00:00 You’re listening to the live happier, longer podcast, episode 26.
00:15 Welcome to the live happier, longer podcast. We’re your hosts, Molly Watts, and Angela McDade. We are here to help you build the habits of the happier, longer life starting now.
00:28 Hey Angela. Hi Molly. How’s it going? Not too bad at all. Awesome. Have you ever wanted to do a triathlon? No. Really? Just No. Flat out? No. No. Wow. That kind of surprises me. You’re a runner and you definitely have a professional looking bicycle. I’ve seen it, but no, just no, no. The bike, run thing is, well, the doing the bike and doing the run part is fine. It’s the distance. And I have no interest in the swim. Oh, no. In the swim. No. Yeah, I actually have a swimming background. Was a competitive swimmer. I don’t, I think the idea of doing a triathlon I like, but, uh, it had to be really short. Yeah. Like not anywhere close to certainly not iron man. No. Um, and that kind of brings us to who we are speaking with today on the podcast and can I just say, wow. Oh yeah. Inspirational doesn’t even touch how, how, yeah. How amazing this lady is. Yeah. We’re speaking with Cherie Gruenfeld who has won the iron man 16 times. Yup. She holds 10 or has held 10 world titles. I don’t know if she has them at at certain points in time over her career. She has current world titles as well and she is 74 years old. Yes. And now is started competing in those much easier. Yeah. Retired from iron man and now does the 70.2 70.3 70.3 which is half of the uh, the distance but still quite long. It includes a half marathon there at the end. 70.3 miles swim, living, biking and running. Right. Then she’s going to do five of those this year as unbelievable. Unbelievable. But not only that, her athletic achievements aside she also has her own foundation, which is unbelievably inspirational in itself. Yeah. And we’re going to share all about that as well. We just had a ball and I cannot say enough wonderful things about Cherie Gruenfeld.
02:44 Hi Cherie. Hi Cherie. Hi. Nice to see you. Hey, nice to see you. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.
02:51 My pleasure. Well, we just gave a brief intro about you, um, and kind of shared, well, mostly to be honest, all of a lot about your accomplishments because I think that, gosh, being a world champion, Ironman triathlete is something that most people, uh, would be very happy doing once in their lifetime. And you’ve done it multiple times, multiple, multiple times. What I really loved about your story is you didn’t, like, this isn’t something that started when you were a kid. You haven’t, you didn’t run your whole life and then, um, or bike or swim for that matter. And then all that training came to be and into your triathlete accomplishments. You decided to do this right around your midlife.
03:41 Yes, I did. Yup. I was raised before title nine, and that meant that girls were not expected to do any kind of sports. And what it really meant was that in schools, they didn’t offer any kind of athletic programs for girls. We could be cheerleaders and that was it. Right. And, um, I, I didn’t do any kind of organized sports when I was younger. I did, however, was raised in a family with a couple of brothers and some parents who are not really coddling sorts of parents. And when I would complain to them that I couldn’t get into the games or I couldn’t get into sports, they simply said to me, stop whining and just go play with the boys. I did from the time I was quite young. And I think that that was really a blessing in disguise because it, without my realizing it, I was building confidence that said I could do anything if I was just willing to get in there and get beat up a little bit.
04:39 So, um, I went through them all my, uh, high school and college and didn’t do any sports at all. So when I was 42 years old, I just happened to see the first la marathon on TV. Wow. On a Sunday morning. And, um, I didn’t run, I didn’t know anybody that did it was running at that time was still fairly new and I’m, so I watched this whole telecast from start to finish and by the time it finished, I had made the commitment that I was going to run that race the next year. So the next day I went out and I bought a pair of shoes and I bought a book that was called how to run your first marathon. And I started running and that was in March of 1986. And uh, in August of 86, I did a 20 mile training run and was at the end of that I did it and I felt fine and my husband was one that kind of pressed me and he said, if you could do that and feel fine in August, why are you going to wait until next March to do this marathon?
