Connect and Conquer
Connect and Conquer
2dt - I'm Dead... I was Literally Just Thinking... Dead

Mike and Cameron

[00:00:00] Cameron Watson: Hey Mike, how’s it going?

[00:00:01] Mike Fleming: Good.

[00:00:01] Cameron Watson: How are you doing? Well, so how long did we ever figure out how long we’ve known each other?

[00:00:08] Mike Fleming: Um, 20, let’s see, 2017. That sounds right.

2017 is when I, I got, uh, let’s see, I was laid off at Keep in 2017 and, and then somehow got connected with, uh, with Russ and company. Yeah. And so. So,

[00:00:39] Cameron Watson: and it’s now 2024. So we can say seven years safely? Yeah. And it’s not like we’ve hung out every week of those seven years, but we’ve, we’ve stayed in pretty good contact, right?

It hasn’t like, we didn’t go three or four years between contact.

[00:00:58] Mike Fleming: No, no, it was, well, maybe, um, I don’t know. Cause I remember, I remember connecting with you one time when you were at, uh, um, the. The center. The center. Yeah. Center. Yeah. They

[00:01:16] Cameron Watson: were looking, they hired your wife for a while. Or they were trying to hire your wife, I’m not sure.

For a little bit,

[00:01:22] Mike Fleming: yeah. For a little bit, yeah. That’s cool. So,

[00:01:26] Cameron Watson: um, Let, if you don’t mind, uh, could you just share a little bit of your background, you know, where you grew up, and um, what, where you are now, and you know, kids, wife, and all

[00:01:39] Mike Fleming: that? Yeah, and kind of my life story. Sure, that’d be

[00:01:44] Cameron Watson: great. And I’m going to interrupt because that’s what I do.

[00:01:47] Mike Fleming: Sure, sure. Uh, yeah. So I grew up in, I grew up in California. Uh, Vacaville area. Uh, which is south, uh, west, southwest of Sacramento. Um, so we live in, we live in California out in Out in the, uh, the boonies, uh, out in the country. And, uh, so, my dad was a pilot. And that’s why we’re in California. He worked for U.

S. Airways. PSA and then U. S. Airways. Anyways, so I lived in California until I was, uh, about, uh, I just turned 16. Just turned 16. So, 8th grade? 7th grade? I can’t remember. No, 9th grade.

[00:02:42] Cameron Watson: That would make more sense to my head, but I wasn’t going to say, Hey, how many grades did you flunk to be a 16

[00:02:48] Mike Fleming: year old in 7th grade?

I was just trying to think, because I did junior high in Vacaville, and then right when my first year In high school in California, I moved like three months in my freshman year, um, and we moved out to North Carolina, um, cause my dad’s job took us out there. And so we were in Charlotte, uh, just North of Charlotte area and I, I call North Carolina my home.

I never really say I grew up, you know, grew up in California. I always say I grew up in North Carolina cause that’s just, North Carolina is awesome. Um, so anyways, yeah, so, uh, Cal or North Carolina, uh, high school and then, um, graduated and went on my mission, uh, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, went to Las Vegas.

Nice. Area. It was, at first it was disappointing. I was like, I read it. I’m like Las Vegas? Because I had been to Las Vegas a hundred times. Sure. My grandparents lived there and I was wanting to go. You know, Spanish speaking or someplace over in Europe because my dad served his mission in Las in Mexico. So anyways, but it was awesome.

It was awesome. Vegas was great. I served in Vegas and Reno and way up north and Winnemucca and Hawthorne and all over the place. So anyways,

[00:04:24] Cameron Watson: and do you know what year that was?

[00:04:27] Mike Fleming: Uh, 98 to 2000. Okay,

[00:04:32] Cameron Watson: because I had a friend of mine. His name’s Cameron as well. He served in Las Vegas. In 20, or in 1995 to 96,

[00:04:43] Mike Fleming: so,

[00:04:45] Cameron Watson: would have been before your time.

And then I had a boss, uh, who served in Las Vegas too. I have no idea when he that, when he was there, but.

[00:04:56] Mike Fleming: Right. That was probably half the, like the west coast. Wait, is he an old gentleman? Um, no. Back in

[00:05:07] Cameron Watson: the 80s or something? No, no, so he was, he was actually probably younger than I was. Oh,

[00:05:12] Mike Fleming: okay. Okay.

[00:05:13] Cameron Watson: So, he, he probably had a better chance of overlapping with you than, um, my buddy, uh, Cameron, my friend.

Uh, we have. Birthdays that are like a day apart his mom’s name is Linda. My name. My mom’s name is Linda He was called little cam even though he was

[00:05:32] Mike Fleming: six four I’ll tell

[00:05:35] Cameron Watson: her you I’m six eight. Well, I used to be now. I’m probably six

[00:05:39] Mike Fleming: seven. Yeah, holy cow I’m six four when I’m standing Really? Yeah, I’ve got I’ve got a standing frame that I That I get in that helps me stand up I didn’t know you were six, four.

Yeah. I’m six, four.

[00:05:56] Cameron Watson: That’s that’s cool. And a standing frame. So how does that

[00:06:00] Mike Fleming: work? So, Oh, I’d show you, but I got my clothes drying on it right now. So I get in, I get in and I, it locks my feet in and it locks my knees. And then I just use kind of hydraulics and it just pushes my butt up and it just stands me up.

And is that for

[00:06:23] Cameron Watson: health reasons or what, what’s the benefit

[00:06:26] Mike Fleming: bone, you know, bone density, cause I’m always sitting, um, you know, always sitting, being in a wheelchair and you stand up and you’re getting weight bearing on your, on your bones. Right. And I don’t, I don’t have any weight bearing, you know, and so I’m supposed to do it more.

I don’t do it very often. I need to do it every day. But, uh, you know, I’m getting like. I’m getting like, uh, I’ve got the bone structure of a, of an eight year old woman, you know, like,

[00:07:02] Cameron Watson: and that’s just from not bearing weight.

[00:07:05] Mike Fleming: Yeah. It’s just from not walking around. Huh. Right. Yeah. I don’t think I

[00:07:10] Cameron Watson: realized that.

I knew that astronauts had trouble with their bones because they’re weightless, but it didn’t occur to me that sitting would. Cause

[00:07:18] Mike Fleming: similar things. Right. I mean like my spine, everything that’s got gravity pushing on it is okay. But my hips, you know, my legs are, I’ve got like early osteoporosis going. So I take a bunch of vitamin D and all that stuff.


[00:07:41] Cameron Watson: So how long have you

[00:07:42] Mike Fleming: been in a wheelchair? Yeah, so right for my mission. Uh, I got, I got, uh, accepted into, uh, BYU Hawaii. And I was just going to go out there with my buddy and do a semester, you know, I’ll just play around. So anyways, I got out there and this was 2000, um, no 2001. When was 9 11, 2000?

