|Posted on November 3, 2017 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
I visited my Grandmother one day, and we spoke for many hours about life and shared our many past experiences. My Grandmother is in her 80’s, and has experienced a lot in life. I could honestly say I gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom from our conversation.
My Grandmother told me about her life, trials, tribulations, and pain she had endured over the years. She explained that she is now at peace with herself and claimed God has blessed her.
I realized I get my strength from my Grandmother, because she sacrificed herself and overcame adversities for many years. When I had knee cancer twice during my teen years, I didn’t understand why I had to suffer, sacrifice my body, and be forced to deal with this overly difficult ordeal at such a young age.
Towards the end of our conversation, I told her that I now see where I get my strength from. My Grandmother’s strength was genetically passed down to me, and I didn’t realize it until after our long conversation.
Chapter II: Creativity
In 2015, there was a family reunion that was in South Carolina for my Mother’s side of the family. My Mother with other family members spent about two years planning everything for the reunion.
Throughout the last few months before the reunion, I noticed my Mother was creating things like banners, brochures, collages, and invitations about celebrating my Grandmother, and her two younger sisters because these three women are oldest members of the family.
The things my Mother created were different and unique. When the reunion started, I saw everything my Mother created, and it made me realize that I get my unique way of thinking from her, which gave me the ability to not be afraid to be different while being creative.
I believe when I created my website: www.calmandstrong.net four years ago, the creativity that I’ve inherited from my Mother was with me. My vision from the beginning was to create something that will help people who have been through similar situations as myself, and people who have ever experienced a serious illness.
To check out my CalmandStrong: Presentation Part 2 Slideshow with inFAMOUS Music Montage, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiVCZ8yMigY
"I always believed I can give people my ideas through art." - Hip-Hop artist Nas
Chapter III: Determination
My Father became a correctional officer shortly after I was born in 1985, and he was at the same job for 30-years. He worked hard almost every day, each year, and worked a lot of overtime to keep his family comfortable. He worked that stressful job for 30-years, and never complained because he was determined on making his family comfortable and was focused on being the sole provider.
I realized the hard work from my Father as a correctional officer over the years was for his family. His drive, focus, and determination to get what he wanted inspired me to not give up on what God has but in my heart and what I believe in: "CalmandStrong."
Conclusion: Leaving Everything in God’s Hands
I know that I could become stubborn when it comes to me wanting something I’ve worked very hard for. I’m still learning how to be patient and leave my hopes and desires in God’s hands, because he is the one who put this CalmandStrong vision in my heart. Until the time comes, I’ll be practicing and perfecting my craft.
To check out my 20th overall speech for Toastmasters at CSUSB enttled, “CalmandStrong: Retrospective,” click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb9_up7TeTY&t=3s
On Oct. 30th, I had another follow-up doctor’s appointment for Hangers Prosthetic and Orthotics, and I walked out of the office with my new prosthetic leg! My Doctor said I was walking well enough to take it home.
The knee is still a little stiff, but my Doctor said it is best to loosen the knee once I learn how to walk in the leg correctly. With my previous prosthetic leg, I was walking in a half-circular motion, and with my new prosthetic, I need to walk more upright and thrust my hip forward so the knee can register and bend.
While I was in the waiting room, I noticed on the Hanger tv station all the men with prosthetics didn’t have a sleeve. I asked my Doctor if most of his patients have a sleeve on their prosthetics, and he said it’s mainly the women who have sleeves more than the men. He also said the sleeve adds another pound to the leg, and it’s up to me if I want it or not.
My prosthetic leg also came with a charger, and my Doctor insisted I charge my prosthetic leg every night and treat it like my cell phone. After I had my new prosthetic for a few days, I noticed I was slipping out of the socket, which made it overly difficult for me to walk. I made an appointment to see my Doctor on Nov. 2nd, and he fixed the socket by making it more snug and tighter. When I walk in my new prosthetic, I feel more confident with every step I take.
