TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project

161: Peloton Allows Users To Select ‘Non-Binary’ plus our interview with Ariel Brown

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


Peloton will now allow users to select “Non-Binary” as a gender option.

Peloton stock is up yet again. has some theories as to why.

24 Hour Fitness officially files for bankruptcy.

Tread sales have started back up.

German Apple TV and IOS dropped this week.

We get another visit from Dr. Jenn Mann.

BuzzFeed reports on Peloton delivery workers’ concerns during Covid.

Hydrow raises $25 million.

We’re hosting a “virtual house concert” with Shannon Curtis.

Former guest Peter Shankman is hosting a one-day virtual entrepreneur event featuring Olivia Amato.

We have information on Race For Unity.

Peloton has a new artist collaboration with Desmond Child.

The first boutique drop of the Summer is here.

Robin Arzon is working with BeSproud.

Tunde is launching a new IG series called Speak. The first guest is Jess Sims.

Has Crystal caught up with Tom in Best Fiends? (Spoiler Alert: No. No, she has not.)

All this plus our interview with Ariel Brown!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Peloton Allows Users To Select ‘Non-Binary’ plus our interview with Ariel Brown

What do you have in store for people?

We’ve got a ton of news articles to hit, all kinds of interesting things happening. We’re going to have another visit from Dr. Jenn Mann, of course our interview that we have with the creator of Emotional PPE. There’s a ton of articles. There’s so much going on. There are new classes. We’re going to talk about fundraiser coming up. Fun opportunity with Peter Shankman that we’re going to talk about.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts where you can go rate, review and subscribe. Be sure and subscribe while you’re there, so you’ll never miss an episode. If you would be so kind as to leave us a review, that’s helpful as well. It makes us happy. We have a new review. This is from #128, “A MUST if you love Peloton, or wonder why everyone else does. I found this podcast totally by accident when searching my podcast app for anything I could find about Jenn or Christine. Can you guess who my favorites are? What a lucky “accident.” I was instantly drawn in by the chemistry between Crystal and Tom, and Crystal’s adorable laugh. I have been coming back faithfully ever since. What an incredible balance of real, informed, trustworthy news, humor and genuine LOVE and respect for Peloton and the COMMUNITY that makes it what it is. I never leave not amazed by the individuals you interview. What an amazing thing we are all a part of BECAUSE of amazing PEOPLE. THANK you, Crystal and Tom, for doing this and doing it SO WELL.”

Thank you indeed. That was a nice review. Thank you so much.

It’s always nice to get the good ones. Also you can find us on Facebook at, while you’re there, like the page, join the group. It’s a great way to stay up to date throughout the week or chat with us or other people that like the show and like Peloton as well.

Maybe you have a random question and you don’t feel comfortable putting on the OPP.

We try to keep it a little calmer over there in the OPP, so fingers crossed. You can sign up for our newsletter at That’s all of that. Let’s dig in, shall we?

This is Pride Month as you well know. There has been a change to how people can interact with Peloton, whether it’s the app or Bike or the Tread. It’s a pretty significant change.

In the past, when you set up your account, you choose your details like your height, weight, age and you also choose whether you are male or female. Starting now, you can also choose non-binary.

From what I can gather, this is pretty rare to see from tech companies. It’s an interesting evolution in how that progresses. Honestly, regardless of where you might or might not fall on the issue, if people are making that selection and you want to collect data points, you want to know it from the company’s standpoint like statistics. Your goal is to collect data. Whether or not you like this, it doesn’t matter. They’re still wanting to collect data.

Peloton has taken a stance in general with social issues. They’re saying, “We’re on top of these things. We’re going to be a company that is an ally for everyone, all people welcome.” I think this is another way that they’re making that known.

It was interesting how they rolled it out. It seemed like they just flipped a switch and it was there as a choice.

I found an article from The Verge. I believe it was the next day, Peloton had their usual banner where they released information. I didn’t see the usual email splashes. I didn’t see a big deal. It doesn’t mean there won’t still be one. It’s only been a couple of days. Also it might have been one of those situations where this is just a foregone conclusion of what we should be doing. I we make a big deal about it, maybe it says that they’re trying to pat themselves on the back.

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


It’s become performative rather than, “We just do this now.”

Rather than showing up that aspect, they’re just, “This is what we do.”

That’s always a tough line to walk between you want to take a stand or have your voice heard, but you also don’t want to make it about yourself or look performative like you’re putting on a show. It can be a delicate balance doubly so for major corporations.

I’ve seen a lot of articles in the last few weeks that companies are getting picked on and being called jumping on the bandwagon. The conversations we’ve had with the people that work at Peloton, including John Foley, I genuinely do not feel that’s the case. This is not a situation where Peloton is jumping on the bandwagon. I feel that they feel it’s the right thing to do.

I always think it’s funny when people complain about people jumping on the bandwagon for stuff like this. I understand the, “Where have you been?” but also at least they’re finally here.

There are people saying, “It’s just them jumping on the bandwagon,” people who don’t necessarily agree with some of the things that Peloton is saying. I’ve seen both of those anyway.

That’s there now, people, if they would like to select that.

Peloton’s stock shot up again. It’s almost becoming a boring story, “It’s up again?” It’s less boring because we have a little bit of stock.

I’m happy with it.

Idaho Reporter has an article about their theories about why it has jumped.

There are a couple things that they point to. One is that the COVID crisis is unfortunately on the rise in several states again. I think that collectively Wall Street said that people are not going back to the gym. Even if they go long-term, now is not the time. We need to double down on companies like Peloton, because it’s going to be even longer before the world looks “normal” again. That was the one thing. The other thing is a bit of sad news that another casualty to COVID is 24 Hour Fitness has filed for bankruptcy and closed over 100 stores permanently. Unfortunately, there were reports within The Clip Out group that I saw and at other places on social media that people who had worked there a long time, we’re talking 24 years, 34 years, they were told over a recorded call. It was a call and they couldn’t speak back. I don’t know that it was prerecorded. I got the impression and this is just from what I do at work and how this works sometimes. It’s like a WebEx, but you can’t talk back to it. Everyone’s muted and you couldn’t respond. It was a very short, “Here are the facts, your job no longer exists.” That was it. It was three minutes.

That’s ugly. There’s never a good way.

Especially right now, how would you do it? You can’t gather a bunch of people together. Are you supposed to bring them all in and have face-to-face meetings in a small room? It’s terrible that it’s happening to people and it’s terrible that this is how they found out. I have a lot of empathy for everybody involved. That stinks. Going back to the article, that’s the theory that both of those things happening in unison got the Wall Street a flutter about Peloton.

Something else that should have them a flutter, Tread sales are starting to back up.

Barely, but they are absolutely. Peloton posted on their website saying, “In various select areas, we are starting to sell Treads again.” You go in and you put your zip code in to see if you are one of the lucky ones. It’s not where you would think. It wasn’t in New York. I thought that was interesting.

They’re still pretty buttoned up there though.

