TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton

139: Is Exercising Your Midlife Crisis? Plus Our Interview With Brock Masters

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


Peloton stock picks up steam after a bullish statement for Wedbush.

Is exercising the new midlife crisis?

The Peloton Prophet was proven right once again. Plus, there’s a NEW prediction.

AdWeek had an irritating article about Planet Fitness’ new “Bike of Shame” ad.

Dr. Ethan Goldstein is doing 365 consecutive days on the bike to help stroke victims.

We have what we believe to be the first sighting of a Tread in film and/or television. And it’s a big one.

The Peloton blog has thoughts on your morning routine.

Has science invented a pill that can replicate the effects of working out?

We have a new way for you to contact us.

Matty met Oprah!!!!

Emma Lovewell has a new series coming – Listening Party.

There’s a new artist spotlight focusing on Lady Gaga.

Irene is doing a live English ride.

The new Athleta line is available in the boutique.

All this plus our interview with Brock Masters!

Listen to the podcast here:

Is Exercising Your Midlife Crisis? Plus Our Interview With Brock Masters

What do you have in store for people?

We have a few fun articles to discuss. We are going to discuss what’s going on with the stock market and we have Peloton profit updates and fun announcements, all kinds of good stuff.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple podcast where you can rate, review, subscribe and the most important thing there is to subscribe. If you have a subscription, you’ll never miss an episode.

We’ll pop right up in your feed.

The high-dollar consultants tell us that we should let you know that the subscription is free. Sometimes people hear subscription and they get worried that could cost them money. That’s not true. It gets to cost you the amount of your cell phone and in your data package. You can find us on Facebook at While you’re there, like the page, join the group. You can also leave us a review there if you are inclined. We have a new review. This is from Melissa B. Quito. She says, “I eagerly await Friday so I can listen to these two. They are funny and informative on all things Peloton. I have the bike and love it. Crystal’s love of the tread convinced me to buy one. My husband, not so much since we now own a tread.” Her screen name now is Tonal and Single. Thank you very much for the review.

I’m glad you’re enjoying your tread. I sure love mine.

The website,, you can go there. You can sign up for our newsletter and every week, you will get links to everything and all the topics and one handy-dandy item delivered for free to you. That’s everything. Let’s dig in.

MarketWatch had a story about Peloton and stock gains.

They said that Peloton shares went up about 0.7% in pre-market trading after a Wedbush analyst, James Hardiman, initiated coverage of Peloton stock with an outperform rating and a $37 price target. They said, “Based on our analysis of the business model, our expansive survey work of both Peloton users and prospective customers and our own experience with the product, we do not believe Peloton will prove to be of a fad, but instead one of a small number of fitness companies likely to be an enduring force going forward.”

It’s everything we’ve been saying.

They need more people like this because it is true. He eventually thinks they’re going to get to four million subscribers, three million in the US up from 600,000 currently. That would be 2% of all US households. That’s a lofty goal. Honestly, I think that’s achievable.

I think it is too. If I owned a gym, first off, the snack machines would be amazing. If I owned a gym, I would be very worried right now. Peloton is doing to the fitness industry what Netflix did to network television and the movie industry. What Apple did to the cell phone industry and the music industry. It’s going to be a problem. They’ll never go away in the same way that every city will still have a bookstore, but you’re not going to find them like you used to.

It’s going to change. If nothing else, what’s in the gym will change.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It was about midlife crises. I thought it was interesting that they’re talking about people hitting their 40s and 50s and having a midlife crisis, but instead of banging their secretary or reaching and grabbing the bag of my own personal life, smoking meth. They’re getting fit.

They’re totally changing. It’s more about going on meditation retreats and doing yoga. It’s about that instead of wild girls weekend in Vegas.

Instead of like, “I’ll be dead soon. I should probably do something crazy.” They’re like, “What if I did something that made me not dead so soon?”

What an interesting change. I’m surprised it took that long. Is it even a midlife crisis if you’re doing something healthy? Can you even define it that way?

It’s like people grappling with their own mortality.

Does that mean I’m having a midlife crisis? Did Peloton give me a midlife crisis?

No, I would say it’s the other way around that you had one and then this was your solution for it. That’s interesting that people are like, “Let’s be proactive.”

It’s huge shift in mindset. That’s great.

My guess is also that it’s probably people that are happy in their lives. If you’re happy in your life and you’re like, “I’m getting closer to death, but I’m digging what’s going on in my life,” I would like more of that life.

You would be more motivated to do something healthy that’s going to benefit your life.

If you feel like you’ve wasted your entire life, that’s when you go out and do something crazy. I thought that was interesting that’s how people are acting these days. The Peloton Prophet, one of their corrections was accurate again. I don’t make it sound like it was one in five, but like “yet again” is how I should phrase that.

Peloton Prophet has nailed it yet again. It would be Eric Yeager, new instructor was officially announced. It’s a thing, he did his premiere ride and all that took place in Germany on German time, so I didn’t get to participate in any way, shape or form. I sure am happy for him and I’m happy for Germany now they have two instructors. Germany instructors are growing. It’s very cool.

Fresh on the heels of that prediction coming to fruition, a new prediction lands on our doorstep.

The Peloton Prophet believes the new Power Zone instructors will be revealed Saturday, January 18th during the Dual Power Zone ride. They also think they know who it is. I want to say that, but I’m not going to, unless you think I should.

I don’t know. What does the prophet think you should do?

I didn’t ask the prophet this one. Gotcha. I would be calling an audible. The prophet feels and the tingly sensation that the prophet gets says it’s going to be Christine D’Ercole. There was not a second one revealed to the prophet via the tingly sensation. I have a feeling that I know who the second one is, if we even have a second one. All good things. All I know that the Peloton Prophet felt strongly about was that we were going to hear about it soon.

I’m concerned personally about the prophet’s tingly sensation. Are there some circulation issues going on there?

I don’t question the prophet. I have learned not to question the prophet.

The profit would know like, “This is a heart attack. I’ve prophesized it. I should go to the doctor.” Adweek had an article about the Planet Fitness anti-Peloton/soul cycle ad.

