Author Douglas Strouse wrote a book called ‘Stronger: Develop The Resilience You Need To Succeed’ featuring the story of Boston Marathon attack survivor, and local Baltimore resident Erika Brannock.

Doug and Erika joined Ken and Steve live in studio to talk about the book and Erika’s story of perseverance against the odds.

Steve asked Erica about her journey through recovery since the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Erica acknowledged that it has been very difficult, “I’ve had 22 surgeries since the day of the bombing, you just have to dig deep and push forward.” Her recovery has been made easier by the extraordinary support from her mother who spent two months accompanying Erica in the hospital as well as setting goals for herself saying “you have to expect setbacks, I think having goals to push yourself really helped me through this.”

Steve also asked Erica about what she has been doing since the accident. Erica has had to make some changes but has kept active in giving back to the community saying, “I’ve had to stop my masters program, I started to realize my path has changed, I’ve done speaking engagements, I’m writing a children’s book and I’m also volunteering at a children’s hospital.”

Ken asked Douglas about some of the components to resiliency. Doug noted two specific components that are outlined in the book, interpersonal support and active optimism. Doug believes that having a good support system around you to be able to deal with tragedy is crucial. another very important component is active optimism which he defines as someone who active pursues an optimistic mind frame to deal with adversity. Doug continued by discussing other stories included in the book such as those of Cal Ripken Jr., Michael Jordan, and Dr. Ben Carson.

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