All Episodes

November 2, 2023 38 mins

The Jensen Brothers, Luke and Murphy, shook up tennis in the 1990s with their play and personalities, winning the French Open doubles title, and transcending the sport. 

The brothers talk with host Jon Frankel about the price they paid for stardom, and their on-court legacy. They also detail the terrifying incident that almost cost Murphy his life.

Learn more about the Jensens and Murphy’s advocacy at https://www.murphyjensen.com/ 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
In the game of life, Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and
nurturing meaningful connections with family can be among the most
formidable challenges we face.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
We were, in some respects football players playing tennis. We
brought the Northern Michigan fight to everywhere we played.

Speaker 1 (00:20):
Yet for many professional athletes, fostering both has proven to
be a triumphant recipe for success.

Speaker 3 (00:27):
You never thought of tennis as this rough and tough thing,
and so tennis just took our family places that we
could never do in other sports.

Speaker 1 (00:36):
I'm John Frankor. For the past two decades, I've traveled
the globe covering some of the most impactful human interest
stories in sports. On this show, I'm sitting down with
some of the biggest families in the game, the legends,
current superstars, and the up and coming playmakers to understand
what's really making them tick. What can pro athlete families

(00:56):
teach a new generation about the importance of caring for
your health and finding success in the face of adversity. Together,
we'll hear stories of their remarkable comebacks, setbacks, and the
crucial role their family and self care played in their
paths to championship glory. This is part of the game.

(01:19):
The early nineteen nineties were a transformative time for the
game of tennis. Pete Sampras, Steffi Groff, and Monica Sellis
dominated the courts, winning multiple Grand Slam titles. Another superstar,
Andre Agassi, helped to sell the game to an entirely
new audience with his brash demeanor and flamboyant style emmen
Is Everything. No One, however, had a bigger and more

(01:42):
immediate impact on the game than Luke and Murphy Jensen,
with their wild hair and love of rock music. The
Jensen brothers hit the hardcourt with a shaggy haired vengeance
and ushered in the era of grunge tennis, which is
just another way of saying they stood out from most
other tennis players. Outsize, charisma and irreverent style of play

(02:03):
made them folk heres for a new generation of tennis
fans and made them superstars off the court, daring to
be different. As Murphy once put, it was their brand.

Speaker 2 (02:13):
We are now flying around in private jets and limousines
and the commitment. I felt like I was in a
hurricane in the tornado. For the next eight to ten years.

Speaker 1 (02:23):
The rude dudes of tennis as Rolling Stone called them
also had serious game. On June fifth, nineteen ninety three,
they proved it on national television, winning the French Open
doubles championship. The Jensens were the toast of tennis, even
getting to play under the lights at the US Open,
virtually unheard of at the time for doubles matches. Unfortunately,

(02:45):
the good times didn't last long. Instant stardom proved overwhelming
for Murphy Jensen.

Speaker 2 (02:52):
I was restless and I self medicated, and that eventually
led to using drugs.

Speaker 1 (02:59):
On top of that, it would take him years to
rebuild his life, but he did. He found a new
purpose in helping others fight addiction, and like his big
brother Luke, he stayed close to the sport that gave
them both so much. But Murphy Jensen's struggles were not over.
One afternoon in twenty twenty one, he nearly died on

(03:21):
the tennis court after going into cardiac arrest.

Speaker 3 (03:27):
So he's there on the ground, I got people all around,
and as the professionals are trying to bring him back
to life, get his heart going, they give me the
assignment to keep talking to him, to keep him with us.
And the only thing that kept popping in my mind,
is I may be saying the last words of my

(03:47):
life to my brother.

Speaker 1 (03:52):
Once again, Murphy Jensen was tested, and what followed is
another chapter and the remarkable story of two of the
most unique figures in the history of tennis. I'm really
pleased Luke Jensen and younger brother Murphy Jensen spending some

(04:13):
time with us here on heart of the game. And
therein lies the crux of this story, which we will
get to because this really is about the heart when
it comes to Murphy Jensen. But first we want to
talk about you guys as the rude dudes for those
who don't know the Jensen brothers. Is it fair to

(04:33):
say took the world of tennis by storm? You'd been
out there, you'd been journeyman. You right, that's a fair
way to put it, journeyman.

