TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life

173: Bike+ and New Tread Are Official plus our Interview with Donna Carr

TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life


John Mills joins us to recap Peloton’s earnings call.

We breakdown what we know about the Bike+ and the new Tread.

Dr. Jenn Mann – Using Sports Psychology to Improve Your Workout

John Foley was on the Wall Street Journal podcast Tech New Briefing.

Peloton and John Mills were featured in Wired Magazine.

Crystal makes her Peloton feel like a road bike with ROCKR.

Peloton introduces resistance band classes.

New Strength classes drop in Germany.

Anna Greenburg has a birthday coming up.

All this plus our interview with Donna Carr!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here

Bike+ and New Tread Are Official plus our Interview with Donna Carr

We’ve started the episode over and over.

Not that I’m going to say why, but let’s say we’ve got a big interview today. My nerves are like through the roof and combined with all of the amazing Peloton news that came out this week. On top of that, we have other things happening like with Donna, who we’re interviewing.

We have a cool interview today, but we’re recording a big interview when we’re done recording the news right now. We don’t want to say anything just yet. You’ll find out in the next couple of weeks. It’s a big, exciting interview for us. The big exciting interview we have this week is Donna. She talks about her trouble with her experience with the paradise fire a couple of years ago. It’s a fascinating story. To be super topical, for lack of a better term, it’s happening again. She just got an evacuation notice today because they’re in a warning area. I can’t imagine. The follow-up is she’s down the barrel of that again.

I will be keeping you guys up to date when I find out what is going on. I have been in communication with her today and I will continue to do so.

To hear her story, stick through this episode because you’ll hear it in its entirety. Before we get to that, what do you have in store for people?

We’ve got another fun conversation with John Mills. We’re going to talk about the stock Earnings Report. We’re going to talk about the new bike and tread that officially dropped this week.

We gave you all the sneak preview last week with the rumors and stuff. We’ll go through what was true, what wasn’t and what we now know that’s official.

We’ll talk about some other things like John Foley being on a podcast. There are new classes that are coming. The bike bootcamps, what’s going on with that? Of course, we have our Peloton instructor birthdays we’re going to cover as well.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you find your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe so you never miss an episode. While you’re there, if you would be so kind, maybe leave a review behind for people so they know that maybe this is worth their time. We have a new review. This is from daisymac77.

I love Daisy Mac. She is so sweet.

It says, “Because we all know it’s more than a bike, Crystal and Tom, I have my bike for three years and your weekly podcast keeps me in the know. Your humor, insight and “insider” information are awesome. I enjoy hearing about the members stories too. Hope to see you again at Homecoming.” Leaderboard name is #daisymac.

Daisy Mac has abs that inspire me every day. Keep rocking those abs.

While we’re shamelessly plugging, don’t forget our Facebook page, We’ve had tons and tons of people join over the last week. Thank you very much. If you’re worried, some get weird about clicking join because they know that we have to let them in. I think people get like, “Should I, should I not? Am I bugging?” You’re not bugging us. It’s normally me doing it. Nobody cares about bugging me, have at it. We have a YouTube page,, subscribe to that. There’s all of that. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Joining us our new regular feature, people were asking, we thought people knew. Some people were worried that it wasn’t a regular feature.

You’re cool with being a regular feature, right, John?

This is lovely. I love it.

John Mills is joining us to discuss the Earnings Call that literally just got done seconds ago.

It was a blow. We knew it was going to be really good numbers. We knew it was based in that time period where COVID had really hit. This was April through June. Because of that, we knew they were going to be good numbers. They beat the street estimate, which was $0.09 earnings per share, and they did $0.27. Street estimate was I think somewhere around $570 million revenue in the quarter, and they did $607 million. Also Connected Fitness subscribers, I think the estimate for that was just over a million. I can’t remember the exact number, but they came in at $1.09 million.

You’re getting out of the spotlight. Let’s talk about what John Mills said was going to happen.

I was really optimistic. I said that they were going to come in for the quarter with $700 million in revenue.

You weren’t that far off.

Yeah, that’s $93 million. What’s $93 million?

At this point, not a lot.

When you’re talking hundreds of billions, it’s like a drop in the bucket.

It’s not that bad. I was really close with the connected fitness numbers. I said 1.1 million and they were at 1.09 million.

I think you can call that on the money.

