Ever since we read Making Faces by Amy Harmon we’ve been desperately trying to find a reason to meet Ambrose Young!! After all, he’s strong and sweet and wonderful. He’s swoon-worthy and smart and HOT…ooops…we mean, interesting…yes, interesting!! *rawr*
excuse reason, than our blogiversary?!?
Recently, we were lucky enough to be given a few minutes to talk to him. Before we
drag invite him to the Book Boyfriend Den, we decided to do some research. We found an interview he did with ESPN and thought we’d check it out. Dang…he looks good!!
As we watch the ESPN interview, we try to formulate our own questions…gosh, he looks hot…right, must think about our questions….he’s just so distracting….focus, we need to focus….*squeeee* *moan*…..
Sportscaster: We’re here with the 2007 NCAA Divison 1 National Champion, Ambrose Young. Ambrose has become one of the most inspiring figures in college sports. An Iraqi War Veteran, he’s started his own foundation called Making Faces, a charity that works with returning vets who need facial reconstruction after sustaining injuries, much like Ambrose himself experienced in Iraq. Welcome, Ambrose. Thank you for joining us today on ESPN’s Off the Mat.
AMBROSE: Thank you for having me.
Sportscaster: It hasn’t been an easy road – has it?
AMBROSE: No sir. It hasn’t. But I’m convinced there’s no such thing. ***Ana sighs…he’s so polite!!***
Sportscaster: You were a stand-out high school wrestler, highly recruited. You had an undefeated record for three years, and you were a four-time state champion. But you decided to go to Iraq. Tell us about that.
AMBROSE: 9/11 hit me pretty hard. I was a senior in high school that year. My mom worked in the North Tower and the events hit pretty close to home. It was something I just felt like I had to do. I was pretty naïve, I admit. There’s a lot I regret about that decision, but I don’t regret serving my country or the things I’ve learned in the process.
Sportscaster: For our viewers, Ambrose and several men from his unit were out on patrol and hit a roadside bomb. Several men were killed and Ambrose was seriously wounded. Some of those men were your friends, is that right?
AMBROSE: Jesse Jordan, Grant Nielson, Paul Kimball, and Connor O’Toole were their names. They were all killed. They were my best friends. We wrestled together at Hannah Lake, grew up together, and we served together.
Sportscaster: You came back to Hannah Lake a changed man.
AMBROSE: Yeah. Changed. Messed up. I really wished I had died with them. I was pretty angry for a while.
Sportscaster: Did you ever think you’d wrestle again?
AMBROSE: (laughs and shakes his head) I knew I wouldn’t. I can’t see out of my right eye. I can’t hear out of my right ear. I was majorly messed up, out of shape, and definitely didn’t want to be in the public eye in any way.
Sportscaster: So what happened?
AMBROSE: Fern Taylor Young happened. ***the litbrarians moan…he’s sooooo sweet!***
Sportscaster: Your wife?
AMBROSE: Yeah. My wife. Along with some other pretty important people. Coach Sheen – my high school wrestling coach – and his son, Bailey. I owe them everything. They were convinced I could do it. They convinced me.
Sportscaster: Coach Sheen is very well respected but he’s had his share of tragedy, hasn’t he? He lost his son, Bailey, in 2005, correct?
AMBROSE: Yeah. We lost Bailey and wrestling lost its biggest fan.
Sportscaster: You’re still affected by that, aren’t you?
AMBROSE: We miss him every day. He and my wife were incredibly tight – she is Coach Sheen’s niece – so they were family as well as friends. He died a hero. Life goes on, but yeah. We miss him. (Ambrose clears his throat and looks at his hands. Sportscaster takes a minute to let him compose himself)
Sportscaster: Speaking of life going on – you and your wife are expecting a child any day. Congratulations!
AMBROSE: Thank you. We’re pretty excited. We just have to cross our fingers that he or she doesn’t decide to make an appearance during the NCAA tournament.
Sportscaster: (smiles and leans forward to shake Ambrose’s hand) Ambrose Young. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for being with us today.
Ana: (turns off the computer): That was a great interview!
Celeste: Ya, but I bet we can come up with some other interesting questions before he gets here!
Christina: I’ve got a few! *winks*
Ana: I bet you do! *snickers*
Suddenly, we hear the door to the Boyfriend Den open…and there he is. No one speaks for a moment, we’re all stunned to see him standing in front of us. Although he’s fully dressed…we see this…
Ambrose clears his throat and, thankfully, Christina snaps out of her trance (the rest of us aren’t as quick… *blink, blink, blink*). She introduces us and, once the small scuffle over who gets to sit next to him ends (Ana wins and feels quite smug about it!!), we get started.