Given that their distribution center is centered around York, I still thought that would be first but it’s not. There are several areas around the country where it’s happening. Several being like more than two or three, not several like a whole bunch.

Do you know off the top of your head, what some of those areas were?

Stigma is a giant issue across the mental health field. Share on X

I know that there was a place in Texas, but I don’t remember the other cities off the top of my head.

The German Apple TV and iOS apps dropped.

We talked about how Apple TV was now available for Peloton. That was only in the US, potentially the UK, but certainly not within Germany. This week, it dropped for Germany. It’s fully functional in Germany now and so is the iOS app.

That’s good news for the Germans.

They were excited.

That’s enough of listening to me talk about things I don’t know about. Let’s have someone that does know what they’re talking about jump in.

Back again to talk about the psychology of exercise is Dr. Jenn Mann, a Licensed Marriage, Family and Child Therapist and Sports Psychology Consultant. You may know her from VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn or VH1’s Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn, her long-running radio show. She’s written four bestselling books including The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s Six Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. Dr. Jenn, hi.


TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


Our topic this week, we’re going to talk about burnout. You have ideas, tips, strategies for how to get past that.

I think that we’ve all been there. Our Peloton instructors are some of the most inspiring, amazing people we could ever ask for. Sometimes no matter how inspiring and amazing they are, we’re just dragging. I’ve been there. I know Crystal has been there. There are a few things that I can recommend. The first thing is put your workout clothes out the night before. Sometimes, just standing there in front of your drawer with all that cute Peloton apparel, it can be difficult to make a decision. It can take too long. You’re like, “The exercise bra I was planning to wear is sturdy. I don’t know.” The next thing you know, twenty minutes have gone by, your kids have called you and now you’ve missed the window of opportunity to work out. Put your stuff out the night before. The other thing is pick your class the night before. What you may even want to do is start to visualize you on that Bike or on that Tread or on the Floor doing that outdoor run. What we know in Sports Psychology, doing that helps you to actually get there.

The other thing is that we all tend to have our standby instructors like, “I always take so and so, or I always do this one app class that I love.” Make a commitment. If you’ve been burnt out, “Next week, I’m going to try at least three instructors that I’ve never tried, or maybe I’ve only tried once and it didn’t really land,” sometimes an instructor will do a class one day that really connects with you and then another day not or vice versa. Try a different instructor, try to shake it up. The other thing is the night before, try one of the Peloton meditations, one of the sports-oriented ones. I am obsessed with Ross Rayburn’s ten-minute long running meditation. I listen to it every Saturday night before my long run on Sundays. There are many great ones to help inspire you. The other thing is reach out to someone in the community or a friend, make a plan to either take a class together or to report back at the end of a class. Or maybe even you make a plan of buying each other a little fun gift. It’s like, “At the end of the week, if we keep our commitments to each other, I’m going to buy you a bag of chips or a Peloton t-shirt,” or something fun that you will really look forward to, so that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

There are many good ideas.

I’ve seen you do that in terms of, “I don’t want to do this ride, but I promise this other person.”

That’s a huge one for me, especially first thing in the morning. If I know that people are waiting for me at 5:00 AM my time and I don’t show up, I’m a jerk. I’ve got to get up.

The other thing is take a live ride, because there’s something about that. It starts at this time and you don’t want to be late. You feel like a jerk if you are walking into the classroom late and also the numbers are all skewed and you feel off. If you make a commitment like, “I’ve checked that box. I’ve counted in and now I’m going to be there,” there’s a little more pressure to actually show up. As they say in AA, “Suit up and show up.” The other thing is don’t wait to feel like doing this. Tom, I’m looking at you a little bit when I say this. A lot of the time with exercise, there are those times where you’re like, “I can’t wait to get on the Bike. I can’t wait to get on the Tread. I can’t wait to do that workout.” There are a lot of times where you don’t feel that way. You always want to ask yourself, “How am I going to feel at the end of this workout? How do I want to feel at the end of this day? How do I want to feel when it’s all done?” There’s something that’s really magical about that feeling of completion. Sometimes doing it when you didn’t feel like doing it feels like so much more of an accomplishment than when you were like jazz and ready to rock and you do it. It’s like, “Yeah, I did it. Of course, I did it. It was fine. It was easy.” When you pushed through that mental sludge and you’re able to be like, “I did it anyway,” that’s an awesome feeling.

I want to circle back to the live ride suggestion. That’s such a great example of not just a Sports Psychology thing, but that’s so Peloton specific. That’s not the piece of advice that a regular person or regular sports psychologist could give you, because if they’re not a Peloton fan like you are, they wouldn’t know that.

Also they wouldn’t know how terrible to go into a class late. I think I was like five minutes late and I felt so terrible. Obviously, there wasn’t anyone else other than me, but I was like, “This feels wrong. It feels like coming to class late. It felt like I got a tardy like I’m back to school with it.” It didn’t feel so good.

It’s like walking into a movie after it starts, back when they had movies.

I have to say there was an instructor that used to work at Peloton and no longer does. Remember, the leaderboard was smaller then, especially on the Bike. They would literally call you out if you came in. They would be like, “I see you.”

That kind of shaming, then you’re like, “I’m not going to show up at all if I’m late.”

I never show up late to a live ride. If I am late, then I have to really have a good reason or I was doing something else that was active and it was okay in my head to sweat or something. There was something else I wanted to point out about the live classes though. Given that we have so much going on at Peloton, they don’t have as many live classes. For me, I can’t take a lot of their classes live. It doesn’t mesh with my schedule. I just want to point that out for people who were like, “I can’t get up at,” whatever time to take a class, that’s okay too.

Those of us on the West Coast particularly, a lot of the rides are 5:30 in the morning for us. There have been a few more recently that have been at 8:00 for us, which has been nice. Sometimes you don’t have to take a whole week of live rides or runs or strength classes, sometimes doing one can perk you up. And Also if you haven’t done it before, there’s something almost a little exhilarating. I don’t know what to expect about it that can perk you up. When you’re in that rut, anything that shakes things up tends to be good or helping re-motivate you.

One last question. How should people balance working out every day to keep that going versus when is it good to take a break and rest? That’s tough for me to balance.

Not everyone can or should work out every day. We all have to assess our level of fitness, our level of obsession with Peloton, how we feel when we work out, how we feel when we don’t work out, especially right now during these more stressful times. There are also a lot of people who will do an active rest day where it’s like, “I want to work out, but I feel really burned. It’s a good time for me to do a gentle yoga class or a meditation class.” That’s a great way to stay connected with the community and to still get that check box on your calendar that we all love. It’s very unusual for me at this point to not work out, but it was one of those difficult days where I was doing a ton of media, I was doing TV and radio and seeing clients and this and that. Literally at 10:50, I was like, “I’m not going to get my check box.” I was like, “I’m doing a five-minute meditation.” I was sitting there right before midnight, I made it just on fire. Sometimes that’s what we have to do. For me, getting that check box was good self-care, doing the meditation, good self-care, not working out that day, good self-care. We always have to make sure that we keep our goals and our exercise plans within reason, and that they remain positive, not punitive or punishing in any way, except Tom. I want to get that man on the treadmill for even 5to 10 minutes. If it feels punishing, I’m okay with that.

