Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 22: Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with disrupters and high performers in all walks of life. In episode 22, we spoke with Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, national radio sports talk show co-host and former competitive swimmer. Van Dyken-Rouen won a total of six Olympic gold medals in her career, four of which she nabbed at the 1996 Summer Olympics, making her the first American woman to accomplish such a feat. She was also the winningest athlete at that summer’s Games.

In 2014, the former Olympic swimmer suffered an ATV accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Listen to the full episode above (scroll down for the transcript) and see more from this series below.

This interview has not been edited for length or clarity.


Mike Sarraille:

Welcome to the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast. I’ve got Amy Van Dyken-Rouen here. That is a long ass name, man.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It’s stupid. I don’t hyphenate it. I’ve never hyphenated it ever. So I was always go by Amy Van Dyken when I’m working or swimming. And then Amy ruined like when I have to call and get a prescription or call and get a reservation. Well, all of a sudden I go and I get this accident. I’m mean I see you right after major surgery, I look up and the Today Show has hyphenated me. And now it’s a thing

Mike Sarraille:
I, once, once it’s in, in the media, you’re done. You’re you’re least you didn’t change your name.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, that’s true

Mike Sarraille:
Because there’s, there’s SEALs that get out that were like, oh, you know, John DOE and now their name is something else out in the public. Do

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
They really do that?

Mike Sarraille:
Oh yeah. All the time. All the time.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Why do they do that?

Mike Sarraille:
I I’ll refrain from, uh, some comments. Okay. Okay. Which people can probably figure it out, but for, for the crowd, I’m gonna give an overview here. So Amy is a six time gold medalist Olympic swimmer for the United States. I, so I’m calling you a national treasure, don’t know over the next two days, ‘cus what people don’t know is you’re gonna see the footage before this podcast comes out. But we are, we are skydiving Amy in tomorrow. Yep. We have a special pair of, uh, pants that we’re gonna put you in. Okay. Uh, Nick Kush, who is a dear brother and I can actually say with confidence has saved my life and the life of many SEALs from his expertise and his confidence yeah. Is gonna be jumping you in. I would love to do it. But when it came to you, we wanted to make sure that we were mitigating risks to the lowest level. And, and he is so good at what he does. He, he would never say it, but he’s one of the foremost tandem mm-hmm <affirmative> and bundle experts in the world. He trains our elite military in both those competencies and people don’t know what bundle.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. I was gonna ask…

Mike Sarraille:
Bundle jumping is basically… imagine a circular vessel where we put gear in it. Okay. Sometimes they can jump up to 800 pounds, but imagine a bunch of SEALs are jumping in. And they need chainsaws and you know, torches and maybe they wanna put some machine guns in there or other equipment. Uh, one individual would jump that in. It’s a very complex mission. Wow. And he is he’s dedicated his life to it. He’s uh, he’s awesome. And he has this huge beard.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I am so excited. I like a good burly man.

Mike Sarraille:
We, we, we, so we are gonna have fun tomorrow and I know there may be some media on the, uh, the drop zone we’re here in Denver. Uh, so one, you get a, is this the first time you’ve skydived?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. I’ve been deathly afraid until my accident to skydive because I’m deathly. I was deathly afraid of the fear of falling from heights. So in anytime I got near anything high, I would freak out. Well, it’s really weird because all of a sudden we start talking and I’m like, yeah, why don’t we skydive? My husband, Tom is like, what are you doing? I’m like, I just don’t have that fear anymore. And I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve already faced death. I’ve done it. Been there, done that have the T-shirt all the things. And maybe it’s not that big of a deal. So I’m okay.

Mike Sarraille:
I’m wondering if you will become slightly addicted tomorrow.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I kind of wonder because you know, hearing from people, Mike, like that have jumped, they have said it’s kind of a peaceful calm after a certain point. And I used to be able to go under the water of a swimming pool and lay on my back and look up and just have like that peaceful, quiet. And I haven’t had that in eight years. So I’m hoping that this will do it. And I think I might become addicted cuz it sounds amazing.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, I’m, I’m gonna ask Nick to do a few things. So this is what skydiving has become for me. So I’m, I’m not the guy who’s doing the, the cool things in there. Okay. I mean I’m one hip replacement deep, um, skydiving is extremely spiritual for me. Okay. So I’m gonna ask him to do a high opening and I want him cuz so on your first times, free falling, a pink elephant could fly by you and you wouldn’t even see it because you’re, you’re like sensory overload and right. So it’ll takes a few times to totally be perceptive of what’s going on when you’re in free fall. Okay. So I want him to open high for a reason so that you guys get situated. Yeah. And there’s some things he has to do procedures for the tandem. Okay. Um, but I want him to, to, you know, talk to you and say, Hey, okay, Hey, we’re at 7,000 feet.

Mike Sarraille:
Yep. I want you just to look around and look at the terrain. I want you, if, if this is the time yeah. Yell and get it all out, you know, if you’re cursing and saying, screw you. Right. Um, or just, you know, Woohoo, Uhhuh. Cause he does look at the terrain tomorrow. Okay. And just breathe. Okay. Breathe and just feel the air and, and hopefully it’s a spiritual, uh, experience for you as well. Yeah. I’m excited. But for the audience, as we’re doing this, we’re, we’re here at Amy’s home and we’ve got Tom Roan, uh Amy’s husband. Who’s a Denver Bronco. How many years in the NFL? 13. 13. And then we got Jeff Campbell, uh, also NFL, how many years? Five, five. And, and then will, and, and Jeff’s uh, girlfriend. Um, so they may have the peanut gallery. Me. They make some comments in the background. We’ll repeat it. <laugh> right. But so Amy let’s, let’s dive in because I, you know, I, I gotta, I may piss some people off of this comment. You were like the, the Michael Phelps before Michael Phelps was Michael Phelps

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
OHS. I tell him that all the time

Mike Sarraille:
You basically laid the foundation for him to

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’ve told him this. Yeah. Also funny story, Michael Phelps would not be Michael Phelps without Amy Van Dyken. Let me tell you the reason. So he’s 15 years old at his first Olympics. It’s my last Olympics. So I’m coming off of this becoming the first American woman to win four goals in one Games. So he was following me around Amy, do I put my swimsuit on Amy? Do I need to warm up Amy? Do I need to warm down? So you’re welcome for Michael Phelps wearing a swimsuit and knowing when to warm up and warm down. There we go. So yeah, but what I did was the female version of what he did. Yes. Right. So it was pretty cool. It’s pretty cool. And he’s a dear friend and I think that’s pretty cool. That we’re friendly.

Mike Sarraille:
Were you, were you proud when he came out? Uh, regarding the mental health?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, oh, I was like, I haven’t read that. I’m so sorry.

Mike Sarraille:
Geez. Oh no, no, no. Did you didn’t come out the closet? I did. I’m like Michael Phelps. My

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Smart

Mike Sarraille:
Saying. And I’m like heterosexual. He’s not. Yeah. We’re saying that. And even if he did, we’d be wildly proud of him.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, absolutely. I mean, but still then you go, Nicole, I haven’t read anything today. What’s gonna happen with the kids. Are they divorcing what is happening? I got scared all in that moment. But coming out with the mental health, there we go. It’s a different story. Yeah. Yeah. I was so proud of him. I was so proud of him for doing that because the thing is, and what he said was so true. And I don’t know if you feel like this from your military background, but like you start to feel like a commodity. You start to feel like you’re not a human being. Like you are there for one purpose and they will take care of you and baby you and make sure you have all the things. And then all of a sudden, the day you retire Amy who, right. So I was very proud of him for doing that because what he did for swimming and for sport

Mike Sarraille:
And Simone, I think he PA paved the way for Simone to do what she

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Did she did and what she did was great. And I know that people can have all their things, whatever, but if you’re a gymnast

Mike Sarraille:
And are, are you talking about the criticism of her? Correct. Hey, you know, what, what I often say to people is kiss my rebel ass.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
Kiss my rebel ass. Right. You know, the amount of judgment out there. Right. If you’re not operating or performing at that level, just,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Just sit down and shut up. Yeah. Yeah. Because you don’t know like she’s on the world stage and she got the twisties. Right. Which for anyone who does any sort of flip, she can’t tell what’s up, down right left. She could have really hurt herself. So for her to actually pull out when other athletes would’ve gone on, i.e. Kerri Strug broke her ankle and continued on. I’m glad she stopped because gymnastics has also been one of those sports that has been so, um, driven by you will do this and you, you must, and it almost like brain washes them. I don’t wanna say that really, but because not really, but almost like we’re work, work, work, work, work. And you’re not really a human again, you’re a commodity,

Mike Sarraille:
But, but Olympic swimming is no different,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No Olympic swimming’s no different. You’re right. I shouldn’t just say gymnastic. Yeah. I think every sport kind of has that a little bit. Right. Cuz you kind of have to, you have to get in that mindset, that pain is good. You love pain. Like otherwise, why are you training eight hours a day? Like, you know, why are your fingertips purple or, or pruny, you know,

Mike Sarraille:
Do, could you imagine, like I go to the gym for maybe an hour and a half, two hours. Maybe I’ll get, uh, double days in. Yeah. But it won’t be beyond two, two and a half hours. Right? Yeah. I know we got the camera guy will just will. Hey, ask for permission. This is Amy van dyin. You

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Couldn’t hear me. I’m so sorry. Sorry.

Mike Sarraille:
Shut. Sorry. I think you wants you to lean a little closer to, to the mic stop. I apologize for my staff. They’re very

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Disrespectful. No, they they’re fantastic. They’re fantastic. And apparently you all have to have the same haircut, which is really cute.

Mike Sarraille:
No. So let me tell you the story. Yeah. Like I’ve had a shaved head. I’ve had a shaved head for a while. Okay. And will is, you know, I own the company. Yep. You use an employee, but he’s like a little brother. Yeah. And I think he’s like three year mark. We all come in and will, has shaved his head and he’s had hair for longest time and everyone’s like hazy. Is he trying to be like Mike? Or is it like, I

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Mean, we,

Mike Sarraille:
Everyone came forward. They’re like, this is a little weird. Do I need to like, I mean, do I need to move?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’m not gonna say weird things about this, but he also has the scruffle on the face also has the tattoo on the inner bicep. I’m not gonna say that it’s like single

Mike Sarraille:
White female. Yes. But it kind, that’s what my wife said. She’s like, Hey, do we have, do we have an issue here?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
So I think you may need to put a restraining order or something in place. I’m not sure just for when it’s done. No, Will’s awesome. He’s perfect.

Mike Sarraille:
So, um, well we, we’re gonna get to that level of performance. Let’s let’s back up cuz you know, I, I say the same thing to all my yes. You perform at a, a national level. You, you, you are a, a celebrity at the national and international level, but nobody ever knows your background, right? No, no one ever, uh, understands all the struggles it took to get where you, you, you, you got, so you’re born in Colorado, correct. Which is one of the most beautiful states. It is

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It’s

Mike Sarraille:
Gorgeous. Ingle,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Inglewood, Inglewood. Yep. Inglewood, Colorado. I was the first of four children. And so I was like the pride and joy and uh, you know, I was a normal kid, but all of a sudden at 18 months old, my mom looked in the back seat. Cause you know, we had front facing car seats back then. And she, do you remember

Mike Sarraille:
That? Are you talking about the old station wagons? Oh yeah, yeah. Yes. Oh

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. That’s with the Woody on the back and yeah, everyone’s facing for, so she’d look back and I was like turning blue, not breathing. So she brings me

Mike Sarraille:
18 months old,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
18 months old. So rushes me to the hospital. And within the next probably, I don’t know, two or three months I was in and out of hospitals and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, pneumonia or bronchitis. It just kept coming up. So there’s a hospital here in Colorado called national Jewish and it’s um, respiratory health. Yes. So my mom was like, I’m just gonna bring her there, got me in. And the doctors did all the tests and came out and said, you know, we’ve never done this with a child this young, but your daughter’s got severe asthma and not just severe asthma, but all three types. And she’s severe in all three types. And so we may wanna, you know, keep her inside, make it very sterile and serene.

Mike Sarraille:
Um, this is, I I’m forgetting the movie where they put the, in

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
The

Mike Sarraille:
Man in the bubble man in the bubble. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That’s what there was conversation. Right. Which was very weird back in the seventies. Oh no, but you can Google it. Um, so it was very weird, but growing up, my mom was like, I’m not gonna do that to her, but we won’t have a dog or a cat and we won’t have her spend the night at friend’s houses. We’ll have them I’ll come over here. So I didn’t really know. I mean, I knew I was missing school a lot, you know, with the asthma and in and outta hospitals. And at the same time I had a brother who had a brain tumor who was three, you know, he was two years younger, almost two years younger than me. And he ended up passing away five days, five days after my fifth birthday. So yeah. So there was a lot going on and I feel bad for mom cuz in the hospital, she’s running to see me running to see him. So yeah, it was a lot as a kid. We,

Mike Sarraille:
You see, you know, sorry

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I talk fast.

