In 2013 a 16 year old invented a cancer screening. What can you do in 2014?

January 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Believe, Heroes, Inspire

With the new year upon us, many are setting goals. For most Americans we should not be asking the question should I set a goal, but have I set them high enough. One of our favorite inspirational people in 2013 was Jack Andraka, a 16 year old teenager who set out to find faster, more accurate and timely screening for pancreatic cancer. Watch Jack’s story and ask yourself have you set your sights high enough in 2014.

Once Dubbed the “Ugliest Woman”, Lizzie is a Beautiful Example of Determination

September 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Inspire

If you’ve ever felt ugly, weak, inferior or bullied you might appreciate this story. .

In a world filled with expectations around beauty, size and weight it’s easy to get down on yourself. Let’s face it, the world can be mean… even cruel. Meet Lizzie Valesquez who the “internet” dubbed the “Ugliest Woman” while she was still in highschool. If highschool wasn’t tough enough, try living with that moniker.

During a mean-spirited eight second video posted on Youtube, the darker side of human beings came out. If the video itself wasn’t bad enough. The comments that followed were devastating. Viewers called her everything, including a monster. One, went so far as to encourage her to “Kill Herserlf.” These comments would be hard to read at any age, but in highschool they could have been devastating.

Life has been difficult for Lizzie who was born premature with an undiagnosed disease. Her mother relates stories of purchasing doll clothes for her daughter, who was too small for regular clothing. Along with only two other people, Lizzie is unable to maintain any type of body fat. In addition to looking different, this presents difficulty when the body attempts to store nutrients which normally reside in fatty tissue. The disease requires that she must eat every fifteeen minutes just to have enough energy to get through the day, a day that can be filled with cruel comments.

According to her website (, “In a time when many people change their appearance in order to feel accepted, she has accepted herself with extraordinarily positive self-esteem.  Her attitude, not her syndrome, is contagious.”

While Lizzie admits the mean comments still hurt, she refuses to be defeated. Today she is a successful motivational speaker and twice published author who shares a positive message.  “Her second (book), shares her advice on being unique, how to make and keep good friends, dealing with bullying and negativity, the art of personal meditation, talking to God in your own words, and setting realistic goals.”

Way to go Lizzie, you are a beautiful example of determination and success.


Triathamom-Utah Females Prove They Can Overcome

August 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Inspire

Triathamom participant carries bike across transition line.
Triathamom participant carries bike across transition line.

I recently had the opportunity to watch a sprint triathlon. The race wasn’t filled with the typical athletes you might expect. Promoted as a non-competitive race women of all ages, shapes and ability participated in the “Triathamom ( As a spectator I couldn’t help but ask myself why these women were participating. While I am sure every woman had their own individual reason, I personally believe that embedded within each of us is a desire to prove that we can overcome any obstacle that is placed in our path. We can either wait for those challenges to find us or we can find them.

While at the race, I saw shirts and heard chants of “I can do had things.” While that need to overcome or do hard things may be buried deeper in some than in others, that desire  still exists for many. Sure there are those who want an easy ride, there are those intent on coasting through life and  that attitude will be their loss. Others will dig deep and put their body through hell before ultimately savoring the feeling that only exists as you cross the finish line.

Watching my own wife cross that finish line is a moment I’ll never forget. I saw the pain she went through in the months leading up to the race and the dedication it took to overcome the difficult task she chose to take head on. Just two years earlier, she had heart surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat and to close a hole in her heart that had been with her since birth. She wasn’t there to win, but to accomplish. She was there to prove to herself that she too could do hard things.

Whatever the reason for the rest field to participate, one thing was clear, they were determined to succeed against all odds. This was especially apparent as one woman completed the last 500 yards of the bike race. At some point along the way she crashed, mangling her handle bars the wheel was no longer in alignment. The choice would have been so easy for many, to quit, but the spirit of the competitor would not be broken. Instead of giving up, I watched as she carried her bike, tired and sweaty but not broken. The crowd cheered her on to the next transition. While I don’t know where this woman finished in the race, what I do know is that she not only inspired me but I am sure countless others.

This is what we do. We are Americans and we do hard things.


Riverton Man’s Quest For Birdies- Finds Greater Reward In Service

August 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Heroes, Inspire


Special Olympics
Americans Believe  in the Special Olympics

It’s been said that the key to happiness is doing what you love while helping others. For one Riverton man, this appears to be the case. Meet Brad Armstrong, by day he is a full-time marketing manager along with father and husband. He is actively involved in the community and serves in leadership positions in his local LDS ward. If this wasn’t enough to keep one man busy, Brad takes it one step further.

