The 52: Ashley Resch

Photo Credit: Ashlee Krutzfeldt, AJKPhotography
Photo Credit: Ashlee Krutzfeldt, AJKPhotography

I’m very excited to introduce you to my first guest that I’ve selected to interview in 2017. She’s insanely beautiful, insightful, and full of life. Ashley Resch is not your typical model. Aside from being a model, Ashley is also a blogger (ashleyresch.co), an athlete/personal trainer (bbmovement aka Bad Bitch Fitness), and she’s also very active on social media. Ashely stuck out to me with her down-to-earth personality, and how she views life. I hope you enjoy this interview and hope that you learn a thing (or two) from Ashley.

How did you get interested in modeling?

When I was a kid, I grew up watching so many different fashion programs that since I was a young girl, I knew I was interested in modeling; it has been a lifelong dream.

When you began modeling, what was the most challenging aspect of it?

The criticism. When I first started modeling, I wanted people to accept what I was doing and take me seriously right off the bat, and that was challenging because only my family really supported me until I had to prove everyone wrong.

Did you have a lot of confidence before modeling, or was it something that you had to work on?

I definitely did not. I had just started experiencing anxiety from being bullied in high school, which I didn’t know how to control, and to top that off, I started a career where everyone would be judging me. It was something I had to work on quickly, but now modeling has given me more confidence than I ever thought was possible.

What are your morning rituals? What do the first 60 minutes of your day look like?

Every morning I start my day by making tea and rolling out/stretching from my workout the day before and planning my day/week ahead.

When you think of the word “successful,” who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?

My parents. They didn’t grow up with a lot and yet they gave my brother and I the best childhood and upbringing. I think of them when I think of being successful because they made so many sacrifices throughout their lives to make sure they could create the lives they wanted for their kids, but also so they could live their dream life; it’s incredibly inspirational.

What have you changed your mind about in the last few years? Why?

Within the past few years, I have transitioned from a girl to a woman. My largest change I have made is to be an optimist instead of being pessimistic.

What is something you believe that other people think is insane?

I am deathly afraid of birds, so much that I run away screaming like a little girl. People don’t understand how terrifying they are.

Do you read? If so, what book (or books) have had an impact on your life?

Yes! I love reading. The book that has had the biggest impact on my life is ‘Sharp Objects’ by Gillian Flynn.

What is the worst advice you see or hear being dispensed in your world?

Especially in the modeling industry, the pressure to have the “perfect body” is still huge regardless of the many efforts from women around the world. Just be you and work hard for everything you want, and everything will fall into place.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Or, do you have a favorite failure of yours?

I don’t have a favorite failure because I strongly believe that every failure happens to push me down the path I belong, so in this regard, every failure would be my favorite because it has lead me here today and will keep driving me throughout my life.

Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?

It would be a tie between “Positive Mind= Positive Life” or “Everything Happens for a Reason.” These quotes are constantly helping me through hard times, and times of doubt.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To stay positive even in the toughest times because it will get better.

What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a TED talk on something outside of your main area of expertise?

I would love to become a TED talker and be able to talk about the impact of social media in both a negative and positive way. I was cyber bullied throughout high school, and now I have a career around social media, and I would want to talk about the importance of hard work, and a positive mindset in the worst situations.

Is there a particular goal that you’ve set for yourself to achieve by the end of this year?

I want to give back to my community, one of my large goals is to implement charity work in my monthly routine.

What can my audience expect to see from you in the future?

I hope to be in magazines around the world, and working with global brands, so expect to see me on your local news stands.

Any last parting words?

Thank you! Thank you so much for having me, and all the support!

 

Check out Ashley’s blog here 

Follow Ashley on Twitter 

Be sure you’re following Ashley on Instagram

Subscribe to Ashley’s YouTube channel

Keep up with Ashley on Snapchat: @ashleyresch

Persevering Through It All: Lauren Ashley

Ice QueenEach person I interview is exciting for me. I get to learn more about them, and how they live their lives. There are moments in our life when we meet somebody in our lives, and come away astonished at how much stuff they have gone through and are still joyful and happy in their life. Interviewing Lauren, and hearing about her story was inspirational and moving. Lauren was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and it held her back from her modeling career. She was also a victim of Hurricane Sandy, which happened two weeks prior to the date of a photo shoot Lauren had for a billboard ad. She lost almost all of her personal belongings from furniture to childhood pictures, but it did not break her spirit or smile. Her family’s two homes were damaged as well as her family’s business. Still, Lauren did not give up, and she volunteered for a local church, where she cooked, and fed those were less fortunate. Lauren is still continuing to chase her dreams, and I’m honored to tell you a little bit more about her.