The Bike of Shame.

It’s a self-congratulatory article. I say that because I thought saying self-filleting was too harsh. In retrospect, this article irritated me.

I would love to hear why it irritated you.

It’s because they were so proud of themselves. This is the Bike of Shame ad that everybody’s been sharing. First off, to me the ad reeks of desperation. When you have to go that negative on your competition, it means you don’t have anything positive to say about yourself. Beyond that, it says to me that they have written off anyone who has a Peloton because anyone who has a Peloton knows what they’re depicting is factually inaccurate. It’s not true in any way, shape or form. They have to know that. They’re in the industry. For them to take that stance, it borders on gas lighting. To me, it says, “We know we’re not getting any Peloton people back. Once they go to Peloton, we’ve lost them forever. F those people, let’s scare the non-Peloton people into thinking that’s what Peloton is. Thinking this is what they’re going to get if they buy the bike.”

I feel like we need to explain to our audience that we know that this commercial doesn’t look like they’re after Peloton because it doesn’t say anything about Peloton. We know that. That’s not how Peloton is. We know that the ad itself doesn’t depict Peloton. The reason that we feel that this company is going after Peloton is because this article specifically says that at the end of the year, they were going with a completely different ad spot, and then all the stuff happened with Peloton’s ad with the Peloton lady, the Christmas gift, etc. They decided to change gears and go with this ad to pile on to Peloton. That is why Tom is saying what he’s saying. There are a lot of people that don’t get it. They didn’t stop to read the article. There are a lot of people that were like, “This doesn’t apply to Peloton.” I know that. That’s my point. That’s why I’m so mad. It’s rude. It’s exactly scaring people who don’t have a Peloton into thinking this is what Peloton is like, when nothing could be further from the truth.

That’s what irritates me about the self-congratulatory tone of the article. What I think is going on is I think they’re seeing their social media metrics rise because the ad is getting shared a lot. What’s driving its, I hate to say viralness because it never got to that level, but what’s driving that I think is a lot of Peloton people going, “That’s BS.”

There are people that think it’s funny. I will also say how hypocritical our entire society is that they will get mad at Peloton for creating a commercial that they added context to in order to make it controversial. Yet, we have a completely rude commercial tearing down all of its competitors and everyone’s congratulating them, including themselves. No one has a problem with it. They think it’s funny. What is wrong with these people?

I’m not a fan of that article at all.

I’m not a fan of the article. I’m not a fan of the ad.

I don’t think that they’re succeeding in the way that they think they’re succeeding.

A lot of people don’t like Planet Fitness anyway because of their stupid lunk bell or lunk meter or whatever it is. I don’t go to them because I have an awesome gym in my basement, so I don’t need to.

It’s funny when the ads are like, “It’s a judgment-free zone.”

Your whole ad is about judgment.

Your ad is judging something. Ultimately, Planet Fitness can’t control what the other people in the gym do. You have no way to guarantee that’s a judgment-free zone.

Instead, you show people sitting on a bike, barely moving their legs and call that a workout. That’s also insulting to people who actually want to work out and challenge themselves. That’s great that you don’t have anybody pushing you, including yourself, if you don’t know how to push yourself because you’ve never learned, myself included. I’m talking about people like me, that is the best reason to have somebody teaching you in a class so that you can learn to go beyond your comfort zone. If you don’t know how to take yourself out of that comfort zone, you’re not going to do it. Sitting on a bike and peddling aimlessly with no thought to it is not good for everybody. That’s fine for people who know what they’re doing. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of them out there.

There are not, even the ones that are out there that didn’t start there.

Everybody had learned somewhere.

On a more upbeat note, The Jewish News had an interesting article.

Dr. Ethan Goldstein vows to ride his Peloton for 365 days. This gentleman is part of our lovely Peloton community. He is riding his Peloton bike for 365 days. All because he wants to raise awareness for the National Stroke Association in honor of his father. He’s been doing this. He was coming up on the last day already. It says, “So far, Goldstein has stuck to his goal. Although it’s hard to find motivation at times, he often reminds himself of a quote shared by one of the Peloton instructors, “I want you to take this ride for somebody who can’t.” May 5th will mark Goldstein’s 365th consecutive day of riding his bike. This date will also be four days after his father’s stroke 23 years ago.”

What an exciting, wonderful way to honor your dad. That’s fabulous. His dad actually passed away in December, so that’s probably why they wrote the article because he had already been working on it and that’s probably one of the reasons that the article was written. We are all supporting you. If there’s anything that we can do, you should reach out and let us know. I don’t know if Ethan Goldstein reads this, but if any of you know him, tell him we are all cheering him on.

There’s also a GoFundMe that he has set up in conjunction with this where all the proceeds go to the National Stroke Association. I would also like to point out how mature I’m being about all this because I just said the National Stroke Association. Where, pray tell, are you at in your Tonal journey?

I just started my tenth week and I am on my third week of my second program. I’m about to finish it up because I have four more workouts to do and then I’m done with my second program. I have gains like 60% of strength. Nine weeks, that’s insane. It’s really cool. I’m very excited about it. I love it as much today as I did at the beginning.

It’s the same way I feel about you. Do you still feel like you’re seeing the benefits of the strength training when you use the bike and/or tread?

Yeah. I’ve been trying to work out more so I’m not seeing PRs because when you spread yourself out, at least for me, when I spread myself out over multiple sports, I don’t have as much energy for any one of them. I tend to not be as well-rusted between workouts. I’m not seeing those PRs. I also was sick in there for a week and I also wasn’t feeling so great with my energy levels and I wasn’t sleeping. I had a whole bunch of stuff happening. It could also be all in reference to that. This week, I’ve been feeling a lot better from the tonal perspective, like how strong I have felt. They get on Facebook pretty often or on Instagram actually, and they’ll be live and they’ll be talking about things. One of the lives that they did, they said that if you are even 2% dehydrated, it can affect how much your strength, how much output you put into a push by 30%. You can feel 30% weaker on any given day by being only 2% dehydrated. That stuck with me.

