Today we have a special interview one on one with Fra Fra. Love her, you will too.
My first guest is a friend who I met in 2000 when we took an English course together. We had a good laugh and found out we had a love for languages, literature and blueberry muffins. She also went the extra step to guide me to some great books I needed to pass the class. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have her as your teacher here in Bologna. Friends, I bring you,
Francesca Fra who I love to call Fra Fra.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? I’m the mother of three amazing boys and a teacher of English language and literature at liceo classico. I studied abroad for more than two years and completed my PhD at the university of Venice.
How do you define success? Success is feeling fulfilled and grateful for what you achieved in life.
I remember the day I felt that I had finally made it in my life. It was the day I had my 25 year reunion with my study abroad program. I looked around and thought, wow, that’s a pretty darn successful group, then I realized I was part of it. How about you? When the doctors allowed me to hold my first born child right in the middle of caesarian surgery.
What was your I made it moment? When I lost my faith in the honesty and truthfulness of some of the people who were closer to me. I still don’t know how things are going to work out, but somehow I managed so far.
Have you ever come across an obstacle in your path to where you are today? Can you describe it to me and tell us how you got over it? Not necessarily, but studying abroad gave me the chance to get to know some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.
What are you currently working on? I’m working on a project on Romantic poets, particularly John Keats. And yes, I’m trying to attend all of Giacomo’s, my eldest, cello classes.
Can you tell me about someone you admire and why? My parents, both of them, for their courage and strength, and mutual affection which kept them together for almost half a century.
Would you like to give me a word of advice on obtaining goals? Obtaining goals, let me see: how about working hard, avoid complaints.
If you look really closely you can see me walking in the background.
My husband is impressed by the fact that I worked with Tom Cruise in a film in 1980 before Tom made Taps, when he was still unknown.
Not only did my husband ask me to buy the dvd, he took out all of the connector cables from the garage so we could watch me up close on our wide screen TV.
When Tom and I met on set, he told me that a friend had got sick so they called him in as a last minute actor. He told me he had recently moved to New York to get into acting. The film we made was his first film although it was probably his worst film ever. It was really bad. It was called Losin’ It.
On our paycheck stubs the production company was called Tijuana Summer. Ha!
I think I was 16 and he was 18. He told me he had quit high school to act and his name wasn’t Tom. He told me I could call him by his real name or stage name. He was really nice and down to earth. Wikipedia says his real name is Thomas, but I swear he told me another name.
Even my two kids were pointing: Look there’s mom.
My girlfriends in high school can attest to this, although I continue to have a hard time believing the story myself!
I’m going to get the video up of it so you can see it and laugh with me and if you’d like. I will take a picture of my diary I wrote on the day we met by request.
Tom and I worked five days together.
Usually, when I tell my Tom Cruise story people are surprised.Now unfortunately, I think the kids in school like other actors too, although I’m convinced Tom Cruise has a fan or two out there.
There’s no doubt in my small mind however that Tom is incredibly talented. If you caught him in Steal Magnolia’s I think you just might agree.
I have to admit I’m getting excited about this series of #MAFSS — an acronym for My Amazing Friends’ Success Stories.
I love to learn from my friends and I can’t think of a better way then to pick their brains. The guests of honor are starting to arrive and I’m happy to say Welcome!
Our second guest on this series is an accomplished IT saleman, husband and father.
He’s not only got a gorgeous wife, he’s got great kids who are involved in academics, athletics and music at secondary school.
His accolades include working for International Business Machines (IBM), attending the University of Southern California (USC) and having lived on both US coasts.
He is also a two time Ironman who has taught me about putting mind over matter.
Without further ado, ladies and germs, I mean gents, Dave Henn.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? I am 50 years old, was born in New York, and at the age of 5, moved to California. I have been married for over 21 years to my best friend. We have two children, Olivia and Nick, who I adore and admire.
How do you define success? Success, to me, is the completion of goals set. Period. It does not matter if it was to ride a bike, or swim a long distance, raise money or complete a course. It is the act of finishing that to me, is successful and significant.
I remember the day I felt that I had finally made it in my life. It was the day I had my 25 year reunion with my study abroad program. I looked around and thought, wow, that’s a pretty darn successful group, then I realized I was part of it. How about you? What was your I made it moment? Great question. I think the day my wife and I attended our first sales trip together in Cancun was a realization that I had become significant. It was the first time that we could actually plan for retire and college funds where before we struggled month to month. That was in 1993.
Have you ever come across an obstacle in your path to where you are today? Can you describe it to me and tell us how you got over it? I am in sales on 100% commission. Obstacles are everywhere ~ the economy, difficult people, timing, etc.
The one thing that I always fall back on was my completion of the Hawaiian Ironman, and the struggles I went though to complete it. I now look at obstacles as opportunities to again develop solutions I can then look back on when I encounter another one.
Since completing my second Ironman, I have found that nothing is impossible to overcome regardless of what it looks like at the time ~ neither money, or health, or business ~ but you must believe. You must believe in yourself enough.
As I always tell my kids, You either think you can or you think you cant. Either way, you’re right.
In terms of education, did you find a university degree was necessary in obtaining your dreams or goals? What was? I went to USC thinking I wanted to become a patent attorney. I thought, that was going to be the way to achieve security and stability in my life. I was working as a sales intern for IBM to help pay my way and they offered me a job in my senior year and I accepted it.
However, now that I have been in Information Technology for 30 years, I realized that the education helped me establish a way to organize myself, and to learn ways to obtain knowledge, but I think the life lessons along this road have been more valuable than any I learned in school.
What are you currently working on? I am currently working on developing new IT solutions with my customers to keep pace with the changing needs of their customers. It is a rewarding job that always gives me an opportunity to see what really is happening behind the scenes in some of the largest companies in the world.
At almost age 60, he took up endurance sports. How driven is he? He has participated in over 158 marathons and ultramarathons, over 32 Ironman Triathlons, and 33 half-Ironman triathlons, rode his bike TWICE from coast to coast (CA-NY), swam from Newport Beach to Catalina and BACK.
The list goes on and on.
What I find so admirable is his humbleness. There are few in the world that have done so much who stay out of the limelight and inspire others. I met this man in 2000 and he touched my life and the life of my family in such a special way, that he will never be forgotten.
Would you like to give me a word of advice on obtaining goals?
Not one word, but a few. Write it down. Your subconscious
is directly impacted by your conscious actions. Without writing it down, it is not real. Once you do, strap in and focus. You will achieve it.
Big Bang or Evolution? Believer in God the Almighty. Creator of heaven and earth. Enough said.
George Clooney or Brad Pitt? I think Brad, but only because his wife is so hot.
Angeline Jolie or Jennifer Aniston? Kind of answered that above ~ Angelina.
Left handed or right? Right.
Existentialist or Fatalist? I believe there is a purpose in life and a heaven after.
Afterlife or end of life? Afterlife of course.
Champagne, beer, both or other? Small bubbled Champagne.
Thank you so much for dropping by. If you are interested in participating in out MAFSS series drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and write MAFSS in subject line.