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No Barriers Podcast Episode 87: Speaking with Maverick, Mike Savicki

Erik and Jeff chat with Mike Savicki, about his incredible athletic career and his life as a husband, father, Veteran, Advocate, Teacher, and small business owner. Mike was always ambitious and was in training to become a U.S. Naval F-14 fighter pilot when he was suddenly derailed. He sustained a severe spinal cord injury when he dove into the ocean and after a long recovery, was determined to regain his independence and thrive as a wheelchair user. Our hosts speak with Mike about the lessons he’s learned along the way.

In November 1990., while training to become a U.S. Navy F-14 fighter pilot, Mike Savicki sustained a severe spinal cord injury after diving into the ocean. In an instant, he went from being a fit, active, promising Naval officer – commissioned as the top-flight candidate in the nation’s number one ROTC college graduating class – to a quadriplegic who was challenged with learning to live life again using a wheelchair.

As he regained his independence, Mike earned an MBA, delivered the commencement address, and became involved in wheelchair sports. He is a 22-time finisher (and five-time division winner) of the prestigious BAA Boston Marathon (making him the only person to have completed the marathon on foot and subsequently in a wheelchair) and has earned more than 100 gold medals in the National Wheelchair Veterans Games. In 2009, he became the first quadriplegic to finish the 70.3-mile Beach to Battleship Half Ironman Triathlon.

From there he became deputy director of World T.E.A.M. Sports, a non-profit for people with and without disabilities, served on numerous non-profit boards, and started his own communications company. He is also a high school teacher, a husband, a father, an advocate for disabled veterans, and a proponent of getting those with disabilities back on the road in adapted vehicles.

Savicki married in 2010, and he and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a baby girl, Caroline, into their lives shortly thereafter. Overcoming adversity, marathons, triathlons, degrees, companies, teams, books, magazines, speeches, advocacy efforts in DC, and fighter jets? That’s nothing, he says. The real challenge? Keeping up with a kiddo whose life is unfolding each and every day.


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Episode Transcript

Mike : By making yourself more vulnerable and opening yourself up and letting people see your weaknesses, you become a stronger person and a better team member. I haven't always been that way. I used to always think my answer was always the right answer. But when I started to realize I can learn from others, I can contribute certain things while other things I can't, I can be a little better leader.

Erik : It's easy to talk about the successes, but what doesn't get talked about enough is the struggle. My name is Erik Weihenmayer. I've gotten the chance to ascend Mount Everest, to climb the tallest mountain in every continent, to kayak the Grand Canyon, and I happened to be blind. It's been a struggle to live what I call a no-barriers life. To define it, to push the parameters of what it means, and part of the equation is diving into the learning process and trying to illuminate the universal elements that exist along the way. And on unexplored terrain between those dark places we find ourselves in and the summit, exists a map. That map, that way forward, is what we call No Barriers.

Jeff : In November of 1990, while training to become a U.S. Navy F-14 fighter pilot, Mike Savicki sustained a severe spinal cord injury after diving into the ocean. In an instant, he went from being a fit, active, promising Naval officer commissioned as the top flight candidate, the nation's number one ROTC college graduating class, to a quadriplegic who was challenged with learning to live life again using a wheelchair. As he regained his independence, Mike earned an MBA, delivered the commencement address, and became involved in wheelchair sports.

Jeff : He's a 22 times finisher, a five time division winner of the prestigious BAA Boston Marathon, making him the only person who have completed the marathon on foot and subsequently in a wheelchair. And he's earned more than 100 gold medals in the National Wheelchair Veterans Games. In 2009, he became the first quadriplegic to finish the 70.3 mile Beach2Battleship Half Ironman Triathlon. From there, he became a deputy director of World Team Sports, this is a nonprofit for people with and without disabilities, served on numerous nonprofit boards, and started his own communications company. He's also a high school teacher, a husband, a father, and advocate for disabled veterans, and a proponent of getting those with disabilities back on the road in adapted vehicles.

Erik : So Mike, I met you way back, long time ago, and you were working for World Team Sports, and we did some pretty cool adventures. Why don't you talk about some of those, like the Vietnam stuff, and how you got into those adventures in the early days?

Mike : Yeah. It's funny, I was thinking about that. I've probably known you for half of our lives. I'm 51, I think you're right around the same age. I met you about 24, 25 years ago when I was working for World Team Sports and-

Erik : Which was a very cool organization.

