Doug Bartling Jr's life story, is an inspirational
and highly motivating journey that needs to be shared with the world and all who long for hope, motivation and encouragement.
In the summer of 2007, while camping with his family and friends, Doug dove into shallow water and hit his head at the bottom of lake, breaking his neck and paralyzing 75% of his body.
Now a Quadriplegic, he was forced to make a decision to either give up or fight onward?
Doug knew deep in his heart that giving up wasn't one of his options, so pushing on was the ONLY thing he could do, but the question was how?
Simple things in life like brushing his teeth, getting dressed, shaving and showering were just a few things that Doug was no longer able to do for himself.
Refusing to give up and fall victim to his injury, Doug looked deep within himself to find ways to overcome the reality of being permanently disabled for the rest of his life.
Now having to relearn how to do these "simple" everyday tasks again, but with no use of his hands and very little upper body movement to work with, he often struggled physically and emotionally. Doug quickly found out, how difficult his road to recovery was going to be.
Frustration, impatience and despair began to set in. Doug was on the verge of giving up entirely, now desperate, hopeless, and having nowhere else to turn, he decided to try something different and picked up a Bible.
Doug found his faith in God and a new strength was starting to emerge from within. Though it took him several months to relearn some of these tasks, Doug was determined to focus on the handful of things that he still could do instead of remaining discouraged about the 100 things he couldn't do.
His optimism about life was growing and Doug's new found faith was indeed taking action.
As these self care tasks would seem to be little feats to most, but for Doug, they wound up being huge moral victories for his self-esteem and these accomplishments also gave him confidence and patience that he needed for other areas in his life.
Over the years, Doug's positive and driven attitude
has given him the courage to attempt
recreational hobbies again like swimming, painting,
driving and riding roller coasters.
That determination has allowed him to find ways
to do all of these things once again....and then some!
Enters his biggest challenge yet....The Mechanical Bull!
While out with his fiance' and a group of friends, Doug heard that the venue had a mechanical bull on the
2nd floor, so of course he wanted to ride it!
Naturally, everyone thought he was joking around,
but Doug was seriously interested and went to find the manager. Everyone thought the manager would say no, perhaps it would be a liability or an insurance issue, but to their surprise the answer was YES!
Minutes later, a few bouncers came over and
picked Doug up in his wheelchair
and proceeded to carry him upstairs
like a king on his throne!
By now, the entire club caught wind of what was going on, and many of the patrons that were downstairs,
were making their way onto the 2nd floor
to watch this go down.
"At that moment, I realized there was no turning back!!"
The bouncers picked Doug up out of his wheelchair
and placed him down onto the bouncy air mattress
that surrounded the mechanical bull.
They slid him over and picked Doug up
placing him on the bull.
With no trunk control, no use of his hands and very limited upper body movement, just to stay on it, Doug had to lean forward and grab the bull by the neck.
Once the ride started he quickly fell off in less than 2 seconds.
Doug looked up at the bouncers and told him he wasn't satisfied with the outcome of his 1st attempt
and asked if he could try riding it again.
Thrilled to help out in anyway they could
the bouncers picked him up again
and place him on back on top of the bull.
Doug leaned forward and hugged it with all his might.
Within seconds he slid off again.
Frustrated that he didn't do better than his 1st attempt,
Doug looked up at the bouncers and said:
"One ....more .......time"
Now with beads of sweat pouring off their heads,
the bouncers picked up his 6'5" body frame
and placed Doug back onto the mechanical bull.
Instead of leaning forward this time,
Doug decided to wrap his hand and arm around the rope,
and proceeded to put his other arm up in the air,
like an actual bull rider!
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the results from that 3rd and final attempt.
Watch it for yourself!
Even though Doug wound severely fracturing his hip, he doesn't regret his decision one bit:
" I had to at least try!
My disability stops me from doing many things,
but if there's ever a chance I might be able to do something again, I'm going to at least attempt it.
I mean, how would I know
if I could ride it or not, if I didn't try?
Plus, what a cool story that I can tell others!
Quadriplegic on a Mechanical Bull!
As Doug was starting to market himself as a public speaker, he was also just finishing up his
3 month voice-over training program.
