Co-Authors Todd Love Ball, Jr. and Dr. Warren Bruhl open up about what inspires them, their mission, and preparing for challenges of humanitarian work.
Online PR News – 13-July-2018 – Chicago, Illinois – Life isn't always easy for humanitarian workers. In fact, life on the front lines can be brutal. While giving back and doing good has been scientifically shown to have a positive impact on your health, both physically and emotionally, the nature and intensity of humanitarian work, including the stress and toll it takes on your body, mind, and spirit can be daunting. To offset the physical and mental demands, it's important for the people enabling humanitarian aid to intentionally build their resilience and endurance.
Two local authors and humanitarians, Todd Love Ball, Jr. and Dr. Warren Bruhl recognize the importance of endurance, of staying fit, both physically and emotionally, and have dedicated themselves to staying as focused, healthy, and fit as possible to take on the challenges of being what they call, "Agents of Social Change."
Leaning in to their mission to "help the needed become needed" and "equipping the world to heal," Todd Love Ball, Jr. and Dr. Warren Bruhl are making fitness and endurance a priority as they prepare to take on the challenges of global mission work.
We had the opportunity to go behind the scenes with the leaders of Dreamweaver and to dig deeper into what inspires them, how they stay fit and focused, and what it means to be an Agent of Social Change.
Finding Purpose in the Past and Hope for the Future: Behind the scenes with Todd Love Ball, Jr., a man inspired to explore his heritage through interracial marriage and discovering his passion for serving through a newly forged friendship.
What was it about Dreamweaver International and the work they do in Africa that resonated with you?
To be honest, when I first met Warren, it was his zest for the children out there that first caught my eyes. But, also I wanted to understand the African experience. They call me an "African-American" here in America but I had never stepped foot in Africa. The opportunity to explore that heritage aspect and to serve with Dr. Warren, I couldn't pass up the chance to join the Dreamweaver team.
Born in Long Beach California, Ball came to Illinois to get a different city experience and this is where he met his wife and they've called Palatine home for the last 15 years..
As an African American man married to a woman from another culture and religion, his relationship with his wife has greatly impacted his life, his vision, and his purpose.
"My wife is from Poland so when we got married, I also married into a different culture and religion," says Ball. "I not only fell in love with my wife, but also the Polish culture. Having to see life from two different perspectives has really opened my eyes on the important things in life. The experience of going to Poland and diving into another country would have never cross my mind growing up. Growing up I heard or learned nothing about Poland, let along Polish women or the culture. But now after 15 years of marriage, I have a grasp on the language and continue to learn, and when I am fluent I plan on making an impact, some how, some way, with in the big Polish community in Chicago.
A brief look back: Todd Love Ball Jr is my first name (yes that is my real middle name), I am married to Katarzyna (Kasia) Ball. We have two children, Anya is 12 and my son Dominik is 10. I am a fitness instructor at a private gym called Mybody Complex in Northfield and I train at homes in the Northshore area. I have written two fictional books, one called Members Only Northshore Confessions, the other called Love Against Society as well as co-authoring Wavers & Beggars with Dr. Warren Bruhl. My passions are writing, Polish culture, and charity, after my wife and kids, of course.
Tell us about your mission work in Kenya.
My wife and I are 100% in on making an impact in Kenya and other poor regions. Doing these mission trips with Warren and working on the book 'Wavers & Beggars' and on other projects with him has opened my eyes to a whole different world. It has also opened my heart and changed my life and my values. My dream and plan one day is to be able to do the missions for a living and be able to provide for my family, while also serving and traveling.
Was there any particular aspect of your mission work in Kenya that stood out to you?
How proud I am of my wife and how good of a team we are together. Our shared compassion for kids is a strong bonding moment for us as a couple. One great moment stands out from our mission work: we showed up to one of the schools we had once visited years back and a kid walked up to me and said he remembered me from the last trip and that I was a good guy for keeping my promise of coming back.
If there was one thing that you wanted people to know about the people of Kenya, what would that be? And why they'd want to join the effort?
If you want to be a part of team that is truly making a difference and is really hands on, Dreamweaver is a great charity. Not only will you have the opportunity to help others down and out, but you can also help your soul and become a better person. Helping others is an unbelievable feeling and with Dreamweaver, their main goal is to help others to help themselves and lives better lives.
Tell us about the book you've co-authored with Dr. Warren Bruhl. What are the key takeaways? :
Wavers & Beggars: New Insight and Hope to End Poverty and Global Challenges is a different and new fresh look at poverty and different ways people can help and get involved. Taking facts and information and being educated on the issues and then giving educated ways on how you can try and help. We also add the personal side of how Warren and I, as a black man and white man, come together with love looking past cultural and racial issues to make a positive impact on the world. With all the racial issues going on in this country, it's refreshing for people to see a positive impact different cultures can make.
We may not be able to save the world or all the kids ourselves, but my wife and I are doing our part. And a big thanks to Dr. Bruhl for allowing me to be part of a team and opening my life to a whole new world.
How has competing in fitness helped you achieve your goals?
I have been competing for about 2 ½ years now and I just love the wonders pushing your health to the limit does for your whole mind and body. The discipline it requires to get on stage is the same amount of discipline it takes to do the kind of mission work we do in Kenya. I push myself to the limit because I have the opportunity to do so and they don't and it makes me push forward thinking of them. I also wanted to show people that a dad and dedicated husband can compete at the highest level.