Mike : Yeah. And they still do integrated sporting events for people with and without disabilities. The difference was, I think back then, we did it on a bit of a bigger scale. So the first event, instead of doing a little local bike ride, World Team did a bike ride around the world, literally around the world, 13,000 miles. After that we thought, "Okay, what can we do?" And in the late '90s, got an idea for something called the Vietnam Challenge. Now your dad was in Vietnam, your dad was in the military. I think around that time, somebody thought, "Wouldn't it be cool for Ed and Eric to ride a tandem bike together?"

Erik : Yeah. Remember, they were looking for disabled vets and I'm like, "My dad's a vet and I'm disabled. And since we're on the same bike, we're together, a disabled vet." So it was perfect.

Mike : I loved it. So yeah, we went to Vietnam and it was at 1998 for an event called the Vietnam Challenge. You and another guy named Mark Wellman taught me about climbing, and that I could still do that. In our house right now, you talk about systems. I can get upstairs, I use a climbing system an ascender on a four to one kind of pulley system. I clip in, do a bunch of pull-ups up a rope, and I have a wheelchair sitting up on the second floor. That's how I get upstairs.

Erik : Nice. Tell us about some of the other adaptations. Because I remember years ago, okay, because people may not know that you were one of the early founders of No Barriers. You came into our organization right in the very beginning and helped us grow in a myriad of ways. And you were helping to organize one of the summits at one point, you disappeared for a couple hours. I go, "Mike, where the heck were you?" And you're just like, "Oh, I had to take a bath." And I don't mean to get too personal, but that was the first time I realized that for you, taking a bath, that takes like a really long time. Things aren't obvious, right? People just look at you on the surface, and they see a motivational poster, but they don't see behind the scenes. How hard it is to, what, get in to a shower and use all the adaptations. I mean, it's similar for a blind person, but I think even more dramatic for you, right?

Mike : Yeah. When I first got hurt, I mean, you got to remember. I was the guy who graduated from college, I had an ROTC scholarship, I was the top Naval aviation candidate in the country, and they basically said, "What do you want to do?" I said, "I want to fly jets." "What kind of jets?" I said, "Well, Top Gun just came out. I'd like to fly the F-14." They said sure. So I was that guy. I had a lot going for me.

Erik : And I'm just going to interrupt you just because you graduated from tops, you went through ROTC at one of the top ROTC programs through MIT, you were a top candidate for the Navy, right?

Mike : Yeah.

Erik : And so, I mean, you were the man. You were a varsity soccer player, right? And yeah. So yeah, you were a stud.

Jeff : You were a burgeoning maverick, and there was probably an ice man that was there pushing you along, along the way, because by the way, we're all three the same age and that ... I mean, you had it in your blood, right? You were there.

Mike : So I went from that to not being able to sit up in my bed, not being able to dress or feed myself in an instant. It changed literally in an instant. I dove in the ocean, I hit my head on the bottom, I broke my neck, all of a sudden I couldn't do any of those things. Literally, my red sports car was sitting in the parking lot of Pensacola Beach when I was getting taken away in a helicopter. So learning those things, how to get dressed, how to take a bath, how to take care of myself as a quadriplegic, took a really long time. And still now, I've got down my systems, I've got it figured out, but it still takes a long time. I mean, when I show up at school now as a high school teacher, if I get there at 8:00, chances are pretty good I was up before 5:00, and I wasn't reading the paper if you know what I-

Erik : Three hours to kind of just get your morning routine and get to school.

Mike : Yeah. On average, it takes about that. There are some days it's a little bit less, some days it's a little bit more, but it does take a while, but that's kind of the stuff that I've learned as just part of my day. It's part of what I have to do, adjust it, if I want to get out of bed and be productive and contribute and live.

Jeff : Yeah. So I'm thinking about your eight year old. You have a little girl, right?

Mike : Yeah, Caroline.

Jeff : So how has she integrated into her life being your backseat driver of your F-14, right? How does she help you and assist you?

Mike : Yeah, that's a great question. And it's one that's evolved. When Caroline was little, I was a new father. I was scared to death. The first night we brought her home, I was trying to be the big guy, the supportive husband for my wife, and let her sleep. And so she put Caroline in my arms, and I held Caroline. The next morning when Sarah woke up, I was in the same position, still holding Caroline. And she said, "Did you put her down? Did you take ..." I said, I didn't know what to do. So I stayed awake with her, holding her literally for six or seven hours. And that was my welcome to fatherhood moment. I didn't know what to do. There's no guidebook for dads with a disability. So I had to figure it out. So-

Erik : Quad parenting for dummies.

