Augie and Lynn's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Aussie Girls

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Corona del Mar, CA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 6

  • ON DVD:

AUGIE AND LYNN NIETO

Entrepreneur
Augie's Quest

“You have a choice: are you preparing to die, or wanting to live?”

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Non-Profit Organizations Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Acceptance Doubt Failure Family Fear Risk Self-Reflection Values

FOUNDATION:

Helping People Communicating / Sharing Stories

TAGS:

action, anger, antidepressants, body, brain, denial, depression, disability, exercise, fitness, heart, illness, insecurity, life, living, lou gehrig's disease, medication, muscular dystrophy, parents, vulnerable

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Saw his father sacrifice his entrepreneurial dreams in order to provide for his large family.
  • At age twenty, he went all in on his dream; opened Life Fitness, now a $550 million company.
  • Had found exercise as his “religion”; wanted to share its power with the world.
  • When he was diagnosed with ALS, he didn’t understand how God could be so cruel—he’d built his life on his muscles, was going to watch them fade away.
  • A fiercely independent man, he couldn’t imagine having to rely on others to help him with his disease.
  • Tried to commit suicide so he wouldn’t be a “burden”; reached a turning point after waking from a coma, accepted his condition.
  • No longer “reacted,” started to act—founded Augie’s Quest, which has raised $19 million for ALS research.
  • Says he used to “keep score” of how much money he made; now his score is set by how much he gives back.

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