[00:08:15] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Um, It was, let’s see, I was working at Micron, so it had to be 2001. That’s awful that I don’t know.

[00:08:26] Mike Fleming: I can’t ever think, remember that 2000 it’s 2001.

So nine, yeah. Cause 98 to 2000 when I, okay. So anyways, yeah. So I went out there and, um, um,

I got hurt. No, it’d be 2000. Sorry. Sorry. ’cause I, I’m just trying to think of my timeline. I was, so, I, I went out to BYU Hawaii and I was there for three weeks and I got hurt in a diving accident. So the North shore of Y Maya Bay, I dove in just from this walk run. I was running down the beach and I dove in and just hit a sandbar, broke my neck.

I was paralyzed from the che from the neck down. Um, yeah, I couldn’t. I could breathe. I was holding my breath facing down in the water and basically it was like this is it. I’m dead. I was literally just like thinking, I’m dead. So you

[00:09:35] Cameron Watson: lose the ability to move. You can hold your breath, your face down. Were you in pain at

[00:09:41] Mike Fleming: all?

Nope, didn’t hurt at all. It just, it was like, uh, it was like you walk up to the wall and kind of bump your head a little bit. It was just, it was just hit. And then I felt like I had hit somebody’s leg, you know? Okay. So from your

[00:09:58] Cameron Watson: perspective, it wasn’t like a traumatic card hit.

[00:10:01] Mike Fleming: No, it wasn’t shocking or anything.

I just, yeah, it kind of hit and all of a sudden it was like Realized, oh my gosh, I can’t move. And I was holding my breath. I could, had my eyes open and I could, I could see the bottom of the ocean and the sand turning up and stuff. And I thought I was gonna die. I was like, well, I’m gonna be up there with my grandpa.

’cause he had just died a couple months earlier. Anyways, so that thought, as soon as I hit thought, had that, thought, I was instantaneously, I was facing the other direction and I was flipped over. Oh, wow. Yeah.

[00:10:40] Cameron Watson: So you’re, you’re staring at the sandbar thinking, okay, this is it. I’m going to go see my grandpa sooner than I thought.

And then you’re face up. So did you have a clear airway then because you’re face up or was the water still coming

[00:10:54] Mike Fleming: over you? No, I was in, my head was kind of washing on the sand. Oh, okay. So my head, I was totally out of the water facing the other way. I yell, I spit my gum out and I yelled, help. And so off duty, that’s

[00:11:10] Cameron Watson: an interesting detail.

You spit your gum out.

[00:11:12] Mike Fleming: I just remember ’cause I, ’cause when you go in the ocean, you chew gum ’cause of the, ’cause of the, uh, salt water. At least I did. ’cause it’s just nasty. And so, yeah. You know, have some like, I don’t know, uh, spearmint gum or something. Right. So I was chewing my, I was chewing gum. And I, I remember laying there, spit my gum out and I was like, help, help.

And somebody came up and, uh, some off duty, off duty, uh, um, medic. He was a Marine. Um, he, yeah, he was, he was a Marine medic and he, he stabilized me on a boogie board and pulled me out.

[00:12:04] Cameron Watson: So he knew what he was doing. He didn’t cause more damage from,

[00:12:08] Mike Fleming: right. That’s

[00:12:10] Cameron Watson: cool. Yeah. And you were 21 at the time. Or 22?

[00:12:17] Mike Fleming: No, I was 20. You were 20? I was 20. I just got off my mission. Oh, okay. So wait, wait, wait, wait a second. I was 21. That was when they, that was when you went on your mission when you were 19 .

[00:12:30] Cameron Watson: Right? That’s what I was trying to figure out. I was like, oh, 20. Okay. Well, no, no, no. I couldn’t remember when they made the switch.


[00:12:39] Mike Fleming: you know, that was, yeah, I was 19, so I was 21. Yeah. Okay. 21. And I was like, you just, it’s, it’s just shocking. You’re like, there’s, there’s no way this can’t be happening. Cause that was super, super athletic. Like everything I did was just centered around physical activity. You know, like I did not sit ever.

I was just always busy. So it was crazy. Yeah. Go ahead.

[00:13:13] Cameron Watson: Do you think the, um, the fact that you were very active, did that help at all? Or did it not matter? Because when you’re, you break your neck, it’s like your, your life is different. It

[00:13:25] Mike Fleming: doesn’t matter. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you’re just, you become a sack of potatoes, totally useless.

[00:13:34] Cameron Watson: So this guy pulls you out, he stabilizes you on a boogie board. Uh, he. Do they call 9 do you get transported? Well,

[00:13:43] Mike Fleming: yeah, so they call 9 1 1, but the, they have, they have, uh, uh, lifeguards on duty. Okay. You know what they’re doing. They pulled me out, kind of, you know, pulled me up out of the, out of the water more.

And you know the scenes, like in movies, where It’s the, everyone’s looking up and everyone’s kind of looking down surrounding you. Yeah. That’s exactly, that’s exactly the scene. I look up and there’s this people surrounding me and they’re like, Oh my gosh, it’s Mike. It’s Mike. You know, I had a, I had a bunch of friends there.

Um, you know, that we were, we were at the beach, like a circle the island tour for freshmen at BYU Hawaii. So there were a ton of people there and a ton of people at the beach, tons of people. So I was just crazy, you know, and then they, they. Put me in an ambulance and then, um, there happened to be a Blackhawk helicopter, a medic helicopter that was doing practice runs up and down the coast and it just happened to be crossing by and they’re like, yeah, let’s go.

So they came and picked me up. In a Blackhawk? Yeah, they threw me in the helicopter, medical helicopter, uh, like a military helicopter. Yeah. And, which is totally awesome because they flew me basically, Waimea Bay is completely opposite of where Honolulu is, the island, north to south, you know, and they just took me, they just took me straight up over the, up over the, the, uh, the island.

But I was facing up the whole time, like I couldn’t, all I could see was the ceiling of the Blackhawk helicopter. And I get on there and he’s like, Hey, if you stop breathing, raise your hand. And I couldn’t move my arms. And I’m like, uh.

[00:15:30] Cameron Watson: How about I stick out my tongue?

[00:15:32] Mike Fleming: Yeah. So it was a 30 minute flight, which the, it’s, what’s cool about that is that if I had taken the ambulance, it would have taken two and a half hours because there’s a two lane highway that circles the island and it takes forever.

