« Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Aly Raisman

2020-10-01 | 🔗
Aly Raisman is a two time American Olympic gymnast. Aly talks to the Armchair Expert about being a survivor of abuse, growing up in a sport where perfection is key and opening up about her mental health journey. The two discuss their experiences with trauma, the aftermath of sharing their stories publicly and staying strong despite potential triggers along the way. They talk about the lack of resources and support available to Olympians post-career and the importance of finding a strong sense of self outside of gymnastics. Aly and Monica also bond over the Magnificent Seven.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome. Welcome, welcome to armchair expert, I'm Dan Shepherd, I'm joined by miniature mouse hello. I wish you had a mouse call I completely yeah pretty quick on. Maybe that's it I I guess it will be the first time I will say that I would offer a trigger warning. This is a very heavy conversation that we have with ally, race, man, who's, an Incredit multi time. Olympic gymnast, with three gold medals, two silver metals in bronze mental. She was the captain about the two thousand to fierce five two two thousand. Sixteen final, five? U S! Women's olympic gymnastic team, but of course a lot of Work now is been focused on preventing childhood sexual abuse, both with darkness to light, which is a comprehensive programme to help young athletes everywhere participate unsafe these free environment and also alley personally funds, the flip, the switch hashtag foot, the switch training programme, which is widely recognised as the leading evidence, informed child sexual Abuse prevention programme and the country. So, as you might
but she and I get into all kinds of sexual abuse topic so warning to the listeners. What a brave and honest and admirable human being. She is the mouse yeah. It was a really really honour that she talked about us a great way to say it. Yeah felt very trusted in so we thank her for that. So please enjoy alley. Racin We are supported by butcher box. Now, when it comes to me quality matters boy, does it not make the biggest difference in the world when you pony up for a nice piece of me is not even comparable. There is more to it than just texture and taste. We love the rabbi.
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right now- it's actually really cold out today, it's our within in so called. I just can't believe this summer when by so fast for me, is very weak. Summer. Like generally summer, we take a big vacation for two weeks with the kids and that never happened and yeah. It's very confusing timeline. Allie. Are you recording on your as well, and I've doubled numbers of all times, anxiety, great check or, like quadruple check, I've checked it a bunch of times. If you see down during the interview I'll, be checking me that's my mo as well. You know I have OCD, but it's not about that I'll look once and then I don't ever think about it. Let's talk ticks, do you have any ticks or did you have any ticks growing up, because I had a plague of ticks? I had like forty fifty things I had to do.
hourly or I would go on saying yeah. So when you say you have OCD, I like that. No I mean I'm sorry of OCD, but I mean it makes me feel like I'm less alone in that, because if people don't really talk about it, a lot publicly, at least what I see, but I struggle with it too, and I learned recently like I always thought OCD was. I have to touch this x amount of times or I have to do this x amount of times before I leave the room, but I've also learned that Austria is classified with like ruminating. Thoughts are like obsessive thoughts are like catastrophic thinking. I have my gosh. So, yes, I have that and I'm really trying to work on that right now, because our minds sometimes go to the worst case scenario. That's all like! First stop for me as like what is, though, worst conceivable. That could happen, let's prepare for that yeah and it's extra bad when some of those things get valid
did you like you have spirals? You proven you're proven right, and then you have to really figure out a way. How to reconcile like that doesn't mean you're right every time, your spiralling let let control control you like. I really really have a hard time with the mental spiral ideas. Well, it's really hard to train yourself to not do that. It's so much easier said than done, and I feel like for people that don't understand it. They're, like just don't think about it. I'm like it does not work like that and it's so hard because I've been trying to really educate myself on the way that our minds work just so I can help myself, but also just so. I can be able to like better talk about it and better understand it on a personal level. My family are my friends, but also just on a public level as well, and it so fascinating, because so much of it
I'm our minds, don't really realize. What's made up and what's real and that's what I struggle with so much is that fight or flight response, where it could be something so small and my body is reacting as if, like a tiger is trying to eat me, by the way I'm just reading it now, but have you read body keeps a score I read little bit of it and I actually, to be honest, had to stop reading it, because there was a story about sexual abuse and I was a little bit sugar, so I had to take a break, but that concept is fascinating and I relate to that. So I kind of read like eight books at a time on different topics, and I like go back to them because, sometime It's something like that and it's like triggering. Then I just have to do it in like take some time, but I've heard great things about that book. Monica buys more books than bill. and he was seven weeks, but I don't really read them. I have all the intention of reading them, but then they just said make a nice library. I feel the same way.
I also want to say there are people with OCD on a level that I'm not claiming to have at all, I'm not consumed to it that currently, but in elementary school and then tailing off in junior high a bit, but in elementary school man I had about eleven zero little rituals. I did right and that was always trying to hide them for my siblings or from classmates, and it's so funny because I'm super into mental health. I read a lot of books about, in our view, a lot of Airbus, but I met a girl who told me- she pulled her eyebrows out one last at a time right, which is, I guess, common, and she said you know it's OCD and I said oh yeah. I had that when I was a kid and then she goes. You know why people have OCD right and I go no there's a reason and she said yeah, You can't control any element of your life and it becomes is tiny thing you can control and you get caught
four out of it, and I was like oh my god, this all started when my first step dad moved in when I track it back, that's exactly when it started now, like, oh, my god, yeah, that's from that I, never put that together. I know it's fascinating. I actually know somebody else who would pull their eyelashes out and then another young girl I used to do gymnastics there. She was much younger than me and she would pull her hair out. It's always just scary to see that, because my mind goes the worst of like oh, my gosh is someone hurting her what's going on? I think it's more common than we realize this is my only time ever talking about it in an interview, so I'm really glad we're talking about it, because I know a lot of my friends struggle with it. I know a lot of people struggle with the ruminating thoughts and like the catastrophic thinking and
My opinion relates to like trauma and PTSD, but back to your first question about if I used to have that stuff, when I was younger when I was little. If I had accomplished that night, I'm like okay! Well, I'm just going to try to like touch this door like five times and then, if I did love the competition I'm like it was because I touched the door and then it's this horrible habit of doing this. If it works in your mind, you keep doing it because for that moment it makes you feel safe and you're, getting to the root of the problem of why you are not feeling safer. Otto control, you're gonna, keep having us it's gonna manifest into other ways of your alliance or you can't control the outcome of the event you're about to participate in. So you start controlling all these every athlete we event or viewed now that we ve been agreed so many, but a hundred percent of them have ritual yeah and some them even work with sports psychologists and there like embraced,
ritual, like whatever your thing. Is you wake up at this time, then you eat at this time. You know, like Griffin, was telling us, like his day on a game day is like to the minute scheduled and all to get control of everything. Prior to the thing you have no control over or minimal control over. When I think back and even like, when I continue to stuff, I try to have a little bit of a routine but because I'm not competing anymore. I don't have these things that I have to do, but then for me it kind of became a problem where, if I had this good luck thing and I was traveling internationally and I forgot it or something happened and it broke, I was like oh my gosh. What do I do now? So it's just different moments in my career, where I was super obsessive about it, and I think that's also what made me successful in my gymnastics careers. I was so OCD with like. I have to go back and do it again. It has to be perfect and then it kind of goes into like learning about perfection. Trauma to of always having to be perfect. I think of it is almost like peeling back
layers of the union at the first moment of my, I feel better about this one part and then economic weight within this relates to this or this I'm just fascinating about love about how our minds work. It's so interesting to me, I watch this documentary about world class chess players and I think it was about Bobby Fisher. Ostensibly they go into a little bit of the history of some of the grand master chest players and because the party, your brain, that you use when you're playing chess, is the party your brain, that's forecasting, So it's looking steps ahead, steps ahead, looking for disaster looking for disaster and then often these guys, who have been grandmasters many of them high percentage, become paranoids later in life, because that part of their brain is work to the max. It's like a fucking, huge pec tour and the rest of their brain. That they didn't spend twelve hours a day, making strong can't really combat that part.
The brain always looking for disaster. I even applied that to a friend of mine. That's a lawyer like if you spend thirty years as a lawyer looking for ways that the other person's going to fuck you and your client over you look at the whole world with this really refined lens of like who's going to fuck who over and it kind of just change your thinking permanently. It's a little dicey. I have also read recently and that its like we all look through the world's kind of in our own filters, and I think what you just said about the lawyers at super interesting here. You gotta be mindful about one party or brain, your strengthening right but you're right, it's an essential ingredient for someone who has done what you ve done, which I want to talk about. My no Monica the mouse one, because Monica is a state champ cheer leader almost as impressive as your gold medals. I already impressive, but she knows what it's like to suffer for her sports. Well, more than that, I was obsessed obsessed with gymnastics. I was obsessed with the ninety six olympic team.
