Love Conquers Alz

Globetrotters ANTHONY COPELAND-PARKER and CATHERINE ELIZABETH POPP: Navigating Alzheimer’s While Running Marathons Around the World

December 22, 2021 ANTHONY COPELAND-PARKER, CATHERIINE ELIZABETH POPPSusie Singer Carter and Don Priess Season 3 Episode 49
Love Conquers Alz
Globetrotters ANTHONY COPELAND-PARKER and CATHERINE ELIZABETH POPP: Navigating Alzheimer’s While Running Marathons Around the World
Show Notes Transcript

Earlier in the year, (Episode 38), Don and I had an absolutely inspirational conversation with ANTHONY COPELAND PARKER. In 2014, Tony, and his partner, Catherine (Cat) Elizabeth Popp, were in their 50’s when they found out that he needed a heart-valve replacement, and she had early-onset Alzheimer’s. But even though their life had was about to change forever, they were not about to let it stop them from chasing their dreams. With a shared passion for traveling and histories as endurance athletes, their reaction to the news was to retire from their jobs, sell their home, and become nomads, running marathons and half-marathons all over the world. 

 Since then, the duo has traveled to 82 countries and run marathons and half-marathons in thirty-five countries, on all seven continents. 

 Tony’s new memoir - Running All Over the World: Our Race Against Early-Onset Alzheimer’s - tells their story. 

 In Episode 49, both the author, Tony, and his partner, Cat, join Love Conquers Alz for a uplifting conversation about the book which includes traveling, marathons, and living their best lives… despite Cat’s Early Onset diagnosis. 

 Tony is committed to being Cat’s caregiver 24/7 and it is beautiful watching how great they are together.  He shares that the book came directly from his blog, runningwithcat.com, that he began writing when he and Cat started traveling about seven years ago. Initially he was doing it to record memories for both of them, but them he decided he wanted to inspire others to look at the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s a little bit differently … and turned the blog into a book that combines their passion for running, travel, and each other.


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Don Priess:

Alzheimer's sucks. It's an equal opportunity disease that chips away at everything we hold dear. And to date, there's no cure. So until there is we continue to fight with the most powerful tool in our arsenal. Love. This is love conquers all a real and really positive podcast that takes a deep dive into everything. Alzheimer's, The Good, the Bad, and everything in between. And now, here are your hosts Susie singer, Carter, and me, Don priests.

Susie Singer Carter:

Hello, everybody. I'm Susie singer Carter. And

Don Priess:

I'm Don Priess. And this is Love Conquers Alz. Hello, Susan.

Susie Singer Carter:

Happy Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings, everybody.

Don Priess:

All those things, although by the time they're listening to this, it's probably gonna be the past. And so we hope everyone had amazing holiday. Yeah, but

Susie Singer Carter:

yeah, you might be a year or two years later, who cares?

Don Priess:

Exactly. This may be listened to next Christmas. Who knows?

Susie Singer Carter:

Right? That's right. So first of all, I got to visit my mom yesterday. Yes, bring the baby. And it was so it was so lovely. It was beautiful outside and she was so happy and she got a chance to to interact with Eden. And it was just a joy. And it put a little spring in my step.

Don Priess:

Yeah. I mean, I saw the pictures in the videos, and she just looked, she looked at peace. And she looked just just happy. And just so yeah, I mean, because she was just surrounded by you know, everyone that makes her happy. You know, your two daughters you the baby. What more could she ask for unless I was there, she could have asked for it. She could have asked for that. But you know, but you're

Susie Singer Carter:

If you were there. She wouldn't see us.

Don Priess:

That's true. Yeah. Yeah, she would have been doing that. You know, that little thing she does. But yeah, yeah, but but that's that's like, you know, in a time where we're giving gifts and getting gifts. Alright. No better one than that. My gift. Absolutely. And we have a we have a great gift today.