She’s like, “You deserve punishment.” Thank you so much for talking to us. We really appreciate it. Where can people find you in the interim before next week?

Everyone can find me on social media, @DrJennMann. Also on my website,

Thank you.

Buzzfeed had an article talking about the reaction of Peloton delivery workers at the beginning I guess of the COVID crisis.

It was at the beginning. When I say the beginning, it was before the United States really shut down, before we shut down flights from other countries. This was very early. There was so much we didn’t know and they some delivery drivers were scared. What happened is somehow Buzzfeed got pictures or screenshots of an internal bulletin board, like an online bulletin board where people could talk about things. They saw the comments. At that time, they were still delivering Treads. At that time, they were still delivering Bikes in houses, nothing had changed. It’s important to note that as you read this article.

We had talked about this a little bit.

They were frustrated because they felt like they didn’t know what was going to happen. They’re being forced to go into people’s houses and they don’t know what the outcome’s going to be. I will also say that I’ve had employees reach out to me privately, and they were very defensive of Peloton. They said that Peloton took steps very quickly. As soon as people started saying, “I’m concerned,” those concerns were mitigated immediately. I don’t work there. I don’t know all the details. I can only tell you what Peloton employees are telling me. Obviously, I can’t reveal those sources. They felt that this was a small minority of people who were frustrated. They also felt like Buzzfeed took advantage of an old screenshot.

They’re cherry-picking things from three months ago. It was a hoax back then.

I will also say we had a lot of people post comments about this, that they were feeling frustrated that I posted it like, “I would have been happy to have a job and forget you,” whatever. It’s important to remember that everybody is in a unique situation with COVID. This is something the world has never faced before, and I meant the world globally. There have been pockets, but I don’t feel like there’s ever been a time that the world united has dealt with it on this global scale. Even when we had the Spanish Flu of 1918, the world was smaller in that we didn’t have the kind of travel that we do today.

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


Also the kind of ability to talk to each other from other parts of the world.

Even if they were going through it, we didn’t know what they were going through on a daily scale like we do now. I do feel like it’s a unique situation. Everybody has had to change things. Everybody has had to move things around. I think that it’s important to realize that and be thoughtful of other people’s feelings.

For a company like Peloton or any company ultimately, there’s no real playbook. A lot of times, if there’s some crisis or national emergency, hit by tornadoes or there’s a hurricane coming, you’ve dealt with it before, there’s a playbook that you can go to, “What did we do during Katrina?” whatnot. There isn’t one for this. Everybody’s winging it. had an article featuring Robin Arzon.

It was a 23-minute interview with Robin Arzon, talking about how she got into Peloton fitness, how Peloton reacts to certain things, what it’s like in a day-to-day schedule. It was a good article. One thing that I wanted to point out for all of our readers is that she was point-blank asked a question that our very own Peloton Prophet prophetized several months ago. The Prophet said that they felt that there was a nutrition program coming. The reporter said to Robin, “There have been rumors about a Peloton nutrition program. What’s that going to be?” Robin said, “There’s nothing I can announce today.” She said a couple other sentences too. I’m paraphrasing. It was interesting because she didn’t deny it at all.

She just said, “I’m not going to tell you about it now.”

It’s been a while since we’d heard from the Prophet. I just wanted to point out that the Prophet still has a game.

Business Insider has an article about what Peloton and Equinox and how that all works. I couldn’t read it.

Let me reframe this conversation. This article was actually about how basically all gyms post-COVID are going to have to figure out some way to do digital content. That’s just a fact. They’re not publishing the study because you’ve got to pay for it. I didn’t read that because it’s a much more expensive paywall than Business Insider prime reading. Let me tell you that it’s expensive. They were saying that the studies look like it’s pointing to, if you’re going to be a gym, you better figure out some digital content. Even after people come back, some of the examples they gave were like, “We have a Zumba class, but we’re only going to let 10 people be in it instead of 40.” I’m making up numbers here. Also they’re going to have it streaming on some platform, so that two days a week you can go to your Zumba class, but the other days, you can still take it at home. That’s at least one method that gyms are taking, but the outcome was just like, “You’re going to need to figure out something.” There’s no getting around it.

It seems like there would be a business model and that someone would develop to where like you would provide this content to the gyms that they could then rebrand and offer to their consumers.

There are many mom-and-pop gyms. I don’t know that they can. That’s a whole different thing, not quickly, that doesn’t mean they won’t get there. I remember when I was going to Anytime Fitness, which is super inexpensive and their model is for people who want to come in anytime day or night. You walk in and you have a key fob, nobody’s there or one person’s there maybe. They have a room that you could go in and take videos on demand. You could go in and do a spin class or you could go in and do all kinds of like different classes and it was up on this big screen. That somehow exists, it’s possible. I don’t know what the costs are. You’re going to have to keep it pretty fresh to compete with live streams from these people. Keep in mind, you go in and you see your favorite trainer. If you’re still going to the gym, you have a connection to the people there.

You want to see that person host a class, not just some random guy out of LA, that’s fair.

That’s my theory. I could be wrong.

You know more about exercise than I do. We all know.

Not about human nature because I constantly get that wrong.

We got news on Hydrow. They got hydrated with cash.

They did $25 million. I want to be friends with L Catterton. For anybody who doesn’t know, they have backed Peloton. They have backed Tonal. I don’t know if they backed FightCamp, but they have backed a lot of major brands.

They seem to really like the connected fitness space.

I feel like they need to talk to a connected fitness podcast to really round out all the things they’re invested in.

That would be a nice compliment to their current catalog of investments.

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If anybody knows anyone at a L Catterton or LVMH fund, hit me up.

Hydrow has to staring down the barrel of what Peloton is going to do. I don’t think it’s a big secret anymore that they’re working on a rower. Whenever that comes out, what does that mean for Hydrow? It’s interesting that people still want to throw money at them knowing that Peloton is working on one.

It is interesting but I will say that people that I’ve talked to that have a Hydrow, and we’ve had a gentleman on to talk about it. They speak so glowingly of Hydrow. They like that outdoor feel to it. It feels like you’re really rowing on the water. Obviously, I have no idea what a Peloton rowing class is going to look like. I don’t know what it’s going to feel like, what it’s going to look like. Peloton is constantly totally blowing my mind and my expectations are always blown. I never have any idea. I don’t know what, but it seems to me $25 million is both a lot and not a lot at the same time.

It’s probably a lot for Hydrow, but it’s probably not a lot for L Catterton.

Also, I don’t think it’s a lot for Peloton. This article specifically says they got this money to take on Peloton. It’s in the headline.

$25 million doesn’t seem like it could take on Peloton.

