84: Blind Flamekeeper with Michael Cleveland

Michael Cleveland was born blind but he knew he was born to be a fiddler at four years old. Described as “untouchable” by Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill, Michael was awarded the 2020 GRAMMY for Best Bluegrass Album -- Tall Fiddler, and is the IBMA’s most awarded Fiddle Player of the Year with 12 wins, has won Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year 6 times, and fronts their 6-Time Instrumental Group of the Year. In this episode:

  • Determined to be a fiddler player after hearing “Orange Blossom Special” on the fiddle at four years old
  • Learning to play at the Kentucky School of the Blind
  • Finding and refining passion for the fiddle every single day as a child
  • “When you go to the school of the blind, you’re nothing special because everyone else is visually impaired, too.”
  • The Grand Ole Opry, his favorite spot that he played in as a teenager
  • Forming the band, Michael Clevelend and Flamekeeper, with musicians he grew up playing with
  • Grammy award, 12 time Fiddle Player of the Year, 6 time Instrumental Group of the Year
  • How Michael is trying to transform the stigma of bluegrass music by blending it with other music varieties

You can learn more about Michael & Flamkeeper at flamekeeperband.com as well as MC Flamekeeper on Facebook and Instagram

83: Find Your Inner Gold with Karen Darke

Karen Darke became paralyzed from the chest down in a climbing accident but became a Silver Medalist and Gold Medalist in the Paralympics representing England. In this episode:

  • Growing up with a passion for rock climbing
  • What happened during her climbing accident in Scotland?
  • Running out of strength under an overhang and falling onto rocks below
  • Waking up 3 days later and hearing that she is paralyzed from the chest down
  • Her friend’s climbing accident death helped her live life to the fullest after her accident
  • Removing herself from the mountains temporarily to heal emotionally
  • Cycling through the Himalayan Mountains with friends for six weeks
  • Kayaking from Vancouver to Alaska without transporting her wheelchair
  • Crossing Greenland on a sit-skit
  • Winning the Silver Medal in the 2012 Paralympics in her home country England
  • Winning the Gold Medal in the 2016 Paralympics
  • Breaking the land speed record at 41.86mph
  • The number 79 and the Quest 79 mission – Find Your Inner Gold at the Pole of Possibility

You can learn more about Karen at karendarke.com and on Instagram @handbikedarke

82: Constructing Forgiveness with Derek Stone

Derek Stone grew up in small town Alabama and pursued a music career just after high school. His up-and-down journey brought him to Nashville where he made the difficult decision to give up music and start a construction business. Years later, he now runs a million dollar company and shares why he decided to forgive those who hurt him the most. In this episode:

  • Growing up without his biological father
  • Handling abuse from his stepfather as a teenager and blaming his father for the lack of protection
  • Growing up in the Deep South learning how to fight, work, and live day-to-day
  • Pursuing a music career and moving to Nashville
  • Changing life directions and opening a business in construction
  • Handling the unknown of his wife’s cancer diagnosis
  • How a musician grew a construction business to over $1 million gross revenue per year
  • Learning how to forgive his father and reestablish a relationship with him
  • Publishing his book, “Why Should I Forgive?”

You can learn more about Derek at derekstone.online

81: Get Back on the Horse with Amberley Snyder

We kickoff Season 3 with Amberley’s Snyder return to rodeo after breaking her back and becoming paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident. In this episode:

  • Why Amberley fell in love with horses during childhood
  • All of the events in rodeo she competed in over the years and the championship belts she won
  • How an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down
  • Pushing through rehab and leaning on her family support system
  • Getting back on the horse and what it was like the first day
  • Returning to rodeo and competition
  • Handling stardom and inspiring others through her competitive spirit
  • Writing a book and helping Netflix produce a movie based on her story

You can learn more about her at amberleysnyder.org and on Instagram @Amberleysnyder

80: Run Free Run with Maggie Seymour

 

Maggie Seymour is an Intelligence Officer in the Marines. She has a mission to run across all 50 states to raise money for local charities. In this episode:

  • Feeling inspired to join the Marines after her cousin lost his life in Iraq
  • Her experience in boot camp as one of only a handful of women in her platoon
  • Serving as an Intelligence Officer in the Marines for 10 years of active duty before transitioning to the reserves
  • Serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait
  • Hating the first mile she ever ran to running over 30 miles everyday across the United States
  • Running is like a “Fine Scotch, it takes time to acquire the taste.”
  • Running across the country and across different states gives her the chance to reconnect with a large chunk of the country that she never knew that she served during her deployments
  • Selecting a different local organization to raise money for in each state she runs across
  • Running through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama in less than three weeks with only one rest day
  • Her favorite states and the most difficult states to run across
  • The most interesting people she met? Rattlesnake hunters in New Mexico
  • “We are our choices.”

You can discover more about Maggie at runfreerun.com and you can follow her on Instagram @runfreerunner