Susie Singer Carter:

We have Yeah, a little bit of some good news. We have a another podcast in case anybody's not heard us plug this a million times. But our our other podcast which is a scripted comedy horror called I Love Lucifer. It's, it's a hoot. And we just were made it finals in four different categories for the Audio Verse Awards, the AVA awards, and we're very proud. And we're in good company. And it's our first time doing a scripted podcast. So we feel very blessed. And so another another unexpected gift, and we're very proud. So thank you to everybody that already voted for us and have been listening. And if you haven't listened, please try it out. You'll enjoy it. It's fun. It's wackadoo. And, and it's also very sweet.

Don Priess:

Yeah, and it's on all the major platforms. Yeah, yeah, that's what that's what somebody we got to review that said, Susi e puts the heart in horror. And she puts the heart and everything. That's why there's a big heart in our logo. Is that why Susie puts the heart in logos.

Susie Singer Carter:

Ys, I do. I like hearts. I was the girl in junior high. Yeah, put that put a Iheart over her "I"'s

Don Priess:

WHaddya mean, just in junior high?

Susie Singer Carter:

So guess what, we have our very first part two of a guest.

Don Priess:

Exactly. There's a reason it's not just because we like him. There's a reason behind it. Well, our guest today may look familiar to some of you because this is his second appearance on love conquers all. Tony Copeland Parker and his partner, Catherine Popp have had a long passion for endurance running and travel. And they weren't about to let Catherine's diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's nor his heart valve replacement surgery in 2014 take them off course. Following Catherine's diagnosis at age 53. They retired, sold their house and set off on a journey of running and marathons around the globe. And now he is chronicled their incredible experiences in a new book running all over the world our race against early onset Alzheimer's and we are so lucky to have both of them on today with us. So say hello to Tony Copeland Parker and Catherine Popp. Hello.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Hi How you doing? We're so glad to be here

Don Priess:

We are thrilled to have you!

Susie Singer Carter:

so happy to have you, both of you Cat and and Tony. Tony is one of our favorite people I've got to know through through doing this podcast which we've got to meet some amazing people but Tony is is one of the special ones and and his cast He's his life partner that we just is just amazing and inspirational and adorable. Let's just call it what it is, you know? And I don't know. But we both got the memo to wear red shirts today. So,

Don Priess:

Tony and I got the black shirts

Cat Popp:

Oh! I didnt even notice! Oh my goodness

Susie Singer Carter:

.Yeah. We're like, we're like a JC with you too. Penney's ad.

Cat Popp:

I haven't been...

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Yeah. Except for yours has Christmas and hers has a racing half marathon we ran.

Don Priess:

Yeah, both of you have marathon shirts on. We do not.

Susie Singer Carter:

Yet. Yeah. One day I will one day I will. Because you are inspiring the hell out of me. I just want to say I yeah, I I finished reading or listening rather to Anthony's book. Tony, when we say that, Tony, I like Anthony though, too, because it's fancy. You know, I just I got I got an opportunity to hear listen to the whole book. And it is such a trip pardon the pun, because it's, it's not an Alzheimer's book. It's not. It's not a book about running is not a book about travel. It's a book about all of that in one and a book about like to great people. And so it really, it really is a genre in its own. And I was so surprised and delighted by it. Because I got to travel to so many cities. And Tony, you have an amazing, amazing ability to recount interesting details. But my new

Don Priess:

food was delicious. Yeah, the food was delightful. I gained 11 pounds reading this book.

Susie Singer Carter:

Yeah.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Well, you're supposed to do the things that I suggest, Don.

Don Priess:

I probably should have done the running too.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Yeah.

Susie Singer Carter:

I just want to frame the book a little for our listeners. Because I want to also say that if you've ever wanted to run a marathon or thought about it, read this book, because you will be inspired to at least try it once. I am. I will. And I'm going to. And you know, I did a lot of Yeah, I am. I did a lot of research for a film that I'm I adapted from a book called Plain Jane. And it's about a woman running the New Jersey marathon. And it's really, you know, I had to really immerse myself in that in that world of Marathon because I've never done it, although I am athletic. And but boy, I wish I would have read your book before I wrote my my script. And it really it really, it really is fascinating. What you guys do, and especially serial runners like you both are, it's it's incredible. And, and then on top of it, you you weave in and out of your journey, not you know, around the world, running and then also with each other, as you both deal with your early onset Alzheimer's and that, and it's, it's, it's pretty it's it's it's wildly inspirational. And I don't know, I don't know anybody who could walk who could read this book and just go, oh, yeah, you are both of you. Both of you are just shining examples of the best way to live your life with a diagnosis like this or any diagnosis. Like, you know, I'm going to shut up. But, Tony, you first tell me how well how the hell are you today?

