We tend to separate business from our personal lives. However, too much separation takes away the great wisdom that both have to offer to live more holistically. Dr. Raquel Garzon, the president and founder of Revitalize Project, believes in integrating our business world with the rest of our lives, leveraging the best of both worlds, and thriving. In this episode, she joins host Robert "Fireman Rob" Verhelst to share with us her philosophy with her book, The Business of You: Leveraging Business Principles to Thrive in Life. Dr. Garzon also talks about the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can learn from this to become more resilient in your business. On to her Revitalize Project, she then taps into wellness and nutrition and living with autonomy, purpose, and mastery. Maybe the reason we are only doing good in one aspect of our lives over the other is that we're only focusing on it and leaving out the rest. Why not take that to the rest, so your greatness spills over? Follow along to this conversation.
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Integrating Business Integrating Business PrinciplesPrinciples Into Your Personal Life To Thrive With Dr. Raquel Garzon
I want to get to our guest because it could take me half the time to tell you how credible this individual is in helping you to live a meaningful life. I have a guest, Dr. Raquel Garzon. She is the epitome of what you want to look at when you're talking about living a vibrant and meaningful life. She's presented to top Fortune 100 companies and talked to twelve of the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. She's a Doctor of Health Science degree. She has a Master’s of Nutrition and Registered Dietician. I'm going to have to get into this interview before we have to stop it.
Raquel, it's so great to have you on the program.
Thank you for having me.
You're a wealth of knowledge and I love that because, in the field that you’re in, talking about nutrition and wellness, it is so important to look at somebody and go, “They have a diverse knowledge of this.”
You have lots of different viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences. If you put even very educated people in the same room to talk about nutrition, they wouldn't agree with each other. It does make it challenging.
That's so true because it is one of those things where chocolate is good for you one week and next week, it's bad for you. Running is bad for you and now it's good for you. You started this project and this is one of the best stories that I love. I originally knew about you and met you at the Human Performance Institute where you worked for thirteen years. Can you tell me a little bit more about your work there?
I started there when the company was fairly new and small in 2001. Primarily, we were doing training with athletes, hostage rescue workers, and surgical teams. We had gone into the world of business helping people to perform at their best to using nutrition, exercise, and sports psychology types of concepts. I was hired originally to work on the nutrition part of the program. I was with the company for a long time and became a partner. I grew and developed in the company to take on more of the overall content. We were doing programs first locally, then globally. That trajectory, I was part of that growth and expansion which was exciting. It got me a lot of new experiences that I had not planned on in my career. I'm grateful for that.
You didn't take the conventional path of all of your things because you left a corporate job, started your own company, and going back to school at the age of 40 which is not easy at all. It's not even easy to go to school at 21, but you went on your own. What gave you that courage to be able to do that?
I've always been a little bit unconventional. Most registered dieticians work in that field. I got out of that clinical field and moved very quickly. I worked for three years as a typical dietician. I worked for a startup company that was doing digital nutrition education online in the year 2000. It was just getting started. It was the dot-com, dot-bomb year. That was my very first move to something I had no experience in. The internet was new in providing programming and I found that I loved it, even though the company went under. I liked the thrill of the startup, how fast it moved, playing in a different sandbox, and everybody else which is then what took me to the Human Performance Institute. I originally got turned down for the job with a form letter. That's another example of how my life goes.
They turned me down. They sent me a form letter and said, “Thank you. No, thank you.” I called them up and I disagreed with them on the phone. I said, “You’re making a mistake.” They said, “We're not going to consider you for the job. I don't know why you're calling us.” I said, “I'm curious about you. I want to go down there and visit.” They said, “Fine, but this isn't an interview.” I said, “Fine.” I went down there for a visit. I met with the COO. We ended up talking for several hours and in the end, he said, “You know what? We'll give you a chance. We'll let you interview. You have to create a presentation.” I went in and presented. Within a couple of days, they called me and said that I had blown everybody else away and they offered me the job. After that, I became a partner. I used to always joke with them that they didn't know what they were doing because they had turned me down originally for a job.
