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I want to fail. I'd rather choose very, very difficult things and have to be resilient. If I don't make it right, then choose mediocre goals. So it wasn't always about swimming, it was about living the biggest life I can live. I'm Hillary Clinton and this is you and me both where I get into some of today's biggest questions with people that I admire, you know, I'm always interested in where people get their resilience because, look, everybody gets knocked down in life.
You know, some get knocked down more than once. And the question really is, as my mother used to tell me on a regular basis, it's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up. Today, I'm talking to three resilient guests, Diana Nyad, who you just heard, you know, in twenty thirteen, she became the first person ever to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. She swam for fifty three hours.
She faced incredible dangers like lethal box jellyfish attacks, Gulf Stream currents, exhaustion, delirium.
And she did it all when she was sixty four years old. I'm also going to be talking to Angela Duckworth. Angela is a psychologist and the writer of a terrific book, a New York Times bestseller called Gripped the Power of Passion and Perseverance. And she's going to explain to us where she got her passion for studying grit and resilience.
But first, writer and comedian Sarah Cooper. Now, if this were any other comedian, I'd want to play a clip of their work for you. But I don't think that's going to help us here because Sarah Cooper is famous not for what she does with her own words, but what she does with the words of Donald Trump. She appears in videos where she is lip synching the exact words that came out of Donald Trump's mouth in his public statements. She became an Internet sensation.
And I was just totally blown away by how, in her words, his words could be understood as even more incoherent and, frankly, unbelievable. Now, before she started doing that, she wrote two books based on her time working in corporate America. In twenty sixteen, she wrote one hundred tricks to appear smart in meetings and two years later, how to be successful without hurting men's feelings, nonthreatening leadership strategies for women. And, you know, obviously, I wish that had come out sooner.
She has a Netflix comedy special that will be out later this fall, and she's working on a television series for CBS, which include Sarah Cooper in an episode about resilience. Well, for starters, it takes a lot of resilience to listen to Donald Trump over and over and over. And more importantly, her videos make us laugh and help us all to stay resilient during an incredibly tough time. I am delighted to have her on the podcast.
I have to say, Sarah, that you and your humor has gotten me through some tough days.
So I have to start by thanking you. You know, you came to my attention, as you did, I think, to the rest of the world initially by your videos that were lip synching our president. And it was so brilliant, so extraordinarily onpoint. And I'm interested. How did you get started doing that? I mean, where did that idea even come from, Sarah?
You know, it really came from a combination of being on Tic-Tac and seeing people doing lip synching and then also just watching our president sort of fumble his way through all of these press briefings and these coronavirus task force meetings. And I was immediately reminded of being in corporate America and just watching usually men kind of talk their way through situations when they actually haven't said anything at all. And so I was just really fascinated by the words because the words meant nothing.
And yet people were nodding and agreeing. And so it was really out of a little bit of jealousy because I would love to be able to get away with just saying nothing and having people think that I'm brilliant. You know, that would just be amazing. And so I really didn't set out to to be an impersonator of this guy. I didn't I was really more like, could I get away with that? In one way? To figure out if I could get away with it is to just take exactly what he's saying.
The exact audio clip hasn't been changed at all and see what it feels like to have those words come out of my mouth. How would Sarah Cooper act if she could just be in a meeting and saying absolutely nothing? And it really, I think for a lot of people, brought to the forefront what everyone's been feeling. But we've been gaslighted into thinking that we're the crazy ones because everyone thinks this is fine. And once you take away that suit and the podium and the presidential seal and all the people agreeing with him, and you're just left with me and my sweatshirt being saying I'm going to form a.
And the committee is going to be really great, if you realize, OK, yeah, no, he's not saying anything and that's really where it started.
I am curious, did you expect the overwhelming tsunami of a response once you got started?
I didn't. I mean, I made a few of them really short clips at first, and people thought they were fine and good. But really, I mean, when I made the first one that went viral, I, I didn't realize that it would go so viral. But then beyond that, I just kept getting good material and I just kept making more videos and it just became this sort of unstoppable thing that changed my life and changed my career.