Unknown:

We're doing pretty good, actually. So I want to talk about for a second here, a phrase I coined in a book, which is called our new best friends. And I want to talk about an example of how we can travel anywhere and run into someone that we had met through our travels previously. And you in dire example, because we came out to the West Coast a couple of weeks ago, or actually probably two months ago now. And that we were able to get together and have lunch. And that was a really good thing for us to be able to associate something that we had done with someone before and then come up to the northwest coast and meet up with you. So that was a great time was and and as you remember, I was begging to get back on your lovely podcast because you all were one of the first podcast that I had done after I sold my book And I wanted to come back and to thank you for getting me started on this journey down through podcast life. And then also to mention to about your other podcast. And the fact that we're going to vote yes. Listening to it, and Cat loves it and laughs all the way through the screaming isout of control.

Susie Singer Carter:

Awesome, thank you. This is a love fest. Thank you. I wanted to also congratulate you on on being listed number three of the best books on dementia on on beingpatient.com, which is a which is a highly respected portal for our community. And so I think that's really incredible that you so quickly got the recognition that you deserve.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Thank you, I was overjoyed to see that come through here. I did a Facebook Live of being patient. And I enjoy doing that. I've done Instagram Live the other week, that was a lot of fun. Some people told me I should start my own podcast, but I don't want to, to, to go up against

Don Priess:

Oh, you would just enhance the world, you would enhance this whole space if you did. So. It's important that you kno w, it would

Susie Singer Carter:

take you away from it.

Don Priess:

Yeah, when Could you do it? You could do it while you're while you're running? You could do it.

Susie Singer Carter:

That would be a whole new podcast - you call it, "On T he Run".

Don Priess:

on the run. On the

Susie Singer Carter:

"On The Run with Tony and Cat.

Don Priess:

Yeah.

Unknown:

Yeah. So people would think that we were escaped covicts or something

Cat Popp:

I know! I know!

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Which is something else is because people ask us all the time about, you know, our travels and why we do it and what's going on all that and, and so folks that I don't really care for that much when I say that we are worthy protected list. And that's why we live around.

Susie Singer Carter:

Actually, that's actually that's actually a perfect setup for a podcast. Because you know, true crime is is number one in podcast land. So you guys would do well with a double entendre like that. Right? Yeah. I can't help it.

Unknown:

a creative so you're so you're the full you're full of I'm ideas and Don's the pretty face.

Don Priess:

Exactly. I am just I'm just the meat. She's the potatoes.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Oh boy, we're going off the rails here. WHere ere we?

Don Priess:

I you know, for those of our listeners who have not seen your other your other visit to us, you know, maybe you could just give a very brief just background on what you've been doing, you know where it started. And and your your journey...

Unknown:

Like you stated back in 2014. I had open heart surgery, I had a leaky aortic valve. Yeah, they had to be replaced. And unfortunately, that went well, fortunately. But unfortunately, around the same time we were learned that Catherine, you made space for us when a diagnosis came through after extensive testing with neurologist at all. So with that, I decided that we were going to both retire, and we sold our home. And we did not intentionally become nomads. But as we refer to ourselves as go the Goldilocks we kind of looked around from place to place to try to find someplace to live and couldn't find the perfect place. So seven years later, we're still on the road. Right now we're in Atlanta, Georgia, which we use as our hub of operations, just like an airline does. Yeah, we fly on Delta. And we stay in Marriot hotels and we rent hertz cars. I got to tell slab today. Oh my goodness, that is one cool as one cool car. But So seven years and counting. I don't know when we're going to ever settle down every time I asked Catherine to settle down she asked me why. And I don't come up with good reason. So we keep going and we have kids, grown adults all over the country. So we go visit them and then we do races. Right now we're working on getting ahead Half Marathon in all 50 states. Congratulations to Katherine here who last year was able to get a marathon done in all 50 states for array. Alright, alright, that is something else there. Oh my goodness. I'm still seven states away, never going to do it. So we're concentrating on getting a half marathon in all 50 states right now we just got state number 41 Done. After we saw you all, we stopped off in New Mexico on our way back to Atlanta, and we got another state done. So state number 41. And we probably will work on getting the next nine plus DC here this spring. So I have 68 marathons and Katherine has 83 marathons. I did this because she was running marathons, and I wanted to get to know her. So I said, Hey, can you train me to run a marathon? And she said, Yes, absolutely. me thinking I had to do this. And 68 hours later, I was still trying to impress her. There was a 50 miler in there somewhere it was Ironman in there somewhere. So yeah.

