And We Give You…the World’s Sexiest Man

So that is the kind of post title I need to capture your attention, huh? Good to know! But this post isn’t actually about this year’s World’s Sexiest Man title-holder Bradley Cooper, but instead is about his runner-up Mr. J.R. Martinez.

Martinez was the winner of this season’s Dancing with the Stars mirror ball trophy.  With a hefty resume including titles like:  U.S. Navy Seal, motivational speaker, and sexy samba man…not to mention is beautiful complexion, giant pearly whites, and muscular frame…there is no doubt people don’t envision a sexy man right off.  However, what you might not envision if you didn’t see J. R. at first is a man with a missing ear and severe burn scars.

Martinez was the victim of his burns when his Humvee hit a landmine on the road to Baghdad. Forty percent of his body was burned. They say 32-34 percent of it was third degree.

“The first time I seen my face, it was pretty hard,” Martinez said. “The doctors didn’t want to let me do it yet, but I said I’ve got to get strong, and I’ve got to learn how to deal with it.”

I think we take for granted how much our looks contribute to who we think we are.  Martinez may have thought in essence that he lost himself.  Can you even imagine looking into the mirror after something like this and realizing that, that you forever? I’ve kind of noticed that our physical appearance can be a fall back for us in times of weakness.  But scars like the ones J.R. has are unavoidable… you can’t hide behind that.  He faced this challenge with strength though, recognized that he was dealt this card, and moved forward making everything he had work for him.  I’d say he has done just that–he is incredibly sexy and successful.

I’ve linked two videos about J.R. here below and highly encourage you to take a look at them… like, NOW! The second one is a short clip that DWTS did on J.R. that they played before he completely his final dance of the season.  I thought they did a wonderful job at creating a moving summary about this complex, inspirational man.

His cool, quiet confidence and attitude for life have kept J.R. going.  Taking a life-altering accident like his and moving forward with more strength than ever before is absolutely incredible. It is an absolute shame that he already has a girlfriend 😉

“I jokingly tell people now I was listed as one of the Sexiest Man Alive, I tell people when they ask me did you ever think that would be possible? I said absolutely, 33 surgeries, I better be one of the Sexiest Men Alive. It was a long rode and a tough ride at 19 years old to look at your body and your face and say, ‘What am I going to do about this now? How I’m going to move forward? Thinking you’re completely alone and no one in the world understands or can relate to you, but luckily I was able to see a side that I can use my second chance at life as an opportunity to help people with their first chance at life, and I wanted to really pass that on to people and help them in a powerful way. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do that.”

“I look at it now my new weapon are my words and my new uniform is my scars,” he says. “I’m going to continue to serve in a bigger way than I felt I could do in Iraq, which I feel is going to be more needed now if the talks of pulling our guys out of Iraq and Afghanistan and bringing them home now. You’re going to see a lot more guys that are going to need that psychological aspect of recovery. It’s important for me to be that voice.”


Gabby Giffords- Tough as Nails

Who: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly

What: Unbelievable Strength, Hope, and Love

If you want to hear a story of true, compassionate love, you need to hear about Mark and Gabby.  Gabby was a bright, enthusiastic member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Arizona’s 8th District.  She was known for being extremely personable with people and sometimes walked ten hours a day just to meet others. Gabby married Mark, a U.S. Navy Captain and American astronaut. The two were living their productive lives when the unthinkable happened. Gabby was shot in the left side of her brain by a 22-year-old.  In the incident, 6 others were killed.

Less than 10 percent of people with brain damage like Gabby’s survive. If the bullet went any further or went on any other angle, Gabby would have died or suffered extreme losses (such as speech).  She did lose her ability to speak, walk, reason, etc. but that wasn’t enough for her husband Mark to give up on her.  Mark wouldn’t give up on Gabby and displayed what I consider to be one of the most beautiful forms of love ever.  This is one of those real-life love stories that completely puts Twilight and other love movies to shame.  In fact, no love movie should really be put on the level of these two.

Mark wouldn’t give up on Gabby.  One of the most beautiful examples of Mark’s love was how he did things according to how Gabby would do them if she had the ability too.  He treated her as if she was still completely there.  He knew she loved setting goals–so he began helping her set goals, daily.  Just two weeks after the incident, Mark set her running shoes and clothes across the room on a chair–in perfect sight for Gabby. He told her in two weeks, she was putting those shoes on and they were going walking-NO EXCUSES.  And you want to know what? She did.  He also would place both of the two’s wedding rings in her hands for her to play with-just as she did before the accident. Now this is incredible alone but they way Mark composed himself throughout the process was another thing.