That's your thing right, isn't that? Yes, yes, I love them too. She had the age ass and she won't. You know, oriented magneto. Yes, yes, yes, it is really a pie. You live like yes, I love the lily until you know the ukrainian gymnast sheep floor and the one long love I still am. I also loved all the romanian Jemison. I asked my mom if I could go visit we're not going to run mania on a trip, and I was very, very upset but yeah I had the Hs taped all the Olympics and I had like that video that they released on them, and I was so obsessed and just so enamored and impressed by their skill and their dedication and their discipline, and then I started taking gymnastics after that, then I was told I started too late. Well, okay, so all started that two,
yeah. Well, I have to imagine your family's history and gymnastics. Your mom was a gymnast. Yes, she did high school gymnastics. She loved it who motivated you, starting at two I mean: can we really say it was your decision or did mom was a part of it. It's funny my parents jokingly. Are you over like who's more responsible for my gymnastic success? here's, my mom love gymnastics in it was my mom's idea. Me in gymnastics, but then my dad will joke that. It's like his athletic ability in his drawing that got me to be really good. So, yes, my mom put me in it who did mommy and me classes, I loved it. So much I will see
though I was very, very lucky that my parents put me in a ton of different sports and the oldest of four kids, so my parents always gave me the option to do a bunch of other sports, and my dad would coach me in like basketball and baseball and soccer, and then I was the one that just wanted to do gymnastics, and I was eight years old. I was kind of the opposite of what you'd expect my parents were concerned. It was too much too quickly, but I was just so like I'm going to go to the and this is what I want and my mom was sort of. Okay, whatever you say like they didn't ever think I was gonna. Do it they lived on planet earth. They were realistic, yes, like when you say a million to one odds. There's three hundred million people and five girls are on that team. So you're really talking about one hundred and twenty five million on God. That's crazy, not a million one hundred and twenty are red. I've done it wrong by
Eighty five million till one is bonkers. It us crazy. It's still hard for me to believe it took me a couple of years to get back into wanting to watch Gnostics as a fan buzz. I wanted space your man, but lately I've been why king, a lot of the ninety six, I'm bags, the ninety two Olympics again, the two thousand and that's what I like one of my favorite things out the Olympics as, although I'm american, I love watching the romanian Jim, is the russian gymnast it so cooled to watch people from all over the world. Are you I've been watching it again like a little kids, so it's been really fun and really nice. Well, even if you had been competing in the eighties pre soviet collapse, you would have had more in common with a soviet female then you would have in common with any other American as far as just like what your life was shared variants. You would actually have way more. In common
Anyone that gets to that point has been on a very similar path, their whole life. Nobody picks it up at fourteen and puts in my two hard weekends and shows up there used to that too, and you do it- I don't know how many hours a week and that's a specific experience that really so few people have see you being easily bonding with those people causes of such a shared experience as right now. Actually, there's gymnast from all over the world that are speaking up and sharing their experiences in gymnastics, and it's the hashtag Alliance, and it's just incredible than something, and I'm really really grateful for- is that I lived with my parents, and I got to still have that experience of living with my siblings and my family and going to regular school and thankfully my coaches were really against home schooling, but I know a lot of other coaches in the. U S really like on schooling, and you know, if
and you are home, schooled, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I'm just saying to go to school or to be so everyone I want to do right now. I don't want to judge or shame anyone, I'm just more saying because for me, gymnastics would have been like a hundred percent, my whole entire life and already when you're training so much it already is so much of your life, so my coaches and thankfully my parent, and I all were in agreement, that being able to train a lot and then going to school and having friends and having that separation is so important. But I'm not how it is today with some of the gymnast around the world, but a lot of the gymnast live at the training centre. You know with the other athletes in there actually not growing up with their families, and so that's really hard, especially when you add in the lack of food that they're being fed the verbal abuse, the physical abuse, the sexual abuse for some of them. I'm very very grateful that I was able to
go to school and live at home and not harm that like twenty four seven, because I think it's really important how bout separation and then, when you're, actually done, the sport I feel like. I have the confidence to do other things in a try new things, but if your life is just gymnastics, you know I've heard a lot of situation you. I even heard about one gymnast to was on the national team and now they're they're experiencing homelessness, because they didn't really get an education and when they were oh gymnastics, their national governing he was just like by. We don't need you anymore, and so it so in no matter what sport you are to teach these athletes that you're more than you're spore and give them the tools to be confident in if your sport doesn't work out. That's okay, to not define yourself by your results or even the job that you have, because nothing is guaranteed. There's so many weird similarities between what you did and acting bizarrely, not that acting so hard, but just for the child
actors. They too are kind of taken out of the real world in their put in this environment. That's adults and then maybe they're going to school. On their trailer and I have to imagine it can be really isolating, even though there is a lot of people around their primarily adults right, like you very much and adult world. Definitely I read a train, at times in the morning when I was in high school- and I turned a little bit in the morning when I was in middle school as well and miss probably sounds row but at the time I was like I'm just so focused on gymnastics. I don't even care, but I wouldn't train
morning. I would go right away to school, so I like wouldn't have time to shower, because I would rather have gotten in that extra time of the work out and because I wasn't really sweating that much anyways it was like. I was all smelling grows, but I was covered in chalk and my hair was like frizzy. I like that in my hair, and I would feel so self conscious about. Oh, my gosh, like one of the boys, don't find me attractive. I was show in secure in high school. My hands have all of these rips and callouses on them from bars. I just fell so self conscious, and I felt when I would have a tough day I sort of allow, my good workouts and my bad workouts to find how I was feeling which is not healthy, and I allowed my wins to make me feel amazing and then, when I didn't do as well, it made me feel like I was worthless. So it's definitely only when you allow yourself to feel that way and of course I wish I could go back in time and tell myself it's
all okay and like I don't wake up every morning and think about the good competitions. I have, and I honestly mean that you know I really think about the journey and the experiences. I reflect a lot of course, unlike the good and the bad times, but my favorite moments are now standing on top of the podium, their like peeing, my pants laughing with my teammates and having so much fun, and I honestly mean that you know if you're winning. What's it worth, if you're not happy your profession more than any other, it would be almost impossible not to succumb to results. Only forget process forget how mature and join the experience. It's all about that result, yeah the ultimate. Turning or meat or whatever it is. It's such a dangerous way to evaluate your life in your self esteem, right as, if everything's leading up to a day on a key
I wonder, is it well? What about the other three sixty four there's that can't be a sustainable way to live, that you're gonna get all your self esteem from this one day which, by the way, you could have the flu that day. God knows what can happen to seems to be really hard to enjoy process being an athlete like that remember the hardest years, where both years leading up to both went back so the year leading up to two thousand twelve year leading up to two thousand. Sixteen- and I remember- I just push mice so hard, but you're right, it was never enough and if I was a little bit sick, if I had a cold if my foot was hurting like instead of just being like that's a bummer, I a cold today, but I'm human, that's okay, it was like. I was mad at myself and I felt like I was letting myself down letting everyone else down it. Just the amount of pressure I put on myself- and I know this is not just me so a lot of the other girls put this pressure on ourselves. I don't know when I look back how I did it or how we did it like.
