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James Perdue on the Power of Perseverance in Triumphing Over Adversity
Episode 2825th March 2021 • Podcaster Stories • Danny Brown
00:00:00 00:49:13

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This week, I sit down with Dr. James Perdue, host of the Professor of Perseverance Podcast, where he inspires you to face challenges head on in life, and motivates you to be a leader to others.

Each week, James shares the stories of his guests and their powerful message of hope. James draws on his life-changing event at 19, and how that led to many changes in his life until he got to where he is today.

It's not out of pity; it's out of being kind.

James talks about his accident at college when he was 19, that left him immediately paralyzed. He shares the irony of how he wasn't even supposed to be playing the football game at the time, and how that "one more moment" changed his life indelibly.

How Good Parents Build Good People

It was clear when talking with James the love he has for his parents, and how their strength was so important when it came to his recovery and journey back from his accident.

Had James had different parents, it's very likely he wouldn't be here today, at least not in the manner he is, and with the personal achievements and victories he's overcome.

As kids, we'd rather take a spanking than hear the words from our parents, "I'm disappointed in you."

He cites the example of doctors telling his parents that he'd be too much of a burden for them, and they should put him in a nursing home. But his parents had other ideas.

Why The Triumph Over Adversity is Key for His Show

When it comes to sounding out guests for his show, James takes a very deliberate approach to who he wants on, and why. It's not that he doesn't want to share stories, but it's important to him that the journey is the path to a victory:

  • he wants to make sure they're really over their challenge
  • they have to offer hope to the listeners going through the same journey
  • they have to be able to help others and not display negativity 

James also shares how he went through the 5 stages of grief after his injury, and how that impacted his recovery process in the early days following his paralysis.

The first stage of grief is denial, and part of my denial is that I was in a wheelchair.

The Mindset of Perseverance

With incredibly inspiring stories from every guest, there is something for every listener of James's show to take away from For James, there were two in particular that he always goes back to.

The first is Captain Charlie Plum, who was one of the very first guests on the Professor of Perseverance Podcast. Charlie shared how a moment of fate changed his life dramatically.

How many times have you heard people say this is the last thing I'm doing, and then something happens to them?

The second is W. Mitchell, who has gone on to become a mentor to James. When he was in a motorcycle accident when he was younger, it resulted in 60% of his body being burnt.

If that wasn't a challenge enough, four years later Mitchell suffered another tragedy, and James talks about how Mitchell's determination continues to inspire his own mindset. 

I used to be able to do 10,000 things. Now I can only do 9,000. - W. Mitchell

On Dealing with the What If and the Why Me

For many people, we often have the "What if" conversations with ourselves. 

  • What if this happens
  • What if I can't do this
  • What if I'm forever changed

For James, the first five years saw him so convinced he was going to walk again, the What If and the Why Me conversations never really came up. 

Later in life, his thinking has evolved, and he shares why these types of internal conversations are moot points.

My thing on the What If is now, What If you don't try? You don't know what you can do.

Join us for an incredibly inspiring and wide-reaching chat on adversity, resolve, grit, and the love of living to overcome the challenges that can be thrown our way when we least expect them.

Connect with James:

Contact me: danny@podcasterstories.com

My equipment:

Recommended resources:

Mentioned in this episode:

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Transcripts

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Instantaneously. I was paralyzed. So I was told I would

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never walk again, possibly not move from your neck down

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and a lady, her own doctor's advice and my family

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to put them in a nursing home or at the

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age of 19, because I'd be too much of a

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burden for them to provide care for her. And so

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he can imagined 19 some one's going to a nursing

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home. I mean, I understand it happens, but it's just

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hard to believe something like that.

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Hi, and welcome to Podcaster Stories. Each episode, we will

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have a conversation with Podcasts from across the globe and

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share their story. What motivates them by the start to

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the show are the crucial And More will also talk

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about their personal lives. And some of the things that

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have happened, I've made them the person you are today,

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and I'll here is your host, Danny Brown. Hi, Welcome

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to podcasterstories the show that it gets to meet the

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people behind the voices of the shows we will listened

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to this week. I'm speaking with James Perdue host of

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the Professor of Perseverance Podcast, a show that encourages you

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to face challenges, head on and went in through difficulties.

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James, welcome to the show. I really appreciate it coming

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on. And I know you've got a really interesting episode

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coming up to date.

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How about you introduce yourself and your podcast.

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And again, I go by the professor or a Perseverance.

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They get friends of mine bestowed that on me. One

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day he says, he called me one day, we were

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talking and he says, Hey, Professor Perseverance and said, What?

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And his name, John Bitly, I'd go, got to give

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him credit it. And then he said, you had to

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get a pressor or Perseverance. They said, what are your,

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what do you mean? And he said, well, do you

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have a doctorate degree? Don't you? I was like, yeah.

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He say, what professor? And do you want to go

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to talk about Perseverance? Don't ya? Yeah, wait a year

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at a professor or a Perseverance. So that's how we

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come up with the tag and Brandy Professor, a Perseverance.

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And what had happened is that I got my neck

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broke playing football. I was two weeks in the college

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on a baseball scholarship, but a one day people on

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campus were playing football.

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Just no pads, no helmet, no protective gear and a

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scored one touchdown and a guy who was more serious

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about it. The game to me. Cause when I turn

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around towards everyone, after a scoring, a touchdown, you know,

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testing and to play is dead and now we're over

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with it. So I'm putting a ball down and turn

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it around and Dora to everyone. I say something on

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the right side of my peripheral vision. Have no idea

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what it is, but I'll say something. I felt a

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contact on my shoulder. And then I heard a loud

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pop. And both of those went through the ground and

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instantaneously I was paralyzed. So I was told I would

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never walk again, possibly not move from your neck down.

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And a half later on doctors advise my family to

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put him in a nursing home or at the age

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of 19, because I'd be too much of a burden

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for them to provide care for her.