And I'm literally in L.A. right now sitting in my Rudolf's office because I'm on the set basically of my Netflix special because of all of this. Oh, that's so great. It really just took off in a way that I had no idea. I had sort of given up my entertainment dreams, to be honest with you, because I wrote these books. They didn't really do that. Well, I would I would say the the my first book came out a month before the election.
And, you know, any chance for any press that it was ever going to get was just completely overshadowed. But, you know, I would say it was probably a hard election for you. Oh, yeah. Because in my book, I mean, for many reasons.
But yeah. So just just to have this resurgence of interest in the books and this idea that, oh wow, I maybe I actually will have an entertainment career, it's just been amazing.
Does this identification that you now have with lip synching Trump, does it make you feel different at all when you're speaking in your own voice? Are you still in your worst nightmares, still hearing his voice in some way?
I get asked this a lot because I do have to listen to him over and over again. So you would think his voice would get stuck in my head, but it just doesn't. Images get stuck in my head, images and feelings. You know, those things will bring me back and they will get stuck. But audio sound goes in one ear and out the other. So thankfully, that doesn't happen to me. My husband, on the other hand, gets very, very, very annoyed having to hear this over and over again.
So I don't blame him. I mean, I don't either. The only thing that worries me sometimes is, is people will send me clips and they're like, you have to do this when you have to do this one. And sometimes I'll listen and I'll be like, oh, I see what he was trying to say.
So, oh, wait, wait, wait. Now, I don't understand. Wait, stop.
You know, you can't do this anymore. This is affecting you. Right. But I want to go back to before you started lip synching Trump, before you put that on tick tock, you were using your comedy even before that to talk about social issues.
Give our listeners a little bit of a bio here. I mean, what, as you said earlier, made you feel passionate about entertaining and acting and comedy. And what is it you wanted to do with that?
Well, I always just love making people laugh. And I think that just comes from I'm the youngest child. I kind of was the one who if there was ever any tension in our family, I was the one who sort of diffused it with some humor jokes or whatever. And it was just like if I could make people feel calm again and feel happy, it just made me feel, I think useful. I think it just made me it just gave me a purpose.
Like I can make people feel comfortable. And for better or worse, I will say that it can backfire in terms of if your goal is always just to make people feel comfortable, you can forget about yourself and you can forget about, hey, well, maybe you're not happy right now and maybe that's not your role right now. And so it's I think making people laugh is sort of been the number one thing. And then just realizing I have a lot of things I want to share my opinion on is kind of the second thing that is exciting about entertainment and satire in particular.
I love just because you can have a message without feeling preachy, you know, like with nonthreatening leadership strategies for women. I wasn't telling women, hey, you're doing something wrong or you're saying something wrong or you should do this or do this. I was simply holding up a mirror and saying, this is what happens. This is what I do. Sometimes I minimize myself in rooms. Sometimes I add way too many exclamation points in my emails just because I want to feel like I'm being real nice.
And it's just like holding a mirror up and people write me and they'll say, you know what, I realized I do that. I kind of ask a question when I want to make a statement. Right. I do that and I realize I don't want to do that anymore. And they were able to realize that on their own without me saying, hey, don't do this anymore. And so that's what I that's kind of the position that I enjoy being in, is that I can make people laugh.
I can make them think if they like to think, I can make them learn something and change if they would like to do that. But other than that, I've given them a moment of levity that. Maybe they wouldn't have had before, you know, when I think about humor, I often think about it as being one of the best tools we have for resilience. I mean, to find the humor in even the worst situation, to try to connect on that level with people, it must be part of the motivation that you had and still have that.
Look, we're going through a hard time in our country right now.
And what keeps you laughing despite everything that is happening around us?
I think I just go through waves where after the election I was just so distraught for months. I couldn't even write this book because I my publisher wanted me to write something about women. But I was so angry that I was just like, no, there's nothing funny about this. There's nothing funny about this. I'm just angry. And I think eventually I was able to sort of find a way to the humor just of like, look at all these rules.
Look at all these these these things we tell each other where this don't where this smile, don't smile. Wear your hair like this. Don't do this. Don't act like you can't follow all these rules. We can't it's impossible. And I mean, that was one of the things with your campaign. I was so angry that they said you needed to smile. I was like, why does you need to smile? She doesn't need to smile like little smile.