Talked to some of my teammates were like. How did we do that? One of the toughest things about gymnastics is from a very young age. You're taught that your good performance isn't based off of how you feel about yourself is how your coaches view or the judges so like. If you go to me and you're like that, felt so good, I'm so happy, I did that, but the judges didn't like your routine, then you think wait. Then something must be wrong with me. Why didn't I feel like it was awesome yeah. What's the disconnect between what I think is good and what they think is good? Yes, and I found one of the the biggest things I struggle with majority of my life. When I would finish a routine or finish conditioning or anything, I would look to my coaches or the judges or anyone on the national staff and say what did you think about that, and I found that it's a bad habit now in my life like was that interview okay. What did you think about that and it's like I'm a people pleaser, and so I'm really working on that? It's just so crazy
but in the sport that's kind of how it has to be because every little thing is like no, you need to point your toe a little bit better, so it's never enough, which is also not good either. Yes, it's all extra equally motivated staff right instead of intrinsically like whatever thing you're trying to accomplish for yourself, is almost irrelevant. It has to be what those judges deem of value or its worthless la la of You you that way too, like you look to them for answers when they turn out to not be safe people, the that's extra traumatized, because you ve been indoctrinated as if they give you the right answer that the help you that there are, therefore you will. They know better than you yeah that they know better than you yeah one hundred percent, when, like the me too movement was really unfolding and a lot of gyms were sharing their stories of abuse. Of course we received
so much support and I'm continually blown away by the support that I've personally gotten and we've gotten, and I can't even begin to say how grateful I am was really important for me to educate myself and this can be a slippery slope, and I try to look at this from like separating myself, but just really trying to understand what do people that Joe understand sexual abuse not get because I drank it's him to take opportunities like this to sort of talk about it. Maybe someone's listening and maybe they'll understand it, because a lot of people say things like okay. Well, how did you, now, or why didn't you say something, and so people don't realize that, like most of the time, child sexual abuse occurs is actually with a trusted adult area and Y. All you. No stranger danger is extremely important to talk about, and that is something unfortunately, that still does happen. It's about ninety percent of the time sexual abuse occurs with a trusted adult so
really important among people. Don't understand it to try to put themselves in someone else's shoes, they really trust of his person. Unlike for us, the people we were aware, like sometimes I was with them for a month at a time, and it's not just the abuser, that's the problem. It's a lot of times, people around them that enable at an end there are people bid, you speak up, but people enable it they gaslight you and make you feel like crazy, or you can't say anything. So it's such a committee the same thing that I think is really important to talk about, because I've been blown away in a bad way of how many people can relate to my story and how many people are survivors of some sort of abuse. When I go to the girl to restore when I go to the airport. It's like and the amount of people that confide in me just on like a daily basis, it's terrible how common it is. Okay, I was molested and I talk about it on here all the time
Sperience has so many layers, they're, just so many layers, and it's taken me thirty year to like fully comprehend it for me about I view as ago I felt like I had this breakthrough in the breakthrough. For me was there are certain assholes dumb fuck same like? Why didn't you do better as a fucking child, but for get those most people said it's, not your fault, it's not your fault, it's not your fault, it's not your fault, and they told me that your files on your fault, but the shame. I had was not evaporating with the knowledge that it wasn't my fault for me. I won't speak for anybody else. The reason was, is I didn't want to be there? I did not like it and I stayed there and I stayed there because this p
and had something I wanted, and they had leverage over me and what was the real source of. My shame was that I ignored that voice, because I wanted something in my guilt of having wanted something bad enough to allow something to happen to me that I didn't want to happen to me was the real source for me of the part that wouldn't evaporate. And finally, I was able to say yeah. I wanted a thing I didn't choose me over that thing and that's what I'm really really heard about, and then I forgive myself I said yeah an eight year old. Kid may want something make a choice that they can feel. Like anyone can say, it's not your fault, but I can be those rooms in two seconds and know that I wanted the fuck out of the room, but I didn't do it because I wanted something- and that was just such a huge part for me- is going like yeah and that's okay. Man. People have leverage were you and people are very smart about identifying leverage, he'll meagre
this sentence. That'll he'll me thanks for sharing that I have a question for you. Do you feel like it's retraumatizing just to talk about that? Do you feel it in your body? I don't here's my experience. I kept it a secret for about eight or nine years where's I'll say personally, my shame was compounded with growing up in the eighties and Michigan The worst thing you could be on a playground was gay in this. Another man and I felt gay, even though I didn't feel gay, I thought I had done something made me gay and that that's the worst you could be in my little world, and so I, don't tell anyone. Could then people would know. I was gay and they would call me gay and by the way, now, of course, who cares It is also clear from the back. Then it was a career enduring in element
school and in junior high. So I had this very weird layer of like fear of being labeled gay, but a friend of mine, one night told me she had been raped, I recently, and I just saw how much courage that had taken her to tell me that- and I just felt obligated like I owe heard this and so I told her sitting on the hood of my car. I can see it in the Kmart parking Lot. I told her in about if it weighed a hundred thousand tons, it went down to like twenty thousand tons, then I told my mom and I went down a bit. None at all my brother and I went down some more and then as more and more I'll. Just tell anybody it's almost non existent, but I will- and I'm really curious, if you have this, I dont mind at all, if roll it out for you. If I tell you my experience and I feel like I'm in control of telling you. I get the pic what pieces I want you to know. I dont mind at all
If I see someone right about what I said on the podcast, I immediately feel like no, no, no, no, that's not you for you to put into your words or to weaponize or use for your agent and then I get really upset about it. And I just wonder: are you comfortable talking about it when you're in total control versus when other people are talking about it? That is an awesome question, because I've never been asked that before and who I have to think about that because I still feel uncomfortable talking about it. I feel I can still didn't he unlike that long ago, but I also feel, like I experience so much more trauma and PTSD when I came public about it, and this is not to discourage anyone else, from sharing their story, I'm more saying it because again, I was so grateful to have so much support and to have so much media attention, because I think that that can really help a change, changin and put pressure on investigations to help
but I'm imagining. I dont want interrupt you because I have yet. I don't know the real time lambent imagining you are forced to participate like I got to pick my time. I I told Emily, I told my mom, then I slowly and my mid twenty started telling other dudes I have to imagine yours just like was like a light, switch, there's a scandal. Now, let's click everyone involved in now. Go are you gonna lie or not, and I can't imagine there is any control over when you got to decide to share about it. Nobody at all, was putting any pressure on me to come forward publicly. It was more the pressure I play. I myself because I was watching there was like fifty you, a hundred women, that they'd come forward about the abuse and USA Gymnastics and the United States on that committee. An Michigan State University were literally doing nothing. There were sweeping under the rug. I was continually watching it and I can't even come to terms will it myself, but I just felt this prize sure like I had to do something I couldn't stay quiet and, of course,
really inspired by something people coming forward, and then I when I shared my story, I felt like I had to super strong. I had to say the right things. I couldn't let anybody else down and because I was getting so much attention. I was saying I have to be perfect. I have to say the right thing I have to make sure I'm doing this justice because there are not having a fourteen year old girl from Michigan on a national news show which is not right in the me too. Movement was incredible for so many reasons, but you saw a lot of olympic gymnast and a lot of women actresses in Hollywood, which is important, but eric- story story is important. So I just put so much pressure on myself that in itself itself, just like spiraled PTSD Ptsd the trauma where I've never experienced such bad anxiety in my life. Why? I would imagine to you that you probably felt some compulsion
desire to present it as if it's something that's behind you that you've confronted that you've dealt with that you're over, like you're trying to spread some message of hope, and you don't want to go out there and go like yeah. I was a part of it and I'm in a fucking shambles over it, and so I don't know what to tell you it fucking sucks and I haven't processed. It have a good good one good morning, America stage, if you dare we are supported by the good neighbors at state farm. Now, we've had a lot of experts on the show, so many I can't even keep count we're the hundred right right. Definitely definitely, but when it comes to expert Son insurance state farm is where its at state farm offers. Everyone, surprisingly great rates. They have knowledgeable agents
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yeah yeah, I'm going recently, been more okay with with being more about about how I'm doing, because I that that I don't want anybody to think that my journey has been perfect. I think that as a society we are already put actors and actresses an olympic athletes and even just other athletes on this pedestal, and I just don't want people to think my life is perfect, and so I tried to very honest, but I also agree with you when I see an interview of me. If I do a phone interview or even doing like a video interview, if someone else picks it up a lot of times like I miss quoted or they get the date wrong, when I said something. It really really triggers me, because I'm so out of control or they'll, like just one part of the sentence
what kind of changes you know how sometimes when you're talking and you put a little disclaimer in there- I feel very triggered by that, and it also goes back to you like I'm a people pleaser and it's then it goes until like. I worry what other people are going to think of me and then I just have to focus on myself and try to be more in my body. I also felt a lot of guilt and shame talking about That's because I was there, I don't want you will. I think I'm not grateful that I am getting so much media attention because, of course, I'm very grateful. I just think it is important to talk about how scary it is to be so public about something. So I struggled with even being honest about that, because I don't want people to think I don't approve all all the support, everything everything so it's like both sides of it can, I add, And I'm gonna stereotype blatantly right now, but about fuck. It had so true year from Boston, I'm from Detroit both cultures loved ago, our staff training,
Get fucking attention, a bo. You know boo like I can hear every time. I share about it. I can hear the worst dickheads from my hometown going oh yeah, you just want attention you're trying to get attention. It's like. I would love to get attention about getting molested. What a great way to get attention are you kidding, I want to fucking get attention like doing a cool skateboard, trick or being a great actor. I don't wanna get attention for the most powerless of my life. He I think it's an important part of the conversation. It's not easy to be public about. This will listen. I was, make a speech to you at the end, but I'm going to make it to you right now. I could not help but wonder, as you put in those twenty plus years of just killing yourself. Part of the fantasy is like. If this all was perfect. I'm gonna be on a Weeds box. I'm gonna be in a Mcdonald's commercial like Mary, Lou Redden, I'm goin to be
celebrated in my fantasy of this is just gonna, be wonderful, like mean anointed a queen and this mother fuckers, that right, so this victory lap, you should have been taking for the rest of your life, will always be embroiled by this far asshole and always come up If I were you I'd, be so resentful against that, and I think you should be, but I just want to say one thing: if you're on a weeds box, do you want gold? I can't relate to that. I'm never going to win gold. Nobody in this country is going to win gold, but twenty percent of this country's been molested in twenty percent of this country feels weak. And ashamed of their weakness in to see someone as powerful as you as indomitable as you that it happened to. You is the most comforting thing in the world. So I know the fantasy got robbed from you, but I promise you the one in five people who have dealt with this you've, given a much bigger give.
then a gold medal for this country. I really appreciate saying mad and I have so much respect for you as well, and I obviously support you. I hope that goes without saying, but I've struggle the lot with guilt and shame and I'm trying to work with that as well, because I realized that we talk about like OCD or shame or guilt, and it's like manifesting and little things in my life. If I'm not really fixing the root of the problem of like. Why do I feel this way? Then it's just going to keep manifest and little or big ways in my life. A lot of people who follow the gymnastics know about the abuse, and I would find that, like I was getting recognised more from the meat you move ban People were always so supportive when fans would come up to me. I didn't feel like they were looking at me as a victim they were so supportive, but I realized the difference was, as I thought, of myself as a victim. So even when people would say to me like thank you for speaking out
I'm a survivor too like people would say the most incredible things to me. Like I have note saying you know, I came forward because of you, but it's like I didn't let it sink in, because I didn't view myself as helping other people. I just felt shame and it's so interesting because it's like I've learned fifty people can tell me that I can't because of you, and I still won't allow myself to feel it. If I don't feel worthy or enough, like I just constantly feel like I'm not doing enough, I need to do more. I need to help more people and then I finally realize like this. Exhausting in this way of thinking is an serving me. So I've gone to the boy, at least now in my life, where I don't see myself as as a victim at least right now. I hope it stays this way. I see myself as a survivor and I feel so supported by people.
