Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Alicia Lee. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Hi Alicia, thanks for joining us today. Risk taking is something we’re really interested in and we’d love to hear the story of a risk you’ve taken.
The weekend of October 2nd, 2020…I celebrated my 44th birthday in Panama City, Florida. I was having the time of my life with family and friends. I was enjoying the activities, the cocktails, site seeing, and living life to the fullest. I was so excited to be doing something different for my special day with the people I held dear to me. Everything felt so right so I never thought anything would happen to make things turn for the worst. I had my birthday dinner on that Friday night, Saturday we had a full day driving to Destin to do some shopping and that night we met up with my sister because her and I shared the same birthday weekend. Saturday night was a formal dress up dinner at an upscale restaurant and we had an amazing time there. We ended the night playing games and having a blast at our Airbnb and crashing out! Sunday morning we decided to do some things on my bucket list. We loaded up the rental and went to the beach. The first thing I wanted to do was ride a jet ski. It was something I couldn’t resist. I had to take a ride across the oceans waves and let the wind blow through my hair. As I was getting on the jet ski, my riding partner told me that I could drive and she would hop on the back. I was having an adrenaline rush just putting the life jacket on and getting ready for the ride of my life. As we start riding across the waves, I felt the wind picking up and blowing stronger but that didn’t matter to me. At that moment I was daring and taking the risk of possible flipping over because I was going at a fast pace. The waves starting getting intense, the saltwater started to sting my eyes and face. I could barely see but thanks to my riding partner she helped guide me across the ocean. After racing my other friends for 30 mins, that were on the far side of the water. Our time was up and as we were heading to shore, coming to a complete stop, the waves begin to move the jet ski back and forth. I proceeded to get off, the jet ski hit my leg and thrusted me forward causing me a great deal of pain. I tried to laugh it off but when I got ready to stand straight up, something wasn’t right. I was in excruciating pain in my lower back and right leg. I went over to my friend and I told them that I was so much pain and couldn’t stay at the beach. Our flight was scheduled to leave on Monday afternoon and everyone wanted to walk the pier but I struggled just to walk or move my right leg. Well the strong woman that I am..I took some pain meds and I sucked it up to try to enjoy the rest of the trip before boarding the plane. My friends knew that I was suffering in pain but I did everything to keep a smile on my face. The whole flight back home I cried because I sit in the seat. I finally get home, try to get situated but the pain became so intense and unbearable that I was advised to go to a chiropractor to get adjusted. That made things worse and after weeks of lower back pain, I couldn’t work or walk anymore. My daughters couldn’t stand seeing me go through the pain, so they called 911. The paramedics couldn’t get me on the stretcher to put me in the ambulance because I was screaming to the top of my lungs. I get to the hospital and received the news from the doctor that I had four broken vertebrae bones and I was partially paralyzed. The broken bones were housing on my nerves i my right leg that cause the excruciating pain from my waist down. At that moment I was having so many thoughts. Was I going to walk again? Was I going to be able to take care of my daughters? What was going to be the results of this situation? After to remaining in the hospital and having insurance issues at the time, the doctor told me he was going to have to send me home in the state I was until my insurance was active. My insurance wasn’t going to be effective until January 2021. I was sent home in a wheelchair with no pain meds to help with the pain. I was not able to walk at all. I was confined to my bedroom in bed for months while my family took care of me. The pain was so bad that I developed insomnia….no sleep! I had moments of wanting to give up because I couldn’t continue to live like that. After seeing other surgeons through the county and not getting the help I needed, I took the risk of attempting to pay for private insurance through another company. I stepped out on faith and I trusted my instincts because I was gonna stop fighting through it and give up. After waiting for a response from the insurance company, I was approved. I decided to go back to the doctor that saw me in the hospital and he told me that I was able to have the surgery. The doctor told me that it wasn’t a guarantee that the surgery would fix the problem but it was up to me to take the risk. Since I have strong faith over fear…I decided to take the chance on having to the surgery to walk again. My positive mindset and speaking affirmations to myself kept me in the right frame of mind to go through with it. January 19th, 2021 I was admitted into the hospital to undergo Lumbar spine fusion and laminectomy surgery. After 5 hours in the operating room and 8 hours in recovery, the nurses got me out of bed to stand and I felt a sensation that went down my legs that I hadn’t felt in months. The nurses made me step from side to side to see I was able to feel anything and tears rolled down my eyes because I was so thankful that I could move my legs to walk. Taking the risk was was so worth it because I was able to go through physical therapy and on the road to recovery. It has been a year and I’m still fighting through a little ache here and there but I’m grateful that I’m back to normal. It was laid on my heart to start a women’s group called Strong Is She and now the host of SIS Radio because my strength to keep fighting and pressing my way is what helped pull me through.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I am the owner of Ntensions Hair Care, LLC, founder/CEO of Strong Is She, Host of SIS Radio talk show, author, motivational speaker and mentor. I provide life coaching services, sell books and tshirt apparel, provide hair services to clients, speak at motivational women events, motivate and inspire others to be the best version of themselves. My endeavor it to continue to help others developers a mindset to stay positive, motivate them to move into their purpose, be an example of integrity by doing things with style and grace. My endeavor is to continue to make an impact on women in an effective way to help them realize there worth, value, and to bounce back from what life throws at them. I set myself apart because I do this selflessly because what I’ve been through in my life is not for me but to be a testimony for someone else.
How did you build your audience on social media?
My mom passed away in March of 2014 and after two years of being silent because I was still grieving. I had a good friend to tell me that I needed to start sharing my story of how I lived in a dark place in my mind too long. I was very hesitant to share with others of how messed up I was after losing my mom. One day I received a call from one of my spiritual mentors and she told me that it was some hurting women that needed to hear my voice. She told me that their blessing was locked inside of me because I was going to help bring those women out of the dark place they were in. I decided to start sharing my story Facebook live and I begin to gain followers by being real and transparent. The followers started sharing the live videos and my audience has grown tremendously. The women’s group has grown now to almost 800 members.
Have you ever had to pivot?
My business, career and life pivoted when I suffered from my back injury and the pandemic which happened in the same year. I wasn’t able to do hair for over 9 months with no income to take care of my kids. My faith is so strong that I trusted that God would take care of my family. People were coming by to bless us with food, gift cards, money and gifts because I had no presents to give to my kids for the Christmas holidays. I’m grateful for family and friends in high places because I didn’t know how I was gonna keep the bills paid or put food on the table for my daughters.