And Hawaiians drive super slow and it’s just like, you know, it’s kind of laid back, chill. So it would have taken two hours to at least two hours to get me there. Instead, it took me 30 minutes. Now it’s like 15 minutes. It was a quick flight. Wow. So,

[00:16:06] Cameron Watson: so you go to the hospital You at what point I mean, did you know for sure?

I mean you obviously couldn’t move you’re not dumb So did you like go? Okay, I’ve broken my neck here or were you hopeful that maybe it was something else or

[00:16:24] Mike Fleming: no I said in that it was done when I was in the ambulance because it was not coming back I was you know, and they’re like You know, they, they were, these two medics were saying something.

They’re like, Oh, look, what’s going on with them. You know? And there was something probably going on with my bodily fluids. I was like, just losing all control, you know? And so they were like, uh, we got to get this guy, you know? So, yeah, I, I, when I,

well, I guess I was hopeful. I was still kind of like, Oh, this is going to be okay going into surgery. And then when I got out and what did they do

[00:17:08] Cameron Watson: for surgery, what, what were they

[00:17:10] Mike Fleming: able to do or what did they do? So it was C6, C7. So it was a burst fracture. My sixth cervical and my neck just broke into four spots and bruised, bruised my spinal cord.

So it wasn’t severed at all. There’s no cutting or anything. It was just bruised. Um, and they took, they just fused my neck. I’ve got a plate in my neck, little plate, looks like like a dog bone right on the, right on the front here. They took bone from my hip and fused it into my neck. Use that. I woke up, I had like things drained coming out of my neck and I had stuff all over me and you know, it was, it was pretty wild.

Um, I’m sorry. And your

[00:17:58] Cameron Watson: parents are back in North Carolina at

[00:18:00] Mike Fleming: this point? Yeah, yeah. They’re in,

where were they, they were like on a cruise ship, they were somewhere, um, yeah, I can’t remember, they were, I don’t know, they were out on a trip or something. Um, so yeah, they were back in North Carolina, everyone’s, my whole family’s there, and um, you know, I had some family in Arizona, and My uncle was a pilot.

He was uncle Bruce. He was flying, um, in California and he heard and he’s like, I got to go and he jumped on a plane and flew to Hawaii. So he was there the next day. He was there for like a couple of days before anyone showed up. Um, so yeah, it was kind of nice, but it was, it was pretty wild. So I was in the hospital for three weeks, stabilized, and then they flew me in a.

A little Learjet, they flew me on my back, um, 12 hours to Charlotte. It was crazy. And it was just this little tiny, little tiny plane. But, uh, cause I, cause

[00:19:11] Cameron Watson: I, Hawaii, they skip the coast and they just go right to your end

[00:19:17] Mike Fleming: destination. We went to, we stopped in St. Louis, I believe. Okay. Um, or no, maybe it was like, cause it was a smaller plane.

So California, and then maybe St. Louis and then Charlotte. Still, that’s pretty cool. Yeah, when I flew out there to first go, Reformation, I remember I went Charlotte, uh, St. Louis, all the way to Honolulu. So, anyways, um, yeah, and then I spent three months in the hospital in Charlotte, recovering.

[00:19:52] Cameron Watson: So, my son actually had a birth fracture of one of his vertebrae and he had a hematoma on his spine where they, that, so I, I have three kids who.

Broken vertebrae. Right. And, uh, which is weird. Right. Um, but his was the one that, uh, caused the most anxiety for everybody because of the, the bleed into the spinal column. Yeah. Luckily it stopped and then it was reabsorbed so that was a blessing. Yeah,

[00:20:26] Mike Fleming: yeah, that’s lucky. Yeah, so when I woke up my, we had, it was, it was Kind of cool because the the helicopter was there and then we had this surgeon that was the best surgeon like on the west coast He was just an amazing Spinal cord surgeon really good guy, and he he just happened to be there for some conference like hey We need you and so he came in and did did my surgery

[00:20:53] Cameron Watson: Seriously, so he didn’t live in Hawaii.

He just happened to be there

[00:20:58] Mike Fleming: He was in Maui, I think, and he was just down there for a conference, or something. He just happened to be here. They’re like, ah, too bad

[00:21:04] Cameron Watson: we couldn’t get a really good

[00:21:05] Mike Fleming: doctor. Wait. Right. This guy’s here. Yeah, he was there. So, when I got out, he told me, like, you know, I asked him, hey, am I going to be okay?

Or am I going to walk again? He was like, I can’t, I can’t tell you. Like, I don’t know. No one knew. You know, and there were people, there were a lot of people that were saying like, I’ve never seen anyone that’s so positive. He’s going to be just fine. Like he’ll just be, you know, just fine. So there was a lot of like encouraging people saying I was going to be fine.

And I always maintained for years that I was going to walk again on this earth, like in my lifetime. And I’ve kind of come to the conclusion after like probably about six, six or so years ago that I was. That I wasn’t gonna recover on this earth like while I’m alive here.

[00:22:01] Cameron Watson: Can you talk a little bit about how that?

Transitioned and was it gradual or did you just go? You know what forget this? I’m gonna not walk again, or I’m gonna

[00:22:12] Mike Fleming: I mean, yeah, it happened pretty quick Yeah, I mean so When I was, uh, we can talk about like spiritual stuff. You’re okay with that? Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay. All right. Um, so in the, in the hospital, right after my surgery, I woke up, I woke up, I’m on my back.

It’s like two, three in the morning, I’m on my back and they didn’t take care of me very well because I was laying on a hard surface. My head was like on a sheet that was folded and my head was just throbbing. I couldn’t, cause I couldn’t lift my head up. Right. And so I’m sitting there. I’ve got a mask on.

I’ve got wires beeping, everything. And I’m trying to yell help. I’m yelling help. I can see on a monitor that all these nurses are just like hanging out playing cards, like in the lobby and they’re just not paying attention because he just got a surgery anyways. So I’m yelling help, help. And I’m trying to pull stuff out of my, I’m trying to like pull things out to like.

[00:23:20] Cameron Watson: If I get this disconnected, it’ll beep and someone will come.

[00:23:23] Mike Fleming: Yeah, so I’m trying, I can barely move my arms. Um, so anyways, finally they come in, like, Oh my gosh, you’re awake, and they turn the lights on, and they proceed, I’ve got like four women, and they proceed to just strip me and just are washing me.

And they’re just having a good old time, and I’m just like, oh yay, you know. Yeah. I just, they just, so it was. They’re really nice ladies, but anyways, so I’m laying there and I’m, I’m like, okay, Heavenly Father, I have to know, like, I just, just tell me, give it to me straight, you know? And, and I was like, am I going to be okay?