And I'm so lucky for that- that I feel like the priority, should always be athlete safety, but my parents always told me, like people, remember you for the kind of person you are rather than what place you are on the podium, and I really What about that alot people years from now will forget why metal I have or how many I have, but I hope that people will remember me for doing the right thing and helping make athlete safety better. Better, no one's gonna remember cabernets because of his football skills and he will be among the most famous players ever live because his character warrants the one hundred percent. But let's have a quick little debate
could be good. I guarantee you're more dialed into this community. Then I am your also younger of a of a different we. So we lawyer the lawyer of someone who represented a bunch of victims and I had phrased it that way in the description of the episode and some people yelled at me and said: they're, not victims and survivors in so at first. I thought to myself, like first and first and foremost to anybody to anybody anyway. They want to be so I'm not making a case to not them them that way, but I am triggered by this a bit I'll. Tell you why I think people want to change it from victim to or to give strength? But what I would argue is that's doing the same, fucking thing that we feel shame about that for some reason, being a victim is something that would be shameful that you need to phrase it as I'm a warrior know: we're vulnerable people fucking priorities. I am
victim, I made sure I survive, but this desire to pull back the power I think represents more problem in our country were somehow being vulnerable is bad that we should our Association Association with it that that vulnerability is bad, that to me part part of the it's part of the reason that we carry shame because we go oh, we were weak and we should have known. Better. We should have done something we should bah bah, so I'm just curious thoughts are in this survivor versus victim think. But what do you think? I think this literally just speaks to how we all heal in different ways, I personally for me. I would rather, if someone was doing an article about me to call me a survivor personally, also You know one of my friends who is a gymnast as well. It's really important for her to be called a survivor, but I think that just shows that it's an important
conversation where if someone is being interviewed, I think they should get the opportunity to say how they want to be addressed, because some people might still feel like they are a victim and that's okay, and I think we are all battling something and may all be victims of something in some way or another, and that ship that I just talked let us see myself more as a survivor. I think it can mean something different to all of us, but for me, it felt like I was able to appreciate how far I came or how strong you are for overcoming that yeah. Because of people who are molested become addicts, I did it in an epic fashion. There's all these stats of what will happen so yeah. If you can hold it together, man, it is against all odds, and in that respect, yes, that deserves to be heralded as strength. Let me add one more thing. This would drive me nuts. If I were you because again, I'm fine to say it out loud and yet I do not want to be pitied like like the word,
feeling I could have is to have to be looking at another human being who's. Looking at me with pity, for whatever reason, just as hard for me, I just would imagine you is like a motherfuking warrior breaking bones. You know concussions the most pressure human could endure and then delivering three gold medals. If I'm you, I've learned to be looked at like four, not pity, when people come after me, people are even more appreciative and look me more impressive than they did from the Olympics, so I feel really really lucky and really supported. I don't feel like people look at me with. Pity. I honestly I very grateful for that that, like the fan comes up to me and they start telling me the story of being a survivor, I worked on this in therapy locked away triggered really easily and sometimes like I'm, the only person, I've ever told I'll have someone in the grocery I say I'm
seventy years old and I was abused like over fifty years ago, you're the only person I've told- and I put some much pressure on myself to the point where, like I obsessively overthink what I say to that person, because if I'm the the only person I've ever told from personal, I understand the weight and the power of when you confide in someone that you've been abused. The way that that person reacts to you. It has such a massive impact on their healing, and so I want to make sure that I'm supporting them and being there for them. But then, when it happens a couple times a day, how can I still show them. I support them, but kindly ask them not to go into graphic detail, because when you have over five people are for that in a bag, and it's like thirty people going in a graphic details. I do a meeting great. How am I was to go through life travelling alone being in a hotel by myself, walking outside way night and not be afraid something bad gonna happen meal. It gets this paranoia, so I worked on this site. Strategy of just
Kindly being like, I support you so much, I'm still so much in my healing. So I support you, but just please don't go into graphic details, but I'd love to talk to you about your healing and I'd love to tell you about. What's helped me, like, I hope, you're getting help. So a lot of people answer You just seem so strong on tv. I forget that you're still dealing with that soldier, almost the opposite people, don't feel pity with me. It's that they forget that I'm actually dealing with it. When I do interviews, I haven't cried because I like have kind of put up a wall like I have to be strong. I want people to listen to me. I want people to think that I'm intelligent and I don't want people to think I'm weak and I've been, like so afraid to be like super vulnerable in that that way that people forget in like you just seem like it doesn't really like phase you. So it didn't occur to me that going into a detail what impact you so that the emotional way of being a symbol of this movement must be humongous in that yeah you're gonna be ass, sometimes thirty times a day,
join someone emotionally to meet them emotionally at a place that just really taxing on anyone. Your own issues, I'm sure, are taxing enough and then you add on so yeah. I bet it's really really hard to establish boundaries that are both protective of you and also generous to the people you want hell yes in its show interesting the way that trauma works because a lot of times not send boundaries can be trauma and AIDS so the shame of guilt and not setting enough boundary in my childhood and not speaking up for myself. So sometimes, when I feel like somebody is in respecting my boundaries and I feel like ninety, nine percent of people are show respectful, but if there is that, like anybody in life, you know not everybody you're gonna, like mesh very well with, but you know, if I'm at an event in like somebody's, really touch you with me, but not meaning it and like a sexual and appropriate in my building, an older woman. That's like, oh, my god, you remind me of my granddaughter in there just like touching me because
I I'm such a people pleaser and I dont want to let any one down when they meet me. I, like you, know what I'd rather make her happy and just let her do this in that. I put some one else first and then that has been so triggering frank, as am I will now. I feel traumatize an Iphone criminal because I was just standing there helpless, like I felt when I was being abused you're, just there and you're so uncomfortable, it's almost like you're in shock, and you don't know what to do, but I feel frozen because I don't want to upset them. I don't want to trigger them. So then I just like set my I I'm really working on it you're, giving me the most powerful, real time. Realisation, which is my wife and I deal with this differently in public, and I think, once we had kids ice getting a lot more farm with people in this goes back to body keeps a score right. I just figured all this out about myself, writes about it keeps the scores of a lot of people have had trauma, and inevitably sexual budgets, traumas a child. They carry the guilt of not being able to have protected
himself so going forward in life. They often overreact two things because it reminds them of when they were powerless, and so the example in the book is like the view. Hospital. Are those vats there's like daily at the vat, the hospital five or six guys have huge explosions and throws share in almost attack people, and it's like because they feel like the little is thing is now life or death because they were in a life situation in the corner, protect themselves, so now everything's elevated. So I have that quite a bit. It was terrible in the past, but I'm just not realizing as you're talking about this, that my wife, who doesn't this background. When were an airport more with the kids in someone once photos of Us- and I dont want that. For my children, I dont want that to be their life. I'm really directs, and my wife has a heart.
Time with it. I think it's because it does remind me of that. It takes me to a place. Where is like? No, I let someone control me before the outcome was fuckin terrible. I let someone's needs be more important to my need, so I'm just the app putting that together. I think of why I am able to just be like so appreciate it, but now is not the time you know, like I'm, just very direct too much sums up what I think it's from Lee embroiled in my history to people understand when you explain that you don't want your concern. Photographed you know. Ninety five per of them do and five percent are like fuck, you, you pig is your on tv waiting all like there is, and I'm like yeah you're right. I picked it in your right and you have a right to take my picture, but they didn't pick this yet you don't have a right to do. You know photograph them. I also wanted to talk really quickly about the weight of gold, Michael Phelps Doc. I wrote about this twenty years ago watching the Olympics. I had written up script and I actually had this whole.