I hope everyone can take from my story that mission trips are not just a wealthy person thing to do. "If my dumb jock self - living on a fitness coach budget - can find a way to help those less fortunate, then anyone can do it," says Ball.
Helping the "Needed Become Needed:" As an agent of social change, Chiropractor, humanitarian, and pilot, Dr. Warren Bruhl is dedicated to staying fit, both physically, spiritually, and emotionally, preparing himself and equipping himself to help the needed become needed and equipping the world to heal.
The Joy of Equipping the World to Heal: International charity work has opened Dr. Warren Bruhl's eyes to the joy of equipping others and serving as what he calls, "an Agent of Social Change."
"I started making dramatic changes when I began doing international charity work to be fit of mind, body and spirit," states Percussion Fitness CEO & Dreamweaver Director Dr. Warren Bruhl.
My first change was becoming a vegan, only eating foods from plant sources as research on cancer and heart disease demonstrates plant based diets are the healthiest and provide more sustainability for longevity, followed with a daily juicing program of raw fruits and vegetables.
Taking on the challenges of endurance, I began an intense fitness program with renowned kickboxer Jeff Delgado of Chicago Kickbox to become lean, fit, and able to handle long travel, adversity placed on the nervous system and soul from witnessing all the poverty, and to equip myself with the ability to protect and defend others in challenging and potentially dangerous places in the world.
Nurturing my soul, I further attend local church, read my Bible daily, attend local Bible studies, and attend a men's support group through the Mankind Project to help me get the support and bounce ideas off of powerful men with purpose.
I began flying 3 years ago to further challenge myself and overcome fears I had of being out of control, gaining a mastery in this world and further reorganizing my brain, my habits, and my ways of doing things and looking at the world from lessons I have learned in aviation. As an example, pilots are taught to always do three things in order when flying:
Always fly the plane first - this means make sure the plane is safe, under control, and is secure.
Navigate - Track where you are going, if off course, assign the proper headings to get on course and stay on course.
Communicate - Speak to air traffic control, let them know who you are, where you are, and what you want to do.
AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE and then repeat on an ongoing basis.
I've also learned how to prepare, stay ahead of the plane, and be level headed at all times, practicing emergency management. This is a great skill to help navigate the unexpected twists and turns in the world of poverty and the ongoing struggle working in charity and being a leader of non-profit Dreamweaver.
Strengthened through friendship: I'm particularly strengthened by my relationship with Todd who helps bring perspective to my life, and having a loving and caring friend who racially and culturally is dramatically different than me, we are really not that different, sharing similar life experiences with hardship and desires to impact and change people's lives.
A final thought on preparing myself, I always do three things daily to remind myself of why I do what I do:
I always wear a bracelet that says KENYA on it to remind me of the people I love there, my other brothers and sisters around the world.
I wear a necklace and other bracelets made by Kenyan woman to keep my love close.
I put 5 quarters in my LEFT FRONT POCKET to remind 50% of the world goes to work every day to earn this paltry amount. It's tragic that in a world with so much, so many have so little. I have a goal as I move toward my mission and charity mission TO HELP THE NEEDY BECOME THE NEEDED to see this number DOUBLE BY the end of my life.
Living the Mission through Dreamweaver with Sports, Education, and Compassion: Through sports, Dreamweaver's Gear for Goals' program has helped over 1 million children in 32 countries - this is a true poverty alleviation strategy as sports wires the brain of children to get out of poverty and move towards success and teamwork over individual success alone.
Through education, we sponsor and educate hundreds of children in Kenya and other places in the world.
Through compassion, we finance business programs, food programs, community development programs, and creative partnerships aimed at our ultimate goal - TO PUT OURSELVES OUT OF BUSINESS by equipping individuals and communities to take care of themselves.
THE DEFINITION OF A GREAT CHARITY IS THIS: IT SHOULD PUT ITSELF OUT OF BUSINESS.
Why? Because it is not needed anymore. All charity should have this as their goal to one day not be needed because there is enough for everyone and the work and the world is taking care of itself. In the words of Gandhi, "There is enough in the world for every man's need but not every man's greed."
Combining Passion for Serving with Passion for Healing: Dr. Warren Bruhl is now involved with bringing healing modalities to the people of Kenya. As the founding owner and CEO of Percussion Fitness®, a company on a global mission to bring the healing power of cordless percussive massage therapy to everyday users and to those who need it most around the world.
Bruhl has traveled extensively around the world providing chiropractic and manual medicine to help alleviate the suffering millions of people burden. In his travels, he has discovered if a man/woman is ailing, it may preclude his/her earning capacity and may jeopardize the food security of the family and their survival. Basic needs are unmet if a man/woman cannot go to work because they suffer in pain.
Fortunately, the BuffEnuff® Power Massager can help bring an end to this suffering and provide families and workers with a system and product that they can self-administer and improve their health outcomes, leading to escalating economic health for the community.
Percussion Fitness® has a passion for international philanthropy and donates a portion of all profits to charitable work, along with providing BuffEnuff® Power Massagers to local people along with training so they have a sustainable avenue for self-care. When people use the techniques and the BuffEnuff® Power Massager they improve their individual, community, and ultimately global health.
Join the Effort! To learn more about Dreamweaver or to volunteer on one of their health care mission programs, contact Dr. Warren Bruhl at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Dreamweaver911.org. For more information about Percussion Fitness' Global Health projects, contact Dr. Bruhl at (833) BUF-ENUF (283-3683).