Waterville Author Pushes Out Of Comfort Zone To Produce “Finding My Badass Self” Novel

Waterville resident Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, pictured with her dog Ringo in Farnsworth Metropark, is the author of Finding My Badass Self, available on Tuesday, August 15. She will be signing books on Saturday, August 19 at The Shops at Fallen Timbers Barnes & Nobles from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — At 52 years old, Sherry Stanfa-Stanley was feeling stuck. “I wouldn’t call it a rut. It was more of a crater,” said the Waterville woman. For 20 years, the divorced mother of two had lived in the same home, held the same job and done many of the same ordinary things. “I decided if I wanted to shake up my life, I would have to do things that made me feel uncomfortable,” said Sherry, who is now 55. So she embarked on the 52/52 Project – in which she pushed the limits of her comfort zone every week for a year. In Finding My Badass Self, A Year of Truths and Dares, Sherry details these experiences, which range from baring all on a nude beach in Florida to strolling through an area book shop and grocery store wearing pajamas. She also tried out for Survivor, hung out with nuns, crashed a wedding, shopped at an adult bookstore and hosted a party for complete strangers. On Saturday, August 19, Sherry will sign copies of her book at The Shops at Fallen Timbers Barnes & Noble from 1:00 to 4;00 p.m. She will also be available during the Saturday, September 23 Roche de Boeuf Festival in Waterville and at other Toledo-area locations on future dates. As Sherry overcame her trepidation and dove into challenges during her 52/52 Project, she also emboldened other women – and men – to push their own envelopes of comfort. The results were never predictable. Sherry didn’t bat an eye about signing up to spend hours in an isolation tank, but panicked early into the experience and fought to get out. Yet her fears of riding in a hot air balloon were unfounded, and she looks forward to booking another flight. “Everyone has fears. I’m afraid of flying, but I travel a lot. You have to face your fears,” she said. “I pushed myself a lot.” During the process, Sherry said she made many new friends, gained confidence and learned a lot about herself. After hosting the stranger party, in which she asked friends to send someone she didn’t know to her home for a party, Sherry formed a new group of friends who meet regularly for laughs, wine and Bloody Marys. “I still have fears, but I don’t panic as easily. I look and analyze before I react too quickly,” she said. “Never say never.” As director of communications at The University of Toledo, Sherry is very organized, and this helped in planning the 52 adventures and writing the book. Published by She Writes Press, Badass sells for $16.95 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other book retailers. For more information, visit www.sherrystanfastanley.com.

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