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May 5, 2022 41 mins

Kerri Walsh Jennings is the most decorated beach volleyball Olympian of all-time having won three gold and two bronze medals.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
I'm Sam Edis and I'm Amy Nelson. Welcome to What's
Her Story? With Sam and Amy. This is a show
about the world's most remarkable women, their professional and personal journeys. Together,
we'll hear from gold medalists, best selling authors, and leaders
of the world's most iconic brands. Listen every Thursday or
join the conversation anytime on Instagram at What's Her Story Podcast.

(00:30):
Carrie Walsh Jennings is the most decorated beach volleyball Olympian
of all time, having won three gold and two bronze medals.
You were the child of two athletes, which is quite rare,
and so did you feel like it was your destiny
to be an athlete? Sam, I definitely think it's in

(00:50):
my DNA, you know. I think by nature, by nurture,
by what God bless me with. It's like in my
veins is a competitive, you know element. And I fell
in love with sports right away. And I think I
fell in love with sports, um from the get go,
because I saw my parents so in love with sports.
So you know, the people I love the most of

(01:11):
my life, who would trust the most in life, were
like showing me that there's so much joy and purpose
in pursuing these things, and I just I feel the
exact same way when I compete now. And how was
it that you chose volleyball? Was there another sport first
or was it always volleyball? No? You know, I mean
I found BABA when I was ten, So you know,
I feel like my whole life prior to that, I

(01:31):
played every sport, and I played every sport whatever was
in season. That's just kind of how we grew up
like multi sport athletes. My parents really believe in that
for diversity and range and so you don't get burnt out.
So I have a big brother where E love months apart,
and so I did everything with him. I played basketball,
played baseball, UM, soccer. I was always one of the
boys in our little town in Scott's Valley, And but

(01:52):
when I found volleyball in the fifth grade, UM, it
was like head over heels. I'm so in love. This
is new, this is different, this is all female, um,
which I don't think I realized that. I didn't realize
I was a girl at that point. You know, it
was just like a tomboy doing my thing. And then
I found this sport that was like all my friends
were playing, my mom was coaching, and it was just awesome.

(02:12):
And it feels like now people start specializing earlier and earlier,
now that you have three kids. What's your philosophy on
sports and specializing. I mean, I'm just a big fan
of trying everything, and I'm not a fan of specializing.
I think at a certain point, going into college or pros,
you specialize. But have you guys read the book Range?

(02:34):
Should we? Yes? You should so, especially on this topic.
But it compares Roger feder basically to Tiger Woods. Entire
Woods is like the anomally of all anomalies. Right from
three years old on, he would only played golf. But
he is very rare. There's only one of him. A
Federer played all these other sports, and every sport that
he did just helped him develop more range within his tennis,

(02:55):
within his business life. And so they just say, whether
you play sport, you know, sports as a pro or not,
the range you developed by playing multiple sports, by trying
multiple things is just priceless. And I definitely I've experienced that.
I believe that. So with our kids, they play whatever
is in season. You know, I just told both boys there,
damn like you guys know, you don't have to play sports, right,

(03:16):
And they both looked at me like I was crazy,
you know, because they want to win, and when they
don't win, they've taken on themselves, you know. And I
don't want them to have that baggage either. So but
I mean they're you know, eleven and twelve right now.
So anyhow, whatever is in season, uh, and I just
want them to try a lot of new things. My
parents planted a lot of seeds in my head growing up.
You know, I lived in the Bay Area. I played

(03:36):
every sport. I watched them play sports. It took me
to Stamper, that took me to Santa Clara, I went
to museums, um, I watched the pros play, and because
of that, I just kind of found my path. So
carry Your mother was a college volleyball champion at a
time when a lot of colleges still didn't even have
women's sports. How did she become an athlete? She was

(03:57):
born into it, you know, or her like my nana,
her mother bottom like, hands down, the most competitive human
I've ever experienced in my life. She passed away when
I was eighteen. He was my hero, still is still
very present. But she was gnarly. And then my grandfather,
they called him Grandpa Big m His name is Marty.
He's in the Santa Clara Hall of Fame. He had

(04:17):
a nickname. He was called the Splendid Splinter. He played
in the World Rose Bowl Football. He was a track star.
So it's just in our DNA. And my mother is
like her mother the fiercest, like gnarlist lawyer angel you've
never met in your life. Like she's had eight children.
Three of them were her first sister. She carried triplets.