That's impressive. You missed your calling not as a dietician but as a saleswoman.
Perhaps, because I did work for the army as well in Fort Hood which has been in the news lately. When I went to work there, they didn't have a position. I went in there and I said, “I do pediatrics. I love it.” They were like, “Nobody here likes to do pediatrics.” They went and created a position for me because nobody else wanted to do what I did. That was awesome. Sometimes I go out and I give presentations to two college students about my life lessons that I've learned which makes me feel old when they ask me to do that. Those experiences helped me in a different way where I don't always take no for an answer from that perspective, especially if I feel in my gut like, “I knew what the Human Performance Institute.” I'm like, “I know I can do this, I'm going to be able to help them, and I'm going to be valuable.” When I feel that, then I'm more likely to be persistent. When it came to leaving Corporate America to start my own company, there were a million signs pointing me away from that.
First, I was the breadwinner. My husband stayed home from work to take care of the kids because that made sense for us. I made a good salary. The company was purchased by J&J. I was an executive in Johnson & Johnson, which is a great thing to be. My dad was like, “You're crazy. That's a great job. Why would you leave the security of it?” It's not that I didn't want to do the job that I was doing and I didn't appreciate it. I still work with Johnson & Johnson and they're one of my best clients, but I felt this pull that I knew I could do something on my own. It would allow me to do some things that I wasn't being able to do in the position that I was in at that time. I risked everything. I risked having security, 401(k), and all of the things that I had to start my company. I sold stocks to get it started so that I wouldn't have to take out loans. Within six months, I was already profitable. I felt that it was the right thing to do.
It speaks volumes to the aspect of resiliency and of following your purpose. I had talked about that a lot, but pretty much you do the show for me because it was amazing what you were talking about. You glossed over that when you were at the US Army, you were awarded the Commander’s Award for Civil Service, which is no small feat. You took a lot of different things and said, “Just because it's not there doesn't mean I can't do it.” A lot of people would love that in their lives. That is something that is so hard for people to grasp because they look at social media or what jobs are out there and they say, “I don't fit into any of those categories.” What would you say is one of the things that drive you to be able to do that or to be able to say, “I see that it's not there, but I'm going to make it there?”
It's the way I look at things. I do see things from a different perspective which sometimes gets you beat up a little bit. I can tell you, getting that civil service medal award through the army was not easy and it wasn't something I had set my eyes on. I look at things and I say, “Why are we doing things this way? It doesn't make sense.” I'm a person that wants to make things better and make sense. For a military, there's a lot of red tape. I made a lot of enemies, and people despised me that first year that I was there because of some of the things that I was doing. It's been many years since I've worked there and people that are still left there say that they still talk about some things I did.
I was disruptive and I call it constructively disruptive. Sometimes, I might be destructively disruptive because that's a side effect when you are disruptive, but most of the time, it's constructive. You have to sometimes tear things down to build them back up again in a better way. I have a different viewpoint and it does veer from what a lot of other people see or believe and think. I also have that drive within me to follow through with those things, even if it means that people dislike me. It was bad. I had people completely ignore me, not talk to me, talk about me behind my back but once those things went through, everybody was like, “This saves us money. This makes more sense. This helps solve a bunch of different problems.”
People don't change and they're resistant to it. They don't like people that disrupt things naturally. If you have a gut instinct and a reason to believe that something could be different, should be different, you have to be prepared to not please everybody and not necessarily be liked by everybody. There are a lot of quotes and famous people out there that would completely tell you that. If I always think that if everybody likes you, then you're not trying hard enough. You're not going out there.
That’s true because you're going with the people. You're going with what they're comfortable with.
That's totally how I see it. I used to say, and this could get me in trouble, but there were certain people that I would say if that person likes me, I'm doing something wrong. You have to identify those people that if they like you, you know that you are swimming in the wrong lane. You are sucking up. You're going with the status quo, and you're not disrupting. There were certain people that I was like, “Good. I hope they dislike me because that means I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.” You just have to be prepared for that.