If you look at it on the take on Peloton rower, maybe it can. I don’t know if that’s what this signals. Does this signal that Peloton Rower is on the brink and they somehow know this? Does it just indicate connected fitness in general? I don’t know. It’s interesting.

It will be interesting to watch. I wonder if it might even shake out that Hydrow is more like Swift for the people who are super passionate about rowing. Then the Peloton one will be for the average person that just wants to hop on and isn’t actually trying to go out and get in the boat and row. Are there enough rowers?

It’s hard to believe that there are as many rowers as there are people who use treadmills and bikes. Rowing has been on the rise. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Let’s talk about something that’s a little not Peloton related, a little bit more personal. We’re doing a thing on July 2nd with an artist that you’re a big fan of, Shannon Curtis. I like her too. She’s your thing and I’m just along for the ride. We did a thing with them last year 2019. We didn’t talk about it on the show and it was a house concert. What is fascinating about Shannon Curtis and her husband, Jamie, is that they don’t play clubs or anything like that. They do house concerts and they literally will drive from one other country and back just doing a concert. They drive to a concert in somebody’s house, drive again and do a concert at somebody’s house. They keep doing that. She puts out an album a year and she’s had videos go viral.

She’s had a couple of songs used in a couple of different shows. Pretty Little Liars was definitely one of them.

She’s probably most famous for having written the song that I commissioned for you, that we share on our Facebook page that people like, for our anniversary, a special song just for you.

Here’s the thing about Shannon and Jamie, they’re lovely people.

I was going to say, the problem they run into is you can’t do house concerts right now. Last year 2019, we didn’t bother to tell you because you don’t probably live close enough to us to come to our house for a concert, where this year they’re doing virtual house concerts.

We get to have up to 30 people that we get to invite. If anybody out there reading is interested in this, please email me and I will send you an invite. I’m also going to put this up on Facebook. I want people to reach out to me because we have to cap it at 30. If there’s enough interest to though, Shannon and Jamie have talked to me about the possibility, if potentially they have time, we could do another concert in August. That is if their schedule doesn’t fill up. I’m super excited to be able to offer this to you. Shannon is an amazing songwriter. She has such a unique voice. Just sitting down with them always makes me so happy. They’re good people.

If you’re wondering if you’ll like her stuff or not, all of her stuff is on Spotify or YouTube, wherever you find that stuff, you can find her stuff. You can research her before you make that choice.

This concert is not like you have to give us a certain amount of money to come to it. What Shannon and Jamie do is they have a completely donation-based system. At the end of the concert, you pay what you feel what it was worth. That’s it, there’s no pressure, just whatever you feel is worth. It’s a very special and wonderful experience. I cannot wait to do this again. I’m so excited. It’s very special opportunity for everybody to be able to do it online.

Reach out if you’re interested. Back to Peloton stuff. Peter Shankman is hosting a virtual entrepreneur event featuring closing keynote speaker, Olivia Amato. How can people find all that if they want to take part?

They can go to There’s a bunch of information out there. There are still tickets available. You are able to be part of it if you would like to see exactly what Olivia has to say.

We’ll post that on our Facebook page at here’s yet another fundraiser coming up, Race Fore Unity.

It’s spelled like fore, the reason I say that is because this is all about golf. It started with a bunch of PGA folks that came together and they all love their Pelotons and they wanted to give back. They put this race together. There are going to be two teams led by two amazing leaders within their community. They’re going to all be taking the Alex Toussaint class, 10:00 AM Eastern on Saturday. You are able to be part of it if you would like to be. All you have to do is go to

There’s a new artist collaboration featuring Desmond Child. He’s a big deal songwriter.

His catalog is ginormous, which Peloton included in their little blog. It says Aerosmith, Cher, KISS, Michael Bolton.

I want to say, a lot of times when somebody lists the artists that they’ve written for, it’s like an album track that you’ve never heard of unless you’re a die-hard fan. For perspective, KISS, he wrote I Was Made For Loving You. With Bon Jovi, You Give Love A Bad Name, Living On A Prayer, Mad Medicine. Aerosmith, Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Angel, What It Takes, Crazy. He wrote Poison for Alice Cooper. Oddly enough, on the flip side of that, he wrote I Hate Myself For Loving You for Joan Jett in the Blackhearts. You get all these KISS, Joan Jett, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper. He also wrote Living La Vida Loca. I should say in all fairness, he’s co-writer on most of those songs, he’s not the sole writer. One of these things is not like the other.

He’s also with Michael Bolton. That’s a very different field than the rest of the songs. I am super excited about this one. This will have aired by the time you read this episode. If you haven’t taken it, go look for it on Friday 06/19 at 6:00 PM. That’s going to be a Jenn Sherman special Friday night ride. We hardly ever get a Friday evening ride with Jenn Sherman. Then Andy Speer is doing a run on Friday at 8:00 AM Eastern and Aditi Shah is doing a yoga flow Thursday, 3:30 PM Eastern. I’m really curious to see what the yoga flow looks like. Will it be like on the slower end of things or will it be like re-imagined versions? I’m very curious.

There’s a boutique drop. I’m worried because you have written here, “A summer one.” There are more coming.

If it makes you feel any better, this collection was not made for me. I have heard that it has sold out super fast and lots of people loved it, but it’s just not my color scheme. It was a lot of Lululemon, which some people adore. They go crazy over it. I am not a fan. I don’t like it. They sold out super fast. There were lots of complaints about it. I want to go on the record and say this. We had a huge time period where things were not selling out fast. Can we remember that these orders had to be placed long before COVID happened to get the quantities in? Then COVID happened. They gained seven times the amount of people that they thought they were going to gain. To me, it makes sense that they cannot keep up with the demand at this point. I don’t think people realize the amount of time you have to place these orders. They may not know that.

There’s a significant lead time.

I’m not saying that’s the only reason, but I will say that when I posted that comment on Instagram, Jill Foley liked it. I’m going to say she at least supported my thoughts. You might want to spread the news because there’s a lot of negativity about it. We had this negativity a couple of years ago. You might remember that, Tom. People were really upset. I feel like it got better and no one noticed it got better. Then it got bad again and everyone noticed it got bad again.

They had a huge spike of membership and Jill Foley backed you up. Robin is working with BeSproud.

BeSproud is the name of the company. Sproud is the name of their product. The particular product that Robin is working with them on is a plant-based milk. She is super excited about it because it’s all the things that she loves. She’s a vegan, she doesn’t eat meat. She eats very clean. With having diabetes, it’s super important for her. You work out the way Robin does, you have to make sure what you’re putting into your body works and that you can’t just eat whatever you want to eat. She takes it super seriously. She says that she will be sharing some smoothie recipes very soon and she’s excited and it’s a paid partnership. Congrats to Robin.

Tunde a new Instagram series called Speak.

