Episode 12
Amy Downs, Oklahoma City bombing survivor and Credit Union CEOLiving a purposeful life and achieving your dreams

Amy Downs, dynamic speaker, entrepreneur and OKC bombing survivor, walks us through her harrowing experience and shares how it pushed her to overcome the complacency that robs us of living our best life.

Amy Downs, author and motivational speaker, moved to Oklahoma City in her twenties feeling underwhelmed by her past and unmotivated for the future. She was working at the Federal Employees Credit Union that fateful day on April 19, 1995, when her world was literally turned upside down. She survived the Oklahoma City bombing that claimed the lives of 168 people. In the aftermath of that tragedy and with the guidance of a mentor, her mindset began to shift from complacency to purpose.

Today, she has a unique message to deliver—wake up and take control of your life. From getting her master's degree and becoming CEO, to losing more than 200 lbs. and competing in a triathlon, Amy is no stranger to setting big goals and achieving them one small step at a time.

We sat down with Amy in the Entrepreneur's Studio to hear her story which is less about tragedy than it is about transformation. Follow along as we hear her insights about resilience, the satisfaction of living a life of purpose, and how to push forward in the face of adversity.

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  1. Surviving the OKC bombing: Amy's story
  2. Take time to show people you care
  3. You have the power to create your future
  4. Life is short— resist complacency
  5. Small steps lead to big transformations
  6. Achievement is possible when you're true to yourself

Surviving the OKC bombing: Amy's story

Chris Allen: Well Amy Downs, welcome to the Entrepreneur Studio. So happy to have you.

Amy Downs: Thank you for having me. It's an honor.

Chris: Yeah. So I'm glad you found your way here.

Amy: Yes.

Chris: Yeah? Native Oklahoman?

Amy: No.

Chris: Okay, tell me about that.

Amy: Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Chris: And how'd you find your way here?

Amy: Oh gosh. That is a story. That's a story, actually, in itself, that's a loaded question. Well, I flunked out of college because I couldn't pass a math class. Actually flunked it twice and my boyfriend broke up with me. So I was in this tailspin. This is back when you couldn't live with your parents until you were 40. So I'm like 20 and trying to figure out what to do. And my sister lived here and she said, "Come to Oklahoma City, have a fresh new start." This was in 1988. Everybody at that time was leaving Oklahoma City. But I came to Oklahoma City and thought I would put my amazing math skills to work at a financial institution with a cash drawer and got a job. And that's how it started.

Chris: And there were no calculators, right? You had to do-

Amy: No, no. So I did not balance my drawer very well, actually.

Chris: Okay. All right. Well that's good. Well talk to us a little bit about, you've got a pretty remarkable story that does have, I'd say, really close ties roots to Oklahoma City. And I know that it's a subject that is a super challenging one, but I have to say, getting to know your story and to hear these things, I think it's so pertinent to the trajectory and the arc of your story that isn't over yet. Your story's not over yet. But you've got such a remarkable story. I really thought that what we should do is talk a little bit about, you talk about the Oklahoma City bombing and for you to walk us through a little bit of what happened that day.

Amy: Sure. Yeah. And I feel like a lot of times my story has been one of transformation. And when you look at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City has an amazing story of transformation. And when I think about when I first came here in 1988 for that job, the downtown didn't look anything like this, anything like this. And so I'm working downtown Oklahoma City, which is nothing. And April, 1995, I had been here seven years at that point working for the same credit union. And my office was front and center of the federal building on the third floor. So I was about maybe 20 feet from the front glass windows. And on the morning of April 19th, 1995, I remember it being such a beautiful morning. Oklahoma is windy, Oklahoma is crazy in the springtime we could have a tornado, I mean, there's no telling. But that morning was one of those beautiful still blue skies, the red beds were in full bloom. And I just remember taking it all in when I came into downtown, how beautiful it was.

And I went up to work and spent the first, maybe hour of the day, actually goofing off. So I was chatting with all my friends because I was getting ready to move into my first house. So I was not doing any work, just running my mouth. And it was getting close to nine o'clock and I was thinking, gosh, I really need to get to my desk. I was the manager or worked for the manager in the credit card department. I was thinking, I really need to get to work. So I hurry to my desk, I sit down and a coworker of mine, who was seven months pregnant, came and sat down beside me. I remember turning to ask her what she needed, but I don't know if the words ever came out of my mouth or not, because that is when the bombing happened.

And I just remember this incredible roaring noise that was so loud in my head and everything going black and all of a sudden I was feeling this just incredible rushing sensation like I was falling. And all of this happened so fast and it's happening at the same time. It's like my brain couldn't comprehend what was happening. I remember, my first thought was maybe someone had come in and shot me in the back of the head. Working for a financial institution. You always are a little worried about robbery. And I thought, well, maybe we just got robbed. That's all I could think of because there was such a powerful force that had happened. I knew, whatever had happened, I thought my life was over. I mean, I knew it was really bad. And I remember hearing all of the screaming and this cracking noise, which was probably either the building crumbling or the fertilizer exploding, I'm not sure what. But then it got really quiet and I knew I had landed. It was still, but I couldn't move and I couldn't see anything. It was just pitch black.

Chris: This all happened in an instant?

Amy: An instant, just an instant. And I remember there was this terrible smell that just burned to breathe and it was really hot and I couldn't see anything. I remember just straining to open my eyes, trying to see. And it didn't matter whether my eyes were open or closed, it was just pitch black. And I was screaming for help, but there was no answer. There was nothing. And I laid there thinking, “Am I dead or alive? Did I die? What has happened?” And I heard a siren going off in the distance and I decided, okay, I can hear this siren going off, I must still be alive. And I would keep yelling for help, but there would be no answer. And this went on for about 45 minutes. And then I heard some men's voices and I heard this man say off in the distance. "Okay, let's split up. Let's look for the daycare babies.”

Chris: All right. So this is all in a span of like 45 seconds.

Amy: 45 minutes.

Chris: 45 minutes?

Amy: So I had 45 minutes where I was laying there just yelling for help and no answer. But after the time had passed, I heard men's voices and I heard them saying, "Let's split up, let's look for the daycare babies." And I thought that was weird because I worked on the third floor and the daycare was on the second floor. I didn't realize that we were all at the bottom of what was once this nine story building. But I started screaming my head off and I heard the man say, "I hear you, I hear you, child. How old are you?" I remember thinking, "I'm two." I thought if I say I'm 28, is he going to come get me? And I said, "I'm sorry, I'm 28." And he goes, "That's okay, That's okay." And he starts yelling, "We have a live one, We have a live one. I need back up, I need help." And he said, "We can't see you. You have to keep talking to us. We have to follow this sound of your voice." And I asked him what had happened and he said it had been a bomb.