05:47 So I signed up for a marathon in October and I did my first marathon in the redwood forest and did well and had a good and enjoyed it. I was working a big job with a big management job where it, I didn’t have a lot of extra time but running was easy because it didn’t matter where I traveled and what I did, I could always carry a pair of shoes and a pair of shorts. So, uh, I just kept running and marathons didn’t run the short distance stuff, just ran marathons. That of course it’s just like mind boggling to me because there is absolutely no part of me that would say I want to go run a marathon. I had met, we shared with you that we trained and ran a half marathon together and trust me, the half marathon was really, the pinnacle of that was about as much as I was going to get to in terms of distance. Anyway,
06:39 I understand it well. It’s been pointed out to me by minute by many people that I am, I’m a distance person. I, I found that I ran a half marathon in about the same time that I ran a half marathon inside of marathon. In other words, it didn’t matter what distance I was running, I just went one pace and it works well.
07:00 Yeah. Yeah, it works very well obviously. So you were, so you decided to come and marathon runner and just like that you did, which is amazing in and of itself, even at, you know, in your mid-forties, it’s not exactly like, you know, necessarily easy for people to pick up a new habit like that or a new activity. What made you decide to move from the marathon to the iron man to the triathlon?
07:29 Well, um, I had never done a triathlon and uh, I was very happy running marathons. I was doing a couple of them a year and I was, I was working on getting faster and um, in October of 91 and at this time I was almost 48. I saw a magazine called competitive magazine. It’s local to the southern California area and it was in October, which is when the iron man world championships are. So this magazine was dedicated to Iron man. So I’ve read it cover to cover and I thought this was outrageous. I couldn’t imagine people actually did this. So it didn’t strike anything in me that said I should go do it. But I left it lying around and my husband picked it up and read it and he came to me and he said, you should do this. I didn’t own a bike. I didn’t, I mean, I knew how to swim, but I didn’t swim. Um, and I said to him, you’re absolutely crazy.
08:28 You know, there’s, I can’t do this, and I don’t want to do this. But he just kind of, he knows me pretty well and he just kind of kept after me. Every once in a while he’d just kind of said, you really should try this. You really should try it. Finally he got me to the point where I said, you know, I think I could do it and I think I’d like to do it. But he had recently, just before that had left his nice paying job to try his hand at writing a novel. I was the breadwinner of the family. So I said to him, you know, I would like to do it, but I would have to take a six month leave to do this. This is not a matter of just carrying a pair of shoes when I travel. And I was doing a lot. So I said, you know, and I can’t do that because I’m the breadwinner and you’re writing the book. And so we’re fine and I’m happy doing marathons. And in January, he came, of 92, he came home and I was sitting in my office and he put a piece of paper down in front of me and it was a book contract and put your money where your mouth is, take six months off and go try this.
09:36 He had gotten me to the point where I really did want to do it. So it took me about one nanosecond to say, you bet. Okay, nice. I had to go find somebody cause I knew I couldn’t do this one with a book. I knew I needed more help than that. So I, uh, when I found a guy in San Diego that I had read in a magazine, did some coaching and I called him and told him that I wasn’t a triathlete, but I was going to do iron man in October. But God bless him. He took me on and he first, the first thing he told me is, you have to qualify for this race. It’s not just a sign up. It’s world championships and since you’ve never done a triathlon, it’s, very implausible that you might make it to the world championships this October.
10:27 So he said, but I’ll, I’ll help you. And there’s, there were in those days, now there’s lots of iron man races, but in those days they were a couple and there was one in, in Canada in August. So he said, if you really want to do this thing, I’ll help you to get to the one in August. And it wasn’t a championship of any kind, it was just an iron man. So I said, fine. And I took a six months leave of absence and started training. And in early August the race was in end of August. In early August, I did a half marathon, half iron man as a final training race and lo and behold, I qualified for Kona for the iron championships.
11:09 For people who do and like Eh, in our house we run and bike. Nobody swims. But we just like, we love watching Kona and qualifying for Kona is not easy. There’s so many people who want to do it. I mean you just can’t, you have to be really good so that you qualify it as well.
11:33 But let me, let me explain. I didn’t win, which you usually have to do to qualify. It was a race. It was so late, so close to Kona that I came in third and the first two women in my age group, which was then, I was 48 so it was 45 49 had already qualified. I got the slot. So it wasn’t like I was that terrific.
