Episode 215: Paulie’s Push - A Journey of Resilience and Remembrance

your next stop Jan 30, 2024

Retired United Airlines flight attendant Paul "Paulie" Veneto walked a beverage cart from Boston to Ground Zero in New York City to honor the flight attendants and other crew members killed on 9/11.


Paulie’s initial intention was to make sure the world honored and remembered his colleagues, the men, and women of Flight 175. This journey was for them. It was also a way for him to remind the victims’ families their loved ones were not forgotten.


However, Paulie quickly discovered that he was impacting the lives of countless others who followed him on his journey. During his time on the road, people would walk alongside him and share personal stories about their lives, particularly the struggles they faced.


Paulie had a GPS on the beverage cart so people could track exactly what street he was on from Boston all the way to lower Manhattan. 


At one point, Paulie recalled a woman driving to his exact location in the rain so she could tell him the story of how her daughter donated a kidney to her. No one, including Paulie's friends who followed alongside him in a Jeep and RV, expected this to happen.


Flight attendants that Paulie once worked with and many of his family members joined him for the final mile in Manhattan. It wasn't an easy task for Paulie, but it was something he felt "obligated to do." 


He arrived at Ground Zero at 1:15 p.m. on September 11.


Learn more about Paulie at PauliesPush.com. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.


Remarkable Quote:


“Don't quit five minutes before the miracle.”


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Welcome back to your next stop. In this episode, I speak with Paulieie Veneto, you guys. He is one of my favorite humans of all time. This man just is so inspirational, but just has a heart of gold. You might remember him from episode 131, way back when, when he first walked his beverage cart from Logan airport down to 911.

On the 20th anniversary of the 911 tragedy. I got in touch with him because I saw him through social media, kind of walk through a town that I used to live in, and I was like, I want to know more about this. So Paulieie and I catch up, but we also go through all of the different legs he has done. He was a flight attenHahnt, and one of the routes that he used to do was flight 175. And that 175 is the one that hit the second tower.

He wasn't working the day that that happened on 911, and it haunted him. And then there was an addiction that he fought for many years because of the guilt and the anger. And then every year when the crew members weren't honored like the first 1st responders, he knew he needed to change. So this is such an inspiration. I mean, such an inspiration.

But you can just hear the love that Paulieie does. And he tells us little stories of people that he've met along the way, that he has actually changed their lives in a good way. And that's what this man is all about. So don't forget to, like, rate, review, and share, but I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I do. You can follow Paulieie Paulieyspush.com and also on instagram.

Paulieyspush, welcome back to your next stop. This is Juliet Hahn. Oh, my gosh, Polly. Paulieie Veneto. I mean, you were on episode 131, and that was, I mean, we were just trying to figure out this.

But guys, just a little background. Paulieie, he was a crew member on flight 175. And if you have not heard his original story, please go back to 131. Because what Paulieie has been doing this last number of years and what he endured, he was not on the flight. He witnessed it go into the second tower from a friend's house because he was building a cement wall he had off that day.

Just the tremendous guilt and everything that he felt afterwards and then not having the crew members really honored really ate him up. And then there was some addiction, which, again, you can go into 131, but you have been on a mission, polly, so you guys can go follow him. Paulieyspush.com. There's videos. I mean, I just was watching one of the videos and I was in tears.

Paulieyspush also on Instagram. And you're going to catch us up with everything that you've been doing. But you have been on a mission and doing so many amazing things. And I know this is overwhelming because when we first met, you had just finished walking from Logan down to 911. Someone sent me a video of you in Darien, Connecticut, which I had moved from.

And I was like, wait a second, what is this guy doing? And I just instantly fell in love with you because your personality and who you are, but then your mission. So welcome to your next stop. Thank you. It's great to be here.

Yeah, I'm excited about being back here because as I told you in the email, it's amazing because I get flooded back at the beginning of when I started and the people that reached out to me, I'll never forget it. It's really special. Well, I mean, the thing that, I think there's so many things that we can talk about, again, people that are new to your story, I want you to kind of touch on what you've been doing. But again, this was your life. You flew.

You were a flight attenHahnt. You loved it. You really painted the picture of why you got into it when you were younger. You have tons of siblings. Was it eleven?

And if I'm remembering that correct, that's crazy. Was it eleven? How many siblings do you have? There's a total of nine of us. So I got five sisters and three brothers.

Yes. I knew it was big, but I was like, if I remember eleven, that's crazy from all these years ago, right? And you were like the one that kind of did his own thing. You loved traveling, and you guys can obviously hear his wonderful Boston accent, which is just one of the things that I absolutely love. But let's go.

That 911 tribute that you walked when you went from, again, Logan, I remember something that really stuck with me because there were so many things in that interview that really touched me. But one of the things that you said is, I mean, that's when you got clean, and it was the first step of you taking the beverage cart. So again, you guys can go look and listen back to 131 on your next stop. But Polly had his beverage cart and he was addicted to drugs, just getting clean. And you were like, I got to get out and do something.

I have to do more for my crew members and show that I'm here. I can't let my life go. And when you said that, in so many words, I was like, oh, my gosh, the burden that you also were putting on for, and I don't want to say burden, but the guilt that you were putting on for yourself. But then you knew you had to do something more and the people that rallied around you to help you kind of really get there. So you talked about, and I will not forget the moment that you told me and I pictured in my mind, because you got the beverage cart and you started taking a little bit of steps because you weren't in shape.