About it, because I really genuinely felt this way in my twenties. I would watch them and I had this great elation for them for a moment and then for me it always transition into fuck. Now what for these people like now, what I mean generally the goals people set for themselves take. Forty fifty years right so you're only on the backside of it for like a thirty year life, but there's so many aspects, the amount you guys. Actually size while you're training right, which is so good for your mental health. That's well documented the Roger you have of being on a team. You have a team of people focused on you, helping you stay healthy, helping you eat correctly and then once that's gone. The whole team that care you disappears all the comrade or he's gone. You'll live in different states or whatever, and this thing you are focused on, they gave
purpose, which is also a cornerstone of mental, how your purpose is gone. Your community is gone and all these people who value you, you must be questioning whether they really valued you or they just wanted to bring home a gold. If you had had no abuse, that would be enough to have your plate full as as was revealed in this felt humanity. That experience leaves a big big hole. Doesn't it yeah? You know I actually have not seen the documentary up, but I do want to watch it yeah. To be honest, I said this a couple of times I am still very much, my healing phase and I get triggered super easily. So I've what I'll do is I'll, probably watch like ten twenty minutes of it like cut it up just so I don't feel so around, but It's just so sad to see how, as I talked about a little bit before up until a couple of years ago, I think a lot of people
really looked at these olympic athletes, as he's like super human and just like their lives are perfect like when I was little and I watch the ninety six olympics. It didn't occur to me as an eight year old girl that maybe they're wrist was hurting them. Maybe they were super nervous, maybe they didn't feel well, maybe they were up the whole night cause. They were anxious and maybe they're afraid of letting people down, and I think that's one of the beautiful things about being a kid is like no dream is too big, but it really didn't occur to me that life was not perfect. Even when you get to that place in so it's so devastating, and I so things something that does not get enough attention and I don't understand. Why is the Paralympics because I think that they are just show inspiring and just so absolutely incredible mains the Olympics get somewhere attention, but then, when the Paralympics comes, it doesn't get the same attention. I don't understand it's, arguably more impressive. Yes, of course I one hundred percent agree with you. I think it is more impressive. There's no words to
describe it and I think that the United States Olympic Committee, they have to do better in the national governing bodies of of really making this a priority of not only allowing the paralympians to have more attention and giving them more access to a lot of the things that the olympic athletes have. The media has to cover it as well, because that has a huge role. Allowing people to know who they are, but I think that it is so important that athletes, no matter who you are because it all could be related to like the collegiate level. If you are a football player or a sop up there and you might be done after four years and you go to a regular job and you might have the same thing of like my whole life, I've always been an awfully and now why I also know a lot of people define themselves by the job that they have to. So I think that sports half do not We teach athletes how to work really hard and be good at what they're doing, unlike also teaching them not to define themselves by their wins, their losses or by their support.
in general and letting them know there's so much more to them, but it has. Start, in my opinion, with the national governing bodies and the United States Olympic Committee, and I think even the International Olympic Committee of like really making this a conversation of like after the three kind of like the right of the Olympic Games are over. We have to have more to help these athletes. I can say from personal speed There is a massive difference between winning one olympic gold medal at the summer Olympics do some interviews but you're. Getting the same opportunity has like this: you they get like multiple gold medals. Because the summer Olympics are so many amazing athletes from the. U S and the same ball he's not from America is there, but he of course gets a lot of attention which you showed. This is incredible, but of Albert spell yes, beltway Gub. Seventy percent of it all yeah Absolutely incredible, so he should get a lot of attention, but I would also
to see you know and speaking speaking from personal experience, we got a lot of attention. The soccer soccer team did too, but I would really like to see the media talking. The about athletes that are in fifteen place or in twenty fifth place. I've been twenty fifth in the world or even being like last you're. Still one best in the world like. Why did we get to this point? Where it's only about winning? So we have to start empowering leads to realise that there are so many other amazing things out there and that's just not really what's happening right now. I just want to add one thing. I think we could share this in into I for twenty eight years, fantasize about mean an actor that people recognised that happened, and then my fantasy, I was gonna, feel a certain way when that happened, and then it happened and I did not feel different. This isn't a good foundation for self esteem
yeah, and I actually think about that a lot lately. Okay, if I took away the gymnastics, if I took away the support that I've gotten from the abuse, if I take away the opportunity means that I have now that help me he'll, make me feel empowered make me feel, hurt and support. Who am I and am I okay on my own? If I took away all of that, and so that's something I'm really thinking about as well. I think it really goes back to really working on being mindful and practicing gratitude of, like really focusing on the little things and just like simple things like eating, a blue vary in being like I'm gonna eat this really slowly and I'm gonna ask appreciate the fact that I can have as many blueberries as I want that I can afford to have as many blueberries as I watch and going outside a love gardening of like the little things in life that make me feel hall with out all of the everything else, because winning doesn't make you happier,
yeah it does for twenty five minutes, yeah yeah it gives you a little high. Don't get me wrong, it's an incredible feeling. You work so hard for it, but what I mean is like: if that's all you have and Europe Your ball along the way. It's not gonna, last that happiness, but my brother's friend actually always say they're. Like oh look at that rich man. All he has is money. What a poor guy and died so I eye opening, because we do live in a culture where people think that it you have this babe or you have all this money. It's like your life is perfect and I'm so inspired by people who just make the most of their every day of the little things in life. You know appreciating the little things. Okay, the juicy thing I just want to talk about for fun is I have a fantasy about the Olympic camp. Is the Olympic Camp fun how much
The time you have in the Olympic Camp and are you like chatting with other people you mean like in the olympic village? Village. Sorry, sorry, no worries because I'm a pervert. Let me just add that I think some of my sexual trauma has led to which happens, increased sexuality. So I I own that the notion of all being young- and everyone has the best, in the world. It just feels like going crazy. Please just stroll through So let me tell you that said: gymnastics is one of the longer competition days we have so many different competitions and they're spread out at least every other day. We're normally one of the first to go, and then it's like that a day between another one damage mean and then- and then finals are like days later, so it spread out throughout the whole thing. So the way that USA Gymnastics minds, as an Irish imagine a lot of the other countries from the gymnastics community as well the way they think about it is like even after he won the day go mad all their like you go to
be seated here. Quick interviews- and they do it as like quickly as possible, because there's no celebrating because we still have competition laughed so the mint you're done with your competition is time to focus on the next one. So we were now allowed to leave our rooms or like our apartment, complex unless we were going to the gym or going to eat or unless we were allowed to go for a group walk and we had to go with our coaches. So it was very, very metal, like you guys, all got a walk together. It was very strict, like we would love going to the cafeteria, because you see all these other athletes and it was just so funny because we're one of the shortest athletes there and you've got like basketball players who are huge and just like seeing them is so fun. But we would just like go around and I was eighteen at the first one. I
the oldest and like the youngest one was fifteen, so we were just sell like little and around would just like laughed like. We were kind of life. The baby's we were so in a sense that it was like everyone we just like other just so little in Q, and they would like to talk to us both also why allowed to lake socialize Tomb you're here for a job, and if you to fool around then you're gonna be replaced, so we were just like super serious. You don't want to rock the boat and it's like you are there for the domestics like Michael. Should say of the rest, your life to go to whatever party wants, but you ve got. this month and you worked your whole life for it, so it was just like not even an option to like party or do anything because it's like imagine, working your whole life partying hanging out with the cute boys. Next to you, and then you don't do all your competition, it's like you! That would be me. I The whole thing? Yes, I met like some hot swedish. Her I'd be like I don't give a shit about gold. No, I'm gonna propose something. I think you guys should do like high school
union. So I think you should have let two thousand doesn't sixteen olympic reunion and no one's competing. It's all about the village, That meant my go issues like ok. Now we can come and just look at each other party I love that's a good idea, but we did get written coding Everyone say enamel think about that in my fantasy everyone's gonna vaccine, so we're all going yeah good. Ok, you have an app your involve with called and fellow can you tell us about sand? Fellow, so decided to partner with sandbag low, because hopefully you can tell from the sky. Rotation that I'm very passion about mental health and really interested in learning more about it and the way that I can feel better. You know my friends and family and when I meet people on the street will give them a resource right. Yes, for maize people come up to me who are thinking about sobriety, and so it's easy I go do directory. There's a meaning. Every hour around the clock, get yourself to a meeting.
If you don't mind me asking what advice do you give for people to get them to go to the meeting, because I would imagine that is very, very difficult to have the courage to go to a meeting. Well, I have an unpopular take on this, and this is A very a take drives my wife crazy and drives Monica crazy. I am not in the soliciting business I'm in the attraction business. If you happened and look at my life and you think some part of it is about sobriety, and you want what I have in you ask me. I will give endlessly, but I dont chase people recommended people they go on, evaluate whether people are attics or not. I have done at one time in my life and it went well, but other than I don't approach people about it, they now one, how come to me and I'll do anything requires she sang if they candy years, they ve already come to you and ask you, will yet, and I Let's go to meaning you now, let's start with
a meeting and then I'll say: let's read this book and then we'll start working these steps and you'll either enjoy it or you want to go back out and do more research as we call it, and if the research ends with you feeling better than reading the book and hanging what other deeds veils then go for it. I won't be able to Happy I dont have a one size fits all for what makes people happy the army it involves sobriety, but for other people might not state. From there We are supported by Mug Z genes. Now I just get three new pairs amongst genes and they are the most comfortable men's genes ever make as much Zis fabric Monica the fabric source.