(04:38):
She was surrogate, so she is one of eight children,
six girls, two boys. They kept having kids until they
finally got their boy and he came in number six
and the number seven. Um. But my mom um, she
loved having babies, like she had five of us. I
have one brother up in heaven. Um. But right before
my I think mone was like thirty seven and she's like,

(04:59):
look Michelle, her sister, or like the time is now.
You know, they tried IVF. They tried everything for so long,
and my mom is like, I meant to do this.
I would love this. So they put in I think
six eggs. They said likely none of them will survive
and all three of them did, and now they're turning thirty.
On Maid, well, something stuck with me and she was

(05:20):
like a warrior angel, like you know, both of them.
Would people describe you like that? I don't know. I
don't think so. I don't think so. I'm not as
tough at all. Like my mom is a warrior in
everything she does. I might be a warrior on the court.
Um and well maybe, I mean I have elements of that.

(05:40):
I inspire to be like my mom. So you chose
an athlete to marry. It almost seems like it would
have been sacrilegious for you to marry out of the
athlete kingdom after all of these generations, like you couldn't
ruin the lineage. Did you feel that way? How funny?
Well we're not breeding. I probably no. No. I I

(06:02):
just my heart loves who I love, and you know,
I I fell in love a Casey Like the first
week of dating him, I felt like he was family.
And no, I just I'm just like his biggest fan.
I think he's so incredible. But like, I don't think
it would have worked with anyone else because we had
the same job, like we had our first two kids.
We traveled the world as a traveling circus with all

(06:22):
four of us and then my sisters or nanny. You know,
Like my life is so full and he's just been
such an amazing champion with me, Like it just doesn't
work without him. He's it takes a man, you know,
to like I'm a lot so in many different ways.
So I'm just so grateful. What do you mean when
you say it takes a man describe that? You know,
I take up a lot of space, you know, and

(06:43):
I feel like you have to be very secure in
who you are. I run fast, I have big dreams.
I I don't like waiting. I like to do what
I want to do when I want to do it.
But I also want to, you know, have a simple
life and have my children and be very closely connected
to all of that. And so I think kind of
the athlete and both of us allows us to be
utility players, you know, allows us to be nimble together.

(07:06):
But it takes a strong human being to be so supportive.
And not that he takes a back seat, but he
just he lifts me up, you know, and he doesn't
diminish himself as he lifts me up. And I think
that's a really strong soul to be able to do that.
What was the last thing you thought about? You know,
I was in marriage counseling, and I am pretty adverse
to confrontation. And I'm one of those ones who like

(07:28):
swallows my feelings. I can handle it. I can handle
it until I can't. And so our our therapist, Mike Jervey,
who's an incredible performance psychology, so she's like, care, you
cannot be afraid to engage, you cannot be afraid conflict
because there's deep intimacy there. Um. I honestly can't remember
what we fight about. I think, I don't. I have
no idea, some silly, stupid stuff that we don't need

(07:49):
to find it out. How do you parent? Because I
think sometimes when you're such a doer and you're such
a go getter, and you three different kids with three
totely different personalities that might or might not mirror your drive,
how have you come to, you know, reconcile that with
your own parenting style? You know, fundamentally, I'm just I love.

(08:13):
I'm so in love with my children, you know, so
love is just the foundation. It's probably obnoxious, like I
probably let them get away with too much stuff, because
you know, I come I came from upbringing of so
much like literally unconditional love. But it was very tough love,
you know, and not a lot of soft nurturing love
in its own way, but it wasn't that, you know.

(08:33):
And I feel like my mom and my dad were
preparing me to be who I am, you know. And
so but I think on the flip side of that,
I'm parenting slightly different in the expression of my love.
And but I I feel like the way I am
as a human, like I swear, I feel like I've
left up in every way. I've succeeded in so many ways.
I've been in a whole I've been an angel, I've
been everything and then some. So when my children are

(08:54):
being who they are and they're doing great or they're
having challenges or their failing or triumphing, like I've been
there largely, you know. So for me, it's just like
I just want to remind them they're okay, you know,
and just if they do something wrong, how did that feel?
Did that did that make you feel bad inside? Okay,
don't do it again, you know. Kind of like as
simple as that, because I feel like if they can

(09:15):
have that self awareness where they can kind of love
themselves as they mess up, and they know nothing is
to end all be all, you know, no failure is
too big, like you always have to carry your head
high because it's just a rep at something, you know.
And so I feel like that's I don't know if
that's a parenting style, but that's certainly I'm kind of
raising my kids as as really young high performers with

(09:36):
a lot of focus on self love. And my husband
is gnarly and he's incredible, and the way he his
expression of that, I think it balances us out. You know. Um,
he's like from Vegas, born and raised like he's from Vegas,
and that should tell you a lot about my husband.
Like we're so different, you know, like our whole world viewers.
So I grew up in a bubble and a bubble
and he grew up in Vegas, you know. So our

(09:58):
kids get like the Plonny pol Leanna that side of
life and the biggest gritty streets of life. And it's
a really powerful comb My husband is so he's so emotional,
he's so like tuned in and he's very empathetic as well.
So I think we just meet our kids where they're
at a lot with high expectations and with a lot
of yeah, a lot of love for sure. So you