Will I be okay? And I, I heard clear as day, President Monson’s voice and

it was just like, you’re going to be fine. Oh, wow. Yeah, you’ll be fine. And I, so I was like, okay. And I, you know, I don’t know. I interpreted that, that I was going to walk again. Right. So, for years and years, I maintained that. And I held on to that story. And I always felt like I was told. Everyone I met. I’m going to be okay, I’m going to walk again, you know, and I remember in the hospital I was thinking, you know, Oh, it could be a six month recovery.

And I thought, no way I can’t, I can’t make it. I can’t do six months of this. And I’ve been going, it’s been 23 years, 23 years. Wow. So yeah, it’s, it, it got, you know, like I, I can’t remember when, but I just realized I was like, you know what? This is the only way I would walk. I wouldn’t just walk on my own.

The only way I would walk is through some sort of medical, um, you know, medical breakthrough miracle or something. Right. Some kind of innovation. Yeah. You know, like somebody makes some kind of brain chip, you know, that embeds into your brain, right?

[00:25:50] Cameron Watson: Like only somebody does that must uh, neuro Neurolink, is that

[00:25:54] Mike Fleming: what it’s called?

Neur. Chipp, yeah. Neurolink. Neurop, yeah. Yeah. I could actually, I was thinking about. Applying and being a test test, you know, that’s

[00:26:04] Cameron Watson: brave. I don’t know if I would want to be the first batch. I think I’d want to

[00:26:08] Mike Fleming: wait. Well, I think if I was totally paralyzed from the neck down, I would totally do it. Oh, right.

Because I think that’s what it is. It’s really for people that are totally paralyzed from the neck down because they’re trying to, I saw a video today and people can control a mouse and stuff just with their brain. Really? Yeah. Literally. I could just sit there and you like

[00:26:33] Cameron Watson: already wait, this, this is early.

[00:26:37] Mike Fleming: Yeah. Neural link. It was just, there was just a video today. It

[00:26:41] Cameron Watson: seems like just yesterday they had the monkey sipping on the straw.

[00:26:44] Mike Fleming: No, they’ve been doing human trials for it. So they’ve got the device and everything. And so I’ve seen people do it. Somebody, somebody was just doing it. So, oh man, you know, it’s, it’s getting close.

There’s, there’s lots of things out there. So who knows, you know, um, but luckily. You know, we’ve, I’ve got the gospel and I know that, you know, power of the atonement and resurrection will be a glorious day. Yeah,

[00:27:18] Cameron Watson: well, that’s kind of

[00:27:20] Mike Fleming: cool.

[00:27:22] Cameron Watson: When, um, you know, with Connect and Conquer, the company that we started, we, we believe in three, three base principles and that’s that to overcome adversity, you need a connection with deity, connection with others, and connection with yourself.

And that connection with deity is such a sensitive subject for a lot of people because they don’t know how to talk about it. Because it’s so it’s almost intimate, you know with their relationship with their higher power and Yet to hear you talk about this is just you know, I was like, am I gonna be okay and You described that voice when you realized later on 20 whatever years later or 15 or 17 and you’re going okay, so I might not be walking without the resurrection.

So did it change any behavior? Did, did you change focus or was it just like, Oh, you know what? I’m just not going to apply mental energy to this.

[00:28:33] Mike Fleming: Yeah. I’m just not going to apply mental energy. You know, it didn’t change my positive, like. That someday it’ll happen. It wasn’t that devastating. Um, Hey, one, one question I hid myself on the video.

Is it going to mess up the video? Nope, not at all. Oh, it’s going to see both of us. Okay. Cause I, I was getting distracted with my video, so I just showed you on it. Well, that’s

[00:29:00] Cameron Watson: unfortunate for you, but

[00:29:02] Mike Fleming: that’s all good. Um, I, no, I remember one, one day where I was, I was in. physical therapy and some woman she’d been doing it for 30 years and I said, have you ever seen anybody recover?

And she’s like, no. And she didn’t, she wasn’t even like soft or anything. She just said, no, it’s never happened, Mike. And, and that was devastating. That took a couple of days to kind of like come to grips with it. Um, that was tough. And I was like, whatever, you know,

[00:29:35] Cameron Watson: As you recovered those three months in the hospital, what what were you what was the focus because for my kids when they Broke their backs all of the focus was on okay.

This is now how you do stuff And these are the absolutes. You don’t do any of this and you don’t do any of that. And you, you wear a big sign that says, don’t knock me sideways because I will die and all of these things. But, um, like my son started doing occupational therapy to learn how to put his shoes on.

Cause that was like near impossible for him. So what did you do during the recovery after Hawaii back to the mainland?

[00:30:17] Mike Fleming: Um, I just, I was. I just did therapy every day. I’d get up, eat and then go just do therapy, occupational therapy and just kind of trying to recover. The biggest thing was trying to get me to sit up and be okay being in my wheelchair for long periods of times, you know, and so that was it.

Cause, cause your, your body, you know, I’ve got, I don’t have blood pushing up in my legs. Pushing up to my heart and my head so I would I’d sit up and I would pass out Oh interesting even now if I don’t you see me kind of fidget. I’ll do this. That’s me Moving my muscles and stuff So that blood moves back up to my head because if I if I just stood still and not moved I would eventually just like Get so lightheaded I pass out.

Oh So anyways, that was just recovering.

[00:31:17] Cameron Watson: Yeah. Hi it my 17 year old Well, he’s now 18, but when he would sit by the way, he broke his back a year ago last week so but he um when they would have him sit and He would get exhausted from sitting and and I was like you’re you’re exhausting. He’s like, yeah Huge workout sat for 15 minutes.

It was like, yeah Okay, uh, just I guess I take it for granted that sitting is a restful state for me. Yeah, he, he had to do all the, all of these things to But work back up. Did you gain more mobility? ’cause uh, the way that you describe it on the beach, you were like floppy and you couldn’t

[00:32:05] Mike Fleming: raise your arm.

Yeah. Was ed the neck down? Okay.

[00:32:08] Cameron Watson: Yeah. But now I, you know, you’re type and you lift yourself around fidget, as you say. So how much, yeah, how long did that take to get more feeling?

[00:32:21] Mike Fleming: Um, so it was the next day I started getting my arms back, but it took me Okay. It took me about two weeks before I realized that my fingers weren’t working.

Really? It just didn’t dawn on me. Yeah, I was like, oh my god. Because I wasn’t doing anything to like have to use my hands. Right. I was just in there and I realized, I was like, oh my gosh, my fingers are not moving. So, my paralysis, it’s, it’s kind of weird. You’ll see a lot of people in my situation, and it’s, you’re paralyzed from the chest down, like the nipples down.

And so like, half my arms are full strength, half are, half are less. Like, you know, this muscle, you can see this, is full, but I can’t do this, like barely. This way, you know, so you can see my, my forearms are really atrophied. Um, my triceps are halfway, my shoulders are full and my biceps are full strength.