My follow-up Doctor’s appointment is Nov. 7th.
* On Oct. 30th, developers of the inFAMOUS videogame franchise “Sucker Punch Productions” reveled their new video game at Paris Games Week 2017. The game is entitled, “Ghost of Tsushima,” and it’s about the Mongol Empire invading the island of Tsushima. The main protagonist is a samurai fighting for the freedom of Japan.
* Ghost is a departure from their previous video games like Sly Cooper, which is a cartoon stealth, action-adventure platform game and inFAMOUS is an action-adventure game with superhero elements. Sucker Punch’s ability to create completely different video game experiences for different console generations shows how confident and talented they are as a video game company.
* When I first heard the news, I was torn because it was obvious that Sucker Punch has moved on from inFAMOUS, but I’m glad they were able to show off their new intellectual property to the world. I was looking at reaction videos of Ghost on YouTube, and I’m not the only person torn about Sucker Punch’s decision to move on from inFAMOUS. This gave me comfort because I’m not the only one who misses playing as electric-based superhero Cole MacGrath. The original inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2 were life changing experiences for me, which is why I detail my connection with this digital character throughout my website.
* To check out the acknowledgement I received from Sucker Punch Productions Co-Founder and Producer Brain Fleming, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/testimonials
* Ghost of Tsushima looks amazing and is a day one purchase from me because of Sucker Punch’s track record with previous video games like Sly Cooper and inFAMOUS being amazing. To check out the reveal trailer of “Ghost of Tsushima,” click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUz539AeC5Y
I do not own any content from the Ghost of Tsushima or the inFAMOUS videogame franchise. No Copyright Intended. All Ghost of Tsushima and inFAMOUS content is copyright to their respective owners.
All Ghost of Tsushima and inFAMOUS content is property of Sony Interactive Entertainment, developed by Sucker Punch Productions.
Ghost of Tsushima announcement trailer courtesy of PlayStation from YouTube.com.
PlayStation. YouTube. Ghost of Tsushima - PGW 2017 Announce Trailer | PS4. October 30, 2017. November 01, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUz539AeC5Y
|Posted on October 27, 2017 at 1:40 PM||comments (0)|
On Oct. 23rd, I got a call from Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics and they asked if I could come into the office because my prosthetic leg was back after being shipped to be laminated. My Doctor wanted to make a few more adjustments while I was walking in my new leg.
While I was putting my prosthetic leg on, my Doctor said the laminating part of the socket (the top part of the prosthetic) was too stiff and it needs to be shipped back, so it could be loose and more comfortable while I’m in it. I don’t have my sleeve for my prosthetic yet, but by my next appointment, there is a chance I may be able to walk out the office with my new leg completely finished.
The foot that is going to be attached to my leg looks like the foot that is attached to athletic prosthetic legs, like the ones that people use in the Olympics. My Doctor said along with getting a top of the line prosthetic leg, I’m also getting a top of the line prosthetic foot.
Even though my prosthetic leg was stiff, my Doctor said I’m walking good in it. He also expressed that I’m a fast learner and able to adapt to my new prosthetic, because this new prosthetic is different from my old prosthetic.
My next appointment is Oct. 30th, and I’m hoping to walk out the office with my new and improved prosthetic leg.
Loma Linda Children’s Hospital Appreciating my Service of Completing 221 Volunteer Hours
* I recently completed 20 overall speeches for Toastmasters at CSUSB. To check out my speeches and much more, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/videos
|Posted on October 13, 2017 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
On Oct. 11th, I completed my 10th Advanced Manuals (20th overall) speech for Toastmasters at CSUSB, and it was entitled, “Retrospective.”
I started my day by working out riding 7.2 miles in 35 minutes on my stationary bike. I try my best to work out before I perform speeches because I’ve learned that it helps calm my nerves while I’m speaking to an audience.
I purposely arrived at Toastmasters early to set up my PowerPoint, and I had some technical difficulties because it took a while to fully load. I was prepared to perform my speech without my PowerPoint, but it eventually worked.