Susie Singer Carter:

You guys are living the life of rockstars.

Unknown:

And sometimes we're treate as such because we pull in here there Renaissance gateway, one tram stop away from the airport, and we get off and come in and everybody's smiling and asking us where are we been, can we get into your suitcase, so your next trip? Just really well here. So

Susie Singer Carter:

Amazing. Although love conquers Alz, were extremely interested in leaning into whatever, whatever challenges come our way. But we all have challenges, right, without with everything. And I was just wondering if you and cat would share some of the challenges that you've been dealing with in terms of just this, you know, rotten disease that we are that we all are familiar with, if you want to if you don't, you don't have to, but I think it's always helpful to, to hear what challenges are out there. And then how you are circumventing them or, you know, kicking them to the curb or not.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Um, there are challenges, as you know, with this disease with your mother, and all the numbers are increasing with Alzheimer's. Turns out that women are more susceptible to early onset than men. It's more susceptible for minorities than it is for Caucasians. There's all sorts of things that I've learned along the way about this disease. And what I decided to do was to incorporate a lot of things that you can do to help yourself first to try to push it off as long as possible or when you have the diagnosis, what you could do, which is staying active, activity, running, biking, swimming, anything that you love to do long walks, is really good for you. Making sure that you stay social person with Alzheimer's has a tendency to want to withdraw if they have difficulty speaking, it's in his nature. So as your partner, you want to get them out there and socialize, which would be one of the things we did quite extensively. And as we talked about earlier, you know, dropping into a city and just going out and, and meeting up with someone that you know, and having lunch with, we were at Virginia, and we knew someone that was two hours away, so I drove an hour and they drove an hour when we met, we had a nice breakfast together. So there's things that you could do that are to try to stay social. We also love to walk around Botanical Gardens, there's something about a ledger that that helps out for folks who have Alzheimer's and stay active seeing new and exciting things. So that's one of the reasons why we run all over the world. So we can see the Eiffel Tower the Great Wall of China, visit places like Bhutan and Madagascar and play with the lemurs. They're usually filled with things they were trying to do. And then lastly, make sure you get playing asleep. And by staying active, you can wear yourself out so when it comes time for night, you can go ahead and get a good night's sleep because that helps to bring rejuvenate overnight. Those all the things that we put together. The other thing that we do is that we try to look for challenges outside of the disease. And that keeps us from away from focusing in on the disease. But as you know, the disease creeps in on a daily basis. And you do have your frustrations that that crop up. Right now for me, what I'm trying to deal with is trying to take care of myself, I'm reading a lot about that, there's a lot to be said about how the caregiver needs to take time for themselves. I chose with her diagnosis to be all in. So is this is a team effort, were 24 by seven, wherever she goes, I go wherever I go, she goes, we're always together, we wanted to try to tackle this as a team effort. But at the same time, that does take a toll on me for making sure that I take care of myself, I enjoy managing, I enjoy the planning part of it. But I now trying to struggle with what can I do more so to make sure that I take care of my mental health and physical health, because I need to be there for her, I don't need something happening to me. As a matter of fact, I gave up alcohol test and for the fact that I could be there for her and make sure that died. And my full cognitive basis, whatever, you know, things crop up and to stay healthy. So that's where we are.