Right. You were not in a good place. Not at all.

My hands are sweating thinking about it because as you're saying that, it's bringing me right back to those moments myself. Right. But I can tell you that there was never a thought in my mind that I wasn't going to do it, because I wish I had the words to explain it, but there was no barriers that were going to stop me from getting from Logan to ground zero, New York. It just wasn't. I didn't know how I was going to do it.

Had no idea, but I just knew I'd be there on September 11. So then the things started to happen. People started popping into my life on the street, and it was just crazy. I'm like, I could chill thinking about the stories were endless. And you know what?

And this is one of the things that we talk about, and I'm not going to get too much in this, because when you're in the flow and when things are meant to happen in your life, and I believe in God, but whether you believe in God or the universe, there is a path. And when you are on that right path, crazy miracles like your sweatshirts just happen. And I have just been in the last, I want to say, year. And I've always had moments of flow that have built me up to what I'm doing now. We'll talk about that on the side.

I mean, obviously, it's with the podcast and it's still going. But I started another podcast. I started a new job because of the podcast and my storytelling consultancy. And it's just the people that come into your life, as you said, when you're in that flow is just nothing that you can express or even explain because it's so bizarre. Exactly.

It really is.

I don't know what's bigger than us. What started this whole thing. We could debate it. Everyone could debate it. But when that stuff happens here, I don't think it happens to everybody, but the ones that have had it happen to them know exactly what we're talking about.

Exactly. Words don't explain it. I can't tell you how many times I've sat alone after an encounter and would think to myself, I can't believe what just happened. And there's no one I can tell because they couldn't comprehend it. But it's like a feeling like I don't know how to explain it.

I just don't. No. And it is right when you go to explain it to someone that has never had that happen, they kind of look at you like a little od there. But when you know, you know. And it is just incredible.

So again, you decided I'm going to walk, right, because you took the cart. And I still remember when I re listened to the episode where I was in Long Island, I was out looking over the water and I relistened to our episode and I was sobbing, but I was picturing you walking along. And I still, whenever I pass this place, you're the first person that pops into my mind. I can tell you, when I thought of this idea was one year after 911 and I was on an airplane working. And after all the memorials first anniversary.

And I was angry. I was angry. Are they going to mention these guys? I was so angry. And to myself, I was standing in the galley of an airplane in flight, and I looked at the beverage cart and I said to myself, I said, I know how I'll get them mechanized.

I'll push that friggin thing from the gate they left out on the street to New York. That was in 2002. So unfortunately, my story is I fell into an addiction. And that really prevented me from really accomplishing what deep in my soul I knew needed to get done. And every year the universe would go up and I was fueled by that.

Like Jesus, I can't believe nobody's doing anything. So when I got clean in 2015, the light went on. And I knew. I knew at that moment when the obsession was lifted, I'm going to get this done now. I knew it that I couldn't do it until I was physically, mentally able.

So I didn't know when that would be. I just kept staying clean and sober and trying to turn my life around, come back into society. I didn't know the 20th anniversary was coming up. I had no idea I was five years old. But something clicked in my head.

Said, you're ready. And I started out walking. And then from there, it just set. It just took off. Yeah.

That's the beauty of it. As you said, you would get angry on so many levels because it was like, no one's talking about the people that you had worked with every day. And you knew, and you knew they had families. And so many people were obviously touched in some way with 911, and then that fueled you. But the thing is, again, for anyone listening that fights addiction has had it.

Sometimes when there's a bigger purpose for you and you don't know how you're going to do it, it's just that determination, because I think we talked about it, because I had shared with you my sister was an addict, or is an addict. She's clean. And then my nephew, and it was at a time where my nephew was still really suffering. He's been clean now for two years, which is amazing. But I said to you, well, what clicked?

Because I'm like a helper. I love to be able to help people. That's like something deep in my soul, and I want to be able to inspire someone. And you said it was like, you're like, I can't even explain it. It was kind of like, this is what you're meant to do, and I'm going to show you the path.

Right. So that, again. And one of the things, a story that has stuck out in my mind so much, you told me, and I remember exactly where it was in Darianne, because you said I had passed a store and I could picture, because obviously I lived there. And you said this gentleman, you saw him out of the corner, you saw a bunch of kids at the top that were all waving and excited to see you. And you saw this gentleman come out of his house very slowly, and you're like, he's still walking.

And you knew that you needed to stop and go over. And he put his hand on your shoulder and grabbed your hand and said, thank you. Thank you. I can't unsee what I have seen. And thank you for doing what you're doing.

And you said there was no names or anything exchanged, but you assumed that he was someone that was in the helicopter watching people jump from. And you said that that experience again, you had those the whole time. You could feel as you got closer to New York, the people just coming out of cars, because your story resonated with people. People want to be inspired. People want to do good, but sometimes people don't know how.

So after you finished and did, you know, okay, the following year, I'm going to honor this flight. And the following year. So can you take us through that a little bit? Yeah. So I, you know, I none.

I couldn't. And the people on my team could never have thought what we were in for. So we were in awe. As we get into Connecticut and do the whole thing, it was just. It was just unbelievable.

When we get to ground zero, the 20th anniversary, and it was just overwhelming. So when I came back, we got back to Boston, of course, my mind was, know, people want to be prepared for this crash. And I sort of understood what they were talking about. But, you know, but of course, I found, um. What I can tell you is that what didn't stop was the people coming into my life.