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And so he can imagine 19, some was going to

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a nursing home. I mean, I understand it happens, but

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it's just hard to believe something like that. It goes

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on. I got it

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Right. I can't imagine I was going to say, I

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can imagine, but I can't because obviously I'm, I'm not

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in your position. But then as you mentioned it at

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19, that must have been like something very scary to

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face. Or what were your thoughts in that guy at

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that time

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Laying on the ground? I realized I was paralyzed because

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it did those three things. You know, you know, if

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they say three's a charm on things. So I tried

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to get up at one time and Lyft my head

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to get up because I, when I heard a lot

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of pop, I thought that my collarbone broke. This is

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what I thought. Cause I felt contact up high. I

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didn't know if it was a spinal cord and you're

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at that moment. So I tried to get up and

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lift my head and nothing else came up. My shoulder's

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in, come up in my stomach, arms bending legs. Did

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it move. So I'd put my head back down and

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take a cut, a few breaths and someone made some

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comment. And so I was gonna try to get up

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again. So I left my head, nothing came up again.

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So to put my head back down and in a

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three is the charm Wright.

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So I thought that, all right, we'll get everything out

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together to try it a third time to see. And

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nothing happened. The thought that instantaneous that came into my

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head, I was a man named J T J T.

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He came in my head, it's the right thing. And

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they're, I visualize so J T in my memory and,

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and I just knew. And J T was so important

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to my JDT is back when I was 14, 15

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years old, my grandfather was in a nursing home. So

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I used to go visit him one day, I'd go

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to visit or a room before my grandfather is a

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gentleman. I guess it could be just been moved in

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over there at the nursing home. He says, Hey, bud,

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come here for a minute. And I go into is

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nursing. And I went to his room and he, his

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name was J T and he asked me to get

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a, hold his glass of water for him, with a

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straw to get a drink.

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And I helped him for him. And I found that

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out that he was a spinal cord injury from a

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car accident in his mid thirties. And so in my

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mind, I'm going at the age of 19, I'm going

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to be in a nursing home. And again, professionals later

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confirmed that to my family, that they should put me

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in one, which thankfully they didn't. But J T he

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came into my head during the process, right. At the

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very beginning.

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Now, did you ever get to a, during the recovery

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process, I guess, did you ever get to speak with

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JT again to, to see?

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Yeah. Yeah. I, I w I was, when I was

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younger, I would stop in his room every now and

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again, just to go and say hello and see if

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he needed any help and stuff. And then they go

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about seeing my grandfather. But yeah, we used to go

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in and talk to him every day, again, at 14

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or 15, you're trying to be polite to your elders.

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And, you know, so, and, and as you get older,

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you realized a lot of these people are in a

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nursing home, or they don't get visitors everyday. My grandfather,

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somebody who was saying to him every day, even if

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it was my mom and grandmother seeing him, and that

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way they would help him at supper time helps get

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him cleaned, help him get his bed ready for them.

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Every night, they were there, five o'clock to six, five

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to five or 6:30 AM to make sure that he

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was comfortable.

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Plus the, it keeps the nurse at home on their

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toes, you know, how some of our neglect so much.

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And so when I went to go see JT, I

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wouldn't doing it because feeling guilty or, or that he

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may or may not have someone, if it was just

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a polite thing to do now that I've met him,

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just being respectful to him and have a think maybe

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two weeks later, he was that he was in and

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every time I dunno, whatever happened to him,

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It gets interesting. You mentioned about the, you know, at,

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at 14 and 15, that it was being polite and

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making sure that people, you know, they were told they

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had visitors and all before COVID hit here and Canada,

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but at, at least in a village study where real

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live our school or a local kid school had a

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program like a doctor grandparent, almost where they would go

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up. The kids would go to a care homes, long-term

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care homes to talk, and just hang out with older

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people to ensure that once it didn't get visitors, had

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someone to talk to her and keep their mind active,

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et cetera. So it sounds like a very similar to

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what you're doing as a kid, too.

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That's a great program. Again, it teaches us kids. The

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life is not all about them. And so I'm glad

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that my family raised me to be somewhat perspective. Now

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don't get me wrong. I got in my mischief if

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I got in a little trouble with it, and I

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was still a kid, but I knew when I was

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around an elderly, I had better be on my best

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behavior or mom and dad would give me the confrontation,

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the talk that I needed to learn to be respectful.

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Not that they were abusive for anything, but they, they

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should be, let me know. And then, you know, we

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would rather take a spank it or put in time-out

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or whatever. Then here are the words from our parents.

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I I'm disappointed in you. And so that hurts more

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than any punishment gift. So, you know, we, we try

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to avoid the I'm disappointed.

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Do you think that there's maybe, and, and I'm not

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sure, but I do you think that may be like

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a, a, a, a Southern thing? I always find that,

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that the, the Southern part of the us, and is

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very respectful towards our elderly and respectful will have parents

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that are et cetera, whereas may be less, or as

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you go away from the surf and, and 2 cent

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part of the Canada, is that something that's been instilled

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in, continues to be instilled, or is that just like

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a, a, a stereotype that I am? I, I apologize.

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And I'm being completely honest.

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Yeah, yeah, no, I, I believe it was a stereotype.

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I believe there is plenty of people up in other

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areas of our States. There are just respectful. You can

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go to the South where they are very much disrespectful,

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so the same, it's the dependence on who you're

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with and where you're at. And it's the same thing.

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So I believe it was probably was pretty much the

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same, you know, the balanced out.

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Now, your show premiered there in June last year. And

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from the start I had shared some incredibly inspiring and

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stories of overcoming adversity. Is it a, a process that

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you go through for choosing guests and the types of

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stories you want to highlight, or how does that work

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for your show?

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Oh, my show. Yeah. I looked for people that are

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definitely overcome that adversity and that way they can share

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what they went through, share how they got through it,

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to encourage them and give hope for someone else listening.