11:58 Well, don’t sell yourself short. Getting third, I would have to say it’s pretty amazing.
12:03 I was, I was very fortunate and I, this time I was getting, you know, I’m not good enough. I knew how to bike, figured out how to bike. And I figured out how to swim. And I knew I had the run. So I went, I went to a Kona that October full of hope, feeling confident. I figured if I could just get through the swim and the bike, I had the thing knocked. So in October I stood at the start line and my goal was to finish in under 14 hours. And when I finished, when I came across the line at glance, my watch had gotten knocked off during the swim. So I didn’t have a watch all day, had no idea what my times were. And um, I came across, I glanced up at the finishing clock and I just, all I saw was a minutes and it said 27 minutes. And so I didn’t just assume that meant 13 hours and 27 minutes. And I ran into my husband’s arms and I said, Whoa, look at this. I broke 14 hours and he turned me around to look at the clock and it said 1226.
13:11 Oh my. That is amazing!
13:13 That is amazing. So I was pretty happy with that. And my first words to him were, I don’t want to go back to work. I want, I know how I can do it better.
13:26 Well, and he probably was like, that’s now what he has created after, you know, encouraging you done. Yeah, exactly. Does he do anything themselves?
13:37 Oh, he does. He does. Little ones, little ones. It took me 20 years to get him to try one, but now he does little ones.
13:43 Yeah. I love that even more. He’s in the background saying, you go honey, you go, go. I think I could do that job. Um, so okay, so that was the very first, that’s still amazing at 48 that you did that, but you’ve gone on from there to achieve quite a bit in terms of the iron man triathlon. Uh, so much so that you were featured on a Wheaties box, which is pretty amazing in and of itself. You’re a champion of champions. Um, tell us about the wins in iron man and what, and when you’re first age group, when, when did that come about and tell us about that process.
14:21 Um, well, you know what, I look back on my racist in my iron man races, there are a few of them that stand out. Certainly the first one stands out and I will always remember that one. And then, um, there was my first win came when I was, when I turned 50. When moved into a new that you raced in five year age group. So when I turned into a new age group, um, and I, my first year I placed ninth, my second year I placed six. So I knew I was headed in the right direction and I would by that time I felt like I had the stuff. And so in 50 my time, excuse me, when I turned 50, I’m my third year. My time was slower than my first two years. And because in Kona it’s all about the conditions. The winds are vicious. So if you get a better year, you have a better chance of your time being faster. If it’s a tough year, everybody’s time is slower. So when I, that third year was my first win with the slowest time that I had had so far. But it was a good solid win. And from that point on, I, I was able to win many, you know, quite a bit after that. So certainly that, that first win was very memorable. It was another memorable race. Later on when I turned 55 because after about when I was maybe 50 51 52 I began to feel I was always right close to 12 hours, but a little bit over. I thought I can do this race sub 12 I know I can, but I just struggle.
16:01 I couldn’t, the winds were always, I’m, I’m pretty… I’m tall, but I’m light. And the winds really knocked me around and I just, in Kona I couldn’t get that bike ride fast enough to get in at sub 12. And I worked every year to try and do it. So when I turned 55 I thought, you know, honey, you got to do this because every year you’re getting older, it’s getting tougher. And what did I had done was I, I decided that you can, you can say all you want that you think you could have done it, but if you don’t do it, you know, you’ll never know. You’ll never know. So I, and I knew it was the winds that were keeping me from doing it. So I went to Germany to do the race there and I trained for speed and I did it in 1117.
16:52 So I knew I had it, but I still wanted it in Kona to the year I turned 55 I worked so hard training for speed and to fight the winds. And I did it. I did it in 1156. So that was a very memorable race because, you know, I had worked so hard for it. And then the other race that really stands out in my mind was, um, the last year that I did iron man, because I’m now have, have started just doing this, the half Iron Mans in 2015. And I had always said that, uh, I would know it was time to stop doing iron man races when I no longer enjoyed the training. And I live out here in the desert where it can be during the summer when I’m training, it averages about 112 hundred 15 degrees. It can go up to 120, 124 that was just no longer enjoying it.