Mike Sarraille:
No, no, no, no, but let’s break that down. Okay. Let’s unpack at five. Could you process that?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No. So what ended up happening was my brother at one point, um, sat up and he was in a coma and he sat up and he looked at the end of the bed and he started talking to someone and you know, I didn’t see anybody. So of course I’m like man, whatever. And he’s like, no, no, no, mommy, it’s the tooth fair. The tooth fairies here. And he, I distinctly remember him saying no tooth fairy. I don’t want to go yet. So that was weird as a kid, right. Mom still reminds me of that. But the day he passed, my parents left me at home. Didn’t ring me to the hospital and they came home and my mom said, Amy, I have to tell you, but Donny died. And I started laughing and my mom’s like, Amy, what is wrong? I go, mom, your silly, only old people die.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
So then after that I get this imaginary friend named Julie, who was just a hellion. She got in a lot of trouble. She did a lot of bad things that Julie girl. But yeah. So I think that’s how I processed it. Right. Was having another best friend, albeit imaginary. So I don’t know if there’s some shrinks out there, let’s unpack that and see what’s going on inside <laugh> but it was very, you know, it was hard and I don’t remember a lot of that time. Um, I remember probably two years after, and I remember before he was born,

Mike Sarraille:
Did you still take time to reflect on that or, or no? No,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I don’t. No, I don’t. It’s hard. Like today I met a dog who had the same name as my brother and I was like, Ooh, that’s weird. Right? Yeah. Names, their dog Donny.

Mike Sarraille:
Don’t do that. It’s a weird name. Yes. He’s it’s odd when you give dogs. Uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Although my dog’s name is Dylan, but he is named after a lake. <laugh> okay.

Mike Sarraille:
My, my, my name is uh, or my dog’s name is uh Banin. Oh, and he bites people. You actually, yeah, we got Jeff. He came to the wedding. I don’t know if you ever saw that. Did you, did you did. Yes. And they cleared the crowd real quick. He did. No, I’m joking. Uh, he’s a Dutch shepherd. Yes. Which with a Melan wa yes. Yes. So in, in the military and in police forces, they use really two main breeds. The Dutch shepherds in the, uh, the Belgian melon was, and he is sweet with the family. But if you come to the front door and you’re a stranger, uh, even will, he’s like, yeah, I don’t wanna come into the house.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Even you and you are Mike part, duh <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
Many times. Yeah. He comes into the office is a little different, but I mean, we do have a, a young woman. Who’s who’s great. She’s a workhorse. She’s from Brazil. Okay. Uh, naira. Who’s a little, uh, scared of, uh, of B you that’s, that’s a fair assessment. All dogs. Oh really? Okay. You must, yeah. I don’t wanna say it’s a Brazilian thing cuz that’d be wildly.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, yeah, no, I don’t think it, I don’t know that it, I think it’s a Mallin wa thing. Yeah. I mean, I love every dog, but I’ll see one and I’ll, it does take you back for a minute and you’re like, oh,

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh> we, we are dog people. Who was it? Well, Dave Batista, uh, has saved a lot of dogs. He, he, yeah. He’s he’s he’s also been a big dog advocate. Dogs are a better judge of character than most human beings.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Amen. Yeah. Amen. My first dog picked my husband. Did you? Right?

Mike Sarraille:
I don’t know if that’s the criteria Amy. That I would utilize to marry another human being. Tom, how do you like yeah. What is

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, it

Mike Sarraille:
Was just, what does that entail? Like he sniffed them. No. So like, is this how low your standards are?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No. Well, look at who I married. My standards are very low. Oh, well, no.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’m, you know, I’m kidding. <laugh> it’s a great thing. So grass great. No, what happened was so I was seeing, can I, are you okay if I say this, I was seeing some baseball guys. Are we okay with that? Okay. I’m a jock. So you can’t call me a jock sniffer. So otherwise you would, but I was dating some baseball guys and they would come over and bring her balls and she would drop them and look at them and like go outside and never come back in. Tom comes over and brings nothing. He’s wearing like biking pants, which first time you meet someone, I don’t,

Mike Sarraille:
You know, when you say biking pants, what?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I mean biking pants

Mike Sarraille:
Like leather chaps. What, what is this? Oh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, that would’ve been better. No, you know the cute little things that the women wear when they, um, spin. I think that was riding. No, you were, but you,

Mike Sarraille:
You just said the thing that women wear so

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That when we go spin class.

Mike Sarraille:
Yes. But so he was wearing women’s pants.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I don’t know if they were women’s pants. They might have been. I’m not listen. I was not into it at that time. So we had just met, but he came over and he was wearing the little biking shirts cuz he was biking and I was like, wow, that’s a confident man. A B. Okay. And then C my dog liked him.

Mike Sarraille:
Okay. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I mean, you, you need to know all the, apparently all the goods when

Mike Sarraille:
You, for the, the public, the public down knows. I thought that was the story. Well, I guess my, my wife had two dogs and they liked me. Good. I did. You know, but there’s, there’s much more there. We’ll unpack that on different story. Let’s do that. Yeah. So I, you know, I did read at six. Yeah. You know, you were going to multiple doctors and finally one doctor said, Hey, and I don’t know if this is like, it’s so similar to the mark, uh, spit story. Cuz mark, um, had, uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Asthma, well, asthma as well. Oh I didn’t know

Mike Sarraille:
That. I think I’m right there. If somebody pulls it up on, uh, mark spits, uh, yeah. Asthma and that’s how he got over it. But he, he basically said, Hey listen. And, and was this a doctor you, you liked that said, oh, looked your mom said, Hey listen, get your daughter in the pool. She’s gonna work through this.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Exactly. Because he was like, we need to exercise your lungs. Right. But at the time I was so weak. There were a lot of nights where my parents had to carry me upstairs because I couldn’t take the stairs. You are

Mike Sarraille:
Kidding me.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No. Oh no. When I swam in the Olympics, my lung capacity was 63% because I couldn’t take the medicine

Mike Sarraille:
Compared to a

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
A hundred percent person. Who’s next to me,

Mike Sarraille:
A, a, a woman of your, of my age group,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
My age, height, weight, all the things, the girls I was swimming against.

Mike Sarraille:
You were at a, so roughly 37% disadvantage,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct? Yeah. So already you’re behind the eight ball. Right. But you know, so I had this my whole life. Yeah. I couldn’t really take the meds to like help me get better once I started swimming. But before that, when the doctor said you should start swimming, dude, I tried out for every, like I tried diving. I’m not coordinated. Tom will tell I’m not coordinated. I,

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. I don’t know the

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Things. No. And that hippy Skippy jumpy thing, right. That they do. Have you seen

Mike Sarraille:
This now? Yes. Yes, yes.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
And I watched to see who’s gonna rip their foot off. Like I don’t even care about the dive. I just wanna make sure everyone’s safe. Like don’t rip your F, but I did that. I did Syncro. Um, and then I tried swim team and I loved swim team, but you know, and I know everyone’s like, yeah, we know the end of the story, but it took me six more years until I was 12 years old until I could finish 25 yards of, of I read that. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
So it was, so when you first got in the pool, what was it like go five meters and then, and stop and stand up.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yep. Hang on the lane line. Yep. All the things gasp for air. I always until holy hell until the day I retired, I always had two inhalers, one at one end of the pool, one at the other end of the pool, just in case I was pulled out several times by the paramedics

Mike Sarraille:
Hypoxic.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Well, cause I, yeah, I was just, my lips were turning blue, but it was a set that I loved. Right. I wanted to compete with the boys and I could do that. And I was just stupid in doing that. But when I was six, you know, for going back to that really quickly, I was there. I was finally for the first time doing things that my friends were doing, you know, we were buying the swimsuits, we were eating the jello. We were doing all the things and it didn’t really matter that I was not a good swimmer to them. Right. And so I kind of felt like, well now I feel like at home and when I finished that first length of the pool, man, you would’ve thought that I was like the next coming of, well, let’s use the name mark Spitz, you know? And, but it was just that everyone was excited to go to lunch.

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh> so <laugh> we, we naturally think, I mean, well Jeff is like five foot five. Oh

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
God.

Mike Sarraille:
On a, sorry, D Robbie here

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
On a good day,

Mike Sarraille:
Tom you’re you’re what?

Speaker 4:
Six, three

Mike Sarraille:
Or four? Six, three or four. But you were also a collegiate level baseball player, correct? Also kicking for the football team at the time or no,

Speaker 4:
I switched over after decided I, I wanted to start playing

Mike Sarraille:
Football in college. Yeah. In college. So I mean, Tom, you look at Tom and you’re like, oh yeah, you guys felt like it. Oh yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, you should have seen him when he had the booty. Oh, let me tell. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh, did he have boots? He was working glutes.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I am an ass legs, man. And so when that guy in those little girly, uh, whatever shorts he was wearing that day, I was like, yes, please. Whatever that is, I will take five. Thank you.

Mike Sarraille:
I remember Jeff telling me a story about, you know, he he’s, he is a little bit of a ladies, man. Yes he is. But he, he said he met some, some gals. What, what? He met some gals in Detroit, out in town on like a Friday. And he said, Hey, would you guys like to go to a football game? Um, I’ve got some tickets to Detroit lions and he he’s he’s like, I just set this up perfectly. He’s like, so I told him to come to this, like whatever, the, the box office or the, the yes. The will call ticket office. Yeah. The we call. Yeah. And he’s like, he had this half cut shirt, which when you see a guy in the half cut shirt and now you’re like, okay, that’s it like a

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Guy biking? Spana shorts.

Mike Sarraille:
It’s the same. So he’s got his, his little, uh, tight, uh, football pants on God. And he comes out and they didn’t realize he was part of the actual Detroit lines. And he’s like, oh, that was the in, after that. But he set it up. Ly the mastery. So the manipulation,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Still be, is a legend in his own mind. I

Mike Sarraille:
Just, before

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We keep going, oh, well, yeah,

Speaker 5:
Five, six. I started at

Mike Sarraille:
6, 4, 5. Jeff is saying he, he started, you know, he’s five, six, but he, he on, on paper started at six, four, um, Uhhuh. So, and, and for the fans, Jeff is the famous, what year was it? The, were you guys beat? Nebraska was the reverse 86, 86, which is a famous play in university of Colorado, Boulder, uh, football. But the point I’m getting to is people naturally think that you guys just have this it’s nature versus nurture, right. That you are born this way. Sure. I mean, cuz you are tall for women.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’m six feet tall,

Mike Sarraille:
Six feet tall.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yep. I’ve got huge hands, huge feet. Be an
Mike Sarraille:

Amazing man. But so you didn’t have to work as hard as the other athletes because you had a physical

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<laugh> I,

Mike Sarraille:
But here’s what I’m I wish. So you had a disability going in. I don’t wanna call it disability. Well, yeah. Yeah. You had this asthma where your lung capacity was not talk to me about how much more did you have to work than the, the, the, the girls even high school around you. Right. Who didn’t make it nearly as far as you did. I mean, so they’re going to practice. Are you doing something beyond that

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
In high school? No. In high school I would just practice in the morning, in the afternoon with the team, but then when it was over, then it was morning and then you go to school and then you lift weights maybe at lunch and then you swim again for another two hours at night. Right. So maybe that was a little extra. I’m not sure. But then of course, once I got out of college and started just full on training that I was definitely doing more than a lot of other people were doing. And you have to also remember when I’m also struggling to breathe, that that’s also a workout. So like if we did a practice that was 7,000 meters, my body felt like it 14, 14.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. To them. Yeah. But you set multiple records. I did in high school. I did. You’re already now at the national level. Yes. You, I mean, you actually brought in the, the, I think your high school championship. Yep. Okay. Yep. So you’re getting looked at mm-hmm <affirmative> does that? I I’ve always wondered. Did you have a different high school experience than let’s say yeah, there was nothing special about me in high school. Nothing. Huh. And, and I’m fine with that. Sure. And I had a great time in high school. Let me, did you don’t get me wrong? Like it was, it was fun if it, you know, didn’t do too well in high school, but parties and, and we had a lot of fun. I mean, San Jose, California was a great place to grow up. Um, were other people were going to parties and everything else did. Did you feel like you had a different high school experience?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I did because I had Saturday morning practice. So I couldn’t go out on Friday because I’ve gotta be at the pool at 6:00 AM and then Saturday night I was so exhausted and I really had to catch up on homework and all of that. I did not do great in high school either. So plus, um, but yeah, I mean, I really didn’t have the full high school experience. I was also, um, what you would consider a nerd. So I was pretty tall, real. So in high school I was racist. I did. You had racist? I did. I had the perm. I had the, the mall bangs

Mike Sarraille:
Perm was so awful. What was your generation thinking? It was just,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
My hair’s still ruined from

Mike Sarraille:
That. I look back at like, my sister was eighties in high school. Yeah. And, and her, her yearbook has a guy leaning on a Ferrari with the, the sweater, you know, intertwine in the short shorts. Yeah. Like it’s just,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
What, where are we think we have no idea what happened back then, but I had it all going on. Plus I was five foot 10. I weighed 125 pounds.