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And so I tried to talk with the first, don't

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wanna say, we'd come out because I do, and then

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we can have an opportunity to, to share it with

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that. But also I want to make sure they're really

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over the re really over their challenge, you know, because

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if you talk to him one time when one guy

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one time and, and he just signed it so negative,

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it sound like he was still hurt from it. He

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didn't say he sound like he was, and I'm going

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to have to sell if I didn't want to hurt

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his feelings, but you're not helping anyone if you're not

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helping yourself.

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And so I try to make sure that they're truly

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Over whatever situation they're in too. So, and I, and

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I'll give them a great example. You know, people talk

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about me being positive and people being, you know, overcoming

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what all of it to accomplish would have succeeded In.

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And I said, you would never bet on it. The

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first five years of my injury, I tried my best

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to be happy and positive. But when that door was

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closed, when I went to bed, how many times I

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cried myself asleep, I put the Hill front and face

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on, in front of the public, but I wouldn't have

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been good for a podcast or anything back then.

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And I can imagine as well that my boss, my

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wife and I suffered from a mental health issues. And,

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and to your point where you put a face on,

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sometimes in public and behind the scenes, it can be

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a different story. I, I can imagine. How did that

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hinder your progress during these times, or do you, do

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you feel that that was part of you getting to

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where you are today?

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Do you know? They say that they go through the

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five stages of grief and whatever, and, you know, the

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first part is one of them is denial and everything.

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And so, you know, being an athlete, I had that,

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that mentality that I was invincible. I was gonna do

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what I needed to another. One's going to stop me

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to be able to, to, to be a, as an

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athlete. And so out of that kept that mentality as

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I was trying to recover, but more, and for my

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injury and part of my denial, His, I was in

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a wheelchair. I went to 18 different rehabs and the

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five years, I'm trying to find that cure to walk

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again.

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You know, a bunch of them were one day evaluation.

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I have Dr. One time, 18 hours to spent 15

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minutes for the doctor say, no, we can't do anything

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to help you. Or, you know, a one day trip

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to Atlanta to spin two hours with them, do check

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me out. No, can't do anything to help you. If

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you come as far as you can and then come

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back. So part of, part of it that I was

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looking for that care to walk again, and, and, and

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then whenever I heard, no, or it didn't get what

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I wanted, then I was slightly a little bit depressed.

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Uhh, but still try to hide it from every one,

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because there was another know there was another, no more

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to get out of the wheelchair. And so find out

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what had happened.

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I was at around five years, I went to one

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place and it, it, I didn't do it on purpose.

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I didn't do it at the time. But now in

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looking back, I actually lie to my family and lie

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to myself. And what I told him was, I said,

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not that I'm giving up walking, but I need to

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put it on the back burner. And if I want

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to have any type of life, I need to finish

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my college degree. I need to look for a job

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that needed to be like, everyone else is the best

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I can be. I said, and again, not that I'm

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quitting giving up on the walking, but I need to

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focus with other things in life. Well, years later, looking

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back, it was when I finally accepted what's going on.

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'cause I've never been to a rehab since then in

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30 years, looking to walk. Now I've gone to rehabs

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to try to build some other strength and learn how

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to pivot and transform better step like that. But to

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walk, I'd never been to one since then.

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And it's like, I think you mentioned a lot as

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well, but in 19 full of life, you know, you

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were an athlete, you know, like, you know, a find

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a physical specimen. If you like it, it takes, I

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guess it takes a lot to get from that mindset

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and to, okay, I'm accepting that I may never walk

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again. And this is what I need to do. And

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how much of a challenge was that for you?

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I tell people don't take the Dr. Thing too seriously.

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I mean, I did work and get one, but I

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tell people to say, I was like, now I can't

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write up a prescription for you, but I can drive

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you to your pharmacists if you need me too, to

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pick him up like that. So we took him, I

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mean, a lot of work don't get me wrong with

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that. But when I graduated high school, I was a,

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See man, See average. I just did just enough in

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school to stay eligible so I can play sports. That

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was it just enough. So after I finally put everything

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in the back burner and went back and during those

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first five years, we got a, a community college where

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I live down the road. It's a two year school.

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And so I would go one, two, two semesters and

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quit. You go one semester or quit go into a

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year and a half. I quit. And finally, we want

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to put everything over with a stud. This is what

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I needed to do. My brother older brother. He's the

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one that says, you know, all of the focus you

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had on playing sports, all your determination, all your motivation,

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everything you used to be able to be an athlete.

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Now you need to direct that mindset to your studies

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so you can graduate to help you in the, in

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the long run. And so as from my wife's older

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brother,

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And then you had mentioned for your, your show that

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you have a very set way of that in guests

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for one of a better description, because they're have to

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have to overcome the adversity that they could have gone

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through and listen to you and your show up and

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listening to the last few weeks now. And I come

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away from every single episode, I'm with a vast depreciation

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of life and live in it because the stories that

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are being shared are they are, they are incredible. But

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I, again, I highly recommend to anybody, you know, to

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listen to the, the, the show and episodes. How has

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there been anyone on any episodes that maybe stood out

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in particular when you were in a chunk to the

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guests and end this, or why these ones or why

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that one

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There's too, that I've had a, not a lot of

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people asked me that the same question, but similar is

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something that I come back to. These two people, one

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of them is Captain Charlie Plum. One of my early

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ones that I had on my podcast, back in the

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late sixties, he was in the Vietnam war. He flew

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planes. He was on his 75th mission. And, and he

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said his last mission. And how many times you've heard

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people, this is the last thing that I'm doing, or

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I'm retiring in a month. And then, you know, there's

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something happens to them. You know, how do you, how

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many times do you hear it? Like, for example, when

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I was playing football that day, I said, I said,

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my team's got the ball back.

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We have been after about two hours. I said to

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him, I'm done playing. I need to give him my

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stuff ready for college classroom. And the next day. So

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I walked out to the huddle. I heard someone say,

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we need someone to run the ball. So I stopped

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it, turned around and said, all right, we'll come back.