Don Priess:

I mean, sometimes, you know, the sacrifices that you make are actually, you know, healthier for you. You think, oh, that's a sacrifice. It's like, wait a minute, but it's making me healthier. It's making me you know, so is it really a sacrifice? You know, so it's, it's interesting that and so your thoughts of basically you could say, well, maybe it'd be better for somebody with Alzheimer's to be seeing the same thing all the time. And you know, so they get used to it, and they can remember that, but you feel that the stimulation, the new things are really what you know, are really the benefit.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Yes, I say that what we're doing is counterintuitive, they always say that, you should have a routine set up for the person with Alzheimer's. So they have the same thing to eat and the same bed time they do things the same way. And maybe later on that might be beneficial. You know, in the later stages, but early on the early stages of Alzheimer's, your short term memory is affected and not your long term. So what we're trying to do is take these mini events and things of that nature moving into long term memory, so that when she becomes frustrated with something that might happen is that she can remember those things and bring her joy to her life so that she's not concentrating on what she could remember yesterday or the day before. The other thing is that it's also very stimulating for the brain. When I try to do this talk about stimulating the brain with brain games, like some Sudoku, crossword puzzles, well, I'm moving your cheese every day. Every day. She's waking up from trying to figure out where she is, where are we going and what we're going to do that. Usually I try to have a day that is filled with joy things that we look forward to as matter of fact, this podcast was one of the things that I use today. To for her to think about. I mentioned the fact that we're going to be talking to you too. She's sparked right up.

Susie Singer Carter:

Right? See you all well. Ditto right back at you cat. I'm excited to talk to you. Listen, nobody gets me up at 9am Except for people I like!

Tony Copeland-Parker:

I couldn't get her up at 9:00 either

Susie Singer Carter:

I was I'll do it I'll do it I'll get up early. I'm getting really bad you can't Can I just say look you look amazingly healthy and you look beautiful. And like you have a glow and whatever Tony's doing is you're you're like you're every you've got every woman's dream you have such a nice a great partner that is there with you and obviously you're a great partner for him because you've inspired him to to achieve what he never thought he could. And what a great what a what a great, great poster you are for all of us and and both of you in your own unique ways and cat especially you I mean I know having a mom who has Alzheimer's for a very long time. And she's she doesn't run marathons I'll tell you that. But she does. She is a rocket. She has always been a force and have incredibly social and she would be she would be trying to steal Tony from you If she had, she'd say, oh, Aren't you handsome? And then on the same brush, she'd say, Wow, are you gorgeous? Hello? Do you cat? She's just she's just sweet. Yeah. But you know, I think that it gets frustrating. And when I get frustrated when I can't remember something, and it's frustrating, and I admired that you're pushing through it, because it's not easy. You, you're doing the best you can you're doing the best anyone can and it's, you should be so proud of yourself. Because no, you you really should I don't say that glibly, like you are. It's really incredible what you're doing, and it moves me so much. You're, you're a shining example. So I'm giving you a virtual kiss and a hug because you really are something special.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Well, that was another reason why I wanted to do a part two was I wanted to have Catherine here with me to do this. I've done over a dozen podcasts, and I would be there and she'd be off in the background. I was wanting to include her to give folks another look at what is and what isn't. So yes, right. Yes, you can see she's doing

Susie Singer Carter:

How do you feel? How do you feel, Cat? Are you feeling good?

Cat Popp:

Yeah, I could look good. Yeah, I feel good... going and running....

Don Priess:

And I'll bet you'd rather see the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China, and all those things instead of just staring at the same picture on the wall every day, right?

Tony Copeland-Parker:

That's a true statement. And she gets antsy. Oh my god, I'm trying to do some work. And she's like, Okay, we got to go, we got to go back to just sit around his hotel room for another 15 minutes, get yourself together.

