass… things like getting through fear, overcoming resistance, and eliminating excuses.

And IT’S ALL FREE.

Check it out, then block off the time on your calendar. You absolutely don’t want to miss this.

We’ve put together something I’m very, very proud to be a part of. I hope you’ll join us.

Rachelle Friedman – Athlete, Inspirational Speaker

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Rachelle, here’s what you should know about her:

Rachelle Friedman was living the life she had dreamed, preparing to marry the man she loved dearly, when a freak accident the night of her bachelorette party changed everything.  In May 2010, a playful push from a friend into the shallow end of a pool caused her to hit her head and injuring her spinal cord, leaving her quadriplegic.

Over the next year, as Chris and Rachelle’s wedding was put on hold so she could heal and begin therapy, their commitment became even stronger.  This past summer, as the story of their love affair made the rounds in the national media, the couple married.

[Read more...]

Do what matters and quit your pointless crap

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My son Austin is seven. He likes to play any game involving Mario, whose last name is apparently Mario because he’s one of the “Mario Brothers.” Or “Mario Bros.” if you’re a purist.

Every time Austin faces a challenge that gives him trouble, like passing levels and unlocking characters in the Mario games, he gets all pissed off. And so his defense mechanism is to announce that it’s just too hard, and that he’s never going to be able to do it.

[Read more...]

Chris Waddell – Athlete

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Chris, here’s what you should know about him..

Chris Waddell was a promising young skier in 1988 when an accident on the slopes left him paralyzed from the waist down.  True to his determined and competitive nature, a year later he was skiing again on a monoski.  Two years later he was named to the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.  To date, he is the most decorated male skier in Paralympic history.

“Our approach is a universal approach,” says Chris.  “Our mantra is that it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.  And that’s really ultimately no different for you than it is for me – how do we find a way to change a little bit of direction and continue to move forward and succeed when maybe something’s gone wrong, ‘cause something’s going to go wrong for all of us.  That’s just the way it works.”

[Read more...]

Mitch St. Pierre – Documentary Filmmaker and World Traveler

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Mitch, here’s what you should know about him..

“I always feel that the more experiences that you build really changes the way you see things,” says filmmaker and world traveler Mitch St. Pierre.  “And it really adds to your mind and the way you think.  And that’s why I’m always open to any sorts of experiences because throughout my life the things that have impacted me the most are probably these random experiences that I’ve had. . .  They really do change people.”

[Read more...]

Things are now more badass at The Badass Project

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Let me tell you a story.

The story begins with the small spark of an idea: to profile amazing disabled people who refused to settle for what life and society wanted to give them. We wanted to spotlight people who were awesome, and who lived their lives without excuses. By doing so, we hoped to get others (disabled or not) off of their own lazy asses. We wanted to get them to stop making lame excuses and to take command of their own lives.

But something happened. You can’t always control how people will interpret your message, and we found that our visitors were getting us wrong in two big ways:

1. People thought we were a charity

and

2. People who visited this site (that would be people like yourself) watched the interviews and thought, “Wow, these people are cool!” but then went right back to what they were doing without getting the message: that the story they’d seen wasn’t just a feel-good spark to interrupt the tedium of their day. They didn’t realize that it was, in fact, their own story.

This project set out to inspire action, but all we were inspiring was video-watching.

See, this isn’t a charity site. It’s not a disability site, either. This is a “living without excuses” site. The disabilities here aren’t the primary things. The primary things are the big old excuses that aren’t being used.

[Read more...]

Tim Wambach & Mike Berkson – Entertainers and Educators

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Tim and Mike, here’s what you should know about them…

In 2001, Tim Wambach visited a school district office and filled out an application to be a substitute teacher.  Soon, he met Mike Berkson, an affable and charming 12-year old boy with cerebra l palsy.  What could have simply been a chance encounter or casual meeting soon turned into a meaningful and lifelong friendship.

Over the years that friendship evolved into speaking engagements together.  But it wasn’t long before they realized that there was a more entertaining and impactful way to get the message across, by telling their story in a more theatrical manner and developing a show around it.  Thus, Handicap This! was born.  Through a series of vignettes, stories, and scenes, the two men are able to get their message across through humor and storytelling.

[Read more...]

Michael “Extreme Mike” McKeller – Daredevil and Motivational Speaker

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Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Michael McKeller, here’s what you should know about Michael…

Michael McKeller was born with spinal muscular atrophy, but that never stopped him from having a childhood just like any other all-American boy –  full of excitement, raucous fun, and endless adventures.  But despite brittle bones, scoliosis, and countless surgeries, Michael was determined to do everything his brothers and friends tried, and did his best to treat his medical conditions as nothing but small setbacks.

“I always had a very clear picture in my mind about where I was going to be and how I was going to get there and a lot of the times, no one else bought into that – no one at all,” he says.  “So I had to make it up on my own.  Now I did have the support of my family – they supported me in doing whatever I wanted to try – but as far as figuring things out, a lot of times I had to say, ‘I’m going to do this and I’m going to figure it out.’’’

[Read more...]