Well, in 1995 we didn't know what car bombs were. I mean that was not a thing.

Chris: For sure. For sure.

Amy: And I grew up with a father who lied about his age when he was 17 to fight in World War II. So when I thought of a bomb, I thought of a plane dropping a bomb, you're at war. So I started asking questions about other parts of Oklahoma City. It took me a little bit to figure out that this bomb only happened to our building, but they were getting closer to where I was located. I was still in my desk chair, actually upside down, buried under 10 feet of rubble. But my right hand was sticking out of the side of the rubble pile. So they found my hand and I thought they're getting ready to grab my hand, one, two, three, up and out. I'm good.

But about the time they found my hand, I heard a lot of commotion and I could hear people screaming and I heard men yelling, "There's another bomb, there's another bomb. Let's go. Let's go. There's another bomb. We need everybody out." And the men were trying to talk over this saying, "Amy, we need to get some more hydraulic equipment. We're going to be right back. We just need to get some more equipment." But I could hear the people screaming and running. And so I just started telling them my name, tell my family I love them. Over and over I just kept saying that because I knew this was it. And so they left.

And this is when, at this point, my reality was that I really am getting ready to die. I now know what it was and this is it. And I started having what people refer to as life flashing before your eyes, just thinking about my life and how I had not lived it. How I had taken so much for granted and the regrets I had for how I had been living my life or not living it. And I just started praying and making all kinds of bargaining with God. If I just could have a second chance, I would never live my life the same. I would do anything. Just everything from thinking about the fact that I'd never been a mom and that I had wasted my opportunity for education, that I had really not done anything on purpose. I just had been floating along. And so I just had such deep regret.

And then at some point there was a song that popped into my head that we used to sing when I was growing up. We went to church and I started just singing the song, of all the strange things to do. And at that point, that's when I felt peace. And I think it was because I got my mind off of my problems and my situation. And I really felt that I was okay with whatever was getting ready to happen. I did not think I was going to make it out alive. I didn't know that was going to happen.

Chris: You'd let go of the outcome.

Amy: I just let go that I was going to step into eternity. And that was about 45 minutes, that whole ordeal. And then I heard the men coming back and of course there was not a second bomb and they started working to get me out. But I was really stuck and I was in a part of what was left of the building that was extremely unstable and the Oklahoma wind had started picking up.

And so they were very concerned for the safety of my rescuers. So they would have to stop about every 20 minutes or so to talk about amputating my leg. The entire time I stayed in my chair upside down, couldn't see anything the whole time while they worked, trying to remove all of the rubble to pull me out. I would ask them, "Hey, you guys are going to be able to get me out, right?" And I remember the guy would always answer, the chief firefighter would always answer, "Amy, we're going to do our best." And I just would be left with this feeling of uncertainty. So the whole time it's not like I thought, oh we got this, they're getting me out. It wasn't like that at all.

Chris: Not very confidence boosting.

Amy: No. But I also understand now why they do that. As a firefighter, you can't promise somebody 'I'm going to get you out.' How would they live with themselves if they couldn't? So I understood that later. But after about six and a half hours they said, "Okay, we're going to count to three and we're going to pull, this is probably going to hurt." And of course I'd been telling them along the way, I'd been saying, "Hey, if you guys need to cut something off to get me out, cut it off." It's amazing what kind of bravery you have when it's life or death. So when they counted to three and they pulled and I came out from under the rubble, every nerve came alive and it did hurt. But I didn't care. I was alive, I was out. I looked around and thought, this is not real. I'm in a movie. This isn't real. My brain could not comprehend what my eyes were actually seeing. They put me on the back of a gurney and they took me out of the back of what was once the federal building.

I remember looking up at the sky that had been so beautiful that morning and it was dark gray, it was cold outside, it was windy and it was starting to rain, just like it was in the middle of winter or something. But I remember taking that first breath of fresh air and filling my lungs up and just promising I will never live my life the same. I didn't know what my injuries were, I didn't know about my coworkers, but I knew that if I made it, I was never going to live my life the same. And so they took me to the ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital and ended up in the hospital for about eight days and found out, during that time, that 18 of my 33 coworkers, 18 of my 33 coworkers were all killed. So the grief was just unbelievable.

Take time to show people you care

Just, you don't realize, especially in your twenties, I think, you don't realize the people that you work with, how close you actually are to them. And in fact, I remember even the girl who had sat down beside me right before the bomb went off, she was somebody who kind of got on my nerves. Let's face it, we all have people we work with that get our nerves. And she kind of got on my nerves sometimes. And I just felt terrible. She was killed. And then later I couldn't make all the funerals because I was in the hospital but I made the last couple of funerals and sitting at their funerals just thinking I never had a chance to tell ... Like my boss was a mentor to me. She was an amazing, amazing woman. I never told her anything like that because back then you didn't do that. You didn't say things to your boss like that. You would be called a brown noser or whatever the term was.

And so I just had some regret for words left unsaid to my coworkers. And I think, to this day, in fact Lance Hafner will tell you this, I am the one that will send the ridiculous sappy I love you email, here's what I appreciate about you. Here's how amazing you are. And I don't care because I don't want to sit at your funeral one day and have regret that I didn't tell you while you were alive really how great you are. So that has definitely impacted my life.

Chris: You became awake to something that a lot of people don't come awake to. We spend all this time with people at work. Cause there are customers who come every day to places. There are clients, there are patrons, all these people. But there's these people at work, until something tragic like that happens, you don't know. I lost my mentor. He was fit, he was 48, went on vacation and died in a CVS parking lot. And I had no idea what it really meant to have somebody that close to me that I worked with, that hurt more than a family member dying, in some respects.

Amy: It does because you spend more time with people at work. And so there is a hurt that's hard to explain, but you're with them all the time. You don't even realize it because you're accomplishing goals together. So there's a certain amount of bonding and camaraderie that's happening because you're in the trenches working on things together. And I think another hard part was, while I was in the hospital, I would get calls from family members of those that I worked with asking if I remembered what they were wearing that day because they were trying to identify the bodies and I couldn't remember what anybody had on. And I had spent an hour running around talking to everybody and the only person I could remember what she was wearing was my best friend, Sonya, because she tried to wear, what we called back then, a power suit. She got invited to the supervisor meeting and it was her first time. So she wanted to wear her power suit. And she was really funny. She came to work-

Chris: So just had shoulder pads and stuff?