In other words, this gentleman from a town a couple of towns over from me donates a $50,000 mobile home to me and says, I want you to take this and keep doing what you're doing. And where I'm standing sitting right now, I almost fell over when I was on the phone, who he called me, this guy. I was speechless. It just wouldn't stop. Like, things just wouldn't stop.

So at that point, the whole thing was, it's all about making sure we recognize these people in a proper way, that their families are comforted. And so I had so many things going in my head, like, I don't want this thing to turn into something that it's not. All the stuff I knew nothing about I had to worry about was pushing the car. There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff. Now, the second year, I was on my own, so I knew I had to incorporate.

I knew I had to become a nonprofit. Stuff I know nothing about, I know nothing about that. I don't have a clue. But I had to get a lawyer. I had to do all the things I had to do because I never want this, and it won't be, and it never will be about money.

It's not about money. But I learned that you need money to accomplish certain things, and I hate that part of the whole thing, but I just wanted it to be legal and whatever, because it was important. So that's what the few people on my team that stuck with me discussed it and said, this is what I'd like to do. Absolutely. Whatever we could do.

So they've stuck with me. It's amazing to me what these people, friends, have sacrificed from their families, their incomes. They've stayed out of work for weeks at a time along the road. No income. It's nuts.

It's crazy to me. So that's where that started. The major point was that our mobile homers are telling me something, that this thing, I got to do something here. This guy's donating this thing to me to do. It was just a sign, that's all.

It was. So that's when I decided, I'll do the second push, which for me was. It's unbelievable how it fell in a place, because the second push was a shorter one. It was only 35 miles. That was Washington to the Pentagon, right?

So that was Washington to the Pentagon, where flight 77 went. So there wasn't as much as 220 miles. Boston to New York, in other words. So I could sort of, my head wrap around it. So I started from calling the airport, the police in Washington.

That was the first call. It was. I can tell you, it was unbelievable. I was sitting here on the phone, and this head cop at the airport in Washington, as I'm talking to, because you're not going to believe it. I'm on your website right now.

And he said, I'll do everything in my power to make sure this thing gets accomplished. And he said, please, just bear with me. We just built a new terminal here. And. No, that was Newark.

I'm sorry. That was Newark, Washington. He goes, we're busy. I'll get back to you. Oh, no, it is Washington.

Yeah. Was it Washington? Was it mean you. There's so many experiences that you got. The new airport, Washington?

Well, anyways, when we did the drive through, he told me, don't contact me when you get it. And, of course, I'm back. And nerves. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm trying to organize this thing.

And sure enough, this guy made sure. Put a zoom thing together with all the people at the airport. Head people. Big bosses run the whole place. And I got my team on the zoom, and I told my team, listen, let them do it.

That's their airport. We have whatever. And sure enough, they set the whole thing up. I'm sure you've seen the videos. They had fire trucks out the Runway.

The American Airlines stepped up and said, we want you to leave. From the room that the crew briefed that morning, we had a ceremony there. It was just unbelievable. They never shut a Runway down at Washington, Dallas, even for a president, and they shut the Runway down. It was unbelievable.

That is incredible. And, of course, my friend's best friend, sister was in the Pentagon on 911 and lost a friend, and she's a retired colonel, so she came on board and was my connection to the Pentagon. Their father was the pilot that dropped the second atomic bomb in World War II, General Sweeney. So, I mean, I needed a connection because they're not going to let me roll a beverage guide to the Pentagon. So I called him and I said, joe, they're not going to say no to you.

Your father ended World War II. You know, it was funny how it all worked out. But anyway, so that's where that all started. And it was just as special as the first one shot about. It was just unbelievable.

The people and the stories. And we were like. And then, of course, the last one, this movie just finished, was just out of control. Yeah, I want to go to that next. But I mean, so many things that you said, and this is what I started this podcast to share stories.

I mean, one of the things that we are storytellers, you and I both, we want to share other people's stories. We have our own story, and that's what drives us. But we want to share other people's stories as well. And the thing that's so, again, when the dots connect or the puzzle pieces are in there, you have this whole vision. And so many people don't allow themselves because they think, how am I going to do it, right?

How am I going to have this big dream that I created in my mind? How am I going to execute it? And what I always say is, it's that one little step. If you keep getting something in your brain that's like, I need to do this. I need to do this.

You need to do it. And you need to kind of think like you thought about your connections, right? Because it is about the connecting. It's about connecting with the people that can be there. And everyone can see that you're doing this from your heart.

There's nothing else. You are not doing this for fame. You're not doing this for money, as you said. You are doing this because you want to honor the people that you worked with and the people that you believe so much in and that you loved so much. And that's what it shows in everything you do.

So people are going to want to rally around you, right? They want to feel that feeling that you have, because so many people don't get a chance to have that inspiration. They don't have something. And even though what you went through, tragedy. Tragedy, right.

It's a lot for someone to do, but the fact that you were able to, once you got clean, turn it around. There's so many different little nuggets and avenues that you can share with other people. And that feeling that you just embody, like when you're sharing your story, you can feel the excitement. And that's what, when you're calling people, they're like, well, let me look, because it's not like, oh, who's this yoho. It's like, okay, wait, this guy's got something to say.