Susie Singer Carter:

Girl, my mom, my mom was the same way. My mom when she lived with me that that year when we had our caregiver or Lunda. Mom, my mom was like, let's go, my mom wanted to go and get out of the house. And our Londa God bless her to my mom saw every nook and cranny of La every day, they were on a bus because their Londa didn't drive. And there's my mom, you know, on a bus, on the city bus, going to anywhere a museum shopping, anywhere, there's people, my mom loved it, you know, and she wanted to be out and about. And she made friends with everybody in my loft community, right? Have a live loft, workspace live, you know, where you live and work. And it was like living in a studio. And she made friends with everybody there. And everybody knew her. And I think you're so right, that it's important to stay involved as much as you can. And so what if you can't remember someone's name? Who cares? I can't remember everyone's name. Right?

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Right. That's not

Don Priess:

at all. And I think that's important for for those who who are caregiving to, you know, to seven is stimulation is so important. I know that when you know Susie, you are finally able to take your mom, and we went to a park for a picnic after being in COVID for a year and a half, but in the same place. And the place she's in is beautiful. And it's wonderful and all the people are loving. But this stuff, there was no no stimulation, no outside, nothing new. And I think bringing in something new all the time. Will you know not only you know, whether you remembered or not, it brings your spirit it you remember it in here, as we always say, you remember here instead of here and that's okay. So that stimulation you're providing if in any way, you know, for those who are caregiving right now, you know, stimulate, do not just let them sit because I think that that's going to accelerate it even more in the long run. Now you're providing you know, because, you know, I don't know the science be between, you know, dopamine and serotonin and all those things, but activity stimulates those, you know, the endorphins and everything. And that's, you know, so to be just sitting every day and not moving and not getting stimulation can not be good for somebody with Alzheimer's, what you're doing for anybody that's true, like me. So, to the book, you know, one thing I noticed with the book is the detail that you had, that you have for things that happen, you know, 20 years ago, you know what you were eating and all these things. Did you Journal?

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Well, what happened was when I was doing the getting ready for my operation, there was a gentleman that put together a website. And he was suggesting that everybody journal, what they're going through their feelings and education and your preparation for the operation in your journal through the operation journal in your recovery. And once I started doing it, I just found it very therapeutic for me, also to read others and find out what they went through. And I just continued writing, I wrote about my heart operation and then hit the road I started writing there, I was writing to a blog. Right now I have a blog out which is running with cat at ca t is my pet name for Katherine things you might have noticed. And I just kept writing and they also state that for caregivers with for folks with Alzheimer's, the journaling is really good there too. So I found it very beneficial for me to be writing down. So I would journal just about every day as to what's going on. And when we come back from a trip 3045 day trip, now we take all my writings and put it together and put it to the blog. And then last year, when we got stuck in St. Kitts, when COVID hit, I had some time a month, couldn't get off the island. So we went ahead and started editing the book,

Susie Singer Carter:

We've talked to a lot of caregivers who have written books and by and large everyone says it is the most therapeutic. And and me doing the film about my mom was at first I thought I thought it was going to be more difficult than it was to relive it. But in fact, it's been it was the best thing I ever did. creatively and personally. And so I think I think those are really valid points to to make that you know, writing your story. Everyone's story is different. Even you know, all because I remember saying just what the world needs another Alzheimer's movie, right? But everybody's story is different. And everybody's story is going to touch other people in different ways. And and, you know, it's important to for yourself as a caregiver, because you do need to take care of yourself to make sure that you have an outlet like that.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Right? Yes, and everybody has a story. Everybody,

Don Priess:

you have a lot of them. You can

Tony Copeland-Parker:

look at a person and say, Oh, I know exactly what they're going through, you have no idea.

Susie Singer Carter:

You have no idea because because the beauty of tell storytelling is that the more detailed you get, the more universal, the more universally, it's felt. So it's those little it's the details and the and the the transparency that you provide in your book, which is so powerful. And and you know, it just did it's like that when you in any kind of story, whether it's a book or a film, if there's no details, and it's just, you know, generic, it's white noise.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Well, I also wanted to inspire others to look at life a little bit differently. You know, everybody is up against some type of situation. This was not basically it's our story . But as you say, it could be applied to anybody's story, somebody is going through a situation. So I wanted to inspire folks to look at life a little bit differently, say, okay, maybe we should think about this, as opposed to what my doctor said in terms of just sitting around watching TV or staring out the window. The other thing is I wanted to have somebody that Catherine I could share down the road. And you take the story, we listened to it on the audio book. As we're traveling, she's laughing and giggling remembering that we goofy things I had her do along the way and the predicament I got us into and out of tried to transverse all over the world as we visited 71 different... I mean, 81 different countries and visited all seven continents.