But so it’s just kind of like half your arms, half the muscles aren’t working. And so like, my lats are full strength, but my back it, so it’s kind of this half and half type thing you have to kind of. Think about it. And, and so anyways, in recovery, I just was working on, they put me on this table and they would slowly raise me up like, uh, like Frankenstein.

That’s literally what it looked like. I was strapped in. Yeah. And I, they throw a balloon at me and I’d have to like hit it. And that was exhausting. Just hitting a balloon back and forth, you know? Yeah. And so anyways, so now

[00:34:07] Cameron Watson: you’re single at the time. Cause you just gotten home from a mission. And you’re, the fact that you’re recovering from pretty, you say it wasn’t that, you said things that imply that it wasn’t that bad.

But you’re paralyzed. So when you, when you say that, what do you mean by, and what measurement are you using to make that judgment?

[00:34:32] Mike Fleming: Well, it was, um, I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t have to take any medication. Like I’ve heard people have to get on medication cause they were depressed and they just go into this deep.

I was not, you know, I was always mentally. Super positive, you know, and, and just positive. That’s what people always commented is that I was so positive and upbeat about things and I just kind of took it in strides. You know, it was hard. Like there’d be times where I would just one day I would just break down because it just was like, I can’t believe that, you know, I’d be just have a good cry session, but.

You know, it was all right, just keep moving along. And

[00:35:16] Cameron Watson: did you give yourself permission? Was it a mental exercise of like, you know what, I’m just going to let it go for a while. And then I’ll get back to my normal self. Or did it just overwhelm you and you just had to let it go?

[00:35:27] Mike Fleming: Uh, just overwhelm me, you know, like sometimes I would think about something and I would just, you know, have a hard, a tough time.

It was kind of cathartic. Yeah, it was just a good release and you’re like, okay, I feel good. And then, you know, just move on. Gotcha. Um, and so it’s been, like, it took me, it took me, um, once I, it was, it was tough. Once I kind of embraced it and said, this is happening, this is like permanent. And this is just what I’m dealing with right now.

As soon as I accepted it, it became much easier. I wasn’t fighting against it, you know, and it’s like, once, if you’re in a trial, you just accept it and move on. You can’t do anything about it. You can’t will yourself to. Change things are, you know, it depends on the Lord and you get blessings and stuff. And I, it was just like, this is what I have.

And so as soon as I accepted it, it became easier emotionally that to deal

[00:36:36] Cameron Watson: with it is very insightful. I’m sorry, I’m jotting that down. So when you, when you’re in a trial, instead of trying to fight against the fact that you’re in a trial, if you go, okay, you know what, this is, this is a trial. This is hard.

Then it allows you to kind of work within. Work within that trial to to move forward instead of trying to be like I don’t want to be here I don’t want this

[00:37:03] Mike Fleming: Right. Yeah, it’s kind of like you’re in a river, a strong current, and you keep trying to swim, you know, against the current. You’re just killing yourself.

Swimming, swimming, swimming, you know, and it’s like, go with the flow, you know? Yeah. And do your best and just Go down the rapids, you know, and deal with it. So, yeah, that just kind of helped me out once I accepted it. And I wish, looking back, I wish I had done that earlier because they, you know, they kept trying to get me to drive, learn how to drive, and do all these things.

And I was like, nope, I’m going to walk. I don’t need to do that. I’ll be walking soon. You know, and I, I wasted, you know, the good first five years that I could have just been really moving on with myself and, and, you know, moving on with, with life and kind of learning to accept learning to take care of myself, you know, life driving and stuff like that.

Instead, like I had people drive me around forever. I didn’t get, I didn’t get a car and become self sufficient until, you know, a few years after getting married. Um, you know, I could have done that a long, early, a lot earlier. Yeah, that’s interesting. But the thing is that, the hard part though is I actually had, I went to a therapist in Hawaii.

And, and I was like, okay, I need to learn how to take care of myself, like bathroom stuff. And I need, I need some help, occupational therapy with doing this stuff. And this guy just said, he’s like, just. Have somebody do it for you. Like, why, why would you do that? Why would you struggle? Yeah. He just basically said, just give up and just let somebody else do it for you.

It was the craziest thing. Yeah. Craziest thing. And I thought that mentality. I was like, dude, forget you. And I left. Yeah. Never went back. Cause he just said, why would you want to do this?

[00:39:09] Cameron Watson: Yeah, you know, I think that’s interesting the did you ever find a therapist that you have enjoyed or that was Aligned with things that were helpful.

[00:39:20] Mike Fleming: Yeah. Yeah. I mean everyone except that guy Okay, that was but that was back, you know back in the States This guy was in Hawaii and he and I don’t you know, it’s kind of the mentality. I think it’s just laid back and You know, don’t work harder than you need to. We,

[00:39:40] Cameron Watson: uh, we went through quite a bit of therapists and counselors trying to find good fits and it was very frustrating ’cause it, you’d finally get an appointment and then it would, you’d, you know, go the first week and you’re like, oh man, let’s keep going and it’ll probably get better.

And then like four weeks in, you’re like, this is horrible. Uh, let’s start the process over again. Yeah. Luckily now we have, um, we have some pretty phenomenal. Therapists for our kids and my wife and even I get to utilize this guy. I call him, his name’s Brian. I won’t use his last name because he’s probably like, Dude, don’t talk about me.

But he’s awesome because he’s, he’s one of those, He’s very relaxed, but he doesn’t, he doesn’t, uh, He doesn’t give you an out when things are needing to be different. He’s just like, well, no. You might not be able to do that now, but you will, you’ll have to deal with this. It’s okay if you don’t deal with it now, but let’s keep moving.

Let’s let’s progress. Let’s have some movement here. And I really appreciate him. So, anyway, hearing you’re a therapist, I was like, oh, yeah, I’ve had one therapist, and I probably shouldn’t share this story, but, um, my daughter came out and said, So, I don’t think this is a good idea. I was like, why’s that? I thought she meant therapy, and she’s like, cause the therapist is trying to get me to like, I really hate you guys.

I was like, what do you mean? She’s like, kept asking me these leading questions about how you guys treat me and, and how I should be. I don’t need to talk to you guys. I was like, yeah, we’ll uh, we’ll pull you. That’s fine. That, that one’s out. Yeah. Geez. So weird. So how did you meet your wife? And what, what was dating like after being in a diving

[00:41:41] Mike Fleming: accident?

So I met my wife first day at school there. And I was in love with her roommate. I really liked her roommate. What? Okay, I didn’t know this. Yeah, I was like, dating her roommate kind of. Um, so I got hurt. And we were still kind of, her and her roommate. Um, we were still kind of talking. But Steph and I were friends.