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One more, play one. And that one plate put me

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where I'm at today, broke my neck. Well, same thing

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with Kevin and Charlie Plum. He said he was on

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his last mission, 75th mission flight, last flight, last mission.

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He gets shot down and it becomes a prisoner of

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war in Vietnam for nearly six years. And he told

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his story and you know, the torture of the mental

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health aspect.

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Do you know the physical abuse starvation and what was

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worse than that is they were not allowed to communicate

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with any other prisoner. They were in individual cells. And

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so he's, he told this story about how they learned

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to communicate without them knowing what was going on. And

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he said they were called the spit choke, and they

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each represent something in the alphabet to communicate back and

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forth. Or if they were chopping wood, they were chopping

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at a certain pattern. Everybody like Morris code for everybody

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to figure it out, the guy, the next sale over

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because I was beside him somehow slit a string through

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a hole, and it had a note to attach to

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it and he read it and it had the alphabet

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on how many tugs, like against Morse code on with

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the string.

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And then we could communicate. And then he had told

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him the note, Now eat this note, swallow. It don't

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let them catch it. You know? So they would slide

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the string back and forth and there were tugging it

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so they can communicate with each amazing if they will

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be able to do that. And so, but then another

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one he's become a mentor. W Mitchell W Mitchell, he,

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he just, he back in the late sixties, he was

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riding the motorcycle, got hit by a vehicle. His motorcycle

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burst into flames. He got 60% of his body burned,

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face, scarred up last, all of his fingers and hands

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burnt off 60% of body, you know, doing all this

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skin graphing. He found her recovery from all of that.

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Four years later, he's learning to fly these planes. You

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know, he says in the planes and he asked the

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people in there with him. He come down to land

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and bounced on a tarmac a little, a little bit

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as he is landing. Everybody walks out to the plane,

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doing a good time for him to get out when

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it bounced, it broke his back. Now he's paralyzed going

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through one tragedy. I mean, that's horrific is enough. Now

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you have two major tragedies. You're burnt out and paralyzed.

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And so W Michal has become a mentor to me.

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And he says he has quoted is saying, I used

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to be able to do 10,000 things. Now I can

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only do 9,000.

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I don't concentrate on a thousand. I can do concentrate

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on the 9,000 I can do.

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And that sounds like a one on one of the

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things that I was curious. Obviously you have a lot

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of guests with very inspiring stories and you've shared it

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to there. Do you take what it is, our lesson

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that you take it from? I mean, obviously your, your

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inspired yourself, your, your story, and you are how you've

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overcome your adversity in and what happened when you were

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19 and other things from your guys' stories that you

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have taken that, you know, you have taken and implemented

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in your own life that you've just mentioned at w

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Mitchell. Now it doesn't have to worry about that. Those

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are the things you can control, who was just what

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you put the name of it. I was in a

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candidate as the things that you have taken for your

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own, your own life.

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I, I try not to have nothing else. I thought

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to tell, tell her or for our guests, as I

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tell them that, you know, when, and if we do

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our first live on YouTube and their way of feeding

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in my subscribers, command listening, and they have some questions

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that I'm not thinking of it, they can ask as

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well and so on. But I tell them to say,

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you know, I've had as many as over 20 that's

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coming, listen to have a little to zero come in

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at that time. But that doesn't mean being an evergreen.

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They won't pop in later or something, but I tell

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them and said, I say, Hey, if nothing else that

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you are you going to inspire me yesterday? So that's

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a, I'm going to benefit out of it no matter

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who you, you know, what you're, which is what you're

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saying it, and how many did we get it at

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the time? So when you know, you'd get from one

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of them

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It's, and I, I know certainly a lot of a,

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a, a lot of feelings that I have the are

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podcasters don't really care about it. The audience size, the,

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eh, the validation is to get on an email, our,

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or get on a tweet or something from a listener

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who really connected with an episode because of the story

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that's told. And it helped him really focus on something

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that they can do a refocus their life, et cetera.

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So I think that to your point, like the validation

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as a zero listeners at that particular time, there's always

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opportunity that one person is going to be impacted afterwards.

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And the great thing Danny is that is they say

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this stuff on the internet. So it's going to be

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the same thing with podcast is here forever. Once its

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in printed, it's out there forever. So you know who

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to, who gets to know in a, a a hundred

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years from now when we were all dead and gone

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to, we're going to be touching someone else and a

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a hundred years ago, it may find these

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Why not, Sarah? You never know. I, I look back

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now and at some of these old TV shows that

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I used to love and, and I'm going to lie,

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I kind of cringed when I start to look at

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them and think, Oh, well, you know what? That's, that's

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not really a good thing to be enjoying, to be

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no one to what my kids would think of it.

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You know, if they were like, ah, getting to the

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edge I was and watching them, would they enjoy it?

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Or would they think that it was ridiculous? How did

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that ever take place? You know,

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It's a bit, it's amazing with technology. It's all an

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amazing How the special effects and everything, all His and

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these kids see a lot of special effects. But if

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they were watching a show back in the fifties, sixties,

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seventies, like we used to, you know, there was a

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lot of work to put it into a special effect.

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Now it's all digital. And so a lot of work,

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but these shows now today, I don't know how it's

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like up in Canada, but there are too much to

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me sexual into a window into it. Sometimes I can

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understand cussing a little bit, but when you go too

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far, they have the TV, none of the innocent lesson,

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learning things like leave it to Beaver or Andy Griffith,

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you know, stuff like it.

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That's out there today. I used to coach baseball and

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basketball. And I will tell you how I would tell

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the, the parents that you needed to be sure that

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you take an interest of what your child is doing.

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Because if you don't, they're going to find something that

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they're really interested in and their not going to include

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you in it. And you may not like it. So

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when they are into sports or dancing or singing, you

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need to go at it with a a hundred percent

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to share with them. Because again, if you're not show

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any interest, there are allowed to know, drop into drugs

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and drop into, or whatever pornography, jump in to drinking

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alcoholism and not say the alcohol, depending of what drug,

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you know, the marijuana, you know, may not be as

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bad or whatever, but you may not be happy with

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how they choose if you don't show interest.

