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What will it take to motivate you? How about millions?

A multimillionaire in New Mexico wants you to get off the couch and go searching for hidden treasures.

You know how yesterday in my article about Joan Rivers I told you that I thought the world would be a happier place when I was thin and that somehow I would follow rainbows find pots of gold and discover the last living unicorn. But no such luck? Well  maybe Forest Fenn has other plans for me.

Mr. Fenn believes that too many Americans spend their free time playing video games and watching TV said that he hoped a chest filled with millions of dollars in gold coins, diamonds and other gems will prompt people to get out and explore the outdoors.

Mr. Fenn has a self-published autobiography, which contains a map to the treasure and a poem with 9 clues in it. The book is titled “The Thrill of the Chase.” A title that no doubt comes from Fenn’s own love of rare artifacts, a passion he has been devoted to for over seventy-three years.

Now, I am one to call a spade and spade, so let me say this, what a BRILLIANT marketing strategy! You write a book that contains clues to a buried treasure worth millions of dollars. Whether people want to read your story or not, (Which let me say I do!) you have a whole other sales tactic because they stand to win millions of dollars from reading your book.

Give things away and people will come flocking. It’s just a sad truth. People rarely do something for nothing these days, we forget too often to stop and be kind to each other, half the time we even forget to stop and say hello. I have to tell you that is one of the things I love most about runners. No matter where you go you can be running down the side-walk and you can almost always bet someone will make eye contact, give you a nod of the head, or often times, a wave or a hello. Runners are very courteous and friendly to each other.

Bloggers experience the same thing. In fact when I first started my blog I realized very quickly that most of the successful blogs did big giveaways to help boost numbers and readers. There was a time in the beginning that I was after that, a big following, a huge readership, and then I realized that I was investing more time in that then I was in what really mattered to me, becoming a trainer, helping people find the fun in fitness and fundraising for the organizations I am passionate about to help make sure that other people have the chance at a happy healthy life. I don’t have a big following with thousands of likes and I may never, but I can pride myself on the fact that according to my site stats, my page got as many views when I talk about my experience with Reconstructive Plastic Surgery as it did when I gave away my 4th Generation IPod touch to try to inspire people to get in the gym with music.

LittleOleDaddyThat is what I love about Forest Fenn’s story, it may be a brilliant marketing strategy, but it is also an amazing story of someone who wants to motivate others to break out of the unhealthy couch potato stereotype, get fit and have fun doing it. Since this is my own personal goal as well I feel I have found a kindred soul. Maybe I’m overly sentimental, but my Father was Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, a day that was always celebrated in my house because it was also the day my Father choose as my parent’s wedding day. My Dad LOVED and I mean LOVED rainbows and if my Father had heard my Negative Betty comment yesterday he would have told me a story about why rainbows existed. He would have reminded me that nothing worth having ever comes easy. He would have reminded me that there are still pots of gold in this world and that sometimes that magical unicorn you are looking for sometimes appears in a different form than you expect. He’d remind me that good people are hard to find, rare gems, but that they are out there. ( BTW I love stories like this where I get to reference my Dad and post his picture! ) And if my Dad was still here, and he had told me those things, and he read this story this morning; he’d have sat it in front of me, winked at me and said, “See there Jaime Lee, I told you, now that man, that’s a hero.” I talk about people who I consider my personal heroes Chris Powell, Ellen DeGeneres, NKOTB, if you ever notice, it’s the people who have taught me what I know about kindness and generosity, about not just helping people, but really caring about the people who you help and appreciating the people who help you.

The article I read on Today News ( See: Want to find his hidden treasure worth millions? Head outdoors ) said that Fenn has received close to 7,500 emails about the treasure some filled with questions and looking for guidance and some just wanting to thank him for the inspiration and motivation he has inspired in them. I will be buying Forest Fenn’s book, even though I likely won’t ever make it to the location of the treasure to look for it, I love the concept, I just want to be a part of the whole experience and I can’t wait to follow this story and see how long it takes for someone to find this buried treasure. This blog is my way of saying thank you, for showing me that there still are pots of gold in life. I just love it when something like this happens right after I make a comment like that; I believe it is the Universe reminding me who I am and re-instilling my positive outlook and pay it forward theology.