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I used to be in the tea. Am I absolutely love it? I would still be in the transcendental limitation, but I have to children, for the last seven years I wake up in the morning is one of them screaming. I don't wake up early to meditate, so I have been terrible I'll have periods where I do and I feel so much better and I love it, but I'm religion is exercise, I think every human being should exercise four times a week, and I know you have an trusting relationship with it. Yes, I talked about on the today show that talked about it publicly because it took me so longest come to terms with it, because I did feel a lot of shame about it. You know I went from training some day, seven hours and feeling, like the best shape of my life, and I felt like so just powerful and flexible and just felt like I was flying on some days. I felt so so good and then over the last couple of years. You know like I've even struggled some days like walk up the stairs like some days, just walking up the stairs, I'm so out of breath. It's like even running for one song is exhaust.
Sing for me, and so I just have been spending a lot of time, fighting it and being like. Why do I feel this way and my mom and my therapist were like? Why can't you just like have a little bit self compassion for yourself, and why can't you be okay with being tired, and so I, over the years I've learned the impact that stress and anxiety can have on our bodies and how it exhausting it as in one thing that really drives me. Nuts and people say to me- and I don't have this as much anymore- is like I'm saying like I'm just so tired. Today, people are like we haven't done anything today. Why are you tired? even if their job is to play with a beautiful like golden retriever all day, if you're in your head and having like ruminating thoughts, you will be exhausted, because anxiety is exhausting. It doesn't matter what you do like you could be on the most beautiful island in the world. But if you are so stressed out, you still may not be able to enjoy. You may not be able to be present. Cause anxiety is when we're not in the present moment, because we're thinking about the future of the past and so that
has been so exhausting. For me my mind, this is just not serving me, and so I need to try to change it up, but there are a lot of days where I just will go for a walk. I've started to ride a bike outside which has been really helpful, but my dad is so funny the energize or bunny and well go for a bike ride like I cannot keep up with my dad and like I'll go out till I can deal with like my grandfather, whose turning eighty unlike years, more energy than me and I'm just like, but my grandfather, you Know- will go ball thing hangs out with his friends like has great social life and I'm like the difference is like he's really happy and that was super eyeopening to me was. I was like so stuck in my head that I'm, like I'm, not even like in the moment and there's this crazy paradox right when you have depression and anxiety, which is you're exhausted all day long, but then you can sleep because it's bad it's a big component of it. I would like be energize at night and I'm like I do. Have my people work out at eleven o clock at night. A year ago I started living by myself and I
watch tv at night and it affected my sleep. I can't even tell you I was up the whole night and then someone told me what, different and I like, oh, my gosh, you started watching tv. I stop watching tv anonymous immediately. I would slip through the night, but it is great how much tv affects some people including mine, like I was up the whole night, it was absolutely crazy. So I try to do a lot. Guided meditation and I tried a stretch, and these are all things that are on sand. Fellow yes, but are all the different things that it can help manage or track, so one of the things that's really different and unique about SAM Bello- is that you can do coaching and their therapy on the app. So you can also get meditation, and you can also do these like daily check ins, where they ask you questions and you answer them and it will kind of give you a score of like you are experiencing more anxiety or depression. No actually like give you
new tracker, so kind of allows you to really reflect on how you're feeling and then based off of your results. It will you suggestions of what to do. So it's really good because it allows you to have those chickens which is really important and there is different scans and I actually recorded my own guided. Meditation that I did based off of the years of guided meditations I've done and you can access that on the app for free. So I'm going to be recording more guided, meditations I really like that. Yeah, it's great. Hopefully, people will like it. It's really helped me a lot well, what's cool about it. Monica- and I will always talk about this, like it'll. Take us seven weeks to realize something's been happening every day. Monica had epilepsy right so is like she just covered this year so like she had once easier and then she kind of ignored it largely my
fall. I told her. Nothing would get happened. I'm like big deal you so I didn't know what it was. It was just like a er incident and I'm like you peed the bad people peed the bag get over it you're not dying right. I was terrible and then she hadn't second one, but then you know, and then in rhetoric you start going like. Oh, I think I've had more and oh, my back is so a lot of times when I wake up at all this and we're just pretty bad at being aware of how frequently things are happening to us or for how long they've been going on, and especially with anxiety and depression. It takes a long time before you realize oh I've been in this pattern of I haven't been able to sleep or I'm irritable. Like it's easy, They just kind of not take the inventory and sailing. Oh, it's been a while that I've been feeling lower. I've been feeling this. We live in such a fast pace world that it's easy to just like move along through it. We had a psychologist on who said that, average amount of time it takes for people once they feel miserable yeah. Before they get help is five years.
The average miserable they'll have depression hard core for five whole years before the last for help. I'm so sad. I think it just speaks to our culture, though how we have to keep analyzing and keep talking about it, because I think everyone struggles in some way Monica because you said you have remitting, though, just like I do. What have you found that has helped you or have you found anything? So, exercise does help and I do guided meditation as well. Alright, I tried to I get. You know. I fall off the boat every now and then, but that helps and also acceptance has helped. That is how my brain operates and what you had said earlier. You can say to stop thinking about it. That's not gonna work and never gonna work. That's not the sought an option on the table, so it's just kind of love,
myself sit in it, for a bed helps and one of my best friends who also struggles with depression and anxiety, and I was I, how do you? get above water- and she said sometimes I just let myself sink- and I was like oh wow, like she just pictures, hop law, adding go and just like being under water for a bat, and then you get the energy to come back up so bloody yourself off the hook, a little they can be held, for something that also helps me a lot of things we say in our head or the way we speak to ourselves. We would never say to a loved one or someone we care about, so sometimes it helps me if I'm like. Okay, I need to think about. This is almost as if it's like thing about it outside of me and if my friend was telling me this or like my, yourself. What what I say to her- because I wouldn't be this cruel to her- I wouldn't be this lake intense about it and so that something
also really helps me, but sometimes when I'm in those spiral moments, I can't separate that it's okay, when I'm in, the worst things like ten people can tell me you're fine and I'm still like no, but what, if you're wrong, it is so hard for me to get out of my head and it's something that I'm really working on, and I don't know about you but I'll have a month where I'm like, I feel so great, I'm fine and then it's like. If I have a week, that's bad it just like continues: it's either like a good week or not a great weekend, so I'm trying to find tools to get out of it quicker because it feels like it's the end of the world. Have you tried medication, Have you tried ed, and so I actually you know so interesting, because I read a lot of different books and I think that,
like sort of choose sides of it, and I realized, like not- everything- is like black or white, like you have some people that are like. Oh, my gosh, like depression and anxiety. Medication is amazing. It should be in tap water and then you got other people that are like anxiety. Depression. Medication is the worst. It causes like gut problems, it's horrible for you and so like it's, not one. Size fits all and it's like I've also read books that are really about meditation, and this. This fixes everything. I think it's important. I still like there is a stigma around trying medication and it's so hard for people to get it like. I felt like that for so long, there's nothing wrong if you feel like you're thinking, there's nothing wrong with taking medication. Come up! It's okay, yeah! It's okay and I actually tried a couple of years ago. I was having a horrible nightmare. As an I tried medication
in fora in the medication actually made me faint and I was like go to the hospital, and so that was really scary, but it was like. I'm also try and be aware of, like the story that I tell myself consent for years. I was like I'm not trying anything else, I'm just going to faint on every other type of anxiety or depression, occasion, and so that's also been like thing. I'm trying to be aware of: why telling myself I just because one thing happens. Does I mean it's going to happen and every other situations, oversight also being aware of the negativity in the joy spent in my mind so like yeah, but I think it's like really important thing, there's a lot of shame around anxiety and depression, medicine and even like when I talk about it with other friends. People like you, I wouldn't do that and I'm like ok, well, I'm not going to tell you any more but like there's nothing wrong with that, caused nothing to try. It is what I say: there's no reason you can try it and then people around you that love. You will tell you if you're personalities disappeared. So all the things you're nervous about there is really nothing to be nervous about, but my thing is: if you ve set of gratitude list
the morning and you worked out for an hour in your of service to another human being in yours. Miserable and you put together a week of that. I say you probably need to talk to a psychiatrist like if you're doing, every single thing that can be done behaviorally and it's having no impact, then I just would say it's definitely time to talk to a psychiatrist, there's only so many tools we have. If you in all them- and you still don't want to be alive, is definitely do I do psychiatry. I've been on it and I to present for the past couple months. I just started it recently and I had an appointment yesterday because we're we're going up a little bit and my dose and he was like This isn't like we can't go back or we can go up, don't feel like you're stuck in any way, and then he also gave me an anti anxiety medication, but just as like in spirally moments and like panic moments- and I had
taken it yet, but then the other night. I was really spiralling and I was like you know what I'm gonna try the medication, so I just took like us order of it, and then I was so anxious that it wasn't gonna work It was gonna work on my other medication. I was gonna become addicted to it or I took too much and I was like, oh my god. This antianxiety medication is giving me so much anxiety, but I think it's good to know. That's a safety net and always know you can try and ok to try. You know I actually have a friend for as long as I have known her. She has terrific anxiety with being afraid that she's going to get sick and like if she has a headache, She will start going to the worst thing. Oh, my gosh, I have brand cancer like her mother, do yeah so for months and months, like she'll, keep going to doctors and specialists in like it doesn't matter how many doctors were tell her like. I promise you you're fine she's like so what, if I'm not what, if not trail or like. If she's like feeling per breast,
She feels a little something here. Oh my gosh, I breast cancer and then, if she goes the doktor, they say you dont. She still freaks out. So I was sorry. The day I was like for as I've known you because we lost touch for a little bit. You know not anything bad just life happens, and I was like for long as I've known you even having these like ruminating, obsessive thoughts about like getting sick, and it's like to the point where it like takes away your joy because You know she was telling me- and I can relate to this too, where it's like when I'm having such bad anxiety, it's almost like, if I'm having fine, I'm like I'm not allowed to have fine, because this bad thing might happen to me like it almost doesn't feel safe to like. Let myself have fine and she feels the same way, and so are you know we're both just talking about it together, like the importance of just like going to someone in talking to someone like and not keeping it in, because when you feel, alone and not that's when it gets really scary, and I think just talking about it. You're gonna realise, like. Unfortunately, people can relate to you like on four
you like you and I can relate to each other. I wish that we both didn't have those ruminating thoughts, but I think a lot of people listening, unfortunately, can probably really to do, but it's like it, just the anxiety of not feeling safe in your body which is like such a bad feeling, but it is something that is really him: wait until I feel back in your body, and I realized a lot of times in my childhood. I wanted, anywhere, but in the present moment, because of the abuse that I experienced and also something I've never ever talked about publicly is when I was younger. If I was like laughing or fooling around my older coach, not the ones I was with at the Olympics, older coach from a long time ago. I want to make people know it is not my coaches me high and Sylvie. If I was laughing, this coach would actually grab me and not talk to me. Throw me in the bathroom by myself, shut the lights off and lock the door.
