Renee

Eight voices, Billy Joel and inspiration from a triple amputee

‘Eight voices, one story’ is an upcoming audio visual exhibition that celebrates the achievements of eight military superheroes who have overcome adversity to inspire others.  It focuses on their positive and uplifting attitudes to life.   Last Sunday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Anne Diamond as she interviewed three of the ‘voices.’

In a cream, compact flat overlooking Waterloo, watching the London Eye slowing turning through the kitchen window, Anne performed her job with a degree of professionalism that was inspiring in itself.  These three fantastic people spoke of the traumas they’ve battled and how they now make the world a better place.  I listened, glassy-eyed, from behind the video man’s black screen.  Tony, a broadcast marketing and media impresario, very kindly shared his family pack of fruit pastels with me as we sat together in wondrous silence.

Imaginative Training | social media blogListening to these stories makes you sit back and take stock.  Mark Ormrod was the first surviving triple amputee to be flown home from Afghanistan.  His list of achievements is remarkable, including a 3000 mile hand cycle ride up and down the UK and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.  This year, he’s booked two 15,000ft sky dives, a 300 ft bungee jump and a terrifying wing walk!!   Can anyone match that?

Mark’s become a successful inspirational speaker, having shared his experiences with the world-wide business community as well as other multiple amputees.  His lovely wife Becky, another interviewee, has recently set up her own business selling juice and wholefood based nutrition products.  Mark helps her promote the venture via social media marketing – so, naturally, we chatted about this over lunch.

The people I worked with on Sunday are all heroes in their own right.  Yet the term hero relates to anyone we admire for whatever reason.  My brother in law David’s hero is Billy Joel – singer, songwriter, pianist, composer.  All the things David would love to be.  (And could, if he set his mind to it!)  David’s followed BJ’s career and personal life with a microscope, so he was whooping all over Facebook when Alexa Ray, Billy Joel’s daughter with Christie Brinkley, began a poetry thread with him on Instagram.

David is a very talented poet.  Carol Vorderman once read out a poem he wrote about her on Countdown – his national TV five minutes of fame.  Anyway, he and Alexa Ray got this little thing going on Instagram and became friends…  I don’t use Instagram but I’m honestly thinking now that a quick sonnet on George Clooney’s wall could change my life forever.

‘You know that when the truth is told, that you can get what you want or you can just get old.  You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through…’  Don’t wait for a disaster to get out and do the things you’d love to do.  Follow your dreams now – business and personal ones.  I’m following mine: @WeekendWitch.

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