If she wants to smile, she doesn't want to smile. She doesn't have to smile. How does that sound? You know what I mean? I was so angry at that because that's how they get you.
That's how they get this. Oh, she's not authentic. Well, maybe it's because you told her to smile when she didn't want to smile. Maybe that's why she's not authentic to you, you know, and it's like this whole idea of authenticity and being true to yourself. And yet there's this world set up that you have to fit into. And so, wait, how am I supposed to be true to myself when there's this world that I have to fit into and play their games when I, I don't want to, you know?
And so I was able to find the humor in that of just thinking about it and realizing, OK, all of these rules in a book realize you can't follow them. That's the joke. You know what?
That's just a joke. Yeah. We're taking a quick break.
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Listen to Labyrinths on the I Heart radio app, on Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You know, I keep thinking, Sarah, about how resilience is such a key part of anybody's life. I mean, we all get knocked down. We all have to figure out how to get back up. And when you think about, you know, the work that you've done and your commitment despite the setbacks, what got you up in the morning?
Know, you said, well, you tried to be in comedy. That didn't work.
But what kept you going? You know, I just I feel very blessed to have a father that just instilled in me gratefulness, and so I just even when things were going well, I'll tell you, like when and how to be successful without hurting man's feelings came out. I went to a book signing. Two people showed up. You know, I had situations like that, but I had my husband there and he was still taking pictures of me like it was a big deal.
And it wasn't a big deal at all. No one was there, but it was just like, no, I still have a book. I did a book. I made a book, you know, like just looking at the small things and just being appreciative of those small things just help me sort of keep going. And just knowing my favorite quote is from Vanilla Sky, and it's basically every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.
I love that. I just love that every minute you can do something different, you can choose to do something different. You can choose to try something. And that's what I did with these talks. I was just trying something. I didn't know if it was going to work. And so knowing you have that opportunity to just try something, it helps me because I never feel like I'm stuck and I can't do anything. I know there's always something I can do.
I there's always something I can try.
You know, I really relate to that. I think that for many people, your Tick-Tock videos were lifelines. You know, the kind of hope that things can get better and can change. You know, you came along and you kind of helped to strip it all down and explain without doing anything other than repeating his words. You gave people the idea, like, I don't have to listen to this. I don't have to believe that. And that was a huge contribution to resilience, the resilience of individuals and I hope the resilience of our country not to put too fine a point on it, but I just can't thank you enough for what you've done.
And I'm so in your corner. I can't wait to see your program and see what happens to you next.
Well, thank you. I'm I'm eternally grateful for you, just your commitment and your dedication and your just unwavering focus on what you think is important and what you know in your heart to be true has always been an inspiration to me and will continue to be an inspiration to me. So I just want to say how honored I am and how appreciative I am of you.
Thank you. Since my conversation with Sarah, President Trump, as we all know, has tested positive for covid-19 been hospitalized, returned, Sarah hasn't put out any new videos yet. And I wanted to check in with her to see what she makes of this latest plot twist in light of recent events.
I wanted to check in with you again. Your videos do such an excellent job of highlighting how absurd many of Trump's statements are. But over the last few weeks, his statements and his actions around covid-19 have not been so much ridiculous as actually dangerous. He's out there telling people he understands the virus now and it's not something to be afraid of and refusing to participate remotely in the next presidential debate. What goes through your mind when you hear him say these things?
Well, it starts to make me reconsider all of the videos I've been making just because at this point it seems like there might be something really wrong with him. You know, I've always seen him as someone who is very sinister and calculated. But at this point and I think Nancy Pelosi brought up twenty Fifth Amendment today, too, but it does feel like there's something genuinely wrong with him. And so I it's almost like, do you make fun of someone who has some sort of problem that you don't know what that problem is?
But it is also so dangerous that I don't want to contribute to the propaganda that is spreading. So it is a weird time for my particular kind of satire because I want to highlight how insane a lot of the things he's saying. But if he's actually insane and he's actually saying things that are going to genuinely hurt people and inspire other people to hurt other people, then I don't want to spread that message.
