Andy Andrews

Squeeze The Day Podcast: NYT best-selling author Andy Andrews discovers his greatest gifts during a time of homelessness

Andy Andrews has been hailed by the “New York Times” as someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America. His books have been translated into 40 languages. Four U.S. presidents have asked him to present as an inspirational speaker. He has worked with the Department of Defense, and some of the world's largest corporations and sports teams. Learn how being homeless pushed him to become a voracious reader. This continual learning helped him create a new beginning. Today Andrews is at the top of his game inspiring others to do the same.

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Tom Grant

Squeeze The Day Podcast: Singer-Songwriter Tom Grant Tells Stories of His Life in Entertainment and His Health Journey

Singer-songwriter Tom Grant has written songs for Tammy Wynette, Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, and Mickey Gilley. He sang with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, on “Hee Haw,” “Pop! Goes the Country,” and for years was a regular performer on the “The Ralph Emery Show,” and The Nashville Network's “Nashville Now.” In this interview, learn about Grant’s career, health challenges -- including living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease -- and how growing up in a “Happy Days” type environment gave him a solid foundation for life.

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Squeeze The Day Podcast: Barbara Kimbro describes living with a disability and why volunteering and research are important to our well-being

Barbara Kimbro lives her life with optimism despite facing several significant challenges. Diagnosed at the age of six with rheumatoid arthritis, she has lived most of her life with mobility challenges and pain. In this Squeeze the Day podcast we learn about navigating life with a disability, serving as an All of Us Research Program peer ambassador, and how volunteering enriches her life. This conversation underscores her passion for people, precision medicine, and the importance of living life to the fullest.

Q. Tell us about the All of Us Research Program and your role as peer ambassador.

I get to go out and introduce it to people … to tell them how to join and give my opinion. …I meet a lot of new people… It benefits others to help them to know about how to get on a research program, and how to learn more about their disabilities. We had a series about diabetes, and I talked to a lot of people about diabetes. I showed them charts and how to go on the website to get more information about it and how to learn more…, how to take care of themselves with their diabetes-like programs, like nutrition classes, a lot of different stuff like that. It helps me because I was born with RA, and we did an assessment on rheumatoid arthritis in general. I found out a lot of things and learned more information about my disability...

Q. Why are you such a passionate volunteer?

I like people. I like helping people to understand about what’s out there for them. I mean, we wouldn’t know anything if we did not have All of Us. I mean seriously, we really want to know what’s going on through the programs -- what you can sign up for to find out what it’s really like -- if you have high blood pressure or something in your blood that we can correct or we can talk to our doctors about… I love being around and knowing about different things. I love finding out about different things… that are part of your life. This could really help a lot of people.

Barbara Kimbro at FiftyForward Knowles

Q. Tell us about home health and how technology has helped you, especially during COVID.

I did a program at everyone’s center during that time. I even did an exercise program with a lady in Florida as well as an art class online… without technology, I would not know anything. I would not know what to do. During the pandemic, it [technology] saved my life. It really did.

In this interview, Kimbro underscores the role doctors and Vanderbilt play in her life as health care advocates and as an All of Us Research partner. She explains the importance of research programs and how they will help future generations.

One of the biggest takeaways from this interview is the importance of communication and connection in the lives of older adults. Kimbro emphasizes the value of being a good listener and the power of interacting with others. She highlights the value of being involved in the community and engaging in activities that keep the mind and body active, especially at senior or community centers and through adult day services programs.  In addition, Kimbro encourages community leaders to find transportation solutions for individuals with disabilities and emphasizes the need for better accessibility and support in this area. Her insight into the experiences of older adults with disabilities is a valuable and important wake-up call for all of us.

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Coach Courtney Podcast

Squeeze The Day Podcast: Coach Bill Courtney uses teambuilding skills to build winners on and off the field

Coach Bill Courtney is known for his inspirational leadership as a high school football coach in West Tennessee. His story, as told in the Oscar-winning documentary “Undefeated,” is a shining example of encouragement to create winners on and off the field. Learn how “Undefeated” was a game changer for Courtney and how today he's recognizing “an army of normal folks” who make a difference in life.

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Ed Batsel

Squeeze The Day Podcast: Volunteer extraordinaire Ed Batsel teaches us about loss and the importance of community

AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer Ed Batsel recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from President Biden for more than 25 years of service and 4,000 plus hours delivering meals currently through FiftyForward Fresh Meals on Wheels. Despite recently losing his wife, Batsel keeps a positive attitude and shares tips to help us navigate the passing of years. Soon to be 90, he is a model for active aging and is enthusiastic about health, hobbies, and engagement, especially for retirees. In this podcast, we learn about his life and hardships -- including the recent loss of his wife -- and how he is coping. One FiftyForward teammate said, "For me, meeting Ed has changed the picture of what it looks like to be 90."

You recently lost your wife after 65 years of marriage, will you share a bit about that?

Well, a lot of our listeners, I suspect, know what it means to lose a spouse. I think probably the biggest adjustment I've had is simply being alone, sleeping alone, and normally not having anybody come into the house.  And, I discovered very, very quickly that the answer to that is to get out of the house, which is what I have done.

In our conversation, he shares with candor and humor some of the lessons he has learned as well as coping mechanisms and forward-looking strategies to help others. In addition, Batsel shares how his own health issues surfaced and have shaped his life.

What advice do you have for others to prepare for life's unpredictable situations?

For a man, you better learn to cook…  I'm surprised at how many men whose wives do all of the finances. That’s a bad sign. My wife did ours, but that's only because if it were left up to me, we would not have any money because I'm a spender. She was a very careful, organized budgeter.  But she left me with Excel spreadsheets that were totally organized, and the formulas are all worked out … all I have to do is enter the monthly totals.

In the podcast, Batsel stresses the benefit of having tough conversations related to the end of life including wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and tips that can provide peace of mind for families, especially during times of loss. His roadmap is thought-provoking and offers insight and tips for all of us. Learning about what he called his “very famous blue book” offers a very real example of advanced planning.

While sharing about his roots and career we also get a sneak peek of how education shaped the spirit-filled man, his career, and why he became dedicated to service.

How do you suggest people prepare for retirement?

Have something to do, have a hobby, volunteer at Meals on Wheels, get active in something.

Intergenerational sharing is key to Batsel’s fulfillment. His stories showcase real-world examples of learning from people of all ages ranging from a 100-year-old military veteran who received FiftyForward Fresh Meals on Wheels to his very own grandson who is an entrepreneur and a social media influencer.

What would you tell your younger self?

Get started sooner on the non-material things of life, the spiritual side, particularly people, and relationships.

What is it that you do to Squeeze the Day?

I am an early riser and it's the first hour -- although it's getting longer – an hour and a half that I spend in prayer, reading the Bible …  Recently it’s about journaling where I just react to what's happening. Good, bad, indifferent.

Don’t miss this podcast full of wisdom and life experience peppered with the importance of preparation, service, and hobbies. Join us for a juicy conversation to learn more about how to Squeeze the Day.

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Squeeze the Day Podcast: Engineer turned entrepreneur T.J. Tennent talks about how anger management, self-care, and respect for others help his global tire business shine

T.J. Tennent is a forensics expert, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur who has channeled negativity for the greater good. He's a natural-born teacher who uses his longtime passion for all things automotive to create a global tire forensics business that is building momentum. In this Squeeze the Day, let's learn how anger management, valuing relationships, and leveraging expertise have created a booming business. 

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