It's confidence in who you are and what your journey is. You have a book out there, The Business of You: Leveraging Business Principles to Thrive in Life. Tell me a little bit more about the context of that.
I don't know why I decided to write a book. It's like, “Why did I decide to go back for my doctorate?” I have still no idea, even though I finished it.
You get called a doctor.
This book came to me because I do so many presentations for corporations and employees of organizations. A lot of times, I'm talking to them about things that I think you should already be good at this because you're doing it every day whether it's nutrition, exercise, managing stress, or becoming more resilient, I would be presenting it. They would come to me with like, “That's so hard. I can't do that but woe is me,” the what-ifs. I say, “You are already doing this. You wake up every single day and you go slaughter at work by doing the same exact things that I'm talking to you about. By understanding supply and demand, how important it is to be proactive versus reactive, you have to try new things, make mistakes, learn from them, grow, and use that, you have to have a purpose and mission in mind as you do things.”
As I started to give them examples like, “You work on the supply chain. Let's talk about this and use your supply chain as an example,” whatever it might be, I found myself constantly referring back to what they were already doing and saying, “Now do the same thing with this. Stop complicating it.” That's where the idea came from. There are so many business principles that are out there that people are using that totally makes sense to them. I'm like, “Take that and apply it to yourself to fix your relationships, finances, and wellness, whatever it is that you need to fix. You can use what you already know.” It's like, “This is my business world and this is the rest of my life.” I don't know why we can't integrate those two together and leverage the best of both worlds to be more holistic thriving people.
It's such a great concept because if you think about it, you think about it in the nutrition aspect and fitness aspect, if you do something many times over and you consistently do it the same way, you get better at it. It's a crazy thought.
People are looking for shortcuts from wellness. They're like, “How do I get ripped without doing any exercise?” I don't know what to tell you. Paint this six-pack on your abs. They're looking for shortcuts and instant gratification, and I'm like, “Is that what you do at work? Do you look for shortcuts? Do you bribe somebody to get what you need to be done? Do you look for instant gratification?” They look at me and they're like, “Of course, not.” I'm like, “Why would you do that for your own life?” A job for most people is temporary but they're willing to do more and do the right things for their job than they are for themselves. The only body that they're going to live in, how they role model, and teach things to in their families.
It's so much cognitive dissonance. It's so hard. I'm like, “Let's take a step back and see how we can apply all of the wonderful things you're doing in this area of your life to the other areas of your life and vice versa.” You might be doing great things in your personal life and why not leverage that and bring that into the business world. There is no separation. The pandemic has shown us this. There is no separation between our work lives and our personal lives. You might as well make the best of all of those worlds together.
Embrace that curve. It's one of those things. Where can people go to buy this book? I think you sold it.
I don't know about that. It's on Amazon.
Go to Amazon, find that book. It's exactly how you explained it is exactly what people need to do. We have a lot of successful business people in this world who don't understand that they need to translate that into their lives because life is not one thing, it's a combination of a lot of things. That is something that transitions mean to you the next thing. I love Normal 2.0 Online Training. Where did you figure that one out? I love the name of it.
What happens is as we go into this pandemic, our world shifts. I have this awesome person that's in my network, Michelle Sterling. She and I worked on a project together at the Human Performance Institute with Johnson & Johnson. I stay in contact with people and we start talking, start setting up these meetings and throwing around ideas. She has an amazing background. I have the stuff that I do in resilience and change. I teach all of these things on the neuroscience of change and what to do in uncertainty. I'm like, “This is what we're living right now.” We decided to collaborate, take all of her expertise, all of my expertise, and create this online training. Everyone was talking about this, “When are things going to get back to normal?”
