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J.R. Martinez on his book, fatherhood and the NYC Marathon

Nov. 18, 2012 - 02:38PM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 18, 2012 - 02:38PM  |  
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J.R. Martinez's memoir, "Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit," tackles everything from the Iraq veteran's war wounds to his triumphant win on Season 13 of "Dancing with the Stars." The motivational speaker talks about the book, the show, his family and his marathon plans:

Q. Why did you write the book?

A. What has helped me through my recovery is being open and willing to essentially be an open book myself. I wanted people to see more of me and my life outside of what people know, Iraq and the military.

Q. Was it difficult to relive some painful moments of your past?

A. It was nice to put words onto paper and find out more things about myself. I've always had this ability and willingness to say, "Don't worry about it. It'll all work out," and it kind of validated what my whole life has been about.

Q. What's it like being a dad?

A. We just had our first flight with our baby girl [Lauryn Annabelle Martinez, who is almost 6 months old]. She definitely took the whole "New York is a city that doesn't sleep" thing a little too much to heart. But it's just so amazing. The love I have for her is so unconditional and indescribable.

Q. What was your best dance move on "Dancing with the Stars"?

A. Apparently, I was pretty good at doing a shimmy. I just love the concept of the show. In general, I think reality television is pointless in a lot of ways, and I don't like it. "Dancing" is reality television, but it's positive and confidence-building.

Q. You're running the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4. Are you prepared?

A. I don't know what I was thinking, but yes. I read in a magazine that once at the Olympics, a guy got stripped of his medal in the marathon because he caught a ride. Maybe I'll do that. I know how to use the subway. I can just blend in. But seriously, I'm excited. It's another challenge, and I have the opportunity to raise some money.

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