It’s a storytelling series. I know that you totally respect Tunde as much as I do. This is something that she’s super serious about. She is creating this new series called Speak. What she’s doing is it’s all storytelling. She has people come on the show and talk about experiences in their own words, things that they’ve gone through. When she did her speak up ride, she talked about that Brené Brown has a quote, “You cannot know what somebody else is going through,” I’m totally paraphrasing, so I am messing it up, “unless you believe the experience the way that they tell you, they lived it.” Tunde got the idea, “Let’s have people come on and tell their experiences.” The first guest that she had was Jess Sims. That’s going to be amazing because both of those ladies are amazing. You might want to take a look at it Instagram and see the new series, check it out for yourselves and let us know what you think.

We haven’t checked on FightCamp in a little bit. How’s that going?

It’s going great. I took a new class and I was back to the prospect path taking one of those classes. I got to do a bunch of uppercuts. I did not realize that you really wear your arms out whenever you have to do this upward motion compared to out. It’s a completely different way to use your arm. It’s exhausting.

It stands to reason that you don’t have a lot of call in your everyday life to go up with your arm like that, unless you’re a bouncer.

Obviously, I’m new to this, so I’m still trying to figure out. You’re supposed to hit in the same place over and over again. In theory, the way they explain it is you would like to punch straight out as your normal punches and you’d want to do your uppercut in the same place. It’s a lot higher than what I feel like I would do naturally. That’s not where the person’s face is. If you want it to be effective, that would be helpful.

Do they have any exercises for elbow punching?

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


I saw zero elbow punching exercise.

It seems like a missed opportunity. That’s what you’ve been up to it is.

Let me tell you yet again, those planks and punching, that’s a workout. It’s a great thing to add onto my strength. It’s a perfect complement to that.

If you’re interested in FightCamp, you can get yourself one at Unlike a lot of the other connected fitness, it doesn’t require a lot of installation. You can do it yourself. It’s very simple. It can get delivered to your doorstep, you don’t have to have anybody come into your house or anything like that. It’s something to think about when you’re making your choices right now with what you want to add to your workout regime. Check them out.

Joining us is Ariel Brown. How’s it going? 

It’s going well. How are you doing?

We’re good. I’m doing much better. I like to always start out the conversation by finding out where you found Peloton.

It was November of 2018 and I was down in DC doing a project for work. I went to my cousin’s house who lives in that area. I typically live outside of Boston. I was down there and she said, “You’ve got to come over and try the Peloton. I know how much you love spinning.” I did and she was right. I used to spin a couple of times a week at a gym. I loved it. That was the thing that worked for me. I have had knee issues and so indoor cycling has been wonderful for that. I tried her bike, and then there are two five-minute intro videos in that first program when you log on. I did them and I was like, “Holy crap.” She was like, “What kind of music do you like?” I was like, “How about hip-hop?” She’s like, “Hip-hop, 45 minutes, here are the 13,000 classes you can choose from. They’re all celebrity instructors that are the top of their game.” It seemed a little too good to be true but it wasn’t. Here I am about 350 rides later, I drank the Kool-Aid, and I’m in it.

You went home and bought it immediately or did it take you a while? 

For the project that I’m doing for work, I had to be down to DC for Halloween Week. I have two little kids and that was tough not to be around my kids for Halloween. When I came home I was like, “I’m doing something for myself. I’m doing something for my family.” I bought it the day I got home.

Since you were taking spin classes already, did you feel like you were already fit?

That’s a big no. Fit is such a relative term. I was taking spin classes and I enjoyed them. I was fit enough that I was able to get through a 45 to 60-minute spin class, stand up on the bike, things that I know some people can’t do. I was fit in that way. I’ve probably run 1 mile three times in my whole life and it was many ago. I’m no marathon runner but I can get through a spin class. When I got the bike, I started in Power Zone pretty early, I took an FTP Test. My FTP is increased by about 30% since I took that initial test. It was great. That was another thing. My cousin is a data nerd like I am. She was touting that as another positive for Peloton because I love looking at my numbers. I have a pace line to graph everything, put it in colors, and get all the way down into the details of the progress made. Your question about fit, it’s relative and I’m more fit than when I got it. Let’s put it that way.

Since you were taking spin classes on the regular and then you bought the bike, how much of overlap was there between the time you bought the bike and the time you completely bailed out on the gym or have you?

It was zero overlaps. I got the bike. I immediately did a ride. I can’t remember what my first ride was, which is sad. It was some ‘80s ride. I did a ride and I was like, “I don’t need a gym anymore.” I’ve also done a lot of the other content like weightlifting classes. I have done the outdoor walks, the core, bodyweight strength, and all that. I also went on Amazon and bought a rack of weights. I was like, “What else do I do at the gym? I lift weights and I do spinning. There was no need for me to continue to pay for a gym membership.” I spun in a gym for maybe 10, 12 years and during that time, there was only one instructor that came even within the same universe of talent and inspiration that the Peloton teachers give to me. This guy, John, he used to show up with DJ equipment and would do a live mix in the class in front of everyone. I was like, “People do this?” With Peloton, every day I feel like either I’m there with a live DJ or close.

I wonder what that guy does now. 

Maybe he still does that. 

He went to some super-duper fancy gym at one of the fanciest towns outside of Boston. He’s a spin coach now. He’s probably ascended to some other places where he hangs out with Robin Arzon.

They are special though, the Peloton instructors. They do have a lot of talent that’s special. You don’t see it everywhere. You’ve got to have a lot of qualities. You’re not just a good spin instructor. You have to be able to pay attention to what’s going on the screen and in the class. You have to be able to do shoutouts and listen in the earpiece to what production is telling you. There are many things and have a big personality that can come through the screen. That’s a lot of things that not anybody can do.

They are incredibly unique. There are politicians, reality show stars, and also pop stars. You don’t get that a lot.

It’s a good thing that you were month-to-month at the time or whatever. You weren’t one of those gyms that hedges and super locked-in.

It wasn’t an issue and it ended up being the same amount. Peloton was $40 and my gym was $40 after significant subsidizing by my company. That will come out in the wash.

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That’s a happy ending.

Did you have to pay additional for the spin classes or was that built into the gym membership? 

That was built-in.

That’s a good deal though. 

Let’s be honest, they were crappy and they were not on demand.

You had to drive there and sign up.

There were people sweating next to me that I didn’t want to be smelling while I was on there.

You’d have the rower. 

We don’t know that.

I’m trying to make it seem like even better purchase. 

She’s happy with it, Tom. I don’t think you have to talk her into it.

I want her to be happier.

If you talk to my friends, colleagues and the lady next to me in the supermarket line, they know that I am thrilled to have a Peloton. I can’t shut up about it.

I understand that feeling. I’ve been walking my dog a lot in the mornings and I realized that I am a Peloton walking billboard all the time. 

Is it because of all your gear?

I’ll put on a jacket and it’s like, “It’s cold outside. Now I need a heavier one.” The jacket is also Peloton. It’s warm outside. I’ll wear my leggings and tank top that I use working out in. It’s all Peloton all the time.