Mike Sarraille:
So you’re, you’re towering over some of the boys.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Exactly. So I always walked hunched over as close as I could to the wall. And I was bullied pretty bad in high school.

Mike Sarraille:
You’re kidding

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Me. No, like, no, like pretty bad. Yeah. Like, um, there were used tampons on my locker. My suits were cut off all the time. Cause we would hang our suits on our locker and lock ’em up. Yeah. So they could dry it. They were cut off almost all the time. There was one time where I went out to my car and there was a, like a paper bag on my hood. And I’m like, what is this? And it says dog shit for dog shit.

Mike Sarraille:
What if, if it brings you any joy, the people that did that yeah. Are probably morbid the obese now.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, one

Mike Sarraille:
Of them was wildly unhappy.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
One of them was my server at Chili’s.

Mike Sarraille:
No kidding. Mm-hmm

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<affirmative> which not that that’s bad. No, but it was just, I, you know, I, I had never, I hadn’t seen her since high school and it was very awkward and all the things and you know, the thing is when kids are picking on other kids, I’m like, you better be careful. Cause like, you don’t know what that kid’s gonna do. You know? You don’t know if that kid’s gonna be a famous actor, a great, you know, like the president you don’t know. So be nice to everybody don’t be a

Mike Sarraille:
Dick. I, so I tell that to my son, there was, there was a, a poem from Tecoma that we used to say when he was little. Um, and uh, I always told him to just be like, it was always like, you stand against bullies. Yeah. You’re kind and respectful to everyone. But I told him, he was like, well, he doesn’t understand this, but there was a guy, um, who went to my high school. Okay. And, uh, he is now his name is bass nectar, which he’s a famous, uh, musician. And I was listening to this music when I’m in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. And I didn’t realize it until I read some articles. I’m like, oh my God, that’s it. My graduating class. But you know, I don’t think anyone gave him a hard time. He was a nice guy, but just, I mean, he wasn’t one that drew a lot of tensions cuz he wasn’t an athlete. He wasn’t overly academic. Right. And you don’t know where people are gonna end up. And for those being bullied in high school,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You don’t know where you’re gonna end

Mike Sarraille:
Up. There was a Paul Rudd, I think sent a note to a kid who’s being bullied recently. He said, Hey, give it time. Yep. Give it time. Seriously, little wildly change.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Seriously. And it does, it does for a lot of people, you know, you end up and I almost think when you have that experience, it makes you stronger. And so you can push further and you’re just like, you know what? All these people don’t like me anyway. So who cares? I’m just gonna go be me. I’m gonna do my thing. And it taught me how to be my own person at an early age.

Mike Sarraille:
You know, I will say this. So I was small in, in high school. Okay. I like, I wrestled at one 19. At one point I was a cross country and track runner and I wasn’t bullied, but I would stand up to bullies. Good. And I would get my ass beat down. And my dad who was much bigger to, you know, played football in high school and, and, and went on to play football, uh, beyond that, uh, he said he feared because he joined the army. Okay. He actually played football for the army. This is during Vietnam. Wow. When base football teams were huge, it was a point of pride. Wow. So I kept him from going to Vietnam, but um, he’s like, I always knew you were gonna go into the military because you always went against bullies when other kids were getting bullied, I’d run across the field and, and just shoulder check the guy and then get beat down afterwards. But um, wow. It’s amazing where you go back, you know, 20, 25, 30 years later. And you’re like, wow. Yeah. How history has changed things. You stayed in high school and all of us moved, uh, beyond. Yeah. That that’s not everyone. I mean, there’s bullies that, that, that learn and they’re they’re uh, resentful or, or, or remorseful for what they did and

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Exactly. Which is great. Kids are kids, you know? I mean, come on, we gotta give ’em a break, but at the same time, just be nice to everybody.

Mike Sarraille:
It’s and you, how far that carries in life kind be respectful. Be empathetic. Absolutely. Be nonjudgmental. Thank you. Yeah. How, yeah. How many schools were recruiting you out of a high school?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Two S another funny story, right?

Mike Sarraille:
You weren’t getting looks from Stanford and

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No. And actually top the Stanford coach had told me later, he’s like, that was the biggest recruiting mistake I’ve ever made.

Mike Sarraille:
What was it on paper that day?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I am not sure. Um, I know I had a really fast 50 freestyle. Right. Which is the one lapper. Um,

Mike Sarraille:
But in high school you actually set the national or, um, correct me here. So

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I qualified for the 1992 Olympic trials. I in high school, in high school. Yeah. And I still only got recruited by two school, university of Arizona, Colorado state. And I went to both

Mike Sarraille:
What I know we’re gonna, you were definitely gonna get to that,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Which is cool. Yeah. So I didn’t get as many, many looks as you would think. Um, the class that I was in was pretty stacked. You know, you had at the time coming out of high school, you know, world record holders, American record holders in my events. So of course they’re gonna give them money to that person. I would too. I, you know,

Mike Sarraille:
You chose Arizona. I did. Why did you choose Arizona? Because it was it your freshman year or your sophomore year, you, you transferred to, to Colorado state.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It was right before my junior year. Okay. Yeah. So I was there for two and a half years. I loved it. I, you know, I grew up in Colorado. I wanted to go somewhere. That was warm. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Was that, was that mainly the, well,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, let me tell you the truth. So <laugh> on my recruiting trip. They try to take you to places that you’re gonna enjoy. Right. So they brought me to the football game. They brought me to an ice hockey game

Mike Sarraille:
And they university of Arizona. Football’s huge at this time.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. That then was the deserts forum. Right. I remember this, the defense, they were

Mike Sarraille:
ESPN on the, on the recover. They were anywhere.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Teddy brewski. Oh, amazing. But, so we went to all that and then they brought me to fraternity row with a bunch of men that were tanned and sweaty with their shirts off doing beer bongs. I’m like

Mike Sarraille:
Your, your husband’s in the room.
Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That’s fine. He knows he doesn’t drink too. Which is really,

Mike Sarraille:
He’s like, I, I had a college experience as well. I’m getting he’s

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Still here. Oh, he did. We don’t need to talk about his college experience. It was way, way senior than mine, but that’s okay. But yeah. So that’s why I went, there was just, I thought it looked like a fun school, had a great swim program. They gave me, um, you know, partial scholarship, which was pretty cool. So partial.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. I got room board and books paid for, so I, you know, a lot of the stuff I just didn’t. I had to pay for classes, which you know,

Mike Sarraille:
So something seem, is seeming wildly off here. What? Yeah. I don’t know. What do you call Colorado state?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Colorado state was like full ride and they were like, we are giving, we are actually changing our team for you,

Mike Sarraille:
But did they offer you a full yeah. Outta high school?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Colorado state did. Yes. And I should have gone there in the beginning, but you know what, you’re 18 and you feel like, you know everything and you’re like, now I’m going to Arizona. Yeah. That’s a problem. Yeah. But you don’t know everything. Right. And I remember when I went to CSU and the swim coach was like, I didn’t know you were swimming for me. And I’m like, because I’m not. And he is like, well, why not? And I’m like, I don’t like swimming anymore. Uh, you know, I just got over mono found out at 19. I would never have kids. Like, it was kind of a rough year for me. So I’m done. And he goes, well, how about this? I’ll pay for your school for a whole year, but give me one semester. And if you don’t like it after a semester, you can quit and I’ll pay for your year again. I’m not smart, but the mathematics made sense to me. I’m like, sure. So we go out there the very first swim mate, I go and I’m number one in the country by a lot in all of my events. And I was like, huh, maybe I just needed a change of scenery, you know? And it was awesome. We did great things at Colorado state Fort

Mike Sarraille:
Collins is a great town.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Isn’t it amazing. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Gorgeous, gorgeous downtown is

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It’s amazing. And the pickle barrel, if you ever go back, go to the pickle barrel, get a funky, funky sandwich. It’s a sandwich place. It is so good. We might have to go later with the space that you’re giving me. I’m just very

Mike Sarraille:
Upset. It sounds like a whole lot of cornball or what is it? Corn? What is it?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Cornhole corn

Mike Sarraille:
Hole. Corn hole.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Cornhole. That’s right.

Mike Sarraille:
The, I come from San Francisco. Oh, west I, there was certain cultural issues. I went to Texas a and M right? Oh, you went, oh yeah. Nice from right from the Marine Corps. Yeah. In right to Texas a and M. And I remember flying into, uh, or not flying in, but driving into, uh, college station and like the tears now. I’m what, I’ve gotta be like 23. Like the tears coming down my eyes, I’m like, this was a culture shock. Have you ever been to T a I have. I

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Love it. College station. I have, I love I’ve been in

Mike Sarraille:
That sort. Love it. Cause you you’ve, you’ve, you’ve visited for two days. I

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Swear. Really? I swear. I’m really fast. I’m not full. I swear

Mike Sarraille:
About it’s good, Texas. A and M is a great university. It’s a very unique culture. Um, it was just a culture shock from living in San Diego. Sure.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
I get that. And so I finished college in three years and got the hell out of there. Um, still proud to, to be Aggie. Also proud to be a Longhorn. Very conflicted fan. There

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You go. Hook him,

Mike Sarraille:
Horns, hook him, horns, giga, mags. There you. Right. So, um, it seems like it was at Colorado state that you just start. I did it just what, yeah. Was it the, the change of scenery or was it the coaches and mentors or was it combination of all of everything?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
All of it, right. It was all of it. The coach was amazing. I guess he went up to my husband and he told me, he goes, when Amy came here, we, I actually changed my entire program for her so that it would benefit her so she could swim Fest. And it was that we had one lane with sprinters that had never been done before. So we were all sprinting together, but it was also, the team was amazing. Not that U of a wasn’t it was, but it was boys and girls. And that can always cause you know, dating issues and all the things when it was just the girls. It was awesome. There was no pressure because I’m at Colorado state, which at the time had never done anything really in swimming. We get there, we get to NCAAs my junior year and I break American records and Colorado state ended up 10th in the country. We had a, a gaggle of girls that came and it was just awesome. I really, you know, I wish I would’ve stayed there for the last year. Um, just cause I don’t know what would’ve happened, but

Mike Sarraille:
Oh, so you didn’t, you didn’t finish.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That’s a contention in my family right now with my husband. Yeah, no I’m 12 credit shy of graduating. So my husband took, took his university of Colorado degree and put it on the wall with my high school diploma under it. So I took off my high school diploma and I put a world record plaque right under that sucker <laugh> I win <laugh> I win

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh>. So it’s safe to say that, uh, competition makes the world go around in the, uh, the, the Vandyke and ruin. Oh, the ruin

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
House is a hot mess competition. Yeah. Like awful. Like it’s not even that cute, but it’s fine. It like keeps you alive. Right. And we’ve been married 21 years together. What? 25 million. And I

Mike Sarraille:
Isn’t isn’t that a statistical anomaly now? Correct? 25 years. Well,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not only that, but you also have two people that are athletes. The fact that we’re still together together. Hold, hold

Mike Sarraille:
On. Well, I mean, hold on, cuz I’ve been waiting for this one. I mean, do you sometimes say, Hey, well I’m the, the only real athlete in, in the house? No, all the time. And Tom, I’m not trying to all the time. I’m just like place kickers. They, they make fun of you guys, right?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yes. Right. But, but what was funny is place kickers. Don’t like to get hit and he was a punter and he liked to hit things cuz he started off as a linebacker back in, in high school. Right. So he wanted to hit things and the panic for me, I was out of town one day and they’re playing in Philly and all of a sudden I see him punt and I’m like, great. And then the next thing they show is him laughing shoulder pad, hanging out. I’m like what happened? He

Mike Sarraille:
Hit, he shoulder checked.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, he was mouthing off to one of the guys on the other team. He is like, nice, Troy, MFer, sorry, everybody. And the guy ran back and just jacked him in the back and Toms, like how did I end up on the ground

Mike Sarraille:
Penalty? Huh? Penalty? No, no, the resting. No

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<laugh> they let the people actually play

Mike Sarraille:
Football. You know, one of the, one of the greatest like stereotypes of place kickers, which who wouldn’t want their son to like bro like grow up to be a place kicker. Right? Like you’re like the longevity of it you say, but uh, the replacements with ke reefs. Do you remember the guy who, who was the kicker he’s wire winery winery. That was the best.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We’ve seen that a hundred times. At

Mike Sarraille:
Least that love it. It’s sort of set the, the, the mantra for, for kickers for all

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Kickers. Yeah. No, I don’t talk about that. Cause he’s very athletic actually talking

Mike Sarraille: Well baseball at wait, Diego, state, state, San Diego state and then switch to Boulder to the football team. Yep.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
But John Elway said that Tom Roan was one of the best athletes in the locker room. Yeah. So I can’t, I don’t have him on that, but I do have him on this. He’s only won two super bowls. I’ve won six gold medals. So I win. I’m not smart, but I know that four or six is more than two by four. So

Mike Sarraille:
I, I don’t, I don’t wanna be a part of those conversations. There’s there’s so many ways you can take that. Oh, so many ways let’s

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Go. Let’s do it. <laugh> but yeah, no. So I never make fun of his athletic because it’s just, he was really good at kicking a football. Yeah. Like really good at it. He could’ve done other things, but I couldn’t have done anything other than swim <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
I, I, I begged to differ. It’s just the one thing you, you, you focused on.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I did. I, I fell into yeah. And I loved it.