From the producers he had, to the creative techniques, production skills, marketing tools he learned to the final demos they produced, Doug was quite impressed with the program from top to bottom. What he appreciated the most, was the shocking transformation this program did to his overall voice range!
Doug knew upon his completion this was the industry for him, so much so, that he wanted to work for their company. After a few months of continued persistence with the owner of Voice Coaches, he was hired as a producer.
This was indeed a turning point in Doug's career, because now he was given the opportunity to teach others the amazing program that was once taught to him, and that was a great honor Doug wholeheartedly embraced.
No matter how much additional help a student required, Doug found time to further assist them with whatever they needed, as he truly considered each one to be his #1 priority.
Doug was soon discovering that he had a much bigger purpose in life, and he began to hone in on his public speaking capabilities and with a strong interest, Doug also took his co-workers advice and enrolled himself into the highly acclaimed voice over training program with the company called
As Doug started to train with a professional public speaker and life coach, he was absorbing valuable information, shared advice, speaking tips and helped Doug with content and stage presence, while also introducing him to other great keynote speakers.
He researched, studied and vigorously practiced his speaking skills. Doug began to market himself to schools, hospitals and organizations in the Northeast with relevant topics and a relatable approach.
With his new appreciation for life, Doug has learned how to be joyful and thankful for each day, that he's simply alive and well.
" If I can wake up healthy... then it's going to be a good day"
Seeing all of the positive changes that were happening in his life, Doug truly felt that indeed he had a purpose in his wheelchair.
Doug enjoys meeting new people everyday and wherever he goes, he makes sure to give at least one compliment to a stranger. Maybe they're good at their job or have a nice smile. Perhaps it's some other kind of gesture that he could say or do just to lift someone else's spirits.
Only wanting to help people live a better life,
Doug genuinely wants to be a leader and a voice
encouraging and motivating others to never give up on themselves or on their dreams!
Doug decided to pursue his own dream and enrolled himself into The New School of Radio and Television.
During his time slot in the studio, it was ever so apparent that Doug was a natural behind the microphone. His delivery was strong, content was relevant, voice was personable and his teachers began to take notice that he had the talent and potential to really "make it" in the industry.
Always wanting to have a career using his voice, Doug was hired at Albany Broadcasting, as a live - on air traffic, news and weather reporter for some of the biggest radio stations in the Albany, NY area.
While working as a broadcaster, Doug viewed his job as an opportunity to network within the company in hopes for other doors to open up, and indeed that's exactly what happened. A radio colleague recognized that Doug had a unique sound and encouraged him to look into the voice over industry.
Within that same week, Doug had a speaking engagement at a local church to talk about his life story and faith journey. After his presentation, he was approached by a few teachers from local high schools in the area motivating him that his life story and message could change the lives of many and was needed to be heard.
" I would rather try something and fail at it,
then be scared to step out of my comfort zone
and live with regrets."
"If I can inspire one person to live a better life...
then it's worth it"
Mohonasen High School
Speaking Engagement - Alvis Mosley, Director
Only having his original and outdated demos when he was a student of the program 5 years prior, Doug knew that with his voice producing experience he had the capability to make new demos, and that's exactly what he did.
Doug quickly got busy in his home studio to create, redevelop and post-produce a few demos that would indeed show off his voice range.
Now that these demos and website are complete, Doug has the courage to step out of his comfort zone, and found the confidence to market himself to the world, in hopes to be successful in the voice over industry, no matter what it takes.
Everything Doug has endured over the years, coupled with his voice producing and speaking experience, hard work, drive and determination has molded him into the voice talent, producer, motivational speaker, advocate and voice coach he is today.
After a few years of producing, even though he was so grateful and appreciative for this company,
Doug eventually decided it was time to part ways, go out on his own and take his voice acting to the next level.
Now Doug had plenty of voice producing experience and knew a plethora of voice acting knowledge but as far as voice acting experience and doing voice over related work for clients, not so much.
Enter the catch 22.
In order to compete as a voice over artist, you must have a strong demo to showcase your talent. However you can't have a solid demo if you don't have clients, and you cant get clients if you don't have a solid demo.
"Whether it's good or bad, all we go through in life,
molds us into the person we become.
When you have faith, patience, determination, and perseverance
anything in life... IS POSSIBLE
and your dreams... ARE ACHIEVABLE."