Short questions with Dana Perino

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You’ve seen us on screen, but have you ever wondered what we’re like off-camera? 

For the last few months, I’ve enjoyed checking in with some of your favorite Fox personalities to learn more about who they are behind the scenes. 

What’s the one thing Jesse Watters couldn’t live without? What’s Bill Hemmer’s favorite Halloween costume? And what’s sitting on Greg Gutfeld’s nightstand? 

But that’s not all! The fun is just getting started.

This week we’re excited to shine the spotlight on Abby Hornacek. She serves as host of FOX Nation’s “PARK’D,” “Ride to Work” and “Alien Abductions.”

She’s also host of the weekly FOX News Radio podcast “Getting Schooled.” She joined the subscription streaming service in 2018. 

P.S. We have so much more in store for you. Stay tuned each week for new editions of “Short Questions with Dana Perino” — and if there’s a question you want answers to or a suggestion for the person I should interview next, leave a note in the comments section below! 

Q: I think everyone who works here has job envy of you and all the beautiful places you’ve gotten to visit for your Fox Nation show, “PARK’D.” If you had to pick one, what national park that you visited for the show stands out as your favorite? 

AH: I’m blessed for sure! One of the most spectacular parks we’ve been to for “PARK’D” is Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. It’s a place where you can stand on a glacier on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula surrounded by a confluence of ocean, ice and mountains. I love this park because of its unbelievable ability to bring out someone’s adventurous spirit. 

For example, to experience Exit Glacier, you are able to walk out onto the glacier, be lowered into a crevasse, then ice climb out. To see Bear Glacier, you can kayak through icy waters around icebergs until you reach the base of the glacier. Having done these things for “PARK’D,” I can tell you those are adventures you’ll never forget. The views alone are an incredible testament to the National Park System’s immense beauty and powerful forces that shaped its terrain.

For something more accessible, I have to go with Zion National Park. It’s a park that always stands out in my book because of how majestic it looks when you take in the sheer verticality of the sandstone cliffs and how great it is for families, given the variety of activities and the beauty the park offers.

Q: And what’s one that is still on your bucket list? 

AH: I’m grateful to have checked a lot of things off of my bucket list because of my job here, but something I’ve always wanted to do is ride in Ragbrai with my family. If you haven’t heard of it, you basically bike from the western to eastern border of Iowa. It’s the largest bike tour in the world, and since my mom is from Iowa, I think it would be a great memory to share with my parents and brothers. 

If I was to choose an adrenaline bucket list item, I’d like to skydive from a hot air balloon. 

Q: Which one is an undiscovered gem that isn’t overcrowded?

AH: Capitol Reef National Park! This is also one of my favorites. It’s one of the “Mighty Five” in Utah that is many times overlooked because of parks like Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon. 

However, it is one of the most magical places on our planet, and ironically, it makes you wonder if you’re on another planet. 

I came here for “PARK’D” on an RV with both of my parents and we had the best time. 

I highly recommend hiking with llamas if you want to feel like you’re on Mars! 

Q: What is your favorite outdoor activity? 

AH: A good old-fashioned game of catch! As an adult, it’s difficult to find time to shut off your brain and truly live in the moment, but during catch all I think about is the fresh air, my feet on the grass and the person across from me.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received about maintaining a work-life balance?

AH: I’m not sure that I’m the right person to ask about this! People have told me it’s good to take a break every once in a while, but I’m not great at taking that advice. 

Nonetheless, I have learned a few things.

1. Start counting blessings instead of stressors. 

“At the end of your life, what you’ll remember most are the connections you made with people and the genuine times you had with them.”

2. It’s important to find out what recharges your soul whenever you feel like your energy is depleted. Catching up on sleep is one thing, but, for me, what’s more effective is doing something that makes me smile and reminds me joy comes in many different forms. 

3. At the end of your life, what you’ll remember most are the connections you made with people and the genuine times you had with them in the absence of technology, so be sure to prioritize those things.

Q: If you could have dinner with any living person, who would it be and why?

AH: I’d love to have dinner with a farmer who grew everything we were eating for dinner that night on their farm. It’s easy to pick up things at the grocery store without giving a thought to where they came from, but behind each item is someone waking up before sunrise and going to bed long after the sun goes down to make sure people across the country are fed.

The dichotomy of opening up a stocked fridge of fresh food and a farmer grinding through the varying weather patterns is something worth exploring. 

People tend to think in order to be intelligent you have to be an academic, but some of the smartest people in our country are farmers — and it would be an honor to learn a few things from one.

Q: Tell me about a time you overcame adversity. What happened and how has that event helped shape your perspective on life? 

AH: When I was in college, I woke up one day and couldn’t turn my head or bend my legs. After being hospitalized for 10 days, the doctors determined I had rheumatic fever and put me in a wheelchair. 

