Episode 54 Transcript

Published: Thursday July 4, 2024

Reflecting on a Year of Pushing Forward with Alycia

Alycia and Marty discuss the podcast’s mission to amplify the stories of the disability community


Alycia Anderson: Welcome back to Pushing Forward with Alycia. Happy one year anniversary to our amazing community, to my amazing partner Marty who is on with us again co-hosting today. Happy anniversary to every guest, every supporter, every person who has engaged with this podcast and helped us grow over the last year. It’s been incredible. Today, we are celebrating our one-year launch of Pushing Forward with Alycia.

Marty Anderson: Yeah.

Alycia Anderson: Congratulations.

Marty Anderson: Congratulations. This is really pretty cool. 52 episodes started back in June last year and just wrapping up June this year. I can’t believe all the hard work. So amazing to see happen and just a great achievement. So kudos and awesome work.

Alycia Anderson: Thank you. Oh my gosh. It’s been a labor of love. It’s been so hard sometimes. It’s been so challenging, but it’s been so rewarding too.

And as a motivational speaker and then with our advocacy business and us wanting to create a platform that’s turning challenges into opportunities. I think we’ve done a really good job amplifying. The amazing story of disability and how important it is to include in regular conversations in our society. Last year when we launched, it was right on the cusp of disability pride month. And this episode is launching on the first week of disability pride, which is a perfect moment to not only celebrate our achievements and accomplishments on the podcast thus far but to maybe share how proud we are and some of the accomplishments and the stories of some of the guests that have come on. So I’m excited to do a little bit of a year in review of our journey in experiencing this. And maybe we can also talk about disability pride again, what that means to us and what it is.

Marty Anderson: I love that you bring that up.

And what better way to celebrate the achievements of this podcast when we consider that we’re bringing that weekly voice of disability conversations to the table. Along with others out there, but we’re doing it in our own unique way, and we’re doing it with a really easy, digestible format. You’re bringing just really great guests to the podcast every week. And we are bringing our own personal stories of so many years of experiences of living with a disability. Basically, in every facet of life that you possibly can.

Alycia Anderson: One of the goals was to show the many layers of disability, that it’s not just the wheelchair symbol that we see, but what are all of the intersections of disability? How does it enter our lives? At certain moments, how does it leave? How does it how was it always there? And how does it show up? And when I look back at this list of amazing guests, from sharing disability from not only our perspective, but apparent, non-apparent visual impairments

Marty Anderson: Developmental disabilities.

Alycia Anderson: Developmental vitiligo. The list go on and on. And our goal is to be the biggest podcast. In disability podcasting, right? Like we want to get on stages so we can help other people be empowered and to learn from one another as a community and to come together as a community and support each other.

And we started at zero, nothing, zilch. And where are we today? How many Marty cities are we in?

Marty Anderson: We’re in, I believe it’s over a thousand cities. 22 countries. All 50 states in the U.S. There has been a large audience coming to listen to this podcast. And it’s really exciting when you think about how much reach that is. And it really amplifies all the messages that we’re bringing in all the other facets of what we do. So, it’s just pretty awesome and it’s brave. It’s bold. It’s all those things that we talked about in our first episode of the year of how we were going to face things. And it’s another testament that if we put our minds to things, we can make things happen.

Alycia Anderson: I look back at the team that we’ve had and the production team, Redtail Creative, Wendy Gatlin, you, I, we have come, we came together and we really produce something that I think is extremely unique and that I really am happy to stamp my name on and put out into the world. And there’s a couple of things I want to do.

I want to review some of the episodes and celebrate some of the conversations that we had, but I think like from an impact standpoint, I think it would be fun for each of us to share a story, a testimonial, something that came from one of our listeners or somebody. Who we’ve connected with from the podcast about how it’s affecting their lives or how it’s supporting their lives or how it’s enriching the conversation. I know that I have a story. Do you have one that you want to start with?