Speaker 3 (04:43):
I would say so. I mean we were out there.
Murphy's two and a half years younger. I turned pro
after two years at Southern cal and then he showed
up on the scene at Southern cal for two years
before going to Georgia for a year. But I had
been out there for a little bit and making my
way on the double side of it. And then when
Murphy kind of showed up, he had to go through
the minor leagues and then going into ninety three that season,

(05:05):
we had made a decision to live a lifelong dream
to play on the tour together. So his ranking was
in the top one hundred I was in the top ten,
so we could get into most of those tournaments. And
we started out in the Middle East in Doah, Qatar,
and so that was our start as a doubles team
on the main tour. We played some minor league tournaments together,

(05:25):
and of course when we're younger, but this was the
real deal. We were committing to the tour with each other.

Speaker 1 (05:31):
When you decided to play together. Was that willingly or
was that big brother saying you're going to do this
because I want you to do it?

Speaker 2 (05:39):
Well, I mean along the way there's blood, sweat and
tears to get to that decision.

Speaker 1 (05:46):
But you had serious game.

Speaker 2 (05:49):
Well, we had enough of the game to get there,
be there and win there at the highest level at
the French Open. It was a journey from a Christmas
tree farm in northern Michigan, a sacrifice for mom and
dad to give us an opportunity to live our dreams
and everywhere we kept going in this game. At tennis,

(06:11):
Luke was the number one junior tennis player in the
world at the age of eighteen, on the cover of
Tennis magazine, alongside, you know, ahead of Becker and Edberg
and all of them. And so he made the decision
to go to college, which was, you know, really a
bad move, Luke.

Speaker 1 (06:29):
I want to go back to your youth for a minute.
You grow up on this Christmas tree farm in Luddington, Michigan, right,
which is all the way west. I mean literally on
the on Lake Michigan. Yep, right, if I have it right.
Maybe not the tennis hotbed of the world, Luddington, Michigan.
How do you guys end up on a tennis court.

Speaker 3 (06:48):
The biggest thing was we had parents that were ex athletes.
My dad ended up playing college football at Minnesota and
then Memphis State, transferred there and then for a cup
of coffee for the New York Giants. We got his
contract and it was you know, all this Sam Huff
and all these guys back and you know, some amazing times.

(07:09):
And then my mom was a frustrated athlete six foot two,
played basketball in high school, but there was no title
nine for her. So we have two frustrated athletes that
go get their degrees in physical education and they park
their place in nineteen sixty six and have four kids
in this small town in Lennington, Michigan, and when they

(07:30):
decide to have kids, they want athletics to be their
kids avenue to see the world. And tennis was the
one sport. I mean, football was supposed to be our sport,
but tennis was the one thing that my sisters could
play and my brother and I could play, and we
could go to these same tournaments. And to be perfectly honest,
it was the Arthur Ashes and the Billy Jean Kings,

(07:51):
the Chris Everts and Jimmy Connors and these people who
were at the top of the game at the time
that really inspired my parents. Like tennis is the vehicle
because not step on a football field. And there were
kids just as big as I was, if not bigger,
but in tennis, I was like the dominant alpha physically.
And then Murphy, I mean Murphy's six foot four. I'm
six ' to two, And at the time tennis was

(08:13):
really a whimped sport. You never thought of tennis as
you know, this rough and tough thing, and so tennis
just took our family places that we could never do
in other sports.

Speaker 1 (08:27):
Given that your dad had this background in football, was
he a drill sergeant on the tennis court? Was he
a guy? Did he bring that football mentality to teaching
you the game?