I'm like, “Why would people want to go back to the way that it was before?” Why would we want that? We should never want that. What we should want is to take what was good before and retain that, take everything that we learned through chaos and uncertainty, and use that to upgrade and make things even better than ever before so we thought Normal 2.0. That's what we want. We don't want normal, normal. We want Normal 2.0 that's completely upgraded where we get to keep what we love and we get to enhance that with all of the learnings and growth that we've had through this process. That one is for employees of organizations. We've designed it so that it's fully online. It's a turnkey. An organization can buy it, and people go in. It's extremely inexpensive per user.
It helps them walk through the process of looking back to see, what is it about normal that I like before in my life? How do I retain that and also reflecting on what's going on right now? What am I learning? How can I grow? How can I make myself even more resilient, ready for change, and embracing some of these things that we tend to push back against like, “I don't want change, uncertainty, and ambiguity?” You can change your mindset to thrive in those things. If they're going to keep happening, you might as well say, “If you can't beat them, join them.” We provide all these great tools for employees. That way, the leaders need to focus on the operation, supply chain, or what's going on there. They don't have time to start a whole program from scratch to help their employees get through this. That's what we did.
I want to give everybody an idea. We heard the story of you transitioning your whole life from that corporate job that was secure, that you had that feeling of comfort. You took on this thing and it's called the Revitalize Project. You can go to RevitalizeProject.com and find out a lot more. When I look at this website, it's so robust. There are so many things that you're offering to individuals. As I said before, to empower these people to live a vibrant and meaningful life. On the front page, you have this great image. It's the model of a wellness tree. Tell me more about this because I want people to go on to your website and look at this. It does layout perfectly the aspects of wellness and put it into that concept of growing.
How do I think about this? I think about wellness being multi-dimensional. We tend to think about it as being very physically oriented. I wanted to go beyond that. I believe that everything is integrated. I started to think about, what are all of these categories that I talk about? I talk about things that are physical but the environment affects us in a lot of the stuff that I do around the neuroscience of wellness or neuroscience of change. It's so incredible how much the things that are going on around us affect our behaviors. That part is important to address. The social and emotional factors are huge in the mind. It's like the control center. That's why I'm so fascinated by neuroscience.
We have to understand how that integrates into and then our financial state, our career, and how we look at it. All of those things are part of wellness. I wanted that to be captured. I started to think about, what's the root of everything? I subscribe to the self-determination theory, giving people the ability to autonomously choose their path instead of telling them what to do. I started to think about autonomy. That should be a part of anything that's out there. You want to empower people to make their own choices instead of saying, “You should do this, you should do that. Believe me, that's how I was taught in school.” “Eat this, don't eat that, you shouldn't be doing that.” I hate that.
Autonomy and then purpose. Why are you doing it? If you don't have a purpose, why are you going to torture yourself with making a change or doing something differently? Everything has to be tied to that. The concept of mastery which is practicing, getting better at something and recognizing that you're making progress. That helps to create intrinsic motivation which is huge. This whole society is based on rewarding with these outside rewards. You do this and we'll give you this. I hate it. In my presentations, I talk about making shifts to intrinsic motivation and mastery is huge. People want to get better and learn. We should promote that.
As I was thinking about the model, I thought a lot of times I would use this example about a tree. When I would be teaching things, I would say, “It's not about what the tree looks above the ground. It's what's going on underneath the ground that also matters.” I used to live in Florida. When a hurricane comes, you can't tell what trees are going to make it or not make it based on their branches, their leaves, how majestic, or pretty they are. It's that root system. It's what they've prepared for. I look at humans the same way. You've got to get those roots down and right. You've got to work on that outside, the branches, and how you want those to look. Do you want them to be crazy or be nice and trimmed? That's your personal style but we tend to focus more on that outside stuff. What people see in our appearances, then always working on that inside part in those roots that when emergencies come our way, when things don't go as planned, it's the roots that determine how you're going to respond, not how big your six-packs, biceps, or quadriceps. That's not going to do it, right?
No, that will not hold you down in a hurricane.
I thought I'm going to build this model using this tree that I like to talk about because I feel there's so much that you can relate to the tree plus I love nature. I thought the tree was a good way to communicate it.