You wouldn’t think it’d be to that degree.

I haven’t seen as much with the tread and the bike, that same output, but I have started to see definition in my arms, which is very exciting. I have a tiny baby bicep right there?

The odd thing is she’s pointing to her calf.

No, those are gigantor.

You can take the Commit to Fit offer that they’ve got going on, which is a pretty sweet deal.

You have to buy by January 20th for this to count. It’s a very cool deal. You get it and then you do twelve workouts in 30 days and you get $250 back.

That’s a great deal. That’s a great way to encourage people. People always have the perception that you buy fitness equipment and you’ll leave it alone and don’t touch it. If you’re reading this blog, then you probably bought a Peloton and you know that not to be true. For you personally, you’ve overcome that. That’s a great way for people to prime the pump, if you will. You can sweat it out with workouts from strength training, the cardio to yoga and you can learn more about the Commit to Fit challenge at

A while back, we talked about there was somebody on a movie set and they were looking for a tread. The treads had just started to trickle into the marketplace. There weren’t a lot out there and they wanted one for a scene in a movie and they were wanting someone to basically loan them the tread and they would cover the shipping and they were desperately trying to find a tread for a movie that they were shooting in Miami.

I do remember that. I remember that very well.

We figured out what the movie is and it was, Bad Boys for Life. I went to see it at a special screening. There’s a scene in Will Smith’s super badass Miami bachelor pad that’s very sleek and the kind of thing only a single guy could have, because if you had kids it wouldn’t look like that. He’s got a Peloton tread overlooking the city on his balcony that he’s out running on. He’s even got a Peloton water bottle with the letter P that is facing the camera. It’s featured very prominently like you see him running on it. Then he gets done running and he stands there and has a pretty lengthy conversation standing in front of it.

I wanted them to use my tread for that.

We live too far away.

I was all on board and I wanted to meet the actors. They wouldn’t even tell me who the actors were at the time. Now, I wish that would have worked out. That would’ve been amazing.

That would’ve been pretty cool. Also for what it’s worth, it was a good movie. If you like the Bad Boys movies, I think this movie is everything you want in a Bad Boys movie.

That is good to know as well.

There was a neat, little article on the Peloton blog about best morning routines.

They titled it Breaking Down the Myths Of a Successful Morning. They talk about all the different myths, like for example, workout first thing in the morning. Is it better to do that or is it not better to do that? It depends on what works best for you. Sometimes, that’s going to be better for you to work out in the evenings. Sometimes it’s going to be better in the morning. It depends on your schedule, your family but don’t him yourself in is the bottom line.

I think all things being equal, they say that you’re probably better off to do it in the morning, but I think the larger point they’re trying to make is that if doing it in the morning isn’t going to happen and doing it at night is, do the one that’s going to happen.

What’s interesting about that is when I got my Peloton at the end of the year back, it said that I was a an early bird and that 46% of all Peloton users were also early birds, which makes perfect sense to me. Also interesting is that over this year, I have moved away from morning workouts. It’s not working with the schedule anymore. I don’t know if it’s because I changed jobs. I don’t know if it’s a new schedule. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m enjoying working out at night more right now.

I wonder if it’s about it not being new anymore, that when you first get into an exercise routine, you feel like, and I’ve heard you say this, “If don’t do it in the morning, it’s not going to happen.” Now that it’s part of your regular schedule, it’s part of your lifestyle and who you are, it’s a thing you do, it’s easier to do later in the day because you’re like, “I want to do this, but I also want to sleep.” In the past, you would sleep and never get around to doing it. Where now you’re like, “I’ve been doing this for years now, it’s who I am.” You’re more apt to go knock it out at 7:00 on a Friday rather than not doing it at all.

I don’t know. I hope that’s true. I like it. It sounds good.

If it sounds good and it makes you happy with me, then that’s it. Go with that.

This whole article has all kinds of different myths that you can look at and see what works best for you.

I’ve been finding articles. I’ve been on a little bit of a roll, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I found this article. This article is all about the likelihood of a pill replacing exercise.

I was shocked when I read this because it says that this pill could replace the exercise protein. It actually mimics the same effects with working out.

It says that when you’re done exercising, they can see that this chemical is on your muscles. They poured it on some rat muscles, in living rats, they didn’t tear open a rat. It was like the equivalent of having worked out even though they didn’t just put that protein on their muscles.

Doesn’t that seem impossible?

I know. That’s some Jetsons stuff right there.

It was flies, not rats. They crawled up and down the test tube to get out.

They had some that they would train for a couple of weeks and let them do it, so they’d get better. Then they had some that didn’t train at all. They gave them the Sestrin and then they were instantly better than the flies who had trained. The fascinating part to me was they took flies that they had trained and gave them the Sestrin and they were no better than the flies they just gave Sestrin.

Think about the implications of that because people already are so lazy. They would never move. If you could take a pill and you don’t have to exercise, you would never move. For real, that would not be good for people. Your body is meant to move. It scares me because this is something that you very well in 30 years are going to hear how it causes cancer.

That would make me wonder like, “Is that a concern long-term?” They also said that there are some positive uses for it that aren’t necessarily to reward the lazy like for the elderly or if you have wasting disease.

I like their examples. It showed me that their head was in the right place. They were thinking about people who were infirm and unable to work out in some way, whether it be the elderly or somebody who might have some spine injury and they can’t walk and they’re not getting the exercise they need. It would be great for those applications. It scares me that other people would take advantage of it and not use it in the way it was intended. That’s pretty much everything we’ve ever done in our entire society.

Welcome to human nature. You have a phone number that you put out on the internet. You said you had an idea for someone we should interview, “You should call this number and leave your suggestions.” You’ve got hundreds of suggestions, but not one phone call.

It turns out none of you like to call things. That was what I learned. Also, you all have no idea how many episodes we have or who we’ve actually interviewed. I know there are tons of you that tune in every week and you know everybody we’ve interviewed. Also, we’ve interviewed 139 people at this time. It’s a lot of people. I had not realized that that much time had passed. I know it logically but we’ve got a lot of great suggestions. It’s going to take me a long time to sort through them because think about it, 52 covers an entire year. You gave me 300, so it’s going to take a while. Thank you, everyone.

