Second Wind Tour’s Northeast Swing

The Second Wind Tour  Northeast Swing Tour was a great success! Together, Dr. Bill Thomas and Lifesprk CEO Joel Theisen worked to spark a new conversation – a spirited one with people who want to create change, not just talk about it. Joel joined Dr. Thomas as the featured regional faculty for the Second Wind Tour’s northeast swing, sharing his story in Buffalo, NY, Portsmouth, NH, Boston, MA, and Hartford, CT.

Our team at Lifesprk updated this blog post live during the tour so readers could stay in the loop. Questions? Please feel free to contact us on our social media channels or comment below.

Second Wind Tour Hartford, Connecticut – June 5, 2014

In Connecticut, the energy started in the lobby where the local sponsor, The Alzheimer’s Resource Center, brought their music and activity therapists, having people playing drums and jamming in the lobby along with weaving memory wheels and writing on a memory board. It didn’t take long for the crowd to join the performance on stage, dancing, swaying and groovin’ for the ENTIRE musical performance by Samite and Nate.

Second Wind Tour Boston, Massachusetts – June 4, 2014

Great audience in Boston! Their energy and engagement is infectious!

Steve Saling – local speaker

Resident living at Leonard Florence Center in Chelsea, MA in a Greenhouse Home. 

Steve shared that no one thinks disability will affect them. A self-described adrenaline junkie, he is a Harvard-educated landscape architect who specialized in building spaces for people with disabilities. Then he was diagnosed with ALS just after his 38th birthday when his son was one month old. He wanted to fight and live with ALS but found that for many people living with ALS were bed bound. That was not for him.

 He connected with Dr. Barry Berman from the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, who had a vision for a different experience.

 Together in a Greenhouse project they designed a system where Steve and his house mates have complete control over their environment. “The 21st century has finally arrived for the disabled,” said Steve.

 Now Steve is trying to help as many people as he can. He urges everyone not to assume that because he is dependent on others for support that he does not have great quality of life.

 “My cup is not half full or half empty. My damn cup has been cut in half and it is overflowing. It’s not always easy but I accept my challenges. Living in a greenhouse is the reason I’m able to live a vital life.”

Dr. Bill Thomas

The ‘still’ challenge. We use this terrible five letter word to describe worthy and admirable elders. You know how this goes – my uncle Bill is 86 and he STILL golfs every day. Then someone one ups it: my great grandmother is 89 and she STILL drives to work each day. Dr. Thomas points out how absurd that is. What if we did that with children? My Bobby is 14 and STILL has his bubba.

We don’t expect 12 or so years to go by without seeing change and growth in a child, why do we try to deny that same opportunity to elders?

This was such a powerful part of Dr. Thomas’ presentation during the Second Wind Tours.

Second Wind Tour Portsmouth, New Hampshire – June 3, 2013

11:00am – Our CEO Joel Theisen and Our Vice President of Marketing and Sales Karen Carney are enjoying a beautiful morning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire rehearsing Joel’s talk for today’s Second Wind Tour performance.

karen and joel









11:43 – Lifesprk CEO Joel Theisen and Dr. Bill Thomas author of “Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life” hang out before today’s performance in New Hampshire. Bill has been an amazing mentor to Joel over the years and it’s great to see the two working together to help change the way we approach aging!

Bill Thomas Joel Theisen Second Wind

11:52 – Our Marketing Consultant Meaghan Puglisi is tweeting up a storm for us today. It’s her first time tweeting – nothing like throwing her in the deep end to learn to swim! Our marketing and communications team is actually split between Minneapolis and Boston. It’s great to have Meaghan and Karen in the Northeast to attend some of the events with Joel.

12:05 – We are at the Portsmouth New Hampshire Music Hall for final preparations for the big event today! Of course we had to get at least one selfie into the mix for today’s blog! Joel, Karen and Meaghan all posting for the camera. Look at the ceiling in the background, how beautiful is that?

Second Wind Tour New Hampshire

1:17pm – Susan Frazier,RN, COO National Greenhouse Project… “We need to look at people as individuals, who they ARE, not what their diagnosis is.. We must live life on our own terms.” Such a powerful quote!

Susan Frazier Second Wind Tour


1:22pm – Our CEO Joel Theisen speaks and states

“The power of sparking lives is in going deeper, slower to connephoto-12ct to ourselves first. Shared wisdom learned from client Fred on a fishing trip arranged by Lifesprk: first tie anchor to boat. In other words, first connect to yourself.

With stories about more Lifesprk clients and spark their lives, Joel called the audience to action – to connect to themselves and their own passion and then work together to help change the experience for the people we serve.”

1:35pm – Dr. Janet Taylor states “As we grow older have ability to continue to learn and grow. We learn from grief and death as much as from new opportunities. One benefit of growing older is wisdom.”


1:39pm – Andrew Elcik broke his neck while diving into a pool 30 years ago.

“That was the first reinvention of my life. I learned from my dad how to use a compass and find true north even in uncharted territory.”

Andrew taught his daughter to ride two wheeler and drive a standard, even from a wheelchair. He had purpose and passion.

At age 53 needed to transition into a long-term care facility. This was the second reinvention of his life. His neighbor is 106-year-old Mabel, and he connects with her every day. His caregivers are 20-somethings but he can relate to them regardless, since he’s still 19 at heart.

Second Wind Tour Buffalo, New York – June 2, 2014

Our CEO Joel Theisen Takes the stage in Buffalo New York and asks the audience to reach out to one person in the next 24 hours and ask “what is the purpose that drives your passion?” as he brings home his message that having passion anjoel swtd purpose is what sparks lives regardless of age.