Marty Anderson: There are so many stories from this year, it’s hard to pinpoint but I can just say that I am so excited every time I run across somebody out on the street, at the airport, in a hotel, at a restaurant, no matter where I am, grocery store, whatever it is. I see somebody. And I am so proud to share about, what we’re doing and sharing the links and giving them the information. And so that’s the funnest part for me. And I know that there’s a lot of like personal individual moments all tied up and wrapped up in that. But I’d love for you to share yours.

Alycia Anderson: I love that. You are a rolling advertisement of pushing forward with Alycia. I was. You’re probably like a good percentage of those 1,100 cities that we’re in around the world, because you definitely are dripping the pod wherever we go which I appreciate. But I do want to share one story that I’ve kept, and there’s many, so for any of our community that’s out there listening this is not me picking favorites at all, but there is one story that really touched me. I spoke at Lynchburg University in February. And after we spoke there the audience approached me but one person stuck out, sticks out to me very significantly. And it was a mom who has two twin daughters that both have CP and are wheelchair users. And so I connected with one of these girls. And her name’s Alana and I just got on the zoom to learn about her. And we talked for two hours. She’s got a boyfriend who’s a wheelchair user. So we had that in common. We just had, we had several things in common. She was like a younger version of me way back when, but we’re chit chatting and her mom had told her about the podcast. And she’s telling me these unbelievable stories, like in high school. The disabled parking spaces, like being sold to the seniors for much like crazy wild stories that took me back to that age of trying to be included and trying to fit in and having these awkward situations happen. And she’s navigating them and keeping her head held high and all of that. And as she’s going through her trials and tribulations. She’s like repeatedly saying, well, when this happened, it reminded me when I listened to episode four that this is what I take away from it. And then when this other thing happened, it reminded me of episode 12 when this other thing happened and when I grow up and. Get married and start that part of my life. I want to raise my kids like this person does in episode 25 or whatever. And she did it over and over. And I was like, it took me back. But it was striking to me that there were that many episodes that were making that much impact and translating into different areas of her life and then as we were wrapping up the call, she said, one of the sweetest things to me, it was one of the, I’ll never forget it in my entire life because it meant so much to me. And she told me that when she gets up in the morning to go to college to go to her classes she usually listens to music. But now that she’s found the podcast. She listens to the podcast instead and listening to me in the morning is like having her best friend with her and That was one of the most meaningful things that anybody could have ever said to me and it was just amazing. So that’s my impact story. There’s many, but it was a really beautiful moment for me.

Marty Anderson: I’m really happy that Alana and you had that great conversation. It’s so difficult sometimes to keep the engine running and to move forward and to constantly be working as hard as we do on all of these things. And I know we’re not the only ones out there doing this, but it is so rewarding when you get that little ounce of feedback that says, Hey, you are making an impact and you are doing it and it really matters.

Alycia Anderson: So what I thought might be fun if we do a little review of some of the interviews that we’ve had because we’ve had amazing guests. Like I’ve made so many friends this last year on this podcast. So I thought it would be fun to pick a few categories to talk about or review just some of the highlights of some of these episodes. Are you game?

Marty Anderson: I’m down. I’m pulling up the list as we speak.

Alycia Anderson: Let’s start with the biggest influencer conversation that we had on the podcast. Do who that was?

Marty Anderson: There’s quite a few out there with a lot of followers, and I don’t know if it would be Chelsea Hill, or Stef Aiello, or maybe Mason Branstad, but there’s so many out there and I don’t like to put all those, wait on the numbers as much as what the content and the people say. But what do you think?

Alycia Anderson: I get it, but I am proud that we’ve booked influencers to be on the show and they’ve been fully engaged and excited to be a part of the show and they’ve made a huge impact. Along with all the others, and you mentioned

three of the top. But it is Chelsea Hill

Marty Anderson: Go Rollettes.