Amy: It's a bright color. So it's either going to be bright red, it's supposed to be bright red. Okay. Well hers was yellow. It was yellow suit. So she got to work and she said, "Y'all, I really just looked like a big old yellow sunflower." And I mean she did. We were all laughing. So the only person I could remember what they had on was Sonya and her yellow suit. So even today, I sometimes will find myself looking at what people are wearing in the office. Just, I don't know.

Chris: So that realization and becoming awake to that, that is something that you took from that day on. You don't take that stuff for granted, who you're around, the surroundings, what it feels like to be around them, who they are, what they're wearing.

Amy: Even if I'm intimidated by the chairman of the board or whoever it is, I might, I'm going to send that mushy email once a year.

Chris: That's amazing. So you've gone to these funerals, you're out, you've made all of these promises, you've bargained. So talk to me about the moment of clarity that you had and what decision did you make and how did you sort recommit to the pleadings and how did that come back –about how long did it take?

Amy: I always want to say that on day eight I left the hospital and cue the Rocky music, I went running out of the hospital down the steps, changing my life. It didn't quite work that way. I was really traumatized for, really, a couple years. And I had to focus on rebuilding our credit union. Because if you think as a business, so you think about a business, we had one location, which was in the federal building. It was free space. We didn't pay for it. We were there to only serve, our business model was to only serve the people in that building.

So we just lost our one location, we lost our free space, our purpose, and we lost over half of our staff. How in the world do you come back from that? How in the world do you even survive? But it became personal because I didn't want the memories, I didn't want the people who had invested so much of themselves to build our business to be ... It felt personal. If our business disappeared that somehow their memory disappeared. So those of us that were left, which were just a handful, we worked just very hard to bring it back and to make it scrap. So the first few years were really consumed with that. So I really focused on that.

Chris: So you really committed to work?

Amy: I was really committed to work. There were a few changes I made right off the bat, spiritually and just deepening my friendships with my family and my friends because I realized how important all of that really is. So there were changes like that that I made right away. I kept having this feeling like I was living on borrowed time. And so one day when I was at work and we had just really been accomplishing so much, when I look back now, it's amazing how we survived. We had hired a new CEO, or our CEO that had lived through the bombing, retired a couple years after. And the new CEO we hired was this amazing woman who had this total different mindset.

You have the power to create your future

Amy: She had a total different leadership style. I came into business with the, “I'm the boss…I said it…you do it…don't ask questions.” In fact, I can remember sitting in staff meetings where somebody had a suggestion and they said, "We don't care how you did it where you worked before, you're here now, you'll do it this way." But that is how everybody lived. So this new leader was very different. And I was in her office one day and she says to me, "Amy, you're the future of this credit union. It's a layer down. It's not with me. It's a layer down is the future." And she said, "If you had a magic wand, what would you change about this place? What would you do?" And I'm like, I'm sitting in the CEO's office. I mean, is this a trick question? How do you answer that? What's happening? So I'm looking at her and she says, "No, no, really, you have a magic wand. It's safe, whatever you answer." So I start talking about, well we would have this great culture. I just, I'm describing like we're going to hold hands and sing kumbaya type thing.

Chris: This coming from the person who writes the sappy emails.

Amy: Exactly. But keep in mind, we had to hire over half of our staff literally overnight. So we had a hot mess because we didn't really screen anybody. We just hired. Right? You just, yeah, “you're hired.” So then we're sitting here with this terrible culture because we have the few of us that survived, which we are like, you can't touch us and you took the place of somebody who died.

Chris: Oh my gosh, they can't live up to anything.

Amy: No, no, no. So like I said, very terrible culture. I'm describing how we're going to have this great culture and everything. And she listened to me and she said, "Okay, given your current situation and your current limitations," well I'm not in management, I don't have a budget. That would be my situation. And limitations. "Given your current situation, your current limitations, I want you to make a list of the smallest steps that you can take toward what you just described. And I want you to work on that. That's your action steps." And I left her office like what just happened? I'm not the CEO. I'm in charge of culture, what just happened.

But it was exciting. And I realize now, the reason it was exciting was because what she gave me was hope. Because hope is believing that your future can be better and brighter than your past. And that you actually play a role in making that happen. So what she did was she gave me hope and a pathway toward it. So that was very powerful. And that was a turning point. That would be my clarity and my turning point. Because I started using that little formula on everything. And one day I was sitting at work thinking I'm a rockstar at work, early on.

And I thought why am I such a rockstar at work and my personal life just sucks. So I thought I need to just use some of this little stuff on my own self. So I got out a card and I wrote down, I'd been thinking about it, I wanted to go back to college. I was hiring people with degrees. It embarrassed me that I didn't have one. It was a mistake I felt I'd made. So I wanted to go back to school. And I mean my first step was literally to look up the phone number for LSUS to find out how to get my transcript. And then the next step was to research colleges to find out who will take a 0.50 grade point average.

So that's how small it was. And then fast forward, a few years later, I'm graduating top of the class with my degree. I keep going, I get my MBA and my confidence just exploded. And I thought you know what? And so that's when I really just fully started embracing life. I can do it. I can change my life, I can do these things. And there were things I wanted to work on like my weight, I weighed 355 pounds. So I started researching what are all the options? I've tried different plans. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. Dieting isn't working for me. What do I need to do? And there was a new bariatric procedure called a gastric sleeve. And so I thought, okay, I'm pulling out the stops here. I don't care. Judge me all you want, I'm living my life and I'm going to do what it takes to take my life back.

Chris: Are you still working at the credit unit this time?

Amy: Yeah.

Chris: So wait, you have a list for the CEO and your first mountain that you decide to climb and use this magic wand is, I'm going to go back to college while you're still working. You graduate at the top of your class and you find another mountain, which is your health.

Amy: And what was kind of cool though is my CEO had actually said something to me about going back to college. She saw potential in me before I saw it myself. And she said, the days are going to be gone where you can get a CEO job without a degree. Because she didn't have degree. She said, "Those days are really gone. You need to think about that in your future." And she knew I'd already been thinking about it. Well I flipped the script on her and when I decided to go back, I said, "I am going to go back and you ought to go with me because you don't have a degree. So you got to go back with me."