When it was time for my speech, I set up my cellphone on my tri-pod to record my speech and I encountered some more difficulties while trying to record. For example, I had trouble with my cellphone being stable on the tri-pod, and once I got it fixed, I was a minute into my speech and realized I never pressed the record button.
Once I realized I wasn’t being recorded, I stopped my speech, apologized and quickly pressed record. Two minutes into my speech, my tri-pod completely fell on the table making a loud crashing sound. I started my speech for the third time, and one of my fellow Toastmasters offered to hold my phone and record me while performing my speech. I’m thankful she offered to help me because I was getting frustrated that everything I touched was struggling to work properly. I turned that frustration into a burning desire to deliver a successful speech, and I believe I did just that.
My speech was about a detailed look back of why I decided to pursue a career as an inspirational speaker that started from 2013 to the present. After graduating from California State University, Long Beach in 2012, I landed my first job ever as an Associate Investigator for United States Investigative Services, located in Las Vegas, NV in 2013.
I was only an Associate Investigator for three months, and had to resign due to not understanding the position thoroughly and it took a toll on my physical disability. I eventually landed other jobs like selling legal services for Legal Shield, and I was a debt collector.
While at Legal Shield, one of my co-workers approached me and asked why was I limping while walking. I replied and said I’m a two-time cancer survivor, became a hip amputee and now I could only walk with a prosthetic leg. He asked my age, and at the time I was 27 years old, and he said I been through a lot at such a young age.
After telling him about my life story, he said besides selling legal services, he is also a Substitute Teacher, Mentor and Life Coach. I wasn’t at Legal Shield that long because I wasn’t making that much commission, and my co-worker offered his Life Coach services to me for free and I began meeting with him regularly.
During one of our meetings, he asked if I wanted to be a teacher, and I said no because being a teacher wasn’t resonating with me. Then he brought up the idea of me becoming an inspirational speaker because I have a unique story to tell. I never thought about being an inspirational speaker because public speaking terrified me, and I hated when I was forced to do it in school.
After thinking about what my Life Coach said, I realized that I do have a unique story to tell and I could help people who been through similar situations. I created a PowerPoint and called my Mother and asked her to mail all the pictures from when I was diagnosed with cancer at 14 and 17 years old. After I completed my PowerPoint, I felt something was missing…
Inspiration from inFAMOUS
What was missing was my connection with the inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.
Cole was in the hospital, hooked up to an IV pole with his girlfriend Trish and best friend Zeke by his bedside; like me when I was in the hospital hooked up to an IV pole with my Grandmother and Uncle by my bedside.
Cole is an ordinary bike messenger turned electric-superhero, and based on his actions, the world sees him as a superhero or supervillain or Famous or inFAMOUS. This helped me make a decision: to think positive and do something to help myself; or stay in a dark and depressing place because I didn’t have control of my situation.
Besides the comparison photo, I said when I first saw Cole climb to the top of a flagpole in the original inFAMOUS, I noticed he had incredible balance. My bond with this digital character got stronger because when I don’t have my prosthetic leg on, I must balance on one leg.
When I first approached my Life Coach with my new and improved PowerPoint. I was nervous because I thought he was going to judge me because I was talking about my connection with a video game character. It turned out that he liked how creative I was connecting my experiences and realities with cancer and becoming a hip amputee to the digital world of inFAMOUS and superhero Cole MacGrath.
My Life Coach said if I was serious about being an inspirational speaker, I needed to come up with a company name, a tagline, create a logo, business cards and a website. One day, my Life Coach said “CalmandStrong.” He said I have a calming personality, and I’m strong because of the adversities I was able to overcome.
One day, I was looking at random videos on YouTube, and came across an interview of Hip-Hop artist Ice Cube. The interviewer’s asked him why did he leave his Hip-Hop group NWA at the peak of the group’s success.