I have my century shirt and then I have a hoodie that I got because I referred somebody and they bought. I have a store credit and I’ll tell you, $88 hoodies are comfy. I never owned an $88 hoodie.

It’s that perfect softness the second you get it. You’ve already washed it a million times and it’s perfect.

It’s not filling up and it’s not stretched in weird ways.

I will say the older I get, not with everything but with a lot of things, you get what you pay for. There are some things where you’re paying for the brand name. You have to buy nicer shoes or whatever. They’re almost always going to be more comfortable and last longer. You get to a tipping point where it’s a $600 pair of shoes, well then no. 

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


You’re paying for the brand. There is that tipping point. I know some people would say that about Peloton because it’s not cheap with clothes, but I do think that they are of good quality and I like them. 

I like the shoes and the bike too. That’s the other thing that I feel like is the massive difference between the gym and having your Peloton. It’s smoothness and comfort. I was out on a paddle boat pedaling. My knees hurt, the pedals are not smooth, and a 360-degree direction. I was like, “I wish I were on my Peloton.”

Maybe if ever they get that rower, they can merge the two. 

I could put my Peloton on a barge and somehow float down the lake on a Peloton.

We interviewed a guy that did that. He was doing a charity fundraiser for a water project. 

It was Todd Phillips. He has the same name as the director of The Hangover. 

Whenever he was doing this fundraiser, he was living on a boat. He did it for as long as it took to raise the amount of money that they had earmarked so that they could get water to everybody in the area where they were trying to do their project. He wanted to have a way to exercise and he loved Peloton. He took his Peloton out to the boat and bolted it to the boat and it was great. We interviewed him while he was on the boat. It was cool.

The real question is did he rig something up so that he could power the boat with the Peloton?

He did not do that. He was docked in the water so he was able to get to electricity and stuff, but not tons of it. He had to be frugal when he was on the Peloton. He couldn’t be on it all day. What have you been up to while you have been staying at home during this wonderful quarantine we got going on?

What a journey it’s been. I got diagnosed with Flu A and I had a horrible respiratory issue because of it. I have chronic asthma. When I got the flu, it made breathing incredibly hard to ask. It was not until almost the end of April that I was able to get back on the bike and start to recover. It was a good 6 to 8 weeks between getting the flu and being able to get back on the bike, which was hard for me because I use a Peloton for my mood and feeling like I’m doing something active. It’s such a huge piece of how I stay balanced in my life. I had all that I would consider time on my hands, even though I do have two small children and a full-time job. That aside, I had some time and anxiety on my hands. I started a nonprofit.

Tell us about your project, the not-for-profit.

I have a good friend, Dan, who I talk about as Dr. Dan. He’s an ICU physician and an anesthesiologist. His shifts involve long hours in the hospital doing a lot of end of life care and severe intensive patient care. He and I had been talking quite a bit even before COVID about his residence. One of the pieces of his job is he is the Program Director for the Anesthesiology Residents. He has 80 resident anesthesiologists who are starting their career as intensive care doctors as anesthesiologists. He and I have been talking for quite a while about how to increase wellness and resources for staying balanced in their lives in this hard period. That was an ongoing conversation. I remember we were at my son’s fourth birthday party and we are shooting around ideas to help keep his residence sane. We were on the phone. It was three weeks into my lovely flu experience. I said, “Things are crazy for you now. I know that and is there anything I can do to help?” He gave me a call, “I’ve been thinking a lot about how to help my residents get support particularly for their mental health. Maybe you can start brainstorming about what to do with that.”

I put out a call on social media. I created this Google form and it said, “Are you a mental health practitioner? Would you be willing to volunteer to help out residents?” Their initial idea was that maybe I’d get 2 or 3 therapists who could answer calls for residents in crisis. What happened was by posting it on social, I got 67 volunteers in eight hours. These were licensed therapists that wanted to give free therapy to frontline medical workers. At that point, it was just residents. It occurred to me that there was a huge response in the community going on, “How can I help and what skills do I have that I can contribute to help the helpers?” People in the hospitals are having this unprecedented, overwhelming and seemingly unending experience and they need support.

Things snowballed quickly from there. First, I whittled down the 67 responses that I got to 15. I recruited a friend of mine named Jean who’s a project manager. I was like, “I’m this data nerd who happens to have a lot of friends who are shrinks. I need help figuring out how to implement this into an actual thing. What do I do? How do I get it to people? How do I make it look pretty so they don’t ignore it?” She put together a PDF and that PDF went over to the residents in a dance department. It was well received and we almost immediately started to get calls, questions, and responses like, “This is such an incredibly important thing you’re doing. People are suffering and they are on the front line and having a service like this fills a gap.” That was exciting. I got a call from someone at The Boston Globe who wanted to do a story on us. As soon as that happened, I was like, “This is big.”

I reached out to a friend of mine, another Pelotoner. Her leaderboard name is Little Lemonade. She was like, “Make sure you say a Little Lemonade on The Clip Out.” She got a tech team together. She used to live in the Bay Area. She was in web design, search engine optimization and all that stuff. I have no idea what it means. She got all these dudes together, a dude who worked for Facebook and somebody who works for Wikipedia. They were all gung-ho about the project. They developed a website, the Boston Globe article came out, and we had this working website. Months later, we have 275 mental health practitioners in the database. That covers 36 states plus DC. We have people calling those therapists at this point from up and down the East Coast. We are hoping to expand. That’s the story of how it came to be. At this point, we’re trying to raise awareness about the program so that people need to know about us. They need to know how easy it is to get in touch with a therapist for free, anonymously, no insurance. Go on the website, few clicks, and you’re texting, calling or emailing a therapist, whatever you prefer.

How do people interact in a way that they don’t necessarily know who they’re talking to?

Let’s say there’s a nurse or someone working in a nursing home that is dealing with a lot of stress. She comes on the website and she looks in our directory. The way that it’s set up is it shows you the practitioners in your own state to deal with the licensing issues. A nurse in Kentucky comes on searches for Kentucky and she sees that there are ten practitioners in Kentucky. She sees that one of them has dealt with marital issues under stress. One of the therapists has expertise in an area that is of concern to her. She picks up her phone and texts the therapist. The therapist gets back and says, “Let’s have a session. I’m free tomorrow.” It’s not necessarily anonymous between the therapist, the patient or the client. Whatever happens between the therapist and the client is up to them. We serve as a directory and we help to connect people.

I don’t know that you said what the name of it is.

It’s called the Emotional PPE Project and it’s found at

When you say PPE, I hear it as like the Personal Protection Equipment. Do you get questions about that?

I and Little Lemonade designed the name and we came up with that based on the term PPE. It does get thrown around a lot, the Personal Protective Equipment. The idea is if you go to a hospital or to some healthcare facility, you need to be wearing your N95, your gloves, and whatever else is going to keep you safe. The idea of our service is that it’s not just the body that needs to be kept safe. It’s the mind, emotions and mental health. That’s where Emotional PPE comes in. We see ourselves as filling that gap and providing some PPE for your mental health.