Chris: No way.

Amy: And she went and we graduated together.

Chris: She did, too?

Amy: Yes. Yes.

Chris: Oh my gosh.

Amy: So we both went back to school. We both got our degree in organizational leadership.

Chris: That is incredible.

Amy: I crack up at that and all the time she's like, I can't believe you made me go back to school.

Chris: She's like, How? I have to listen to my own advice. Yeah, wow.

Amy: So anyway, then I decided to tackle the weight. And they had warned me that a surgery was not a quick fix. It's not the magic pill. If you don't change your life, you're really going to gain the weight back. So the doctor actually made me promise that I was going to change my life and I was going to get physically fit. And of course I promised whatever because I wanted it but I didn't really do it. So I would go for my checkups and he would ask me if I was exercising and I'd go, yeah, I'm walking because you have to walk from the parking lot to the office.

Chris: I walk the stairs, sort of.

Amy: I walk, I walk. And so he was right though, after about 75 pounds lost, it stopped and I actually gained a few back. And I'm like, oh crap, I've got to actually change my life. So I had to go to a gym for the first time and that was traumatic. There were mirrors all over that place. And machines. I got on this machine, I know now that it was an elliptical and in five minutes I was dying. So I had to pretend that I didn't know how to work it or something and go to a treadmill because that was bad. But that was the start of a journey. And I ended up, my sister was riding a bicycle and talked me into riding a bicycle. And before I knew it, at first it was in the neighborhood. I just would ride a little bit in the neighborhood and then rode around Lake Hefner. And I'll never forget that because I went to Lake Hefner and there was a trail and there were people on roller blades. I mean there was all these people. It was like a cult or something, fitness people.

Chris: Yeah, they're all riding around.

Amy: I had no idea. I had no idea we had that in Oklahoma City. So I rode all the way around the lake and I'm like, where's my medal? This is amazing. I'm Lance Armstrong. And then I started riding my bike across the State of Oklahoma. So there's a bike ride every year called Oklahoma Free Wheel. And it's a bicycle ride across the state. It takes a week. You go through all the different small towns in Oklahoma. And I've done that for about 12 years. And then there's a marathon we have here, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. And as a survivor, I pass out medals at this marathon and get to watch people at the finish line. Well if you've ever watched a marathon at the finish line, it's very moving, very emotional.

I don't know a thing about running. I just worked at the finish line and I get all emotional seeing people, young and old and with all kinds of disabilities and they're crossing the finish line. So of course I'm thinking, well if they can do it, I can do it. So I tell everybody, You know what? I'm going to run next year in honor of my best friend, Sonya. I'm going to run in honor of her. I talk about 20 of my coworkers into doing it with me. We show up for the very first local land runners run and it's 20 degrees outside. And I'm thinking nobody runs in that you'll die. No, there were 400 cars there and they were all getting out and running. So I got out and ran too. I could literally run for 10 seconds before it sounded like you needed to call 911. And then I would have to walk for about two minutes. I so regretted making that promise.

But anyway. I completed the marathon.

Chris: You completed the marathon.

Amy: Completed the marathon. It was awesome. And then somebody said, if you just learned how to swim, you could do this thing called a triathlon.

Chris: So where are you on the weight journey at this point?

Amy: So by the time I started doing triathlon, I had lost as much weight as I was going to lose. So I was pretty much there. So I was still over weight when I started riding my bike though. Because I remember I had to pick out a bike that I thought the tires would be big enough and not pop.

Yeah. So then I learned to swim about five weeks before my first sprint triathlon, I got a swim coach because I didn't know how to swim and learned how to swim.

Chris: At all?

Amy: I could dog paddle. And so this was an indoor little gym, sprint triathlon. So you had to do a pool swim. So I learned how to swim, but then I was so slow that I was real far back in the line and the guy in front of me dog paddled. So I still had to dog paddle even though I had actually learned how to swim. So then of course I wanted to do a legitimate triathlon in a lake so I could actually swim. So then that went to an Olympic distance. And then when I turned 50, about five years ago, I thought, I'm turning 50. I got to do something badass. We got to level up, right? So that's living life with intention is when you just keep going. I'm not going to be complacent, I'm going to keep leveling up. So I thought there's this thing called an Ironman.

I think I want to do the Ironman at 50. So an Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike ride, finished up by 26.2 marathon all within 17 hours in time cuts along the way. So I went to Arizona because we didn't have one in Oklahoma yet. We do have one in Tulsa now. And I became an official Ironman finisher in Ironman, Arizona.

Chris: Oh man. So are you an Iron woman?

Amy: No, I'm an Ironman.

Chris: An Ironman, Okay. That's amazing. I love that.

Amy: Have the tattoo and all to prove it. Yep.

Chris: Seriously?

Amy: Oh yeah. When you do an Ironman, you have to get a tattoo.

Chris: You got to do it. Wow. So you did one. Have you done multiple since?

Amy: So one Ironman. After my Ironman, I started having knee trouble toward the end of training for my Ironman, not from running. A lot of people assume that it's from running. It's actually from living most of my life being very obese, took a toll on my knees. So I knew that I was a ticking time bomb on my knees. And in fact, 20 months ago I had double knee replacement. So now I'm finally back running again. I just started training for the Oklahoma City half marathon for the spring. I just started. I'm only up to 5K shape right now. So that's kind of where I'm at. So I had to take a break from all of the triathlon stuff and move to hiking, kayaking, some sports that were easier on my knees while I healed up.

Life is short— resist complacency

Chris: Wow. So you conquered going back to school, losing the weight and taking it to another level and finishing an Ironman.

Amy: And then I also decided that life is short and I think you need to intentionally be thinking about your future. So I'm already thinking about what's my next chapter going to be? Because just like you said, your story isn't finished. No, it's not. None of our stories are finished. So we have to think about that and what's my next chapter? And I thought, you know what? I think I want to be an entrepreneur. I think I want to start a side hustle. I think I want to start speaking and you know what? I think I'm going to write a book. So I did that too.

Chris: Yeah, that seems like you're a finisher. So you mentioned the word complacency. Talk to me a little bit about what that means for you.

Amy: So I think, well, for me, I know that I'm complacent when I'm just going through the motions. A lot of times it'll show up as burnout or I just don't get excited about things, maybe hobbies are things that used to be fun. I'm just not. You find yourself just kind of drifting from day to day. That to me, I don't know what the proper definition is, that, to me, is complacency. And I don't like that. Now I also sometimes don't like pushing myself outside my comfort zone either. So growth is sometimes uncomfortable as well. But I like the way it feels when I do push myself versus when I'm just drifting day after day, being complacent.

