Donna Monroe- Trail & Ultra Runner and Discovering Your Passion (#36)

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Donna Monroe (@donna.loveandlife) is pretty hardcore. Here's a little about here:

She's a follower of Christ, mom to four incredible people, and bonus mom to one fantastic son-in-law. Crop insurance underwriter, Ultra runner, trail runner, adventure seeker, and beginning golfer. Also, a work in progress and under construction.

Find out more about Andrew's semi-famous mom, and learn how you too can find new passions at any time in your life.

Show Notes


If there is any way to, add movement to your daily routine this week.

Wicked Trail Running Insta:

🧢 small batch ultra running hats
🖋 and creative writing for ultra runners
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Wicked Trail Running Instagram

Adventure Time Quote:

Adventure Time Quote

"Sucking at something is the first step to being good at something."

Firefly/ Shephard Book Quote:

"Book said that people like the Operative never used a direct attack. Instead they smiled and "come at you sideways", using the target's blind spot to gain the element of suprise."

Episode Transcript

Andrew: [00:00:19]Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. We are thrilled to announce anotherspecial guest this time. It is my own mother Donovan Rowe, and she actuallygave us a bio to introduce her with, which makes my life a lot easier becausewe stumble all the time. Cause  it's ahard thing introducing people.

So. Here's what her bio says. She's a follower of Christ, amom of four incredible people which I'm going to put an addendum on there thatthere's at least one of them, but, you know, she said for she's a bonus mom ofone plus fantastic. Son-in-law and she's a crop insurance underwriter, an ultrarunner trail runner adventure seeker, and beginning golfer, and is also a workin progress and under construction.

So that's my mother for you guys? Probably a lot better thanwhat I would have said that she was the person who fed me and beat me wheneverI was being a little turd. So let's get this going, mom. Welcome onto the show.It's good to have you on here. Finally. I know you've been wanting to come onfor a bit.

So how has your day been? What have you been up to all thatkind of jazz?

Donna: [00:01:20] Thank you, you guys forhaving me and man, I surely am glad I wrote my own bio because that, that wouldhave been fun to follow. My, my day it's, it's been a great Sunday. It's it'ssummer in the panhandle started my morning with a run and church brunch thatkind of thing.

Andrew: [00:01:37]So was it a short run, like under 20 miles or was it a really short run underlike 10 miles or was it one of your long 50 mile runs?

Donna: [00:01:44]no, it was short. It was four miles. Just I'm, I'm kind of, taking it reallyeasy right now. I say that as, even though when I get finished with thispodcast, I'm going to sit down and write my next training plan. Um, I'm lookingat the weeks, but I've been taking it easy since my last race.

I'm going to say I had a little PTSD or something.

Andrew: [00:02:04]gotcha. Of all of this stuff in the bio that you sent us, what do you mostidentify as?

Donna: [00:02:11] a great question. You know,I'm gonna, side step that a little bit and give you a longer answer. And Andrewknows I'm I tend to give long answers, so I'll keep it as short as I can.  Over the last, you know, four to five years,I've really been. Trying to figure out what I most identify with.

I've been kind of looking at my identity and saying, what,what am I truly, you know, I, I am a mom and I am a runner, but you know, whenit all comes down to it, the bottom, the bottom line is that I'm a belovedchild of God. And then all of those other things go on top of it. So. I'm mostprivileged to be a mom because I'm, I am someone that I absolutely love mykids.

They are fantastic people. I enjoy being around them and notall parents of adult children say that, but I, I really am. They are blessings.And then I also, I really enjoy running it's I do it. I really do it because I,I love it. It gives me joy. It makes me smile. So, I'm going to say those twothings, the, the other, I really, I really do see that there I've beenembracing what God has for me.

What, what is his plan for me? Because he created me to bewho I am at this very specific time, this very specific place. And so I want tomake sure that I am fulfilling that identity. I would say those are my topthree.  


Daniel: [00:03:44] wanted to dive a little bitinto the racing piece, just because that's the one that I feel like I know theleast about. And obviously I've known Andrew forever. And so by proxy I haveknown you for quite a while of Donna and I don't remember when Andrew and Iwere sleeping over you coming back.