Hope is a form of love. -Mark Kelly

He insisted on everyone who entered the room to display the same lifting attitude.  He put up a sign that said “No crying” on her door and urged people to laugh and smile.   He told Gabby she was beautiful. He practiced phrases with her everyday and had her try to fill in the missing word.  He smiled with her as she struggled pronouncing anything but the word “spoon.”  When he was in the room and ready to breakdown, he didn’t—he would pull himself together because he knew if Gabby was in his shoes, she would do the same. Everyday he would urge her to talk but most importantly beg her to smile.  He reminded Gabby daily saying, “We can beat this.”

This is what wedding vows mean. -Mark Kelly

Mark has nothing but great things to say about his wife and to this day still remains in completely in love with her.  Gabby can talk and understand things much better now, much thanks to her incredible husband.

So here’s the thing, you need to watch this entire documentary/interview done by Diane Sawyer.  I’ve attached the clips of some of my favorite parts from the story above and I promise you that you’ll be moved even by watching just short clips.  The strength and love of these two is unbelievable and they hope they have together is unreal.  There’s no way that an action of an irresp0nsible 22-year-old will ruin life for these two people.  In fact, if anything, they prove to the world that hope and love can prevail anything. Mark Kelly has not only changed the world in space and in the military, he has also stirred up conversation and set the standard for the role of a husband. His message and example is even shouted down from his space-craft above earth as he says “I love you, Gabby.”




What I’ve Observed About Talk-Shows

ho: Cat Deely and Ricky Gervais

What: Deely- Show host of “So You Think You Can Dance”; Gervais- Voice over on Spy Kids 4

Why they’re being spotlighted on this blog: To showcase the differences in which interviewers/media project people

In August this year, I was asked to be a member of the audience on David Letterman Show.  In the midst of pretending to laugh and clap, I deliberately noticed the differences in how Letterman interacted with his two guests.  The feeling and way the two different guests were personified was completely different.  Gervais, naturally funny (seriously, how could he not be with his looks and accent), came out in the interview to be a well-respected and in-control man.  Letterman capitalized on Gervais’s funny words and seemingly let Gervais control the conversation. Letterman asked him questions about his role in Spy Kids but also formulated questions around Gervais’s everyday life which was easy to relate to and charming for his audience.  Deely’s interview was different.  Letterman capitalized on Deely’s airhead remarks and controlled the interview in his favor.  She left the stage looking seemingly embarrassed for the way she was projected.  Deely does have a deep and inspiring background behind her becoming a show host in America, but she left the stage looking what I would consider to be foolish.  The way in which both of these successful stars was projected was do much to the way Letterman formulated his interviews/questions with them.

Alright, so what is the point of this whole post if this blog is all about inspiring stories?  The answer to that is simply projection. I wanted to include this story about the differences in interviews on David Letterman to show  that the media has such a huge influence on the way we view people and stories.  We can all formulate, cut+clip, edit, and remove parts from stories that would change the way many people view something.  Seeing half of the picture or removing part of an important quote can construct a story for just the way we want to project something.  Interpretation is up to the viewers or readers, but media outlets and people influence the way we view things.  We can’t always know everything and that is fact.  With all of the information and happenings in the world out there, it would be impossible for us to know the full story constantly because of the history, depth, location, dynamic, etc. of a story or person.  We can however, take in the stories but consider the way stories are reported and the fact that we don’t know everything.

That being said, inspirational stories and people are all around us.  Formulations of these stories and people that are reported in the media are not always 100% accurate.  However, don’t think that this is entirely a bad thing at all.  Some stories are much more inspirational than that which is projected.  Some stories could be expounded upon beyond measure.  Other stories could/should be more recognized in the media.  Others however, are over-projected, constructed, and edited.  The point is that we can’t be perfect in reporting the great and bad things around us.  We can however keep in mind that things are sometimes different than we think (even if media reported it to be one way).  Remember that, and consciously think about stories that you read to develop your own perspective on them.

P.S. WATCH THE CLIP OF RICKY GERVAIS ATTACHED AT THE TOP OF THIS POST! This guy is straight up hilarious.  I could listen to him for days. Funny people are absolutely inspiring.