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If you happen to read “Thrill of the Chase” yourself or you happen to go looking for the treasure, or Forest Fenn has motivated you into the outdoors or a healthier and happier life  please share your experience with me! I’d love to hear it! You can email me at pandora@desperatelyseekingslender.com

As of yesterday, March 1, 2013 a 10th Clue was revealed on Today News ( See: New clue revealed in hunt for hidden treasure worth millions ) Below is the text of Mr. Fenn’s poem with the original 9 clues embedded in it.

 “As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is drawing ever nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and waters high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
Happy Hunting!”

You can find out more about Mr. Fenn’s Poem and the 9 clues embedded in it on the Today News website. ( See: Follow these clues to find Forrest Fenn’s treasure! )

For more information on The Thrill of the Chase, Forest Fenn and his treasure buried in the mountains of North Santa Fe his book is available from thrill@cwbookstore.com or 505-988-4226 You can also find The Thrill of the Chase on Facebook

Forest Fenn, I wish I could meet you and shake your hand, your “If I’ve got to go, well I outta just let somebody else have as much fun with this as I have,” attitude reminds me so much of my Father. This is just the sort of thing that my 1926 born, old fashion Texan to the roots Dad would have done if he had the means to do it. I’m always so touched by the generosity of others, it is people like you that keep my faith in humanity renewed and my spirit to motivate and help others kindled. As I said when my Father passed away a couple of years ago, I don’t believe they build men like you and my Father anymore. I think you are a dying breed in our society and it saddens me. I hope that others are learning from your examples so that we may pass it on for generations to come.

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WEGO Awards Finalist Cooper Institute Scholarship Recipient and Powell Pack Love

There are days when I really wish that the things that I had to share with you were more inspiring and less depressing; today is not one of them. ::Snicker::

I have such great news to share! So let’s go start at the beginning of the week and work my way down.

I had my 3-month post-operative reconstructive thigh lift follow-up appointment with Dr. O’Brien at the Waldorf Center and everything is healing well, I have the all clear to go ahead with the next stage of plastics when and if I decide to and, most importantly, I am cleared to run outside again! Until now I have been limited to a treadmill because they wanted me only running on absolutely level terrain.  I was getting a lot of questions about my scars the other day so I snapped a picture while I was in the doctor’s office. I’m very scar tolerant, so the scars don’t really bother me and I am hoping to tattoo over them, anyone know any REALLY good cover-up artists in the Portland, Dallas or LA area let me know, I am in all of those areas enough that they would be a doable place to find an artist.

Okay next up, back around December I think it was, I got a notification from WEGO Health that I had been nominated for one of their Health Activist Awards.  I had been nominated by a few of my peers for the Health Activist Awards – Best Kept Secret category. This week when they announced the finalists in each category, I had made the Finalists for that category. Please go check out their page, visit the pages of the other nominees and share some internet love in the form of Facebook Likes and Twitter Follows, WEGO Health Blog is all about Empowering Health Activists to help others and I am so honored to be one of the finalists among sites like www.letsfeelbetter.com, www.cycleforfreedom.org, www.downwitdat.blogspot.com, www.livewello.com and www.somanyways.net. Going through the list of Health Activists that they recognized it included Health Activists from all different backgrounds. People fighting against Cancer, HIV, Down Syndrome, Diabetes, MS, Lupus, Thyroid Disease, Arthritis. To be one of their selected Finalists representing the fight against Obesity in their nominations categories is such an honor to me I cannot even begin to tell you. To those that nominated me, thank you.

As if this honor wasn’t exciting enough, you all know me; Chris Powell is a personal hero of mine he has been for a couple of years now. His wife Heidi Powell, through my communications with them both on Facebook has become another of my favorite people and I adore them both. So when I have really exciting news, something I am really proud of, I instantly want to share it with them. So I headed over to their Facebook pages to share the my news. It once again made my day to have them both respond back to me.  Let me just say that I truly believe that Chris and Heidi Powell are two of the most compassionate and caring human beings I have ever had the pleasure of; I am at a loss for the right word here; knowing? Whether I ever actually get to meet them or not, they have become beacons of support in my life through their personal choices to communicate with me on Facebook.