And you know, just having finished up like crazy long runsor anything like that. So. So what, at what point did that start to become apart of your life? What, what was the catalyst that started that.

Donna: [00:04:14]oh, that's a great question. So. Yes. But when you guys were in school and Iwas trying to think Daniel, when I first met you and I was like, I can't evenremember. It's just seems like forever. So I was a sprinter in school and solong distances, something over a 5k, which is 3.1 miles seemed okay.

Ridiculously far to me. And so I really didn't do anythinglong like that, but I would walk a lot. I would walk uh, when Andrew was incollege, I would walk maybe, you know, six or eight miles and evening, and Iwalked really fast. And then I started working at GetFit, which is a localrunning store here in Amarillo.

And I was just working there and just really enjoying it,you know, a lot of, lot of runners in the store. And then my life kind ofchanged. You know, I was, I had empty nest. My youngest was in her second yearof college and I, my life ended up taking a turn that, that I was notexpecting. And so some of the people that I worked with at the store were like,Hey, why don't you come run with us?

And I was like, I can't keep up with you guys. And theysaid, oh, no, no yes you can. And so that first summer we would work oninterval training. And so. I would just run, you know, do intervals, which ishow you get faster and build your endurance that, you know, that's kind of thebeginning. So in that was in July and then by December, I had I ran that wasDecember of 2016.

I ran my first four miles and I was so excited and so proudof myself. And I was like, wow, look what I did. I never thought I would beable to run over three miles. And so then a couple of the people I worked withare big trail runners. So after Christmas, they said, Hey, why don't you comeout to Palo Duro canyon with us and see what you think?

And I was thinking, oh my goodness, there's no way. And Iwent out there and I fell in love and I loved it. And so that was, you know,January and December. And by April, I ran my first trail half. So 13.1 milesand Then it just started from there. You know, you just keep adding the miles.Now I did say I never wanted to run a marathon.

And then a girl, I helped coach running classes and a girlin our class said I want to run a marathon before I turned 50. And I said, youknow what? I'll train with you. And I was, I was probably. Two years away from50 or so. And I thought, you know what, I'll go ahead and I'll train with you.And then she ended up not running it, but I was already well into my trainingplan.

So I went ahead and ran my first marathon. And then afterthat, somebody is like, you know, an ultra is only six miles more. And I waslike, you know what? You're right. It's kind of runners mouth. We don't thinkreal hard about the math. And so then I started training for my first ultra.

Daniel: [00:07:05]that's amazing. And I love just hearing any time. We have a chance to talk toguests that have a little bit more experience in life than Andrea and I, it'sjust really cool to hear the, the new experiences that come about and the factthat, you know, Running distance was not part of who you were earlier on inlife.

In fact, typically sprinters it's like that. That's a farcry from what you want to do and run distance. That's kind of where I'm stillat right now, but it's just great to hear you know, approaching 50, there isstill opportunity to pivot to make changes and that it doesn't all have to justinvolve buying a giant.

Motorcycle that, you know, stereotypical mid midlife crisis.Right, right. So I know you've, you've run a fair amount of different races andI think trail races are so much more interesting. What have been, or maybe whatis your favorite race that you've run?

Donna: [00:07:57]Ooh. That's okay. So you, I mean, you actually nailed it. I'm gonna, I'm goingto again, come at this a little sideways. My favorite distance is the halfmarathon. I love that. I love 13 miles. My favorite. Trail run, which typicallymy trail runs are I choose to run an ultra. All of my races honestly have aspecial place in my heart because I don't go into it knowing I'm going topodium.

I mean, I'm not, I'm not an elite runner. I'm, you know, I'mnow over 50. And so I go with different goals in mind. It is all about. of,what can I accomplish? What am I able to do? And is this race better than thelast one? So I'm going to say, I think my favorite race for a couple of reasonswas antelope canyon, 55 K last year. And that one, we got to run. We, wereally, we got the privilege of running on Navajo ground. So out near it's lakePowell, Arizona, and we ran it. I think it was March 12th or 13th, somewherearound in there. So it was to my knowledge, one of the last big races. Theultra distance before COVID shut everything down.