(10:18):
went to Stanford and then how did your career evolve
from there? Well, Stanford was like my first big dream
come true. I grew up twenty minutes away and it
was just like like the best place ever for me.
After Stanford, I played in my first Olympics. So I
was a senior at Stanford and I left her for
two quarters to compete my first Olympics in two thousand
and Then after that Olympics, my whole world changed because

(10:41):
I left indoor and I went to beach volleyball, and
like on day one, not only was I trying out
with Missy May now Missy may trainer, who you know
is my Michael Jordan, my idol. That was the start
of ten years plus of playing with her, but on
day one I also happened to meet Casey because we
trained against him when I was trying out with miss
and so you know, I was I was so like

(11:03):
almost having a panic attack, like playing with my childhood idol,
trying out for what could change my life in case
he was on the other side and that didn't like
pay one lick of attention to him until the last
ball of the match. He tried like he almost took
my face off because he went to go finish the game. Um,
and then we kind of had a moment of like oh,
and then a couple weeks later we just started hanging out.
So after Stanford, everything happened very fast and it was awesome.

(11:27):
Did you return to school after that? I did. Yeah,
So I took two quarters off and then I returned
in the fall of two thousand and one. What was
it like to go back? Awesome? Oh my gosh. I
thought like I felt smart for the first time, you know,
like I always like I always just fancied myself a
jock and an athlete. Like I'm like, I know why

(11:48):
I'm here at Stanford is not because I'm the smartest.
It's because I can play volleyball and I'm not too dumb.
And I don't mean to diminish anyone, Like everyone there
was so gnarly. I just really diminished myself and I
was so insecure, and so I think it took me
being away and like kind of living a more worldly
life to go back there being like, oh, I have
thoughts of my own, and no one's judging me. Everyone
is just trying to figure stuff out. So my last

(12:09):
two quarters there were my favorite, and that just makes
me want to have my kids take a leap here
so they can go experience life, you know, because it's
just it's crazy what a little perspective can do. What
was your relationship with Misty like, because I feel like
there's been, you know, a lot of talk about it.
It's so unusual and it's it's just so exciting, you know.
I just love her so much, like with all my heart,

(12:30):
I adore her and missing Our were so similar in
so many ways as far as our values and our
discipline and how we show up, but our expressions of
all these things are so different. So you think we're
like night and day, and I think that's why we fit.
But she's just she's like my sister. I just did
an appearance with her in Virginia and it was so
fun to be on stage with her, just rehashing our magic,

(12:52):
because I think it took us a while, like we
were just never satisfied. We were always working so hard
and having so much fun in the pursuit because we
literally believed we could be so dominant, and it wasn't
like an arrogant thing. It was just like, we have
something very special here, let's like push this to the max.
And that really filled us up. But when you're in it,
you don't really appreciate the magic. And then now that

(13:13):
you know, it's been almost ten years since I played
with her, which is shocking to me to rehash the
magic and the love, it's incredible. But our relationship Sam was,
you know, especially after when Missy retired, Um, I kept playing,
and I think, you know, feelings get hurt and interviews
get said and think throughout a context, and I hurt
Missy's feelings a couple of times, totally unintentionally, and I

(13:35):
think there's a sensitivity there that I just didn't have
the awareness to acknowledge, you know what I'm saying. And
so we've then through heaven and hell together. And for
a couple of years after we separated, we weren't really friends.
I loved her from a distance, but I couldn't really
kind of connect with her and the way we used to, which,
of course that relationship is going to change. But we
grow back to each other and now we I mean,

(13:57):
we have rekindled that love and that friendship, and um,
I just I adore her. She's so special, Like everything
you see a Missy is so true and she's just
such a great human being. What was it do you
think that brought you back together? It's hard to find
love again, whether it's friendships or love, it's hard. Well,
I don't want to take all the credit, but I'm

(14:17):
very persistent. It's like with my marriage, Like I had
a moment with my husband, you know, after a couple
to Olympics and where he's like, I cannot do this anymore,
and like I understand. I understood his point of view,
but I'm like, but no, you're wrong, Like we're meant
for each other and you just lost yourself and with
Missy and like, no, you just forget that you love

(14:39):
me and you forget that we're special. So I'm not
going away. You know, of course I would go away
if I if they were like no seriously, But you know,
like I'm I'm pretty ampathetic. I can feel people and
their vibrations and I could put myself in their shoes
really easily, and so I feel like I was persistent
and then I gave space and then I just continue
to love. And every once in a while I'll approach

(15:00):
the topic like, hey, miss, I'm still here, Like you
want to connect one other thing from something you said
about your partnership with Misty, which sticks with me for
a reason. As you said, you both just knew you
were dominant, You knew you had something special. A lot
of girls and women do not allow themselves to feel that,
even if they know it to be true. Like why
do you think you were able to I think because