You should plot out every one that they suggested and then find out their ages and then do the older ones first.

If you ever want to give us a call and you can ask a question, you can leave a comment, you can say anything that you would like that we can play on the show. That number is (636) 345-5023. Do not worry, I’m never going to pick up that number. You can call anytime, day or night. It’s just a voicemail and it’s a Google number. You’re not getting a private phone number. Call about anything. We want to start putting you on the show. We want to take little tidbits.

It’ll be fun. We didn’t get around to this but Matty Maggiacomo met Oprah.

Two of my favorite people were hugging. I’ve gotten to hug Matty, which was awesome. I met him pre-Oprah.

By the Kevin Bacon Theory, you’ve hugged Oprah.

No, because I hugged him pre-Oprah. I know it’s cool when you get to meet stars, but he hugged Oprah. It was a cozy hug. It was not a side hug.

I’m now a little freaked out about this theory because I shook Tommy Lee’s hand.

I met you after that. Does that mean I touched Tommy Lee?

I’m lucky, I’m not a walking Petri dish.

Who was that guy in that band that kissed you that one time?

Smash Mouth.

You’ve also kissed everybody that Smash Mouth has kissed.

I was doing a stage announcement to introduce Smash Mouth during that sixteen-week window where they matter. As I’m doing it, he sneaks up behind me and puts his arms around me and nuzzles me and kisses the nape of my neck. It was a little weird. There’s a new series from Emma Lovewell coming.

This is pretty cool. It’s another signature ride. In case you might have lost track. We’ve got the Sundays with Love, with Ally Love. We’ve got The Jess King Experience on Thursdays. Every once in a while, we do Spotlight with Alex Toussaint. We’re going to have Listening Party. These rides are going to be a complete music discovery tool. Sometimes it’s going to be indie artists, emerging artists, deep cuts. It’s all over the place. It’s going to be very cool stuff. They’re going to be twenty minutes long and they’re going to be released on demand midnight Eastern on Friday, once a month. This one is going to happen on January 17th.

The other cool part of this is that Emma Lovewell is organizing a group ride for this one that she’s going to be actually on the leaderboard. It’s Friday at 9:00 AM, so people will probably not even have a chance to listen to this before it happens. She’s going to be on at 9:00 AM Eastern and she’s going to be on the leaderboard throwing up high fives, which I thought was cool. It’s indie artists, emerging artists and deep cuts. I think it’s new. DJ John Michael was also seen helping her put this together as part of his new role. They were working on that together, which is also very cool.

Speaking of rides to keep an eye out for. You’re going to have some Lady Gaga content coming your way, who is rumored to be your new Audrey, which I think is a wonderful choice. Irene has a live English ride coming up.

I’m excited about this. This is the first live ride one out of Germany. It was on Hannah Marie Corbin‘s social media, I believe it was on Instagram. You definitely want to check that out. It’ll be a good opportunity to check out how she cues, but hearing in English.

Finally, the new Athleta line is up.

This is the one I told you about that had all of our awesome Peloton members and we gave a shout out to them. They are all being featured on all the Peloton social media channels. Congrats again to everyone. The line looks beautiful. From what I understand, at least one or two pieces sold out right away. It’s very cool.

Joining us is Brock Masters. Brock, how is it going?

How are you doing?

First of all, congratulations on that name. You sound an action star. It sounds badass.

I have kind parents. I have two siblings, Clark Masters and Drake Masters. We’re all blessed with pretty strong names.

It has hard consonants. It sounds like a book that they would have children read in the ‘50s. It’s like a boys’ adventure story.

Brock, I always start off by asking everybody how they found Peloton. That’s what brings us all together after all.

My wife and I decided to get a Groupon to a local spin club. As our Groupon was coming to an end, we were trying to make a decision on whether or not we wanted to join that club. That’s about the same time that I started seeing advertisements for Peloton and newscasts about this new platform. That would have been early 2015. We looked into it and decided to pull the trigger and we’ve had the bike ever since.

That’s similar to your story, except for the Groupon and doing it with a spouse.

The spouse part never happens in this house.

Getting up and going downstairs was a lot easier than getting up and leaving the house at 4:40 on a cold Chicago winter morning.

When you have a new experience, you have to learn how to manage it. Share on X

It makes a huge difference.

It’s much more motivating to go downstairs, get a hot coffee, jump up on the bike within ten minutes of being up, and having to start the car and leave the house.

I was having this conversation with somebody. One of my coworkers was telling me how they didn’t understand how I spent that much on the Peloton. They were like, “Do you know how long I could work out for what you pay for that?” I’m like, “I don’t go there. That’s the problem.”

I had two friends purchase a Peloton after seeing the clip I threw up on the group page. They got motivated and each bought a bike themselves.

Did they use your referral code?

They did and my wife’s got a beautiful Lululemon pants as a result.

Brock, I know that when you posted on the official Peloton page as we lovingly call the OPP. You posted that you have Spina Bifida. Tell us about that and how that affects you in your life.

I was born with a neural tube birth defect called Spina Bifida. It affects anywhere up and down the spinal column. It had an effect on my lower extremities, musculature, bone development, as well as my bowel and bladder. I wasn’t diagnosed until the age of ten. Leading up to that point of a “normal childhood” I was on the local kids’ track and field team. I did the long jump, but I always suffered from some bowel incontinence issues and they couldn’t figure out what it was. Early on, it was diagnosed as behavioral. As I got older, it was clearly not the case. They thought that maybe I had some tropical parasites. I hit puberty at a young age and it was at that time, my feet started to deform and the issues with my bladder started forming and that’s when the diagnosis of Spina Bifida came after an MRI.

I didn’t realize that it could be diagnosed later in childhood. I thought it was usually right at birth.

It typically is, but there are a lot of people out there living with Spina Bifida who may not realize they have it and it does cause no adverse effects on their life. I fell into that middle ground where the tethering of my spinal cord was such that when I started growing from hitting puberty, it presented itself in a physical manifestation, which was the deformation of my legs and feet.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


When you get a diagnosis like that, what’s the reaction? Is there a moment of, “At least now we know what’s up?”