And so we were, you know, it's 12 hours or so from here inAmarillo and we drove and we're there for our race. For our race. Oh, it's thenight before they tell you all about this stuff, you know, all your updates.And 15 minutes before he was giving us the update, the Navajo decided to goahead and let us race.

They were, they were thinking they weren't going to becauseof COVID. So they opened up the slot canyons and all those things for us to runthrough. So that was incredible. The other thing, why it was such a big deal tome is I have struggled dialing in my nutrition and nutritionist, huge for anultra runner.

And I ran, it was 34 miles. I ran 16 to 18 of thosenauseous, very nauseous. And so, you know, a little over half the race where Iwas trying to throw up and other stuff, and I still finished. I got fourth inmy age group. Which was pretty good. So to me, that was a really, that was areally special race.

Andrew: [00:10:08]I just want to throw an adder in there just for color commentation becausethat's what I really bring here. Anytime anybody says they come at it sidewaysand YouTube probably have the same memory. I don't know if it affects you thesame way, but

Donna: [00:10:21]Okay.

Andrew: [00:10:21]I always think of that part in Firefly, or maybe it was in serenity where.

The bad guy is talking about, or I think it was actuallyshepherd. I'm sorry, shepherd books talking about the Alliance. And he's like,you know, they're never going to come at your head on there. They're going tocome at you sideways. And so whenever you're saying I'm going to come at thatquestion sideways every time I'm like, oh, shepherd book.


Donna: [00:10:41]You're right. He was talking about the Alliance.

Andrew: [00:10:43]So it's just kind of funny. So anyways, a Firefly serenity references aside,which I need to go watch those again soon.

Donna: [00:10:51]Oh

Andrew: [00:10:51]It's as a, somebody who watched you get into this. What was interesting aboutyou getting into racing was you were, like you said, you did sprinting in highschool, but then as a mother, you weren't horribly active in a like athleticsand something that you went to the gym and everything, but you weren't pushingthe limits like you do now.

And I'm not trying to be me and you just, he didn't do muchfor 15, 20 years there. Cause I assume for kids probably makes that difficult.

So. You touched on this a little bit with being a good fit,but like, how did you actually recognize the ability to find a new passion?Because that's what it really came down to. You are willing to take this laterin life opportunity and pursue something that sounded hard and didn't sound,you know, it wasn't a like, Hey, I've always wanted to be a long distancerunner.

I've always wanted to run 50 miles or anything like that.That was, there was a point. Where you're like, no, that sounds terrible. Andthey're going to do that because this is who I am as a person. And then maybe ayear later you had a completely different outlook on what your passion was. Sohow did you find this?

How did you, I guess, opened the door to let you find thatkind of passion later in life, because a lot of people don't have that abilityto be open-minded about what they find and what they do. So was there anyfactors that played into it besides having, you know, some introspection or wasthat all it took.

Donna: [00:12:05]Oh, no, if that I know that would be nice. You know, I did that summer of 2016.That was a hard year. And then Your dad, Andrew, your dad. And I got divorced.And so I came, did you not know? So I came to a crossroads here I am. I'm 47. Ihave been my entire life, you know, my entire adult life as. Andrew's mom orare these, you know, all of these kids, mom or this person's wife and, andyou're you're right. I mean, so I, I either worked or I was taking care of kidsor taking care of my family and in doing those kinds of things or, you know,trying to be the best mom, I could be on any given day. So then I was like,okay my kids are grown.

My life has totally changed. I'm at a crossroads. What, whatam I going to do? There is, there's a path that a lot of people choose that canreally end up unhealthy. Or there is a path that that I can, that I can sitdown and I can say, okay, what is the truth about me? Where. Where do I fitinto life and what am I actually capable of?

Because I had to find a whole new a whole new mindset ofcourage and digging in and saying, okay, I've got to do this on my own. So, sowhere does that come from? Because I got married at 21 and So I, I prayed a lotand I was like, all right, God, I am at a loss. I need some help. Please helpme choose the way I need to go.