Chris: What are some of the things that you, because you've talked to a lot of people about your story, you and others, how do you see some of this happen in your life and how do you become awake to that being your state?

Amy: So I think you have to check in with yourself, an honest assessment. Not to beat yourself up and not tell lies to yourself, either. Honest, whatever that is. Sit down with a cup of coffee, maybe it's a cup of wine. I don't know what it is. But you have to really ask yourself some hard questions. How am I living my life? There's a book called The Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware, I think is her name. Anyway, she was a hospice nurse who interviewed her patients that were dying. And the number one regret of the dying is not living a life true to yourself.

So you can be running around doing all kinds of things, doing things for other people and still not be living your life true to yourself. So I think it's not just about being busy, but it's about really checking in, am I really living my life the way I want to? Am I really becoming the best version of myself? And that's where that question I ask, myself on the regular, if I had a magic wand, what kind of person would I be becoming? What would my life look like? What am I moving toward?

Small steps lead to big transformations

And then I look at my day, what am I doing today? And that's where you have to break it down so small. Because I think we have a tendency to like, Okay, I'm going to lose weight, so tomorrow I'm going to go the gym for an hour and I'm going to do crazy stuff. Whereas instead, it should be so tiny. I'm gonna swap out my sugar drinks for non sugar drinks. Or start out so simple because small steps over time lead to amazing transformation. I mean, we know that.

Chris: That's where the momentum comes from.

Amy: It absolutely is. It's just, at first it's so small you don't see it and then all of a sudden it's like, wow, you've got momentum.

Chris: Yeah. I want to break this down a little bit because being able to recognize that you're in a complacent state or you're stagnant, you're stuck, all of the different ways that you might be able to describe that. It really comes down to a mindset shift for you to be able to be awake, to go, this isn't me. I'm not living up to my potential. I'm not who I am. And then there's taking responsibility for your condition. Those two things, for those things to happen, that is a mindset shift. What was sort of the awakening moment? What were some of the things that you realized where you were, some of the things that sort of jostled you awake?

Amy: Well, when Lynette asked me that question, "Given your current situation, your current limitations, what is one thing you can do?" It took away the victimhood. I couldn't be a victim.

Chris: She put the power in your hands.

Amy: She put the power in my hands. And so many times I think we do kind of fall into wanting to be a victim. For example, well, I don't really like this job. This really isn't job I want to do, I'm not really good at it. So you're like a victim to like, “Oh, it's the only job I could get. I'm just here.” That's being a victim. A lot of times we do that.

Chris: And you could have played that card. You were in a bombing. You know what I mean?

Amy: And a lot of times in life we are. There are seasons where we legitimately are victims. But at some point there comes a point you, you're a victim, but at some point you have to take responsibility for what happened to you. And that's terrible. That's just a gross statement right there. But it's true. You have to take responsibility for what happened to you, even when it wasn't your fault or you're not going to move forward. So I'm not sure what exactly as far as the defining moment, I still think it was making it out alive. And I just kept remembering that all through my life I remember that, you have a second chance. And so now it's just part of my nature. It's just part of what I do.

I do slip into complacency sometimes and I do go, okay, I think I'm in the bad spot. I think I'm in a bad spot. I need to do something. And for me, it may look like if I'm getting bored with my day to day job, the actions, then it's like, okay, let's look at your job. What can you switch up? What are you not that great at that somebody else is better at? And what can you take from somebody else that you may be better at? Maybe it's time to switch things up. Within your power, there's always something you can do. There was a season where there were some things I didn't like at work, but I loved my coworkers. So I tried to look for ways to serve them. How can I serve my coworkers better? And maybe we start going to lunch once a week together. Sometimes it's not even about the actual work, it's about the work environment or something. And so there's always something you can do. There's always something you can do.

Chris: It's really powerful though. A couple of themes I'm picking up on is any great story, has, you've got your normal, you have a disruption or an explosion, and then there's a new normal. And there's these things that happen to people and you can either grab onto it and make it a part of who you are or you can make it the thing that has stood against you that you can never change. And I think one of the things that I'm seeing with you is this idea of some of your most powerful moments happened at work. You had a massive awakening with the bombing. And then in the recovery of that and the rebuilding, all of that kind of stuff, you had somebody invite you to change. And that happened at work. And your coworkers are a big part of a family model for you and things like that. Why do you think that is? Why do you think that's a big part of your story?

Amy: I really don't know. Maybe because…I really don't know. I haven't ever thought about it. I've worked at the credit union for 34 years. Or is it 35 now? Anyway, that's a long time. So the odds are that I'm at the same place all these years, that maybe I really don't know.

Chris: That's amazing. It really has to be a part of, I mean, it probably has to just be a part of your purpose. You know what I mean? Because at the end of the day, we do spend so much time with these people at work and we can make these people special or we can make them-

Amy: We can make them villains. If you don't like somebody, oh, you just can put all kinds of things.

Chris: Yeah, it's amazing. That's amazing. So it is 35 years at the same credit union. So talk to me about some of what you're doing today and some of the maybe transformations that you've been a part of. How did you get into the position that you're in today?

Amy: I have to tell you this. I just got to tell you the story. So I told you that my life was in a tailspin when I was 20. And I come to Oklahoma City for this second chance and I'm going to go interview to be a teller at this credit union. So I go in for the job interview, I'm interviewing with the vice president of operations and the CEO walks in and she's a woman, which I'm just really shocked at this point. Because back then to see all women in management, I didn't see that all the time. But she says during the interview she says to the person interviewing me, this is the CEO, she says, "Oh, is this the girl for the teller position?" She says, Yeah. And so she looks at me and she says, "When's your birthday?" That's back when you could ask that. And I said, "March 31st." And she goes, "Oh, you're an Aries." And she looks at the person, I'm not making this up, looks at the person, interview me and says, "We need another Aries. You need to hire her."

Chris: No way.

Amy: I'm not even. I'm glad because if they would ask about my grade point average, the 0.50.

Chris: You're like, I'll bank on the Aries thing,.

Amy: We're going to go with Aries. It was Aries for the win. So that is my qualification. That is how I became CEO is Aries. No, just kidding.