For my parents and my family, it was suddenly like, “That’s why everything has been happening.” You move into the uncertainty. What does that mean for fixing the issue or managing it? What does our child need to go through in order to have a normal life? Will they have a normal job? Will they be ambulatory? Will they be wheelchair-bound? All of those things go through a parent’s mind. That’s why when I first did put up that post, I opted to get back into track and field and wheelchair racing after going down to McCormick Place in Chicago. The University of Illinois has a large track and field team and a number of their participants race the Chicago Marathon. They had this display set up so the average person off the street could hop in a racing wheelchair and see what it’s like. I was down there with my wife, Andrea. I said, “I haven’t done this or been in one of those things in years.”

I broke my shoulder a few Christmases ago and had a pretty extensive recovery surgery. The doctor said, “There’s a lot of things you probably won’t be able to do again, including heavy weightlifting.” My recovery and went well back to the gym. I thought, “I’m going to hop in this chair and see if I still got it.” I jumped in. It sounds like a cliché but riding a bike felt riding a bike. I was able to get up a pretty good clip on my first time back in the bucket. The next day, I said to my wife, “I want to race the Chicago Marathon.” That’s when I signed up and decided that I would raise money for the Illinois Spina Bifida Association.

What was her reaction to that? Was she worried?

She was super supportive. She’s always been behind me in my endeavors, both with work and physical activity. She went through a lot with me when I had the recovery. She had to learn how to cauterize somebody and learn how to manage a colostomy. A lot was put on her shoulders for the initial four-month recovery until I could take back and manage my own personal care. This was seen as a great opportunity for me to jump back into something I love.

My hats off to her. She’s pretty badass to be able to learn all of those things.

It was an eye-opener for her as well because she knew what the steps were for me to manage these things but never had to experience them personally. It was truly something that brought us closer together as a couple.

That’s a nice positive thing that came out of something that I’m sure was something difficult to go through. I am curious how you became an athlete. Was it because you were already running track and field before your diagnosis? It’s so easy as a kid, I did nothing and I was perfectly able-bodied. I only did what the gym teacher made me do. I can’t imagine becoming an athlete and you have a condition that makes it hard.

Post the age of ten, I’d gone from 10 to 16, probably having roughly anywhere from 2 to 4 operations a year to do corrective actions on my legs, feet, and back. At the age of sixteen, I was using a wheelchair quite a bit in high school because I was always having corrective surgery. It was my father, who is a notorious newspaper article clipper. He came home from work one day and said, “You’ve got to see this article.” It’s about this kid named Joey Radmore, who was a Paralympic athlete at the age of seventeen and was champion in his own class. Joey had cerebral palsy. You put them in a racing chair. It’s almost it magically disappeared and hit one countless event at the Paralympics. As a teenager, you’re like, “Dad, that’s crazy. I’m not going to go look this guy up in the white pages and tell him I want to race wheelchairs.”

I happen to be going to the local wheelchair repair shop to get some work done. This guy Joey was there on a high school coop. I serendipitously got to meet him and told him that I’d heard about him. He invited me out to the local track to do a practice with them. I hopped in the race chair and I did one lap. His stepfather, who was the coach at the time said, “We’re going to track meet in Toronto and you’re on the team.” That was cutting my teeth in track and field. This was a real passion of mine for years.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


As time went on, my condition started to worsen. It turned out that I had more neurological damage that needed to be addressed in my spinal column. I had this fourth operation on my back, roughly about a fifteen-hour surgery. I was given a pretty bleak outcome being told that there was a high probability that this operation would land me in a wheelchair full-time. To my happiness, I woke and I could tell by the smile on my surgeon’s face, who is predominantly a neutral guy. It must have gone well.

I can’t even imagine, first of all, a fifteen-hour surgery. Let alone going into that surgery knowing that you may be wheelchair-bound forever. It’s probably one of those circumstances where if you don’t the opportunity isn’t great either.

We knew the condition was going to degradate if I didn’t do it, and there was a possibility that it could halt or possibly even improve my situation if I had it done. We had a big family meeting at the time. We had a stick shift car. The parents were like, “Don’t worry about that. We have to put in a ramp. We’ll get a manual.” All those things were discussed. As a family, we decided it was the best course of action. After all that happened, that’s when I discovered cycling on two wheels and got myself involved in cycling.

If anyone hasn’t seen the video, which is probably a lot of people that are reading this, how does that work? How do you marry the two?

I’m in a unique position where I am ambulatory on two feet. I do walk with a limp but my legs are atrophied. Meaning the muscle tone in certain muscle groups does not exist. I don’t have any calf muscle, the ability to stand on my tippy toes, my hamstrings are quite small. I have virtually no buttocks, but I have large quadriceps so that the front muscle, the pushing muscle. What was unique about cycling was I learned how to clip in right away. I realized that you don’t need a lot of those other muscles to marry the emotion of going in a circle.

As I progressed my cycling abilities, the muscle tone I did have got quite strong. I’ve been on a couple of group rides and out riding. I toured with a group called Velo Quebec out of Montreal, Canada. We did a seven-day trip with my father. You meet a lot of people and you’re in bike shorts. I remember one day this French-Canadian guy coming up to me and going, “How is this work? Your legs are so small. It doesn’t make sense.” I’m like, “I don’t know how it works. All I know is it does. I live to pedal.” We were doing 1,000 kilometer or 60-mile days holding speeds of roughly 20 to 22 miles per hour.

For me, it was that opportunity to participate with my peers and get out and be active. Cycling has been in my blood for a long time same with wheelchair racing. That opportunity presented itself. I still had my old racing wheelchair from when I was seventeen years old. After I opted to do the marathon, I wrote a proposal letter to my company. I work for a company that manufactures ostomy supplies and continence care supplies called Hollister Incorporated. I wrote them a proposal and I was fortunate that they were willing to sponsor me. That helped provide some of the funds to purchase the new racing wheelchair that I have.