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No, I, I completely agree. I, we recently watched the,

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the Tom Hanks movie where he played Mr. Rogers and

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the kids had never heard of Mr. Rogers, my eyes,

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to be honest, I'd never heard of Mr. Rogers because

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I'm from the UK originally. And he was more of

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a North American thing, but my wife she's Canadian, she

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was speaking about Mr. Rogers. So they started watching some

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YouTube videos for a while. What a guy that just

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the lessons he shared and what would seem a very

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innocuous church here, but lessons you've shared. So the kids

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loved her. And, and to your point, I think we

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tend to try to make kids grow up too soon

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by creating TV shows or media or whatever that has

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messages that don't need it. And to your point, I

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think something like a Mr. Roger, you know, all the

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shows you mentioned, we need more of that today as

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well.

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You know, we used to grow up with a Mr.

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Rogers Sesame street with a big burden Ernie and Bert,

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a there's, another one of the electric company was another

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one, though. It was similar to those. And you know,

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we'd catch the end things. First thing in the morning

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to you before we start our day, or, you know,

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we're getting ready for school here, we are watching him.

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And so, yeah, they are, they just, they need to

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have more of those lessons, easier for the kids to

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get too. Again, even when they were saying this stuff

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is Paigey 12 or whatever, I still think it's too

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risky for 12. And he thought to be up there,

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you know, 18. And so I think its, we were

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there.

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They said they were doing a sub limbo to go

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subconscious stuff. Dr. Bearing in your brain where the kids

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who don't understand what's going on, but there are hearing

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it and listening to it and watching him and his

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baring and, and, and, and, and it's going to have

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an oppression on them as they get older

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And speaking this last semester. I mean, we are recording

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this for the audio, a show, but we are a,

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a video game green room. It looks like you got

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to assess mission, a straight tee-shirt on everything. You know,

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We were going to be burdened. There is a cookie

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monster. It's all right. Awesome. So yeah, I didn't even

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think about it that when you were talking about it,

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there you go in and just say it has the

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same room in reverse for me. I didn't know if

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he'd is right for you, but it says everything. I

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know I learned from Sesame street.

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No, I saw that when you were up, when we

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switch the cameras on and I just loved it immediately

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because I, I love watching Sesame street growing up, you

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know, it's like one of the, the shores then sort

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of a Korean and then the Muppets afterwards, because it

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seemed a natural progression. So I just wanted to highlight

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that if I was like perfect, that you were speaking

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about the lessons from the show and you got to

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show them that you have to teach him how to

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be like that. What's awesome. You mentioned when you, when

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the accident happened and for maybe five years, they think

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after the accident happened and you are lying to your,

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your family and put it out on a face and

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be in a more positive, I guess, than you were

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feeling. And, and also sometimes a lot of people have

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this sort of philosophical. Well, what if conversations with themselves?

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What if something happened? What if I wasn't able to

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do this? And sometimes that can be a good thing.

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Sometimes, maybe are not so good thing. Depends on what

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happens next. And I'm curious, did you ever have any

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what conversations with yourself and if so, what sort of

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you, you got yours for that sort of speak?

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What if I tell people the what ifs and the

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why me? I don't, I don't really remember going through

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those. I mean, the kids at Costco the first five

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years, I was so convinced I was going to walk

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again, that it was going to take just hard work

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and determination. So I don't know if I remember why

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me now or later on in life, have I done

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the Y me or, or, or the what if situations

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and I'd just have people that you can do the

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wood, if all you want to, it's not going to

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change your situation when you're in too. So now it's

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what if I try but fail? Well, at least if

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you tried and failed, you know, whatever you're trying to

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do is not going to work.

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So now lets try something different to still accomplish what

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you're main goal is. You, you know, there's a, you

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know, the will just say there's more than one way

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to skin a cat. And I will tell people it

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was more than 10,000 ways to skin a cat. If

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you figure it out. Thomas Edison say to you, 10,000

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tries when we finally got there a light bulb, right?

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And he says, he people say that we could fail

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10,000 times. He goes, no, I found a 10,000 ways

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of won't work. And then I finally found the way

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it would. So some of my thing on the, what

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if it is now, what if you don't try, you

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don't know what you can do. And I'm a firm

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believer that we go through certain situations in life because

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we need to know how strong we really are.

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I've had other people say, I couldn't do what you're

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doing in your wheelchair and get up and go like

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it. And I said, well, you don't know, cause you

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are not in a wheelchair. I said, I've never been

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through cancer, but I don't know if I can deal

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with that. You know? So I'd never been a diabetic

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so on if I can deal with that. So, but

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I've never been through it. So I think that we

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would go through some things, has to prove and show

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us how strong we really are in life. And so

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I think we could quit the what if, if I

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can't try it, if it doesn't work, move on to

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find something else to do it, try it. If it

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didn't work, Hey, how does, how does the port, it

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is you, if it still important to you, you find

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a way to do something different to get it out

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there. And so I think it's better to do the,

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what if it doesn't work to just try it.

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And if he didn't say you succeeded, then you go,

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eh, I don't like this, but at least you tried

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it and find out I didn't like it.

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And, and, and that reminds me of, of the, the,

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the kind of that the Mainsail of Steve jobs, reading

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his story. I got his alibi. I was in his

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autobiography may be in his biography and I got his

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books and read about him in and the other story

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of Bush neck, I can never say something improper and

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how they took that mindset that you just mentioned, James.

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Oh, okay. We were blue. You know, we were a

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big failure of this first Apple iMac or whatever it

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was, but we kept going because we realize that these

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conductors aren't real good for this kind of process and,

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and, and so on. And I think I know that

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a lot of talk about, say a helicopter parenting, where

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we take our away the risk of a lot of

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this stuff that our kids could do compared to what

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we have done as kids where we were younger.