Please bring those people into my life so that I can glorifyyou. And I can live the purpose that you set for me. And so. That is where theP you know, I was, I was surrounded by people that get fit and, and it wasn'tjust the people that work there. It's the, some of the customers, some of theother runners.

it just, when you gothrough something like that, your friend group kind of changes, just things getkind of strange. It's just a weird process, especially at the age. The I wasat. And so the, the other thing is, as I got out into trail running, so there'strail running is a totally different mindset than road running.

You know, if you ever watch people running a road race,they're very focused on point a to point B. There's not stopping. There's not,you know, there's going on a trail racing. Especially ultras, you know, youwalk some, I don't know if people know that, but you, you really do. And so youhave to be very present or you will, you can't be thinking about other stuffbecause you've got to look for the tree roots or the snakes or the rocks or, orwhatever's coming.

And so when I would go out to the canyon, it was, I, Icalled it my healing canyon because I would go out there. And I was honestlyjust completely devastated in my, in my life, all my plans, all my dreams, realor not were just gone. And so I was like, okay, what am I going to do? So whenI would be out there and I think about, okay, God knows the number of stars inthe sky.

He knows that all the sand. So I'm looking at the trees andthe rocks and everything out there. And it, it put my life and my struggles andperspective. And so that's really what started it. I wasn't out there to tryand do a super fast mile. I was out there for healing and my running partnersare, or we're all pretty spiritual people, even, even the ones that are not.

Followers of Christ, they're spiritual in their own way. Andwe have great discussions. We kind of solve the world's problems when you're ona run. And the other thing I realized is running at this distance. It's verydifficult to be anything other than authentic and truthful, because you're justso tired.

If you're, if your race, if you're running with someone forsix hours or four hours or eight hours. You really just kind of have to speakthe truth and, and be who you are and they accept you or they don't. And you,you know, you tend to go for the people that accept you and, and you get, I gotcomfortable with who I was and I was like, you know what, I'm good with this.

I'm good with who I am. And it was, it's just been aprocess. So that's kind of a, that's kind of how it evolved into that.

Daniel: [00:16:22] I love that. And somethingthat you, you share that I think is. Important for listeners, regardless ofwhere they are at, in terms of they spirituality. Like if you're a Christian,not a Christian, whatever it is that's a central part of your identity, youknow, a foundational piece that is not necessarily dependent on you being amom, you being a wife, whatever that is.

It, it certainly influences how you impact those things, butit's. It's that deeper level identity. And I think it's important to try tofind out what, what your sort of central identity core sort of thing is outsideof something that is primarily defined by other people, because otherwise, Imean, that's.

Becomes just an insurmountable life crisis. If all of asudden you being a wife or a mom either goes away or drastically changes. Andso to me, it sounds like that's kind of. That thing that lets you pivot intoanother space is the fact that, you know, at the core you did still have anidentity to fall back on kind of a foundation to fall back on.

And then from there sort of change what some of those othermodular aspects of your personality

track02: [00:17:40]are.

Donna: [00:17:40]That's so true. I mean, you are. You're exactly right. and the faith aspectthat is just that's who I am. But there are people that, that don't believe thesame way I do, but it's still. It's central to, to their, to their success intheir life, whatever their endeavors are for them to be able to say, you know,this is who I am and I'm going to own that.

And I'm going to be excited for who I am and what I canoffer to those around me and how I can be the best person I can be.

Andrew: [00:18:10]That is all any of us can try to do. I think if everybody kept that in mind,we'd have a much better world.

Donna: [00:18:16]You know, the other thing that, that made a big difference to me is one ofAndrew's sisters has said for quite a few years, that comfort is the death ofprogress. And so as I was going through the stage she didn't live here. And soshe and I would talk sometimes and I just really kind of wanted to cocoon andnot really think.

And I thought, you know, she's right. Comfortable. Doesn'tget me anywhere. doesn't do anything for me. It just, it allows me to wallow.And so. I'm not saying I want to go live in a dirt hut or something. That isnot what I mean by comfort. I'm just talking about what I find is comfortable.You know, an easy does not provide a lot of value sometimes.