For the better part of the last ten years Brad has voluntarily acted as a golf coach for the University of Utah chapter of the Special Olympics. Every fall, seven to ten special needs athletes find themselves privy to a smiling face and the quirky humor of Brad, who gives personalized attention to every student. Though far better than the average golfer, Brad has never played competitive golf. The majority of his rounds are played with family, including his father Marv and his 90-year-old grandfather Glen (who hit his 8th hole in one last year). For the Armstrong “boys” these rounds mean far more than any great trophy. Trophies or not, in the eyes of his students he might as well be Phil Mickelson.

Attend just one practice and the appreciation of his students is quickly apparent from the laughter and smiles that accompany his words of wisdom found in his metaphorical teachings.

“Now when we putt, we want to be like the elephant. What does an elephant’s trunk do? It’s long and just hangs down, moving side to side. We want to be relaxed like that elephant and just move the putter side to side.” There is immediate laughter when the team is asked to mimic the elephant’s trunk, with long arms and putter in hand.

When asked why he involves himself in the Special Olympics, Brad answers,”It’s just so rewarding. It’s a great opportunity to serve some really great people.”

There is something interesting about service. You don’t need any special skills, credentials or diplomas — just a desire to serve. Brad combines this desire with a passion to improve the lives of those around him. After every session Brad ends practice by asking the team one question, “What’s the most important rule of golf?”

For the well taught pupils the answer is unanimous, “Have fun!” Isn’t that what the American dream is all about? Working hard, improving life and having fun? Well done coach!

If you know of a great hero, let the world know and share their story on

High School Runner Crawls to Finish Line – (Video)

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Featured, Inspire, Leadership, The Dream, Videos

Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

This is an inspirational video of one high school student that refused to be beaten. Physically exhausted, his body would not move any further. He could have quit, but chose not to. In the moment this young man defines who he is, crawling to the finish line he finished his course before being lifted by the paramedics to receive medical attention.

It seems it is at crucial moments such as this that define us as people. In the most challenging of circumstances, we reach deep down to find out who we are. There are those that when exhausted, tired and down, they stay down refusing to move along any further. Then there are those that continue on, limping and even crawling to finally achieve their goal.

What are you working for today-when you say it might be time to quit? Never, ever give up.

When Your Greatest Weakness, Becomes Your Strength-Oscar Pistorius (Video)

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Featured, Inspire, Olympic Spirit, The Dream

We are all faced with weakness. There are those of us who run from those weaknesses and those who face them head on. Weakness can define us either positively or negatively, it’s all determined by our attitude and willingness to work hard.

Oscar Pistorius was faced with adversity early in life. There were those who told him he would never be anything great, then there were those who believed in him- namely himself. Today he competes in the Olympic Games. He’s not American, but he embodies everything we believe. Opportunities abound, but it is up to each of us to grab ahold.

Leading up to the Olympics I have heard or read countless comments, from how Oscar didn’t deserve to be in the olympics until today where some claim he has an advantage. Interesting how the tables of have turned… for Oscar Pistorius his greatest weakness, has certainly become his greatest strength.

Work hard-Dream Big.

Scared of Success?

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Inspire, The Dream

Life according to Nike – “Greatness can be a scarey thing, until it isn’t.” What will you do today that scares you just a little?

Nike “Find your greatness”

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Inspire, The Dream

For any of us who ever felt less that great, Nike has a new series of commercials focused on average every day people. These are olympic athletes, these are people with one goal, to be better tomorrow than they are today.

What will you do today, to make your self better for tomorrow?

Let It Be- Cover for Noah

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Heroes, Inspire

With seven million views on his youtube channel and 22,000 friends on facebook, most would think musician, Mike Masse of West Jordan, Utah was on top of the world…but on July 4th Mike and his wife received unsettling news. Like every parent, the Masse’s were concerned when one year old Noah became sick. What they originally thought was just an upset stomach, later turned out to be a much bigger medical concern.

On July 5, 2012 Mike Masse’s son Noah was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. In an effort to raise money for the best possible care and bring  awareness to this terrible disease, Mike is singing the Beatles cover “Let it Be”. For more information about the fund raising effor visit…

Sight Impaired Golfer Jake Olson Speaks On

July 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Believe, Inspire, The Dream

Jake Olson attended  the PGA Champion’s Tour Nature Valley Open, where he spoke about his love and passion for the game of golf.

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