 

Justin Marroquin: How did you get into modeling?

Lauren Ashley: As a young girl I always dreamed of being a model. While in NYC one day, I was approached by a talent scout for Wilhelmina and joined “America’s Next Top Model” contest. I was unable to sign the contract due to being on mind altering medication since I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and was just starting treatment. I then just did promo modeling. Last summer I did a hair ad for my hair stylist mentor, Michael Miller. During the photo shoot the photographer asked if I would like to pursue my modeling career. I then made my portfolio, and did some editorial work. Then, my first paid job for an ad wound up being on a billboard in Las Vegas. I always said “one day I’m going to be that girl” while pointing at a billboard ad, while walking through Manhattan. Well, that dream came true!

 

602999_4133374467235_1894832724_nJM: Describe what you went through when you were diagnosed with Lyme disease?

LA: I became ill in 2004-2005. I was extremely fatigued, suffered from joint pain, small seizures, mental fog, aches all over, and was so weak at times, my father had to carry me into my doctors. Being I was young and did not look sick, it was a tough battle. I was blood tested at least once a month, or sometimes twice a month for over a year. Doctors and nurses did not believe me because I did not appear ill. I was told I must be on drugs by pediatrician’s nurse because of my age and the symptoms I had. It was a very difficult time for myself as well as family and friends. Everyone close to me knew there was something wrong, and knew that I was not under the influence. In 2007, I tested positive for the western blot test and began treatment. About six months after treatment, I began feeling all the symptoms again. My infectious disease doctor had said “there is no way possible you could have Lyme disease again. You must have HIV or some type of lymphoma.” That being said with no significant reason broke me into tears. I had just been tested one week prior, and was negative for HIV and my blood cell count was 14, which is only slightly elevated. There was no medical signs or reasons as to why the doctor would say that. A month had went by, and I was tested for Lyme disease again, and had a new stain of the Lyme bacteria, and when through treatment again in December of 2008. This was the worst thing to go through, and I do not wish Lyme disease on anyone. I hope someday they will find a cure!

 

JM: After going through that, how did your life and modeling career change?

AL: After becoming ill with the Lyme disease, my life changed a lot. I have to make sure I eat healthy, and get as much rest as I could. I couldn’t go out with friends and celebrate being 21. I couldn’t keep up with my friends and a social life because I was always so tired. It also caused complications between my boyfriend and I. We soon broke up after he said I had no chance at being a model, and no one would ever love me because I was sick. Everything consumed my mind in a negative way, and I no longer tried to pursue my dream career. I kept track of everything I ate and every symptom I felt. Doing that was supposed to help me keep track of what to stay away from to feel better. I soon realized that I was focusing on what was wrong instead of what was right, and positive in my life. I stopped keeping track of every little thing in late 2010, and began meditating and Reiki therapy. I’m not saying it’s all in your head, but sometimes as a complex as our lives are now, we tend to forget how powerful our minds really are. I focused on getting healthy mentally and physically for a year. Then when I was to pursue my dream career!

 

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JM: You are a strong, positive woman. How do you stay that way?

AL: The saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is true and is something I live by. I have friends who also have Lyme disease, and I help them out by sharing advice, books, and self-experiences. Helping others cope, and making them feel like they are not alone like I did, really makes me happy. I have to stay positive not for myself, but for them as well. “Being positive is contagious, smile without a doubt, laugh without a care, live your life with no remorse. Make others smile, and live the positive life just as you are. Your strength will grow to overcome every obstacle you face in life while mentally blocking out negativity.”Lauren Ashley

 

JM: What are some of your beliefs and values?

LA: I believe that you have to be strong and independent to get what you want in life; you just have to work for it. You can achieve anything you wish if you believe in yourself. I value my family, friends, and my strength. Without family and friends, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

 

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JM: Going through so much in your life, how do you keep moving forward?

AL: I set goals for myself and write them down. Your past is history, and you can only learn and grow from it.

 

JM: What is your advice on how to accomplish a dream or goal?

AL: Write down your dreams and goals; hang it somewhere you will see it each day. Then as you achieve each one, cross them off.

 

JM: You were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Describe what you went through?