Amy: So along the way, Lynette, this mentor, the same mentor that I had, just really kept seeing potential in me and kept pushing me, like going back to school, taking some very specific industry courses over the years and just working in different areas. I always liked doing different jobs. So I would take on different things. Instead of saying, well, you don't pay me enough to do that or, well, that's somebody else's job I would just do it and learn to do it. And then before you knew it, I'm doing all these different things and it only helped me.

So then when our CEO was starting to retire, she had mentored me, she'd prepared me for it. Now it wasn't her job to choose the next CEO, the board did. So a couple of years before she retired, with her permission, I asked to meet with our board and I told them that I wanted to prepare myself to be the best candidate that I could be, understanding they choose, they may go outside, but respectfully that I wanted to do everything I could to become the best candidate. And I asked if they would be willing to, I don't remember which test it was, but it was one of those assessments, if they would answer some questions to help give me feedback, to help me prepare. And so I just started working very hard to take on more responsibility and put myself out there.

Chris: So you're offering to help all along the way. You humbly sort of say, I'd like feedback on how to be the best candidate. And how long have you been in the position?

Amy: Five years.

Chris: That's amazing.

Amy: Although I feel like we should call it 10 because COVID years are in there.

Chris: Okay. That's probably true. Oh my goodness. So what was that process like? So you appealed for your candidacy and what happened?

Amy: So then shortly before she retired, the board called me in and kind of had a Cinderella moment. They were all around the table and they said, I mean there really wasn't even an interview. I mean I've worked there 35 years. They kind of knew everything, good and bad. So they said, "We've chosen you. You're the next CEO." And that was just really cool to be able to step into that role. Because my credit union is very personal to me. So that was super cool.

Chris: That reminds me of the Pursuit of Happiness, that Will Smith movie when they said, "Hey, we want you to come back tomorrow. Your internship's over tomorrow, you start with us." Yeah. Yeah. That is pretty amazing. How many people from those original few survivors, how many are still left?

Amy: We're dwindling. One just retired. One. Wow. I think we just have one left.

Chris: And how many branches?

Amy: So we have three large branches and we have one that we rent space out of.

Chris: Okay. That's amazing. Yeah. Well what part of a legacy have you kept? What are some of the new installations that you've maybe put in to that business and into that credit union?

Amy: Well, I've certainly kept, the one thing that stands true from the very beginning is our focus on service. Just this hyper focus on service. And we haven't, no matter what initiatives, no matter whatever, it's always about the member experience, wanting to make sure that we're doing everything we can to help our members. So the philosophy of credit unions in general, no matter what credit union is out there, is people helping people. That's our philosophy. And so it's all about that, helping people. The thing that I've done different was forced upon me, probably. And it was during COVID because I had a moment where, on March 13, I had to make a decision, being a small institution, was I going to be brave enough to say I'm sending all my employees home with laptops and we're going to figure it out.

That's what I did. And I was scared because I thought, what if the board thinks this is a bad idea? What if our members get mad? How do we do this? So we shut everything down. We said we'll operate out of the drive through and we will do everything. We rolled out video banking, we rolled out all these initiatives that normally you would've gone through a process and it was just like, no, boom, boom, boom. Do it now. Do it. And we literally just figured it out.

Chris: That is so amazing.

Amy: So a lot of what we put in place really came about fast and we did have growing pains from it too. And we did an online banking conversion and then we did a core system conversion, which if anybody knows what that is, that's holy cow. And we just finished the core conversion just this past year. So we've done some major, major work over the past few years.

Chris: So you've done some massive upgrades.

Amy: Massive technology upgrades. So I would say the investment in technology has probably been the biggest change of what has happened since I've been there, has happened over just the past few years.

Chris: Has there been anybody who knew pre Amy Downs CEO to post Amy Downs or during Amy Downs that they're like this is what's really different and this is what I see, the mark that you're making?

Amy: I haven't had anybody say that. The person that's probably really had the front row seat to my professional development was my boss who retired and I stay in touch with her. I really admire her. And I did have, there was a friend of mine that I'd been friends with for years and years, around a newer friend of mine. And the newer friend said, I just want to know, you knew Amy back when she was like 355 pounds and everything, back before the bombing, before she became this crazy person. What was she really like? And my friend looked at her and she got really emotional and her eyes hold up with tears. And she said, "She's actually the same Amy, she's just on fire. She's the same Amy." And I thought that was interesting. Because I feel like I'm almost two different people. But yeah, she said she felt like I was the same, just on fire.

Chris: That's amazing. I've had a similar feeling before where it's like your heart's on fire. There's something that's driving you that has been there before and it's a familiar feeling, but there's a new spark to it. There's a new fire to it, there's a new sensitivity to things. There's a new awakening that you sort of feel and see. So it's like for you, I feel like I'm two different people and then the other person's like, no, I've seen that spark in you for a long time.

Amy: And for the person that could be listening that doesn't have that spark, that's a sign too that you might be hitting a rut. And that's a sign where you need to sit back and have that, what if I had a magic wand? What if I had a magic wand? What would I do? What would life look like? And you would be surprised when you back into that. I did something super, super crazy because I got depressed after the double knee replacement and COVID and everything. And my husband said to me, you need to get out the magic wand.

Chris: You need to pull that thing back out.

Amy: He used that on me. Ticked me off. And then I thought “He's right.” So I did something kind of weird. I'm not advocating gambling so y'all can edit this out. I'm not advocating gambling, but I had this-

Chris: Totally keeping this in.

Amy: No, I was like the Willy Wonka scene where maybe he has the golden ticket? I don't even buy lottery tickets. So I text my husband, hey will you figure out how to buy lottery tickets and buy two lottery tickets and bring them home? He didn't even know where to go. He had to ask people at work. So he brings these two tickets home and I'm like, I'm doing this for a reason. Because I was so depressed that I couldn't dream. I couldn't even answer that magic wand question. So I thought I had a lottery ticket, even though I know there's no way you're going to win it, like 0.01% of your brain that thinks “But what if I've got the golden ticket?” So I start writing down in my journal everything I would do if I won. And it's the same thing you probably would put down, it's pay off the bills and take the family on a vacation. All the things.

And then I'm like, okay, fast forward a year, you're still rich. How has your life changed? How are things different? So I'm like, okay, I'm going to retire from work and I'm going to have a house maybe in the mountains somewhere on a bike trail so I can ride my bike whenever I want. I got all into it. I was like, there's going to be little twinkle lights, I'm describing it. And I got tickled because then the next step is given your current situation and your current limitations, well I didn't win the lottery. What are the smallest steps you can take? Well we love to ride our bikes in the wildlife refuge near Medicine Park in Oklahoma.