Mike Sarraille:
Just the fact for, for all the young men and young women listening right now to have 63% lung capacity compared to the people you’re, you’re competing at in the Olympics, that’s just grit. That’s just obsession and desire. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, I’m sure there was a lack of balance in your life at that point.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Very much. So. Very much. So it was all swimming all the time, but I was fortunate. I met Tom during that time and he was also competing. And so like he knew if I came home late, like why

Mike Sarraille:
There was that commonality. Exactly.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That was, yeah, exactly. If he didn’t come home until like midnight hanging out with the boys, I get it. Like you have to do that. But like it got to the point where I would wake up, go to swim practice. And then we had someone back in the day deliver meals, which was unheard of because I couldn’t cook. Yeah. Right. Like I just, I didn’t have time. I didn’t have the energy. So that’s what we did. And it worked out great for both of us. So,

Mike Sarraille:
So that, that’s interesting that two people within the professional level understood. Yeah. And they didn’t want to take away from your desire to succeed within that, that realm that I did. That sounds like a perfect pairing. I think so too, in a lot of ways

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I think so too. And he wouldn’t marry me until after 2000. Cuz he didn’t want me to go into the 96 Olympics with the last name ruin <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
Can you imagine? Yeah. Branding. I get it. I get

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Branding’s a little rougher. The Wheaties box doesn’t look as good with that.

Mike Sarraille:
What, what was it like cuz you left with in college, you set world records or, or us records.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I set American records in college.

Mike Sarraille:
Yes. You were the, the second woman in history to go below 22 seconds. Correct? In the 50 meter. Yes.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Freestyle. Yep. 50 yard freestyle. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
What was it like? Cause I remember talking to a guy named John Wellborn, John Wellborn, uh, was, uh, I think the green bay Packers for, for a lot of time. But I said, man, it must have been going from college. Cuz he played a Cal Berkeley to the NFL. That must have been just a wild leap. He said no, actually high school to college was, but everyone in the NFL was just, everyone was good. Yeah. Was there a major leap from college to the Olympic trials and then Olympics?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not really. No, because a lot of the people that I swam with or against

Mike Sarraille:
Were in the Olympic trials,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We’re in the Olympic trials right now. What made the dis now what made the distinction was the Olympics. Now that’s real stuff that is definitely different. You watch these people swim and you’re like, oh my gosh, like they’re floating on the water cuz that’s what you wanna do as a swimmer. Right.

Mike Sarraille:
But so are you, but well, but there’s this perception of they’re just that much better,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct? Correct. And you know, you have to remember going into 96. No one knew who I was. No one cared like all the major media was focusing on other people. So it was amazing. And so I could just sit there and watch and take it all in until we started swimming <laugh> and then it got gnarly. It was fun.

Mike Sarraille:
Were, were the nerves. I so were the nerves different than the NCAA finals in Olympic trials than

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not at Olympic trials? No. At Olympic trials. I, I equate it very closely to the NCAA NCAAs finals. Correct. But there’s a lot of pressure, right? Like we don’t have once a year to make the pro bowl. So it’s once every four years. And if you’re

Mike Sarraille:
Just taking hits at you’re you’re

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Constant. Yes. Hits it’s constant of these boys <laugh> but yeah, no it’s like, and he even says it he’s like, it sucks cuz you only have once every four years. And if something is wrong, you catch a cold, you get mono, whatever you’re done and you that’s, it, you have four more years and it’s hard on the body to swim like that. So, you know, it was tough and you know, there’s a lot of emotions at Olympic trials. There’s a lot of highs. There’s a lot of lows, you know, a lot of people that are supposed to make the team, aren’t making the team, they’re crying. People are making the team that you you’ve never heard of. They’re laughing and it it’s crazy. So you

Mike Sarraille:
Have, it sounds like an emotional rollercoaster. A sorority it

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yes. But the sorority. Yes. So you, you have to, again, I wasn’t in a sorority

Mike Sarraille:
Or I should better say a fraternity which are more emotional than, than sororities.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh really?

Mike Sarraille:
Oh yeah. Guys, you put guys together like is the seal teams are one big sorority

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Sorority.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh yeah. We, we often call it the sorority.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Okay.

Mike Sarraille:
Lot. Lot of drama, naked drama fights. A lot of tears, no naked pillow fights. That’s not happening. Sorry. The, a lot of duck tape when we wanna take it beyond

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That. Yes <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
No, I can understand that. So you’ve got friends who, who banked their entire lives on this and all of a sudden it’s just like it not

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Good enough. Yeah. Missed the team by a hundredth of a second. Right. When you’re a world record holder, like it’s just not, but you get it.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh you’re you’re saying world record holders just had a bad performance and didn’t make the deal. Didn’t

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Make it. I had one friend world record holder in the 400. I am. And in 1996 she was expected to do all these great things. She got disqualified in prelims. Never got to swim.

Mike Sarraille:
Did she make the 2000?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, because she got pregnant and had her baby. Who now, when I work for PAC 12 network, I cover this baby.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh she’s is she’s swimming.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Her daughter’s he? And so yeah,

Mike Sarraille:
My son is, is

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
He’s a swimmer at Cal. That’s great. Right. She went to USC and so that’s very weird. Just figuring Cal stuff. Yeah. <laugh> but, but that happened to her and you know, she always wonders where her life would’ve gone. If she would’ve made the 90 16 in that event, she made the 96 team in another event, but just not in her best event.

Mike Sarraille:
So I I’ve gotta say for Olympic athletes, it seems like they get best word is hoed, hoed mm-hmm <affirmative> so, and will, you know, reminds it remembers this one. There’s there’s a gal named Anika new mm-hmm <affirmative> and Anika was on our podcast and she she’s she’s American Canadian, dual citizen. She is a pole volter for Canada. But you hear the stories and how unsupported they are. And Anika. What I love about her is she has this bad bitch personality. Yeah. She’s got tattoos and I need to link you guys up. Cause you would be a coach mentor her, but she, she made it to the finals on, on the Olympics that SLA go around and just had a bad performance and, and didn’t qualify on any of the, uh, jumps, but she’s like, I’m gonna play in France. But the bottom line is it’s just like the countries get behind their athletes in that moment. And then it’s just like done.

Mike Sarraille:
Have great three years. We’ll serve four years. We’ll see you again. If you hopefully, if you make it correct. But yet NCAA athletes are now the ni L are making,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
They’re making some money. It’s funny to see that too. You know? I mean, you’ve got this 18 year old kid making like, you know, $4 million. You’re like, what is happening here? I don’t know how I feel about that. Right? Like I get it where the kids are, like they’re using my name, my likeness and making all this money for the school. And I’m making all this money for the school. Um, I personally wasn’t cause I’m a swimmer, but the revenue sports, right. Well,

Mike Sarraille:
I get it. We’ve got two here. Like Hey, some of these kids, their, their careers gonna end in college. If they make a little money, I’m actually proud for ’em. Okay. I know it’ll it’ll change the integrity of the game, but are you guys thumbs up or thumbs down or still trying to figure it out?

Speaker 4:
Yeah. I don’t know. I, I’m not sure. I I’m thumbing down. Yeah

Mike Sarraille:
It’s is, but is that a generational thing? Cuz it skipped you guys and yeah. Be honest. That’s just like, oh well back in the day quarterbacks took it and now they’re overly protected. <laugh>

Speaker 4:
This is just jealousy, but

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh sugar.

Speaker 4:
No, I think there’s a lot it’s happening too

Mike Sarraille:
Fast. It’s happening too fast there. You know, the funny thing is you watch this, this is completely off, off topic, but there will be a whole industry created around this alone from yep. Uh, you know, uh, I’m trying to think of the crypto. What are the, uh, the likeness NFTs? Oh, NFTs. Yeah. NFTs to, to, to, to agents. To it’s it’s gonna be interesting. And I know Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban are, are in a little TIF right now, cuz Texas a and M saw the, the opportunity and get on ’em that’s first, you know, I wanna say first mover advantage, but they moved quickly. Um, so in 96 you walk away with four gold medals, one the 50,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
The 50 grape mm-hmm

Mike Sarraille:
<affirmative> the, uh, was it the a hundred butterfly?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
A hundred butterfly. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
And then this two team four by,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yep. I, so I did the 400 free relay at the 400 medley relay something funny is you’d think that because I got fourth and the a hundred free and first in the a hundred butterfly on that medley relay, they’re gonna swim butterfly. Right. I said, after I won, I said, I’m never swimming that again. So I talked the coaches into letting me swim the freestyle leg. I’d never SW butterfly

Mike Sarraille:
On the,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
My time was really fast on the, on the relay quick from

Mike Sarraille:
Your individual performance.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct? So actually, uh, I had an individual performance, right? I got forth again. I felt bad cuz you know, when, when you quote unquote lose, which I felt forth was losing because I’m an American, right? Like we don’t send people there to, to get forth. We send people there to come home with a medal. So I felt like not only at that moment, I let myself and my family and all these people down, but like I let my country down

Mike Sarraille:
Sense. So you walk with four gold medals and you feel like you’ve let your country down.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
This is before that happened. This was before.

Mike Sarraille:
So that was the first event,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
First event ever of the, of the Olympics, like the first event that went off on the Olympics.

Mike Sarraille:
Let, so, so let, let’s break this down for those listening. When you had that performance where you finished fourth. Yeah. You’re sort of demoralized. Is that, is that a, is that an accurate

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Um, yeah, it was, it was not good. Yes. I was demoralized also.

Mike Sarraille:
So what did you do to reset? To prepare, to win four gold medals in that same,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right. Well, here’s the thing. If you tell me not to do something and you tell me I’m not not to do it, don’t do it. If you want me to do it. Right. So what happened was I ended up collapsing on the deck with leg cramps.

Mike Sarraille:
I, I remember this, right? I remember this as a kid, do you? Yes.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
So yeah, I collapsed. The Olympics are now stopped.

Mike Sarraille:
I’m sorry. As a young man. Yeah. Yeah. I’m in high trial.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I swear to God. I will fricking beat all of you itself. Listen, you can kill me with a paperclip, but I can run your ass over with this wheelchair.

Mike Sarraille:
Let’s just not, I have no doubt. I have no doubt. Plus I get a hip replacement to get away.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. So yeah. So I collapsed with the leg cramps. I went back and I had dinner. Did the massage, all the things. And then I went back into my room.