Long-term I don't push myself. I don't see where I can grow.I don't see where I can help other people. There there's a, there's anInstagram account I've sent to Andrew. It's called wicked trail running. But tome it transcends trail running. It's all about comfort as a lie and to pushyourself. And I just.

When I listened to your podcast and I read your book and,you know, just conversations I've had with Andrew, a lot of what this guy thatruns that Instagram page is talking about is the same thing you guys are talkingabout. You know, how to be the best you can be. I'll, I'll send it to Andrew.Look at those.

Andrew: [00:19:35] I do love that page forstarters. They're pretty good. I'm just going to give Morgan and Bethany ashout out and I'm almost positive that it had to be a BestNet comic because Idon't think, I don't think I've heard Morgan come to terms with that conceptyet.

Donna: [00:19:46]It was Bethany.

Andrew: [00:19:48]Yeah, I figured it's okay, Morgan, we'll get you there.


 So that leads me intoa question about what drives you when you don't want to do something. Causethat's, that's important when finding a new passion, because as one of myfavorite quotes, that's come up a few times from adventure time about. Beingbad at something is the first step at being good at something.

But so many people, the older we get do not understand that.And they think I can't do a new thing because I'm bad at it or it sucks. Sowhat drives you when you don't want to do something? How do you get past mile10? Or how do you get past the. Perceived embarrassment that people have whenthey are out of high school or whatever it is that people start worrying somuch about being bad at something.

Donna: [00:20:40]There's a couple of things with that. So ultra runners it's called a DNF, didnot finish. And as you in advance in your distances, DNS are, can be common.

So I have to have areally solid why, why am I doing this and that? Why can't. Yeah for me now, Idon't know about other people's why, but why for a 50 mile race is not going tobe well, I don't want to be embarrassed because if I'm there and, and I'mhurting, cause you it's hurting, you are hurting.

That doesn't work. So, so I, I have to dig in and some ofit's just I'm proving to myself what my body can do because no one can takeaway. The fact that I run these distances because it's me and my body. Andthat's it. The other thing I do is I dedicate miles to people because I choose,I choose these distances.

So I, I act, I sign up for these races. I pay for them andthen I travel for them and At XY on this last race that I did, it was verydifficult and I'm at mile 33 34. And I'm like, where is that finish line? Imean, I am hurting. And it, it was a tough race, but I try and remember that I,I choose this and I dedicate miles to people in prayer because there are peoplethat.

They don't get the option to run or they don't get theoption to avoid suffering. Maybe they have cancer. Maybe they have somethingthat they don't talk about. You know, we never know what people are goingthrough, but I, I choose to do this and I know it's going to hurt. And so I askGod to let my suffering by choice.

Alleviate that burden from them for just a little bit andtheologically, I have no idea if that's even valid, but you know, I want it tomean something. I don't want what I do to just be about me.

Daniel: [00:22:33]I love that concept. I'm curious. Have you dedicated any models to Andrew overthe years?

Donna: [00:22:38]Yes, I have. I do too. My, I do for my kids and we actually, my two mainrunning partners. We we all have kids and we, we pray for our kids as we run inour families.

Daniel: [00:22:49]It's a cool idea. Again, like it's great to bring your faith in. And then evenif, even if, again, that's some not somebodies thing, the idea of dedicating amile to somebody is such a cool concept. I'll have to try that the next racethat we're doing, because. You're right. Like if you're running it and again,all of these races, you know, you paid for it.

You're, you're paying to feel the way that you're feeling.But thinking through RA this, you know, mile 13 in a half marathon, I'mdedicating this one to Andrew. And if I just imagine like Andrews watching atracker and they can like, all right, Like Daniel's doing this one for me. Itit'd be a lot harder for me to to take it easy or to walk or things like that.

Cause I know Andrew would be like, what the heck bro? Like,this is, this is my mile and this is what you're doing on it. Yeah.

Andrew: [00:23:36]15 minutes, Daniel. I know you can do five.

Donna: [00:23:39]and that's the thing when I met, you know, mile 30 and I'm going to use Zion,for example, they're having a mountain bike race going on while we're doing ourrace. And I mean, This was a lot of climbing and stuff. And we went from mile15 to 27 without an aid station and it was hot and it was, it was a bit crazy.