So the fact that it just, again, went so smooth, there's all the little bumps, right? All the little bumps that happen. But for the most part, when it goes smooth, it's like, okay, you know. The funny thing I have to tell you is, like, I knew in my soul I was going to get from Boston to did, no matter what was going on, all the media, all that stuff, didn't make that thing was going there. And my buddies, thank God we're doing what they could, talking with the police or fire ahead of me or whatever they were doing, they were nervous.

You can't talk to so many people on the street. We got to get. They were in that mode. And I'm so grateful for that. But after a week on the street, I kept telling myself, listen, I don't care.

Every single person that stand out that street, I'm stopping them. I don't care because I'll carry this thing on my back if I have to. We'll be at ground zero. But after a week on the street, I started noticing these guys understanding what I was talking about, and they realized that the true meaning of this was the people on the street. I get emotional.

See, they got to witness what I was witnessing, the experience of these people coming out to share stories they haven't able to tell for years, crying with me in the middle of the street. So that's why once someone gets to, I don't expect anybody to feel it or see it, but once you're there to witness it, you can't help but being in it. You can't help it. I love that. And you can't help but be in it, because that's.

Again, it's the energy. There's something with that energy when you are doing something so powerful and so beyond just one person. I mean, this is a movement. I mean, Polly, what you have created, you've created an amazing movement. And as you said, the people that you have collected along the way, because they believe in the movement, they believe in you, right?

They believe in what you're doing, but they also see the bigger picture and how it's affecting. That must have been, as you said, you get so emotional, but that must have been like, oh, my gosh, okay, this person, it's almost like a movie, right? It's almost like, is there a movie camera following me around? Like, what's going on? Because again, it's that universe.

It's that God, when things are just meant to happen, and it's so hard to explain, but it's this feeling of just holy crap. And I love it. Again, I'm so thankful to have been in contact with you. I think I emailed, I forget how I said, I said I need to have you on the podcast. I know you just did this thing, but then just following your journey and seeing the people that have stayed with you, right, and stayed with you.

And sometimes people stay with you for a period of time because they believe in it, and then their lives go somewhere else. But they touched you in a way that you needed to kind of get that momentum. And there's so many people out there that are doing good things, but not a lot of times they get highlighted, right? Because they could be small, it could be something, but there's so much in this world, so much anger and hate, and that's the media talks about. But these are the stories that are the ones that matter.

People like you that are out there selflessly having a bigger meaning, a bigger thing, and connecting with so many individuals that just want to share their story. As you said, they haven't been able to express it. You helped so many people heal that day or start their healment, their healing and every one of your walks. And that's what is beautiful. Well, the amazing part to me is there's only one reason I do it, and it will never change, no matter what.

I've always said it. I understand why people are drawn to the media, whatever, and I know nothing about that, but I'm not stupid either. I see. Whatever. But the bottom line is, I don't care what's going on because this thing's going here for this reason.

So people always try to give you advice, and I appreciate that. It means a lot to me. And the reason I'm bringing it up is because specifically, my recovery story is important. I couldn't do this without it. And of course, I'm so grateful for that, believe me.

But I'm not doing this for that. And a lot of people wanted me to shine a light on that. And I said, no, it's not about my recovery story. I understand. Yeah, I was able to trim my life.

Right. Of course I understand that. And I know they want me to tell it so I can help people. And I'm talking about the first push. So I was adamant about even with the news people, of course, they want to hear the bad stories about the McCabe, whatever.

I said, please, I'll tell you everything you want once I reach ground zero. After that, you'll hear it all, whatever. And I've kept my word to that. But the funny thing is what I've noticed, I'm grateful. I've stuck to my guns.

I'm so grateful. And it's not me. It's just what was in my being was telling me that. So now what's happened, what slowly was happening, the recovery people were coming out. Other stories were happening without me even knowing, and that was happening, and it was filtering in, and it's just momentum is building even more with that at the right time when and whatever.

It's just crazy to me because the main reason is the main reason, and that will draw. I'm so glad, because my number one thing is I would never want to hurt anybody by doing this. A family member, bring up old wounds for anybody. I don't want to do that. That's the number one thing with me.

I'm always thinking before I react, will this offend somebody that lost a loved one or whatever? That's the most important thing. But I found now that the recovery part of the story has got to the point where I've speak about it a lot at different schools and stuff, but on the street, this last push was I was blown away by what happened on the first day. It was just unbelievable for all of us were blown away. First of all, what they did at Newark airport was just mind boggling to me.

It was just unbelievable. When was that? I know that was the most recent one. That was the past seven. Yeah.

What was the starting date was August twelveth or 14th, I believe. They let me push. This would take a while to tell what went on, but no, go. You can go. Go for it.

It was amazing.

We went to Newark airport to have a meeting with everybody there and sitting in this big boardroom, and my three guys that are with me are to my right, and five people from the police, the executives at the airport, everyone else sitting in, woman people, these women, the higher ups at the airport. And as I started telling the story, they already had a plan set. They said, we're going to bring you out from this building here, and we're going to bring you onto the Runway, and we're going to go and we're going to bring you around. And the highway is right here. And it was like a mile and a half and then onto the street.

So they brought us out in the van and we got to ride the route that we're going to block streets off every house, and we're excited. But the problem was, in my mind, was nobody's going to see this. No one's going to see this in the terminals or the pulleys or anything else. So I didn't say anything in the VN. We got back to the building and we sat at the board meeting again.