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And I wonder if we need to stop being that

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kind of, well, you don't do that because you might

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scrape your knee. You may buying it, your elbow. It

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was like, go ahead and let them slip the need,

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the one script and leave the next time. You know,

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going back to your point, I think,

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And again, I think at some point, you know, they

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got to go and I'm not a parent's. So I

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I'm sure that I'm telling you to run with all

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of this. But to me, you know, I'd much prefer

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getting out of the scrape in my leg. And even

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if I fell on a broken arm, they had been

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bubbled rapt to protect me from my life, because then

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when you're old enough to do what you want to

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do, and mom and dad is not there, you may

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not have the right mindset to come up with the

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right decision, to be able to do what you need

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to do and wanting to do, and maybe get in

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more trouble and you want so, yeah, I think they

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needed to do a lot more and understand what some

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health disability is. Like. I had a friend, he was

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part was born outside.

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It's a real jobs. So it under the skin on

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the side. So here he was days old having his

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first open heart surgery and put his heart back when

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we do, we build on and I couldn't understand, you

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need to bubble wrap them because we don't want him

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to really hurt himself. But once you realized the first

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time to follow they're like other and the kids give

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him some more leeway and goes, because again, he teaches

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him when they get older to make better decisions in

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life as well.

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And it may just take a look at a member

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when, when our kids who are younger are our son

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is 10. That was going to be a live in,

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in may. And he used to love running how a

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scowl or run to a house when he was only

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maybe four or five years old. And he he'd run

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in and he went one time, he ran it into

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the kitchen, worked up and it was like at the

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corner of a kitchen worktop. So you, you had a

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Muslim or a boy to excise Bruce and say, how

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you think that we are going to allow, you know,

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you did it. And he did another two times before

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he stopped. So sometimes you have to make sure you

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get hurt before you learn that lesson. Right.

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It makes sure that they're not breaking anything. Other than

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that, I live and learn.

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No, not one of the things I really enjoy learning

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about you and, and read in your story is you

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really took, you know, you went out and dropped the

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lights, go by the horns you, you mentioned before you

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do you coach kids, you received your doctorate degree and

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in 2011. So so-so looking at this stuff you are

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doing when you're not an accident happened back in 83.

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Again, would you have ever imagined being where you are

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today in and achieve and this stuff you were to

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achieve and to continue to achieve?

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Oh, no, no. When I first got injured again, J

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T F the nursing home and thought coming in my

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head, even though it was, my mentality have been invincible,

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that was still downshifted at the beginning because we've never

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been through this right now. Our family may have never

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been through a spinal cord injury and not walking, but

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we as a family, again, I'm glad that, and I

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tell the people that said, you know, I created everything

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that I've done by a three things, one gun, he

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knew the family to put me in to you before

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I was even born, that this thing was going to

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be with me all along. And they sacrificed so much

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for me to be where I'm at to, you know,

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thankful for other, the friends and everything like that.

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And the family, you know, family and friends and God

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for putting him out there. So, and giving me the

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mentality to be determined and everything. But now I had

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no, when I first and do it because we've, we've

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never been through this. So I didn't know what a

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spinal cord injury a person. Now, I went to school

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with one child, one guy, he was two years younger

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than me in high school. And he had multiple sclerosis

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or a muscular dystrophy, muscular dystrophy type one of the

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diseases. And so I've met him at a wheelchair. And

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again, I'm going to see a nurse and it was

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a yacht of older people in wheelchairs, but someone my

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age or other than the guy, he went to school

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with a lot of, we never knew of a spinal

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cord injury. We never knew what to expect.

Speaker:

For example, my driver's license came. It was time to

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renew, came in to mail. And I told him, my

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mom said it. I just thought what a trash can.

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She said, well, you never know. You might be able

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to drive again and say, I never met anybody in

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a wheelchair that was driving. And I said, mom, I'll

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never drive again. And just throw it away. She says,

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well, I don't, you want me to renew him? Just

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so you have an ID. If someone needs it for

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something, I said that they need an ID, I'll go

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buy an ID. I said, it's cheaper than the driver's

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license. And so well, lo and behold, who wants to

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learn to drive again after a year, after two years

Speaker:

of mom taking me somewhere and my brother's taking me

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somewhere, always dependent on them.

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You know, I'll go to class. Like you said, I'd

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go to start a class quiz on them, but you

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know, I'll tell them a class B over one o'clock.

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And then I went in there to two o'clock side

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for them to come and get me. And so I

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tell them I'm about to get my drivers license. And

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again, the other people I mentioned early about how God

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has put people in and out of my life. So

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when it was time for me to learn to drive

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again, they have those hand controls to put in your,

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so I can take my left hand and push down

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through the floor. It makes the gas work and you

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put it in two days, she had a break and

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he had to put your other hand on the steering

Speaker:

wheel, what those things were. But at that time they

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were $500, but I didn't have $500 to do that.

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I was in class one day, he got to talking

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to this one woman and she had adopted, she told

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me at that time, I had adopted over 20 disabled

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handicapped children throughout her life too, to be a foster

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parents who though the types of children.

Speaker:

And so I explained to her about pointed Dr. Again,

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but I'd have to money for the, for the hand

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control. So she comes to class the very next day

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and hands me all envelope with $500 cash. And he

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said here to go to start driving now. And she

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said, all I asked when you get your license and

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get everything just comes back to pick me up, to

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take me around the block. Well, so people are amazing

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when did it during that time. But if a long

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story there wouldn't have to go back through it and

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get to know no doubt. I'd never thought I would

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be where I'm at today at the very beginning. But

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when you reach success and encourage you for more success.