17:49 Yeah. I thought in 2015 I thought, I really don’t want to keep doing this, but I don’t feel like I can walk away from this thing that had become such a part of my life without having the race of my life. And um, so I trained really hard that year, not enjoying it at all, but to have that race so that I could walk away. One of the, the Mo, the most interesting race I had ever had there in Kona because I fought with a second place person, the woman that I had beat many years and she stayed ahead of me all day long. Wow. Until the last mile and a half of the race of the run to the finish line. And I passed her and beat her by three minutes. But I had never had to run that particular kind of race to win.
18:47 You had always run your own race and now you were following her!
18:47 Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I, I didn’t know that I actually had that in me to do it because you had to stay really calm all day long as I wasn’t catching her I was very certain I could do it on the run because I always had, I wasn’t this time I wasn’t, she came ready to fight too. Yeah. So that was, uh, that was a memorable race from me and one that I was very proud of.
19:14 That’s amazing. So I just want to clarify, you’re 74 now, is that right?
19:20 I am. I will turn 75 in July.
19:23 Wow. And so this was, I mean, so when we’re 2015 that was in your 70s?
19:28 71 . I was 71.
19:30 Wow. I mean, amazing. Amazing. I was thinking about this as you were speaking earlier over the course of all these competitions and repeatedly going to triathlon, I mean to iron man and Kona, did you develop a community of women that, you know, we’re also triathletes in your age group?
19:47 Yes, very definitely. And when you do it as long as I had as a to have you go through different sets of, of women friends that um, and it’s, it’s lovely. We, I mean we all grew old, grew older together. Yeah. There were those that dropped out and, and I still stay in touch with some of those that are no longer racing like that. And then there are those that came in a little later than I did and there are, there’s a couple that stuck with it the whole time. There are several who we’ve lost. So yeah, it’s a very close and like this woman that I beat that time, I of course waited at the finish line for her and that I told her I’m not racing next year, but I’m going to be here to watch and I’m cheering for you. And she did. She won that title the next year.
20:39 Oh, that’s amazing. That’s awesome. That gives me goosebumps. I know. It’s so exciting. It’s so fun. So you mentioned that you’ve retired iron man triathlons and now you’re just doing those. Oh, so simple. Half Iron Mans. Just a little thing. So talk to us about what you’re up to right now in terms of 2019 your training goals and what you’re, what you’re focusing on because you’re 74 we talk all the time and I know we shared a little bit about our five daily actions, but our daily action number one is move and it’s, we say it’s, it’s number one for a reason. It’s so important as a part of aging and successful aging just to continue to move and be physically active. Yeah. To prevent a loss of mobility because that happens with people as they age. If they don’t get out there and move, but we’re talking just just as Angela said, we’re talking about making sure you’re moving, you’re taking it to a whole different level, which is great too. It’s, it’s, we’ve talked about that too. It’s wonderful for your heart, your brain, everything else helps, you know, all of that cardiovascular. If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain. So, but you’re, you’re not slowing down. I mean, half, half triathlons or not like for the faint of heart.
21:56 They are, uh, people tend to, in fact, that’s why they changed the name of them to, they don’t, in the world triathlon corporation, they no longer call them half iron mans because that makes it sound like, hey, you’re just going to do a half a big race. Yeah. They call it a 70.3, which is half the half the mileage.
22:15 Which is 70.3 miles. Just to clarify!
22:19 It’s still a long way. There is something, the fact that it’s shorter means that you go faster and harder so in its own way. It’s, it’s every bit as difficult as an iron man. Uh, you know, the full iron man requires you go slower, but the endurance is just a killer. Yeah. The shorter the half, it’s a, it’s a, so it’s a real race. It’s a real race. Yeah. It’s practically a sprint for you. I mean, goodness.
22:49 Right. Well, I wouldn’t quite say that, but yeah, I’m being facetious only because again, it’s, it’s still includes a half marathon, which I’ve, you know, that for me that’s a lot in and of itself. That topped us out.
23:04 It is. There’s no doubt about it. Yeah. Yeah.
23:07 Fantastic. So you’re, you have plans to raise some of these 70.3 mile races in 2019.