A racing wheelchair, is that specially made to work on trainers because I was fascinated by your setup? It looks like a bike trainer but with a wheelchair. Please explain this because I’m not good at that kind of technology.

The racing chair that I purchased is probably about 85% carbon fiber. The whole setup is six feet long and has disk wheels in the back. You sit on your legs, so they’re tucked in behind you. It comes in around under fourteen pounds. It’s light and strong. The trainer that the chair is on is a giant roller or a drum that the back wheel locks into and it allows you to pedal or push at a similar clip and cadence as you would be if you’re on the street.

Is that a special trainer that they make specially for racing wheelchairs?

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It’s not off the shelf. I’ll make sure you have a photo that you can share with the readers. It’s roughly 3.5 feet across. The drum is probably six inches in diameter and that trainer that I’m sitting on weighs about 170 pounds.

Did you make it?

There’s a company out of North of Quebec City that manufactures them as well as a couple of American companies. I myself is a Canadian, so I went with the Canadian route and order this product up.

You’re able to ride a bike and the Peloton normally. It is the wheelchair aspect. Do you use that as your basis for running?

I can’t physically run. I’m sure if you put a bear behind me, I’d muster up the strength to do it. Otherwise, running and I aren’t friends. I prefer possible not to have to walk long distances. I’m a fairly big guy. I come in about 195 pounds. Both my legs are about as thin as skin and bones in a couple of areas. Cycling was an opportunity for me to travel long distances under my own power and not exhausting myself. Back when I lived in Toronto, I used to go for a 35-mile bike ride every single day after work. We had some nice waterfront paths. Coming up with this new opportunity to start wheeling and to do the marathon, that is truly the equivalent of running. I started thinking about my training platform and we have the benefit of having the mobile app with the Peloton. For me, I thought, “This is fantastic. I’ve got the trainer in the basement and they launched the Amazon platform app. I got that on my Fire stick.” When the spring hits, I’ll be able to use the outdoor reading platform to not only track my distance but do different sorts of sprint metrics, be able to do different training exercises as well as listening to great music.

To that point, we noticed that on your video you were training with a bike video. Tom is the one that asked me and he said, “Is there any reason that you were training to a bike class versus a running class?”

For me, cycling is in my blood that I take the Peloton classes on the bike all the time. It almost has felt unnatural to get on and do one of the tread classes. I love the cycling classes. The music’s always great. I’ve grown to know some of the instructors and I think of them as my cycling family. For me, using the bike app was the way to go.

I have a question about your Canadian roots. I’m curious as someone who has a lifelong medical condition. What makes you leave a country with socialized medicine to come to a country without socialized medicine?

Socialized medicine as a funny thing because depending on what province you’re from, things can change from area to area. For example, in Canada, you can have your ostomy operation and that for me was having a colostomy or a bowel diversion. Depending on what province you’re in, the surgery may be paid for but those products may be either partially subsidized, 100% covered or totally out of your pocket. It is different depending on what province you are in. I’m from Ontario where a number of things are covered but dental, vision and prescription are out of pocket if you don’t have a supplementary health insurance program.

Do they have issues when people go to other provinces? Do they card you? If you don’t have the right driver’s license, they say no dice. Will people move if one is better based on their personal situation?

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


That could well be the case. A good example is Saskatoon. It has full coverage for catheters if you have a spinal cord injury or spina bifida. Depending on if you were born with a condition or maybe had an injury and don’t have subsidization through either your work and insurance coverage. You may choose to move to a different province.

They won’t fight you on that? They won’t treat you as an immigrant? From here, state to state is no big deal and I didn’t know since there’s money attached to it.

Would that be different?

Would they put up a fight saying, “We’re not going to take and everybody that has all these special issues?”

Not to my knowledge.

That’s something that we do.

I’ve been with my company, Hollister Incorporated, for years. I worked with the Canadian team for seven years. I decided that there was an opportunity to start developing product ideas based on my experience in sales. After submitting multiple patent applications, I was asked if I’d be interested in moving down to the United States and working in research and development full-time. That was my ticket to come down and move to the United States.

At my previous job, I worked for a healthcare company and one of our contracted companies was Hollister. I noticed that when you said you got into racing, you explained how that got into your blood. You talked about having a specific track bike, single-track bike. How is that different from a regular road bike?

It’s like going out to the forest and ripping through the woods in full suspension mountain bike generically putting it.

I was making that way harder than it was. I thought it was some special racing bike. What inspired you besides wanting to do this and to sign up for the Chicago Marathon? Have you been wanting to do a marathon or was it that moment in the chair?

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When I was in my early twenties, I competed in a sprint triathlon, where it was a one-kilometer swim, a fifteen or twenty-kilometer bike ride and a ten-kilometer run. I did that and swam the swimming portion. I rode the bike portion and instead of running, I use the race chair. That was probably one of the last events I did. At that time, I thought that doing a marathon would be a pretty cool experience. Having had the back operation and not being able to further that opportunity at the time fell by the wayside. In the last couple of years, the thought has been in my mind and as my shoulder recovered, and I realized that the strength was there. I always wondered if I could get back in the chair. My old chair being 22 years old, I’ve put on a couple of pounds since I was seventeen years old. It was putting two sausages in one casing. It wasn’t until I got to go down to McCormick Place and sit down in a larger seat that I realized that I still got this in me and the opportunity presented itself.

It was quite serendipitous. A woman that I’d met many years ago at an event in Ontario saw the video that I had posted on Facebook about me at the event at McCormick Place. She and her friend who runs the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association reached out to me and said, “Brock, I saw that you’re doing this. Would you be interested in coaching young kids?” I don’t think I waited two minutes to reply, “Yes.” This all happened within a week and I’m involved with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. They’re an incredible affiliation out of the Chicago land area. The statistic is that roughly 30% of the athletes who compete in the Paralympic track and field come from their club. They are a force to be reckoned with and I have the opportunity to work with and coach young athletes. They’re a great club and a great club for me to be able to train with as well. They have a number of athletes who compete in the marathon every year. I’ll have the opportunity once the weather gets better to get outside and start working with the people to do the marathon.