Mike Sarraille:
You diva, I massage.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Now

Mike Sarraille:
We didn’t have that in the seal teams. You didn’t combat mission. No. Hey immuno massage. We be another guy. Can

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You imagine? Well, that might be fine. I mean, I’m not gonna say no,

Mike Sarraille:
I’m not gonna say we would love to watch that as a woman. Yeah. Understand. I would love to of,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah, no. So anyway. Yeah. Yeah. So I collab with leg cramps and then I go back to my room and the head Olympic coach whose swimmer was one that I had competed against forever. And she’s an amazing athlete and I don’t wanna take anything away from her, but I beat her out in the events. So he tells me, he goes, I don’t think you’re ready for these Olympics. And I think you should maybe think about going home cuz he, you know, again, he has a swimmer and he goes, it’ll all be taken care of. There’ll be, you know, someone can pull up the slack. And I thought to myself, whoa, whoa dude, who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do. Like,

Mike Sarraille:
He doesn’t have the right to pull

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You. You don’t have the right to pull that. Right. And I was like, you know what, coach, I’m going to go to sleep if I mess up again, let’s talk. But then I hear out in the hallway, he’s out there with my personal coach who was a coach on the team and the other Olympic coaches. Then they were all yelling and screaming

Mike Sarraille:
At one another at

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
One another.

Mike Sarraille:
So basically the head coach is a figure who can’t technically

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
He can’t do that. Yes. Right. He has to have the backing of everybody else. Yeah. So they were gonna take me off the relay. The next day I talked to my way into it and with the fastest split that has ever been swung in the history of that event, that

Mike Sarraille:
To this day,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not to this day cause right. Because,

Mike Sarraille:
But to that point,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
To that point, and I just remember thinking to myself, don’t tell me to go home.

Mike Sarraille:
Is it, is there a little bit of you get outta the pole and you look at this mm-hmm <affirmative> this older is, is it a woman or a man? It was a man, man of like F you.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Um, what I did was actually, I went up to him and I was like, Hey coach, what was my split?

Mike Sarraille:
You already knew.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I already knew because the Dutch team had already told me. Right. Because my grandfather came from another

Mike Sarraille:
God, God bless the Dutch. God

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Bless the Dutch. I love them. I’m Dutch.

Mike Sarraille:
No kidding. Yeah. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Of course. Grandpa came from Holland and so I’m second generation American. Yeah. They still love all the sweets and all the yummies, but all the Dutch people love. Yeah. But yeah. And then we went on to, you know, the next day was the a hundred butterfly and I swam in the morning and that same coach who told me to go home, told me he thinks I can win it. And I was like,

Mike Sarraille:
If you

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Fuck exactly, that’s exactly what was going through. My head was like, who do you think you are? Like stop. So he and I never really had a conversation after that. And he was even the coach in 2000 and we never really talked, but I went on to break history, first American woman to win four gold and won games. It’s only been tied, never broken. And I will be there when it’s broken. Cuz it will be broken.

Mike Sarraille:
I’ve seen such an array of, of just don’t count anyone out mm-hmm <affirmative> is just give them guidance and let their performance determine. Yes. The, the, the judgment for you and people have turned it around mm-hmm <affirmative> and some people haven’t. Right. And you, you don’t judge on their character. It’s not, it’s not a, a judgment of character, it’s it? They just didn’t perform to that level. Right. They may be successful somewhere else, but yes, you know, I’ve had, and, and God, my story is small, but I remember a family friend who happened to be, I think it was fourth or fifth grade teacher told my mom that your son will never amount anything.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Stop

Mike Sarraille:
It. Oh yeah. And now we look back and it’s like, your kids have done nothing. Even remotely close to my level. It’s not a judgment on the character. Same thing with a certain coach at high school basically told my parents like, Hey, this kid’s not gonna, and yet for all the athletes he’s, he’s coached. None of ’em ever, ever achieved anything on the level that, that I have. And it’s not, I’m throwing this in your face. Right. It’s give, give people a chance cuz you never know what’s gonna happen.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
This you never know. So if you are one of those kids, right. That are being told that you can’t be anything,

Mike Sarraille:
It’s it use that, use

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It fuel.

Mike Sarraille:
But also use that as fuel

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Look at it. The reason that they’re saying that is they’re jealous jealousy is a nasty lady,

Mike Sarraille:
But there, there may also be some points there if you can. Well sure. If you could look at it, uh, subjectively and, and be like, Hey, they may be right on this certain thing. I need to tweak this. I need to correct. I do need to tighten up this mm-hmm <affirmative> but whatever they say, whatever judgment they have passed. Yep. F you agreed. I’m moving forward and I will, I will show you. Yep. So you, you know, let’s actually, I wanna go to admit break and we’re gonna come back and then, okay. So we end, Thero break with two questions. Okay. Uh, we call these the hard questions.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh no. I know

Mike Sarraille:
I’m gonna put you on the hot seat.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Okay.

Mike Sarraille:
Hardest decision you’ve ever had to make.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh my God. Hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I think, well, I’ve got, I’ve got two now. Can I give you two, one in my professional one in my personal

Mike Sarraille:
You did. That is actually great. Okay. So classified. Yes. Okay. So because you classified it that way. Yeah. I will grant you

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Approval. Thank you. Thank you. Yes ma’am thank you, sir. Yes. So my first one professionally was retiring from swimming. Yeah. I thought you were gonna say hardest thing in the world ever, but it needed to be done. Uh, the hardest thing

Mike Sarraille:
Why?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Okay, so good question. So I had had two career ending shoulder surgeries, one, six months to the day of the Olympic trials in 2000. And, um, it was really hard to put me back together, but I wanted to keep doing it. Like my mind wanted to keep going, cuz I loved the sport. My body couldn’t keep up. Yeah. And so that was really hard, you know, like leaving a sport that I loved so much that had given me so much, that was my life. Then in my personal life, one of the hardest decisions ever that I made was, eh, you know, do I push after my accident? Like, do you push forward? Like what

Mike Sarraille:
Gonna, we’re gonna get to this. Right. We are gonna get to this. Like

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
What do you, do you strive to continue living or do you shut it down?

Mike Sarraille:
Okay. Le do you mind if we save that one?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We’re gonna put a pin in it.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. Okay. So, but biggest regret of your life.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, it was a regret. Sorry. Uh,

Mike Sarraille:
No, no, no. That was the hardest decision. Now the second

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
One. Now the biggest now the biggest regret, the biggest regret is how I acted in the 2000 Olympics. It was inappropriate. And I don’t think that, uh, I had control of my emotions.

Mike Sarraille:
Wait, wait, what aspects? What, what are you referring to specifically? I remember we get vulnerable in the podcast.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I know I made a comment that shouldn’t have been made to a, um, a swimmer and I got outta the water. She beat me and I said to a friend, but the cameras were there and I should have known it. I said, I could have SW that fast if I was a man inappropriate. Disgusting. I look back at it now.

Mike Sarraille:
Teammate or different

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Countries? No different C. She was from the Netherlands.

Mike Sarraille:
Were, were you making accusations of potential P performance enhancing drugs?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, I’m just saying she was swimming like a man. Okay. Like the way she was swimming, she was swimming like a, and that’s a Compli. I don’t, I want people to understand, like for that’s a compliment, like, right. Like you run like a man, you swim like a man. Right. It was just not appropriate. Like, why do you need to like give her her moment? Shut up. You had your moment. Stop it. If I could go back and do anything over again, it would be that. And I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life. That’s one of ’em

Mike Sarraille:
That is actually thank you for that, because that that’s actually, that’s awesome. We’ve all said things. We’re like, oh, I wish I could retract that. Right. It’s just, now that, that statement has a lot of relevancy given what’s going on with. Oh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Sure. Yeah, sure. But yeah, it had no implications of that at all. Yeah. It was just complimenting her on how well she was swimming, but yeah, it’s just, I don’t really have regrets, but if again, it was not just an incident between me and her. It went worldwide. Like the world now hates

Mike Sarraille:
That’s media.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right. And it’s spun and it went far and fast. And I dropped out of the, the spotlight cuz I was the NA and I needed

Mike Sarraille:
To do, you know, as well as these guys, when you step onto the national or international stage, the smallest comment will be spun without any context behind it whatsoever in correct? Yeah. I’m not a fan of, uh, of media

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
MSM, mainstream

Mike Sarraille:
Media. With that. We’ll take a quick break and we’ll be right back. And we are back with Amy Van Dyken-Rouen. Um, and let’s see you’re drinking.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
This is a High Noon vodka soda. Watermelon. What do you have?

Mike Sarraille:
We’ve got a Cayman Jack Cuban Mojito.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Okay. I’m gonna warn you. It might not be the best KA and Jack. Margarita’s amazing. But it came in like a pack. I don’t know if that’s gonna be good if it’s not we’ll trade.

Mike Sarraille:
It’s not bad. It’s

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not bad. Is it

Mike Sarraille:
Drinkable? It’s drinkable. Okay, good. What, what’s the difference between a Cuban mojito? Cuz I’ve had motos in Panama city. Panama.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct? Which are the best. I have no idea what that

Mike Sarraille:
Is. Except when you drink too many of them. There’s certainly like tequila. If you get drunk in tequila, you never want to. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh I love tequila.

Mike Sarraille:
You’ve never had a tequila drunk though.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
And you still drink it. Oh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I love it. Oh, it makes me the happiest person ever whiskey tequila, all the things that normally would make, make people fight. I become like, I love you so much. Just gimme a

Mike Sarraille:
Hug. I’ve I’ve noticed brown liquor. That’s like my worst nights are brown liquor. Oh really?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh yeah. Okay. Well we’ll stay okay. But it’s lovely to drink.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, so I’ve I’ve I’ve gotta go. I’m not gonna say this. There’s a Moscow mule. Yeah. There’s a Kentucky mule. Yeah. But most of the Kentucky whiskeys are now owned by like Japanese companies. Um, I didn’t know that. Yeah. Well it’s much like Budweiser owned by trying to think of the name of the company. It’s the Swedish company. We’ve got lights coming on here. We’re good. Well, um, but a mule six is a version of the Moscow mule whiskey, American whiskey other than Kentucky. Okay. And so usually I mix it with Pendleton whiskey is one of my favorite. Okay. Out of Oregon of all states. Ooh. Okay. But there are also a, uh, a sponsor of PBR.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Love it.

Mike Sarraille:
So on it, after we go home from here, we’re gonna do the jump. We’re rushed home on Sunday. I speak to have you have you, so the PBR, are you familiar with that? Oh

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. The P pro bull riding Associa.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh, I love that. So they’ve now gone to a team format. Okay. You didn’t

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Know that? I didn’t, I haven’t

Mike Sarraille:
Heard that. So they did a draft stop and I’m in Austin. Okay. So Austin has one of the teams. I think there’s eight teams total, the Austin gamblers. I’ve gotta, so you know what, what I’m gonna do with all my podcasts is I’m gonna bring select people back. Yeah. Like Michael Gaffney is, is one of the, I mean, goes down in history is one of the best bull riders in history. Right. Such a good man. But I wanna bring, uh, you know, people like you Anika Michael Gaffney. Oh, like Dave Batista to just do a, a round table and for people to listen to that and just people in wildly different professions. Yes. Just talk about life and leadership and, and overcoming adversity think would be, uh, powerful. But Michael Gaffney is for a guy who rode and will correct me. 8,000 pound bulls. Right. Something. No, no, no. Maybe it’s it’s insane.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. He rode some nasty ones. And there, when, when he was riding, there was that one and I can’t remember, Tom would remember his name, but the bull was just nasty and it seemed like he always got picked that

Mike Sarraille:
Bull I’m like, like yellow jacket or something like that. It was like yellow jacket,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Something like that. Yeah. Those guys are crazy. They’re nuts. They’re amazing.

Mike Sarraille:
I, I, so we were at, uh, you know, I, I don’t know if you’re with me, some firefighters like, oh my God. I like, I know you are. And I’m like, you, you know who, who I am. I’m like, love that. I’m like, okay. He’s like, yeah, I follow your podcast. I was like, you guys are crazy. I’m like, what do you do? He’s like, I’m a fireman. I’m like,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That’s crazy. Hey

Mike Sarraille:
Bro. I go to combat with 40 highly trained professionals. Right. We mitigate risk to where we, we know we’re gonna win the gun fight. And unfortunately, sometimes a man or two may not come back. Sure. But that is rare. You guys run into fire for which there is no like that is a wild variable for which you cannot account for. Correct. That is in my opinion. I’m like, thank you for what you do. Yes. Because when I see fire, I stand, I, I go the other direction.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Exactly. And they go into it. Yeah. And don’t, you know, they just wanna save people. I think it’s so cool

Mike Sarraille:
In first responders. I don’t know why anyone would wanna be a cop right now. Oh, bless him. Uh, coming from, you know, my, my, my grandfather was a, uh, he was one of the lead detectives for San Francisco. He played for the Cleveland for short period of time. Okay. But like back then, you know, they were, they were beloved and now cops who are very important and we’re seeing this with the whole defund police. Well, look at the cities that did that to include Denver mm-hmm <affirmative> and yeah,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Whenever we see it because you know, I live downtown and whenever I meet the girls for a happy hour at union station, it’s been two years since we’ve seen a police officer down there. So every time we see one, we’re like, thank you for being here.