23:14 Yes, I’m a, I’ve got five 70.3 races on the calendar starting in May. The fifth race is the world championships in the 70.3 in the half iron man. That’s a race in Nice France. Oh, lovely. Very nice. That’s a schedule that I’ve made, uh, the mid last year. And that in itself is a big schedule for anybody, particularly for a 75 year old person. Yeah. But, um, I will share with you and your listeners, um, my plan, that is a plan. It is a goal and I’m not sharing this with a world yet, but I guess I could say that I am in this regard. Um, there is a, well when I, when I left doing iron man, I left for a reason as I told you and I’m very, very happy with that decision and I’m very happy doing the shorter distance racing and I am not missing iron man training in the least.
24:15 That said. There is a record that was set in the championships in Kona, uh, my I race now in 75 79 and that record is a record that I believe if everything goes well that I could beat and I have always tried to live my life without what I call what ifs, if there’s something that I’m looking at an opportunity and I believe that it’s something that I really kind of wanted to do, but it’s risky and I don’t know if I can, and it has all sorts of, it’s fraught with problems. I don’t want to leave that on the table because I know that the rest of my life I will ask what if, what if I had tried that? What would have happened? Yeah, this falls into that category. As much as I really don’t want to do the training for another iron man. I know that I would not be happy sitting back and saying, what if, so if all goes well, I need to qualify because I haven’t been racing and there’s a lot of things that can happen between now and October, but my goal is to get back and to race there again this year, one year one and done and see if I can break that record.
25:34 Oh, that is exciting. That is amazing. I can we, can we, I’m just, I’m just putting it out there right now. You would come back on our podcast in November and uh, bring us up to date on this past year.
25:46 Indeed. I will.
25:47 That would be wonderful.
25:48 I had to go through the, the process of really thinking about it. How will I feel if I try this and I don’t do it, I don’t accomplish it and I’ll be disappointed, but I will feel happier for having tried it.
26:04 Right? Yeah. It’s just that back and said, what if it’s like the, the, the disappointment of regret is probably worse than the disappointment of actually doing it,
26:15 I would say. Absolutely. So yes, I’ll come back and share.
26:18 That’d be awesome. Think about that. We just actually did a podcast all on, I’m talking about a book that we just, uh, kind of distilled for our listeners on atomic habits and, uh, the power of habit. And basically one of his points was that you don’t, you know, the goal of being, you know, of winning this or setting this really the, what the, the journey that you will take to get there is really what the, the, the reward is, you know, all of those, all of what you’re going to be doing and, and how you will be feeling and how you’ll be coming of course, as a trained, you know, as a, as a champion athlete, I’m sure that’s easier said than you know, but the, in terms of not focusing on that, on that goal out there, yeah. But it’s still a part, an important part of, uh, people understanding that, the journey to get there. And what you’re doing and all the habits that you’re, you know, and all the training really is where the victory is.
27:21 Yeah. I couldn’t agree with that more. You know, I’ve, I’ve always believed that champions are made when nobody’s watching. Those are the, those are the times when you’re out there and training for an iron man and you spend a lot of time out there by yourself. Um, but it’s the, it’s the getting up in the morning and not, there’s no choice to be made. I go out and I bike, I go out and I run. I go out and I do whatever workout has to be done. Um, and that’s the habit part of it. And then being out there and knowing that I am preparing myself, no matter how the day is calling good or bad or short or long, whatever I’m doing is preparing for that goal at the end of it is.
28:04 Yeah, that’s down the road.
28:05 Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s the whole thing. Yeah. The whole thing.
28:11 Well, it’s a wonderful, and I can’t wait to see you accomplish that goal this year. That’s exciting. So another part of what you’ve been doing, and I don’t know if this coincided with your retirement from iron man or not, but is it when you started your foundation there in southern California for helping underprivileged kids Exceeding Expectations, talk to us a little bit about this foundation and what inspired you to start it, what, what you guys are doing with it, and just a little bit more.
28:42 Well, how much time do you have? Because this is my passion.
28:46 Which is awesome. Fantastic. Cause I’m sure, I think, and I said this to you before, our daily action number three is share. And we talk about it as a real actionable thing. Uh, loneliness. Isolation is a problem for people as they age. And staying connected to your community and giving back is something that has, has scientific proof that it helps you not only live longer but live happier. So the benefits are huge. Yeah. And so I’m sure what you’re doing for the kids is obviously hugely beneficial, but you’re, I’m sure getting something out of it as well.