And I sat there and I said, listen, I just want to tell you that not only is this for the families I do this for, this is for. I get thinking about, this is for these employees that might have fueled that aircraft that morning, that are still working here today. And the minute I said that, I could see their jaws drop. And I didn't have to say anymore. Not three days later when I'm home, I get an email with a picture of the whole route being changed.

Now they're going to bring me out onto the Runway and let me go outside where the planes are for 4 miles. It was crazy. Wow. So I'm out there, but police have escort me as planes are taken off around me. It was unbelievable.

Oh, my gosh, I have such chills. It was unbelievable. So that was so exciting to me. I'm thinking, there can't be anything better, but I got 300 more miles to go. But still, this was unbelievable.

So anyways, when they escorted me off that airport that day, the next police department picks me up and I'm pushing in the middle of this town, traffic everywhere, cars cutting in. And this cop jumps out of his car that's in front of me, escorting. And three times he yells at people to try to cut around or whatever. Never says a word to me, this then. So I just stood there watching as he yelling at people go.

And then he goes back and jumps in the car. The fourth time he jumps out, he yells at somebody, comes over and he goes, Paulieie, I got to tell you something. He said, I heard I was going to escort you today, and I couldn't wait to meet you. He said, my brother lives a mile and a half from here. And he was in one of the towers, and he hasn't been the same since.

We've been kind of getting him help for over 20 years.

He got the last train after coming out of one of the towers. He was 24 years old, worked for a bank, and he's been in and out of hospitals ever since. This cop is telling me to sit down the street. And I'm thinking, while he's saying this, I'm thinking how many times he got out of his cruiser and didn't get the courage enough to come over to me to say that right each time he probably wanted to say something to me, and then worried about his brother. So I'm on shock and listen, I said, I reached the macarthur, said, please have him call me.

I'll talk to him. Next thing you know, another cruiser pulls up and that cop drives away, relieves him, and I'm pushing. All of a sudden, my cell phone rings and this guy says, hey, Paulie, I'm such and such. My brother was just escorting you. He told me to call you.

Do you mind if I come out and walk with you? I was speechless. This guy comes walking down the street, disheveled, look like a homeless guy, and come out the street. There's a video of this. Our flight attenHahnt was behind me, filmed this meeting, this guy being walked by.

I was crying, telling me, and since that, this is crazy. So I told him about my story, my recovery story and all the stuff I could tell him and try to give him some hope. And a lot of lawyers ripped him off, a lot of stuff trying to get help. And it was just a story is unbelievable. The next day, so he leaves, this girl runs over.

My first day at work for United, I want to meet you, probably. And so he stepped back and he walked away. And I told him, make sure you call me. The next day, I'm pushing down the street. What are the chances of this?

I come up and the police said, will you stop at our station? And there's like six cops, a couple of detectives waiting for me. And I'm out there and I'm talking to them, and I see this couple standing off to the side, and I can notice them waiting to have their opportunity to come over to me. Yes. All of a sudden they walk over and this gentleman says, Paulieie, I saw your mobile home.

I knew it had something to do with 911. I need to tell you what I do. My company, we help people that are still struggling from the aftermath of 911 that haven't been able to get help.

I said, you're not going to believe what happened to me yesterday. And I told him about this guy. So I get to the hotel that night and I connect these two guys together. And ever since, this guy. Now I'm in touch with this guy all the time.

Now he's helping this guy. It's crazy to me. You're a connector. You are a connector. It's like, how could anything after that thing in the airport, what could outdo that thing in the airport?

Well, this outdid the whole push, that connection, that guy, knowing that he's not 20 years living like a hermit or whatever from the after effects his whole life was. But the whole thing with the cop not being able to have the coverage to say something to me that he didn't realize while he was telling me that I was thinking of that woman. He must have been about his own brother.

The guys went speechless. Everybody was speechless the next day when this happened. They couldn't believe what they were hearing. When that couple was in, they couldn't believe it. They couldn't wait for me to tell them about the guy.

There's many of those stories, but that was really set the tone for this last one. It was like after that, you know what? I'm sure. I don't know if you saw, but it was a long haul to Shanksville, four mountains and all that stuff. And it was nothing.

After meeting this guy, it was nothing. There was no barriers at that point. But as you said, the cop, and thank goodness he didn't get relieved before because then he would have been like, he got the courage to tell you that. And again, those are the stories that mean something. Those are the stories that happen all the time.

And sometimes people don't even let themselves sit and think about how remarkable they are. And often we get off. I can't wait to share a couple of things with you because you're going to be like, oh, my God, I understand everything that you're saying to the degree, because this is what's happening me right now kind of in my life, which is just so refreshing also, when people really live from their heart and you, I know, have been around. I've been around like, you can feel when someone has an alternative motive and it doesn't feel good. And I have to say I don't really have a lot of those kind of people that come in and out of my life because I don't really push up.

But I know people that have, right. That, like you said, that kid got taken advantage and lost all money because someone took advantage of his sorrows and his situation. It's like, who does that?

But the fact that you were there and that you actually changed someone's life, and not just one person, throughout all your journeys, the thousands and thousands and thousands of people that you changed, that you maybe will never ever know because it was just this. They met you when they needed to meet you. Yeah. See, that's, I think out of this whole thing is something I could have never even thought of, really. That part of this whole polypush thing I'm excited about when I meet the crew members families, the ones that I have met and been able to do things with them.