So I jokingly said maybe we need to see if they have any lots for sale out there. We went out there riding our bikes that weekend and sure enough, there was a new little street we'd never seen before called New Hope Lane. And I thought, I think we're going to buy a lot and just see what happens one day. Just see what happens. And I tell my sisters about it and find out my nephew owns a lot on that street and actually wants to sell it. I end up buying the lot and just this week bought a used RV that is near there till we can build a house out there.

Chris: That's so awesome.

Amy: But it's that kind of thing. That wasn't even on radar till I forced myself to really think about what do I really want? And I had to go extreme and get a lottery ticket to dream it. But once I dreamed it, because I always say if you're in Medicine Park and you squint, it looks like Colorado. I mean, you have to really squint. So I can go hiking, I can do all the things. It's not Colorado, but hey, given my current situation and my limitations, it's the next best thing.

Chris: See, that's powerful. What's striking me as you're saying that is what you did is you found a way to jar yourself to get back into this thing. And you imagined a different future with the magic wand and then you began to pull things out of the future you saw and you brought them into your today. That's what you did.

Amy: That is exactly it.

Chris: And so you're like, bikes is a part of my future. This place is a part of my future. And you started taking them out of your future and bringing them into your today. That is powerful. I think the thing that's really wild about that is I don't think that if you're in a rut, there's a hopeless feeling. That victim thing that you were talking about, that sort of hopelessness or it's not for me or that's not my story or whatever, somehow if you start thinking forward like that, and if you can jar yourself, it's simpler than anybody thinks you can pluck those things out of your imagination and bring them to your present.

Amy: It absolutely is. The authors of the book Hope Rising, which they actually are Oklahoma authors, they basically line out that hope is this idea that it's a better and brighter future and that you play a role. And so what they say is hope is very simply having a goal, a pathway, an agency over that to reach that goal. That's really all it is. And so if you think about it, whenever you're feeling super hopeless, it's when you don't have a path. You either don't know where you're going or you don't feel that you have agency or a pathway to get to where you want to go, that's when you start feeling that hopeless feeling.

Chris: So step one is, what would you do if you had a magic wand?

Amy: What would you do? What would that life look like?

Chris: What would that life look like? And what's step two?

Amy: Given your current situation and in your current limitations, what are the smallest steps that you can take now to get that momentum going? What are the smallest steps that you can take? And then what I do, how that looks for me is I actually make, I do this quarterly. So I quarterly sit down. And so then I make quarterly plans of like, okay, here's where I'm going toward. And then I check in every day with myself to see, I just kind of look at it, just glance at it, glance at my little list, what am I doing? Because I think our brains work sometimes a little bit like an app, it just kind of runs in the background. So once you identify the thing you want, you start figuring it out. Your brain starts working over time to figure it out. So if you just keep reminding yourself of it and looking at it, a lot happened just by doing that.

Achievement is possible when you're true to yourself

Chris: That's amazing. And I think that the other thing that you've said is that there's the discipline to walk it out and the discipline to revisit it. But focusing on those daily efforts, those things you can do every day towards that thing. That's really powerful. I think one of the things, the hope is a big part of it and then the discipline is a big part of it. And I think a lot of people think like, oh man, well I don't know if I have a lot of hope, but if they could figure that out, it's like, well maybe I don't have a lot of discipline, so maybe this isn't for me.

One of my favorite definitions of discipline came from this book called The Road Less Traveled and have you read it? Oh my gosh. It's like acceptance of responsibility, dedication to the truth, balancing. These things are so remarkable as it relates to being able to commit to change, to arrest it, to see it, and to actually walk it out and see just how easy it is to take those small steps. But you got to decide it isn't one decision. It's like every day, I'm making the decision. That's amazing.

Amy: But if it's something you're excited about, so living a life true to yourself, then you're more likely to have that discipline. It's like when you try to have discipline about something somebody else wants you to do and you really don't want to do it, that's really hard. But if it's something that sparks excitement for you, then you lean in a little bit more to doing the hard part of the discipline part.

Chris: That's so good. Well, what do you think holds people back? What gets in the way?

Amy: Themselves and the head. Sometimes it's your mind. I think when you look in the mirror, that's your worst enemy. Sometimes it's the thoughts and the things you tell yourself and not taking the time to really have that thoughtful assessment and really ask yourself what you want and have the ability to care enough about yourself, believe enough in yourself to chase whatever that thing is. Maybe you've been put down so many times or failed so many times that you're giving up on yourself and that's where you need to just listen to some positivity. Change what you're listening to. Put on some good music, put on some good podcasts, something. Jar yourself, like you said, jar yourself.

Chris: Yeah. That's so good. What are you dreaming of now? What's the next thing? What's the next thing for you? What are you imagining?

Amy: So my next thing is I am thinking about my next phase and hope to retire in about four and a half years. And I want to kick that off by riding my bicycle across the United States. And then I will lean in full time to my speaking career and there might be another book.

Chris: Unbelievable. What would you say, if you had to describe your purpose? What would you say your purpose is?

Amy: So somebody asked me this not very long ago. They were like, what would your purpose be? Describe it, draw it. I'm like, draw it? And the first thing that popped into my mind was an alarm clock. I think I'm an alarm clock for people. I just want to be that alarm clock to remind you. Because really anything I have to say is not anything we don't know already, but sometimes you need to look across at somebody, just somebody who's lived it out or they've seen it or whatever, just be that alarm clock to wake somebody up.

Chris: That's powerful. I think if there's anything that has touched my life is when people took the time to help me wake up.

Amy: Me too.

Chris: And I think mentors do that. I think that real friends do that. And the compassion and kindness to do that, I think, is more valuable than anybody really knows, to help you wake up. That's really powerful that that's how you see your purpose. Because I would say if people could wake up and see how easy it is, may maybe not necessarily easy or maybe how simple it is to change things, I think we'd have a different world.

Amy: I do too. I do too.

Chris: I think we'd have different businesses. I think we'd have different motivations. I think we'd have a different world. So that's really powerful for you to be that alarm clock for people.

Amy: And just to tell you this, so I told my boss, if had a magic wand, we'd be this great culture and everything. So the last several years we've been one of the best places to work in Oklahoma also right along with Heartland.

Chris: So you imagined that great culture.

Amy: I know. It took a long time, but hey, we got there.

