August. The Sunday of summer. Before we jump forward into another month of inspiring stories, let’s take a look back at July, and our top five stories from that month.
As a golfer, Daniel Berlin, 17, is familiar with what it’s like to battle the mind. He knows that with too large of a push, an “easy” four-foot putt can carry ten feet past the hole, or that a beautiful 280-yard drive can roll into a small but deep bunker.
The teen from Chagrin Falls, Ohio appreciates the mental challenges that come with the sport. However, he also realizes the golf course isn’t the only place where battlefields emerge in the brain.
Growing up with a cousin who has bipolar disorder, Berlin has bulldozed his way into an advocate role for those with mental illness.
Jami Goldman-Marseilles, a 47-year-old kindergarten teacher in Orange County, California, has a list of accomplishments that read like a backstory for a character in an inspirational film.
When she was 19, Marseilles narrowly avoided death in a tragic accident which resulted in the amputation of both of her legs below-the-knee. That loss would become the catalyst for a newfound passion: running.
As a competitive runner, she excelled and earned both world records and gold medals in sprinting. She entered uncharted territory when she began a love affair with distance running, and today, she is the only member of a very exclusive club. Marseilles is the only female bilateral below-the-knee amputee to have ever completed a half marathon and marathon.
At 10,000 feet above the earth, Jason Redman pulls his parachute open and it’s in this moment that he’s most at peace.
The Virginia native has grown to appreciate these few special seconds before landing back into the hustle and bustle of his everyday life. Redman is used to pushing the envelope. He spent 11 years as an enlisted Navy SEAL and 10 more as a SEAL Officer.
During a deployment to Fallujah in 2007, Lieutenant Junior Grade Redman and his assault team were assigned to capture an Al Qaeda High Value individual. While on this mission, his team came under heavy machine gun and small arms fire. Three shots pierced Redman’s body — two in the arm and one in the face, but he continued to defend his team, ultimately winning the fight.
We always hear about athletes “tuning out the noise” before a big competition, in order to keep their focus.
Swimmer Marcus Titus, 30, doesn’t have to flip that switch. The 12-time All-American from Tucson, AZ. has been deaf his entire life, and he considers that one his biggest advantages before entering the water.
“Not being able to hear is my best tool since I can focus on my race without any distractions,” Titus said. “I don’t have to hear what people are talking about. Shouts, yells, cheers, last minute instructions or acknowledgements are not overwhelming to me. The silence calms my nerves before I dive off the block. It’s my race to swim.”
In 2012, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad missed making the U.S. Olympic team by just one spot.
Four years later, the 30-year-old will be the first American to wear a hijab while representing the U.S. at the Olympics. A hijab is a veil that covers the head, neck, and chest of Muslim women, signifying modesty and privacy.
“I felt like it’s been this dream that developed amongst my family, my friends, my community, and I think that helped me to get where I am,” Muhammad said. “It seemed really important to everyone. Just to shatter those stereotypes that Muslim women couldn’t achieve certain things.” (USA Today)