And so, you know, I was really ready for something cold. Ihad water, but it was hot, you know, it was, it was like 90 something. It was hotup there. But so I, I think about that and I'm like kind of whining and I'llget back to that in a second. So I'm, I'm whining in my head and probably alittle out loud.

And then I, you know, I really think about, I thought abouta friend of mine that was recently diagnosed with cancer. And I thought I mean,come on Don and get it together. Because they don't really get an option. Theydon't get a pass when they get to the aid station, you know? So it, again, Putit into perspective for me, I was gonna, I was going to get to, to an aidstation to get some cold water and actually some Coca-Cola, but you know, sothat, you know, makes me push a little bit harder.

But the other thing we do is we have a wine card. So my, mytwo partners and I, and we only allow ourselves to wine for like five minutes,total. In a, in a run, you know, sometimes that's 5, 6, 8 hours, that's it. Andso that also helps I think, with our attitude, we don't, we choose to not focuson the negative.

Daniel: [00:25:05]Physical like laminated wine card. Like once you, why? And then you have tohand your card over to your partner.

Donna: [00:25:10]No, we just, we're just like, okay, I'm pulling out my card. You know, we, wesay it jokingly and you know, just kind of do that, that I, I like the concept,honestly.

Daniel: [00:25:19]Yeah. Yeah, that's fun. So another thing that, that I know that you've startedin, and I honestly don't know how long ago it was now, but you run an Airbnb inAmarillo, you have your own Airbnb, and I know that Andrew also does that. Andso this is kind of like, I believe like, like mother, like son situation.

Donna: [00:25:41]yes.

Daniel: [00:25:42]Yeah. Tell me about that. What was, what was the hardest part of getting thatstarted? What does that process been like?

Donna: [00:25:47]wow. You know, the hardest part for me, aside from finding the, the righthouse, that fit kind of what I could do and what my budget was, was actuallypulling the trigger on it. I got the room all done. I got everything taken careof. I like, I love details. So I, you know, I did all that. And then when itcame time to write the profile and actually.

Turn it on. I just couldn't do it. So I called Andrew or Idon't know we were, we talked. And so he wrote it for me and said, okay, it'son. So that was the hardest thing for me. I was scared to death.

Andrew: [00:26:22]And now you make all the money in the world.

Donna: [00:26:25]You know, I re I really don't, there's so many now and I just have one smallroom. So, I took a big, long break during COVID and then I, I tend to getlong-term people. I just had a guy leave and, oh, he's been here since Januaryand, and he's just, he was just delightful and So I, when I have long-termguests, I, I tend to keep in touch with them.

And they're just, they're just delightful. I've got anothergirl coming today, but it's not as lucrative as it was when I first started.That's

Andrew: [00:26:57]At six months is pretty hassle free rent though. So

Donna: [00:27:00]It is,

Andrew: [00:27:01]it's not bad.

Donna: [00:27:02]he got a significant discount.

Andrew: [00:27:04]there is that. Are there any regrets you have with the Airbnb?

Donna: [00:27:07]Actually, no. No, I really know

Andrew: [00:27:10]That's

Donna: [00:27:11]met some really neat people

Andrew: [00:27:12]not a lot of people can say they've done anything with zero regrets, so that'sa great start.

Donna: [00:27:17]I'm trying to live with with very few regrets. I can't fix anything fromyesterday.

Andrew: [00:27:22]Some of these long runs, I don't know, but to each their own, so. Near the endof the podcast. I know you've listened to many episodes, so this is no surpriseto you. We'll jump into story time. Is there anything you want to share aboutDaniel and I yourself? Any other stories or anything that you want to throw outthere to the world?

Donna: [00:27:40]I was thinking you know, I, I remember. Do y'all remember your national honorsociety night, where I've got some pictures somewhere with your ties tiedaround your head. And and then I was thinking that, you know, you're my oldestson. I don't have any brothers. I don't My, my male cousin is seven yearsyounger than me and doesn't live close to me.

So I remember you guys were playing tennis and I don'texactly remember, but just based on what you were doing, I'm figuring you wereprobably about 15, but it was spring tennis and it was freezing. I was allwrapped up, you know, toe warmers, hand, warmers, gloves, hat, everything, andyou guys were out there playing doubles, shirtless.