I loved it when you started talking about under the ground because I was looking at that and I was like, “I wanted to ask you why you put that stuff under.” The way I looked at it is amazing because you look at autonomy, purpose, and mastery. All those happen for most people when others aren't looking. All those things happen that in the middle of the night when they're running on the treadmill, when they're going to classes, when they're 40 years old to get their doctorate. All these things happen even though they have a beautiful tree, they don't see all that work that went into. That illustration is so powerful. Anybody who's reading, you need to go to RevitalizeProject.com. At least look at the tree but then there's so much more to look at the website than the tree.
I hire a lot of businesses to work on my stuff. They're one person, two people. I try to hire a lot of women, minority-owned businesses. That is a one-person show Hispanic man who lives in my local area here in New Mexico, which is the 49th poorest state. That's another part that's important to me that I don't know if it comes through on my website or not because I make my own website. It's not that great. I do a lot in the community. One of the reasons that I left Corporate America was because I wanted to do more things in the community and take the stuff that I was doing with employees and offer it to people who don't normally have the chance to get this information.
I have won several grants. I've been able to reach people in my community here in New Mexico with resiliency programs. I had one called Resilient Mothers, Resilient Children that won a grant. We were able to do this programming with some of our Native American, one of our reservations here and also in the border communities where you have a lot of Spanish speaking moms facing a lot of difficult situations. I'm a finalist in the siggi’s grant program and voting ends on October 3rd, 2020. That grant that I'm a finalist for is on the gut microbiome. It's a program that I would also do here in my local community at the Native American Reservation and some of the border communities in English and Spanish on how to prepare food and eat in a way that supports a healthy gut microbiome. A bad gut promotes diabetes, obesity, and all kinds of different conditions.
First of all, there's not a lot of programming on the gut microbiome in general, but certainly not to these communities who suffer from huge rates of diabetes and obesity far-reaching as compared to non-minority whites. Those are some of the things. I try to hire cording me on a small business that's women-owned and Hispanic. I try to promote that because it's an uphill battle. I can tell you that. Both my parents are immigrants first-generation here. I don't have the buildup of wealth or connections that other people had. It is so hard to make it in the big leagues and compete against all of these other big companies. It was something I wanted to mention because that is one of the reasons I started this company.
It's not shocking that that is part of you as a person that you are an individual who does not take the straight path. You help others to realize the potential that they have. All these things that you're doing are so impactful by themselves, but when you put them together, you are a great role model for those individuals, as you said, are immigrants, people who don't have the wealth or people who don't have the networks to be able to get there. It is possible. I love the leadership role that you're taking in that respect. How do you feel that that impacts your life to look at yourself? I'm sure that you don't look at yourself like that, but how does it feel to be that role model of possible?
I don't necessarily always think about it that way. I try to live life to the maximum. I don't do that with my career, I do that personally whether it's taking on new sports. I took on clipless pedals on my mountain bike and I'm bruised all over from falling over with both my feet still attached to the pedals. Everyone's telling me not to do it, which makes me do it more. I'm that type of person. I feel like you've got this one life. You never know how long or how short it's going to be. You want to take advantage of it. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of live your life like it's the last day because that can give you an excuse to be reckless and careless.
I always say, “Live your life as if it were the last, but isn't the last and that you might be here for a long time.” I know it's a weird thing to think about but it’s like, “How can I take advantage, appreciate, and do as much as I can knowing that now is an investment in tomorrow?” I'm putting these days together and if I do happen to live a while, it's going to take me somewhere. I want to make sure that it's a place that I'm happy about, satisfied with, I've created something meaningful and impactful, and that I've shown my kids different possibilities. I used to be real left-brained about it. I would say I don't want my kids to major in some stupid major that doesn't have a job, some liberal arts crap. I'm not paying for that. I used to see all of these things before you have kids. My daughter is autistic. My son has all of these medical issues.
