Friday, January 25, 2019

Sneak Peek: Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's "Finding My Badass Self"

     I'm very excited to share with you today an excerpt from author Sherry Stanfa-Stanley's book, Finding My Badass Self: A Year Of Truths And Dares. Sherry spent a year of her life staring down her fears by trying new experiences that were far outside of her comfort zone. Some of these unusual experiences included going on a raid with a vice squad and SWAT team, exfoliating a rhinoceros, and crashing a wedding.

     Finding My Badass Self is a celebration of Sherry's courageous journey into the unknown during a transformative time, proving that it's still possible to reinvent one's self even in the midlife years. The book is a great read and one that inspires us to push past our fears in order to discover our true mettle in a world brimming with new possibilities.

 But don't just take my word for it---check out the excerpt below and order your copy today!

                               BEARING IT AT THE BEACH

When visiting a nude beach, I figured a sunbather should bring along three things: plenty of sunscreen, an extra-large towel and, of course, her seventy-five-year-old mother.
Sure, the last item seemed a wildcard. But, when each of my formerly fun sisters vetoed this side trip during our family vacation in south Florida, my mother hesitated only briefly.
“Just be sure to mention we both kept our clothes on,” she said.
“Um, maybe I didn’t clarify that,” I replied. “I’ll be going au naturel, too.”
“Oh.” She pondered this. “Well, then please don’t sit near me. I saw you naked as a baby, and I don’t really care to anymore.”
Huh. So, my mother recoiled at the idea of seeing her own daughter naked yet hardly flinched at the thought of viewing dozens of strangers letting it all hang out? As I considered the scenario, I decided I wouldn’t wish to sit next to her on the beach if she were naked either.
Apparently, awkward nudity is something best reserved for total strangers.
We made the one-hour trek down to Haulover Beach, near Miami, on a windy, overcast afternoon. As we approached the warning sign on the beach that noted, “Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers,” I reminded my mother about the rules of Nude Beach Social Etiquette that I’d researched on the Internet. The first was to keep your eyes on the other sunbathers’ faces and not on their other body parts.
“Do not ogle or stare,” the website instructed. “Nude sunbathers expect eye contact if they choose to be spoken to.” Sound advice, although I was certain neither my mother nor I was eager to strike up a conversation face-to-face, or face-to-other-body-part, with anyone.
Just a few feet within this legal and “special” area of the beach, we encountered a man—sans even a Speedo—walking in our direction. I had little trouble not ogling him since I was preoccupied with helping my unsteady mother negotiate, with her cane, across the mounds of sand.
But we were immediately interrupted by his deep voice, prompting both of us to look up. “This sand is hard to walk on, isn’t it?” he said.
My mom paused, leaning on her cane, and nodded.
“Yes, it is,” she replied. She smiled at him. He smiled back. I grabbed her arm and pulled her away.
We trudged about three feet farther before she leaned in and whispered to me. “Did you see how good I did? I made really good eye contact.”
I snorted, calling bullshit. Neither of us had maintained full contact with the man’s two blue eyes. No matter how much we tried, how could we avoid his third eye, when it was right out there, only a few inches away?
Next, we passed by a bronzed Adonis. Fortyish. Dark, wavy hair. Holy Mother of God! Was he standing at half-mast? I yanked my mother’s arm once again, before either of them had a chance to speak.
We continued on a bit and found a sheltered place, next to a stack of rental lounge chairs, for my mother to settle in. I headed down the beach. As I plodded across the sand, I glanced around. The winds were high and the sky was slightly ominous, so the beach wasn’t nearly as crowded as advertised. Although it was publicized as a family-oriented nude beach, I didn’t spot a single child. I saw very few women, either.
Ninety-five percent of the sunbathers were men. Some lay spread-eagle on the sand, their hands behind their heads. Several roamed the beach, in what I could only assume they believed to be their untethered glory.

It was a blustery day. All around me, dozens of winkydinks waved in the wind. I didn’t wave back.


Sherry Stanfa-Stanley is an award-winning writer, humorist, and squeamish adventurer. Her 2017 memoir, Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares,chronicles her insane and enlightening year of misadventures. Sherry’s work appears in The RumpusHealthy AgingFirst for Women, and The Huffington Post, and in the anthologies Fifty Shades of Funny, Laugh Out Loud, and You Do You. An empty nester, she now indulges a menagerie of badly behaved pets. 





  1. Brave AND funny, great excerpt from what surely is a fun book.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a story! I don't think I could do it. The whole scene is just making me cringe a bit over here. What a daring thing to do - I give you both points for going!! Best of luck with the book. I love the message that we can reinvent ourselves, even in the middle of life. I know many who are doing this very thing and need some encouragement.

    1. I felt the same way when I read the book. I need the encouragement, too!

    2. Our comfort zones tend to get even narrower as we get older--so there's nothing like an "unbucket list" to shake things up and help us reinvent our lives!

  3. Of course, the blurb you shared would be about nudity and not the rhinos!
    Just kidding, of course, thanks for the great laughs.
    (BTW, I "ran across" a nude beach in a foreign land and literally ran across...

    1. I'm sure there were a few folks who wanted to run after they spotted me on the beach that day. ;-)

  4. I just finished reading this book about a month ago! I reviewed it on GoodReads. It was really inspiring, funny and entertaining. Nice work, Sherry :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...