Mike Sarraille:
I, and I would encourage people if you see police officers, if you see first responders, mm-hmm, <affirmative> go say thank you. Yeah. They need that. Yep. It reinforces that. Even though they’re making a small amount of money exactly. Is that they’re doing something well beyond the money that they make. Oh yeah. They are. They’re protecting lives. And, and they may lose in the, the, in and outs of what they do day to day. Yep. 24, 7, 365. They sometimes lose that perspective. But when it takes one person to come up and say, thank you for protecting my family. Yeah. Even when I was down range, cops were like, oh, thank you for what you did. I said, thank you for protecting my family because I didn’t have to worry about them. Right. When I was gone. But that’s, I, I know we divest. So the 2000 Olympics, right. You know, you are declared the golden girl of Colorado. Right. You’re a media. I, I call it the dazzling darling. Right. Um, and you decide to retire. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but there’s something that happens in your life that maybe will define you more. So for the way you’ve reacted to it 2014.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. June 6th, 2014. Right. So that day it was crazy. Um, like always, you know, I took my dog for a walk on the golf course, got yelled at, you know, some guys like you’re not supposed to have dogs on the golf course. I’m like, you’re not supposed to play shitty golf on this golf course. And I’m like, run. I went and I did my CrossFit, you know, which I still to this day do every day. And um, I met the guy who owned the box. He had just gotten back from regionals and his name was DJ. He was a firefighter. Right. And he’s like, we got firefighter games tonight. You wanna come? And I’m like, absolutely not. What’s

Mike Sarraille:
His last

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Name? Uh, DJ Bremmel

Mike Sarraille:
I think, I think he’s been on the cleared hot podcast with Andy Stu. I, I think

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
He may have been okay. He may have been. Yeah. Cuz what he did was crazy. So he gets a call that there is a, uh, someone crashed on an ATV and is a back injury and he, but they don’t know who it is. Nobody knows

Mike Sarraille:
Who it is. Did you know him before this?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I did. I worked out with him that morning. That morning. Okay. Right. Is that

Mike Sarraille:
So, but, but take me, so you and your, your husband and a group of friends, just

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Me and him, just, just me and him. We went to a restaurant, right. That was a quarter of a mile away from the house. I wanted to take my ATV cuz I was doing a radio show, Fox sports radio in LA. I wanted some like good air. Sorry LA but’s be honest. Yeah. I wanted some good air. So I was like, I’m gonna take my ATV. You take your motorcycle. We’ll be fine. And then we were gonna come home and I was gonna have some wine and then we were gonna watch game of Thrones, which we’ve never watched.

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh> funny enough. I just interviewed on Tuesday. Uh, Jamie Leister. Oh

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Seriously.

Mike Sarraille:
Ni I uh, uh, Wal I’m sorry. Cost Waldo. Right? Uh, great dude. Oh great dude. Good. Yeah. So I’m became throne junk as well.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
See, but I never saw it because my accident, right. Because what happened was

Mike Sarraille:
That was gonna be the first.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That was be the first time we were gonna watch it. Right. We, we were stoked. So, you know, we finished dinner, I had trout and steam broccoli. And the only reason I bring that up is not because yes, it was a good healthy meal, but I don’t remember what I had for dinner last night, but I’m never gonna forget that meal and I’m never gonna order it again. And then what happens is we stood up and said goodbye to everybody. And that’s where my memory stops. We went out and normally Tom would’ve taken off in front of me with this motorcycle. But if he would have, I wouldn’t be here cuz he wouldn’t have found me. So he was dilly dinking with his motorcycle. I get on my ATV. He’s like, you go first. This is what he’s telling me. I don’t remember any of this. And I went and he said, he looked up and there was no scream, no flick of a brake light. I hit a curb and went over a six foot cliff and he ran over and saw the dramatics, saw that my back was broken. I was face down and he ran down

Mike Sarraille:
There. How, how did you tell that somebody’s back is broken

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Down. It was really broken. Like when I say

Mike Sarraille:
Your,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, I, I don’t know how I was like, I think I was just laying flat on my stomach. But what had happened was it was such a most of the time people will dislocate like this or a little like this mine was like this. So like it was a pretty narrowly.

Mike Sarraille:
So he, it almost is like a compound fracture, but it didn’t break the skin.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct? Correct. So he could see it from six feet up that it was broken. So he gets down there and I’m not breathing. So what he did was he rolled me over and lifted up my neck to get ready, to start compressions and breathing, which is great. He did not. Cuz as we found out later, it was um, half a hair width away from my aorta. So if he would’ve given me compressions, I would’ve bled out. But instead he lifted up my neck and I started breathing and convulsing and my eyes went two different directions. But in the meantime someone’s calling 9 1 1 cause somebody shot. Correct. And what happened was we found out later he was a doctor, but he had been drinking. So he couldn’t help me. Right. Because he was like, I don’t need, I, I can’t, I’ve been drinking. I’m sorry. I’m not gonna touch a patient. So they call 9 1, 1 DJ gets called. He goes, I don’t know, know I have a feeling about this. And he calls flight flight for life and says, I have a feeling about this. If I’m wrong, I’ll pay for your gas, but you need to be there. So flight for life gets in there and they got me out of there and my husband was told she probably won’t remember your name. And I got flown to trauma

Mike Sarraille:
Where

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Arizona cause we were in Arizona. Okay. So I got flown to Osborne hospital down by where we lived in Arizona and um, yeah. Had the best surgeon out there. I was actually told to say goodbye to my husband. So surgery was supposed to be the next day. Okay. So the, the

Mike Sarraille:
Accident. So you do come to,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I do come to, I don’t remember any of that night, but I,

Mike Sarraille:
You don’t remember the accident. You remember don’t remember going over the handlebar. So you don’t.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I remember none of it. I remember the next day. So I was supposed to have surgery the next more, the next day at noon. But what had happened was when I dislocated the sack around my spinal cord burst open. So I’m leaking spinal and brain fluid. Right? So I’m gonna turn into a brazen and like a few hours. So they moved it up to 8:00 AM. And I remember before we went into surgery, we’re in the prep room and my doctor’s holding his, his iPhone. And he goes, Amy, you’re not understanding this is your spine. We’re going into surgery. I’m gonna have the best cardiothoracic surgeon in there. I’m gonna do my best to get you out. But just in case I need you say goodbye to your husband. And I did like Mike, it was,

Mike Sarraille:
Did you still have that?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I mean, I still remember what I said.

Mike Sarraille:
Did he didn’t hold. I mean, did he save that you never went back and watched that video?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, we never had that video. We didn’t have video of me saying goodbye to him. Cuz what the doctor was showing me was my x-ray. Oh and I was I’m sorry. Wanted

Mike Sarraille:
You to record correct.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’m sorry. I was not clear on that. So it was my x-ray he’s like, look at that, like this is serious. So I did, I grabbed Tom’s hand and I said, babe, I love you, but I want you to like move on and date and get married if I don’t come out. <laugh> you know,

Mike Sarraille:
Because you go to,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Hey, you know where I went, I went to the fricking lifetime movies that all of us watched secretly. We don’t tell anybody that we

Mike Sarraille:
Watched them. I don’t know what you’re talking about. They don’t hurt. And I don’t know what my wife is telling you, but <laugh>

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
But you know, it’s like the person dies. Yeah. And then you meet your soulmate and you don’t know. So I wanted him to be clear that I was okay with that. So he got,

Mike Sarraille:
I don’t know if I would say that you don’t. I would, I, I think I would look at Jordan and will knows Jordan well and one day you’ll meet Jordan as yeah. Hey listen, warn me for a minimum of five years. Yep. And then take another two years to date. Right. And, and maybe get married at, at the, the, you know, the eight year mark. Yeah. Or I will roll over my grave and judge in, I will want you I’ll come and get you. I will, I will forever. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<laugh> that’s awesome.

Mike Sarraille:
So,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
So I say goodbye to him. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and then he grabs my hand and I couldn’t sit up. Obviously my back is broken and he

Mike Sarraille:
Are, are you, are you in pain or did they have you associated?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I am on so much Dilaudid that I didn’t feel anything.

Mike Sarraille:
Is there, I mean, is there a point that you understand the severity of this? I know a doctor’s telling you, but you’re so sedated. Like you’re just you, you’re not processing.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Not even a little bit. No, not even a little bit. Like that’s why when I said goodbye to Tom, it was a matter of fact. Right. And he, he got really close to me and he said, babe, if this is too much, you can let go. And I told him many, uh, profanities. Uh, and then we went into the operating room. I was like, I will be back. I will be back to haunt you. I will be around.

Mike Sarraille:
Is it, is this the, the

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Competitor? I think so. And I think, I think he might have known that. Right. But yeah. Have

Mike Sarraille:
You ever, ever, ever had a conversation with how hard this was on him? Like, oh, cause I no. Cause he has to go home. I mean, was he sleeping in the hospital? He was.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. And so this is actually what changed my perception on humanity. Um, because I was that person, right. I had to, I remember distinctly one time I had to hold the door open for a man and I didn’t get a thank you a fuck off a head, Bob, a stare, a middle finger, nothing. He just walked through the door. So in true Amy fashion, I go, you know what, you’re Royal Highness. Next time. I’ll roll out the red carpet for ya. Well, what happened to Tom in that surgery? It was nine hours of him sitting in a corner, rocking, crying.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
He didn’t have the ability to say thank you if someone opened a door. So how dare I do that to some other man who I don’t know what he’s dealing with. Yeah. You know, and it just, I was very jaded, I would say before. And it really changed the way I look at things. And that man has been through so much and had, I mean, you know, PTSD probably better than anyone, but he would be driving down the street and he’d have to pull over. Cause he’d just start screaming, crying for no reason. So it’s been really tough on him and I really I’m thankful for him, you know, cuz it’s, this is crappy. It’s not fun. You know, I joke. And I laugh because I want people to understand that life is still awesome. It’s just a little bit different. But in those moments it was really tough. Like we don’t know what’s gonna happen. And then I get into ICU and the today show changed my name. <laugh> how dare they. But yeah, I was in ICU for three weeks and I got a bunch of balloons and stuff and I couldn’t take ’em with me. So I started giving ’em to everybody that was in ICU, you know? Cause some people don’t have people there to visit

Mike Sarraille:
Just to spread

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
The exactly. Go spread the love. I was so fortunate. So many people, you know? I mean,

Mike Sarraille:
So, so it sounds like you were you’re positive.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, yeah,

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah know, there, there had to be a moment of, I don’t deserve this. Mm God doesn’t know who I am. I’m Amy van dyin for God’s sake. Like I’ve set the standard for, for female swimming. Yeah. My mobility is my, my power mm-hmm <affirmative> there has to be some, this is unfair. I don’t deserve this. I mean, there has to be some struggle there for you was there mm-hmm

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
And if there was, I don’t remember it. I was when they, this is so weird. And when I tell people it’s just odd. I feel like this is my life’s goal. Like the, the goal for my life,

Mike Sarraille:
You felt like this was your moment. Correct? Not the, not the gold medals.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
The gold medals got me to where people would pay attention to the woman in the wheelchair. Right. So that was the springboard. And now when I’m doing, I, I feel when they first put me into wheelchair, let’s talk about that. I felt comfortable. I was like, yeah, this is cool. I got wheels. I’m gonna learn how to do a wheelie. I learned how to bump curbs. I do all the things. It was weird.

Mike Sarraille:
Do you think your, your, your positivity is on a clinical level?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
<laugh> probably, I probably need some help. <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
So was that what drove you to success prior to the

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No. So, you know, they always say athletes, um, there’s one of two ways that you go about looking at a race. One you’re afraid to lose two. You’re afraid to you’re uh, afraid to win. Right? I was always afraid to lose. I mean, or you wanted to win, I apologize. You’re afraid to lose or you wanted to win. I mean, was afraid. I was afraid to lose. I don’t wanna be afraid. Was that always healthy? No, it’s not healthy. No, because the thing is, when I look back in my life, the time that I learned the most about myself was when I didn’t win. When I got

Mike Sarraille:
God, failure is so powerful, isn’t

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It? Isn’t it. It’s amazing. You learn so much and you learn a lot of humility, which I think is really cool. You know? So I always tell kids, don’t worry about if you’re, if you’re not winning yet, you know, you’re learning the lessons, keep pushing and if it’s gonna happen, it’ll happen.