I agree with you. We're at a different point now. It is scary to think that we have still three or four weeks, something like that. I mean, it's it's a very tense time of just trying to get to that election and and hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I agree with you. I mean, the tension just seems to build. I was talking to a good friend of mine who's a doctor, and she was saying she sees so many people now. It's just exploded in terms of, you know, her patients saying that they're anxious, they're agitated, they're depressed, and they link it to this election.
They just are literally, you know, overcome by what they're experiencing when they watch Trump.
But I think it is a, you know, a real sign of resilience that more and more people are voting early. More and more people are speaking out. More and more people in the press and elsewhere are calling him out.
So, you know, maybe that's a good sign that assuming we get through this election and we retire him, we can kind of pull together again.
And I'm praying for that. Oh, me too.
Sarah, to keep an eye out for Sarah's upcoming comedy special, it's called Sarah Cooper. Everything's Fine and it comes out on Netflix October twenty seventh. One of the reasons I'm interested in resilience is that it's not just something that you're born with or you aren't. And I've learned a lot about that from research that is being done about how to cultivate resilience in ourselves and others. And, you know, nothing's more important than helping kids be more resilient, especially right now with so much uncertainty in their world.
So that's why I'm looking forward to talking with Angela Duckworth. She's a psychologist. She's a MacArthur genius. She's the writer of grit, the power of passion and perseverance.
Grit. Actually, that's one of my favorite words.
You have been called gritty iron out of Meryl Streep and other people. A gritty, gritty moments, you know, very gritty.
But I guess I want to start with having you explain what grit is.
When I talk about grit, I mean, this combination of passion and perseverance for especially long term and personally meaningful goals. And I say passion and perseverance because it's not just working hard and being tenacious. I mean, that is part of grit. And I think that's where the overlap with resilience, the topic of the show. But grit, unlike resilience, means that your passion about it resonates with your values. It interests you. You feel like a kid when you're doing it.
So perseverance and passion are long term goals. Turns out to be not at all correlated with talent or intelligence, but very predictive of long term achievement. It's a little bit about your own life, and if you can reflect on what brought you to this particular subject.
Well, we may or may not have this in common, but I was certainly raised in a family that was dominated by my father's obsession with achievement. He really was like obsessed with the outliers in human accomplishment. And and then in our own family, he would make comparisons of my sister, my brother and me, who was doing well in the in the horse race of achievement. I by the way, I'm not recommending this. I'm just describing my childhood.
And so when I grew up, I wondered whether there was something else other than our our maybe our innate talent that that might determine what we might achieve. And I think that's what led me to the study of grit. I was also, by the way, a teacher, classroom teacher in New York City and San Francisco public schools for several years. And when I saw my students at the beginning of the year, it was clear that some of them had more of a facility for math, which is what I taught.
But I was very surprised at the end of the year that the students who had really learned the most weren't always the ones who were quite obviously bright at the beginning. And and so much of it was a kind of dedication, a sustained interest and effort in spite of setbacks, which is, I think, the heart of resilience.
Well, I think there are similarities between our fathers. My father was absolutely set on making sure that I did as well as I could in school. I would bring home straight A's and he'd say, you must go to an easy school.
It was his way of, I think, trying to motivate me.
And it's the only way he knew to express his hopes was through this kind of competitive comparative approach that I believe fathers like ours actually thought was a way of showing love and appreciation to keep pushing their children. And luckily for us, their daughters, not just their sons.
Yes. And, you know, when you think about those students that you taught, because I read about how you began to think through, what was it that made some kids successful, even if they didn't start with the greatest understanding of math or some other subject and other kids, maybe Faid, who looked like they had potential, what did that then lead you to decide to do?
Well, first, I was frustrated with them. And then, as any halfway decent teacher would be, you realize that you're the problem, right? So at first I was like, why aren't they learning my my beautiful lesson plan? Like, how come it's not turning out the way I wanted to? And quickly, my frustration, my students turned into frustration with myself because I realized it was a limitation of me as a teacher that I wasn't accessing.
I wasn't creating an onramp to what we were doing. And when I got frustrated, I eventually decided that my tactics were incredibly ham fisted. Like, I mean, I tried to be nice, but I just like, you know, if you could just put more effort in, you'll be successful. I mean, that doesn't work. So what I decided to do is change my career trajectory a little bit or a lot, I guess become a psychological scientist.