Alycia Anderson: Go Rollettes. She was one of my favorite interviews anyways, just because she’s a friend and somebody that’s definitely a part of my sisterhood and journey through this experience as a disabled woman. But to have had her voice on the podcast, she’s empowering women to feel and be who they are in their space, to be sexy, to be just to be empowered. She’s so body positive. And I just feel like her interview was really special and amazing for me. And I was really excited to have her on the show personally.

Marty Anderson: She’s a great ally and all those things that you’re saying about her, you could ditto about yourself. And it’s really amazing. And the beauty of this podcast is that we lift each other up. We highlight each other and we say great things about each other and we try to fill those emotional bank accounts.

Alycia Anderson: She said something to me on the podcast that meant a lot to me, which was that my platform, the work that I do. I’m working from the inside out, like the advocacy that we’re doing. But there’s so much work to do from the inside, from like education out within this movement. And she made that point to me and it was really important.

Marty Anderson: Well, it’s beautiful. She’s not the only one. A lot of people look up to you as a mentor, even though you speak such great things about all of these other people and they are doing great things. You need to give yourself some credit every once in a while, too.

Alycia Anderson: Team Anderson, both of us.

Marty Anderson: It is a team and I love being on your team.

Alycia Anderson: Okay.

Next topic, most historic episode. Who do you think that is?

Marty Anderson: We had some historic episodes as well. We had Brad Parks, a hall of famer starter of wheelchair tennis, We had Mike Box, one of the greats building wheelchairs forever and ever we had, Michael Tennant breaking down barriers and becoming a book writer and doing all these things. Megan Blau, working on the first to be doing universal design and barrier-free design. Amy Wang Hiller. And the beauty of all the stuff that she’s been doing in the history of all the music she makes. And all these things, Dez Delbarba breaking down the barriers with the Congress and the malpractice. And there is so much history going on in the disability community. And that’s where the beauty of this podcast is. We want to hear those stories. We want to lift those up. We want to share the news. We want everybody to know what’s happening.

Alycia Anderson: And that is what disability pride is about. One of the main goals of disability pride is to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of disabled people from our past, from our current and moving into the future. What we bring to our society, the innovations, the human advancement, the wealth of knowledge accessibility, there’s so many layers of it. And so I think this is actually a really great question for disability pride too, because we’re looking in my opinion, in the past a little bit from like a historic standpoint, like who has made impact in our history and you named him. It is Brad Parks. He, in my opinion. And this is just my opinion is the most historic person that we had on the podcast thus far because he created a sport wheelchair tennis that is now, it’s gotta be in the Paralympic games in Paris

Marty Anderson: For sure.

Alycia Anderson: Okay. Next one.

Biggest ally in the disabled community of a guest that we’ve had on our show.

Marty Anderson: Again, these are tough to just throw one on, and there are so many allies. And I know you’re going to say Mike Box.

Alycia Anderson: I am going to say Mike Box. He’s doesn’t have a disability. His brother does. But he has been building wheelchairs and advocating for mobility and independence and a chair that, to build chairs that transcend every activity, land, snow, sand, skate parks, you name it. And he’s given us chairs that not only are versatile. But they are beautiful. Like for me, they’re a form of self-expression and fashion in a way. And he works with little guys, little kids all the way up to, you name it. So he’s the first person to give you his shirt off of his back. And his motto is. His hashtag is people helping people. And if you listen to his episode, he gets emotional when he’s talking about that. He’s traveled around the world, teaching others, his craft. So his innovation and his mind and his talents will live on much longer than he will. And that is incredible. So he absolutely is the biggest ally for me that we’ve had on the show thus far.

Marty Anderson: And I’m going to just go ahead and rattle off a few names because I want to give a little kudos to all of those that have come on. Ryan Mason, Beth Weisendinger, Jose Perranian, Christina Rodriguez Michael Tennant, your sisters, Karina, and Regina, and Karina’s mom, and my sister Peggy, and nikki Walsh, and Mindy Shire, and Bill Krebs, nick Klingensmith, and Katerina Rivera, Dr. Lindsay Alray, Jan Viznevski.