(15:21):
we were together, Like we were like a force together.
I feel like I feel like if you try to
like tell yourself that alone, it's harder to believe. You
know what I'm saying, Like, I'm I can rule the world, dominate,
And it's like when you're together, you're like building something
together and it's more of like a vision outside of yourself,
even though you're required to bring all of yourself. I

(15:42):
don't know really how to like speak to this articulately,
but I just know that being with Misty was so
empowering and it literally was not about anyone else or
anything else. It was about us. And so for me
as an adult now and as someone who wants to
continue to joyfully dominate and kick as no matter what
I'm doing, I want my kids to do this as well.
I I have to make it only about me. I
literally like my my lead up to Tokyo and even

(16:05):
Rio to a certain extent the last two Olympics, like
I had too much focus outside of myself, and that
diminishes me, you know, Like I revere everyone. I have
so much respect. But if I give too much credit,
or if I spend too much time focusing on what's
outside of me, then I can't self source the confidence
that's required to say I can do this again and
again and again and I can dominate. You know what

(16:26):
I'm saying. I think that focus has to be very internal.
When you were going through it and you're building this together,
how did you in Misty resolve conflict? Um? You know,
there really wasn't a lot of conflict because we won
so much, you know. But I'm like in this, I'm
in life for the depth of it, and so almost
my soul craves like hard moments because then we you know,

(16:46):
like we talked about intimacy amy right when you're conflicting,
when you get depth. But Missy and I are first
second year together, Missy's mom passed away, and then we
went on the road and tried to take on the
world together, you know, and we're both like early to
is at the time, figuring out the game, figuring out
each other, and that life happening like made us connect
so deeply, and it was such a gift, like it

(17:09):
really was. And I feel like that set the tone
because she was very vulnerable with me, and she's not
a vulnerable human being at all. She's very strong and
she's very internal um and that allowed me to be
there for her, and so I think we we got
comfortable in that situation a little bit, which was against
such a gift. And then when things came up over
the years, it was never internal like. It was always
people being like, oh, miss you should dump carry you know,

(17:32):
she's overrated, or carry like go try someone else, like
and it was so dumb to me. And but sometimes
people are relentless and if you're having weak moments, you're like, oh, well,
maybe maybe the grass is greener, you know. So a
couple of times, one time in particular, there was a
lot of that going on, and at some point it
was just like enough of this topic. Are we going
to stay together break up, and we had this moment
of reckoning. We're like, no, we're that silly, like we're

(17:54):
going to stick this out. And this was after our
first gold you know, where people just want you to
separate and that you know, people get a kick out
of doing that to people. And then we were weak
and we kind of let someone come between um that
any other conflict between us was so minimal, you know,
And we had so much trust And we were talking
the other day at our appearance and it's like we
were so individually so driven. I never worried about Misty,

(18:16):
like I knew she was busting her butt and she
knew I was busting my butt. And then we'd come together,
travel the world and just show up and play freely.
And so the moments of frustration when in that was very,
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(18:39):
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(19:03):
how did that impact you? Were you afraid of what
would happen next? No? I really wasn't. You know. Misty
retired and then unretired and then retired. So I was
just so grateful that I had her for one, you know,
two more years after that initial retirement. Like that was
a dream come true because she retired and I want
to say, like early on and I called her, was like,

(19:25):
miss are you sure? Because I want to go for
the next Olympics. I need to find a partner. She's like, yes,
I'm done. So I got a new partner. And then
she called me a couple months later being like, we
need to talk, and I was like, oh my gosh,
and so like that was one of the hardest things
I've ever experienced because I had to call my dear
friend Nicole Brandon and being like, Nicole, I have new information,
things have changed, like we need to talk. And I

(19:47):
remember sitting down we were at a coffee shop in Manhattan, beach,
like grabbing her hand, being like Nicole, I'm about to
break your heart. And it was like so gnarly, you know,
and um, I still gives me. Chill still hurts my
heart and Nicole is forgiving me. But you know that
changes her life, That changes everything. And so anyhow, so um,
when Mry retired the second time, like we knew she
was done. She was so done, you know, mentally, physically, spiritually,

(20:11):
like she earned the right to go out on top
and be done to start her family. And so I
was very very prepared for it, very you know, I
was so sad, Like after we won in London, I
literally would not let go overhand, Like every interview, I'm
like you are here, like you're not allowed to leave me.
So you know, you did the circuit after you win,
and it's like crazy, like I wouldn't let go of
her because I just knew it was going to be

(20:32):
different the moment I let go overhand and it was
talk to us about training while you were pregnant for
that last gold medal. So the Olympics are always in August,
right end of July. August, there's always a tournament like
a month before the Olympics, and it's in stodd Switzerland,
which is have you guys haven't been, Like you need
to go. It's my favorite town in the whole white world.