And so. I just still think of that. And

Daniel: [00:28:25]Okay.

Donna: [00:28:26]y'all were just constantly doing things. It just made me laugh and it was like,what are they doing? It's so funny.

Andrew: [00:28:33]is a boy thing, I think, but that's also, I think Daniel and I might have alittle bit of an exception on being a little bit too much of a glutton forpunishment in certain situations. So

Daniel: [00:28:43]I believe manager for the record. I, I, Andrew and, and I also on some levels,blame, Joe. Because I'm pretty sure the main reason that Andrew wanted to doanything shirtless was because he was told that that was like a trashy thing todo and he wasn't supposed to do it. So.

Donna: [00:28:59]you know, Daniel, I'm going to support you on that. Okay.

Andrew: [00:29:03]And there's an intimidation factor when it's like negative five degrees

Daniel: [00:29:07]and, and intimidate maybe the fact that it's cold, but I think it's fairlynegated by the fact that both of us, like if you combined the two of us, maybewe cracked 200 pounds, maybe.

Andrew: [00:29:20]It depends on the year.

Donna: [00:29:21]and then I. I'm trying to remember. I remember there was something you guysalways dressing up like ninjas. That was hilarious. And and then I kindaremember something from ninth or 10th grade. I don't remember the full story,but maybe your world geography teacher. I think y'all got in quite a bit oftrouble at that class due to your shenanigans.


Daniel: [00:29:44]that we got in trouble is honestly just not fair to Andrew. Is that the realityis that I did things and Andrew got in trouble.

Donna: [00:29:52]Okay. That was how I remembered it, but then I was like, am I just being thatmom? That's like, my child got in trouble, not when he shouldn't have I, youknow, so I,

that was

Andrew: [00:30:02]was constant.

Daniel: [00:30:03]it's valid in the, I think the story that you're probably talking about, I doremember it vividly was the, it was world geography. The teacher was Mrs.Monroe. So I mean, Andrew, like you should have had maybe a little bit of gracejust sharing a name or. Maybe it works the opposite direction, but but we, wehad recognized a trend that it seemed like no matter what happened in theclass, Andrew got blamed for it.

And so we set about to just test, like how. How far, like,would this go? And so Mrs. Neuro was over at her computer doing something ormaybe out of the room. And I went up and this was back in the day when, whentransparency, slides and projectors were still a thing. So I managed to stealher transparency slides for her lesson for the day.

And so I had them at my desk and then she goes over to. Youknow, start her lesson sees that the slides are not there. Immediately askAndrew, where are my slides? Like didn't, didn't say, okay, who took my slides?Or didn't think maybe she misplaced them immediately. Andrew, where are myslides? of course, like had nothing to do with it.

I was like, I don't know where they're at. And so we letAndrew kind of be in the hot seat for a couple seconds. And then I was like,no, Mrs. Merrill, like, actually I have them. And she looked at me and shesaid, you don't have to cover for him.

Donna: [00:31:22]oh my goodness.

Daniel: [00:31:24]And I was like, no, no. I brought like, I've pulled them out. I handed them toher. I probably even explained like what we were trying to do. But yeah, that,that day very clearly proved that all teachers are prejudiced against Andrew.

Donna: [00:31:37]Wow.

Andrew: [00:31:39]I had also, I remember this a little differently. Everything is accurate there,except for I'm almost positive. You erased the S the, the transparencies.

Daniel: [00:31:48]It's entirely possible. Yes.

Andrew: [00:31:50]Admittedly in her defense, maybe the last name did do it because all she didwas just like, man, screw you guys. And like continued on with the day andhindsight, she'd had those transparencies for years. Like maybe decades, likeshe'd been running her entire curriculum for years off of an order of usingthese transparencies and we erased a day's worth of lessons.


Donna: [00:32:10]so she

had to go home and work.

Daniel: [00:32:12]Yeah, there, there are, there are legitimately multiple times where I hadteachers say, you know what? Y'all just do what you want for the day I'm done.I'm not teaching anymore. Like that happened multiple times,

Donna: [00:32:27]Oh,

Andrew: [00:32:28]what's really just enforced, reinforced the the behavior.