AL: I live in the Jersey Shore area, and we were mandatory evacuation October 28, 2012. My family and I went to my grandparents a few miles inland. Our pets were freaking out, and kept looking in the direction of the ocean; the dogs were whimpering, and the cat ran right in his carrier! While driving there I was almost struck by the lining of a truck bed that was at the stop light across from me. The wind was so strong it was hard to control the vehicle. I felt like I was in the “Wizard of Oz” and it was something I have never experienced before. The power went out around 9 p.m. that evening, and all cell phones had stopped getting service. The sounds of the storm were like something from a movie, I couldn’t sleep. I had a feeling that something bad was going to happen, and was scared and sick to my stomach. I was scared for my life! My cell phone would get one bar of service every so often, so I was able to send and receive text messages while I had service. My family and I returned to our homes the next day. On the way home stuck in traffic, seeing all fallen trees and telephone poles had already made me nervous to return home. The main road was still flooded with a foot of water in some areas, including where I had lived. My parent’s street wasn’t as bad; we were still without power and it was dark, so we couldn’t really see the damage. In the morning we went to where I had lived, the home flooded with three and a half feet of contaminated flood water. I had to throw out everything I owned. Furniture to childhood photo albums. I didn’t lose hope or my smile, and my family was there to help me. I just kept thinking that I had my photo shoot for my first paid ad coming up in two weeks, and things could’ve been worse. My parent’s two homes were damaged as well as our family business. Being I had to toss my belongings to the curb, I arranged some so that the neighbors would smile. The National Guard were on almost every street corner in my town for over a month; it was certainly not a pleasant time. I helped volunteer at a local church on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons to help prepare meals for those that lost everything, and had nowhere to live. Doing so, made happy knowing with all I lost personally, I could still help out others.

 

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JM: Is there a certain goal you are trying to achieve right now?

AL: Currently, I am in Playboy’s Miss Social contest, so I hope that I will soon win. I also wish to be a Guess model.

 

JM: What do you think the meaning of life is?

AL: There is no exact meaning of life, it is self-belonging. No two people have the same opinion on what the meaning is. I believe the meaning of life is creating yourself, finding what makes you happy, having an open heart to love, and living your own life. If you keep searching for the meaning, you will not be living your life; just as if you keep searching the meaning of happiness, you will not truly be happy.

 

A note on modeling and the mind: It’s not all about what you see, but what you don’t see. It’s not just about looking good and being pretty. It appears that way to the eye. What is the real emotion hidden behind the beauty? How do we hide the true emotions we feel? We do it with our minds, escape reality, and get into “character.”Lauren Ashley

 

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Follow Lauren on Twitter: twitter.com/LaurenAshley0X0

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/x.Lauren.Ashley.x

Vote for her on Playboy Miss Social: playboymisssocial.com/laurenromanowski

Check out her website: xlaurenashleyx.com

See her photos on Instagram: instagram.com/x0laurenashley0x

Photo Credit: JAMills

 

Backstage Pass: Charlie Jacks

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The music industry is filled with people who have great talent, but there is only a select few that can engage people, and make them feel the music. One of the few people who can do such things is Charlie Jacks. She is a UK music superstar, and has a massive following in Japan (and soon to be US) with six number one albums, and nine singles at the top of the Japanese iTunes charts. Charlie took time out of her busy schedule to tell me about her music career, achieving goals, and what inspires and motivates her.

Justin Marroquin: How did you get interested in music?

Charlie Jacks: I’ve always been a bit of an entertainer. I loved singing in school and my mum noticed how much I danced around the house singing as a kid, so she put me in classical music lessons. I think it really kicked in at a Chinese restaurant. We went for a family meal and there was a performer singing with a piano and mic this particular time. My family managed to persuade me(with a $8 bribe) to go and ask if I could sing. I sung “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette. It was the silence of the room and the applause after that—made me want more. The feeling that you can acquire someone’s emotions with your voice, and impact them just a little really moved me. And that my friends is where it began.

JM: Where do you seek inspiration and motivation to write songs?

CJ: My motivation is simple—literally, life. If it makes me emotionally happy, sad, hurt, angry, I write about it. The same with my friends; if I see something I can relate to, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to capture in words and replay as a song. I find if people can relate to your story, they want to listen.

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JM: What do you enjoy more: writing songs or performing?

CJ: Performing songs I’ve written. It’s a beautiful moment when you see someone join into a song you’ve written.

JM: Do you set goals? If so, describe how you go about doing it.

CJ: This is tricky. My goal when I started music (in Japan) was only ever to release one single, that turned into six and nine albums. Now I have the same goal, but in the UK and US.

JM: How do you handle negativity?

CJ: IGNORE it. How does negativity ever benefit anyone? It doesn’t, so the best option—cut it out.

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JM: Do you have any plans to come to America?

CJ: Yes, I do all of my writing and recording in the states. I’ll be back soon to start the new EP.