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HeidiPowellFBRn ChrisPowellFBRHeidiPowellFBR

I recently started re-reading Chris Powell’s book Choose to Lose. I had done so at the suggestion of Heidi Powell when she responded to a post I had written them asking for some guidance as to what exercises I should be doing outside of my cardio routine and she reminded me that Chris had some basic strength and toning exercises in the book that would be a good start. There is a part in Chris’s book that I really didn’t pay attention to the first time around when I read it; I was so focused on what I should be eating and what exercise I should be doing that I missed a lot of the mental and emotional aspects that the book discussed. I’ll be writing a review of the book when I am done and I will go into it a bit more. Chris talks about relationship dynamic during your weight loss journey and how important it is to identify some of the positive and negative characters in your personal support team. Chris defines “The Coach,” as the person who “Understands the hardships of the journey and gives guidance along the way.” This could not more accurately describe who Chris and Heidi Powell are to me. If I ever get the chance to meet them; I am going to give them both a big hug, and say “Thanks Coach,” and I will probably cry like a baby.

So in other news, you all know finances have me stressed out beyond compare right now. We won’t go into details, I will ramble on forever because it is on the forefront of my mind, but basically after the last two years of my WLS Journey my Family is a whopping $60,000 in debt and I am trying not to let us drown, while I still continue my personal WLS Journey, start a new career and continue to work in my current full-time job. In January I applied for the Susan J. Sterling Scholarship to the Cooper Institute in Dallas Texas where I am going to be going in June to take the Personal Trainer’s Education Course thanks to the generous $600 donation of one of my long time followers. They have several other courses that I could take while I am in Dallas; in fact, they have nearly 3.5 weeks of courses I could take. Well today I received the award letter congratulating me on being selected as the scholarship recipient. Right now the classes I want to take are going to cost me about $1325 on top of the PT Course that was already paid for and the exam itself costs $289. With this scholarship I have to come up with about $1100 by June to take all the courses that I can while I am there and hopefully pass the test and come home a Cooper Institute Certified Personal Trainer. \O/

My planned schedule right now would be:

Any WLS Friendly Companies out there that might be reading this, I’m looking for Sponsorship for my classes and I’m very loyal to the companies that support me. Just ask Northwest Fitness and Pacesetter Athletic; my local sponsors for exercise equipment and running shoes!

That is all the wonderful news I have for you all today. Time is moving so fast right now, HJ and I leave a week from Sunday for the Ohio / Washington DC Trip and from there my life is going nonstop until July. I’m excited to be sharing it all with you though, and even though the financial aspect of things has me freaking out on the inside, I am keeping it in check and remembering something very important.

“On your transformation journey, I can guarantee that you’ll encourage challenges of your own, such as financial difficulties, relationships problems, work worries or health issues. You’ll experience a wide range of emotions along the way: elations, anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, you name it. Bottom line: expect trouble to happen because it will. The question is how will you react?” – Chris Powell “Choose to Lose”

Chris Powell has helped coach a lot of people. He’s helped 8 people each season through ABCs Extreme Make-over Weight Loss Edition, if you watch his show, there have been times he has helped people pack their stuff and move out of their houses because their weight loss journey took them there. He’s changed people’s lives through is book, and he and his wife have changed my life through social media and Facebook, through their involvement with me on Facebook I can honestly say I can call Chris Powell my “Coach” and part of me feels like I could call the Powell’s my friends. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for either one of them and the more I learn about them and the more I find we have in common, the closer I feel to them. I had no idea Chris and I were about the same age. I had no idea we had grown up in the same general area of California. I had no idea that Heidi had lost her father so close to the time that I had lost mine. I had no clue that Chris was horrible with finances and had lived in his car at one point. It is amazing to me how close I can feel to two people I have never met and how much they can affect my daily life, help me, coach me, and be a huge part of my support system through social media, Facebook and Twitter.

With Chris and Heidi’s help and guidance I am working on remembering that each obstacle life throws at me, every problem it puts in my way, and every harsh experience it gifts me with is an opportunity for me to learn, to become emotionally stronger and to gain self-confidence and self-integrity. Thanks to Chris’s words on a Facebook Post Response, I am working on remembering that I am not haunted or defined by my past, that my body is mine and that what I see in the mirror is mine and mine alone, it’s the body I made, it’s all of my accomplishments. Seeking Slender doesn’t stop when the scale hits a number you are content with; it’s an ongoing journey and you and I are about to embark on the next chapter of my story.

“Thanks Coach.”

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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