(20:52):
But Casey and I decided to give it a try,
you know, because like my first pregnancies were very easy.
I had maybe one day of um, you know, sickness
the whole two pregnancies. Like I was one of those jerks.
I loved every moment it like it's just one of
those things. And so the doctors always say, you know,
base your next pregnancy on what you experienced before. So
I wasn't worried at all. So we tried and shot,

(21:14):
we conceived and shod and then a month later, you know,
as Olympics. So I was very very very early, like
I missed my period, I think very early in the games.
And then there was a point of recogning. It was
after a couple of matches at the Olympics, and I
remember taking ice back after a game. It's like midnight,
like we're celebrating me one my husband's ordering room service
with our two boys, who were I think two and

(21:34):
three at the time, and I was like doing the
math and I was like, oh my God, I think
I'm pregnant. And I call it to my husband in
the other room, was like, hey, babe, I'm like, I'm late.
I think I'm pregnant, and he's like, that's how we
do it. And then we just carried on. It was
like and then I told Misty the next day and
she's like, am I supposed to be surprised? And with

(21:55):
like reference earlier Sam that I hurt Missy's heart a
couple of times, like unknowingly, and that was one of
the time times. You know, it's like because I didn't
involve her that we tried to get pregnant and shod
you know, and then to tell her and she hadn't
had children yet, and you know, and I don't want
to I don't want to be speaking out of turn
with Misty, like these are just these are my experiences.
So she has her side of everything, that's of course,

(22:16):
but it hurts me that I hurt Misty, you know,
by being just casual about my stuff, you know. So
I definitely learned learned there, um, because it's a very
nuanced relationship obviously, and being a woman and getting pregnant
and doing the dance and you know, it's like your
whole life, you don't want to pregnant, then when you do,
you want it so badly, like to do everything. You
wouldn't be able to compete while having babies. I mean,

(22:38):
you had three. Welcome to me, clearly not well and
I don't know, like my mom. My mom just showed me,
like I swear she was pregnant with the triplets in Hawaii,
six month pregnant, huge body surfing. You know, she would
play softball and slide, you know, like very competitive softball
slide with a huge belly. Like it's just you know,

(23:00):
like I felt training when I was pregnant. I felt
like a warrior. You know. I wasn't training to win goal.
I was just training to like reinforce myself for my
my baby and to be empowered. And it was definitely
a different perspective in my body. And I appreciate my
body so much. You know, I'm way less critical, even
though these days I'm very critical. Um, I need to
get over it. But I just I trained, like like

(23:23):
I wanted to be the healthiest human for my child,
and I wanted and I that, and then I also
wanted to have my baby. Take a couple weeks off
to heal after and then go and doing all that
when I was pregnant. Really, um, it allowed me to
do all of that, and it's sanity. Like if I'm
not moving, I'm not a happy person. Your post Misty
retiring for the second and final time, what happens to

(23:46):
your career? Um, it kept going and it's still going.
I don't know if I'm retired or not. I gave
myself tell July to figure it out. I'm like going
crazy not knowing. So this is another where hurt Misty.
So after missing I won gold hugged. We played the
Americans in the finals and it was April Ross and
Jennifer Kessie and we gave her hugs. When I was
hugging April, I said, April, congratulations. Now let's go win

(24:09):
Golden Rio, which was four years away the next Olympics.
And I, honestly, I have no idea where that came from.
It was like I hadn't even thought about anything, you know, consciously,
but it came out and I'm like, yeah, that that's
about right, Like that feels right. And then I said
it and it was done, and then I went and
I was so in love with Misty and you know,
like it was just here and gone. And then April

(24:30):
and I partnered up and we got bronze in Rio
and it was incredible. It was It was so fun
with April, you know, and we were we were so
close to just doing it. We were the best team
and I believe in the world. And we had a
bad night in the Semis. I had a tough night
in the Semis, and we played for bronze, and that
bronze was incredible, like a huge, huge mental accomplishment. As

(24:52):
an athlete who prides herself on always getting up when
she gets knocked down, you know, you gotta be careful
what you wished for. Because I was able to put
my character to test that night with April. How do
you think about failure? You know, after we lost in Rio,
like I lost myself, Like I really didn't. I didn't

(25:12):
understand that I had identified myself as a winner and
if I'm if I'm not winning, I'm I'm a loser.
Like I carried a lot of shame for many years
after that, and you know, I'm still working through that
how to process it. But now I look at everything
as a stepping stone. I learned from experience, and so
failure is just an experience that that's meant to build

(25:34):
you in the various ways you need to learn and grow.
And now I see my weaknesses, I see my failures.
I see what I lack as untapped potential, you know,
and the failure is there to highlight what I have
to work on. The failure we're talking about is a
bronze metal correct. Yeah, but it was so gnarly, Sam,
I don't even know what to tell you, Like, I
just it ruined me. And it's not like I don't