Jeff : I was going to write that.

Mike : That'll be my best seller, but I had to figure it out. So when Caroline was little, it was "Okay, where can we go? What can we do? How can I get her in and out of the stroller? How can I get her in and out of the car seat?" That kind of stuff. And as she got older, we developed a little bit of a partnership and that's kind of the way I look at it. We try to make things fun. And that's my best, the best lesson that I've learned from raising her is if we can make it fun and we can look at it as a team, as opposed to a dad, or a daughter, or someone with a disability and someone without, if we can figure out a way to do it together, it just makes it so much more special.

Jeff : Yeah. Yeah, that's cool. And she's going to grow up being a more thoughtful and compassionate human being as a result of that, right? Because her optic is sort of the partnership she has with dad and having fun with this problem solving and working with dad. And as a result, that's a good characteristic for a young person to have along the way.

Mike : Yeah. I talked a little bit about her little mountain bike. The backstory to that was, she's seen me work on wheelchairs since she's been born. I mean, I have racing wheelchairs and hand cycles, more everyday wheelchairs than most people have pairs of shoes. I'm always switching wheels, I'm doing things. She's pretty good with tools. Backstory with her bike is she decided one day that she wanted to take her training wheels off and put some pedals on. She came out to my shed and got the tools and did it all herself, and taught herself to ride her bike.

Erik : Just by watching you?

Mike : Just by watching me, and how I do things with tools and wheels, she came out and got a wrench, put some pedals on her bike and took off. So that's kind of the stuff. And I think we're better people when we open ourselves up to others and share what our talents are. And that's what I'm trying to do with Caroline.

Erik : Hey, in a similar vein, with your wife, Sarah. She's able-bodied, right? So how has that dynamic? Because I've been married to a sighted person as well. And I can't go out and play a game of tennis with my wife. You know what I mean? So it's just a dynamic where as you said, you're just trying to figure out your talents and how you can connect in different ways. Is that a similar dynamic with her?

Mike : Yeah, it is. And I try not to ask Sarah to do things that I can do myself, even if it takes me longer to do it. I need to plan more time to do it, I try to be respectful. So if we're going to go out, we have a pontoon boat for example, we were talking about the water and the dock. If I can go out and get the boat started, get it uncovered, get everything ready myself so that she can come out and just jump on and cast off a couple of lines and enjoy it, I'll do that. It might mean I have to go out a half an hour early to do it, but I need to be respectful of her independence too.

Mike : Because the converse or the other side of it is usually when we go out somewhere, if we go out to dinner, chances are, if it's somewhere we've never been before, there've been times that our waiter has looked at her and said, "Well, what does he want for dinner?" Or, "Would he like something to drink?" And so my wife will look at the waiter and say, "He can talk," or, "He's got a voice too. Why don't you ask him?" So I recognize that society is moving in the right direction, but it's not fully there yet. So she gets sometimes in an awkward position or a difficult position just because she's with me. So I try to make things easy. I try to make things as best as I can for her, knowing that we're all figuring it out.

Erik : And that's a giving attitude, but it's also kind of an example, I think, of leadership in our community and it split into our No Barriers principles, right? Because as a disabled person too, how do you figure out how to lead, how to assert yourself, how to start that motor up and make it easier for your partner? I mean, that's part of leadership. It doesn't come perfectly easy, right? I mean, it takes extra work.

Mike : Yeah, it does. And it's all about communication, and it's about making yourself vulnerable. And the hardest thing for me, and I go back to when I was going to be a pilot and I had all this great stuff going for me is, the fact of the matter is I can't do as many things as I used to do. So with the disability, and I think this applies to everyone is by making yourself more vulnerable and opening yourself up and letting people see your weaknesses, you become a stronger person and a better team member. I haven't always been that way. I used to always think my answer was always the right answer, whether I had a disability or not. But when I started to realize I can learn from others, I can contribute certain things while other things I can't, I can be a little better leader. And that does apply. I think, to the No Barriers mindset, and the No Barriers mentality.

Jeff : I'm always fascinated by sort of the nature-nurture concept, whether it's with raising our children or just us, as we develop into human beings. You clearly were a hard charging mo-fo, right? I mean, you were a success in everything that you were doing leading up to your accident, and continue to be a success. But my question for you, it's a little nebulous, it's as you've been around the community in the past 20 years since your accident, do you see a difference between folks who pre accident were like yourself who are just wired, flying jets and just the creme of the crop, right? And then they have an accident and then they continue to just be the ultimate hard charger in whatever they're doing, versus folks who perhaps weren't wired like that, who achieved such success and then had an injury. Do you see a disparity in that?