Speaker:

And so again, to learn to drive again, was the

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most independent thing I've ever had after two years of

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waiting for someone else to help me do things, to

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drive me to somewhere, driving a class, driving to a

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store or driving, to pay the bills, drive around in

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circles, just to be driving. You know, and now here

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I can do all of that by myself. Again, the

Speaker:

independence that came from all of that. And one day

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I was building it out of the things that they

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said, they saw me going to a Wendy's to go

Speaker:

get something to eat. If one of my instructors saw

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me and the next few days I was in class,

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she says, James, I think I saw you driving the

Speaker:

other day. And so sometimes they get a little facetious

Speaker:

and me, and I said, yeah, I said, but don't

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tell my mom.

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I said, I had had to take her a broomstick

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and a using it as the gas and brake. I

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said, and she's already warned me not to be doing

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this as a police. Don't tell her mom like, but

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they just sound like they were more surprised that I

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was driving than I was. I do remember

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We were speaking to that a little before we started

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recording about your awesome dog. I am guessing now that

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just being able to jump in a car and go

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to, I don't know how to go to the beach

Speaker:

and take the dogs out. And that does that, that,

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that must be pretty cool. And then Mickey, I'm glad

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you didn't just throw the idea away forever.

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Well, I'm glad, you know. Yes, I'm again, it's so

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much independence in, I've talked to the other spinal where

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people do not let the driver's license expire. Technology changes

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so much. There's people that are weaker than me and

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my arms, where you are to me and they're driving

Speaker:

now days because technology has made it so easy. So

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don't, don't got to be, I encourage the, don't give

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it up. And my boy, Ricardo, you know, he's just,

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he's an amazing dog. He says he was my first

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service stuff. He's, he's an older one. Now he's AB

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turning 13 in may and he'll be turning 13. And

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I've had a nearly 11 years. He's an amazing dog

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again. I told you, yeah. I told you he's got

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five children's books about him.

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And we took different types of disabilities. One guy who

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was going through cancer and truth is basically the story

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of the books. True. We kind of fix you did

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at the end because the boy, he ended up real

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life dying of cancer. And so the family gave me

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their story to use. And so in the children's book,

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I don't kids to be afraid of cancer if they

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got it. So he got healed in my book and

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then him and Ricardo went hunting. And so here you

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see them both out in a hunting and then Ricardo

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was retrieving a, a duck to bring it back to,

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to the guy, Isaac and that one.

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So, but he said, if he's got his own Christmas

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book where he helped signed in and meets Rudolph in

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it,

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That's all. So I know what we did. We spoke

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in our little boat, the inspiring kind of a TV

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shows that were used to watch it be great to,

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to have that note and in your books for a

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second, is that the follow-up part? And we were speaking

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out loud about how Ricardo helped the, the, the kids

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that had, it was an autistic autism. Yes. Autism kids.

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Yep.

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Yeah. What did happen there is that we were to

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a store. And when, when we come up and say,

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it came to my son and pet your dog and

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a son was in a hit the shop and buggy

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cart. And that said, sure. And so it got Ricardo

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to get it up on my lap. So the boyfriend,

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the buggy could pay in his head. And then all

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of a sudden, the boy points, they Ricardo's his dog.

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He said, yeah, buddy, he's a dog. You ride a

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good job. And I look over at my mother and

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my mother started crying something and I'd go, Oh, well,

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my mom and I put a Ricardo down. I said,

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I don't know a Ricardo did that. As I said,

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I apologize for it though. She says, no, no, no,

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it's not him. It's not the dog you don't understand.

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Then she says, my son is autistic.

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And that's the very first word I ever heard him

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say in the boy had to have been four or

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five years old. And so in the book you can,

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my son paid your dog is a little children book.

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And we go in about autism and we talked about

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it a little bit. And to try to explain it

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to the professionals and people that are working with these

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people, autistic, the information is getting in. They just because

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of the wiring what's going on, they are having trouble

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getting them back out. And, and the proof of that

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again, is he called Riccardo a dog. He pointed is

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that dog. He didn't point and say, Kat, he didn't

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point and say door knob.

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He didn't point and say a car. He said doke.

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And so that was enough proof for me there getting

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information in there, you just have him in trouble getting

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it back out.

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And then obviously the, the, like the innocence of the

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child and the dog, it was just like, when you

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told me it was like amazing. And I was like,

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so I'm definitely going to be, your books are available

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to buy on Amazon as well as you are you

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say correct? Or

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I Amazon. Yup.

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And so if we can, my book is for the

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kids, because I, like, as I say, it was like,

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he didn't say a couple of the stories that you

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mentioned then, and it just sets the stuff that inspire

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our site. I'm really looking forward to that.

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We'll take it to and appreciate it. I know

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For sure, for sure. No, you know, you should have

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been gone almost a year now, a junior. I think

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it will be celebrated as a first line of virtual

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in June, in June for it. And you do it

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as a livestream on YouTube and see some videos, obviously

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a filtered over to Instagram. What are your goals for

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the future of the show? You're going to keep the

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same format or you've got a different ideas for them.

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All right. At the moment he had it just keep

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going the way we were doing. Someones mentioned about maybe

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if we can do maybe add three people instead of

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just me and one person, and maybe two of the

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people who was similar or spinal cord injuries or assemble

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are going through cancer or a similar, most of muscular

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division to sclerosis or muscular dystrophy, or, you know, something

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similar. And then I'd like to have them compare and

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contrast with each other and let me host. And so

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if someone had mentioned it, so that, that may be

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a possibility as well. So other than that, I, and

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I'm a firm believer. We are here to help inspire

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and motivate, encourage others to reach their best potential as

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possible.

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And so then, you know, that's the thing that I

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just wanna reach out and hopefully we're help helping other

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people and in what you're doing day, and I appreciate

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you with all that you're doing, I meet people out

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there are getting inspired, motivated from who you are bringing

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on as well to help them get in, in a,

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in an amazing thing where I've received. I take me

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to tell people, I took me eight years to get

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a two year degree. He said, but when I went

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out with, when they had the, when they had, they

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had a breakfast, an award ceremony the day before the

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graduation. And so I ended up going through the breakfast.