How do people who might have kids or maybe other loved ones in their family who want to do Adaptive Sports get into that? Do they do a Google search to find out what’s near them? Are there several places that do that and work with people who want to do more, but don’t exactly know what they should be doing?

There are clubs all across the United States. I would suggest looking up the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Cindy and her team are affiliated with clubs all around the country. If you’re not in the Greater Chicago and/or Illinois area, they can certainly put people in touch with the right people who can concert up either loved ones or friends or family with a local club that they can get involved with.

I have a question for you about the Chicago Marathon. When you sign up for a marathon, do you automatically have to raise money? Do you become a fundraiser automatically? Is that something you can opt-in to?

For someone myself, who was coming out of the woodwork deciding to do this, there are a couple of ways you can get involved. You can either try and get an initial spot when the marathon goes live. You can enter into a lottery and there’s X amount of additional spots available. You could either be an elite athlete and have qualified for Chicago, or you can do what I’m doing, which is opting in to raise money for a charity.

You chose the Illinois Spina Bifida Association, I assume, because that is a cause near and dear to your heart.

I went to McCormick Place and that was on a Saturday. The race was on a Sunday, the actual marathon and on Monday, I contacted the Illinois Association Spina Bifida and said, “I’m going to do the marathon.” On Tuesday, Amy and Cindy reached out to me about the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and I got involved with them. It made it all truly came together within one week.

What is the goal that you are trying to raise for the Spina Bifida Association?

I was given a goal of $1,250. I put out a Facebook campaign as well as a GoFundMe Charity campaign that was specifically through the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. I was able to raise close to $1,000 within my first campaign. I put the campaign on the Peloton community Facebook page. Within four hours I had raised almost $2,000. I’ve over doubled my goal for the year and I still plan to do some fundraising as we move through. I was truly touched. Within four hours, the Peloton community sponsored me to almost $2,000.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


They’re going to raise your goal, you probably should have paced yourself a little bit more. They’ll go, “Fancy pants.”

I received a kind email from the association that was thrilled to see that I signed up in late November 2019, and by January 2020 I’d already doubled my goal for them. They were they’re appreciative. I’m appreciative of the community.

What do they specifically do for people who have spina bifida? How do they help them?

What’s great about these associations is they are a resource to parents who have young children who don’t know where to go and don’t know what’s facing them. They need to find information on neurologists, orthopedic surgeons or neurologists. As people get older, they act as a community and help to bridge that gap between the pediatric environment and the normal medical care system. You can imagine if you spent your entire life as a kid going into the hospital where there’s lollipops, clowns, doctors and parents who are there to turning eighteen and hearing your name and a number in a cold medical center. They help with that transition and prepare people to take on their own care, and places having their parents there with them. Also, it provides a community and an event planning environment. For example, the Illinois Spina Bifida Association is hosting an adult night for anyone who is an adult, over eighteen who has Spina Bifida come out, join and watch a roller derby tournament. They also provide social experience.

That’s great that they do so many things. This is not the first time that you have been involved with raising awareness or raising money. I know that you were also a volunteer for a youth ostomy program. How did that come to be?

Prior to joining Hollister, I had my own manufacturing company in Canada that made ostomy accessories. Through the Canadian Ostomy Association, I met a group of individuals who every year would put on this youth camp. For me, the first time I heard the word ostomy or stoma, I was fifteen. The idea of getting a bag at fifteen years old isn’t an awful idea. I thought to have the surgery for years until I was about twenty years old. After a trip to England, I’m living in a tent and having to manage my bowel routine in a different fashion. It became apparent that this was going to be the best opportunity for improved quality of life. When I was 23 years old, I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at this camp. One of the things I love about the camp was that we had kids anywhere from the age of 8 to 18 who had either bowel or bladder diversion.

The camp also took in kids who needed to have one of these surgeries but was reluctant to have it. They had the opportunity to see other kids, peers their age running around, having fun, going on the water slides, doing high ropes courses, mountain biking. Doing all these activities, swimming in a pool and not being held back by their condition. I thought for myself that if had that experience, I probably would have had the surgery a lot younger. I was fortunate that I get to volunteer for one week every summer for over a decade.

That’s amazing for kids to be able to see. That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for doing that. What a great program.

It’s my pleasure. If there are any readers who have friends or family who have young children who have an ostomy or a bladder diversion of some kind, they can look up the United Ostomy Association of America‘s youth rally, or the United Ostomy Association of Canada’s youth camp. Those are both two fantastic programs. They work to raise money to help fly out kids whose families maybe can’t afford it. These kids form bonds for life with peers, who understand what they’re going through. Through their youth into adulthood remain close friends and a support network.

How was that when you finally pull the trigger on that? Once you got on the other side, were you like, “I should have done this sooner?”

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


I’ll be frank and say that it took a good six months to realize that this was the right decision to make and like anything, it changes a challenge. As adults or even teenagers, you forget what a pain in the butt it was for your parents to toilet train you as a kid and that you hated it. It’s the same similar process. This is a new experience and you have to learn how to manage it. Once someone emotionally adapts to having this operation, they realize that it’s not a limiting factor to their ability to lead a fully enriched fulfilled life as a person.

It sounds like a process of mourning because you’re mourning the loss of the control of your body in a way. I can see that that would be difficult to wrap your head around an emotional level. It makes a lot of sense that you have to go through a process.

For me, part of that was cycling. I started to realize that this wasn’t going to hold me back. I was worried about leakage, skin health and all of these problems. You find the right products that meet your needs and certainly for me, that was within the family of Hollister. It was serendipitous that I ended up coming to work for them as an organization. These products provide me the full ability to live my life to its full potential and for that, I’m grateful.

Was that a coincidence that you ended up working for them? Were you already traveling in those circles and fell into it? How did that come about?

