Friday, November 7, 2014

#FiveonFriday: Interview with Travis Roy, Motivational Speaker, Activist & Author, "11 Seconds"

Last week I met one of the MOST inspirational people in my life. While I am a sensitive soul; translation: I empathize and tear up quite easily, I do believe that even the most emotionally detached person would be touched by this man's story...

We ALL face challenges in our lives, often thinking that ours are THE WORST and that other people have it better off. {I know I do sometimes} BUT, in reality, we are each dealt a different deck of cards. And i
t's up to us to decide to do with that deck. 

For the first half of his life, Travis Roy, appeared to have been dealt a damn good deck. Donning ice skates before he turned 2, he skated his butt off to eventually earn a scholarship to Boston University to play D1 hockey, thus checking off one of his dream goals, which included playing in the NHL and on the USA Olympic Hockey team. A handsome, athletic, popular young man, with a bright future ahead of him. 
Travis Roy, #24
At 20 years old, a mere 11 seconds into his 1st college hockey game, Travis crashed into the boards, cracking his 4th and 5th cervical vertebra, paralyzing him from the neck down. His deck quickly changed hands and yet he turned his tragedy into a triumph!

In the almost 20 years since his accident, Travis reevaluated his goals, and wrote an autobiography,  "Eleven Seconds," founded the Travis Roy Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides support for spinal cord injury sufferers, and become a popular motivational speaker {Yes, you'll have to have your people call his people to book him}.

I will never forget the day that I sat in the Rye Country Day auditorium, listening to Travis Roy share his story... I was hired to speak to the high school students about the 'TOP 10 Brain Foods' at their annual Health Day, and had the opportunity to hear Travis speak. And now I have the opportunity to share my interview with him with you.

1. What is your favorite quote?

I feel little arrogant saying this, but the quote that comes to mind 1st is one I use in my speeches, "There are times in our lives when we choose our challenges, and there's other times when challenges simply choose us. It is what we do in the face of the challenges that defines who we are, and more importantly who we can and will become." It's a quote I live by every day.

2. What are your TOP 5 favorite things in your life right now?

1. My family.

2. My friends.

3. Having a career that has purpose (both with my work with the Travis Roy Foundation and my motivational speaking).

4. The pleasure I find in trying new foods and going to great restaurants.

5. Getting to spend large chunks of time during the course of the year at my 3 favorite places: Florida, Boston, and Vermont. 

3. Who are your mentors?

Most everyone in my life is a mentor to me. I'm always watching and listening to the people around me and trying to emulate the things that I admire and respect about them. I also see things in people around me that I don't admire or respect. Often times those moments and lessons impact me just as much as the positive one

4. What is NEW + GOOD in your life?

Every day I feel like my life has a little more stability in it. As a quadriplegic with lots of unknowns as to what my life will be like in the next 10 to 20 years (depending on research), stability is really important to me. I'm more in control of me. I'd also have to say my family and my friends make my life incredibly rich. I have an amazing variety of extremely interesting people in my life!

5. What advice would you give to all your fans out there? 

I would tell them that life is much more simple than they realize. That an hour or two sitting around a fire pit of a kitchen counter, talking with a couple of good friends or a family members has far more value than anything they can buy. To be aware of what they're stressing about, and ask yourself whether that stress is really necessary when you look at the big picture. To focus on the good n the people around them, not their flaws. Lastly, and a friend shared this with me recently and I couldn't agree more. We should say " Fuck it" more often. For me, saying "Fuck it" means to take the plunge, to make the changes you've been wanting to make, to let things go, to do what YOU want to do. Frankly, sometimes it just feels good to say it.

Travis Roy, 
Inspirational Speaker, 
& Author

Travis Roy Foundation
Author, "Eleven Seconds"
Speaker, AEI Speakers Bureau

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Blissfully Yours,

Tatiana Ridley, CHHC, AADP
Blog: HealthyliciousBliss!