It's not until I think we can understand why is it that when a child gives up like they do, like what is going on in the millisecond before they put their pencil down and stop paying attention to what they're doing, like what happens? And I, I realized that we needed more science on motivation and interest and effort in order that teachers and parents, by the way, could do more than just the kind of like well-intentioned but usually ineffectual sermonising, at least that I was doing.
So when you went back to school, how did you actually construct a program to look at this and pursue it as a professional academic interest?
So I was a late bloomer in the sense of coming to graduate school in my whatever fourth decade of life. But I knew what I wanted to study. I was like, I know exactly what I'm here to figure out. I wanted to understand the psychology of young people in moments of frustration and moments of self-doubt. And then I wanted to figure out what turns things such that insecurity becomes confidence when the frustration becomes bearable. And I apprenticed to a very famous psychological scientist, Marty Seligman, who basically is the leading figure or one of at least in resilience.
And I'll tell you maybe one insight that gives you a sense of how scientists figure things out like this. When you study something scientifically, you want to make a comparison. So if you want to study resilience, you want to find examples of resilience, but also examples of non resilience. Right. Or giving up during difficulty. And Marty did exactly that when he was in graduate school. He studied animals. He studied dogs, for example. And he discovered that when animals are resilient, it is in part because they have control.
So if an animal is experiencing control over their adversity, even if the adversity is in the case of the dogs, he was studying like mild electric shocks. I mean, really painful. The control makes all the difference when animals don't have control over adversity. It's what he coined as learned helplessness. And so I think the basic idea of the scientific method when applied to things like resilience is make systematic comparisons, find examples of what you're looking for, or find examples of the opposite, and then systematically work your way through to kind of figure out what's going on underneath the surface.
Everything you've said obviously has implications for parenting. How is your research impacted your own parenting?
So practically speaking, I think in terms of resilience, the most important thing I learned in my research was that left to their own devices, young people will shy away from hard things like it's way more fun to win than to lose. It's way more fun to get the right answer than the wrong answer. And I could see my kids, like, shy away from hard things. So we made a rule in our family and we call it the hard thing rule.
And we said everybody in this family, including mom and dad, has to do a hard thing. We instituted this when the girls are about kindergarten age and the hard thing rule had three parts. One is that a hard thing is something that requires practice, like really trying to get better at something with feedback and and not all the feedback is going to be positive. Second thing about the hard thing is that you can't quit in the middle. So if you've made a commitment to a track coach or a piano teacher and you said you've done you're going to do something for two months, then then you have to honor that commitment.
And then the third thing, and I think this is so important, I'm of Chinese heritage. My parents immigrated in the fifties and I don't really believe in tiger parenting. I think the third part is the most important part, which is that you get to choose your hard thing yourself. Nobody can tell you what your hard thing is. And I let my five year old we I should say, my husband and I, we let them choose even when they were in kindergarten.
I mean, it was multiple choice because like your Lucy said, she wanted to ride horses. And I was like, that is not on the list. So anyway, I think that was all informed by science.
I love that idea, giving them some control over the hard thing they choose, but then they have to stick with that hard thing and they have to be willing to take the ups and the downs that come from trying something that's hard. And, you know, I think about hard things that I've had to do.
I mean, running for office was really hard, looked like it from the outside, and it was hard. It was hard the first time I tried it and never had done it for myself before and had to practice and practice and learn and learn. And it it was a passion. And I had to persevere, win or lose. And I assume you've had to do hard things like what are one or two of the hard things you had to deal with?
I told you that my dad was like, how smart is this person? Has a well, one advantage, I will just say, of never thinking of yourself as the smartest person in the room. Is that like, wow, you are at least for me. I think the way I interpret that was like I'm going to be the hardest working person.
I'm like, nobody's going to outwork me, help me. Right.
And, you know, I think that has been a a certain kind of confidence. Like just the other day I was in a conversation with Danny Kahneman, who's another hero of mine. You won the Nobel Prize in economics. I think he's the best living psychologist there is today. And we're having this conversation. And I was trying to give him an idea about the psychology of attention. And about 20 minutes in, he was like playing chess with Garry Kasparov, you in checkmate.