(25:57):
mind losing, like I mean, of course I mind losing,
but it's like a way you lose, you know. And
that night, like I kept fighting, I kept trying to
crack the egg. I stuck with April, like there were
I just didn't play well, you know, And so I
don't like that obviously. You know. It was really hard
for me to look in April's eyes after that. It
was really hard to look at my family's eyes and
my coach and be like, I'm so sorry you guys,

(26:19):
you know. And I felt like I made myself on
an island when it really is a team game. You know.
We didn't play great that night as a team, and
I just focused on myself and I built a wall
of shame. But you know, I that also is kind
of like my kryptonite or my answer too having it
not happen again is to become superwoman, right, And that's
really I mean, perfection is not even possible. But if

(26:41):
I take ownership of everything, then I can at least
fix it. If I like point my finger, you know
what I'm saying, Like I need to take ownership so
then I can just address these things. How did you
and April discuss it after that? How did the two
of you reconcile your relationship when you kind of blamed
yourself for everything and and were so full of shame,

(27:02):
you know, I mean that night was really hard. We
kind of had our team meeting after and I can't
remember what we said, you know, kind of numb, you know.
And then like we played twenty twenty three hours later
at like eleven pm, right or ten pm the next
day in Rio, and so all day like I didn't
I slept maybe an hour that whole time. I'm assuming

(27:22):
April did the same. We were just kind of handling
in our own way. I had private conference like meeting
with my coach, and by the by the time we
came together to get ready for the match, my coaches like,
you guys, like it's done. Like whatever you do, just
stick together. I don't care if you're up, stick together
or if you're down, stick together. Just that's my only
request because then you have a chance. Right. And then

(27:43):
prior to that, before like I kind of got ready
for the day, I was just kind of wallowing and
I literally was lost to my husband's like, baby, you
need to stop, like this is ridiculous, Like you have
like you're an athlete, you have you have earned the
right to fight for another day, Like go and win
this ship. You know, you're an American, Like this is
the American spirit that you love so much. Get out there.

(28:05):
You're so supportive, and that really helped me kind of
turn the corner, you know. And then Harry, my coach,
say just stick together. Because there was the bronze medal
match started. How the semi final finished. It started as
a nightmare for the first game and a half, and
then there was one moment where April like I was
just kind of an automaton, just like trying to figure
it out, and I didn't realize I wasn't like deeply

(28:26):
connected with April. And at one point she grabbed my arm.
She's like carry I'm like, yeah, she's like Carrie, and
she like made eye contact and that was just like okay.
And then literally a point or two later, like there
was a gnarly point like we outlasted, we won, and
that changed the whole game. You know. It's I love April.
You know we uh we had a kind of a
falling out after ath Olympics the next year, just mostly

(28:48):
because like domestic volleyball politics. But you know, it's like
politics these days, you can't take it personally. And we
agree to disagree, and you know, we parted ways, you know,
and there's no hard feelings. I think she's wonderful and
she won gold in Tokyo. I'm so happy for her,
you know, so I'll ended as a ship. It's almost
like the way you talk about deciding whether to retire.

(29:09):
It's like some crystal ball is just going to manifest
itself and tell you. But but you're in the driver's
seat of that decision, right, I mean, yes and no, Sam.
I you know, I opened my mouth the other day
about who I would play with if I came back
and this person is deeply private, and so I can't
go there right now. And it's a very mutual decision.

(29:29):
So I'm being kind of cryptic, but for important reasons.
But you know, like like three months ago, no beginning
of this year, I was like, I literally don't know.
I had to two things that happened with my children
who are and I was like, maybe I can't do this.
I had one thing where I was gone in the
lead up to Tokyo for many weeks, and my my
kids came over to visit me, and my daughter was like, hey, Mom,

(29:51):
and kind of talked to you about something. I was like, yeah,
she goes. On the day that you left for your
long trip, we took a picture and in the picture,
I was crying because you were leaving, and you were
miling because you were leading, and I was like, oh
my god, like that it was the gnarliest thing ever.
She's looking at me right now, and it like crushed me.
And I was so grateful that she had the awareness

(30:12):
to talk to me about that, because that could traumatize
a child thinking your mom is so happy to be
It rocked me to my court and we had a
great conversation, you know. And um, so that's one thing,
like heavy, heavy, deep stuff. And then there was another conversation.
My son Joey wrote me a birthday card and he
was really funny card and he wrote it and he's like,
you know, Mom, I'm twelve years old and some of

(30:34):
the hardest times in my life have been when you
were away. And and then he wrote this other stuff
and I'm like, God, oh my hell, like this is
and so and they're so honest, like how like what
a gift? And so um, I was like I can't,
like I can't do this, but I have this calling
in my heart. What do I do with these two things?
And so in the meantime, we've had many conversations and