JM: What is the best part about the music industry?

CJ: Achieving goals—meeting and working with creative people. Two creative people in the same room is a recipe for magic.

JM: What’s the worst part about the music industry?

CJ: There a huge amount of no’s. You have to be thick-skinned and willing to be turned away a lot to survive the industry. But if you are persistent and believe in yourself enough, you’ll get there.

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JM: How do you want to be remembered?

CJ: I just want to make a little impact on some people’s lives. “That song helped me through hard times” or “That song reminds me of summer” that kinda thing.

JM: What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your life?

CJ: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

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Follow Charlie on Twitter: twitter.com/charlietoons

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/OfficialCharlieJacks

See her photos on Instagram: instagram.com/charliejacks

Read her Tumblr: charliejacks.tumblr.com

Listen to her music on SoundCloud: soundcloud.com/charlie-jacks

Check out her website: charliejacks.com

Ignore Impossible Episode #2: Abigail Ratchford

Photo Credit: Brian Landis Photography
Photo Credit: Brian Landis Photography

 

 

 

 

 

Abigail Ratchford joined me on the podcast, and we talked about modeling, goals, and her outlook on life. Abigail is quickly becoming one of the top models in the world, and she has the determination and will to succeed.

Follow Abigail on Twitter: twitter.com/AbiRatchford

Visit her webiste: officialabigailratchford.com

Check out her Instagram: instagram.com/abigailratchford

 

 

 

Wonder Woman: Abi Christine

Abi ChristineAbi Christine is my first guest on the IGNORE IMPOSSIBLE podcast. She is a mom, fitness guru, published model, bikini competitor, blogger, and sponsored ProSupps athlete. Abi came on my podcast and we talked about health, fitness, and life. She is a wealth of knowledge, and I hope you enjoyed the episode.

Check out her website: abi-christine.com

Follow Abi on Twitter: twitter.com/abichristinefit

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/abi.christine.fit

Instagram: instagram.com/abi_christine

Supergirl In Disguise: Katie DeLuca

Katie DeLuca 1Model. Actress. Host. Katie DeLuca is the definition of determination. Every interview I do, I learn something new and Katie definitely inspired me with her outlook on life, and her motivation to be the best she can possibly be.

 

Justin Marroquin: When did you know that you wanted to become a model?

Katie DeLuca: Well, I’ve modeled since I was a kid, I always loved being in front of the camera ( I was such a ham), though it wasn’t something I did full-time until I turned 18.

 

JM: What was your first photo shoot experience like?

KD: Professionally, it was a little nerve-wracking at first. Everyone who helped me prepare was really encouraging, and helped me warm up and get comfortable. Once I got in front of the camera though, my nervousness went away. I worked with an amazing photographer, Andre Rowe who is amazing. He and I have since forged a very strong work relationship and are very good friends now. I turn to him all the time with ideas and inspiration.

Katie Deluca 3JM: How do you balance your life?

KD: Who says I’m balanced? HaHa! Just kidding! I am actually very organized, and I am always planning months ahead with shoots for my book, or for clients. I pull pieces that inspire me or I may be able to use later. I’m also very blessed to have the absolute best support system at home. I have someone who is behind me 100% of the time and encourages me to keep pushing and inspires me to always be the best possible version of myself.

 

JM: Besides modeling, what else are you passionate about?

KD: Family, health, and cooking. I make it a point to have family and friends over to our house regularly, and we cook dinner together and hang out and have fun. I also am a big health nut, and just because I want to eat healthy, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t taste good. I’m constantly experimenting in the kitchen, and researching the health benefits found in natural ingredients. It’s a sort of therapy for me, knowing I’m doing something to fuel and nourish our bodies.

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JM: What do you think is the biggest misconception about modeling?

KD: That it’s easy. I see people flip through magazines all the time, and not stop to appreciate the time and effort that went into some of those campaigns. It’s hours of planning, it’s an entire team of people—not just someone with a camera and some random girl. It’s the photographer, it was a special chosen model, it was a hair and makeup team, it was wardrobe who picked out the outfit and made sure it was always wrinkle free, or some other detail was on point while she was posing, it was a set crew who were in charge of lighting, and then editors who clean the images up, all the way down the production line. Not to mention, that wasn’t the first or only shot they took of the model. They probably went through a thousand or more stills and poses trying to figure out which one was going to showcase the product and tell the story best. Meanwhile, you have to sit or stand there as the model and remember to keep your face reflective of your pose and make it look painless and effortless. It’s an art form.