29:19 Well, you couldn’t be more right. This started actually in, in December of 2000, so that’s been going on for some time. Um, I was invited to speak to a school of Group of fifth and sixth grade kids, um, in San Bernardino. And I don’t know how much you or your listeners to know about San Bernardino, but it’s one of the poorest cities in the country, areas in the country. And uh, so I went to this school and I spoke to these kids about setting goals and working hard on the goals. And I had a little, uh, CD in those days that of my doing that record setting, uh, race. And I showed them that and they were just a great crowd. There were about 200 of them. And, um, so afterwards I said to the teacher that had invited me to speak that there was a little triathlon that was happening in the adjacent city and that coming up in a couple of months and in any of the kids were interested, I’d be happy to help him out. I envisioned when I was speaking to her, a couple of kids who had parents who had bikes. Well, to make a long story short, we selected 12 kids, no parents, no bikes. And I went out to my friends and I got bikes and I went to a race director and I got them to help us with race fees.
30:43 And I went to other triathlete friends and I said, I need you. I’m going to train the kids on the bike. I need you to swim and run for them. And I , and we did this for a couple of months. Every Saturday I would go and I’d pick him up and, and when I went to pick them up, that first week is the first time that I really got how these kids were living. And it broke my heart. I just, I thought that I understood poverty, but I had never looked at it from the inside out before. I’d always looked from the outside in. And that was just what I saw was hopelessness. So we started training these kids and I, we took them to the race and they were just wonderful. They had such a good time and afterwards, you know, I had no grand vision of, of this program we were putting together, I just was taking a bunch of kids to a rice.
31:36 And afterwards they said, we love that. We want to do it again. And so I said, well, if you do it again, now you have to bike and run. And they said, no problem. So we trained them to do a little of that and we took them to another race and got swimmers for them. And they biked and they ran. And then they said, okay, we want to do another one. And I said, okay, now in the, to do the whole race, you got to swim. And they said, no, no, no, no. We don’t swim. I don’t want to, we don’t swim. And I said, well, the race is three things. It’s the swim is part of it. So, and these little races, you swim in a pool so you swim last, right? So I said, uh, you bike and you run and you get to the edge of the pool and I’ll be there waiting.
32:19 You can climb. On my back. You can climb in my arms, you can do anything you want, but you must get through the water in order to get to the finish line. And we had some terrified kids and we had some issues getting them in the water, a couple of them, but every single one of the 12 kids made it. And from that point on, I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. Yeah. But this, so we, we continue to do this. And it was, it was working fine, but a couple of months afterwards or after I started this, I had an, a situation that happened that changed completely what Exceeding Expectations really was, as opposed to taking kids to races. It was after some event and I was taking a car full of kids home and I was talking to them about going to school and graduated from high school and going to college.
33:08 And the little kid sitting next to me in the car turned to me and he said these exact words. He said, Cherie, why are you talking to us about that? That’s for other kids, it’s not for us. And that hit me like a ton of bricks. And I realized at that moment that what we were doing was good, but it was not nearly enough that we have to show these kids and their families that this education was a bullet, the silver bullet to get out of their environment. And it was for them if they were willing to work. So at that point, Exceeding Expectations became about getting these kids through high school into college or some educational program that would give that opportunity for a new job. Not a single one of these 12 kids had anybody in their families or extended families who had ever graduated high school.
34:02 Made sense that they thought this wasn’t for them. So that is our goal and I use the sport of running and triathlon to teach these kids what they need and to give them opportunities and mentoring and that kind of thing. And we now have five kids who have graduated from college, we have 14 in college right now. We have six more graduating this year. 100% of our kids that have stuck with the program. You know, we sometimes lose them along the way, but one that have stuck with the program graduate from high school. So you know it’s a little grassroots program, 50 60 kids, but it’s working one at a time. Yeah.