What happens is you take a step back and say, “What matters here?” What matters is that they have autonomy, mastery, purpose, and feel passionate about what they're doing. Somehow, it provides some service or value, whether that's entertainment. My daughter loves to draw. She loves theater. It's all the things that I would have completely said were useless and nobody should major long ago. She feels fulfilled. She's going to do that. She's going to figure out how to make ends meet. If she's an actress who also bartenders or waitresses to make ends meet, but she's happy doing that, I'm going to be supportive of that. I've done a 180 on those sorts of things.
My son is very creative. He's going to either be a lawyer, an entrepreneur, or a criminal. I'm not sure which one. I don't want to put my kids in a box. I don't want to force them to do these certain things because then I would be going against everything that I teach and everything that I believe in now. That's the other thing is to acknowledge that just because you believed something before, it doesn't mean that you can't say, “I've grown and I'm mistaken. I can change my viewpoint on that because you have to go through experience if you learn more about life.” Some people cling to those things and say, “No, this is the belief. You can't major in liberal arts.” They can't let that go. I'm willing to say that was ridiculous. “Raquel, what were you thinking? You need to change your viewpoint on that. That's not right.”
It's the identification that we are constantly growing and learning. I always talk about purpose. If I had the same purpose I had when I was ten years old, I would be a professional Lego maker. We have to change with the times. Everything changes but I love how you put it in all perspectives.
You could be a professional Lego maker because that does exist. I'm sure those people are happy.
I can’t. I wasn't good at it, to begin with.
I was in Legoland. I was impressed with the stuff that they built.
I don't know if I have the patience.
I thought you were going to say, “If I were ten and still wanted to have the same goals, I'd be a fireman.” I'm like, “There you are.”
I wanted to be a doctor. I went on a different path.
You could still do that.
I could but I don’t want to.
I was a volunteer firefighter in college. I loved it. Because of that, when my brother went to college, he ended up following my footsteps in volunteering. He became a firefighter. He's a firefighter to this day. He always says, “If I hadn't done what you were doing in volunteering at the fire station, I would have never become a fireman.”
Look at all these paths you are changing. Now you have a business that you're changing path. We'll call you the path changer. I should say path creator because you're creating the opportunity for the person's mind to be able to see that the path in front of them that's been beaten by 50,000 other people's feet is not their path. They want to take the one that has the scrub brush and keep going.
You have that. I love your story. I love everything about it. We're going to have you back on here because I could talk to you for hours. I want people to go to RevitalizeProject.com. Make sure you go on Amazon. There's a great book there, The Business of You: Leveraging Business Principles to Thrive in Your Life. You already do those principles so why not understand how you can put them into your life? Raquel, thank you so much for being on. I always end the same way. I have three questions for you and then we have a rapid round. I hope you're ready. I didn't give them to you in advance.
I have to think you're nervous. That's the key. What is one thing you haven't done, but it's outside of your comfort zone? That's a hard one for you.
It is because I always think everything is doable. The one thing that I was so terrified to do, which might surprise you is I always wanted to audition for a play to be on stage. I can be myself, but the thought of auditioning where you have to be somebody else was so frightening to me that I would literally get dizzy thinking about it and almost pass out. In 2019, I auditioned for a play and I almost passed out on stage. I was shaking so bad. They had to detain my hands and I didn't get the part. A few months later, a director came my way and asked me to do a play and I did. This character won. They had a New York/New Jersey accent. Here I am in my first play, I have to do this New York/New Jersey accent. It was the most fun thing that I ever did. That was one of the things that scared me the most, believe it or not, and I did it.
Are you kidding?
For real. It will be a year on July 12th, 2020 that that play opened. I did it for two weekends and it was a phenomenal experience. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had. I had to cancel bookings and revenue to make this play happen. My clients were kind about it. I said, “It's on my bucket list. I've been wanting to do it forever. Please let's reschedule whatever we need to.” They said yes. I lost a bunch of revenue that month. I would not take it back for anything. I learned so much about the theater world, working with a cast, what it takes to take on another character, and think like them. It was the most incredible experience ever. You have to put me in the water with great sharks or something bizarre like that because everything that's out there that scared me, I try. I was scared of skydiving so I went and did it. If I'm scared of it, I'm going to do it. That's my role.