(30:57):
now the solution that we came up with is that
we do this together. So we travel together. So I
need to get an airline sponsorship and Airbnb partnership and
then the whole crew can go together. And um, that's
the dream. And that was always a dream for us
to travel as a family as a traveling circus and
you know, really realize our dreams. And so if my

(31:17):
partner who I want to play with is she's in
then it's on, but we gave ourselves tell July to
figure it out, and so um I told her, I'm in,
and now I'm just waiting. So what do you do?
We know that you don't just sit around and wait.
You're probably writing her love letters every day. No, I'm like,
I have so much restraight right now. Well, I blew
it last week by doing a podcast. I was like, oh,

(31:37):
because I'm so casual, like I have no secrets, and
so I learned a definite boundary in this new partnership potential.
But she's my friend. I love her. She'll forgive me.
But I'm you know, I'm working on my company four p.
Fourteen forty, and I'm really trying to give back to
the game. I really want to leave the sport in
such a better position, and right now at the pro level,
it's it's having a tough time, but the juniors are

(31:58):
incredible and the collegiate love is incredible, so there's a
lot of great things going there. I'm training, but I'm
just not playing volleyball, but I will soon. I live
in Tahoe now, and so the snow just melted like
a week ago, so things are changing, and I just
want to do it my way, like I want to
finish how I started. And I started like so joyful
and so curious and just just like I don't think

(32:19):
I was self absorbed, but I just loved the personal
development part of it. And I didn't care about anyone else.
I want to have fun with people, but worry about me,
And that's how I want to finish, you know. And
now a quick break. I was a junior athlete and
then I went to college and played varsity tennis. And
one of the hardest things in my life was to

(32:41):
lose my identity. Like after I stopped playing tennis, I
truly didn't know who I was because everyone in the
world knew me as a tennis player. That was my
entire identity. And so regaining my identity and figuring out
who I was without my sport was really difficult for me.
How do you think about that? You know, I feel
like I've lived that a couple of times, like with

(33:03):
each pregnancy and you know, you bow out, You're like,
oh well, they don't even care, like you're already gone,
you know, so you kind of realize where you fit
in the picture of the world that you're just you know,
like something very special but so minor, and you know,
time goes. So that's really helped me kind of get
some perspective. But also you know, like I I decided
I was gonna take this year off and hopefully I
come back. If I don't, I don't, But my my

(33:25):
purpose in life hasn't changed, you know, Like I am
here to literally develop myself into the best me I
can be. You know, Volleyball my vehicle and my whole life,
and that will transition to something else after this, but
above the self development becoming the best me, Like I
want to be a light in this world, and I
don't need volleyball for that, you know. And so I think,
I mean, I'm forty three now I'm almost forty four.

(33:47):
Like I've lived a life, a lot of heartache, a
lot of dreams come true, and I will not settle
for a life that does not involve being inspired, inspiring,
staying fit, inspiring, empowering. You know. I just I can't
do that, you know, And it's and it's hard, you know,
it's so it's so easy. An athlete like you, you
have three trainings a day and you're really fit, and

(34:07):
you feel like you played the part, and I think
to have a different kind of I don't know. I
don't know. It's gonna be hard for me when I
do finally retire, so I haven't really lived it yet,
sam to like to the fullest extent. I know I
will grieve it. I know I will be devastated, but
I also know my life keeps unfolding in a way
that the next logical thing that's rad keep showing up,

(34:28):
and so I'm just expecting that to happen. And I'm
a worker, like I'm a dreamer, and I'm very good
at I'm just so blessed that i have amazing people
around me, and I'm not afraid to say, hey, let's
try something, let's do something. You know, so I'm not
really worried. Amy. Let's go to the speed round. What
book are you reading. It's Dan Milman. It's the author
who wrote Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and it's another

(34:50):
one of his book books. I think it's like his
whole whole life, not just his college life. I can't
remember the name, but if I can recommend any book
in the whole wide world, it would be As a
Man Thinks by James Ellen. It's my favorite book. When
is your morning routine? Okay, my deal morning routine starts
at night so I can wake up early. So an

(35:11):
ideal would have me like in bed never happens. Waking
up at four thirty, making my hot water with lemon
and honey, journaling, meditating, breathing. At six o'clock. Two days
a week, I have a workout with my trainer on
Zoom and then my kids wake up at seven and
then we get going on the day. So but I

(35:31):
found that if I wake up an hour to an
hour and a half before my babes, before I have
any obligations, my day feels like I'm on vacation, even
if it's the craziest, harriest day. Who leaves you star struck?
I mean, I'm just a weirdo. I mean I my
heart races fast with any cute person or kind person
or celebrity. I don't know if it's star struck or not.
I'm just kind of an anxious human. I don't know.