Mike Sarraille:
Was there a level? Cause I I’m a, I mean, huge within the everyday warrior confine. Right? I talk about failure as part of the process. Yeah. Like learn to smile at it. Not to love it, but to smile when it happens in what matters is the self-reflection after the failure.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yes.

Mike Sarraille:
There had to be some form of self-reflection you come outta surgery, correct? Yeah. You’re told Amy you’re never gonna walk again. Mm. Did it force you into the self-reflection of wait a second, I’ve done the unthinkable mm-hmm <affirmative> I’ve got this. I mean, what, there had to be some level of self-reflection there to, to, to frame your, your mindset going forward. And I know sometimes we don’t recognize it until years, years later.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct. And that might be what I’m doing. So I am really good. And I know military men and women are like this. I am very good at com compartmentalizing,

Mike Sarraille:
Probably military women, more than military men,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:

Maybe. Well, now, now that I learned that the men are in a sorority, it’s a whole different game, but, but no. So, you know, I don’t, I don’t, gosh, I don’t remember that. I just remember. And I remember even telling Tom, I said, babe, this is where we are now. And I don’t wanna look back. I wanna look forward and I wanna be the best person that I can be. And I wanna help as many people as I can, because I know that this is not an easy road for anybody. And you know, everyone’s talking about, you know, racism and sexism and massaging. There’s ableism out there, all over the place. And I wanna shine a light on it. And I wanna show the wheelchair, people that wheelies are cool. You know, I can still wear high heels. They just don’t hurt my feet. I can still dance. I wanna show people that I do things the same, but in a different way. And like, whenever I do something new, I always have to look around and plan. And I, I know you guys do this too three escape routes, right. Because if the first one doesn’t work and the second one doesn’t work, let’s hope to God. The third one works

Mike Sarraille:
Contingencies. We usually have three contingencies. Yeah. Right?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. That’s what you do. Yeah. You plan three steps ahead in case shit hits the fan or whatever. So yeah. So that’s all I do when I go into a place. Right. Like if that elevator’s broken, how am I gonna get outta here? Oh, there’s an escalator. I’ll use the escalator people in airports watching me do escalators is fun.

Mike Sarraille:
Can you do that on your own? Oh

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I I’m hardly with anyone to help me. If I’m with somebody it’s to have a good time to have a conversation, whatever will I need help probably, you know, it maybe in something, but I’m very independent, which I love.

Mike Sarraille:
I’m hoping tomorrow. Yeah. We spark something into you. Yeah. Where like, again again? Oh yeah. Not only again, but I want to go to Everest and I wanna see that from 20,000 feet, like, but

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
What does that look like?

Mike Sarraille:
Uh, I can’t really remember. Okay. Okay. I was, uh, I, I remember watching the video. No, no, I do. <laugh> it was, it was all inspiring, but you’re also focused on, okay, now I need to execute this because the, the, the drop zone is small. What we call confined easy. Sure. Um, in the parachute, because the, the, the density, the area is just screaming at speed. Wow. So, but I think I want to give you the sense of cuz I’m gonna be in the airplane with you. I know. So, and we gotta put you into the harness. Uh, Nick and I is, I’m gonna be talking to you right before you go like, Hey, are you nervous? And of course you’re gonna be nervous. Of

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Course. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
And be like, you remember how you were before that Olympic performance, right? Nervous. Yeah.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
This is it. It’s probably gonna feel the same. Do you think?

Mike Sarraille:
I think it will.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’m so

Mike Sarraille:
Stoked, but that degrades sure. That, that, that, that, uh, subsides as you get more jumps under your belt, but still the beauty of, you know, having come right back from Iceland, like it just ruined jumping from me. Now I gotta jump in Iceland all the time.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You went to Iceland. Me and my best friend are talking about going to Iceland right

Mike Sarraille:
Now. Dude, you gotta do the ring road.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Really

Mike Sarraille:
Do the ring road. Okay. Yeah. Will, will came with me. Okay, good. Yeah. Will stayed. What? Two days? Three days later. Yeah. I, dude, I had a wife. I couldn’t justify like once, once we canceled the, the expedition. Yeah. Uh, due to, uh, reasons, uh, beyond our control and stuff is about to, to do a podcast on why we did cuz he can articulate it that much better than I he’s. He’s smarter than I am. Um, I, I, I had to get home, but uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I get that.

Mike Sarraille:
So I I’m honestly starting to believe there there’s something seriously wrong with you. Agreed. Oh, <laugh> okay. I mean let’s I mean, so no, this positivity is like if more people had this right. Infectious positivity in the face of adversity. Sure. Like you, so you look at all attributes. Yes. Confidence.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Mm-hmm

Mike Sarraille:
<affirmative> uh, you know, grit, um, uh, drive. Yeah. Uh, you know, accountability, discipline on the resilience. You are off the charts. Oh you are like you almost like to, to what people would be like. Yeah. Maniacal resilience. But there’s, there’s beauty to that.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You thank you for saying that. It means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate that. Thank you.

Mike Sarraille:
So you have dedicated your life now to speaking to people.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yep. And teaching the world. I do teachable moments on my Instagram and it’s just stuff that I didn’t know about when I was an able bodied person.

Mike Sarraille:
Wait let’s we’re gonna put it out multiple times, but you, Instagram is

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
At Amy van. Dican

Mike Sarraille:
You’ve gotta follow this. <laugh>

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Thank

Mike Sarraille:
You. I, because most people look at people that have suffered horrible accidents. You know what to say? Like, oh, that poor, bless

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Your

Mike Sarraille:
Heart. Bless your heart. That’s sweet woman. Yep.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I get it all the time.

Mike Sarraille:
And your response is,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Thank you. Right. If anyone’s gonna bless my heart and call me a sweet moment. I mean, it does not happen often. Like, you know, you’re getting to know me. I am not. I mean, let’s be honest.

Mike Sarraille:
You don’t, you don’t hold your tongue.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I do not at no. Well, here’s the, I had no filter before my brain injury and now I literally have no filter.

Mike Sarraille:
So with the brain injury of the injury of the, of the accident. Yeah. What, what was the, the, the, the, the, the level of that?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh God, it was pretty gnarly. So it was frontal lobe. So I went through six weeks of speech therapy.

Mike Sarraille:
So what was your speech pretty damaged?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yes. I was a lot of stuttering.

Mike Sarraille:
Slurring. Stuttering.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yep. Not remembering the words, getting pissed that I couldn’t remember the words. Right. Freaked Tom out. Um, so yeah, I went through a lot of that. Another thing that’s really weird. Right.

Mike Sarraille:
Did, did they have to, uh, I’m assuming you had swelling in the frontal lobe, did they, were

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
They a little bit, but it was okay. It subsided. They didn’t have

Mike Sarraille:
To go in. They, they thought they may have to crack your school at some point, correct? To leak

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
The pressure didn’t, which was great. So what hap, I guess it was like leaking through where everything was going through at the time. Mm-hmm <affirmative> don’t understand the medical stuff, but this is weird. I’m out to dinner with my neurosurgeon. Right? Cuz I become dear friends with them and we’re eating a steak and he’s like, Amy, do you want a glass of red wine? I’m like, oh God. He goes really my thing before my accident, I was a red wine, red wine connoisseur. And I loved chocolate. It makes me wanna vomit vomit, which

Mike Sarraille:
Go hand in hand,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We go hand in hand. It makes me wanna vomit now. So I tell him that and he goes, well, that’s cuz of the metallic taste in your mouth. I’m like, I don’t have a metallic, ah, crap. I do. I didn’t notice it. But brain injured. People always have some sort of metallic taste in their mouth. And so I have it. And that’s why I don’t like those things. Is that weird?

Mike Sarraille:
That that’s that’s odd. Yeah. That’s odd. I’m not gonna say that. No, no, no. That’s normal.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Thank you. I appreciate you.

Mike Sarraille:
Funny enough. So we had the luxury of the guys at J so to go to a program at Bethesda called the national Intrepid center in national Intrepid center of excellence at uh, okay. Bethesda. Yep. And now it’s expanded for the entire military. Oh they got that. Right? Good. Because I’ll tell you the infantry Marines, the infantry soldiers are much more deserving than us, uh, to, to, to receive that regardless how much time they they serve. But at one point they did a cognitive test and they said, Hey, listen, you’ve, you’ve suffered 50% cognitive degradation and I’m smiling. And the doctor’s like what? I was like, I’m sorry, what, why are you smiling? I’m like, what baseline are you considering that off of? Cuz I don’t remember you taking a baseline. They’re like, well your peers. And I said, without skipping beat. And I’m like, that’s where you wrong doc. Cuz I was never as smart as my peers, I worked that much harder and he laughed and I’m like, it it’s fine. But there was also speech. Yeah. I have a hard, hard time with word recall. Trust me, I’m not sitting, uh, crying into telling my spoke milk at all, but correct. Um,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
And you can see it when it happens to us. Yeah. Which is funny, cuz it’s almost like our eyes roll back to see the word. I don’t know if you do the same thing. I can see the word, feel it like it’s fuzzy. It’s there, whatever it’s right here. But I can’t get it

Mike Sarraille:
When it happens to me. I’m like today Jr. Like get it out. Yeah. Yes. So I’ll be very response critic.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
How is your short term memory?

Mike Sarraille:
Uh, short-term memory is really bad. Yes. So what do you call it? Compensatory measures. Yes. So, uh, my wife will tell, tell me something and this isn’t like, oh haha. The, the husband’s forgetting what his wife tells me, but she’s like, well, and this actually happened in the military. You guys would be like, Hey, we got a meeting in five minutes. They come back 15 minutes later and they’re like, Hey, we’re all waiting in the room. I’m like, what are you talking about? Like we told you, we had a meeting. So same thing with, uh, with my wife. And I think she’s finally like understanding that this isn’t me being like the, the wife, husband, uh, you know, uh, but guys will bring up things that happened in combat. I’m like, I I’m like, sorry, PHS. I just don’t remember that. Yeah. Um, and, and there’s things that they don’t remember as well. Sure. So I mean multiple, like for my generation that served 20 years and had multiple combats, there are like several lesions on the brain. Um, because plus dude, those like that’s a badge of honor in a sense,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You know, what it kind of is, right?

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. Like, okay. That’s my, that’s my challenge. Yeah. You, the one thing we’re scared about is it, it does open us up to early onset dementia. Yeah. And, and Alzheimera.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Parkinsons. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
Um, well there’s not to bring this up. I don’t wanna invest. There’s there’s a buddy. Who’s a, he was a combat photographer in, uh, in Vietnam. Oh wow. And he is emeritus partner at, uh, I D E O, which is one of the biggest think tanks in, in Silicon valley. Right. The mouse we all use, they designed amongst other things. Yes. His name is uh, Dave Haygood. Okay. And, uh, he had Parkinson’s and uh, he had a node implanted in his brain that when the Parkinsons stops, he just hits the node and it, it stops. Yes. And, uh, he was so proud of it. It was like the coolest thing. Yeah. But if you know, Dave, Dave is just that type of personality, right? Yeah. So, oh, I love it. You gotta make the most of adversity in, in those that cuz you see it, right. You’ve seen people with your, your, your, your level of injury. Okay. They’ll just shut down and life over.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I’ve seen people with lower level injuries, they have more control. Like they know when they have to go to the bathroom and they shut it down. I’m like really like you. So you know, I, I get it. I understand it because there are two ways that you can go, you can go into the feeling, sorry for yourself, sitting on the sofa with dirty sweats, watching the house wise, whatever. Or you get out and you teach people that this is okay, you’re fine. And my,

 

Mike Sarraille:
This is not, this is not what defines me. Correct.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. The gold medals didn’t define me this piece of, metal’s not gonna define me

Mike Sarraille:
For so many that does define them. Oh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Of course it does. Of course it does. But my goal in my life right now is to make it so that, that doesn’t define them. Right. So like I’ve got a friend who’s a quad. So he can’t move right from like he has upper arm movement. He’s getting acting brilliant. That’s awesome. It’s amazing. Yeah. Right. There is no hold BARR. There’s a girl who is a writer and a producer for NCI S new Orleans who has my level of injury. Do you ever wonder why there was a guy in a wheelchair on that show? Right? It’s so cool.