I have to ask you one more on that one. Was it the audition or was it the actual play itself that was scarier to you?
It was both. The audition was an extremely vulnerable situation. I don't know why. My kids both do theater and every time I watched them audition, sometimes they're closed auditions and I can't watch but when they do open, I am almost fainting for them. I feel like puking. It's horrifying. I have so much empathy that I put myself in their shoes and I lose all blood from my head. It's that vulnerability of going up there and trying to be somebody else. I only know how to be myself and you have to be so vulnerable to try to be another person with another viewpoint, accent, and then to try to act it out. You're thinking to yourself, “I know I look or sound ridiculous. This person thinks I am horrible.”
I presented in front of tens of thousands of people on stage. That was part of it. The audition was horrifying. When I took on this character, rehearsing was horrifying. Having somebody watch me and they'd be like, “Now try it this way. Do this differently.” You have to be thick-skinned in a sense because they're criticizing the way that you've interpreted or acted it out. They're trying to improve you so that it lands well but it feels like criticism. Imagine, you working on your computer and someone’s, “I wouldn't have done that.” “Why did you know? This is how I want you to do it instead.” How annoying would that be? That’s what theatre is. It's your intonation, body movement, and look. Everything is being constantly corrected and done differently. It's hard. It is so different than anything else I've ever done in my life. It was good for me. You’ve got to do it sometimes.
Most people would not have thought that that would have scared you. When you presented to 35 of the top Fortune 100 companies, they're like, “She's scared of auditioning?” Here's number two. What is your favorite quote and why?
I am horrible at memorizing. If you go to my social media, I put out quotes all the time. I'm quote-obsessed and I put it in my presentations. I'm sure that people find that completely annoying. I have one of my signature that I like.
What’s your social media?
I will take that as your answer to question number two. Number three, I can't wait for this answer because I have a feeling it's going to be interesting. We get answers all over the board. It's amazing. If you could pick to have coffee with three other people at a firehouse table. It means nothing is off. You can ask them anything. Who would it be and why?
Do they have to be alive?
No, they can be alive or dead, either way. They’ll be alive when you're talking to them.
This is tough and I would have different answers on different days. One person I would pick is my grandfather on my mom's side who I never had a chance to meet. He was assassinated in Cuba when the Castro government took over. He was in the military. He was a Major in the army. He was for the previous army so when the takeover happened with Fidel Castro, he was on the wrong side because he was of the previous army. Some of the people decided to switch and become part of the communist party. He did not. He knew that they were going to kill him.
They came to the house and they shot him in the head. My mom, her brother, and sister were all at school and my grandmother was there. She was left to pick up the pieces and figure things out. My mom was six at that time. She grew up without a father. I would love to understand his story and everything that he went through which is such a tough thing. It's like, “Do you switch an order to save life or do you stick with your values, your morals knowing that you're going to die, and leave your three kids behind.” That's what he chose. For me, that would be an interesting conversation to have.
I have to say you have some of the traits that he had.
My grandmother was a survivor and was an amazingly strong person who passed a lot of these traits onto the rest of the family. She was a person I admired. She suffered a lot in her life, but you would have never known it because of the type of person she was and her sense of humor. She never remarried and she wore that wedding ring to the day that she died. He would be my first choice right there.
This is why I said this would be a good one for you. Who is number two?
There are so many historical figures that I would like to talk with. You would see a theme, someone like Gandhi, somebody that persistence in the resiliency, sacrifice, putting other people's needs above their own. Mandela or somebody like that. Some person like that would be you, another person, you can see my theme. I'd want to pick somebody to be a little bit self-indulgent. I'm a huge Broadway fan. I would pick somebody from a historical Broadway musical. I love Hamilton. I'm completely obsessed with it.