Speaker 2 (08:38):
I mean it started really with the football. We used
tennis as the vehicle to become great football players. It
wasn't to become great tennis players. I can say he
took the old school football mentality of we were showing
up for practice on time, if you know what I mean.
But at the same time that discipline, there was nothing

(08:59):
but love from both sides. If anything, it was about
behaving properly. That was the real message. That we gave
this thing everything we had, and so we were taught
at an early age that you do things right in
the right way, and you're going to see results.

Speaker 1 (09:17):
I would assume, as you guys progress in tennis that
your goal was singles. That's where tennis put the spotlight.

Speaker 2 (09:26):
Well, no doubt, we are doing everything. We just wanted
to play, and whether singles doubles are mixed, we were
playing tennis. We were spending thousands of hours in those
tennis courts seven days a week. Three sixty five, I
turned pro. Luke had had an injury that sidelined them,
and money was tight at home, and his doubles game

(09:46):
took off real quick with a win at Monte Carlo
and he breaks the top ten, maybe even top five
that year with Lorie Warder. But at the same time
it was pretty obvious that if we're going to play
doubles with anybody on the tour, we're going to play
with each other. And the off season Christmas and New
Year's of ninety three, before going to the DOA, we were
on our way. It was grunge tennis, you know, everything,

(10:09):
grunge Seattle, and you know, we didn't have an image,
and we didn't set out to do anything but to
kick some button win, you know. The next twelve months
and then six months we won a little tournament in Paris.

Speaker 1 (10:21):
Just a small one. It's at this place called Roland
Garss I think I've heard of.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
There's a huge tower there. Check it out.

Speaker 1 (10:30):
Let's talk about the landscape of tennis as you two
begin to make a name for yourselves. Tennis in the
late eighties early nineties, it's still largely considered a gentleman's sport,
but there was also this transformative period. Okay, tennis is
not just on the back pages of the sports section.
It's really beginning to take front and center for a

(10:52):
lot of people. And then you guys come along, And
would you guys agree that you guys took the tennis
scene by storm and you were these brash young brothers
who brought that football mentality of your dad's to the
tennis court.

Speaker 2 (11:07):
There's no question that's exactly right that we were, in
some respects football players playing tennis. And if I look
back at John McEnroe gets to Wimbledon as a seventeen
year old and he starts throwing his racket, going crazy,
and they started there was a buzz about it. Well,
we started high five and in fighting. We brought the
Northern Michigan fight to everywhere we played.

Speaker 3 (11:31):
People knew they stepped on the court, they're going to
play a couple of rough lumberjacks.

Speaker 1 (11:36):
Basically, let's go back to nineteen ninety three June, you
win the French Open doubles, you win a Grand Slam.
What does that feel like?

Speaker 3 (11:47):
Well, for me, it was the greatest accomplishment. You fight
so hard in that match in the finals, we were
down three to zero in the third and I remember
specifically thinking that if we don't win this, we ever
get here again. Like their matches that listen, you want
to win, but it's not going to kill you. If
you lose, it's a nice, you know, moral victory. But
you get in those finals. There's a big difference between

(12:10):
being known as a French Open champion or a French
Open runner up.

Speaker 1 (12:15):
So you win this match, yep, and not only have
you survived and advanced, but you've won it all. How
does life change for you, guys on and off the
court as a result of that win?

Speaker 3 (12:29):
Once you win those majors, you're a made band like
no one could ever say you were never good enough.
You're a French Open champion, you are a made player.
Everything you thought you could be, you just accomplished it.
But Murphy, what were you thinking on the other side?
Two things I felt in that moment, One that there

(12:50):
were like the tennis gods were accepted into this club
of those that win something like this. And the second
thing an overwhelming feeling that I found out later.

Speaker 2 (13:04):
My hands started shaking. Then I had a panic attack
and my outsides in that moment. We were the best
in the world in that moment on that day, But
my insides were in my head was saying, you know,
you suck, You're not enough.

Speaker 3 (13:22):
You know, just wait?

Speaker 1 (13:25):
Did you feel like an impostor?

Speaker 2 (13:27):
I think I was just scared.

Speaker 1 (13:29):
Scared of the limelight, the expectations.

