#AtoZChallenge: G is for #GirlsRock (an Interview with Mental Health Care Advocate Kitt O’Malley

Snowtrooper at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke, a gorgeous fall Sunday morning.

The winding roads that unfurl before us.

cd-interviewsWe rode them on this trip to Roanoke, descending from the top of Mill Mountain to the stately St. Andrew’s Catholic Church below. We couldn’t see our destination at first, but took faith in the ribbon of the road down the mountain.

For those of you new to this blog, #GirlsRock is a series of interviews with women who do incredible things, from musicians to writers to bloggers to those who take a dream and make it a reality. Read other #GirlsRock posts here.

Today’s guest knows all about those winding roads that bring us to our fate.

She’s Kitt O’Malley. Many of you know her for her blog, on how to Learn, Love & Live With Bipolar Disorder. It’s an incredible and inspiring journey. She’s here today to tell us a little about the roads she’s taken. Please give her a warm CD welcome.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Sports Wanderluster Alicia Barnhart

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I don’t care for some of the stuff I find in press boxes.

cd-interviewsOthers, I love. Krispy Kreme donuts, for instance. Some places have those! I also love people I meet, like Stacey Dales and Jackie Servais and Alicia Barnhart. Stacey is my favorite NFL Network reporter (and a Coach Daddy reader.)

Jackie, a former volleyball star and an intern with the Carolina Panthers when we met, now works for the University of Mississippi.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Global Marketer Anna Pappas

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photo credit: DocChewbacca Ironing via photopin (license)

Today, I get to feature a fellow 49er.

cd-interviewsAnna Pappas and I both attended UNC Charlotte. Only one of us got to work with Spongebob Squarepants. (Hint: It’s not me. I’d have bragged about it until the starfish came home.) Anna has become a bit of a renaissance woman.

Anna is a consumer packaged good specialist, a global marketer, a foodie connoisseur and a travel and lifestyle enthusiast. Everywhere she’s been, she’s been the kind of innovator and team player we all want on our side.

Please give Anna a warm CD welcome. She’s the latest incredible woman to be featured in my #GirlsRock series. It focuses on women who do cool things. There are so many of you, and I appreciate you all hugely.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Photographer Beatrice Pitocco

“Life sometimes dulls us; it confuses us, it makes us question things that are basic, like love.” – Beatrice Pitocco

I first picked Beatrice Pitocco for an interview on a blog for work.

cd-interviewsOne question into my interview with her, I knew she was a better match for #GirlsRock – my interviews with women who do cool things. Although the tools Beatrice uses as a photographer are inherently technical, that’s not the main element in her work – or her life force.

Beatrice, like many artists, is a feeler.

You’ll see that in her words here, raw and honest. Beatrice is also a consultant for companies and individuals. I believe you’ll see some of your own life stages in her words today. Through thick and thin, Beatrice lives by a simple credo.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Life Enthusiast Britt Skrabanek

photo credit: Kalexanderson Stormtrooper happiness via photopin (license)

Most of us live.

cd-interviewsSome of us LIVE. Britt Skrabanek is one like this. She’s a life enthusiast, and for the unitiated, that doesn’t mean she runs with the bulls or skydives (without that goofy guide guy strapped to your back, either.)

(She doesn’t do those things, but she could.)

Britt is classic and new all at once. She writes to live and lives to write, always hopeful, never satisfied, forever pushing her own boundaries and exploring the outer reaches of others’. She’s been with me for much of this blogular journey.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview With Innovation Project Manager Brandy Macauley

photo credit: DocChewbacca Break on the beach via photopin (license)

The universe sends some of us on quite the trip through life.

cd-interviewsI’m not talking about Google Maps’ penchant for sending me into nice neighborhoods when traffic stacks up on Interstate 485. I’m talking about sharp, hairpin turns, the kind that you take on two wheels. The kind that could send you tumbling just as easily.

Today’s #GirlsRock entry will shock you.

It did me. I began this interview with burgers in mind. Sometimes, the best stories in life aren’t the ones you can predict at every turn. They’re richer than that, despite tragedy and comedy, deplorable twists and triumphant returns.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Crossfit Trainer Dana Mather

photo credit: kurt.stocker stormtoopers via photopin (license)

In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.

cd-interviewsShe’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.

My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.

Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with CRO (and so much more) Jen Friel

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Some girls rock to the extreme that they could have a sequel to their #GirlsRock post.

CD INTERVIEWSJen Friel fits the bill. I can’t even give her a proper introduction, because where do you start? You know that person at the party who has done literally everything? This is Jen. yes, she’s CRO of Dropin Inc., a live video platform.

Yes, she’s creator of the relationship blog called Talk Nerdy to Me, where nerds, tech and sex collide.

She has an Imdb page, guys. She’s a passionate entrepreneur, animal lover and total goofball (I ganked that from her site.) She has this kickass blog, too. She’s a LinkedIn contact I sought out for a possible freelance piece for a feminist magazine.

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with Rising Star Jackie Servais

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When you’re out of chocolate chip cookies, you know the struggle is real.

CD INTERVIEWSTwo weeks in a row, they ran out of them in the Carolina Panthers’ press box. I thought I was alone in my sorrow. Turns out Jackie Servais, the Panthers’ alumni affairs intern, new exactly where I was coming from. We bonded over a plate of oatmeal cookies.


Turns out Jackie’s friendliness was part of a set of life skills gained when you’re the daughter of Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais and a former college volleyball player. Jackie extends a professional hospitality that extends into everyday life.

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Not a Guest Post, but 11 More Smartphone Pictures III

photo credit: "nothing like the..." via photopin (license)
photo credit: “nothing like the…” via photopin (license)

It’s been a messy week or so.

Normally this space would contain a guest post. Through some misunderstandings and crossed wires, it does not. So I’m turning to my smartphone – this time, an Android – to save my butt.

I’m trying to get on track and write ahead, but that’s not working out so well.

These days lately sap me to the core and leave me with the choice of sleeping our writing. Sometimes I choose writing, and sleeping wins anyway. It comes in fits and stretches, and I’ve mastered a new trick:

Falling asleep while sitting up.

Continue reading “Not a Guest Post, but 11 More Smartphone Pictures III”