Mike Sarraille:
Amy. I can’t tell you. I’m a fan of NCIS cuz I got investigated the day I retired. You did? Oh yeah. Bullshit story. This is, this is government. Oh it was, it was my closure that, oh, I’m really done with the government. I retired. Thank you. This is why, but that’s that’s another story. There are good people in N C I S yeah. I just dealt with shitty uh, um, shitty NCIS agents. The same, same guys that went after Eddie Gallagher. If you ever heard that, that story. Okay. Yeah. Um,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah,

Mike Sarraille:
So you know, and I’m blanking here because we’ve been drinking all day. God damn you. Um, so sorry. <laugh> no, no it’s okay. Uh, you, well, let me say this, uh, I’ve got a few friends that are, you know, Rob Jones. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> lost both his legs, correct? Yeah. Uh, in, in Afghanistan and then went on to run 31 marathons and 30 ones days on his blades and his positivity is through the roof. Matthew, uh, and I’m forgetting math. Uh, Bradford is another Marine that lost his legs and lost his sight. And uh, what’s his motto is no, no sight. Uh, wait, wait, no legs, no problem. But they almost adjusted better than veterans that came home with all their limbs and all their, uh, you know, uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Faculties and all of that. Yeah.

Mike Sarraille:
And, and it, it, it, it, it, it makes me think of like one, if I was in their position, I don’t know what I would do. I would think, well, I would like to think I, I would be like them, but part of me thinks like, no, like those guys are more resilient than I am. I would’ve shut down, but I it’s, like they said, Hey, these are my circumstances. Yeah. From here forward, they don’t define me. I define myself, correct. From my actions.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yes. Yes. But that’s what successful people do all through their life. So that’s why I wanna teach people with disabilities to do that. And to be happy for just be happy for one thing a day, that’s all it takes. You know, be happy that your husband high-fived you, or you gotta kiss from a dog that wasn’t your, you know what I mean? Have to, yeah. You just have to, and it, you it’ll build. Right. I’ve heard so many times people say, I don’t know how I would do it. I don’t know how it would be in your position. But the thing is, when you are in my position, you don’t have a choice.

Mike Sarraille:
No, you do well.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You do well. You do have a choice. I didn’t have a choice, right? No,

Mike Sarraille:
You did too. You just chose. So this is where

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I chose door. Number one, instead of door number two,

Mike Sarraille:
Which is the harder, harder dork it is.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Do you think,

Mike Sarraille:
Oh yeah, you,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
You probably you’ve been through all this.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, no, no. I’ve not been through this, but to choose the door of just shutting down means putting no effort and, and saying I’m defined by this. Correct. And there’s nothing I can do.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct. And I just hope that people don’t do that. I hope that people can look at their situation no matter what it is. Right. We’ve talked about it before. We’re living in crazy times, you know, and find one thing, that’ll make you happy. And then it will just snowball and you will be positive. But look at the good things that you have in your life, right? Like maybe you have a cool dog or a cool cat, or maybe you’ve got like a squirrel that comes to visit you every day. You know, there’s always something good in life. You just have to find it. And sometimes it’s hard to find, but you can always do it. Well,

Mike Sarraille:
I’m still searching for that. Cool squirrel. Once I find it, I’ll let you know. Okay. Let

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Me know. Right.

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh> so Amy, I know you speak and I, and we’re to wind this down. We, we always end with two questions, but when you speak and I envision you speaking to a, uh, auditorium of high schoolers and college students, all sitting there mm-hmm <affirmative> what’s what are those things that you try to reinforce to ’em?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, I tell them my story and basically my story is who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do. Right? Nobody knows what’s in my heart, in my soul, in my brain, in my body. You don’t know me. So don’t tell me I can’t do something.

Mike Sarraille:
And when you’re trying to you’re you’re saying to them, no matter their circumstances, no.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
What? No matter your circumstances, you can have the worst day ever. Your worst day is different than my worst day. So don’t compare it with anybody

Mike Sarraille:
Deep for joy.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Absolutely. Yeah. And just live in the moment and, and, and have fun. Be positive. Crap is gonna happen to you. And it’s not gonna be fun, but when you can get through it and see the other side, it’s beautiful. So be patient, it may not take a day. It may not take a week or a year, but you will get there. And I want them to know that nothing can, can keep them down. We’re resilient as human beings.

Mike Sarraille:
If you don’t let it

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Find it. Right. But it’s like, when your dog accidentally eats your engagement ring, you gotta look for the diamond through the shit.

Mike Sarraille:
I I’m sorry. Did this happen?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It may have happened. <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
That sounds like an accountability issue. It

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
May have been

Mike Sarraille:
Was, was your husband a little, uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well that’s I told the story. He is not here right now, so I can tell this story. Oh, he didn’t know. Oh gosh. I don’t think so. Maybe he does. Let’s ask

Mike Sarraille:
Because you know how often do I, I recognize the ring on my wife’s finger. It just correct?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. Correct. Yeah. And it’s covered with Lou. Why do you smell Amy? I don’t know. By Diamond’s clean. Right. But it’s like that.

Mike Sarraille:
I, I don’t even know what to say to that. I

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Don’t know what that’s, how, that’s how I look at life. Right? Like, so there is a diamond, you just gotta keep looking for it. Sometimes it’s not cute, but you’ll find it.

Mike Sarraille:
Sometimes it takes years to find

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct. Yeah. And several dogs.

Mike Sarraille:
We are too many drinks. Deep. Uh,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Sorry.

Mike Sarraille:
<laugh> so we, we close this out. Yeah. In, in one, where can people contact you to come speak to their organizations, their companies, their, their communities.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Thank you. So I have an agent. Um, his name is Mark Zimmerman. If you go onto my Instagram, I have his stuff right there on at

Mike Sarraille:
Amy van dyin

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
At Amy van dyin. You can find me on the tweeter at Amy van Dyke. You can find me on the snappy chats at Amy van dyin. And you can also find me on the tick talks

Mike Sarraille:
At, I don’t think I have. I don’t think I have Snapchat. Do I?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh it’s but I do. I havet talk. The tick talk is awesome. I I’ve never signed on to tick talk. And my wife is like, my wife saw that and she’s like, she just walked out the room. Seriously. I like, I don’t run that Michelle and I and will run that. Sorry, not even me, not even me. Okay.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
That is hilarious. Tick talks are fun, man. You can can’t

Mike Sarraille:
Do it crazy. There there’s. No. So we didn’t have social media when we were in,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Correct.

Mike Sarraille:
Like just so the first social media account I had was Facebook. When I went into the university of Texas NBA program, cuz they pass information through sure. The groups and that was a stretch. And now that I understand social media is a tool and I’ll be honest, the, the, the team runs the majority of it. I don’t wanna seem, sound like a diva. Like my team runs my social media.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
My

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah, yeah. We, we do. We do. Um, but I, I wanna finish with two questions. Okay. First, what are those 1, 2, 3 rules. Those tenants, those non-negotiables that, that those codes that you’ve lived your life by that have most of the time led to success. I know sometimes you follow your own rules. Mm-hmm <affirmative> it doesn’t work out. But for those listening, mm-hmm <affirmative> that want to be like you,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right? Believe in yourself. Believe in the goals that you’ve set for yourself and always be a kind person because every human being in this world is just trying to do what you are and get along in the world and be happy and have a good life.

Mike Sarraille:
Do you think number three has been lost.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Number three has been lost. I think in the world it’s been lost. I really do. I, I, you know, I I’m down the street and it’s hard being in a wheelchair, you know, in downtown Denver and I’ll be, be bopping around and these kids are on their phones and I almost I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m gonna run you over. Like nobody pays attention to anybody anymore. We need to have that communication with people. Like if you look at a baby who isn’t touched at all, it won’t live. Yeah. That we need touch. We need hugs. We need all the things. And we’ve gotten away from that.

Mike Sarraille:
Are you still in swimming? Are you doing any coaching or mentoring whatsoever?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
So no, I was, I was coaching a high school swim team. Now I work for PAC 12 network. I’ve worked for them for 10 years. Did as a commentator, as a commentator. Yes, I did the Olympics this past year as a commentator.

Mike Sarraille:
Yes. And you crushed

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
It. Thank you. It was a lot,

Mike Sarraille:
You got more personality than the others who are very

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right.

Mike Sarraille:
I, I won’t here’s fashion your colleagues. Here’s

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
What I never knew about sports people. Right. They’re always so serious. You’re talking about a game, like, like you’re talking about a game it’s fun. Right. And I know that. Yes. Okay. Super bowls and Stanley cups and all that. Yeah. It’s on the line. However, it’s what you did when you were six to have fun. Yeah. Have fun. Just have fun, man. If we went back to how we were, when we were five and six years old, the world would be a better place.

Mike Sarraille:
Yeah. It would.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I

Mike Sarraille:
Think, especially in your twenties, when you don’t care about money, you’re just having fun,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right? Oh, exactly. And all you’re doing is coming home when the streets lights around for some dinner and then you’re going back out.

Mike Sarraille:
Exactly, exactly. That that’s powerful. And, um, lastly, when the time has come, how are you gonna look back in your life and how are you gonna evaluate whether you’ve lived a life of impact and purpose.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
If I can see disabled people being represented, as we represent every other community in this world, I will be happy. But I also want my tombstone to read.

Mike Sarraille:
Here we go.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
She was a really cool chick and kind of a Dick <laugh>

Mike Sarraille:
That if, if that happens, I told somebody recently, I think it was, it was on the, and some podcast. I said always the bridesmaid, never the bride. And what I mean by that is always a team player. Always the team player, right? Never the Michael Jordan. Yes. Always the, uh, the, the ke or, or the Pippin. Yeah. Right.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
No, I always felt for Scotty Pippin. I’m like, man, he was my favorite. I loved him.

Mike Sarraille:
You, you still one the, the NBA. Great. Yeah, I know you’re

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Right. But at the time it was like, oh, all about Michael, but then Scotty’s pulling up these numbers that are pretty good.

Mike Sarraille:
Astronom I’m cool. Allstar, any other team and the other, but an all star in the history and the, the exactly.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Yeah. But they wouldn’t have done what they did without each other. I always say that. Like, if you take one person out of a team, even though you could fill the spot with a person, it’s the attitude, the energy that makes that team what it is. So when you disrupt it, it kind of funks it up a

Mike Sarraille:
Little bit. When are we gonna see the documentary on Amy van Dyke and Roon?

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, I don’t know if we need to see that. Yeah,

Mike Sarraille:
We do.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Well, we, I don’t know. We need to get that done. Okay. If you know anybody who wants Netflix, if you are interested at all, give me a call.

Mike Sarraille:
I think young ladies need to see that. Maybe I want my, I would want my daughter and my son maybe. Oh. To, uh, to see that

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
I would love that. Well, that means a lot. Thank you. I appreciate that. Okay. Maybe it’ll be a cartoon when it’s out.

Mike Sarraille:
Who knows? Well, I know we still have some drinking tonight.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
We isn’t this crazy. I know we’re gonna have so much fun.

Mike Sarraille:
Well, there’s gotta be a level where I’m gonna be like, Hey, 10 30, everyone. Go get some sleep. You

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Have no idea. I turn into a pumpkin.

Mike Sarraille:
Are you? So my wife and the, I mean, my wife is 32. I’m I’m about to turn 45. What I love her about her is we she’s like nine, 9:00 PM. She’s like time to go home.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
She is good. Oh, I

Mike Sarraille:
Love her. Yeah. Oh, but she’s up at 5:00 AM. Like on the, and I used to be up at four and now it’s like changing. She’s like, I used to love when you get up before me now, it’s just like, it’s a little unattractive. We, we, we play without,

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen:
Oh, I love that. Yeah. Yeah. So you gotta play in a relationship.

Mike Sarraille:
Oh yeah. You gotta play. So we’re gonna jump tomorrow. Yeah. And we are gonna video and tape this, this entire thing. And I’m so interested for your perspective on the ground. Remember? Yeah. Pendleton whiskey, correct. Shot on the ground. And we are gonna dedicate this jump. Not only to you, but somebody who lost their life on July 17th during the global war. Terror will keep that name for, uh, for tomorrow. Amy. Thank you. I cannot. Thank you enough. Thank you for all the followers. Remarkable woman, high performer. Thank you. One of the most resilient women I’ve ever met, if you can’t learn from this story, the problem is not her it’s you. And I just said that. All right, guys, we’ll see you again. Thank you.

 

Episode 23

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 23: Drew Brees
In episode 23, we spoke with Drew Brees, former NFL quarterback who played for 20 seasons.
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 24

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 24: Kevin Jonas
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 25

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 25: Actor David Boreanaz
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a new podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 26

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Episode 26: Erin Andrews
In episode 26 of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast, we spoke with sportscaster and TV personality Erin Andrews.
Play
Flip podcast card

Episode 27

Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior Podcast Season 2 Episode 1: Dan Marino
Men’s Journal’s Everyday Warrior With Mike Sarraille is a podcast that inspires individuals to live more fulfilling lives by having conversations with
Play
Flip podcast card