34:48 And it works because of the generosity of just people, individual people who are willing to donate because we have to pay for the college. You know, these kids could not afford to go to college. They get some grants and that kind of thing. But we don’t let them get any loans that they’re going to be stuck with. And we, the deal I make with them on when they become a part of our group is your job is to do well in school and graduate from high school and get yourself into whatever school or program is the best for you and we will make sure that finances will never be a hindrance for you.
35:25 That’s amazing. That’s such an amazing goal. And that’s since 2000 so you have been, I mean it sounds like almost a full time thing for you. I mean it probably requires a lot of time.
35:36 You know? Um, yes it does. Um, it would, it would be full time if I were not racing, but I’m not, and I’ve kind of wrestled with this, but my racing gives me some visibility that I would not have for the fundraising and the support that we get for this program. It also shows the kids, don’t you tell me you can’t do something. So, you know, there’s just a lot of benefit to my doing what I do. These kids are, are growing up.
36:10 Absolutely. So far I’ve been able to do both. Uh, we’re doing just fine.
36:17 Yeah. And for an inspiration for those kids to, to go from being truly hopeless to seeing you do what you’re doing and seeing other kids ahead of them who have gone through the program and succeeded. It’s, it’s amazing.
36:30 And the older kids that have graduated and are in college that are in the area still, and most of them are, they still come back. They work as mentors with these kids. Yeah. It really is. And you won’t feel find anybody now that says college is not for us. These kids, even the little, they come in at about eight and nine years old. Yeah. You could ask anyone of what are you going to do… I’m, graduated from high school and I’m going to call it. Yeah. Yeah.
36:58 That in itself, just like that change of mindset for those kids because if you believe you can do it.
37:04 Yeah. And their families, you know, because the parents didn’t believe that there. We’ve had several experiences where the parents have said to me, we got, you got to leave my kids alone. They got no chance. They can’t ever break out of here. But they’ve, they’ve come around, they realize that their kids can break out of there now, which is really great.
37:26 Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. Well, um, we just couldn’t be happier than to have gotten to talk to you today and share about your story, your passion, your success with not only just in terms of your athletic success, but really just success at living that happier, longer life. You know, people take it for granted. I, I, we, uh, you know, like I said, we focusing this month on talking to people that are a little further down the pike. Then we are in terms of creating these habits of living a happier, longer life and 74 you might take for granted that, you know, you’re a pretty exceptional, uh, a pretty exceptional example of that kind of life. But it is still possible. And even at 74 people, you know, you don’t stop doing, you don’t stop learning, you don’t stop sharing. You don’t start being grateful for things, you know, you can still create a happier, longer life even if you’re starting now from nowhere. Right.
38:27 You know, the, there’s, there’s a quote, just a single one long quote that I live with daily. I’ve, I’ve read it, I don’t, maybe 20 years ago and every single day I think about this as George Eliot, she said, you, “It’s never too late to be what you might’ve been.” Yeah, no. And what that says to me is every day counts. You know, they’re, they’re not writing my obituary yet. I’m still living. I got a lot to do between now and whenever that is. Yeah. And I just love that. It’s never too late to be what you might’ve been.
38:59 It’s One of our very most favorite quotes here. Probably one of the first that we shared. Yeah, we are are um, we, yes, we share motivational quotes and, and our planner has one and new one every single day and they’re usually focused on just that on optimism and aging and, and never giving up. So yeah. Well we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us. We are going to make hold you to it, uh, after your, after your success in a Kona in October. And we will definitively link to everything in our show notes so people can connect with you both on your website and Exceeding Expectations website. We would encourage everyone to go check these out. Um, donate if you can cause I’m sure you would take that too.
39:44 Yeah. Oh yes. Absolutely. Thank you. Yeah.
39:48 So Cherie, it’s been just our pleasure and we appreciate it. Yeah, so much. Thank you. Thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed it. Thanks for listening to the live happier, longer podcast. Now it’s time to move, learn, share, and let go. Five daily actions to make the rest of your life the best of your life. See you next week.
40:15 So just a quick word before you go, if you haven’t already, click that subscribe button on a podcast. We would love you to do that and we would also appreciate any feedback you have for us. Positive ones would be excellent, but we will take anything you have to say and for a free copy of the Five for life planner head to fiveforlifeplanner.com and download your free PDF today.