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Modeling Courage and Vulnerability with Dr Ashley Wellman


This Run Lift Mom podcast episode is an interview about modeling courage and vulnerability with Dr Ashley Wellman, Author of My Friend Fresno: The Girl Who Dances with Skeletons.

Who is Dr. Wellman?

Dr. Ashley Wellman is a victimologist specializing in homicide and sexual assault survivors. Ashley received her PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Florida in 2011 and entered the world of academia as a professor of Criminal Justice.

She has over 30 scholarly publications, serves as a media expert, and has been selected as keynote speaker at many national and international grief and trauma events. She’s recently been named one of Fort Worth’s 40 Under 40 winners, for her advocacy work and her new creative journey.

What’s that got to do with vulnerability and courage?

After the death of her husband and a career setback, her life radically changed.

As a way to heal and create a magical world for herself and her daughter, she added author to her resume. Her first children’s book, The Girl Who Dances with Skeletons: My Friend Fresno is illustrated by the talented Zac Kinkade was just released!

Key takeaways from this episode:

• We are allowed to transition/redefine who we are to be our best selves

• We cannot be our children’s best advocates and role models if we do not model bravery, strength, vulnerability, and honesty.

• We are more than a mother, even when it is our greatest role

• As a grieving mother, Dr. Wellman knew that her path to healing had to include her daughter (in a way that they both were pursuing health and joy).

That is perhaps the most important part of this story- it would have been much easier for her to mourn and cope on her own.

Show notes

2:00 professional background as a criminologist and tenured professor 4:00 career drive exposes workaholic tendencies 5:00 heartbreak of multiple miscarriage 6:30 the incident that changed her and daughter Reagan’s life forever

9:00 on deep grief and being pushed out of her career as she copes with living and parenting without Buddy 12:30 idea for the book My Friend Fresno: The Girl Who Dances with Skeletons 14:00 how the book teaches kids to cope with death

16:00 Ashley and Reagan channel grief into a positive tool 17:00 on the illustrator and the Providence of the team surrounding My Friend Fresno 18:00 where to find Dr. Wellman on social media in by the book online