Katie Deluca 5JM: What sets you apart from other models?

KD: I’d like to think my versatility and personality. I have a very can-do attitude and will go to whatever it takes to get the shot, whether it’s posing with animals or acting out a character that’s very different from me. I have fun being able to dress up and be something or someone else for the time that I’m in front of the camera, and I love making the clients’ visions come to life.

 

JM: Name three things you want to do before you die?

KD: 1. I want to be my own brand and own my own corporation. 2. I want to have traveled to every continent and meet their people, seen their attractions and tried their food. 3. I want to raise a family and make our house a home. It’s funny the last of these, is the riskiest in my line of work, because that usually means you lose the ability to model and do it all, but I know I can. Other models have been successful, and one day, I will too.

 

JM; How do you handle naysayers?

KD: I have no time for negativity. I surround myself with only the best people, and those who are doing something with their lives, and are supportive of others. No one is perfect and we’re all human and free to make our own decisions. The tag line this week is ‘bitch, don’t kill my vibe’ haha.

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JM: What goal are you trying to achieve right now?

KD: Well right now, I’m trying to win Maxim Magazine’s Hometown Hotties competition. I’ve made it to the Top 100 so far, and I’m hoping to make it into the Top 10 and farther. So stay tuned!

 

JM: Success. What does it mean to you?

KD: Success is in what you’ve done with your life, to better the life of others. Money can buy you the nicest things, but it cannot buy love or true happiness. Fame comes with the territory, but what you do with it is what’s important. How you have impacted or inspired or changed the world around you—not even on a global scale, but say within your community, is a success. What will people say at your funeral? Leave the world a better place, and that in and of itself is a great reward.

 

Follow Katie on Twitter: twitter.com/KatieDeLuca

Like her page on Facebook: facebook.com/IAmKatieDeLuca

Check her out on Instagram: instagram.com/thekatiedeluca

Watch her on YouTube: youtube.com/misskatiedeluca

Visit her website: katiedeluca.com

Developing a Strong Mindset: Miss Texas and Miss United States 2012 Whitney Miller

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Meet Whitney Miller. Winner of Miss Texas and Miss United States 2012, Professional wake surfer, fitness model, and practitioner of jiu-jitsu, I am thrilled to have the honor and privilege of sharing her advice on how to live a better life.

Justin Marroquin: What motivates you daily?

Whitney Miller: Definitely my fiery inner drive that forces me to challenge and better myself each day. Being in athletics since age four has given me the discipline and motivation that is necessary for me to continue pushing even if I’m having one of “those days.” I like to look at it sort of like a competition with myself by asking “what can I do today that will make me a little better than yesterday?”

JM: Define success and what it means to you?

WM: Everyone has his or her own definition of success. It seems that most of us are always trying to fall into others definition of the word when we should be focusing on what it truly means to us. With that said, success for me is living a happy, healthy, life while continually challenging and taking the steps to accomplish any goal I have set for myself.

JM: How do you approach accomplishing a goal you have set?

WM: First off, I write it down and put it somewhere visible, perhaps, on the screen saver of my computer or phone background. This is a constant reminder of the decisions I have to make in order to accomplish the goal. I also like to tell key people in my life the ultimate goal because, if you tell the right people, they will always check back in with you. Having other people hold you accountable is important in reaching a goal.

JM: What do you do to handle negativity?

WM: I make a conscious decision to not let it affect me. Mainly to prove to myself that I won’t let other people have control over my happiness or outlook/attitude about life. I’ve honestly had to deal with a bit of negativity towards a recent goal I set for myself which is entering an MMA fight. Unfortunately, more people than I had anticipated don’t understand my decision and have reacted negatively. In this case, all I can do is try to understand where they are coming from and respect them for their own opinion, but I’m not going to let it phase me. I have a goal to accomplish and I need to take the necessary steps to not get my ass beat. Outside of that, I’ve learned that most of the time people only want to unload their negativity on others because they don’t know how to handle it themselves. We are addicted to suffering, as author, Don Miguel Ruiz, would say. These people are dealing with their own inner demons that have nothing to do with me, so why would I give them the power to bring me down?

JM: Offer one piece of advice that you feel people would greatly benefit from?

WM: If something doesn’t work out the way you had expected don’t see it as a failure, you most likely benefited from it in some way. Honestly the most challenging and hurtful experiences of my life are the ones I have learned the most from.

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Follow Whitney on Twitter: twitter.com/whitneymiller10

Check out her Instagram: instagram.com/missunitedstates2012

Like her Facebook Page: facebook.com/WomenAgainstMediocrity