And I was like is like this idea is like full of holes. It isn't work. And I remember thinking, well, like, I am not as smart as cornerman when it comes to psychology. And I think I said something like that, but I wasn't so afraid. I never thought of myself as that way. So I just said, like, well, I would like to talk about this more, but I think I'm going to need a week to recover to cover them.
I would make some more notes with some more.
You were fierce in your desire to keep going, maybe take a deep breath and come back. I have so enjoyed talking to you and I hope this will be the first of many conversations because I am fascinated by what you do. Thank you so much for talking with me and say hello to your family. Say hello to those two daughters of.
Angela's book is called Gret, she's a co-founder of Character Lab, which helps classrooms across the country create more resilient kids. And you can learn more about her and her research at Angela Duckworth Dotcom.
I first heard about Diana Nyad really a long time ago because she had this amazing success record of swimming around the island of Manhattan, across Lake Ontario, you know, she really was somebody who was of my vintage and was doing heroic, difficult things in the water. She took time out to be a sports broadcaster. And then I would see her covering sports, including the Olympics. And it looked like she was done with her own competitive swimming until she decided to try again.
She had tried to swim from Cuba to Florida the first time when she was 28. When she was 61, she decided to try again and again and again. And then at age sixty four, she wanted to try once more and she succeeded on her fifth try.
That should give everybody a kind of boost about what's possible. As you'll hear, her zest for life puts the rest of us to shame. I think about your amazing career and how you really took on the challenge of long distance swimming. What drew you to it? Because it's such a unique sport.
You know, there are two layers to the answer to that question. One is, I was born in New York City, but by the time I was in second grade. So you're seven years old? I was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with the beautiful, warm ocean right there. And I was good at swimming. I had a way of feeling the water and going through the water and a strong, fast way. So of course, I wanted that.
But honestly, way above that, I don't know why Hillary. But I got the idea very early before the age of 10 that this whole thing was going to go by very quickly, that I better not waste any time. I may not be the best at what I do, but I want to live up to my potential. I want to help people the best I can. I want to be the best I am intellectually, physically. So I've been lucky to have a lot of attributes of energy that helped me get up very early and live a gung ho PressTV kind of life all day long and go to sleep every night saying, well, I just couldn't have done any more with that day.
But I guess I'm getting around to saying it wasn't. And it still is not just about swimming. I wasn't necessarily driven to I've got to swim this and I've got to be a swimmer. I was and I am all that. But it's more what can I do with this one, as Mary Oliver put it, wild and precious life of mine. I want to fail. I'd rather choose very, very difficult things and have to be resilient if I don't make it right and have to be humble.
If I don't make it, then choose mediocre goals. So it wasn't always about swimming. It was about living the biggest life I can live. Amen.
And, you know, part of what I'm interested in is there are a lot of people who say to themselves, wow, I'm going to do something that is really big and it's going to fill me up and I'm going to make a mark. But then there are those who actually do it. And, you know, I read your fabulous autobiography and just reading about the training that you subjected yourself to was exhausting. Describe that training regimen, because it shows so clearly what it takes to say, OK, I want to do this, but hey, here's what I have to make sure I can do in order to be able to achieve that.
Yeah. What does that actually look like day to day?
Well, you know, it's it's tough if you're going to swim for, let's say, what might be ostensibly fifty four hours across Cuba to Florida nonstop, never allowed to touch the boat. What are you going to do to get ready for that? Well, you're not going to go swim fifty four hours. You might as well go do the real thing. So you start doing when you're not in shape yet. Seven and eight hours swims and mind you swim like Manhattan Island is under eight hours now.
Later in the year, you're going to be up to 12, 13, 14 hour swims. You're lying in the fetal position at night. You can't get up because you're so darn exhausted. You can't get dinner. But you do get up the next day and you do fifteen hours. Then you're up to 18 hours, then you're up to twenty four hours. And that's a lot of lonely, you know, isolated time. This sport is a case of sensory deprivation.
You don't see much. You're turning your head fifty five times a minute. You don't see anything but the side of the boat over here. And Bonnie, my intrepid, you know, handler, you dig down and get your mind disciplined and strong enough to make it through those lonely hours. So that's what it's about. Yeah, it's the shoulders, it's the body, you've got to be a good swimmer, a strong swimmer, but more than anything is can the mind suffer and concentrate and refused to give up for all those hours.