(35:54):
I feel like everybody and nobody. Does that make sense?
But like if you went out to dinner tomorrow and
I and there was one celebrity at the restaurant, and
we're like oh my god, holy sh it. Guess so
I just thought, who would that person be? I mean,
all of them are fun to see and look at.
I would like hee my pants if I had to
talk to any of them. I have this documentary series
that I want to should shoot, which is like sitting

(36:15):
down with high performers who are doing the juggle of life,
like long sustained, excellent careers with the family, like some
divorce them don't, some retire, some don't. And my thought
of interviewing these people gives me a heart attack. And
my list is like the highest people ever. You want
to hear the list, Okay, Tony Robbins, Michael Phelps, Abby

(36:36):
Wamback Layard and Gabby. I have Kevin Costner, I want
Morgan Freeman, Um Connolle's a Rice like these people. Carrie,
do you realize that you are a celebrity? No, I don't.
My husband gets so piste off. He's like, Babe, it's ridiculous,
stop it. You're not that dumb. And I'm like, I
just I don't know what to say. I'm just no,

(36:57):
but I need you because it's like I did that
podcast asked that I like spilled the beans and NBC
Olympics picked it up, and now I like, got my friend.
She's all mad at me, and I need to be
aware of these things. So our final question, if you
were not a volleyball player, what career would you have?
You know, I would have to compete in some way
like period, and I don't know what that looks like

(37:18):
because volleyball has just been my whole life. But I
just have this like I'm like a cage like I've
i haven't really competed in a year, and I'm like
a cage lion, Like I'm literally like, let me add it.
I'm going crazy, Like I I have my company P
fourteen forty, like I am so honored and out and
we are on a mission. So it's Platform fourteen forty.
It was, you know, we serve the volleyball community juniors. Um, sorry,

(37:42):
we have live events and we're digital programming as well.
But fourteen forty there are only fourteen hundred and forty
minutes in the day. I learned that's the marriage counseling,
and I learned that I was wasting so many minutes
in my day, and so we wanted to create a
property that served the game. But that brought in universal
wellness and awareness, you know themes and time is precious,
time is sacred and if we can inspire you, Sam,

(38:03):
you aim me to live in the moment. All of
us know on this call that the moment is where
our point of attraction is our point of powers, where
truth wise, love wise, our futures created right now. And
so fourteen forty we have a tour for juniors. Were
actually giving away a hundred ten thousand dollars in prize
money scholarship money to our junior's athletes. Never been done before. Um,

(38:24):
so basically we're subsidizing their journey to get college scholarships.
It's really powerful and we're kind of in transition now
figuring out our next move because we really want to.
We want you know, events are very finite, so we
want to you know, scale and do that on the
digital side. But like my head is like I'm only
I'm only magic in person. I don't translate this way,

(38:45):
you know, so I don't know how to give the
wisdom and all that stuff digitally. Yet you have magic
in you, Like I want to go run a marathon
now and I don't run. I mean, seriously, you are
very motivating, inspiring person. Well, that's very nice, thank thank you.
I'll have to accept that because I'm trying to say, Sam.
One thing that's really interesting, and perhaps one of the
reasons that I think Carrie's interview is so different, is

(39:08):
that we do not ever hear women talk about business
relationships or friendships that don't go the way of the angels, right,
or that that break up or that end and finding
our way back to each other like that is messy,
that is complicated, and I feel like women aren't allowed
to talk about that, and Carrie just owned it in
this really beautiful way. Well, I don't even think that's
what it's that women aren't allowed talk about it, because

(39:29):
I don't think men talk about it either. I don't
think anyone talks about business relationships and how hard they
are to maintain and how how important they are, right.
I mean, our our partnership is so important to both
of us, and we have ups and downs and we
have to get into it a lot because we're dealing
in the trenches every day. And I think that, you know,

(39:52):
part of listening to her was just enlightening for us.
I mean, I think she was so honest about how
hard it is and how awesome it is and how
lucky you are to have someone that you work so
closely with it you love. And I was just really
inspired by just the way she talked about it. It
was really funny. I actually there is one story. I

(40:12):
can't remember which one, but I was like, oh my god,
I'm so the Misty in this and A means the Carrie.
I think it was when she she won and then
she whispered in that woman's ear like Okay, it's you
and I in four years. I was like, oh my god,
Amy would do that to me, and I feel like
weeping in the corner. She had stepped out, she was dead,

(40:35):
but I would still make me weep. That's the thing
is Missy had stepped out, but it still made her sad.
I would be the Missy anyway. I just I love
Carrie and I definitely want to have her back. Thanks
for listening to What's Her Story with Sam and Amy.
We would appreciate it if you leave her review wherever
you get your podcasts, and of course, connect with us

(40:56):
on social media at What's Her Story podcast. What's Her
Story with Sam and Amy is powered by my company,
The Riveter at the Riveter dot c O and Sam's company,
park Place Payments at park place payments dot com. Thanks
to our producer Stacy Parra and our male perspective, blue
Burns
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