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I took my mom with me. So we, we were

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listening to all these people because they knew I wouldn't

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get no award, again, a, a, a C student in,

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in high school. And so I'm a 2.0 in high

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school, but I did have a 2.5 when it's over

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with, and this two year schools.

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So I'm already half of have a point of smarter.

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Right. And so, but, but I know I wouldn't get

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to know, to know trophies. Is there any awards? So,

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I mean, that's a cooler, I just wanted to be

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a part of the program. So mom with w when,

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with me and the president of the universe of the

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college, he got up and they have an award named

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after him. He's going on and own known for about

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10 minutes about this one person. And I was going

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to a man, I want to meet that person. I

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leaned over. My mom said, mom. I said, we needed

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to meet that guy like that. And then about, at

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the time they had announced my name as they award,

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then I'm going, what? And they were talking about me.

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And, but yeah, it, it, it was called the Heil

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or Ramer, which he was the president at that time.

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And it was for overcoming adversities. And so he brought

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me up to talk about that. And so, and, but

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here's what, here's what I'm getting to him. This, he

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leaned over to me and whispered people who are watching

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how you do things, because they want to learn to

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see how strong you are. And so they could get

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through a situation. You don't have to know who they

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are. You don't have to know they're watching, but I'm

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letting you know they are watching. So the same thing

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with us, we don't have to know. We won't know

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a lot of people that we are touching. Even if

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it's planting the seed in growing through somebody, else's stuff,

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we're helping people.

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It's a great to know when we get reinforcement that

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we really are helping people. That's great, but we don't

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have to know that. Right.

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And all of this. So that's a great point, James.

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It always reminds me of, when people talk about heroes,

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then there are various forms that heroes can take. But

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I always find that they're, the heroes are the ones

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that are not clamoring and for attention, and then not

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climate and the fame and the lime light, they just

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get an eye on. And there are a 14 year

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old kids that goes to speak two older people in

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a long-term care home. For example, it just, you know,

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it's like you say it just do good stuff and

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be a good person. That's it is. It's so hard,

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you know,

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Is it so hard with our world today in that,

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in that a difficult question to answer for some people,

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is it so hard, but here here's a great hero

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story. A that happened a couple of years ago, Parents

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of this woman, our elderly one was passing away. This

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was a different state, not even in my state, but

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I saw it in the, in the news, right in

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the paper, the elderly gentlemen, his wife was passing away

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and on her death bed, he asked, is there something

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we can do? And she said, for some reason, he

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says, I would love, have a slice of pizza where

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we first went and date it and stuff like it.

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They said that the pizza joint was in the next

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state 200 miles away from him. They had moved away

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away from him. And he called them later at night

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because she was on her death bed and call the

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pizza place, explain the situation can do to stay open

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long enough for us to get there. So this is

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going to take two to three hours. We'll get there

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for us too. And to bring him back for her

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on their deathbed, which is the pizza guy says, Oh,

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don't worry about it. I've got to take care of

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it. He drove all the way to their house to

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deliver it, gave him the pizza and drove all the

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way back that same night to get up, to go

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to work at the very next morning. And he say,

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it was like a four hour trip, both ways for

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him to do that.

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And so, I mean, and again, he didn't do it

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out of liquid. I did hire a and R Superman.

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So yeah, he, he did it just because doing the

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right thing and helping us to someone else.

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And it's probably the best pizza order is ever had.

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I'm guessing. Right?

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Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. For him and definitely for the ma

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a with a woman on her death bed and the

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husband two reminisce, the good old days.

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That's incredible. And the good people doing good stuff. Right.

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Hey, you're doing great things again. So we appreciate you

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doing this. This is a right.

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No, thank you, James. And I was going to say

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so for people, I mean, this, I really enjoyed our

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chat and I could chat for hours with you if

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this was a Georgian show, maybe, you know, and then

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the less, those were tough, two or three hours or

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whatever, but it was

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Spotify. Spotify. I want you to come and talk to

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Dan and my podcast and give us some of a

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Joe Rogan's a, a a hundred million y'all gave him.

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So go ahead and hit us up. Spotify and Spotify.

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They don't want to come and get us a podcast

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or Podbean or a what's the all of other ones,

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a Lipson, you know, what are you out here? It

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is up.

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Oh, fun. A lot of actually one of our podcast

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hosts. So I am, let's say it's funny. You mentioned

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that there are so far for people that want to

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learn more about, you are watching a show on YouTube,

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a bio to children's books, et cetera, where is the

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best place for them to connect with you?

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You can go to, again, I tell people to just

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easiest thing is go ahead and Google Professor of Perseverance.

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And that leads me to my website, which is a

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professor or a Perseverance dot com that led you to

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my YouTube Professor, a Perseverance that leave you two, my

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Facebook Professor, a purser. So you just Google Professor Perseverance.

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And I'm not sure if that'll work on Amazon and

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buy books. He may, I have to go in and

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do James Perdue and that's P E R D U

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a E James Perdue and end the books we'll come

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up. So I need to go fix it on Amazon

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Professor or Perseverance sort of fall in line. It's all

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about the Brown did, right? Yes.

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Well, that's awesome. And I will be sure to leave

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the lengths for your website you're Podcasts. And obviously there

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are links to your books and Amazon in the show

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notes. So if you're listening to this in your favorite

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podcast app, or you have written it online, be sure

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to check out the show notes. So it links through

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to Jim's online, where he can connect with him. So

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again, James, I really appreciate coming on today. So thank

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you for coming in it and then sharing your story

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with us.

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Thanks for the opportunity to be able to, again, reach

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out, share it with some people, some journey and give

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them some hope. And I appreciate you giving me this

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opportunity. Thank you, Dan.

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So this has been another episode of Podcaster Stories. If

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you enjoy this week's episode, be sure to hop on

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over to Podcaster Stories dot com. We can sign up

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for the free newsletter or catch up on previous episodes.

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You can also listen to it for three on your

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favorite podcast app, like Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, and

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more until the next time stay safe and take care.