J-Mac Revisited

So lately this story has been blowing up the news feed on facebook.  This story is about an absolutely incredible autistic kid named “J-Mac” who served as a team manager for a high school basketball team for years.  The coach finally allowed J-Mac to suit up in an actual uniform like the players for the final game of the season.There was originally no intention for J-Mac to play in the actual, however, in the final minutes J-Mac made an appearance on the court.  Story spoiler alert! J-Mac doesn’t only appear in the game, he completely tears it up. After his first three-point shot, people were amazed. After his second and third three-pointer? People were absolutely in disbelief and amazement.  I am also one of those who watched in utter disbelief and also with a vision of a complete miracle.

The story of J-Mac appeared on record in the media in 2006–I remember watching it back then on the ESPY’s as he received awards.  I remember smiling ear-to-ear as he walked up to the ESPY Award’s stage in a slick tuxedo to claim his prize.  Seeing this video again on Facebook reminded me of the miracles that do happen in the world everyday.  How cool is it that Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and the likes, allow us to revisit and post these stories again?  I encourage you to step out of your box on these social networking sites and re-post something that inspired you! You will never know how your post about a story that touched you will impact someone else.  I am amazed at the power and influence we can all have just by our new social-networking sites alone.

As for J-Mac, I love you.  I’m grateful that so many news networks picked up on this young boy.  I’m also beyond grateful that there are people in this world that chase after their dreams and passions regardless of disability, opinions, and odds.  With enough passion and drive put into your work you can be successful and even further, you can help others to be successful as well. The odds might be against you at times, like they were for J-Mac, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.  All people need in this world is just one big break. Atta baby J-Mac, keep working hard.

He believes the world is his for the taking–regardless of what anyone says. Be the one who follows J-Mac’s principle. Don’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of your dreams–


Photo Kick

I’ll admit that I’m on quite the inspirational photo kick lately.  Yes, this is moving away from the blog purpose of finding inspirational stories of those around us in the media, but these pictures have a good purpose!  They give us the how/why part of becoming like these influential people in our world.  They give us a mindset that might be a little different than our own and remind us to work a little harder to become a little better. When I come across an idea of how to think a little differently, it sticks.  These messages serve as an “Ah-ha” moment that re-motivate me.  These pictures
below are very effective re-motivators:

Yesterday you said tomorrow.

I love this.. So often I let myself slack-off because I promise myself tomorrow I will change.  This basically just kicks you in the butt and calls you out for doing that. This reminds us that the problem remains when we keep saying tomorrow, everyday. Come on, that is pathetic.  We have the chance everyday to create the change we wanted to see yesterday.  So do it… and stick to it. Don’t say tomorrow again today–make the change NOW regardless of getting to that “Monday” that will be a good starting point for a new habit. You’re going to be much happier if you take initiative–regardless of how hard it will be.  Moral of this sign: Kick the habit.

It’s never a question of can you but will you?

This message speaks pretty loud to us as well.  It’s saying this: we all have the ability to do things beyond what we think we are capable of. The problem is we will never know how far we can run until we actually lace up our shoes and go for it. We make the excuse that we “can’t” do something when in reality we really can, just maybe have never tried. This picture illustrates beautifully that we can do things, it is just a matter of if you will or not. I like that the girl in the picture is in a “ready stance.”  This is effective because she is gearing up to take the initiative–she’s not sitting in her office asking whether or not she can do something… She has put on her cute running outfit and has stepped out to do it. (Evidently she has been doing this for a while too.  I mean seriously, check out those abs.  If that is not a motivation itself, ha!)

What did I take away from these two pictures in a nut-shell? We CAN DO THINGS and need to just get out and do them.  So there is my little interpretation and attempt at being an inspirational speaker myself, HA!

And guess what? Sometimes a a kick in the pants by an ad by Nike, the Better Life Campaign, Adidas, or whatever is exactly what we need to remind us of a mindset that successful inspirational people have. What works for you? Do you have a favorite inspirational photo? Let’s post it! Leave the link in the comments page and look for the future post with the collaboration of great photos.