Daniel: [00:32:31]100%.

Andrew: [00:32:33]that would be a good day.


Donna: [00:32:40] well, I was just, you know,earlier we were talking about me having four kids and you're there all you guysare all really close together. There's just a little over five years and threeweeks between Andrew and his youngest sibling, his youngest sister. So fourkids, five and under, and God really was kind to me because I was young andjust didn't know what I was doing when I had him.

And he was just always such a, such a really, really goodkid. He, he slept through the night. He. We'd go. He started walking early, hewould go and get one toy out and then put it away. And I was like, man, I am agood mom. And then I had the others and I realized that was actually not thecase. It was just Andrew.

And so all through school, even, you know, he he's one ofthose kids that he could just, you know, they could give him the book and hecould figure it out.  So as he got intolater middle school and early high school, and I, I had not ever had anyconversations with teachers about his behavior. He was always just the modelstudent and all these things.

And so, then it started, you know, he was like talking inclass and this and that. I mean, it wasn't anything bad, but it was just.Kindness, such a, such a surprise for me. And I was like, wait, who is thiskid? This is not my child. And but it was, as I stepped back a little bit, itwas just fun to see what I realized his personality was, was evolving and justcoming out.

And I was seeing how funny and, and witty he was. So thatwas a neat progression. It was a big learning thing for me.

Andrew: [00:34:14] Everything about the mathfor starters on the learning stuff, everything else.

Donna: [00:34:18]okay. That's my big regret is that I didn't play a lot of math games with you,cause I'm not that good in math. I mean, I did a lot of writing. I remembermaking you all write during the summer and stuff like that, but that is myregret that I didn't push math more.

Andrew: [00:34:33]And also we're going to have to have my siblings on now so they can defendtheir honors after that. So sorry, Matthew, Bethany, Morgan. Y'all are fine.You'll just start Andrew. It's cool. Okay.

Daniel: [00:34:43]I'm just, I'm just waiting for like the next family gathering and everybody'slike, so did, did you hear the episode with mom? Yeah. Like Andrew over here,like with the of many colors, I don't know.

Donna: [00:34:55]Your name's not even Joseph in there at all. That's funny.

Andrew: [00:34:58]Thank you for that. I'll hold onto it and keep it in my back pocket. Next time.One of them tries to start stuff with me.

Donna: [00:35:03]there you go. There you go.

Andrew: [00:35:04]Do you happen to have a challenge for the listeners? Is there anything you wantto get across to our millions of audience members?

Donna: [00:35:11]Yes, I would just, you know, running, running like I run or just running periodis not for everyone, but movement. If there is any way you can add movementinto your day, challenge yourself, see how you can add that to your routine,where it's just part of your life, like brushing your teeth. It just believedthat it really gets the mind going.

It, it just, it, it changes your life. And so my challengesstart today. Don't wait, start today and just figure out something you've neverdone before that you've always wanted to try and do and just see what you cando. And it's okay to fail. You can't fail unless you try. And there is nothingwrong with failure.

Andrew: [00:35:53]I like it. That's a good one.  Well, Mom,thank you for coming on Daniel. Thanks for putting up with my mother.

Daniel: [00:35:59]Oh, this was

great. I was having to mute myself from laughing many times.

Donna: [00:36:04]Thank you guys for having me on. I really do love your podcast. It's a lot offun. I, when I'm running with people, they're like, what do you listen to? I'mlike, oh, my son has a podcast. So I send it out to people.  as long as you remember that I am your sonand it's not Daniel. That's. That's the key.

That's true. That's true.

Andrew: [00:36:20]Awesome. Thank you guys for listening. Thank you for everybody joining. If youhave any questions for Donna, we'll have a bunch of links and where you canfind her and check out our Instagram and all of her crazy friends and all theirrunning. So feel free to reach out to her and she'll talk your ear off aboutwhat you need to do, right?

To go run untold of distances and everything like that. Sofor now, thank you for listening and we look forward to connecting with yousoon.