And that's so important to me, to sit with them. But the stuff with strangers all over the place. How could I ever imagine that? Some woman in Australia texted me or whatever, and people are saying that they win their first five k road race because of me. I'm thinking, are you kidding me?

Just pushing a hunk of metal on the street. That stuff is so. It just still doesn't commute my head. I'm just grateful that I see the experience of people that I meet. All of it.

I'm grateful for all of it. But the most important is to be with these crew members families, and to see what I believed was. It's so true. What I was thinking all these years was, and they don't say this to me, but I see it as I'm sitting at a table or whatever with them. The mothers, fathers, or these crew members, our sisters, our brothers.

You can see their shoulders just dropped out. It's almost like they said, thank you. Thank you, because that's all they wanted. They didn't want anything else but who might have said what they wanted. But I can tell you, to recognize their loved one from that day for what they were able to accomplish is important.

They never said that to me, but I know that. I see it in their eyes and their face. And one of the other things, Polly, that I want to touch on, and I think it's so important, is that you and your gut, you had a mission, and, right. Sometimes missions, like, we have these ideas, and then it grows, right? And sometimes it takes legs on its own.

Because I remember from the first conversation, we did talk about your addiction and how you were, like, I didn't want it to be about that. This wasn't about me. This is not about me. It's my story. How my story can help someone.

That's not my purpose right now. And you even said, I remember. You're like, I know it will. But the fact that you stuck with that in your gut, I think, is another reminder for people, because a lot of times, we'll have these visions, right, where we know, like, okay, we're onto something. And it's like, how do you know that you're on the right path?

People will ask me all the time, how do you know that you should have been following that? And I'm like, you can't put words to it, right? You can't put words to it. It's just things. And I call it the flow.

It's just like when life kind of just flows and it's cool. Kind of teaching my kids certain times, they're like, wow, that is like flow. But then when you have a barrier and it's like, okay, what is this barrier? Right? And that is, I think, the self reflection that so many people don't do because of their own traumas that they don't allow themselves to kind of be like, okay, why am I feeling like, okay, I can't put it into words.

Why I don't want it to be about my addiction. Right. I know that that's important, and it's amazing that I did it right? It's amazing that I was able to fight that and then build all of this, but that's not the purpose right now. And I think so many people don't sometimes stick with their guts because they get influenced by others.

And sometimes when you have that feeling, it's so important just to be like, okay, I need to kind of get the words behind that feeling to be able to express it to my team, right? Like, guys, I don't want it to be about that. But I know it's an important thing. I think that that's going to come down the road. And as you said, that's kind of what's happened.

It's like now you're talking to others about, because you had these goals, you had all these crews that you wanted to highlight and really honor, and it's like, okay, now all that you've built can take its own legs, right? That core is built. That core and that reason I can. Tell you that I was brought out to. Where was it?

Michigan somewhere? Was it Michigan somewhere? I spoke. So a conference, they asked me to come out there and speak. So me and Chris, who does a social media family, we flew out there and I spoke it, and I was nervous because it was the first time I spoke in front of, not like schools or know, I've spoken treatment facilities, but this was a corporate event for travel people in all the hotels and all executives, right?

Well, it was the first time I was able to. First time I merged the stories where I did bring up the addiction. Before we left, we said, is there anything specific they would like me to focus, talk about? And they did said they had an opiate epidemic there, not that it's everywhere. I did speak about it there.

And it was sort of hard for me to merge the stories together. And I explained to the people there that's what I was doing. It was my first time and why and whatever, but at the end of it, the two women who reached out and put this in together and wanted me to speak. And I would come up onto the stage and took the microphone. It was unbelievable.

Each one of them lost their father from addiction. It was unbelievable. So little did I know. That's why it's not me. I swear to God, it's not me.

This thing just keeps happening the way it's supposed to happen. It just. Nuts.

I just found out I'm going to be in the St. Patty's day parade in Boston. I'm italian, but whatever. But. It just keeps happening.

It's bigger than you. This is bigger than you. It's just crazy, you know? I guess when something truly is supposed to be, it's supposed to be. There's no way around it.

Of course I'm grateful for it. It's a different witness. The whole thing is just amazing to be around people that are.

You know what I love? I love strangers seeing strangers talk to each other. I love that. It's amazing. To me, when I was witnessing that on the street, side by side, waiting for me to come down the street, and then one would walk away and the other would say, that's my next door neighbor.

I haven't talked to him in five years. And I'm thinking, that's what's going on here. We're supposed to talk to each other, but with this crazy world. So I love that part of this whole thing. When I see people coming together with their kids, and that's what it's about.

Because I know that these crew members that I knew, that's what they were like, that's how I felt when I worked with them.

They deserve to be recognized. And this shows what type of people they are.

I couldn't even imagine. I couldn't in a million years that. When I think of that moment on that plane, when I come up with the idea to today, is just. How could I ever thought. How could I ever thought?

It's just amazing how special it is for so many people. And it's not anything a big deal. It's just a metal card. See, I don't get the whole thing still. I do.

What? I don't. But, I mean, it's amazing that the excitement in people's face over the. They want to see the cat, they don't want to see me. The little kids.