It’s a great name. Especially since you’re focused on the situation and PPE is tied closely to the situation. It screams exactly what it’s for. 

It does without saying anything about the situation in the title, but it’s a huge nod to it without saying it. 

It checks a lot of boxes. What’s been the reaction from the medical community? Some people are utilizing it. Is there anybody that feels like, “I don’t need that.” Do you get any kind of that stuff or would you never hear from those people so how would you know? 

You would never hear from those people, honestly. A lot of what happens during a big trauma and particularly after as well. While there’s this sustained trauma going on, it’s not tenable to think about taking the time and treating yourself. Especially for the people that are taking care of others. These people are working 100 hours a week. They’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and thinking about, “I’d like to take a break and talk about my feelings.” Maybe it’s not that appealing to a lot of people. We probably wouldn’t hear from the people that aren’t willing or ready yet.

In terms of direct feedback that we’ve gotten, the only things that we have heard that were concerned were from hospital EAP programs. When somebody works in a hospital or for a lot of companies, they have these Employee Assistance Programs where you call them up and you say, “I work for Mass General Hospital, I need some support.” The hospital EAP program will potentially hook you up with a therapist. EAP programs are phenomenal. They’re great and they help tons and tons of people.

The idea from them is potentially they may see us as some competition. What we’ve heard from this is, “The EAP therapists are highly vetted and they’re part of our organization and whereas yours they are more from the community and how do we know they’re good therapists and whatnot?” It’s motivated by this idea that like, “We should stay within ourselves.” One of the things that are an advantage of our service is that it’s not connected at all with people’s jobs. Some of the concerns that we’ve heard is that, “If I go to EAP, how do I know it’s not going to be on my record? How do I know that my boss isn’t going to know that I’m complaining about him?” We are not affiliated with any particular institution at all, there’s a firewall there, so that’s an advantage.

Maybe people are a little concerned about asking for help, maybe they think that they might be judged or what the perception might be. That might be a benefit to them then.

Stigma is a giant issue across the mental health field. The people that believe that mental health and physical health are on par with each other are few and far between. It’s recognized. I’m trained as a neuroscientist and I spent many years working in psychiatry as a neuroscientist. In our field, we learn about the biological basis of mental illness, that there are legitimate genetic and neuronal networks. All levels of the brain there are going to be issues that arise in people who are suffering from mental illness and from emotional distress. If you asked any people on the street, there’s not going to be an overwhelming response that there’s an equivalence. The idea and what it’s been like all over the world for almost all of history is if you are suffering, maybe you should try harder. If you can’t get out of bed, maybe you need to make yourself. If you have crippling anxiety, maybe you need to go for a Peloton ride. They can be helpful suggestions but there are people who are legitimately suffering from mental illnesses that are completely nonfunctional.

For people who might be uncomfortable with being seen as receiving mental healthcare, the fact that you’re not known as this big conglomerate, it might be helpful for them.

We design the service to promote anonymity and we designed the service to be entirely separate from any entity. It relieves the person who’s using the service from feeling like it could get back to someone they know, to their boss or their coworkers. The way that this function is entirely independent. These are therapists that happened to be in the same state as the client that is willing to help. We don’t collect any data on anyone. What happens between the therapist and the client that’s up to them? I can’t imagine that if somebody wants to stay anonymous and is in crisis that a therapist is going to deny services because we’re all trained to do no harm.

The medical professionals that are dealing with this horrible COVID crisis we have going on, there’s been so much focus on how amazing they are. They’re amazing. I am one of those people that think they’re amazing. Do you think that they might suffer from, “I can’t ask for help because people have put me on this pedestal?”

That’s true. I’ve read something about this idea of creating the superhero image. If an individualist thinks that they are seen in a certain way, it’s much more difficult to act in a different way. When you’re viewed as a superhero, as somebody who can accomplish anything and encourage, and seen as the person that’s going to fix the world, asking for help can be difficult. Superman never saw a therapist. Would he have been able to say that to the world? Would he have been able to say in The Daily Planet, “I see a therapist because I need help?” I don’t know how that would have been received. I’ve been talking a lot with my marketing people about we get into these ridiculous wars over individual words. I feel like continuously calling these people heroes is not recognizing the humanity. From Emotional PPE, we are trying to get away from putting everyone on a pedestal. I do think that you can still be recognized, acknowledged, and thanked and we can all maintain high levels of gratitude for what these people are doing and help in any way we can. We don’t necessarily have to elevate them to being Gods. They’re not Peloton instructors, that’s the difference.

I certainly feel like they are going above and beyond. There are people that are working 100 hours a week. There are people that are saving life afterlife or they don’t have the ability to save life afterlife. How demoralizing is that? They’re getting up and going to work every day. To me, that is amazing. I do feel like that’s up on a pedestal, but I don’t want to put more pressure on them. That’s not my intention. My intention is to show my appreciation. It’s hard to know what to do for people because none of us have been in this situation before. We don’t know what do people need? How do we react? How do we hold them up? How do we show that we’re appreciative without making them feel like, “Here’s some more pressure dumped on you, have fun with that?” 

That could create more pressure and conversely, somebody believes that they’re now a superhero can also create some jerks. 

I was in a business class I took about communicating with people in an organizational structure. The question that we’re encouraged to ask rather than making a suggestion of how to help is to merely ask the question, “How can I help?” That’s what we are trying to do. It’s to say, “Help is available. When you want it and what you need, we are here. There’s somebody to talk to. There’s somebody here to give you support.” There’s the obvious like, “We want to make sure that we’re making enough masks. I love these restaurants that are doing food delivery to hospitals.” You want to get your basic needs met but beyond that, each individual healthcare worker is going to need something different. The more we can ask, “How can I help?” The more support we’ll be able to give that is appropriate.

TCO 161 | The Emotional PPE Project


What’s the long-term trajectory for something like this? Do you see this existing post-COVID? We’re crossing our fingers there is one. 

The idea is we’re set up to be able to respond to any crisis moment. Whether that be multiple peaks of COVID that come around, who knows a molasses flood or a war. There are always going to be opportunities to help people in need. The way that we set it up was about medical professionals or healthcare professionals. Those are the people that are in need during this crisis. We want to be able to mobilize for whatever comes up in the future. At this point, every day we have more mental health practitioners in our directory. We have an army asking that question, “How can I help?”

It probably would come in handy in things like hurricanes or other natural disasters. Crystal was confused but I want to say that the molasses flood was crazy. That’s a real thing and it’s insane. The number of people it killed, it sounds like a joke. It’s an old-time that happened a long time ago. You couldn’t get away from it and it sucks you in a blob. 

It was in Boston.

I feel a little better not knowing about it because you live there. I get a pass. Tom knows the weird thing. I also get a pass. 

I do know weird things. Google the Molasses Flood, because your first thought was like, “You can outrun Molasses.” 

I thought she was like tongue in cheek saying if there were to be one like making a joke. 

It was a little bit of both. I’d be surprised if there were an uncontainable molasses flood in a major urban area these days but you never know weird things have had happened.