100-year-old finishes marathon

Alright guys, I think the world has seen it all.  A 100 year-old-man finished a marathon last week and let’s just say it has made big news.  I read an article originally on the msn world highlights–but I soon found traces of this story everywhere.  One of my classes has talked about what qualifies something as news to write about–I mean, how is it that with everything going on in the world most all newspapers (within a given area for local news and widespread for national/world news) write about the sames events?

Well, these are the reasons:


I think this story about this 100 year-old hits about all of these categories– this was a rare event that left its impact by inspiring others around the world at a time where we could all use an inspirational story.

Basically, this guy is a freaking bad-A. One version of the story is pasted below but take a look at similar articles posted on the web–how do they format the different coverages to get across a different message? I’m pretty sure whatever article you look at the idea of inspiration and straight-up insane will come across.  Buddy, we salute you!

100 Year Old Man Runs Marathon

http://evilcyber.com/fitness/100-year-old-man-runs-marathon/ –Check out the full story here!

One of my favorite quotes in the coverage was this:

“I have said it before: that I will carry on running, as it is keeping me alive”, Singh told the Toronto marathon’s website.

We Are Stronger-Gold’s Gym

Everyone is always talking about how to be a little better.  A little stronger. A little smarter. To bed a little earlier. Love a little deeper.  Speak a little sweeter. The list goes on and on. Life is all about progress and what we all desire so strongly is to be successful at just that.  Stand-stills in life are scary.  We all can sense uneasiness in our own lives when these stand-stills happen and realize that can step up–in our own way. And for our own reasons.

One of the most common things people agree they can improve on is physical health.  This doesn’t come as a surprise as media has taken over advertisements–showing us the newest ways to get these sought after results. What are the most effective ads that you have seen? I mean, what commercial comes on that makes you want to jump up and go on a run?  What picture of Janet  Jackson style abs makes you want to buy an ab-lounge?  What is it that gets your motor running and your mind thinking you need to make a change?

Well, this commercial put out by Gold’s Gym did the trick for me–

Actually, I was at the gym on a treadmill when I saw this commericial for the first time but after watching this, my run was extended for another 15 minutes.  The point I’m trying to make here is what makes us tick? What inspires us and why does it do this? We all realize we need to make changes in our lives….but what media messages get the ball moving?  This message put out by Gold’s Gym really just did the trick for me because of relatability.  I realized that I could make a change and do it for my own reasons–some of which were listed in the commerical.  The simple commercial painted a powerful visual, mental, and emotional image that hit home–

What do you guys think?  Did this advertisement inspire and do the trick for you too?  Or what do you think would? Or what ones have?

Picture Frenzy

This picture has made its presence known on facebook and other social networking sites as of late. Crazy to think how quickly a picture posted by one person could spread. Soon, friends are posting it then their friends post it, then their friends post, etc. etc. until there is a public awareness of it. So basically, if you haven’t seen this yet…You might be living in a closet… and it’s time to get out.

I’m including this on my blog because it is in fact inspiring. I mean, come on. How many of us actually thought about going running that day after we saw this?  It sparked an idea right? Comedy in the media is powerful.  In fact, one of my teachers for a journalism class said comedy is more powerful than war.  He stated comedians like Steven Colbert, Jeff Foxworthy, Dave Chapelle, Bill Cosby, etc. all have power beyond measure because of their ability to create messages that impact us. We remember what they said and our emotions are stirred up enough to make us decide our own standpoint.  Along with this idea of comedy being powerful, I saw a quote the other day that stated:

“The best revenge is being happy”

Just something to think about! Maybe you’ll have to create an ad or something someday… Use some comedy folks

Hometown Hero

Who: Brady Jardine, Utah State basketball player

What: Down-to-earth, great person

Tonight, I found a story posted by a high school acquaintance (and wife of this athlete) about a Utah State Aggies basketball player making an appearance at a birthday party and impacting some kids for good.  I thought I would link the article here for you all to read! With the sports world now days, athletes are not always noted for the exceptional character and performances.  That dynamic combination is hard to come by.