I love the little kids. They love pushing it, nevertheless. But to me, I always joke about it. People say, well, I just come up with the idea and I'm in. Well, if I push a wheelbarrow, I mean, no one would know I was a flight attenHahnt.

Of course, I got to push a beverage guy.

I don't know, but I don't know. I get lots of words because sometimes I think about what other people have come up with and did they feel the same way? It was, like, not a big deal. Of course, it was a baby. Right?

Well, but here's the thing again. It was meant to be your path, but being a flight attenHahnt and doing what you have done, connection people, it's always been something that's in your blood. Like, you enjoy that, right? You enjoy meeting strangers. You enjoy meeting people and having some small talk and then being like, oh, I loved that.

I loved hearing that person's story. So that's something that, when you were little, right? That's something that was in bread, in you. That was a gift, whatever it was. And then your journey took you to that next thing.

So for you to see the connection. I mean, connection is what drives some people. I know it's what drives me. I love connecting, and I even look, think back when the kids were little and wherever we lived, grocery stores, I always made friends with the people that worked at the grocery store. They would come to the kids soccer game.

I would give them cards. People would be like, who is that? I'm like, oh, he works in the whole foods, and he's the fruit guy. And they're like, you're friends with the fruit guy? And I'm like, well, yeah, the kids talk to him.

And when we lived in the city, our super, he would let the kids go and do calls with them, and they loved that. And our neighborhood guy, I always had made friends with people like that. Our super came for Thanksgiving because he didn't have anywhere to go. That's always been someone that is me, but that is something that I think I was born that way. Right?

And it gives me a good feeling. It makes me feel good to connect and small talk with people and also ask them questions. I'm curious about you. I know you're working behind the counter there, but what's your background and this and that, and it makes people feel a little special, because a lot of times, people don't say, please, thank you. They don't see the person behind there, and I see whoever I really encounter.

If you're a good person, I want to know more about you. If you're a jerk, I don't really care. I don't care who you are. If you're the president, if you're a multimillionaire, if you're not a good person and you don't come from the heart. I don't care.

I have no patience for you. Right. And so I think for you that that is something that's always been innate. And so when you're seeing people connect, it's just the feeling is so out of body, but it's so good. It's almost like.

And I don't want to say this because when you're high on life, it is a good feeling. When you're connecting and making people, it's like this adrenaline that. It's like, I'm going to keep following that. And not everyone can do that because not everyone has the ability. Not everyone has the grit.

Not everyone. Because what you're doing is hard. I mean, what you're doing is really hard. It's not like you're like, yeah, I'm just pushing a beverage. I mean, you have to train.

You have to be organized. You have to have the right people around you. You have to be a visionary. These are my thoughts. Hey, can someone else put like, I just had someone on the podcast, so I have a podcast on dyslexia because I'm dyslexic with my co host who's in.

And he was in the NHL, Stanley cup winner. We just had a guy that has a company called signature lacrosse. And the reason why. Can I ask you who the guy was in the NHL? Yeah, his name is Brent sopal.

So she was in Chicago. He's a.

You must. I might have told you about my friend Kevin Stevens from Pittsburgh. He was the one that helped me with the first push. Oh, how funny. Okay, I'm sure you did, but.

Yeah, no, not at all. But the thing that's so cool is Hahn, who owns this company, who's also dislikes, was saying, there's people that are visionaries, right? That have these big ideas and we know we're going to get to the end of it. We know that it's going to happen. But all the little details, we have no idea.

We're terrible with those little details. Right? We're like, I don't know how it's going to happen, but you need the people in there to execute those little things. And so it is like almost like a well oiled machine. So what you're doing is hard.

You have to make sure you're communicating all your ideas so then someone else. And if they don't understand the thing that you said, which is so beautiful, is that in Newark when you said, well, I also do it for the person listened to you, right? They could have been like, oh, great, okay, I don't care. We're on this track. We don't care.

We've done our work here. But that person cared enough to listen and then be like, you know what we need. So this is where I'm curious. I wonder if it was one person or did all of them get it? Or the one person was like, we need to change all of this.

I can tell you. I knew. Well, I shouldn't say I knew, but I sort of sensed that my guys weren't sure about what I was saying there. Maybe they were, but it didn't make a difference because I knew I had to say that because I just knew that there was people that worked at that airport that just from the two previous years, ground people were coming up and thanking me in Washington before I started out. Thank you for doing know guys and baggage handlers, all of us.

This is for everybody, really, is what it's for. So if we're going to do this thing, let's do it. Yeah. And that's what's beautiful. And the fact that it's bigger than you, but you're still so touched and so moved by every little part.

That's why people fall in love with you, because it's like you just have this heart and this vision. That's like, this is what I want to do. This is what, I don't know why. I don't know how. I don't know how it's gone so big.

Even though it seems so simple to you. It's a connection for other people, right? It's like, oh, wait, I think of 911. There's so many sad, sad stories. But then I also think of people like Paulieie that are doing amazing things, that are honoring people and still bringing their stories.

Because that's when you hear when someone has died, it's like the first couple of years, and then all of a sudden it's like, kind of. But that person, you're still suffering. And so the fact that you can bring that light and be like, I still see you, I still remember you, I still care about you. You still are someone. Even though you're not on this earth anymore, you're still important to me.

That's the beauty of it, what you're doing. I know that now. After the first couple of years, more of the families have found out about it because some of them didn't. The second one I had, when I finished the second one, the pilot's sister contacted me out of the clear blue thank you. Thank you.

