For many of us, September 11, 2001 was a dark, challenging day that saw tragedy, sorrow and acts of heroism unfold in front of our very eyes. We all remember where we were the moment our nation came under attack that somber morning and the images of destruction in New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA. The tragedy even struck a nerve in the sporting realm as several collegiate and professional events paused the weekend after to reflect, remember and give praise for those whose lives were taken from us so suddenly and so tragically.
Of all the 9/11 stories we’ve heard over the years, one person who has one that’s both unique and inspirational in every way is Ms. Michelle Rosado. A financial associate with experience working on Wall Street since the late 1990’s, Ms. Rosado says she’s also a sports aficionado and credits her parents for turning her onto them as she was growing up. Ironically, after her harrowing escape from the 95th floor in World Trade Center Tower II on 9/11, it was sports, particularly the New York Yankees during their World Series run that year, which served as solace for Rosado amid the chaos and tribulations that followed. Michelle continued to persevere in the financial industry and that led to her meeting future husband, Randy Rosado. Today, the duo current operates a variety of businesses, including a real estate investment company, through Rosado Companies LLC, in Palm Beach, Florida, where they reside — all the while Michelle continues to travel the country, working as a motivational speaker, consultant and mentor and has been featured on major media outlets such as CNN, NBC Nightly News and FOX.
I recently had a chance to get acquainted with Ms. Rosado and talk on some of the aspects about her love of sports that helped get through September 11th, and why such is a great way for Mr. and Mrs. Rosado to let loose and enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Q: Your story is one of great triumph and inspiration. Believe it or not, it’s been well over a decade. How has your life changed since that terrible day back in September of 2001?
A: Life is filled with constant change, but that day changed my perception of it. The disaster of September 11 brought me to a new understanding of myself and a new, deep appreciation for life’s challenges as well as opportunities. My destiny brought me to Florida, where I would meet my husband, Randy. The overall experience of that tragic day forced me to look within and embrace my gift of public speaking, which is one of my passions.
Q: Every year we approach 9-11, we hear and read about people’s stories who have personally been affected by this event. What is it about your story that makes it so unique considering where you were when the tragedy unfolded?
A: My story is no more or less significant than anyone else who was personally affected by that day, and it is important that all of us can feel comfortable about how we feel when it comes to a day of such devastation. I’ve chosen to see beyond of what the media and others have shared and live in the power of the present moment.
Q: One of the main topics after 9-11 was how the sporting world would be affected. Being a sports fan, were you impressed by the reactions and responses from the collegiate and professional ranks in the weeks after the tragedy?
A: I was very proud of the sports world after 9/11. It touched my heart deeply when our sports teams played so soon after that day, as it showed great strength and resiliency in a time of such sorrow and confusion. We were not just New Yorkers; we were part of a united nation.
Q: So, are you, indeed, a sports aficionado? And if so, do you admire the “patriotism” the Yankees show during the 7th inning stretch when they have the fans participate in “God Bless America?”
A: In being such, that’s probably the best way to describe my love of sports. My Mom was a huge fan of boxing, my Dad is a loyal soccer and basketball fan and my brother loves football, baseball and basketball. Football became a passion in my early twenties and have been die hard fan ever since. More importantly, however, I still get emotional when hearing any rendition of “God Bless America.” The Yankees are and will always be a sports team very dear to my heart.
Q: I remember noticing that you had a chance to visit the 9-11 Memorial in New York. What was the experience like and how happy were you to see that people like yourself finally had a place to reflect and remember those who were lost on that sad morning?
A: On September 15, 2001 I made the conscious decision to visit the 9/11 Memorial. It was my first time at the site since the tragedy and it was a very emotional time, but the experience left me with a sense of closure. I felt that I was finally able to grieve for all my co-workers and friends who were lost in an instant. The weight of sadness had been lifted, and I’m so very happy that so many others have been able to find closure for their loved ones as well.
Q: You have a book out detailing your harrowing escape from the Twin Towers and where life has taken you after that? Where can people purchase it and what’s been the public response to that?
A: My co-authored book with my husband Randy entitled, “Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams” is about survival, and seeing tragedy as triumph. Although the book begins with my personal experience on 9/11, it is a journey of two souls who, through one spiritual awakening came a unity of empowerment and love. “Pursuing Your Destiny” can be found anywhere books are sold, but personally autographed copies can be purchased only through our website, http://PursuingYourDestiny.com
Q: If there’s anything a person affected by September 11, 2001 can learn from you or get any advice on how to move on from the tragedy — even if it’s been a decade-plus — what could you share?
A: It is within our own awareness that we learn from our experiences, and the most powerful gift we were given is the present moment. It is our birthright to live in joy, not in a past that no longer serves us.