Speaker 2 (13:33):
Scared of what was to come.

Speaker 1 (13:39):
Everything changed for the brothers after the French Open victory.
The Gentsens were no longer just the gregarious siblings who
put on a show on the court. They were Grand
Slam champions and in high demand. Always willing to promote
the sport, they kept up a whirlwind schedule of media
appearances in kids clinics. They even began getting appearance fees
to show up at tournaments, something that was on heard

(14:00):
of for doubles. In nineteen ninety five, they played under
the lights at the US Open on primetime television, a
spotlight that almost never was available to doubles players. The
Jensens had officially arrived, but the skyrocketing fame took a
toll on Murphy. He began missing matches and skipping appearances
while his career on the court was peaking. By nineteen

(14:22):
ninety nine, his life off. It was spiraling out of
control in a haze of substance abuse.

Speaker 2 (14:32):
I don't think I was ready emotionally, definitely not ready mentally.
I didn't have the tools to embark on what was
to come. And what was to come was Big Agent
signs us to a deal. Peter Moore, Bob's Drasser by Zadidas.
Peter Moore made the Air Jordan's shoe, and now he's

(14:54):
sketching out what the Jensen Brothers image and brand's going
to look like. We are now flying around in private
jets and limousines, and I felt like I was in
a hurricane, in a tornado for the next eight to
ten years, absolutely out of control. I was uncomfortable in
my skin. I was restless. I found myself starting to

(15:14):
self medicate and isolate with alcohol, and that eventually led
to using drugs on top of that in pills.

Speaker 1 (15:29):
It was during the nineteen ninety nine US Open that
Murphy Jensen had reached the end of his rope and
contemplated the unthinkable.

Speaker 2 (15:41):
We lose whatever around. And it was during the time
my son Billy was being born twenty four years ago,
and I was looking at jumping out of a window
in New York City, and instead of a hotel manager
calling the police, he called an interventionist. And by the

(16:01):
time I got to Los Angeles maybe a week or
two later. You know, I went through a psych word
in the detox and got help.

Speaker 1 (16:07):
First of all, I'm so sorry you've gone through this,
Thank you, But it sounds like you're doing okay today. Yeah,
I'm doing great, given that you're now how many years sober?

Speaker 2 (16:17):
Twenty four years in recovery. I had a reoccurrence relapse
after four and a half years, and I have not
had to look back in seventeen eighteen years.

Speaker 1 (16:27):
Just so the audience can understand here, it wasn't the
glory of winning a Grand Slam and becoming celebrities that
led you to this partying life that has occurred with
so many other athletes. All of a sudden they hit
it big. There's money flowing in, there's limos, there's private planes.
Everybody's throwing a party for you. Yeah, that was not

(16:49):
why you fell into this lifestyle. It was for you
more of an escape from that very existence.

Speaker 3 (16:56):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (16:56):
I think the centerpiece what I've learned over twenty four years,
what I treat on a daily basis even to this day.
Is my head will tell me I need to be
somewhere other than where I'm at, or whatever I'm doing
isn't what I should be doing, as opposed to, you know,
having the tools and the ability to be still, be calm,

(17:17):
be present, breathe, relax. You know, it's called the human condition.
I've been restless, irritable, and discontent for a long time.
I go back to first time I ever was offered
an alcoholic beverage and I was twelve thirteen years old,
and I had no interest in that stuff and no
exposure to that. But the reason my motive for saying

(17:40):
yes is I wanted your approval. I wanted your affection,
you know, I wanted you to like me. And of
course and then hey, get to high school smoke this.
What is this? I wanted you your approval, I wanted
your affection. Now I've got the approval and affection, and
I found myself in my playing days on the two

(18:01):
and I'm absolutely empty and in some ways soul this
and I was so afraid to speak up or ask
for help because I didn't know what the heck was
wrong with me.

Speaker 1 (18:16):
Were you playing matches under the influence?

Speaker 2 (18:19):
Yeah, I have, Luke.