You know, the whole time. Anyways, Steph, she convinced me after I was home for a year, she convinced me to come back to Utah or Hawaii and go back to school. And she’s like, I was like, I can’t, I gotta go therapy. She said, I’ll take you to therapy. We bought a car together. She promised to take me to therapy and drive me and stuff.

And so the whole time she’s been in love with me. You weren’t dating? No, no, she was in love with me though, the first day she met me. And she like, the first day she went home and called her mom and said, I’ve met my husband. Oh man. So it took me a couple of years to fall in love with her. So anyways, we were just friends and then we just started kind of.

Hanging out and dating and finally I kissed her and then we just started dating and Anyways, so I I proposed and uh, we got married 2003 nice and so we should have got we went we got married at salt lake temple And looking back, we should have just forgot about it and didn’t care if family made it there.

We should have just gotten married in Hawaii. I don’t know why I went to Salt Lake, but that’s where she’s from, Utah. Yeah. So anyways, we got, we got, yeah.

[00:43:23] Cameron Watson: I’ve been raising, so I have three daughters who are at BYU Idaho. And my son is 18 and he’s preparing to serve a mission. But I’ve been training all of my kids with this philosophy that the ceremony is for you guys.

The reception is for everybody else. So, and um, my wife uh, just recently she was talking, so my good friend his son, his daughter just got married a couple weeks ago. Went to the ceiling in the Meridian Temple. It was beautiful and lovely. Everything you want in a wedding ceremony. And um, so of course Sarah and I started talking because our kids are getting to that point where they’re gonna end up getting married.

And, uh, she was like, you know, if why, why did we do it the way we did? I was like, well, that’s kind of what everybody does. And she goes, wouldn’t it be better to like have the luncheon and the reception on the same day and the ceiling the next day and after the ceiling, you do photos and then you leave, I was like, Oh, that’s genius.

And so, uh, I was like, how do we get our kids? To like, have the luncheon, a civil marriage, the reception, and then the temple marriage the next morning. Cause it’s now, that’s, you know, that’s all, all good. And then they could just head off. And be together. Be gone,

[00:44:59] Mike Fleming: yeah. Yeah, we, if we had done it over, we’d just be like, just do it in Hawaii.

If you can make it, you can make it. If not, sorry.

[00:45:08] Cameron Watson: Yeah. When um, so she was in love with you, at what point did you realize that it was reciprocated back?

[00:45:17] Mike Fleming: Uh, I don’t know. We were just friends and then I kissed her one day and that was it. Yeah. And, yeah, and so I asked her to marry me. I was like, we should just get married.

She’s like, really? I was like, yeah, it makes sense. And she always gives me a hard time. That’s kind of a weird thing to say. But in my mind, it made sense because we were in love with each other. Yeah, that’s what I meant. So you

[00:45:42] Cameron Watson: weren’t trying to remove the emotion. You were saying, hey, because of this emotion, although right.

One of, how, how old’s your oldest?

[00:45:51] Mike Fleming: Uh, he’s 12. 12,

[00:45:54] Cameron Watson: okay. Well, highly encourage you to pass this. Read this book as a family if you don’t, uh, like it’s, uh, The Screwtape Letters by, um, C. S. Lewis.

[00:46:07] Mike Fleming: Yeah.

[00:46:08] Cameron Watson: Love that book because it talks about, you know, if basically, hey, if demons were trying to disrupt and destroy families, how would they do it?

And one of my favorite parts of it is, oh, convince them. That they should get married because of an emotion like love because no one can maintain that emotion all the time and then you can get them to split up later because That and I was like, oh that’s so devious and that’s true. So I keep telling my kids Hey, if you’re gonna get married get married in spite of being in love And it doesn’t go over very well because, you know, they, they get me, but it doesn’t sound right, but I’m serious.

I, I want them to get married, not because of the emotion, but because of the commitment and the loyalty and the covenant with God and them and what it means. So,

[00:46:59] Mike Fleming: yeah, I get what you’re saying. But

[00:47:01] Cameron Watson: that’s funny. You’re like, we should get married. It makes sense. Financially, you know,

[00:47:06] Mike Fleming: save on rent. Right. So, yeah, we got, uh, Go ahead.

[00:47:12] Cameron Watson: I was gonna just ask you for the next step. So you so just to recap you you grew up In California moved to North Carolina that became home. You serve a mission in Las Vegas. You come home. You go to BYU, Hawaii Yeah, break your neck you Go back to North Carolina Stephanie Convinces you to move back to BYU

[00:47:38] Mike Fleming: Hawaii?

Yeah, we were always talking, we were always in touch, and she convinced me to come back. And I went back, yeah, when I went back to BYU Hawaii. So, they loved me there. They like, totally The, the campus at BYU was not wheelchair accessible, it was flat, it was tiny, but they didn’t have a dorm, they didn’t have ramps anywhere.

They completely like, reconstructed that, that campus. For me, I was the one, they just rebuilt, they built a big ol dorm with a nice big ol roll in shower and everything for me. And they loved me and they like, every For the year I was gone, every prayer and every devotional, they prayed about me. Prayed for me.

That is so awesome. So I was kind of, I was a minor celebrity for a little bit, but, and everyone wanted to come see me at the hospital too. They actually had, a school paid for a bus, and they would, they would bus. Big groups of kids every single day to come see

[00:48:38] Cameron Watson: me. That type of connection with others is so critical.

Yeah. Um, I’ll, after this, I’m going to show you a couple of pictures. One of them is my, one of my favorite pictures ever. And it was when a friend. Had come to visit Hyatt, but he had visitors every day and talk about bullying and making them I mean, he’s flat on his back. He’s not supposed to do anything and These friends man saved his life because yeah Depression is a real thing when catastrophic injury occurs and not everybody has to face it as deeply as others But man, I’m so grateful for his friends.

So now if they so that means Everybody else who has ever stayed in that dorm owes you a little Dead of gratitude for having an ADA or inaccessible.

[00:49:36] Mike Fleming: Yeah, it was huge. They took two dorms and made it into one. Yeah, yeah, so. Little ramps everywhere, so yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s cool. It’s a fun campus, but. So, um,

[00:49:50] Cameron Watson: yeah.

How did you end up in? Arizona. Is that

[00:49:53] Mike Fleming: where you’re at? Yeah, I’m in Arizona. So we, so Steph and I got married and we were in Salt Lake and then I went back to North Carolina and lived with my parents for a few months and Steph had graduated from BYU Hawaii and I was still looking to get back into school and graduating.