That's what it's about.
We'll be back right after this quick break.
Her with Amena Brown is a weekly podcast brought to you by Cynical Women Podcast Network and I Heart Radio. I'm your host, Amena Brown.
And each week I'm bringing you hilarious storytelling and soulful conversation, all centering the stories of black, indigenous, Latino and Asian women. Each week we are going to laugh, consider and reflect upon the times. Join me as we remind each other to access joy, affect change and be inspired. Listen to her with Amina Brown on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
Hi, this is Hillary Clinton, host of the new podcast, You and Me both, there's a lot to be anxious and worried about right now, and it's made so much worse by the fact that we can't be together. So I find myself on the phone a lot, talking with friends, experts, really anyone who can help make some sense of these challenging times. These conversations have been a lifeline for me.
And now I hope they will be for you to please listen to you and me both on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Do you have any insights as to whether that resolved that incredible resilience and grit? How do you evaluate the mix between kind of what's deep down inside you or just plain hard work that it takes? You know, is it learned? Is it something you can practice to achieve? How would you tell young people if there were a bunch of young people listening and they they were wondering?
Well, I don't I don't know that I could ever do anything that brave or that big, but I'd like to. How would you tell them to think about it?
Yeah, it's always isn't. It is the age old nature nurture conversation. So, you know, I don't remember any particular, you know, light bulb that went off to say that's how I want to be. That's who I want to be. So I do think there is a lot of a genetic component, but I do believe that people all the world round have resolve. Now, it could be that they're not dreaming of, you know, changing.
They're not Nelson Mandela who wants to change the entire fabric of the future of the world. And now we we view equality. But it could be that in their particular community, that's the way they live and that's what they demand of their neighbors and their family. And isn't that equally important? Don't we think the world gets changed one family and one neighborhood at a time? So I admire and I'm sure you do to all kinds of people that the world will never hear of.
You know, I have a neighbor here in my neighborhood in Los Angeles who lost her husband to cancer and she was busy. Well, somebody else had trouble in the neighborhood. And this woman who had very few resources, no time at all, three kids on her hands mourning her husband. She's the one who went around all around the neighborhood to say, we got to help this other neighbor. She needs our help. And Naiad, you're the little star of the neighborhood.
Well, that's just great. But see your name here on the clipboard. Every other Tuesday, you're going to get dinner on their back porch, OK? And it's not going to be Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's going to be a vegetable and a dinner. And if you can't do it, get somebody else to do it because for a year we're going to help her out.
So I admire that woman as much as I admire Bill Gates, but I think that's a really important and very relatable point, is that not everybody going to, you know, swim long distance, not everybody's going to be a star athlete or whatever else the the comparison might be. But everybody can do something and everybody can both overcome their own challenges and then help others to overcome the challenges that they face. And, you know, how would you describe how your experience in long distance swimming has actually translated to how you meet challenges in your life?
Well, you know, I know that you know the story, Hillary, that I like. Unfortunately, millions suffered sexual abuse as a young teen, my coach, the person who should have, you know, put me up on a pedestal and helped send me out with character, with confidence into the world. He was an abuser and he really got a kick out of humiliating. And now I'm 70 and look at me. You know me. I'm pretty confident.
I'm pretty happy. I feel very fortunate at this life I've gotten to live. And on the other hand, still deep down, if I want to get real about it, there is an imprint from that humiliation that is still there, that that little girl, that young teen still can feel the low self esteem and the anger, the anger at myself for not throwing him up against a wall and saying, I'm going to my mother and I'm going to the principal.
Well, I think that even though I'm older and wiser now and deal with it in a in a more holistic way, I think there was something of a resilience that told me right away, even while it was happening, I'm going to survive this. I'm going to thrive through it. This is not going to ruin my life. I won't let it. I'm not going to go down.
Boy, that's such a message, Diana, that needs to be heard by so many young people and not so young people. And the fact that you've talked about it and you've written about it and you've made it a part of your overall message and mission because so many young people need to hear that. But this is an important part of who you are and what you've overcome and what the source of your resilience is and just your determination.