because I would get punished for laughing or if I was like not really paying attention, and I was like seven or eight years old. So it's like for me age. I realized if your having much fun, that's bad or you're, not paying attention you're, not being respectful as if their antithetical each other right and I do my best work when I'm having fun exactly to me like, I find it like manifest like it in the elevator on myself, I'm like oh, my gosh. What if I get locked in here and then I have to like, if I'm having more of a better day of control, and I'm just imagining this- I'm fine, I'm not going to get locked in, but it's like, I don't think we give enough weight and enough self compassion to ourselves for the trauma leave experience and how much it impacts us. Also. I want anyone listening like if you're listening to this and saying well, I didn't experience any kind of like sexual abuse or getting locked in the bathroom trauma is the way that you were treated, but it's also the last.
Treatment received that allows you to do so at a yes and neglect is dramatic too, because I think a lot of people don't give enough credit to themselves or their like war. I didn't really have a close relationship with one of my caregivers and it's like, but that is dramatic and it's important to not compare yourselves if you're. Listening to this to my experience or you guys, because it's like we've all experienced different things in our lives. Oh my moles station is a walk in the park compared to some that I've heard. I mean there's so many level, but what a waste of time you had get caught up in comparing whether you deserve long treat. Take yourself seriously. I was just going to ask you a leg and I don't mean to put you on the spot, but it's like. I feel like it's not fair for you to say that yours is a walk in the park. Is I don't. Like you are validating our experience and how hard that was for you and still is
It was very hard, and- and yes, I think it's still affects my reaction to other men all the time, but I've just heard some stories where I'm like. Oh man, I had that experience. For a few weeks, I have a friend who dealt with it for twelve years. From his father- and I'm like- oh my god, I'm just my compassion for him of, like God, I know what a few weeks felt like. I can't imagine what a decade from your primary source of love in your life. I mean yeah yeah, and I also can't begin to imagine how confusing that is to you know your father summer night is supposed to love you and take care of you, and you know I can obviously speak to your friends experience but something mad. I've thought a lot about from personal experience, and you know me friends who experienced the same. Abuse from the same abuser is
grooming as such a confusing thing as well. I've spoken to you know a lot of different child abuse. Experts in different fields- and you know I've- I've spoke darkness to light, and I actually work with them. They're, the leader in child abuse prevention and their educating the adults, but also the Monique Birth Foundation, educates the children and the Monique Foundation is telling me that a lot of times, kids don't realize that sexual abuse is bad at the time because its with someone love entrust or it could be pleasurable. Another group of friends that have been molested in May and joy did. They were attracted to the person they filed in under it was a hook up in an enlightened and into no that's not a hook up when you are eleven in someone is a team like, I think, not
can be a really confusing layer for people very confusing, and it's interesting because the Monique Birth Foundation says that a lot of adults you are like watching their kids they're very against that conversation of some kids do enjoy it its such uncomfortable thing to talk about. I think that everyone's experiences are very different in its important for people to, even if somebody did enjoy add you know, our experience is still too. Again it still so confusing, because it's like the abuse of the power Trust in the eye. Just so confusing. I don't above for you, but for me it is completely to my world view. All of a sudden I went from living in a world where I thought people were nice too ready. Some people are trying to prey on you and that just permanently fucks up your view of the life or makes you maybe it doesn't fuck
innovation, realistic, I don't know, but I know it in immediately changes you're right, even if you enjoy did Oros pleasurable the recognition that someone else. that very ulterior motives in all the messaging they sent you you that felt like love or respect or interest was all scheme to satisfy themselves? That's the best part and it's very confusing, because a lot of times abusers earth child abusers. They may not come off like these scary adults, like you know, we picture as kids like that it could be. Unfortunately, you know one of their caregivers. It could be someone that they really respect in their family or someone that there are like do sports with whatever it can give them gives they can have favorites in their so many different red flags that I think it's really import him for.
Caregivers to be aware of you if, like there's an adult, that's also taking a lot of photos of kids. Even if the kids are fully clothed, that's a red flag, a pedophile, and you know something like for example, for me I use are like you used to take obsessive photos of all of us. While your training by this was part of his manipulation, has he not only groom does and the coaches, but he also a kind of grim. The parents, too, is like he would take a ton of photos of us which the only guy she's so nice, because I'm away from my family sometimes a month at a time and you with son, my mom a bunch of photo of me and our using our guy yeah yeah. So but then, when it when I started to realize like the signs- and I wish I had been educated on in our child abuse wrenching, I did realize it was sexual abuse at the time it was happening to me because it was a really about? He was a doktor Simon,
like there's, no way that I know better than him like I was at. Who am I to say something I knew I was very uncomfortable. Also, can I add, what's so confusing for you that we watch the Erin Lee Carr Documentary she's, a friend of ours and he's also, when great things for you. So how confusing like he's, ease healing your body at sometimes or helping your body and then hurting your body so like what of impossible thing to unravel Are you jangle athlete? I know I'm talking about one was on age, be, oh god, oh god. I actually did not see that one, but I did see him ass lady, but it's interesting as I find a lot of people that are still in general Or, like I have a hard time with, because he was such a good doctor, and I might I am personally like I never felt like he was a good but a perception in my experience. I said that don't worry totally fine. It didn't bother me at all, because some people, like the thing about life, is like our perceptions.
Like our reality so like maybe somebody else thought that he wasn't incredible doctor and thus their experience. So that's fine. I personally didn't think he was a good doctor but it also is because it's like totally like this dark cloud of like he's a horrible monster, yeah, it's it isn't. Confusing and also in gymnastics like if we had an injury, if we felt sick, it was like okay, if I didn't feel well, it was like well what did you have to eat today? I noticed you gained a little bit of weight. You probably feel sick because you gained a little bit of weight or your ankle hurts you're, making it up. So everything was like you, better, keep quiet, otherwise they're going to replace Someone else. It was like it wasn't. Even as a perfect, perfect scenario. it was a perfect scenario for him to get away with it. Ignore your pain, It's your lackey. Everything is on yeah yeah and anything, but
everyone would always say all the adults. Rest was like you guys are so lucky to have and he's the best doctor, and they would always say like because a lot of the coaches are foreign like in America like you guys are so spoiled you have it so good like you, girls get to eat whatever Why, even, though we did like you got to live at home like it is always liked the gas lining up like you, have so dead, and I was like a wolf. I dont have how bad is like the Soviet in still like, so I was just never even an option and then like. If there was someone they did sort of say something, everyone be like your making it. How dare you say something bad about him? So when you hear someone shame your teammate you're, like I mean, were wrong and in its also so confusing, because he worked with almost everyone. So it's like it, he's been the national team Doktor an olympic doctor, the olympic doktor Afore DEC.
And no one said anything. I'm like I was like mad at myself like I was like. I can't believe I'm like thinking bad about this person. I must be a bad person like I'm bad something's, wrong with me like it is just so and he would give me gifts. He would give me food. So when he. You give me food. I was like I feel so guilty like. Why am I being so judgmental- and this is essential- sing too. When I reflect, now now, like annoyed, annoyed me. So much like everything. He did me me and I think that when people annoyance- and it could be something little like could be the way like someone each their food and it could have nothing to do with something there doing wrong. But it someone annoys you, I think its import in till I reflect on. Why, either annoying you. What is what is the root of that problem? And I didn't know enough about like mental health be like. Why is he annoying me so much? I couldn't put my finger on it, but I was like. I can't stand yeah, that's a great thing to edge.