Don Priess:

Did you learn anything about yourself or about each other after...through this process of writing the book or in retrospect listening to it?

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Oh, what I learned is there's a lot more that you can do than you think that you can do. You know they say that when you're running that you still have 10%. So let's say you're at mile 20. And you say, Oh, well, you know, I'm done. Well, actually, you still have 10%, left left, you can do so you can make it to mile 22 In theory, but there's is a lot more that you can accomplish when you think you can learn things. And then the other thing is that you, you have to reflect on the fact that there's a Golden Rule, do unto others as you want them to do. And that keeps me centered, and also focus on moving forward with this disease. And that's the fact that I know that if the tables were turned Cat would be right there by my side dong what I'm doing for her. So, that keeps me going..

Susie Singer Carter:

yeah, you're, you're just a gem here a gem. You know, I worked on a film called Soul Surfer. And it was about this young girl who Bethany Hamilton who was a surfing champion who had her arm bitten off from a shark. And she was so such a well, she's inspired so many people around the world, young people and and older people. But, you know, she was so resilient and so strong. And most people are going to look at this story and go, well, she's just a super, she's just, you know, Super Girl. We can't, you know, I could never be like her. And, you know, the truth is, is that, like you said, you always have 10% more, you don't have to compare yourself to Bethany or compare yourself to Tony and Cat. because they happen to be running marathons, whatever is your marathon, whatever is your thing, if it's, if it's dancing, if it's painting, if it's playing an instrument, if it's singing, if it's, you know, whatever, whatever is your outlet, whatever keeps you stimulated. That's what you need to to embrace. And don't let it go hold on for dear life. Because I think I think, you know, some people might look at you guys and go, Well, they're just incredible athletes. We can't compete with that. But you're not. Nobody's competing. This is what Tony and Cat do. Right? And it's and like, you know, and I take hip hop class, I've been doing it for 10 years. I, I am a secret hip hop dancer that I wish I was like, in every video like I love it so much. I can't even tell you. And I don't expect other people. You know, I'm, I'm pretty damn good at it. But that's

Tony Copeland-Parker:

videos. I've seen videos too.

Susie Singer Carter:

Yeah. I post them because people and people say they're inspirational because they go wait, you weren't a dancer before? And I go, No, I mean, if you unless you count cheerleading. I mean, but I was like, I'm gonna conquer this because I love music. And I love moving my body. And I did and we actually competed. And we won in a competition, my crew and everything. So you know, but that, that doesn't mean that you have to dance or you have to run and you know, it's whatever you love. Do it!

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Find your passion. Yeah.

Don Priess:

Yes. And as you said, yeah, as you said before, it's it's important for both the caregiver and the person they're caring for, like, if you, you as the caregiver, if you give up your passions, or you give up everything just to caregive, it's not good for either of you. You have to still have a life in order to be mentally and physically healthy. So you can caregive the best way you can. And that's and do it without guilt. And do it with you know, just, it's, it's okay to take care of yourself. It's okay for you to have fun. It's okay for you to live life. Because if you don't, it's bad for both, you know, and sometimes it's can be fatal for both. So, yeah, yeah, what you're doing is, it's so important.