So I was trying to figure out, I wanted to be an architect. I was trying to figure out where I was going to go. So I thought, well, I could either, I could apply for, uh, I can go to ASU or Las Vegas. Both had pretty good architect programs, and I got accepted to ASU first, and so we moved to ASU. Gotcha. You know, and the thing about Las Vegas, it just didn’t feel right.

So anyways, I got accepted to a SU and um, I went there for two days and I was, it was hot. It was like Babylon. Hmm. It was just crazy going from going from BYU Hawaii. Oh yeah. Dress code. All these like good LDS kids to a SU. It was just. crazy. You’re like, Oh my gosh, everyone’s naked. It looks crazy. So I was there for two days.

It was hot and I was, it’s a huge campus, gigantic. And so Steph had to push me around and I almost died from heat exhaustion because I don’t sweat. No, no, my injury. And so I don’t sweat. So I got, I got way hot. Like it was crazy. My, my so hot, my arms started to fall asleep. Like All the blood was like just going to my heart to try and stay cool.

Yeah, it was crazy. So after that I was like, I’m done. And I just went to community college and went through like drafting school. And so, um, yeah, so we’ve been in Arizona ever since. And, um, so

[00:51:55] Cameron Watson: before your accident, did you have a career picked out and did it change

[00:51:58] Mike Fleming: after? No, I was going to be, I did, I was going to be an architect.

Okay. And

[00:52:05] Cameron Watson: then that just stayed the same after. How’d you end up becoming a product owner? And, uh, I mean, you’re kind of a techie guy.

[00:52:12] Mike Fleming: Yeah. Yeah. So I, um, during my architecture class at MCC, Mason Community College, one of my teachers convinced us to not become architects. Okay. Tell that story. He just said, he’s like, you know, You’ll be you’ll be drafting for the first 25 years of your career and maybe the last two or three years of your career you’ll actually be able to Design something as a senior architect and so he’s just like don’t do it

[00:52:50] Cameron Watson: took the wind

[00:52:51] Mike Fleming: out of the sails Yeah, I was like, oh gee, so I was gonna I just did drafting and then Yeah, and I just I did some drafting right like I graduated and I did a little bit of drafting and worked for a guy That was fun.

I, you know, I liked, I liked doing the AutoCAD drafting. Um, and then my wife was working for a company, Keep. She got hired on as the first copywriter. And then a year later or two years later or something, I got hired on as a support rep. So I started out in support and that’s kind of the beginning of my tech career.

When I was in support, I was, fell in love with going and talking to these guys in the back room about the product. And I was like, Oh, what do you guys do? Oh, product manager. That’s what I want to be, a product manager. So I eventually just kept bugging them, kept bugging them. I want to get over there. I want to get over there.

And finally, finally I was, I was, uh, you know, they recruited me from support. To go be a product manager. And so that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. That’s cool. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:54:06] Cameron Watson: It’s been, uh, ever since I met you, I, I was, I’ve been impressed with how quick you make connections with technology. And the latest one was today watching you do that.

Use cloud, uh, Postman to create a series of API calls. So you didn’t have to programmatically, I mean, it would have taken me so much time to do it and you make a spreadsheet and then you just do it. That was

[00:54:33] Mike Fleming: awesome. Well, I remember you saying it and I actually got an email from them. It’s like a, like a marketing email from Postman.

Yeah. And the first thing was automate your testing. And I was like, what? And I read it. I’m like, this is exactly what I want to do with this stuff. So yeah, that’s pretty cool.

[00:54:53] Cameron Watson: Such a great application of a tool. And yeah, the other thing I remember is when we first started working together and you were, you had just stopped working for Keap and I was having to write some, um, API calls.

And I was having a hard time with some of the documentation. And I was like, Mike, can you just, can, I can’t figure this thing out. And you’re like, Oh, let me call somebody. I was like, Oh, see guy after my own heart maintains relationships, even after he’s not there anymore, is able to get it all figured out.

That was, that was pretty slick.

[00:55:28] Mike Fleming: Yeah, I still know people back there.

[00:55:31] Cameron Watson: Yeah, you know those relationships, those connections. It’s what life’s about, you know. Yeah, I just I love it. Yeah, so I Have some silly questions and you if you don’t want to answer any of them. I just say nah, I’m not gonna answer him I’ll edit it out.

No one will see it Okay. Okay. So what’s the stupidest thing someone has said to you? About your injury or about the way that you live

[00:55:59] Mike Fleming: Um,

I don’t know, I’ve had people like, I, people not, not very often, I, one guy, like he was in the hospital or something. He was in a wheelchair and he had broken his leg and you know, I, I’d been in my wheelchair for 15 years and he was like, man, I feel your pain, I feel your pain, dude, I’m sorry. And I was like, No, you don’t.

Yeah. How long have you been? Oh, a couple weeks now. And I’m like, really? A couple weeks? Wow, that’s crazy. You know, and so he just, he just broke his leg. So, you know, it’s stuff like that. Yeah, for the most part people are

[00:56:50] Cameron Watson: pretty It’s interesting on the when someone tries to relate to another person. And they don’t realize how deep it is, and they’re like, man, look at, it’s like three inches and you’re like, uh, three miles over here, bucko.

Yeah. Um, my wife gave a talk in state conference last Sunday, did a magnificent job. I actually have a great recording of it. If you want to listen to it, it is fantastic. It, she titled it, um, is the journey long. Um, it’s a. A song, uh, written by Joseph Fielding Smith, I think, or Joseph F. Smith, one of them.

Anyway, and, uh, she talks about it. She did just such a wonderful job of presenting it. And we have kind of kept to ourselves all the details of what’s been going on with us, except for a few, like, you know, a lot, you know, more than a lot of people, but, uh, as she’s giving her talk. There were audible gasps as she’s like, and so that was two broken backs in less than two years.

And then, you know, she gets to back number three. That broken this lady and sitting behind her. I have this recording. Her eyes are just huge saucers and her mouth is

[00:58:17] Mike Fleming: dropped. It’s so funny.

[00:58:20] Cameron Watson: Yeah, we, I love our steak. So you have kids. Oh, another silly question. So what’s the biggest pain about, uh, being in a wheelchair or, uh, not having full.

A hundred percent of your dexterity and stuff. Biggest

[00:58:42] Mike Fleming: pain? Uh, well before my kids it was not being able to cook. I love to cook. I’m obsessed with cooking and it’s so hard because my wife hates to cook. Oh no. She does it. She does it. She’ll do stuff. She does incredible cookies and stuff like that.

Baking. But she hates to cook and I love it and not just Cooking, but like the process just going through and doing the meticulous like cutting things correctly, making sure everything’s uniform and thinly sliced and perfectly. Yeah. So just everything about the journey of completing a dish and having it be really good, you know, so that’s tough because I can’t do it.