I had my own company and I was having some differences of opinion with my business partner. I had been traveling to different trade shows around Canada. The people at Hollister were always so kind to me. I was a party of one at these events. They’d invite me out for a drink and they’d have me sit at the table with them. I’d said to my father at a young age, “If I ever went to work for one of the big manufacturers, the only one I would consider working for was Hollister.” Sure enough, they approached me for a job in Canada and I sold my organization. I join them without thinking twice about it. That was years ago.

It seems your whole life has been affected by this but you’ve also found ways to not only process it emotionally but give back to other people who it seems that they might be struggling with it. It seems to touch every part of your life is what I’m trying to say.

As you move forward and you see people who have either had something an ostomy or spinal cord injury and need to use contents care products. The one thing that helps people recover both physically and emotionally is sports and physical activity. For me, this was a great opportunity to get out and share that message with people. For example, for the Spina Bifida Association, I do believe that I am probably one of the first people who has spina bifida who will be racing on behalf of their organization. I’m excited about that. I’m grateful for Hollister themselves to provide me with a financial donation to buy a racing wheelchair.

How can our audience help out? Maybe they didn’t see your post originally. How can they chip in or take part in some capacity?

If they’re interested, I would encourage them to look up both the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. These are two phenomenal organizations that are dedicated to the betterment of people living with disabilities. The Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association’s motto is, “No one left on the sidelines.” That’s a powerful motto. I was blown away by the comments and people telling me how inspired they were when they saw me on the roller doing a Peloton class. For me, that’s second nature and some of the comments from people saying how inspired they were and they would remind themselves of seeing that anytime they felt lazy and didn’t feel getting on the bike. It was moving.

When you said how much you motto, clearly you seem to have built your life around it.

It’s certainly something that was near and dear to my heart far longer before I heard them ever say it. I’m fortunate to be a part of their organization and I’m excited to be training with their team as we lead into marathon season.

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We’ll make sure to post the links on our Facebook page to make it easier for people to find so they can help out if they’d to.

I’ll put in a plug for Hollister as well. If anybody out there has an ostomy and it’s having issues with their skin health, it’s the number one thing is to ensure that the product sticks to you and we have some great products. You can contact or look up our 1-800 number. We have a great team of specialists here who can help you get the right products to live your life to the fullest.

What is your leaderboard name?

My leaderboard name is silly. It’s Chubs in the Pug. I found this ridiculous meme on the internet and it was a hipster-looking person, and he’s wearing a picture of his pug dog and sitting in his lap. It’s his pug dog wearing a t-shirt of his face. I couldn’t let this picture go. I didn’t know what I would do with it if I would make a t-shirt of these guys in their t-shirts. It was right when we got the Peloton, so I had to pick it up. I’ve got a couple of head shakes from my beautiful wife. It has grown on her.

My first thought was, “Was that the Canadian version of BJ and the Bear?”

It’s my FM radio name.

I was thinking of that show, Jake and the Fatman. The dog and that guy. I don’t remember what the guy’s name was because nobody cares. The dog’s name was Jake.

Do you have any advice for people entering the world of the Peloton?

The number one piece of advice is to take it easy. If you’re new to cycling or you’re new to Peloton, take the introductory classes. Don’t dive in on a 45-minute hit ride your first day on the bike. Get to know the bike and how to set up your positioning properly. Make sure that you’re doing that so that you’re avoiding joint pain or stress on your muscles. Be sure to stretch when you get off the bike. You can’t perform properly the next day if you don’t take care of the moment you are in. Be sure to have a good warm-up and a good stretch after each and every ride.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And PelotonI want to make sure that people can find you on social media because they’re going to be curious about you.

You can certainly look up my Instagram handle. It’s @BrocknessMonsterr. I worked with a gentleman and every time he’d walked by me at the office he’d always yell, “Brocknessmonster.” I tried to pick up that name on Instagram and somebody already had it so I tweaked it a little bit. You’ll see a lot about wheelchair racing, cycling and a lot about food. I trained to be a chef prior to switching careers and getting into healthcare. You’ll see a little bit about cars. I’m not one to fix up cars, but I am one to paint cars.

To paint cars?

You can’t buy your youth back but you can buy the car you drove when you were younger. A couple of years back, I bought a 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse because that’s what I had back in culinary school. When the car showed up, I bought it sight unseen from Florida. The car was in good shape but the paint was horrific. As I started looking into what it would cost to paint the vehicle, it was going to cost me more to get the vehicle painted than I paid for the car. I started looking at my options and there’s this incredible company based out of Florida called They sell kits that allow you to paint your home vehicle at home with a peelable automotive paint.

You blew my mind. It sounds like a car wrap.

It is a wrap, but it’s a spray car wrap. You take the car off in your home garage and spray wrap your vehicle. It takes about two and a half hours to take the car and takes about two hours to paint the car. In less than a full day at the office, you have a different colored vehicle.

Why is that not everywhere?

You’d be shocked to see how many people do this. For those of you out there, check them out.

I’ll be googling that.

I’m going to put flames on my CRV.

When you are made fun of you can peel them off.

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton


That’s exactly what I would do too. I would feel great shame nonstop. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to join us, Brock. We appreciate it.

It’s been an absolute pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity to speak both to you and to the Peloton community.

They love you and everybody is going to enjoy learning your background because your amazing pictures and videos are so overwhelming to see something being used. Nobody’s seen these racing wheelchairs on a trainer before, so you’re blowing people’s minds. Everybody’s going to be curious.

Growing up with this in my life, it’s so normal. For the community to reach out and say, “What is that? How does that happen? Where’d you get those?” “I have a friend who’s in a wheelchair, where can I set them up with that?” To me, that is the best part of this. People in a community working together, elevating each other, getting away from all the BS that can come along with social media. Instead of trolling each other, they’re truly being supportive of one another.

On that note, good luck on the Chicago Marathon. I have no doubt you will crush it.

Thank you so much. I appreciate this time.

Thank you.

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About Brock Masters

TCO 139 | Spina Bifida And Peloton

Experienced Global Product Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the medical device industry. Skilled in Medical Devices, Capital Equipment, Healthcare, Building lasting Customer Relationships, and Sales Effectiveness.

Strong marketing professional with a Chef Diploma focused in Culinary Arts from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.

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