This guy showcased in the article though has the package deal. I think one of the greatest things for kids to see is their sports heros being great people off of the court.  When a kid sees this, they automatically want to emulate their behavior because it is seen as ‘cool.’ Kids also see that basketball (or whatever sport) isn’t the only thing going on in the athlete’s life as well. When this local basketball hero showed up at a birthday party, he exemplified the importance of the everyday things in life.  He showed that even sports stars appreciate spending time with close family and friends in a normal setting. He also showed that everyone is equal and we are all in on this thing called life together. I’m so grateful for these sports stars who remind people, especially kids, that there is more to life than a game and people are more important than a that buzzer-beating shot.

In our society today, I think kids especially get the wrong idea about what is important because of the bad examples and media coverage that goes around.  Kids don’t see players in their everyday life, and for that we are grateful given the example set by some! (no names will be mentioned specifically, ha!).  But the athletes that set a good example off the court aren’t seen for their role in everyday life either. Some kids might think that their favorite sports stars life is simply the game.  If they see the way good athletes interact with people outside of basketball and see where their values lie, kids might be motivated to balance out life as well.  Aside from the athletes, crazy fans might be setting up a bad example for kids too!  I’m guessing you could probably think of someone off-the-top-of-your-head that gets so involved in a game that nothing else around them matters. Their team loses the game and the rest of the week turns into a fight. If kids repetitively see this behavior, obviously they are going to think the game is the most important thing going in life that matters.  So basically what I’m trying to say is this: I’m grateful for the people out there that have their head on straight and remember the important things in life.

I’m personally grateful for athletes like Brady Jardine that lift kids and those around them to be a little better as people–it’s not all about the game.  Thank you for being you!


(no, David Beckham isn’t the featured athlete in this hometown article)


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.  

Sandra Bullock Bounces Back

Who: Sandra Bullock

What: Laid low for an entire year following a devastating divorce from Hollywood bad-boy Jesse James.  Now stepping back into the spotlight and in a big way.

Why we love her: down-to-earth and humor-full– consistently 

I read this article about Sandra Bullock months ago but the story has stayed in my mind since then.  I will be posting about more current stories from here on out, but I didn’t feel right without including this.  Something about the way Bullock carries herself is inspiring.  Even with the success of her career and the world watching her, she stays true to herself and her new baby-boy Louis.  I found the spotlight in the People magazine interesting because of the way they project her.  The questions and quotes they choose to incorporate from the interview with her personifies her in the light most of the public view her–as a down-to-earth, strong woman.  Bullock is an inspiration and has maintained her composure almost flawlessly before the

public eye; however, there is no doubt this article was well-written to capitalize on Bullock’s respected character.  We, as public, probably don’t know Bullock but for some reason we all feel so drawn and connected to her. We don’t know her on a personal level and don’t know of her struggles, alternate and more unfavorable characteristics. There is no doubt interviews People and other media outlets interview people differs.  Questions and quotes chosen for Paris Hilton would be abruptly different than that conducted with Bullock.  Maybe she is the American sweetheart we all personify her as, and I hope and will remain thinking she is but the way media projects her is just something to think about.  For now, Sandra Bullock, you are inspiring–and we need people like you to keep us believing in the good strong people in the world

(Interview questions, quotes, and article clippings to be coming soon.  You’ll want to read them–they will have an impact on your day!)

Inspired Introduction

The start of every blog needs a good introduction. My blog will be no exception but I want to keep this short. The reason for my blog is pretty simple: people inspire me. I love the inspirational stories that surrounds us. I want to create this blog that is a collaboration of inspiring people and news each week that is in the media. I want us to all relish and reflect on the good through these stories but also define why/what media has done to establish these stories in this way. Given my passion for talk shows (yes, you heard right…talk shows!) I will put a focus on interviews but will also highlight other forms of media and their role in projecting the inspiring. Let us all reflect and continue on INSPIRING EACH OTHER. Join me on this little journey, will ya?