Speaker 3 (18:21):
Did you know the first time I found out? And
I forgot what year it was in Rome? And Murphy
was always kind of a free spirit. Sometimes I had
to get my own practice partner. If he didn't practice
for a couple of days, that was understood. But one
day goes by with no practice, and then the day
before we play usually we get at least a practice

(18:41):
in and he didn't practice. So I just had this
really strange feeling. He's not answering his phone. So I
go down and get his room number, and I go
to the floor and I just noticed or here on
his floor, there's some noise or something at the end
of the hallway. So I start going towards his room

(19:02):
and it's the noise is coming from his room and
the door is open, every light is open, the TV's
on is just loud and bright, and there he is
on the bed with his eyes wide open, and he
had a cigarette in his mouth looking at me. I
didn't know he smoked. At that moment, I was brought
into a world that I had no idea even existed,

(19:25):
much less that we were playing professional tennis and he
was in that.

Speaker 1 (19:29):
State, Murphy sought help for his addictions. Years later, once
he had turned things around, Murphy realized his story of
recovery and redemption could help others who were struggling with
substance abuse. He co founded the company We Connect. Its
mission is to help people tackle their mental health and
drug abuse issues. You took your path and used it

(19:55):
as an opportunity once you got yourself clean and back
on your feet, to then try and help others. You
wanted to pay it forward, and you start this business
with some other folks called We Connect. Why did you
choose that path?

Speaker 2 (20:11):
We grew up Catholic, and the difference between religion and
spirituality is religions for people that are afraid of going
to hell, and spirituality is for people that have been there.
And I follow a spiritual path and one of my
values and principles of service to others and helping others.
And it was never to start a company. I didn't
ever see any of this as an opportunity. At the

(20:33):
truth that be said, those early days, it was the
worst thing that could have happened to me, absolutely ground
zero of hell. So you know I've co founded We Connect.
In speaking of that spiritual. I left tennis nine years
ago with no We Connect on the other side, and
there wasn't like I want to work in recovery. My

(20:55):
heart told me I had more to offer this world
than coaching superstars and expensive tennis ex experiences, and so
We Connect is a mobile application that has support and
services and it's basically a lifeline, anonymous and confidential lifeline.
Any mom and dad, brother sisters, support group meetings built

(21:15):
in an app, and it's unbelievable. We've served millions of
people from thirty countries currently and it's our job and
our mission and at that at our organization is to
help others.

Speaker 1 (21:29):
Luke, when you hear Murphy talk about what he's been through,
how does that feel as an older brother?

Speaker 3 (21:38):
The number one thing is that recovery works. I'm a
witness to that to see him grow. His weapon in
tennis was his serve, but his weapon in life, his
purpose in life is to serve others.

Speaker 1 (21:52):
When we return, Murphy Jentsen on turning his life around
and just when he almost had it together, everything came
crashing back down.

Speaker 3 (22:04):
And now Murphy's serving is looking at me and he's
smiling because we're just having fun. He's setting up the
serve and all of a sudden, he just crashes to
the ground. He's gone into a cardiac arrest.

Speaker 1 (22:22):
Part of the game. We'll be right back and now
back to part of the game. After their playing days ended,
the Jensens both continued to stay involved in tennis in
various ways. Luke Jensen went into TV as a tennis

(22:44):
analyst for ESPN. He then coached the Syracuse University women's
tennis team for nearly eight years. Murphy Jensen also maintained
close ties with the sport while continuing his recovery and
his work helping others with addiction. In twenty twenty one,
the brothers were playing in a celebrity exhibition in Colorado
for the Good Grand Slam, an event that raises money

(23:07):
for sudden cardiac arrest awareness. As Murphy was getting ready
to serve the ball, Luke looked over and realized something
was terribly wrong with his little brother. He was having
a heart attack right there on the court. One would
think that dealing with the addiction that you did and

(23:27):
sinking to the depths that you did to where you're
contemplating suicide, but then you come through it on the
other side, you'd think that's the worst thing I'm going
to deal with in life, and maybe it was. But
then you fast forward to October of twenty twenty one,
and you guys are back together again on the tennis court,

(23:49):
right playing in an exhibition. Take me there and tell
me how the day unfolds.