Mike : That's a really great question. And I could answer it in a bunch of different ways. What I'll say is that whenever we're put in a difficult situation, whether it's breaking your neck, breaking your back, or something, you're forced to turn inward and see what it is, what's the stuff that you're made of. I've seen a lot of people basically give up. Friends of mine, and I've been hurt for a long time. So in the world of spinal cord injury, a lot of people come to me and say, "So-and-so got hurt," or, "I know someone who got hurt. Will you go and talk to them?" You start to see that there's no right or wrong, there's no one answer, there's no one way, there's no clear path. I could be the hardest charging Marine who breaks my neck or breaks my back, a Navy pilot.

Mike : And I could basically give up. The converse is there are people who were, and I know, who were shot, drug addicts, criminals who are shot and paralyzed, who said, "This is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Because I was on the road to literally destruction the bad things that I've done in my life were going to be multiplied tenfold, had I not been shot." It was a reality slap for these people. They've completely turned it around, become marathon champions, Paralympic gold medalists. So Jeff, to answer your question, there's really no one answer. There's no clear predictor. It's really up to the individual. And that's not to say that I haven't gone through some dark times, I haven't gone through some periods where I said, "Why me? Why did this happen to me? I'm not the guy who deserved it. I never did anything wrong in my life. Why did this bad thing happen to me?"

Mike : But if you worry about that, if you let it bring you down, I think it slows you down from a bigger purpose. So I've met people on both sides who have given up, and people who've really made it the best thing that's happened in their life.

Erik : Well, in the direction of that, I mean, I want to change this over from the No Barriers podcast to the No Barriers therapy hour here, because I have a hard question too, which is, okay, so you're pretty mellow and intellectual on the surface, but inside, you got some burning fire going on. You're a hard charger, as Jeff said. And I know with that kind of wiring, it can be a double-edged sword. I mean, I think you and me are similar. I'm a hard charger and I'm wired, but that comes for me, at least with a lot of regret. I'm an expert at beating myself up, like I could have been better, I could have been faster, I could have done more, I could have done that better. And so you got hurt, right?

Erik : You're just out on the beach with your friends and you just go diving and it's just a normal day, you jump into the wave, the just crazy fluke thing would never happen in a hundred years just pushes your head down and breaks your neck. And you didn't even get a chance to serve as a pilot. And so what's the mindset? And the reason I asked that, not just to be self-gratifying here, but because I think a lot of people need to hear what your answer is in terms of the, what is the mindset that you use to not sort of live in this life of regret and disappointment and what if? But you've done so much with your life.

Mike : Yeah. I think I was, when I first got hurt, and still to this day, I still struggle with it a little bit. I want to prove myself. I feel like I need to prove myself that because I have a disability I'm not less than, or not as great as somebody else or something else.

Jeff : Are you proving that to you? Or to everyone else, or to some combination?

Mike : No, it's some combination, but between you and I, I feel like I need to prove it to myself. And that's the way I was when I first got hurt. If somebody said, "Okay, why don't you go out and push a mile?" Said, "Why don't I just do 20 miles?" I had no idea what I was doing. The first time, and this is, I ran the Boston marathon on my feet before I got hurt. And I've pushed it 20 times since I've been hurt. So I've done it 22 times. When I decided to do the marathon the first time, when I was in college, I decided to do it the night before. A college roommate and I said, "Let's do the marathon tomorrow." We were going to school in Boston at the time, we thought it was a cool thing to do. Neither of us had any comprehension of what running a marathon would entail. We took the train out. My family grew up a couple towns over from Hopkinton where the race starts.

Mike : We took the train out, knocked on my parents' door said, "Can we sleep here tonight?" My mom was so happy to see us, she cooked us a meal. My dad dropped us off and he said, "How are you guys going to get back to Boston?" We said, "We're going to run. We're going to do the marathon." We were that hard charging. We never really knew what it entailed. And I was that way when I got hurt, too. I felt like I was needing to prove to myself that I could do it, but at the time, prove to other people that I could do it too. When people came in to visit me in the hospital, if I knew somebody were coming, I didn't want to be lying there, under the sheets still naked because I couldn't get dressed myself. I learned how to get dressed, so I would be ready when they came in. So I could prove to them and prove to myself that I can get dressed, that I can be independent.