I count nothing off the list. After 2020, everything is up for grabs. I don’t know. There may not be a sky tomorrow. We’ve got to roll with it. What you’re doing is amazing. How can the Peloton community support you if they would wish to do so?

In general, we’re asking three things. One is if you are a mental health practitioner and you have the time and interests in supporting healthcare professionals go to Sign up to volunteer. There’s also a lot more information on the website for anyone who’s interested. The other thing is spread the word. Follow us on social media, share our posts, and talk to people. We want to raise awareness as much as we can so that anyone who needs it can get the help they need. The third one is to relate to us. If you know anyone that is in a hospital system or closely connected to healthcare workers, please let them know and forward our materials and our web address to them. Hopefully, get the word out that we’re around.

I have the website but if you have any other materials that we should be posting or anything like that, we can include that with our newsletter that goes out. We will put it on our Facebook page to make sure people know all about it.

That sounds great. One thing that I have done, which is against some rules somewhere, I’ve changed my leaderboard name to When people get on the Peloton and they see me in next to the last place maybe on the leaderboard, usually they will see the name and say, “What’s that? It’s interesting.”

That’s good marketing. I don’t think that’s against the rules. That’s helpful.

Normally, we would ask you what your leaderboard name is, but now we know it. 

That hasn’t been my leaderboard name for that long because the service has only been around for about a month. Prior to that, my leaderboard name was Get Up 10, which is the name of a Cardi B song. The line from the song that has always struck me is, “I’ve been down nine times, but I get up ten.” Being a Phoenix from the ashes, we go through hard times and we get up and we try again. Everybody sometimes fall, so try to get the help you need to get back up.

It seems like you were already poised to be the exact perfect person to do this. You already had that mindset.

There are two reasons that I was able to pull this off. One is that I’ve been adjacent to psychotherapists for my whole life. Both of my parents are psychotherapists. I’ve also been medically adjacent because of my day job. I understood a little bit about the issues of what it’s like to be a mental health professional, what it’s like to deal with mental health issues, and also what life is like for healthcare providers. The other thing that is worth mentioning too is the asking for help is hard. In my own personal life, I’ve had a lot of issues that I’ve had to deal with. I’ve been given every advantage and encouragement to ask for help. I truly believe that because I’ve had the opportunities to ask for help and have professionals and institutions on my side to help support me and bring me forward. That’s why I’m here, why I’m alive, why I’m on this show, and why I have a nonprofit. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t had the opportunity to get support easily. With the Emotional PPE project, it’s streamlined. It’s three clicks and you’re talking to a therapist. Those are the connections in my life that have gotten me through and gotten me to be down nine times then I got up ten.

I would also like to commend you that when selecting a leaderboard name based around song lyrics involving getting up, you avoided Chumbawamba. It’s the easy path to take, but you didn’t go down that road. 

I’m glad you didn’t. 

There's always going to be opportunities to help people in need. Share on X

You say that there are many good get-ups songs. Honestly, the reason is I’m a Gen X and I want to be a Millennial. I’m 42 going on 32. I pretend to be a lot younger than I am. That’s why I chose Cardi B and not Chumbawamba or Marvin Gaye or whoever else has get-up related songs.

I’m a Gen-Xer but I still hate Chumbawamba. I would yell at Millennials to get off my yard, but they don’t go outside. I have that in common with them. 

He would yell from the open window. 

Back to Peloton stuff, do you have any advice for people that are getting their bike?

Yeah, I do. I’m not shy about it with people in my life either. I feel like I started off by telling people who my favorite instructors are like, “You’ve got to check out Jess King, Robin Arzon and Alex, they’re the best.” What I’ve learned in my glorious old age is that everybody likes different things. People like Leanne Hainsby and I don’t quite get it, but she’s not for me. That’s okay. If I have advice, it’s finding the people that you like because there are many different options.

I’ve got to say, Leanne is one of the nicest people I have ever met. She’s a genuinely nice person. She’s got a great persona on the bike and I can understand that she’s not for everybody. Tom and I aren’t for everybody for that matter. 

People tell us that all the time. 

To that point, you’re not going to click in that way with every single instructor. That’s what’s magical about Peloton because they have all of these amazingly big personalities, but they’re all different and they can appeal to different people. It’s cool. 

It would be easy to fall into the trap of hiring the same personality over and over again. If they’re not making a concerted effort to do it, then they’re getting lucky. 

They are doing it on purpose. They’re like, “We need people who can do these things, but that has a wide variety.” That is good advice. I would say try every instructor at least once.

That’s the nature of having a big personality and I’ve also dealt with this personally, but you’re going to turn some people off. You’ve got the fire hose of your personality and it’s shooting all over the place. Some people are going to go with the stream and some people aren’t. It’s incredible to me talking to different people and who I consider close friends. My cousin who turned me onto the Peloton. Her favorite instructor is somebody that I am like, “Okay, sure.”

It’s not your cup of tea.

She and I love our Pelotons and that’s what matters.

Pelotons are like French fries. They’re a delivery system and some people put ketchup on their French fries and some people like Canadians put gravy on them, which is amazing.

Here’s a question for you though, Tom. Do you use your Peloton to pour gravy and ketchup on?

He doesn’t touch that thing. He doesn’t even use it within 2 feet. 

If I put ketchup on it, she’d kill me. 

I would. Do you know how much that bike is? Get your food out of here. How can people find you on social media and connect with you?

On any of the platforms, look for @EmotionalPPE. That’s the handle. You can find the program there and you don’t want to connect with me personally. I’m not that interesting.

I’ve heard you’re a firehose, is that true?

My social media is a firehose as well. It’s barfing like, “Here are my children, they’re interesting. Here are my political views, they’re interesting.” It’s not that interesting. Emotional PPE is the handle in all the platforms. We’re trying to raise awareness and hopefully will help some more people.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to join us. We appreciate it. 

You are welcome. It is a serious honor. If I could say one additional thing, I was giving a talk on Emotional PPE and I was going through my media slides. I was like, “We’re in touch with producers from ABC and NBC but they can all suck it because I’m going to be on my Peloton.”

Be sure to tell ABC that. 

I feel like you might get a little more exposure from them, but thank you. 

You’ve got to have your priorities.

I’m glad you’ve got them straight. Thank you for all that you have done with your nonprofit. It’s special, especially with everything going on. What a wonderful way to channel that extra time that you had.

I’m happy to be doing it.

Thank you. 

That brings another one to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next week?

We are going to talk to Greg Hoskins and his fiancée. They have an interesting relationship because she rides the Peloton and he uses FightCamp. They have not sat in the other person’s shoes or done the workout from the other person. We’re going to hear more about that.

Until then, where can people find you?

People can find me at They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, on the Bike and of course the Tread, @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter, @RogerQBert or on Facebook at You can find the show online at While you’re there, like the page, join the group. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, be sure and subscribe, so you’ll never miss an episode. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.

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