Susie Singer Carter:

I think it's more what you're modeling too, is I remember when I did have to put my mom in assisted living. And, you know, she was still this was before she was in her the wheelchair. And I remember her going into a memory care unit, and they were like, doing a craft, like cutting out paper, you know, flowers. And my mom looked at me like, What are they nuts? Like, I'm an adult, what are we doing preschool here? Right? And it was like, you know, they, there's this like box that that our society that our system puts people in that have, you know, a cognitive impairment. And that's doesn't mean that you've suddenly lost your whole your whole wits about you, right? So, you know, there's this general sort of category that Okay, now this is what you do. No, what you guys are doing is is the right thing is to embrace what you love and to keep life as normal as you can for as long as you can. Is there anything else that you want to share with us today that we didn't bring up? Tony or cat? Yeah.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Well, I just want to reiterate a point that you're making. I talk about all the time, which is, just like you said, you like hip hop dancing, we like running, we're not talking about going out here, trying to have everybody go to all seven continents, or to run a marathon, or to do some of the crazy things that we do in terms of being nomads. But what we're doing is we're asking folks, this kind of looking life, just like gods here, we're getting out of this except for him alive, and figure out a way to enjoy no matter what. And that's what we are trying to do. And that's what I try to give people alternative look at what it's like to have a debilitating disease, had open heart surgery. Recovering from that running a marathon three months after that is something that I set my mind. Every time that we run a race together, we always have a plan, which is to cross the finish line, hand in hand, to enjoy putting in a metal around us and enjoy the fact that you're able to accomplish something that you set forth. So for everybody out there, find what you're passionate about, find something that the two of you can do together that you're enjoying together. And whether it's going to a museum, it's going to botanical gardens, whether it was going... doing the hip hop class, wherever it is.

Don Priess:

Well, you are you are absolutely living what you what you speak of. And you can hear or read or when

Susie Singer Carter:

you say that, would you say they're running the talk?

Don Priess:

I wouldn't, I wouldn't say that. Yes. Absolutely. I love and you can hear and read all about that in "Running All Over the World, Our Race Against Early Onset Alzheimer's, Tony and Cat, it's just been an absolute delight, as it always is, whenever we speak to you. And, you know, we just we love the fact that we're able to watch you run that race together and cross that finish line hand in hand every day.

Susie Singer Carter:

And then across it with you once I'm gonna do it.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

You know, you got to be careful now, because I was only going to do one so, you never know, you might get the bug and

Susie Singer Carter:

I just might. If I can strap my computer around my neck while I'm running. I'm the happiest girl in the world.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

We'll figure something out.

Cat Popp:

Yeah!

Susie Singer Carter:

All right. Cat, I think you'd be proud of me. i When I'm writing or editing. I have a stationary bike that I have a desk hooked up to it. So I'm never I'm never I am multitasking. While I'm like I can I will. I'll cycle for like four hours at a time. Or six hours... yesterday. I did. Was it yesterday I did six hours. And it's like and I've

Don Priess:

never seen her I've never seen this is the only time I see her off the bike. This is it.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Do a podcast on the bike once you know Yeah. The audience would get a good. look at that. That would be hilarious.

Susie Singer Carter:

Yeah, it after a while though, it's hard to talk because I'm like, you know, cuz that when my when I cuz I what I do is I grab like, I'll do 30 minutes at a level and then I'll go higher level, higher level, higher level higher level. So I could do it for the first 30 minutes because I do it. I start like at at seven eight. You know, for all you cyclists out there. But um, yeah, it's been it's been incredible. It all started during COVID because I was we're quarantining I'm like, I have to exercise here I'm going to go cuckoo, right? I needed to move my body. So that was the greatest thing that I found this desk online get it you guys if you're if you have a desk job, I highly recommend it because it's changed my life.

Tony Copeland-Parker:

Absolutely. Exercise is key is key.

Susie Singer Carter:

Move it or lose it. Thank you guys so much. We love you. Cat you are the best you Tony you're even better but not even as best as her. So and I can't wait to see you guys again. Get the book is such a fun listen, if you don't if you're like me and you want to multitask the your your narrator sounds like like Obama. He's like the coolest dude ever. And yeah, and he's awesome. You'll enjoy it. It's an easy fun, great, great ride with these two wonderful people. So thank you and Don, what do we always say?

Don Priess:

Well, we always say and they are the living embodiment of what we always say. And that is love is powerful. Love is contagious, and love conquers alz, and we'll see you next time.

Susie Singer Carter:

Bye! Subscribe, like us, and Share.

Don Priess:

Absolutely