Mike : So finding that balance is something that's been really hard for me, but it's something that I've learned through the years. When I let other people help, I find that it becomes more gratifying. Not just for me, hooray, I don't have to go out and fill up a bag of leaves myself. It takes me a half an hour to rake up a bag of leaves. If I let somebody else do it with me, then we're a team, it gets done better, it gets done quicker, and we both feel better about it. So it's been a balance. It's been me consciously saying, "Dial it back a little bit, Mike. Let other people in, you don't have to go so hard, you don't have to keep proving yourself." In this day and age with social media, it's not all about posting the next greatest thing that I've done. It's enjoying the journey a little bit and bringing some people along with me. And that's been a hard lesson for me to learn through the years.

Erik : And you're an advocate for so many people. And is that one of the messages that you try to talk to people about? Like how to kind of evolve through that desire to prove to yourself in the world and then an ability to kind of let that vulnerability in?

Mike : Yeah, that's exactly right. Letting the vulnerability in, not feeling like you have to prove yourself, it's a tough lesson to learn. But what I've found too is, and I'll be completely honest, there's a reason why I still do the Boston Marathon. I don't have to do it every year. I do it because it juices me up. When I get off the plane in Boston, when I go to the grocery store, when I go out somewhere, people get out of the way. They see the wheelchair, they say, "Hey, can I help you? Can I help you?" And that's kind of, it knocks you down a little bit.

Mike : But when I get off the plane in Boston and I'm there for the marathon with the best wheelchair racers in the world, it's empowering. And it gives you that little bit of adrenaline rush or that little bit of confidence that carries me or keeps me going through the year. So when I leave Boston and fly back home and I'm back doing my thing, I can feel good that I've done something pretty special. So makes me feel good, my family enjoys it too, but it's that balance that I keep talking about. You need that confidence. You need to show yourself and other people that you can do it, whether you have a disability or not, but it's also not pushing too hard. It's learning from others.

Erik : And Sarah and Caroline, did they go root you on, on the finish line and stuff?

Mike : Yeah, they do. This year because of the whole COVID, it was virtual. And so I got up at, I don't know, 4:00, and I did my little local Boston Marathon here in our neighborhood, and I did 26.2 miles around the neighborhood. I started at about 5:00 and the sun came up at around 6:00, 6:15, and that first hour in the dark was for me because I wanted just to get out there and enjoy it, and push and feel that speed, I can push my racing wheelchair along at 12 or 13 miles an hour on the flats. And it's just, it's liberating. It's freeing.

Erik : And your goal is to do that marathon 30 times. So you have, what do you have eight more to go?

Mike : Yeah. So the sun comes up, and then after that it was about Sarah and it was about Caroline, my neighbors who see me out, pushing all the time and training and riding through the neighborhood. It was about them wanting to get on their bike and ride with me a little bit, or skateboard with me a little bit as some of the neighborhood kids did. It was me enjoying the marathon, which is something that I had never done before. It was a whole different level of satisfaction. It wasn't about getting another medal and knocking five minutes off my time, my best time or anything like that. It was about kind of celebrating where we are right now.

Erik : And you also have over a hundred gold medals at the National Wheelchair Veterans Games. So I mean, yeah. Back to this idea, you are a hard charger. And I know that fuels you, but I saw on one of your writings somewhere that it also gives you a sense of belonging, and I've been thinking about that lately and that became another fundamental part of No Barriers. This idea, I don't know, maybe as we get older, we're all just kind of looking for home or looking for belonging, for some kind of purpose. So what's your thoughts in terms of your sense of belonging and your advice to others? How they might find that?

Mike : When I first started, it's called the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. It's the largest annual sporting for people with disabilities who use wheelchairs in the world. So there's usually three or four or 500 veterans who have served in various capacities, get together for four or five days a year. It's put on by the Paralyzed Veterans and then the Veterans Administration it's in different cities. When I finished my rehab, this is back in, I got hurt in 1990s, so my first Veterans Wheelchair Games were in 1991. I literally went from the hospital to an airplane and flew to Miami to compete. So I had never spent a day out of the hospital living on my own in my life. So here I was surrounded by these people, these athletes, these veterans, I just soaked it all in.

Mike : I learned from them, but at the same time I built some amazing friendships. So it's going back, it's connecting with them every year. The great thing is we get to do it through sports, but it's a sense of belonging and a sense of being together with people who share similar mindsets that keeps me going back every year. I don't have to go back and compete. I have more than enough medals, I have more than enough accomplishments. I do it because I feel the connectedness, and I also like to, at the same time, show people, newly injured veterans that they can do the same thing that I did.