Speaker 3 (23:55):
Yeah. So I'd just taken a job as the director
of tennis at the Garden of the Gods. So Murphy says,
you know, I'll come out. We'll play an exhibition for
your first week and celebrate. So we're out there and
we're playing a little doubles exhibition. Murphy and I are
always talking little trash and who's going to win and everything.
And we've got a couple hundred people there, and now
Murphy's serving is looking at me and he's smiling because

(24:16):
we're just having fun. He's setting up the serve, and
all of a sudden, he just crashes to the ground.
The first responders they know right away through their professionalism
he's gone into a cardiac arrest. One of the medical
professionals says, where's the defibrillator. I know, for my training

(24:38):
being there, my facilities walk through as anything I've got
an AED thirty feet behind me on that court.

Speaker 1 (24:44):
Just so people understand, an AED an automated external defibrillator
defibrillator yep.

Speaker 3 (24:50):
So there was blood coming from the back of his head.
So now we had not only cardiac arrest situation. He
had flatlined. And as the professionals are trying to bring
him back to life, get his heart going, they give
me the assignment to keep talking to him, to keep
him with us. The only thing that kept popping in
my mind is I may be saying the last words

(25:12):
of my life to my brother. What do you say
to someone who's been your best friend, your brother. You've
been with him your entire life, and you're saying goodbye
our whole lives. We have this thing in our family.
It's a motto basically that Jensen's never quit. You can lose,
you can be tired, but Jensen's never quit. Your family

(25:35):
is here, Your family needs you. They'd gotten the heart going,
and then you would hear the doctors that are checking
his pulse. No pulse, no pulse. It took seventeen minutes
for the ambulance that get there, and in that time
he had flatlined four times. That was the toughest part for.

Speaker 1 (25:51):
Me, Murphy, what do you recall, since obviously you were
in a situation where where you had flatlined, you had
died more than once, what do you recall Do you
even remember tossing the ball to serve?

Speaker 2 (26:09):
First off, I remember nothing, And that's very common for
a cardiac arrest event. Is some people I've talked to
have lost a couple of years of memory the lack
of oxygen for that long. It's a miracle that I
don't have permanent brain damage today. There were no symptoms,
you know, it wasn't shortness of breath, numbness in the

(26:30):
fingers or any nothing like that. I have no memory
of the day before. I may have for you know,
lost a month for all I you know, to think
about it. You know, when I was stabilized in the
coma for six days, they didn't know which Murphy E
they're going to get back, how much brain damage have
been caused, the skull fractures and concussions. And I come too,

(26:51):
and Luke is there, and my wife Kate says, you
know you're in the IC. You had you been in
a coma, you had a cardiac And it was really
a couple of days of them repeating that murphy.

Speaker 1 (27:05):
Before you have this traumatic and dramatic event in October
of twenty twenty one and experienced cardiac arrest, you did
have a history, right of some heart issues before this,
is that right?

Speaker 3 (27:19):
Yeah?

Speaker 2 (27:19):
Eleven years ago I was diagnosed, or maybe even longer,
I had a virus as a result of getting the
fluid attacked my heart. It was called viral cardiomyopathy. And
then when they did the MRI or the scans, they
showed an enlarged heart as a result of a lot
of athletes have a heart that does a lot of

(27:40):
work and enlarged heart, and that led to an atrial
fibrillation a fib issues where I've had two different oblasons
and a number of cardioverts to reset my heart.

Speaker 1 (27:53):
Did doctors think you were at risk of having a
severe heart attack?

Speaker 2 (27:58):
Back in the days of my viral cardiomyopathy, my heart
function was less than eight percent. It was horrible, maybe
even less than five percent at a terrible heart function,
and they had me on meds they would prescribe to
a ninety year old. A normal heart function is actually
around fifty percent, they had told me, And at the

(28:22):
time of the cardiac arrest after two oblasions. Over time,
my heart function was over eighty percent, So I could
not have been in better physical heart health.