I saw it on stage and I've seen it three times since I came out on Disney+ but I'm also obsessed with the Broadway musical Anastasia. Self-indulge to have a whole conversation with Anastasia Romanov and get that whole spiel because I'm totally obsessed with that musical, mythology, and everything that happened. I'm weird. I also liked the musical Six and King Henry and His Six Wives, an interview with him and get in his head about his wives. It's so hard to pick for Broadway shows. You're not going to get a straight answer from me because that's not my personality.
Your grandfather is sitting at the table going, “Who else is coming?”
It’s a real strange cast of characters perhaps depending on the day.
That is what I love about that question because we've had all over the board. It shows the personality of how people pick when they're like, “I can't figure out who. I want this person.” It shows a lot of different personalities. You've officially made it to the rapid round. I'm going to give you two things. All you’ve got to say is which one you pick. Paper or plastic?
Soup or salad?
McDonald’s or Taco Bell to the registered dietician?
Camping or hotel?
Fly or drive?
How about sleeping late or wake up early?
Wake up early.
Run or walk?
Partly sunny or partly cloudy?
Fire or water?
Use a porta-potty or continue to ride or drive to the next physical bathroom?
I can go in the ground, dig a hole, or something like that.
You're that other category beyond porta-potty.
I hike a mountain bike. I can go anywhere. I don't need to hold it ever. You should see some of the places I've gone to the bathroom.
Coke or Pepsi?
The last one is to go big or go home?
It has been such a pleasure to have you on.
It’s so nice connecting with you after so much time. I don't remember what year that was, maybe 2012.
It was way back in 2012.
It’s great to be able to connect with you again. I'm looking forward to this.
Thank you so much. I want people to go to RevitalizeProject.com, find out more, and how you can start to live your most meaningful life. Thank you again for joining us. We look forward to talking with you.
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About Dr. Raquel Garzon
Dr. Raquel Garzon is the President and Founder of Revitalize Project. As a speaker and thought leader, she has delivered inspirational and valuable health, performance, and leadership content to thousands of high performers in the areas of business and sports in over 25 countries. She has presented to executive audiences from 35 of the top Fortune 100 companies as well as to 12 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Raquel creates and designs customized programs for organizations to meet the unique needs and demands of each client.
Raquel earned her Doctor of Health Science degree with a concentration in Global Health from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Garzon also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Florida and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Texas A&M University. She is a certified ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt. She is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer.
Dr. Garzon recently served as an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University and as the Wellness Specialist for Cooperative Extension for the state. She continues to consult with the university on a grant for the National Institutes of Health. Her past professional experiences include working 13 years at the Human Performance Institute, a company of Johnson & Johnson, in Orlando, FL as Vice President of Programs and Content for Corporate and Sports Training, Director of Nutrition, and Keynote Speaker/Trainer. There she played a major role in company strategy and in the development of program offerings in current and new markets. Raquel also worked as an outpatient and inpatient Pediatric and Maternal Dietitian for the Department of U.S. Army in Fort Hood, TX, where she was awarded the Commanders Award for Civil Service. She previously worked for a digital health content company developing a nutrition and physical activity program for online use geared to the Hispanic and Latino market. Her first professional position was as a community outpatient dietitian at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX, where she provided individual and group nutrition interventions and education to adults and children, including immigrant and refugee communities in the area.
Raquel has served on the Latino Advisory Board and the Blue Ribbon Health and Wellness Advisory Board for PepsiCo as an external advisor. She currently serves on the editorial review board of the American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal and authored a journal publication in 2014. Raquel participates in community events, volunteer work, and fundraisers to benefit local and global communities. Raquel has appeared on national and local television as a subject matter expert in health and has conducted local radio health shows for the Hispanic market.
Raquel lives in southern New Mexico with her husband and two children. She is half-Cuban and half-Uruguayan, speaks Spanish fluently, and enjoys traveling with her family. She enjoys Latin dancing, hiking/kickboxing/fitness, and Korean-style karaoke!