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Imagine if the more experienced people took the time to develop those around them and truly passed on their knowledge.

It is no secret that I am a guy with big dreams, passion, and hunger.  As a result, I will always put myself out there and go for what I want.  My big interests include sports writing, interviews, performing and teaching others.

Three pillars I strive to build my leadership philosophy on are Vision, Being Relatable, and Development. My goal is to help those within my influence and maximize their potential.  However, I cannot do it alone.  As a result, I seek out mentorship and do what I can to pass it on.

 The word "mentorship" is often used in the wrong context. Mentorship is more than providing the cheerleading Monday morning "rah rah rah" speech. Mentorship is about sharing lessons learned from past experiences to develop the next crop of leaders. The point of this podcast is to focus on the knowledge and make those around us better. Vision. Relate. Develop.

May 20, 2018

Melissa Stockwell-Choose Your Own Story

Freedom comes at a price.  War is known to cause physical wounds.  Something that might be slightly overlooked are other wounds.  For example, emotional, mental and other forms of invisible wounds. 

In 2004, Melissa lost her left leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq, and her life was forever changed. After being medically retired from the Army in April 2005 with a Purple Heart and bronze star, all the hard work began. She found support with her Chicago-based paratriathlon club, Dare2Tri. Melissa is the first American woman to lose a limb in active combat and also competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Since 2008, her primary focus has been firmly placed on the sport of Paratriathlon. Melissa has competed all around the world and has stood on top of many podiums, and is a three times World Champion. In 2016, Paratriathlon made its debut at the Paralympic Games and Melissa raced her way to bronze as part of a USA team and in 2017 Melissa went on to secure a silver medal at the Sarasota ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.

Melissa has not let anything stop her and continues to inspire others.  Since 2004, Melissa has become a War Veteran · 3x World Champion - 2x Paralympian · Bronze Medalist · Triathlon Coach · Dare2tri Co-Founder · Motivational Speaker - First female amputee of Iraq - Mother · Patriot.

Show Notes:

  • Balancing family life (0:54)
  • Speaking at CIA Headquarters (03:35)
  • Life before the military (04:38)
  • Why Melissa chose Army over any other service (05:40)
  • Her reaction to 9/11 (06:00)
  • Fateful day in her life- 13 April 2004 (06:55)
  • Why she felt lucky when arriving to Walter Reed (10:40)
  • Defining the word perspective (11:50)
  • What society can do to help heal invisible wounds (13:48)
  • Starting life after 2004 (16:54)
  • Turing personal tragedy into triumph (17:20)
  • Perception about Paralympians (21:39)
  • Awkward questions Melissa receives about her leg and funny stories (23:23)
  • Movie title about her life (27:05)


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 " I learned that in life, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination."

More about guest:

Melissa serves on the board of directors for the Wounded Warrior Project, the USAT Foundation and is the USAT Womens Committee. As a motivational speaker, she has spoken at companies such as Accenture, Hartford, Deloitte and numerous others. She talks about overcoming obstacles and living life to its fullest. She has been featured in number significant media outlets. The most recent and notable were the cover of the Chicago Tribune and USA Triathlon magazine, CNN, Sports Illustrated, a Hartford TV commercial, People and Sports Illustrated magazines. She was also featured in a documentary called ‘From Baghdad to Beijing’ which chronicled Melissa and three other wounded warrior’s journey from the roads of Baghdad to the Paralympics in Beijing.