Speaker 1 (28:34):
Is there any hint or suggestion, medical suggestion that what
you dealt with in substance abuse may have contributed to
your heart issues.

Speaker 2 (28:44):
That's a great question. I spoke with doctor wu who's
the president of the American Heart Association and that runs
the Stanford Heart Institute, and he's doing the work on
my heart cells, and we talked about my drinking and
using days said that it would not have shown up
in that cardiac arrest event. But what they did find

(29:06):
after ten months of growing my heart cells is that
my heart cells respond to stress differently than a normal
heart cell. So if being in high altitude is stressful,
if physical activity, you know, I'm learning a lot, John
about heart function and cardiac arrest happens every ninety seconds.

(29:26):
And it's not just old dudes and men women. The
leading cause of death for women, I think is heart
disease in some form. It happens more than you know.

Speaker 1 (29:37):
Tell me if I'm wrong here. When these events unfold,
when you have this cardiac arrest event on the court,
were you playing in a celebrity exhibition event that was
trying to raise money for the awareness of sudden cardiac arrest.

Speaker 2 (29:54):
So for eleven twelve years I've been participating in an
event called the gud Found and it's about bringing awareness
around CPR, chess compressions and AEDs. Stephen Couter had died
of a cardiac arrest while out running in perfect health
with the family, and so I was aware of AED, CPR,

(30:15):
chess compression and cardiac arrest. This event was at the
Garden of the Gods resort, and I had been playing
a lot of tennis, so it was no problem for
me to do this. It was a few hundred people
in the crowd, and by the grace of God, there
is some off duty medical professionals, an ex fire chief
and people who knew what to do in a timely

(30:38):
manner and an AED ten feet from the court.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
That's one of the key parts of this right and
lends itself to the work that you're doing now, which
is somebody yells out, we need the AED, and Luke
knows exactly where it is, and that raises two big points,
one that there's actually an AED site and to somebody
knows where it is, and that's not always the case,

(31:03):
is it.

Speaker 3 (31:04):
No.

Speaker 2 (31:05):
I've found out, you know, I've become quite emotional about
this gift we all have called life. Luke was told
the day before where that AD was. And luckily, what
I have found out that there's less than thirty percent
of the tennis courts in America have an AD that's
just tennis. And I hear whether it's a mom or

(31:28):
a dad or a child on a soccer pitch goes
down and you might have an AED. But is it
locked in the closet, you know, somewhere in the school.

Speaker 3 (31:37):
Is it?

Speaker 2 (31:37):
Do you know that anybody can use it? You know,
I'm at a fancy resort or a country club and
it says for authorized personnel only. Well, if someone's going down,
I don't think that person that's gone down cares who's
authorized and who's not. A seven year old can open
an AD and say dad or Mom's life.

Speaker 3 (32:00):
And John, all of a sudden last year, we're in
washingt d c. And Murphy is with the mar Hamlin
and they're putting a bill on the table to put
AEDs in public facilities throughout the United States. To be
in that moment where Murphy Jensen has come so far,
and the power of Washington d C in this country

(32:23):
when it works is a very powerful moment.

Speaker 1 (32:30):
You speak of the emotional impact that this has had
on you and the psychological impact that this has had
on you. What sort of physical changes did you make
did you introduce into your life in terms of nutrition
and fitness as a result of this major cardiac event.

Speaker 2 (32:48):
Every day I have boxes I check, and I'll do
thirty minutes of cardio, and I'm plan as much tennis
as possible, or oxygen and meditating, anything to slow down.
You know, it's so easy to get wrapped up. I
think I need to be mindful of the amount of
caffeine intake. It's funny, my wife said, on that day

(33:10):
of the cardiac arrest, I had an abnormal amount of
caffeine on that the day before and the leading up
to it in high altitude, possibly dehydrated, and the potassiumility
to banana every day. So I low it up on
any and all diets that will help my brain function
and memory. I can get overwhelmed with loud noises and

(33:32):
bright lights, so I try to avoid that at all costs.
If you see me wearing sunglasses inside it because it's
really bright and it's given me headache or something. I
do the physical to help my mental and I do
the mental work to ensure that I'm held accountable to
what's going on between my ears, because I can't afford
to get angry. I can't afford to go there. It's

(33:55):
such a gift to be able to take care of
ourselves and take care of myself. I know what it's
like not to be able to walk or possibly talk,
or to be dead, and I'll be damned if I
don't live.