Chris: 30 years to get there and you did it. That's super powerful. Well I have some rapid fire questions for you. I don't think we didn't share these with you, so I have some rapid fire questions. All right. So after people get to hear your story, what's the most common question you get?

Amy: Oh, that's a good one. Actually, what usually happens is they come up to me and they start telling me about the thing they want to do. It's usually not a question. They usually come up and want to talk to me because I made them think about something they wanted to do, 5K or what, something. And so I can't really think of a common question so much as it's usually something they're telling me about themselves.

Chris: That's awesome. That's awesome. Well if someone were to play Amy Downs in a movie, who would it be?

Amy: Brooke Shields.

Chris: Brooke Shields. I love that one.

Amy: Everybody used to say we looked alike because I used to have the big thick eyebrows when I was 13.

Chris: Every was like Brooke Shields. Well, tell us about what is the Oklahoma Standard?

Amy: Oh, the Oklahoma Standard?

Chris: You're like, there was not supposed to be a test.

Amy: There's not supposed to be a test. But actually I want to say something really cheesy and it sounded too cheesy. So I was checking myself, but I was going to say Heartland. You were describing what y'all are

doing for entrepreneurs and how…that you want to be the champion for them and how, like you said and y'all can edit this if I can't say this, but you were saying, how people don't know how much y'all give to the good causes that y'all give and all this stuff that you're doing. And I'm like, that's the Oklahoma Standard. That's it in action, in real life. So I was thinking that and then I stopped myself. Cause I was like, okay, that sounds cheesy.

Chris: I maybe shouldn't say that. No, that's okay. That's a great answer. Great answer. Well, what would be one thing you'd like to say to a first responder if they were sitting with us?

Amy: How grateful I am. How incredibly grateful I am.

Chris: That's good. I figured you'd say something about being thankful. That's super good. So as an author, how do you get past writer's block?

Amy: So, okay, this is a really great question and I have an amazing answer. You hire a ghost writer. Legit, hire a ghost writer.

Chris: You're like, I just need something that says something kind of like this.

Amy: So my ghost writer was my nephew. And this is really kind of funny. So I told him he would have to ride a bike with me though every time we talked. Because I don't have two hours to sit down and just talk to somebody for nothing. Well I don't know, except for you. But anyway. Except for you. Yeah. I would make him go. I would make him ride a bike. I would tell him everything and then he would go type it up before his job the next morning, send it to me and then I could edit. Right. So yeah.

Chris: That's not cheating, right? That's actually a thing.

Amy: I don't think so. So at work, if you're not good at something, the best thing you can do for your company is to find somebody else who's better at that thing. You do the things you're good at, right?

Chris: You're like, “Dude, I'm the one with the story.”

Amy: It's called delegation. It's totally fine.

Chris: I hear you, Amy. I hear you. So is it true that you were once a radio DJ?

Amy: I was.

Chris: Tell us about this. What was that about?

Amy: It was this little bitty radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana with the call letters KFLO. And the tagline was Go With the Flow on KFLO. Oh my gosh. How ridiculous is that? Yeah. And my time slot was like, I think 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM when nobody listened. And I was the only person in the building because it was like a Sunday morning, in this creepy old building in downtown Shreveport.

Chris: You had the radio voice.

Amy: I had the radio voice. Oh, I also had a persona of Mama from Mama's Family and I would impersonate her and do radio commercials.

Chris: This is amazing. Did you ever have people find you and say things to you about it?

Amy: Yeah.

Chris: Oh, that's amazing. All right. You went from unhealthy to completing an Ironman. What was your best kept secret?

Amy: My best kept secret as far as Ironman?

Chris: Yeah. How'd you do it? Any time in between, unhealthy to Ironman, what is your best kept secret?

Amy: Oh, I'm an open book. So there's nothing a secret. Everybody knows everything. Literally I wrote a book.

Chris: Then that's your best kept secret. My best kept secret is I keep no secrets.

Amy: I keep no secrets.

Chris: Oh, that's good.

Amy: People probably wish I would. I'm an oversharer. Sorry.

Chris: That's good. Well what's one thing about Oklahoma City that you'd want everybody to know?

Amy: How amazing the people are. Oh my gosh, this is the best place. It really is. And it's not just that we have amazing people. See, I think we used to say that when we had an ugly downtown, yucky downtown city, we said, oh, but the people are amazing, like it's a consolation prize. No, we have a fricking amazing city. It doesn't look anything like when I first came here. It is totally happening. And the people are great too.

Chris: You know what's been awesome to learn about the city? Because I live in Colorado, but I come here often to Oklahoma City.

Amy: Okay, you need to go to Medicine Park and squint and tell me it looks like Colorado.

Chris: I'll do it. I'll be like, does this look like the front range? The thing that I find really interesting is when you hear the people that talk about the restoration of the city after the bombing, it is amazing the amount of attention, funding, all of the things that flowed into the city that's really transformed this place. It's amazing.

Amy: And it was one step at a time, over time, consistently. And look what we have now.

Chris: Look at it. It's a great place. Yeah. Well who's an entrepreneur that inspires you and why?

Amy: Who's an entrepreneur that inspires me and why? I don't know. I'm having brain block or something.

Chris: There's not a ghost writer right now to tell you which one you've said before?

Amy: Actually, no. I will tell you, actually, my nephew Caleb. Oh yeah. So recently, he didn't want to be complacent and he had a great job and he decided to go out on his own. And I have just been so proud of him, watching him just doing it. Just doing it.

Chris: What is he doing it?

Amy: And he went really thoughtfully into it because he wanted to do it right. So he's an attorney and he also just created, this part he makes no money off of, it's a passion project, but he is just releasing a podcast. In fact, I got to listen to the trailer last night and it's really cool, really interesting. And I don't know I just think he's got it going on.

Chris: That's awesome. Well good. Well, when you get up and leave from this conversation, what's the first thing you're going to do?

Amy: I'm going to go find Lance Hafner if he's here and say hi.

Chris: Good one. That is so awesome. He's such a great one. We love having him.

Amy: He is a mentor to me actually. And that's something that's important. You can have a mentor that's younger than you. You can.

Chris: That's amazing. He's great people. We got a lot of great people around here.

Amy: Yes you do.

Chris: Well hey, I have to say it was super special to sit down and talk with you, for you to share the way that you did and share your story. And it just means a lot for you to come and be in the studio with us.

Amy: Well, it was an honor. Thank you.

Chris: Yeah, thank you so much.

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