Alycia Anderson: Well, the next thing I wanted to talk about, from a technical standpoint that has been on the show and Jan Vishnupolsky is a fascinating person. He identifies as neurodiverse and ADHD and he uses those. Gifts as his superpower in the technology world and in building AI tools. And he’s got an incredibly fascinating mind and story. And he was one of my favorite episodes in just like a mind-blowing think out of the box. Story his parents created the internet. Like this guy, he’s brilliant. And he uses AI technology as an accessibility. Tool for him. And the episode is fascinating. It was one of the ones for me that I binge listened to over and over because I just he was really impressive.

Marty Anderson: This season has just been amazing. I’m so happy to be a part of pushing forward with Alycia. It is doing great things.

Alycia Anderson: There was one guest that his reels went like 30,000 views like tons of engagement. He is an influencer it is Mason Branstrader. And I think it’s because he’s so genuine and he’s making and delivering content through his social media sharing his life of how it is to be a young 20 something. Who’s just acquired spinal cord injury and how he’s overcoming and adapting to environments and he gets millions of views on his content but he’s a sweet genuine human. And it just really translates through his. Content that he puts out through the episode that he is on. And so yeah I thought it would be fun to mention him

Marty Anderson: Yeah no Mason’s great and all the things that he’s doing. And I reflect on his story in so many different ways. There’s so many layers to it but it also is a testament to all the hard work that all the forebearers of disability rights and pride and everything else have brought to the table that have brought to 2024 to Have the ability for these youngsters to have so much boldness and be ready to get out there and share and all the things that they can tap into that are already set. They deserve to live their lives and we are living our life.

Alycia Anderson: And we’re together as a community and we’re making waves and we’re changing the narrative right now through platforms like social media through speaking through sharing our stories through day to day conversations. And yes through this podcast. Pushing forward with Alycia.

And I personally would love to wrap up with a heartfelt massive thank you to each and every single one of our pushing forward community that shows up every week that subscribes that leaves us comments that leaves us reviews that shares our posts because you’re helping us reach these numbers. that allow us to have larger reach to help others achieve and give them space to be heard. I am also personally grateful to Redtail Creative, to Wendy Gatlin for producing the heck out of this thing to you my love for the countless hours that you put on and the backend of this and just making sure that the technology pieces up to par and we are Seen and heard and all of it and the team I’m grateful.

Marty Anderson: And I just want to. say again all the people that have been out there that have been supporting us and all the things Shelly and Molly and getting the courage to get going and to get this thing just moving.

Alycia Anderson: Think there’s one more shout out to our community. We are going live on video. We are launching a YouTube channel. We are working really hard to get bigger marketing exposure.

If it’s in your heart please follow us and support us because it is really making a difference and we really appreciate it. That’s it.

What’s the pushing forward moment Marty? What’s the pushing forward moment for this year?

Marty Anderson: I would just love to say that everybody out there keep pushing forward. In all the adversities that you face. And I want to say don’t be scared to do the things you want to do in this world. Don’t be scared to try something new. Don’t be scared just because it doesn’t exist that you shouldn’t try to make it so. just open your hearts clear those paths and let’s go.

Alycia Anderson: Let’s go. And pushing forward moment that is ringing in my ear right now as you’re saying that Brad Park’s pushing forward moment was never give up. And in that you just need to be on a fearless pursuit. Chase your dreams and never give up. And literally magical things are waiting for you.

So thank you for this beautiful year Marty. You’re a great

Marty Anderson: Thank you. Thank you for bringing it all to fruition. And why don’t you close this out with your famous line?

Alycia Anderson: I’ll close us out. Thank you to our community for showing up for us for an entire year. And we look forward to another beautiful year together. This has been the first year of Pushing Forward with Alycia and that is literally how we roll on this podcast. We will definitely see you next time.