I can't believe what you did. I wish you could have met my brother. Whatever. I'm glad it's happening that way. I didn't call these people and say, I'm doing this to recognize you because everybody deals with it differently.

We just do. So it's happened the way it's supposed to happen. And I guess I'm no athlete, trust me. I played high school football and stuff, but I joke about I should have did this 20 years ago when I'm seat only I'm 64. But anyways, I think the physical part, of course, that draws the attention, especially the mountains of the slots, the firemen.

I didn't know this, but the fireman was. Well, I did know it at one point. The four mountains in Pennsylvania, atticuile one of them. I heard the firemen saying to my guys, I don't know if he's going to make this one. They didn't know I heard it, but some of them were pretty intentional.

But I didn't care what they thought. That's really happened because I didn't make it. I don't give a shit what you're saying because I'm going over the mountain. That's how I felt, Billy. But it was funny to hear that and thinking they didn't know I heard going, I don't know if he's going to make it over this mountain, whatever.

But I know that is a big draw. This guy pushes that thing all the way, whatever, and it says, but to me it's not. It's not a big deal to me to push it. It really isn't. I mean, of course I got to be in shape, but when I'm out there, it's just I got to do it, that's all.

I don't know how to explain that. I wish I was 20 years younger doing it. Yeah, it probably might be easier, but it's got to get done.

Of course that draws the attention. I know people. I can't believe he did that. But really, I'm telling you, Julian, I swear to you, it's not a big. Deal to me because that's what it's meant to do.

And that's what I think is so beautiful. Because if you went out and were like, oh, this is going to be hard, or like, oh, how am I going to do this? You wouldn't be. It wouldn't bring the same thing, right? So you go out and you're like, I just know what has to be done.

It's going to happen right? I don't know how it's going to happen. And I say this all the time. If something's important to me and I create it in my brain, everything's figureoutable, right? I don't even think that's a word, but I will figure it out.

Right? So give me a task. I don't know how I'm going to figure it out, but I'm going to figure it out. That's kind of the same mindset you have. It's like, I'm going to figure it out.

I'm just going to get done. Because there's not a waste. There's no choice there. It's not like, are you going to do it or you're not going to do it? I'm going to do it.

So how am I going to do it? I say it all the time. My guys was different because I'll complain to them when I'm out doing it, of course. Come on, where's the water? Whatever you up there.

I can be with that. They'll say, oh, you complain all the time. But the bottom line is, this is how I solve the whole thing. Anytime. There is no obstacle for me to get that beverage car to this destination.

There's no obstacle because I have options. I have any option in the world to get that thing there. Whatever. If the roads close, then I'll take a boat. Whatever.

It's endless. There's options. The difference is they didn't have any up there. They didn't have any options. They didn't have any options.

They had to keep doing it. And see, I get that's what the difference is. Like I think of them when something's getting tough on the mountain. I'm burning out. My legs are burning.

I think, are you shitting me? They couldn't say my legs are hurting. They couldn't say I got to stop. They couldn't. I say that to myself all the time when I'm out there all the time, over and over and over again, I have options.

They didn't have any options. They couldn't even think about an option. There was no Fire truck coming up there for them, no police car coming for them. We have to figure something out quick. In split second time with each other with a horrible, horrible scene going on.

I can't even imagine it. I guess I almost look forward to something tough because it makes me want to work harder to get it done because I couldn't even do what they did. Yeah. No. And Paulieie, I think that's beautiful.

So again, you guys can go to Paulieyspush.com, but you can also go to Paulieyspush on instagram. Follow what he's doing. Is there anything that you want to share that's coming? Know, you know, there's sometimes there's things happening behind the woodwork that you're, you know, we can't share that. Just follow.

And we can.

Right at the beginning stages of this next push, which is Boston, once again to grounds air in New York, which I'm so excited because I can't wait to go through and meet the people again in Connecticut. I love them. It was awesome. And New York, of course, and Massachusetts. But this is one of us to recognize the crew of flight american eleven, which was the first plane that morning.

So it's so funny how this has happened because I'm glad that these guys were really the first 1st responders of 911 on american eleven. And here I'm doing the fourth and final push. I don't know if it's a final push, but it'll complete all four aircrafts of 911. So that's in the planning stages. I'll be leaving it out of Boston in August and I'll commit to ground.

Zero, September 11, and I'll make sure that I'm in there somehow and we'll connect so I can give you a hug in person. Absolutely. Well, I mean, again, Polly, thank you for doing what you're doing because it just gives people hope. I mean, it really does that you can dream something bigger than yourself and it can happen and don't let limitations of like, oh, I don't know how I'm going to do that. I don't know why.

If you have something in your brain and it's important, go for it. So thank you again for joining. Don't quit five minutes before the it. I love it. Exactly.

Don't quit five minutes before the miracle. You guys heard it. So thank you again. You guys know what to do. Like rate review and share.

I mean, this episode, again, someone needs to hear it because someone maybe doesn't know what Polly has been doing and maybe they have their own traumas from 911, they have traumas from somewhere else. They have addiction in their family, their addiction themselves. You need to share this so they can listen and get some inspiration. So like rate review and share here. I hope you've liked this episode of your next stop.

Please subscribe to my channel, share with your friends and join in each weekend.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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