And I, and. I could create tools, but it’s not the same, right? It’s just, it’s not the action of holding a knife and cutting and slicing and, you know, that, like, what does my daughter say? It’s like, uh, satisfying when she sees, like, you know. So, that, and then with the kid, now that I have kids, just not being able to teach them things, show them things as a father, you know, and like, making a fire.

Like, I, I can teach them, but I have to. Tell them and try and explain, try, try and like tell, tell something that’s complex and not be able to do it, but just try and explain to them how to do it. It’s like so difficult, you know. Yeah. It’s so hard to do this. So that’s tough, you know, not being able to like show my kids just everyday things, you know?

And so that’s tough. That’s tough. And then, and not being able to help my wife, you know, is also really tough.

[01:00:50] Cameron Watson: Gotcha. Yeah. So the, the guy who was like, Hey, just let other people take care of you. Um, and then the, uh, how long did it take you to be able to? Um,

[01:01:07] Mike Fleming: well, like right after that, I was, you know, I just thought I can’t, I’m not gonna let someone do this, you know, so like I brush my teeth, so like that, but I still need help showering, doing those things and getting dressed.

Um, uh, do you remember, you remember the famous movie was shown all over the youth, this kid, he was a famous, he was a really like amazing football star. And he got hurt and he got married and he talked about his life and being able to like, you know, get dressed in the morning and all that stuff. And so, yeah, like, I just.

That was one thing is I, I probably could have done a lot, learned a lot more, but I’ve had, you know, people in my life that has helped me. Sure. So, but yeah, like I, for the most part, I, I try and do as much as I can for myself, you know, I’ve got this cool tool here. Okay. I’ve got this thing that I bought.

Can you see this? Yeah. Oh, wow. So I use this action.

[01:02:24] Cameron Watson: So that’s your wrist activated and it becomes a claw. It’s like a gripper. Yeah.

[01:02:29] Mike Fleming: Cause again, this muscle. It’s a hundred percent guys. So I put this, you know, I pick things up and I went years without this thing. And now I’ve got two of them. I can’t imagine.

I can’t imagine life without it. And it’s like, you know,

[01:02:51] Cameron Watson: that’s cool. And you mentioned that you drive does, yeah. Does, um, does that mean you have like a, do you wheel into the car or do you, uh, transfer

[01:03:04] Mike Fleming: into the car? So right now I’ve got a little Honda element. I wheel up to next to the wheel. or the tip of the chair and I transfer over to it and I use like a this like tri pin that I put my wrist in and it kind of it locks my wrist and my hand in and then I’ve got this one bar down below on the left and it’s like it’s like a video game.

So I steer like this and I push forward for break and pull down for gas. Cool. Yeah. You would be freaked out if you knew some of the crazy stuff that Handicapped people drive with, you can literally drive with a straw. People paralyzed from the neck down are driving. You know, the straw that you use to puff, let’s call it puff and blow puff and suck or something where you, you, you puff for like two puffs go straight.

You, you actually can drive. Wow. Yeah. Or, or it’s a little, it’s like a little tiny wheel right here on the right. And people are, people are steering their car with this little tiny, little tiny wheel next to them that they just,

[01:04:15] Cameron Watson: that they’re barely, that is kind of scary, but I kind of think

[01:04:17] Mike Fleming: it’s cool too.

Yeah, and it’s, it’s incredible what they’ve got, like the mechanisms and stuff they have, um, especially now, you know, the technology’s pretty crazy. I’m getting a big, big brand new, uh, van, uh, a Ford Transit, like a 14 passenger van. Sweet. I love those. So. It’s getting modified right now. Oh, that’s awesome.

Fit the whole family in it. Yeah.

[01:04:47] Cameron Watson: So I, we drive a 15 passenger van, so I’m a big fan of big vans. But, uh, we, uh, I imagine the modifications can be pretty slick. Is it going to be side entry or, uh,

[01:05:02] Mike Fleming: cause yeah, it’s. It’s side entry. It’s going to be an actual lift. Oh, okay. So it’s got this cool ramp that it’s, so it goes down, goes down, lifts me up.

But when the doors close, it actually folds in half so that people can open the door and still get through when the ramp’s up. Nice.

[01:05:23] Cameron Watson: So, so when it’s up like this, it, it kind of folds like that. So you have a place to get in

[01:05:30] Mike Fleming: and out. Yeah, it kind of, it kind of folds like an accordion. Okay. Kind of folds in.

And so then when it goes down, it folds out and then goes down, lifts me up. So I can get in and so, uh, well,

[01:05:44] Cameron Watson: that’s going to be, that’s cool.

[01:05:46] Mike Fleming: Yeah. That’ll be

[01:05:47] Cameron Watson: nice. Mike, I have to tell you, I enjoyed talking to you over the years and this has been no exception if you were going to give some advice to someone who’s going through the hard times.

Maybe they’re just at the beginning of it. Maybe they don’t even know what’s about to happen. What would be something that you would want them to be aware of, or to keep in mind as they go through the dark part of this, the, the trial?

[01:06:19] Mike Fleming: Well, that’s, that’s funny you should ask, because I’m like kind of going through a tough time right now too. I’m trying to think, what have I learned right now? Um, well, just with my injury, you know, like I said, I think accepting it, not, you can go two ways, right? You can either give up and just complain about it, or you can accept it and just do the best you can, right?

Either, you know, both ways are like, complaining about it’s not going to change it. And so, and you’re, you’re just going to make your life miserable. So do the best you can, um, and if you don’t believe in God, believe in God and, you know, seek his strength, go to the temple, you know, read your scriptures.

Just those primary answers, honestly, that’s like, that’s where the strength is. Those everyday things. And like President, uh, President Hinckley, I remember him talking and he basically said, look, it’s, it may get worse, but. It’ll always get better. It’ll work out. Hmm. So, you don’t have to be super positive about time, but just, uh, you know, don’t give up.

I don’t know, like that’s, those are just typical things, but

[01:08:03] Cameron Watson: yeah, it might be typical, but it’s always good to be reminded of those things. And, um, as we close, I just want to thank you again for the time and I would love to do another one of these and talk about some of the more recent trials. Maybe it might be too soon, but, uh, you know, we can compare notes on things cause I’ve been unemployed for.

It’s, uh, since April and, uh, that’s been, oh,

[01:08:36] Mike Fleming: not my favorite. It’ll be almost a year for me in March. It’ll be a year, which I never ever thought. Yeah, it’s crazy.

[01:08:46] Cameron Watson: Well, I would hire you.

[01:08:49] Mike Fleming: I

[01:08:49] Cameron Watson: appreciate it. Someone should, someone should hire you, man. They’d be so blessed to have

[01:08:54] Mike Fleming: you.