Ice Cube said he always knew he was going to leave the group when he realized his money situation wasn’t going to be handled properly. Then he said, “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind.”
When I heard those words. I thought about how Cole and myself are both are strong willed, strong minded and we overcame adversities that waited for us in the future. “Nothing is More Powerful Than a Made up Mind” became my tagline because it fits perfectly with my story and Cole’s.
The doves flying around the world represent God’s angels healing and protecting me when I was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager. Within my CalmandStrong PowerPoint, I have doves on every slide where I express my experiences and realities cancer.
When I perform my speeches to a wide audience, I want the doves to represent God’s angels healing and protecting people who are currently sick in the hospital and people who have ever experienced a serious illness.
The Impact: Tragedy to Testimony
“Darryl was always very positive, driven, motivated and strong willed,” my Mother said. “His will is the strongest thing, it’s stronger than strength because his will is what keeps people going. He also has courage, he went through something most adults couldn’t even face. Overall, he had super strength with a positive outlook on life.”
“He is real strong in a lot of areas, and never let the adversities get him down,” my Father said. “A lot of strength, he continued on and got an education, real proud of him there. Graduated just like his Brother and Sister. Nothing got in his way. He learned how to drive and adapted to his prosthetic leg well, and just like now he is pushing forward, which is great.”
“Darryl has his degree from Cal State Long Beach and we are super proud and excited for him,” both Parents said.
“Darryl had his own place, lived on his own, worked and took care of his business," my Brother said. “I think he handled it very well, because personally, anybody else would of went into a deep depression or something. It was a tough situation to handle, and not a lot of people can do that.”
“He has been positive, I think most people would have went into a deep depression, felt really sad or sorry for themselves,” my Sister said. “I think Darryl handled it, he went to school, finished college and lives a normal life. I think as of now, he has done well.”
My Grandmother, who was pictured by my bedside when I was in the hospital at 14 years old said, “I’m just thankful that my boy is still here with us.”
I concluded my speech saying, as of today, I have completed 20 overall speeches for Toastmasters at CSUSB, I’ve written an autobiography, 109 blogs and completed 221 volunteer hours at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital.
My name is Darryl Richie, and you can find me in cyberspace at calmandstrong.net.
After I finished my speech, the Toastmasters audience gave me a long-standing ovation for completing 20 speeches. The audience evaluations I got were mostly positive. For instance, one person said I had passion while performing my speech, I was calm, I spoke from the heart and I spoke with confidence. I also received some constructive criticism about the difficulties I had before starting my speech, I paused for a long six seconds to collect my thoughts, sometimes I needed to speak more clearly, louder and some parts within my PowerPoint was a distraction.
My speech evaluator congratulated me for completing 20 speeches, and he said it took him a while to notice that a have specific speaking style that doesn’t always align with the Toastmasters book objective. The first objective was to make the audience entertained by my speech, but he said the audience was more engaged than entertained.
He noticed that I have a unique story, and some of my speeches in the past have been about my experiences and realities with cancer, but I’ve always presented it from different perspectives to make the topic still feel fresh.
The story I have includes struggles, but it is also a story of strength, according to my evaluator. He also said my organizational skills to chronologically tell my story was good, and it flowed well.
Overall, after all the difficulties, I was still able to perform a successful 10th Advanced Manuals and 20th overall speech. I recognized I was talking fast during the beginning of my speech because of my frustration of having to start over three times, I fumbled a few of my words and the video on my phone didn’t capture the PowerPoint slides fully. Besides those mishaps, I felt I performed well and I’ll be receiving a certificate from Toastmasters International for this accomplishment.
To check out my CalmandStrong: Retrospective Speech, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb9_up7TeTY
I do not own any image content from the inFAMOUS videogame franchise. No Copyright Intended. All inFAMOUS image content is copyright to their respective owners.
All inFAMOUS content is property of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.
I don't own any content from the image displayed from Toastmasters at CSUSB.
No Copyright Intended. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. All content is property of Toastmasters at CSUSB.