In my travels across this country, and even here at home in San Diego, I continually meet so many inspiring people—some new friends, some old friends, people I've known and worked with over many years. What they all have in common is that they are Wellness Warriors, each one doing a vital part in the movement to fight for our right to health. Because I want you all to find that same sense of inspiration from these people that I do, I am using my iPhone to make introductions! Each week you will meet fellow Wellness Warriors, hear their inspiring words, and find out more about the good work they are doing.
Today, please meet Bonnie St. John, Olympic medalist, best-selling author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant and Wellness Warrior.
“Being resilient on a tiny scale helps us change our lives completely,” said Bonnie St. John recently when I met her and asked how she overcame the loss of one leg to become not only a world-class athlete, but one of the most outgoing, positive people I’ve met. On top of it all, she’s from San Diego—my home—and we have that same love of the outdoors that San Diego’s relentlessly good weather fosters.
Her “aha” moment—one of many in life—came on the ski slopes while competing. She was fast—perhaps faster than anyone that day in 1984. But on a very difficult patch of the course, which caused many competitors to fall, she also slipped and went down. It took her awhile to get up, foremost because it simply isn’t easy to get back up on one leg, but also because she felt some dismay at falling.
In reality, she might have won gold if she’d only bounded back to her foot without a thought, as the gold-medal winner had also fallen! Bonnie took silver, a great achievement, but she also won a different kind of gold that day by realizing that “...people fall down, winners get up, and gold medal winners just get up faster.”
The author of five books, Bonnie’s most recent bestseller is “How Great Women Lead.” She journeys with her teenage daughter Darcy on a series of encounters (Bonnie calls them adventures) with famous women leaders, from a micro-finance leader in Nicaragua, to Hillary Clinton, to Condoleeza Rice at Stanford.
“Wanting to have an impact, wanting to make a difference,” is what makes Bonnie such a leader in both her public-speaking appearances but in actions that pair with words. Her next book will be on resilience: how people bounce back.
With Bonnie fighting for wellness in body, mind and spirit, we all can see that the possibilities of a healthier future for our children and grandchildren exist first in each and every one of us. I am honored to know Bonnie and hope you find her good work as inspiring as I do. She is a true Wellness Warrior. Read more about Bonnie here, and thank you, again for being a Wellness Warrior in our fight to unite for our right to health.
We can do together what we cannot do alone.