BH: Thank you for stopping by Ambrose. We know you’re busy so let’s get right down to it. (The girls giggle…Ambrose looks confused!) So, how do you feel about the nickname Brosey? Celeste: Because I really want to call you Brosey. Can I call you Brosey?
AMBROSE: If you really want to….I suppose it would be okay. *Ambrose smiles*
BH: You said you were out of shape for a while after you got back from your tour of duty and hadn’t wrestled. Could you go over your workout regimen for us and show us how you do some of your exercises? We can hold your shirt if you get hot and sweaty.
AMBROSE: Um…well. I ran. Did lots of pull-ups. Push-ups. Stairs. Lots of wrestling drills. You know…that kind of stuff. But I’d really rather leave my shirt….on, if that’s okay.
***the girls pout…but continue the interview like the professionals they are***
BH: Looking back at the very, very first time you kissed Fern, do you now realize how big that was?
AMBROSE: It was kind of like the inside was wrestling with the outside. My heart knew what I wanted, but my head kept getting in the way. I thought about that kiss constantly through my tour in Iraq and in my time in recovery.
BH: Speaking of kisses, do you like them slow and sensual or soft and sweet? This question is for the readers, of course. (We all try our best to look innocent at this point.)
AMBROSE: I just like kissing. Hard, fast, slow, sweet. It’s all good when I’m kissing Fern. We are talking about Fern…aren’t we?
BH: Yes…sure, of course. So, how did you feel telling your story to Ms. Harmon? Was it easy to talk to her or did you not tell her everything? Do you still talk to her these days?
AMBROSE: She’s a great listener. I think it took a lot out of her. It took a lot out of both of us. My story, Fern’s story…Bailey’s story, especially. It isn’t a fairy tale. It isn’t an easy story. It hurts. It hurt when I was telling it, and we both shed a lot of tears. But it feels good that so many people have embraced it. It makes me feel like my friends, like Bailey, are still with me and that they still live on.
BH: Hearing your story has made so many readers fall in love with you. How do you feel about that? Are you aware you touched so many people so deeply? Will you hold us?
AMBROSE: I don’t know if people fell in love so much as they realized that life is short and we should hold tight to the people who matter to us, never take them for granted, look on the bright side, and live life to its fullest.
BH: What sticks with you the most when you think about Bailey? (Christina immediately starts handing out tissues because the heartache still feels so fresh.) What about your fallen comrades? We know that this is probably difficult for you. (Not to capitalize on the moment, but we enjoy snuggling, want us to hold you?)
AMBROSE: His positivity. His humor. If you can laugh, you can get through anything. Bailey knew how to laugh, and he taught me how to laugh again. He and Fern really changed the things I focused on. Because of them, I can look back on my friends who aren’t with us anymore, Paulie, Beans, Jesse, and Grant….and I can smile.
BH: Have you ever read any of Fern’s books? We know she loves romance novels so are they out of your reading genre, but we are curious… Do you act out any of the love scenes? Can you give us details? We can definitely give you pointers through personal one on one demonstrations.
AMBROSE: Fern is really shy about her books. She guards them like the chocolate she keeps in her underwear drawer. But I’ve read them all. And honestly, I love them all. I’m not big on swooning and bodice rippers, but it has definitely helped me get to know my wife on a whole new level. And I feel really close to her when I read her stuff. It’s great foreplay too.
***the girls fan themselves and attempt to continue***
BH: Is that really you on the cover of Making Faces? Can we verify? Again, we can hold your shirt while you get into the pose. (Again, we try to look innocent… #fail)
AMBROSE: Nah. It’s not me. I’m much bigger than that guy. Plus…I don’t have any hair. Amy wanted me on the cover, but I told her I don’t pose. She was a good sport about it.
BH: When you look in the mirror today who do you see? Are you happy?
AMBROSE: It’s strange, but the scars have never bothered me to the extent that some people might think they would. They are reminders of people I love. They remind me of the sacrifice so many make…not my sacrifice, but the sacrifice of people who didn’t come home and who continue to fight. They remind me to be grateful and to not take my life for granted. And yeah. I’m happy. I’m good.
BH: *sigh* Thank you, Ambrose! We hate to let you go but we know you have other commitments. Please, come back and visit us anytime…please!!! No, seriously, how’s tomorrow for you?
***Ambrose smiles, and extends his hand.***
AMBROSE: My pleasure. Have you met my wife? She’s just outside….
WOW…that was so great!! We think we might have scared him just a little, though!
As we start brainstorming ideas to get Ambrose back to our Boyfriend Den, you might want to enter our giveaway!! Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway