If I was queen for just one day, I would give it all away.

How amazing is it to be seen for who you really are?  I had the recent honor of working with MariCris, of MC Photography, LLC and her images seem to capture the essence of who I am.  Not only is she a true artist, but she is an inspiration for those of us who want to make the world a better place because she donates part of her earnings to entrepeneurial women in the Phillipines. Leslie_beige

Of our photoshoot, she wrote on her blog that I am a “very genuine person with a lot of passion”. And of the images, this is what she saw:http://vimeo.com/97374201

Let’s all make the world a better place by seeing people because they’re beautiful.

Several weeks ago, I sat down with a writer at Caribou coffee in St. Louis Park.  Nervous about our meeting, my anxieties were alleviated within minutes of chatting with the lovely Ms. Letta Page over lattes and chai teas.  An editor by trade, and a self-disclosed “Doogie Howser”*, Letta is a master of the written word as she edits academic works; writes several blogs, and generally fills the world with her amazing spirit.  (*She finished grad school before she was 20 years old!!!).

The purpose of the meeting was for her to interview me for a blog she writes for the studio where I do Pilates.  After a few moments, she “got” me and how I see the world; my experiences; and how life compels me to constantly pay it forward.  While the hour passed in what seemed a few moments, it was an hour filled with laughter and marvel at her interviewing skills and her love of life.  

And now seeing her written word is nothing short of amazing which leaves me truly humbled to see how she skillfully captured the essence of me.   


MattThere is nothing quite like seeing yourself on the big screen, especially when the subject of what’s showing on the big screen is your life story.  As part of the Reel Abilities Film Festival in Minneapolis, “Limitless“, a 10 minute short film about my life’s story made it’s world-wide premier.

Being the person I am, I purposely did not watch the film before it premiered because I wanted to experience it with my parents, family and friends who were in the audience.   So, when it rolled (and after a nano-second of panic), I sat back; watched; and enjoyed what I saw.  I enjoyed the way that my story was told with the film’s imagery and messaging.  I enjoyed that people cried.  I enjoyed that people laughed.  I enjoyed hearing that people who know me best learned new things about my experience.   I enjoyed that a 9-year-old girl in the audience wanted her picture take with me and after asking me for a hug.  I enjoyed that it opened the eyes of others.

I am forever grateful for the people who made this film happen.  That mine is a story worth sharing on such a scale is humbling.  But by doing so,  my eyes are opened to the realization that we all have stories to share.  What’s your story?

Film PanelCreditsopening screen

I had the tremendous opportunity to be the key-note speaker at a recent event, the T.O.D.D. Field Day, in Minneapolis last week.  The event was sponsored by Ottobock Healthcare, OPAF, Courage Kenney Rehabilitation Institute, and took place at the BSA Base Camp.  Named after Todd Anderson, the event is in its third year of honoring Todd and his mantra of “Taking Opportunities, Defying Disabilities”.

I was honored to know this man while remaining eternally grateful for the influence he had in my life.

Check out my guest post on the Ottobock Momentum blog-http://ottobockusmomentum.squarespace.com/guestblogger/2013/10/2/celebrating-a-colleague-friend-hero