Speaker 1 (34:13):
This is called heart of the game. So I'd like
you each to answer this question. What is the heart
of the game to you?

Speaker 3 (34:21):
Yeah? To me, it's the ability to commit to something
and commit to people that believe in you, invest in you.
And if you can find a community that wants to
give you an opportunity based on your dreams and your
potential and what you're willing to commit to it, everything
is possible. So when I talk to kids today that

(34:44):
do have dreams that get sidetracked, there's always an opportunity
to come back to that heart of the game, to
what you truly believe in, which has to be yourself
and your superpower, which is I love myself and I
love what I'm doing every single day. I may not
win the day, but in the end I will win.

Speaker 1 (35:06):
Murphy.

Speaker 2 (35:08):
You know, tennis, the scoring system says that love means nothing,
and I have learned that in this thing called life,
love means everything, you know. So the heart of the
game for me is to love what you do, be
around people that love you. Today's the day. The time
is now. Cherish everything you know. And if nobody's told

(35:32):
you they love you today, I do. And there's nothing
you can do about it. And I say that a lot.
And I got that from John Robinson, who is the
tech on the on the detox and psych word. When
I was so hurting, he said that to me, and
I share that with anybody that I meet, and I
mean it. Arthur Ash is famously quoted as saying true

(35:53):
heroism is remarkably sober. True heroism is not the urge
to surpass others at what I cost, but the urge
to serve others at whatever cost, you know. And service
saved my life. People helped me and cared for me
and carried me. And that's what I'm doing, is I'm
carrying it forward, and to me, that's the heart of

(36:13):
the game, is to be of service in every area
of my life.

Speaker 1 (36:18):
It's really touching. And I've spent the last two and
a half hours thinking I was interviewing the Jensen brothers,
and I feel like I was just talking to the
Dalai Lama. Where's the rip, roaring, high five and chest
bumping brothers.

Speaker 2 (36:34):
We're there, We're still here.

Speaker 1 (36:36):
You guys are very much here. The Jensen brothers, Luke
and Murphy were a big haired phenomenon. They gave tennis
a joelt when the sport was in dire need of
a reset. Their outsized personalities and big time ability made
them superstars who inspired a generation of players. The Brian brothers,

(36:57):
identical twins Bob and Mike, when more Grand Slam than
any other pair in tennis history. They cite the Jensens
as a huge influence on their careers. Many years after
their professional tennis careers ended, Luke and Murphy continue to
inspire others through their work off the court. Daring to
be different continues to pay off with the brothers all

(37:18):
these years later. On the next episode of Heart of
the Game, meet the first family of Water polo. The
Fishers Aria and Mackenzie Fisher are two of the greatest
players in the history of the sport. They'll talk about
the challenges they faced winning Olympic goal, what they learned
from their dad, and just how rough it gets in
the pool during a match.

Speaker 4 (37:41):
We could see the pain that he felt from getting
fourth in his Olympic games and how much he wanted
that final game back. What was imparted in me from
a young age was making sure that you're putting everything
into the game so that when the game does end,
at least you can be confident that there's not anything
you're wishing for back.

Speaker 1 (38:00):
Part of the Game is a production of Ruby Studio
from iHeartMedia. Our show is hosted by me John Frankel.
Our executive producer is Matt Romano. Our EP of Post
production is Matt Stillo. Our supervising producer is Nikkia Swinton.
This show was edited by Sierra Spreen. Our writer and
researcher is Mike Avela. Thanks for listening. We'll see you

(38:22):
next time.
Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Dateline NBC
The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.