Erik : I love that. I mean, that's really beautiful, Mike, I'm serious. So we talk about like, "Oh, I want to do these Boston marathons to prove to myself, or to push as hard as I possibly can physically." But I don't think people reflect enough on that deeper sense of belonging, that we all have different expressions of the way that we look for belonging, and sports is a really powerful way of doing that. Of connecting with people and finding some kind of meaning in our life and our day to day actions and so forth.

Jeff : But don't you both think so? That a lot of that, if we all reflect to our twenties and maybe early thirties, that we were all wired to want to reach the top of this peak and win this race. And I mean, now that we're in our fifties, it seems like we really do cherish that process of riding through the neighborhood with your daughter and kids on skateboards. And that's-

Erik : I know, love that.

Jeff : I mean, I'm not going to say we're getting complacent, just saying the cherish part of it, it seems a little, it's different now in what you really value in that whole process of the hard charger. Hey, I've got a question for you, Mike. As we're, what are we, eight or nine months into COVID syndrome? I'm curious if you could distill down one life message lesson that you have learned, whether it's from your post-ops and [inaudible 00:29:52], that is the most applicable to every person right now. We're continuing to sort of go through this, an unidentified final point of what this is going to look like. What would you say that would be? Of just how we can manage this, or how to keep your mind right through this.

Mike : I would say, and that's a great question, I would say, nobody can do it alone. We can't do it alone. We can't turn inward to ourselves. We have to turn outward and include other people. Now I know that's really hard because with COVID we have to wear masks, we have to keep distance from each other, the lesson that it's taught me is that by separating or by pulling myself away from society, from others, it makes me want to connect more. It makes me miss the relationships, it makes me miss the interactions that we've always taken for granted, it makes me miss being out there cycling with somebody, or kayaking with somebody, or sitting next to somebody at a movie, or just sitting around a campfire, chatting with somebody. It makes me miss doing all those things. So my thought is we can't do it alone because now that I'm seeing what these last few months have been like, it makes me miss connecting with others at a level I never really thought it would hit me that deeply before.

Erik : Awesome. All right. How do you give a virtual hug?

Mike : I don't know. I've yet to figure that out.

Erik : This is a hug moment. A virtual hug moment.

Mike : I don't know, I could have Caroline come in and give us all a computer hug. She's really good at that stuff.

Erik : Come on. I'm serious, dude. I'm serious. Let's hear her voice. Have her come in and just say hi for everyone.

Mike : All right. Hold on one sec. She's been outside, let me just run and grab her. Do you see Eric there?

Erik : Hi.

Caroline : Hey.

Erik : Hey, how's it going?

Jeff : Hi, Caroline.

Mike : So that's Erik right there, and that's his friend, Jeff.

Erik : I'm a good friend of your dad's. So you can call me uncle Erik.

Caroline : Okay.

Jeff : Did you just come in from a bike ride with that super sweet bike you made?

Caroline : I was out on my scooter.

Jeff : Oh, you're scootering. All right. You do tricks on it or do you just fly down the driveway?

Mike : You can answer.

Caroline : I can do tricks on it, like I can do a wheelie.

Jeff : Oh, on a scooter? Sick.

Caroline : I can put my front wheel up in the air.

Erik : Nice. Well, Caroline, good to hear your voice.

Jeff : All right, keep riding hard.

Erik : All right, Mike man. Any last words?

Mike : No, thank you guys for doing this. It's been an honor joining you. I really appreciate it.

Erik : Cool, man. See you soon.

Jeff : Thank you for your time, man. We really appreciate it. You're a great ambassador and an amazing powerful voice. Caroline, keep, keep charging hard, girl.

Caroline : Okay.

Jeff : All right.

Erik : Bye.

Jeff : All right, see you all later.

Erik : See you guys.

Mike : Bye. Thanks. Dave : The production team behind this podcast includes senior producer Pauline Shaffer, sound design, editing, and mixing by Tyler Kottman, graphics by StoneWard. Special, thanks to the DN Ryan band for our intro song, Guidance. And thanks to all of you for listening. We know that you've got a lot of choices about how you can spend your time and we appreciate you spending it with us. If you enjoy this podcast, we encourage you to subscribe to it, share it and give us a review. Show notes can be found at nobarrierspodcast.com.

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