I was on the USC Sand Volleyball team at the time and spent three months living with my mom in a hotel while I tried to catch up on my classes, clear the spots in my lungs, and rehab my legs so I could play again. I was hospitalized five times that year.

Unfortunately, after a semester of working toward that goal, they wouldn’t clear me to play, but fortunately — that forced me to shift directions. 

With the extra time, I started trying to land sports broadcasting opportunities. I got an internship with Fox Sports; then someone named Tommy Morris took a chance on me for a show on Fox Sports San Diego and it opened doors I don’t think would’ve opened if I had stayed on the volleyball team. 

Now, I’m blessed to work with some of the most incredible and genuine people in the business (aka Dana Perino). 

“Each bumpy dirt road you have to drive over on your life’s roadmap might seem jarring at the time, but it’s leading you to a smooth scenic route.”

The perspective it gave me is each bumpy dirt road you have to drive over on your life’s roadmap might seem jarring at the time, but it’s leading you to a smooth scenic route.

We can’t rely on our own directions because that roadmap is designed by the Man Upstairs. I learned to stop praying for specific opportunities or “things” I wanted, and instead to start praying for God to lead me on the right path. 

That prayer has been answered in ways I could have never imagined. 

Q: If you could have any talent or skill, what would it be?

AH: Having a photographic memory because it would really help me in this job!

Q: Who is your biggest role model? 

AH: My mom. 

Q: Name a moment or opportunity that changed your life. 

AH: Oh, boy, I thought I’d never have to publicly tell this story ha! When I was in grade school, I was painfully shy and my teacher called on me to stand up in front of the entire school (my worst nightmare) and lead the Rosary. I grew up reciting the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” every night before bed, so it should have been a breeze. The second I got to the podium, I completely froze and forgot the words to both prayers and someone else had to take over. 

As someone who was already incredibly shy, I didn’t think I’d be able to speak in front of one person, let alone a group of people, ever again. It might seem like just a simple embarrassing moment, but without it, I probably would’ve remained complacent in my shy comfort zone. Instead, my parents encouraged me to “get back on the horse” and run for student council (which required giving a speech). 

My embarrassing moment ended up being a catalyst for overcoming my fear.

“We always try to control our own path, but we sometimes forget that God has all of the answers when we don’t.”

That being said, rather than looking at that singular moment as “life-changing,” I would say it’s more of a culmination of little moments that have changed my life. The experiences I’ve had with my loved ones, learning about a family who makes ice cream from their dairy cows and sells it in a national park, meeting a vegetarian farmer who raises meat for his neighbors so they have clean food options — and so many others. 

Those are the things that have given me perspective and have taught me what my priorities are. 

Once you know what your priorities are in life, you can embrace the things that truly make you happy. That, in my opinion, is the definition of life-changing.

Q: If you had a boat, what would you name it? 

AH: Piggyback because every time I’m on a boat I feel like it’s giving me a little piggyback ride through the water.

Q: Who would win in a free-throw shooting contest — you or your dad (former NBA player Jeff Hornacek)? 

AH: You’ll have to ask him that question 😉

Q: What advice would you give to someone with a broken heart?

AH: Whenever something is out of your hands or you have a feeling you can’t shake, I would say give it up to God. 

We always try to control our own path, but we sometimes forget that God has all of the answers when we don’t. 

Q: What is your go-to karaoke song?

AH: “Red Solo Cup.”

Q: Most-used emoji?

AH: The alien.

To read all of Dana Perino’s earlier “Short Questions” interviews for Fox News Digital, check out this (long) list!

For her interview with Elise Bitter, click here

For her interview with Brian Kilmeade, click here.

For her interview with Kennedy, click here. 

For her interview with John Roberts, click here

For her interview with Janice Dean, click here

For her interview with Charles Payne, click here

For her interview with Trey Gowdy, click here. 

For her interview with Johnny “Joey” Jones, click here. 

For her interview with Bill Melugin, click here

For her interview with Jimmy Failla, click here

For her interview with Tyrus, click here

For her interview with Ainsley Earhardt, click here

For her interview with Lawrence Jones, click here

For her interview with Dr. Arash Akhavan, click here

For her interview with Martha MacCallum, click here

For her interview with Bret Baier, click here. 

For her interview with Kayleigh McEnany, click here.

For her interview with Harold Ford Jr., click here

For her interview with Shannon Bream, click here

For her interview with Jessica Tarlov, click here.

For her interview with Leo Terrell, click here.

For her interview with Geraldo Rivera, click here. 

For her interview with Clay Travis, click here.

For her interview with Bill Hemmer, click here

For her interview with Greg Gutfeld, click here

For her interview with Benjamin Hall, click here

For her interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, click here.

For her interview with Jesse Watters, click here. 

Read the full article here

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