Yes, that grit to keep going and not look back in a way that paralyzes you, but instead mobilizes you.
Yeah, those are good words, paralyze and mobilized. You know, I want to switch gears to the oceans because nobody has spent more time in them than you have all over the world. And it's such a critical issue with the environment, with climate change, and I know that you are really going to tackle this like you've tackled everything else. You know, one of the things that I've heard that you're really going to focus on is single use plastics and what they're doing to the ocean and what they're doing to the, you know, animals that live in the ocean.
But talk a little bit about how, given your personal immersion in the ocean, this new mission has arisen about what you want to do to try to use your voice and use your experience to literally help save our our world oceans.
Yeah, I guess you could say that I fell madly in love with planet Earth by being immersed in its oceans. You know, Carl Sagan spoke about it as that little magical blue speck that astronauts see from way up there. So Bonnie and I, when we got done with the Cuba swim, we started a walking initiative. And I know you're a big walker. We want you to come out walking with us. I would love that. There you go.
So ever walk is all about a new vision of lifestyle in America, and that is that everybody walks a mile every day. It doesn't matter what the weather is. You just do your walk before work. You walk during lunch, you walk after school with your kids, but you walk a mile every day of the year virtually. And now we're going to sort of drive all that walking toward walking along the oceans.
So next June, we're going to walk from Daytona to Miami.
Oh, wow, that's fabulous. It's two hundred miles.
Some people will walk the whole way. Twenty miles a day for ten days. That's great. Most people will only want to walk a mile. They want to be part of it. But we're going to do a 200 mile crusade and all the way we're going to have beach rallies with mayors, business people, Bill and Hillary Clinton, all kinds of crazy characters. Are you going to say, I promise I am going to reduce, if not eliminate single use plastics in my home, in my business?
Because eight million tons of plastic around the world are now going into the Earth's oceans. They're suffocating the lungs of the planet. I would love to be part of that. I love walking. I love oceans. You're bringing them together. I am so happy to talk to you today. I could not think of anybody. Better to talk about the subject of resilience.
Stay safe, stay healthy. And I'm writing down that. I'm going to see you walk on the beach in Florida next June. There we go.
Diana Nyad autobiography is called Find a Way, a perfect title.
And you can find more about her new initiative to protect the oceans at every walk. Dotcom. You know, when we think about resilience, I think every one of us can reflect on our own lives, but certainly the lives of those near us. Think about the people, you know, who have shown great resilience. Who's your hero? Who's your example? See what you can do to help others, especially young people. Understand that keep going is really a mantra that everyone on this show, including myself, believe in you and me both is brought to you by I Heart Radio.
We're produced by Julie Zubrin and Kathleen Russo with help from Huma Abedin, Niki Tour, Oscar Floras, Briana Johnson, Nick Merrill, Lauren Peterson, Rob Russo and llona Valmar from our engineer is Zach McNiece.
Original music is by Forest Gray and a big thanks to Riverside Farm. Just imagine we need a day recording platform that could help us make a podcast during a pandemic. And boy, did they step up. If you like. You and me both spread the word. Don't keep it to yourself. You can subscribe to you and me both on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. And while you're there, leave us a review.
It's a great way to help other people discover us and we'd love to hear from you.
So send us your questions, your comments, your ideas or suggestions for future shows to you and me. Both pod at Gmail dot com come back next week when I'm talking about turning grief into action with comedian Patton Oswalt and Sabrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mom, and a powerful advocate. I hope you'll join me. Her with Amena Brown is a weekly podcast brought to you by Cynical Women Podcast Network and I Heart Radio.
I'm your host, Amena Brown, and each week I'm bringing you hilarious storytelling and soulful conversation was entering the stories of black, indigenous, Latin and Asian women are with the Minar.
Brown is a living room where I invite you to hear new perspectives, poetic readings of things you never thought could be poetic and celebrating women of color, who, because of their contributions to the world and their community, are deserving of a crown.
I'm really excited to bring women of color who are artists, authors, business women, inventors and leaders in every sector into our living room so we can learn from their expertise and have the honor of hearing their stories. Join me as we remind each other to access joy, affect change and be inspired. Listen to her with Amena Brown on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.