My name is Cheryl Ragsdale. What follows are the highlights of my blogging life since July of 2009. The most important thing to recognize is that if I hadn’t started blogging, none of this would have happened. Sometimes, if you get an inkling to do something, you should just get started. One small step leads to things you can never imagine.
I don’t remember where I first saw the request for interviews from Don McGrath, but I do remember contacting him. As a result, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by him for his book entitled, “50 Athletes over 50 Teach Us to Live a Strong, Healthy Life“.
50 Athletes Over 50
I was sincerely delighted when he said that he would use my image on the front of his book.
Here’s a little excerpt from the description on Amazon, “…True stories from his spectacular interviewees will inspire you like no others. Many of McGrath’s subjects never imagined that they would be role models for exercise and good health. Still, by applying a common set of characteristics, they have broken remarkable mental and physical barriers to succeed.”
When I read some of the other athlete’s interviews, I wondered why I was included. It’s funny to think how we get used to ourselves. It’s difficult to believe that the things I do to stay in shape are an inspiration to others.
People online can say anything. Looking back, if I had really believed Don McGrath was going to publish a real book, I probably would have sent a better picture for the article inside of the book.
Here’s a google doc of an excerpt of my interview (starts on page 31).
Yahoo! Second Act Featuring Cheryl Ragsdale
Because of that exposure, I was contacted by a producer from Yahoo! named Kristen Woolley Beissel. At first, I thought someone was making a joke. Kristen wanted to bring a video crew to Boston (from California) to film me and talk about my passion for mixed martial arts for a Yahoo! original show called, “Second Act”.
I woke up the morning of the shoot and wondered how embarrassed I would be if the crew didn’t show up at the appointed hour. I got there a little late because I just knew they weren’t really coming.
But they did turn up. The result is the video you see below.
The first season of “Second Act” won a webby award. Nearly 10,000 entries were reviewed.
Yahoo! Corporate wrote the following, “Second Act from Yahoo! News took home the Reality Webby Award in the Online Film & Video category, edging out nominations from reputable sources such as The Washington Post. If you haven’t checked it out already, Second Act is a Yahoo! Originals show that celebrates real people who discover their passions and reinvent themselves to reach for their dreams. Second Act has always aimed high with inspired storytelling, emotional resonance and graceful, artistic execution and has now been recognized as such in the eyes of the creative industry. We hope you’ve enjoyed the program as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it, check out our season 1 recap [link].
Because my episode was part of season 1, my story is included in the recap. I was blown away by the other people featured.
Click the video box and a Vimeo window will open allowing you to watch the video.
Yahoo! Second Act won a Webby! Congrats to the team who really made it what it is today:
Daria Klenert, Executive Producer
Kristen Beissel, Producer
Tommy Marquecho, DP
Ricky Montalvo, DP
James Kelly, Audio
Ryan Baxley, Editor
Cheryl Ragsdale on Yahoo! Front Page
But then, I got even more blown away when my video ended up on the front page of Yahoo! Check out these screenshots. Obviously, I was having fun with this.
Cheryl Ragsdale on Yahoo! front page with UFC Champion Jon Jones
Cheryl Ragsdale on Yahoo! front page with the Royals
I was born in the United Kingdom. I’m very proud of and I cherish the moment that I first saw this Yahoo! page. There’s the Royals at the top of the page, then there’s me midway down the page. Touched, moved and inspired, even as I look at it now.
What Ever Happened to the blog called, ThatGirlisFunny?
This Scribd.com file is what remains of my first three years of blogging. My first blog was called “ThatGirlisFunny”. On that blog, I wrote about staying healthy after 50, self-improvement, blogging tips and Mixed Martial Arts. Then one day, I ran out of things to say and stopped publishing posts for a couple of months.
Then the domain expired — and someone bought it! I hope they enjoy using that moniker as much as I do. I still use “thatgirlisfunny” as my Twitter handle.
For people who are interested in what I used to consolidate my blog, I used the WP FeedFabrik Blogbook Printing plug-in. Unfortunately, I didn’t act in time to have a hard-cover book produced and FeedFabrik is no longer available online. There are over 1800 pages. I was delighted to be able to save my blog in a readable format. I was even more pleased to be able to upload it to Slideshare because it’s a huge PDF file.
UPDATE July 2015
ThatGirlisFunny is back online with a updated domain name. Welcome to thatgirlisfunny2.com!
Unfortunately, the images didn’t travel well. Each post needs some love to get everything back in order. No rush. I’m on the one a day program.
Featured Contributor on Yahoo! Sports
Being selected to be a regular “fan post” contributor for the Yahoo! Sports MMA page was the coolest thing ever. I did that for about 18 months. Then it got hard to keep up with the pace of news changing. But it was fun while it lasted.
My Cheryl Ragsdale Yahoo! Sports MMA contributor profile page disappeared when Yahoo! ended their relationship with the Contributor Network. What a shame!
The Network didn’t make much noise about being dropped.
If they had, I would have done a better job of preserving some of my best posts.
My Yahoo! Sports MMA posts generated over 2.7 million views. I’m very pleased with that result.
Here is a listing of some of the posts that I’m most proud of publishing on Yahoo! Sports:
Note: In 2012, Yahoo! updated the look of their website and changed how links to posts are created. Something didn’t work well for some of the posts created before the update. Maybe the update is what finally broke the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
“These hilarious tweets with photos and videos attached are just what I need to take a break from all the attention placed on the unsettled business between Jones and Evans heading into UFC 145 on Saturday, April 21.” At 223,474, this post generated the most views.
“The Brazilians had much to celebrate as UFC 134 ended with 10 of their countrymen winning their fights. One Canadian and one Bulgarian round out the rest of the wins. No submissions, only striking or decision wins from the home of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Heavy right hands dominated.” This post generated nearly 400 Facebook shares.
“Soledad’s latest documentary, In Her Corner: Latino in America features two female boxers vying for the 112-pound female boxing spot on Team USA for the Olympics in London in 2012. Introducing Marlen Esparza (six time USA Boxing Champion) and Cristina Cruz, who is Marlen’s strongest competitor for the single spot on the team.
O’Brien has another hit on her hands. “I love this story,” she told me in our phone interview (video created with full version of audio only – unedited). “It has a lot of appeal for a lot of different people. Female boxers, especially, are sort of a caricature. Marlen Esparza and Cristina Cruz are hardcore athletes.” I have the distinct honor of saying that Soledad O’Brien is the most famous person I’ve ever interviewed.
I wish I would have cross-posted all of my sports stories onto ThatGirlisFunny
I believed those stories would be safely stored on Yahoo! forever. But that didn’t happen.
The rest of my blogging life includes guest publishing on BlogCatalog, and on former UFC fighter Kenny Florian’s blog. I’m also well- known for my witty repartee on Twitter @thatgirlisfunny
How did all this happen? Just like anything else. I put a lot of time into blogging and making friends online.
My favorite saying is, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Like when this happened, for instance. Lol!
One of my Yahoo! Sports headlines was used to illustrate a point in the documentary entitled, Breaking Ground: Ronda Rousey, produced by Fox TV.
And now I’m focused on the science fiction game I created called DramaGuru Revelation
Most of the posts on whodoyourespect.com will be focused on #DramaGuru players from now on. And mixed martial arts fighters too.
photo credit: Thank you to FeedBooks for cover photo of “50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us to Live a Strong, Healthy Life”