Pay people on a follow, your good. I really would think about it really chase it down and figure out. Why and ask questions to I wish that I had asked questions, but I didn't even trust myself. I do and even know enough about what was going on. I never thought that this was sexual abuse because I would have never thought that a doctor could be hurting yeah. It just wasn't. I always just thought stranger danger and I also thought it was like this creepy man in the Van and I didn't think that could be like the. U no abuse so be like a beautiful woman abusing little boy, you knowing and I'm sure you would agree maybe not, I want to put words in your mouth but, like I, don't feel like a lot of and boys there isn't enough conversation about boys being abused and allowing boys to feel comfortable being vulnerable and letting them know it,
okay to feel. However, you feel, let's just say this- I don't think our society historically has provided a very safe space for boys to be vulnerable. It's a cultural thing that has to change yeah. I completely agree. You're, fucking awesome. I want people to check out San Vello, and I also know that you're writing a children's book about this, and I have thought so much about also writing a shone like where's the children's book about molesting, I'm not afraid to talk to my kids about it. But I recognise it's really hard for parents to do it and I think any tool out there that could help start that conversations fantastic. So I wish you luck on that pain care and on everything you it's been awesome to meet you yeah thanks for chatting, it's been so awesome to chat with you both. Thank you guys. So much for having me on all right again soon thankee thy Son mines have, I think, your eye
and now my favorite part of the show the fact check with my soulmate Monica admin. Can I bring in with a b, please wow. Do you think you could have maybe done that living no, I mean there's been times in my life. I entertain that. But now I've got more realistic kind of like when I said I could dance as good as Bruno Mars, but I had not seen him dance yeah. I just assumed he was a good dancer right, but he's a spectacular dancer, incredibly good,
I'm glad, I called you out on that. Yes, that was early on it was in our friendship. That was a defining moment in our friendship, because it was one of the many moments. You were right and I was wrong and it was a good pattern to establish. I thought true, don't you I do I do. I really think it was informative. Do you want me to apologize with the beat? Yes that one wasn't as good? It's a little party yeah! Oh, can I do a far beat sure are you really asking me when you say that,
If you say no, I won't do it, but I am price you are started by the time. I answer that's true, but if you say no, then I'll say you stuff: let's try it again. Let's do a run through of how that would work. Okay, can I drop an old school beat on this? No thank you. I hate to go from the Art beat to something serious serious, but but here we are yeah, not a ding ding Ding, no, no opposite of a ding ding ding and we live for Ding Ding ding. We love Ding, Ding Ding, but not today, not today, Just really. Thank you too alley. Yes, that was incredible. I'd like to say I did not have the goal. Making her walk through any that stuff. Now I did it, but it just happened and it was really lovely to be trusted like that yeah yeah. She was so open, I mean what were learning. What we already knew was true, but seems to be proven again and again, as vulnerability is so powerful for other p, all men, its connective and people are struggling,
I feel really bad, not the right word. I just can see what an enormous toll it must take on her to be out outcome public and be inspirational net sense to so many people and then have to be joined them on their own. I don't know that it ever occurred to me that that would be part of it, but of course it is yeah she's. A huge sacrifice to be open about this stuff yeah. It's so impressive! I like her so much. I want to be friends with her, so there aren't really facts. This is just kind of an open emotional episode, but you talked about watching a documentary about chess players Bobby Fisher. I think you're talking about Bobby Fisher against the world. That sounds right. Yes, it was on Hbo originally, as I recall that seems for me to be the one you were talk, Where have you ever seen it now
He became oh, he moved to Iceland. I really is no became a very outspoken anti Semites. Oh yeah yeah he's here became a very rough hang. There has he's became paranoid, yeah undaunted chess making paranoid? well. That's what I was saying in the interiew, which is like, if the only part of your brain you're exercising for twelve hours a day is the part of your brain that worries about the next attack on you, yeah yeah. I think it's normal for that to happen. To become a day semite, but now but it is weird that there is this general over labour. Paranoia and then being anti semitic it seems like a first stop for people when they start thinking that someone's controlling the world and who would it be okay, another, ding Ding, dangles Fuckin Dingle stuck mentary documentary. Again
an Aaron in cars Doc, was called at the heart of gold that was on HBO. That was fantastic, really was really important so funny, because I guess I assume she would have watch it. But of course she didn't watch it. Yes, I don't know why it in the moment. I thought I was like thinking of it wrong. He has certainly not a story. She's, like can't wait to relive to our relates re traumatized. I've been there was something about her, story, I'm so glad she talked about, because I don't think people I didn't really eyes, the level of getting traumatized again triggered, because I think, if you haven't experienced it you're, like oh, that happened to them yeah and then they're sad about it, but you're forgetting the part. That's like literal PTSD you get Reed triggered and you feel the things you are feeling and it's really intend know if I brought it up during the But most certainly the thing I. What am I could relate to imagine is like fine with being honest if I
control, of course, but when someone just makes a movie about it, it's so a saudi or control not feel comfortable. Now, but it is it's a good movie, the ads and crime good movie as all of a only cars movie. Yes, we really like her. We like her, you know it's interesting, ding, Ding Ding, Ngos Erin she came on our show one of the big things I remember, and it was a small part, but I haven't really ever forgotten. I think about it. A lot her dad was sober and he relapsed after like thirty something years of sobriety and when she said that I remember thinking like oh wow, Larry Bedroom, That can happen, especially after that long, like you, think, that's
over and it's not- and I just I I think about that- every now and then in its said, Ding Ding Ding videos are met him. For he was lovely I wonder it doesn't matter, but I do wonder, because his issue was smoking. Crack I mean that's the thing I got him sober, because his relapse was cleaning up after a party and he combined all these after reading glasses into like one huge glad to score ouch. Yet the sink, and you stand the sinking just guzzle that, and I do wonder if you'd like we're moving my promise, an alcohol. probably my soul. Why we like to tell ourselves and then I just wanted to bring up the magnificent seven the gymnast ah valley, and I both loved that was a fun connection- was all my gosh. I learned that
there aren't very many people on earth. I get to share that obsession with with the video tape. You know the video, the Vhs and watching it over and over again, but she did it like she was Me in watching that video and the idea that I, could have been that in she did These are shorter I would have gotten started, of course. Well, I asked her about that, and it does happen to almost all of them would have been Therefore, I would be even more minutes. I got really carry you and in the messengers gag at that oh, my god, like Paris, Hilton's dog, he was just carried me around you, man like when we would do live, shows instead of saying you know outcomes, but I would unzip my bag and you would pop out, and it would really
make sense. When I say I put you on my carry on luggage, I really cou. I could pop out of the cannon the tshirt cannon. Oh wow, I do a bunch of flips because you would have the school yes, fuck has all mean you blew it. We would have like we really like bringing brothers or something below it. By the way I tried I just was they said I was to lay. But Ali. When did she, she was young right. Yes, I hope she was starting at age, a like me and then they told me I was too late. I know you know like daily. I think about the fact that if, if I don't get Lincoln started in GO kart racing like yesterday, she's not going to be able to be a formula one driver, it haunts I think it's true, but she has asked me to put her in a goal. Corazza tricky situation is, I can understand.
Pull these parents who like when they see their kid, has something like Lincoln. Has the ability to be a great race car driver he's fearless she's, got amazing balance and hand, eye coordination and jet perception, and she just has what it would take. I know but a well funded father that's the real thing piece and she does have that's what makes whose Hamilton's personal story, the best formula one driver in the world is so bashful and beautiful. Hey there was it barely any black kids racing go carts, he's, the first to my knowledge, black formula, one Dr Ernie's abbess, he's about to break Michael Schumacher record, which would pretty much make him the greatest of all time and he and his dad just had to get our track in way, This is very inspiring. I like that, God you should marry him,
he's, so kind of fucking hot I've shown you pictures of him. No I've never seen him. Oh my god he's just like. Let me look at my Tom Brady, where you're like what what the fuck you're also a supermodel, is he married Louis Hamilton is so gorgeous. I can't imagine he's married he's trying to Russia hates. Oh, my god is beautiful right, yeah, is he on a t rocks? He certainly could afford? t rats, he is very, very wealthy. I wonder if it be good for me. Two days day or knows. You worry me all the time. That's really pie, not that from my mental health, but yet I could see do we know at the same time, some of those you just attracted to alright all right. Well, unfortunately, for Alli Alley, ok, one where we got to talk about Loose Hamilton, a little bit too some
things, some tingles, some beatboxing ally, We really appreciate you and from them, my heart, what a wonderful, wonderful, beautiful interview! Thank you. So much special special special, it's should marry Lewis Hamilton if you're not going to, can we both? I wonder what he he's in a different country every week, yeah, that's! The thing we could split am yours has like Keith were near good now we arrive in fact Jack about back. Oh yeah. Next, everyone catch upon the vow and does not expect check Sidney. You can know what we're talking about. Yes, awry Willoughby
Transcript generated on 2020-10-12.