The numbers for full year revenue, I was close. I think they came in at $1.8 million and I said $1.9 million.

I think that’s pretty good. Maybe you might want to change careers, I’m just saying.

With all his Peloton stock, he doesn’t need a career.

What’s also interesting about the quarter’s numbers is that in previous quarters, they would spend somewhere around 30% of their revenue in sales and marketing. It was consistent, it would be 30%, 32%, 34%. This quarter, it was around 14% of revenue. Clearly, they reduced marketing, which we thought they would reduce the marketing. That was pretty cool. I thought they were going to reduce it a little more.

They hinted at some things though.

They did.

What does that mean?

One big thing that you were typing to me, John, we thought that they would do some refurbished program, but they’re not announcing it today, but they confirmed that there are plans for a CTO program. I had never heard that before.

What does that mean for people?

I’m not quite clear. I’m using acronyms that I’m not quite sure about either. There’s a Configure To Order type of a program that some operations piece together where they have parts and as you order it, they piece together a product and they ship it out. It’s quicker. It speeds up the order, the delivery timeline. There are also Certified Pre-Owned programs where they don’t have parts that they’re piecing things together. They have a bike that they’ve cleaned up and changed some broken parts and they’re sitting in warehouses. You order it, you get it quicker that way. I’m not sure which acronym they used on the call.

I heard a CPO and he heard CTO, so we’re not sure.

Either way, in the end, the intent is to use all these bikes that folks are returning to get the Bike+ and create revenue and reselling them.

That essentially means we’re going to have a third price point at some point down the road. People are like, “We thought it would be cheaper than that.” It soon will be.

You might secretly own Clip Out Crystal’s bike and never even know it.

Or Run, Lift & Live. I don’t know. Are you guys going to get the Bike+?

I was originally going, “What do I need the Bike+ for?” I don’t need it to swivel. I don’t really have an Apple Watch. I was going, “Nah.” When I heard today that the new one has that load cell sensor, so that now the calibration is automatically set, when I heard that, I might. It’s possible.

You have to talk about that because our segment where we cover the bike, we did not get into that. It was actually Jacqui Cincotta that posted this today in the Run, Lift and Live group. She actually posted the thing on calibration from the Peloton forum. I had heard they had “addressed” calibration issues, but didn’t know what that meant. Now whenever you see like they’ve made all these little statements like, “It’s going to be digital calibration instead of mechanical calibration.” One of my questions to Peloton, what does that mean? I still don’t know what that means, but Jacqui Cincotta says this power load sensor thing, it looks at the power. It can sense the power it’s coming up and it automatically says, “That’s too much or this is too little.” It adjusts the resistance. This is a game changer. Why not a power meter? Why would you not put a power meter? That’s what the people want. Why would you not do that?

I have two questions. One, does that mean bikes will be apples to apples now?

In theory.

Theoretically, yes, the Bike+.

My next question is, would a power meter be a physical device or is that potentially already baked in and it’s just a software upgrade a little down the road?

A power meter, the way I understand that like the power meter pedals, it’s essentially doing the same thing as this sensor. The sensor is essentially sensing how much pressure is being applied. Based on that, it can go, “That equates to the software says this amount of power.” From my perspective, if they applied this sensor as a part of the configuration, I don’t know that you need power meter pedals at this point.

You still don’t know how you equate to your road riding.

From that perspective, yes.

Your other question, Tom, was like can this be retrofitted to existing bikes?

TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life


It’s maybe just a software upgrade and now you got it, but the mechanical portion is already in there.

I think the sensor sensor has to be in the bike and that’s only on the Bike+.

That’s what I mean for the Bike+ when you said, “Why isn’t there a power meter?” I’m just asking is that something that they can just change the software down the road and that they haven’t gotten around to it yet?


Potentially in the future. The hope was that they came out with power meter pedals on these bikes. I take this as probably more creative, lower cost, slicker way to solve the issue that they had. I get it. For the road rider, this may not be exactly how they wanted it solved. I think for the problems we’ve talked about in other episodes where like they did the ESPN deal, we’re like, “Are those bikes the same?” We won’t have to worry about that as much.

That makes you wonder when they did the ESPN thing, did they get to try the special new Bike+ with this new leveling feature and they were using it on them to try it out? You can’t help but wonder that because it wasn’t that long ago that they did.

That’s true. I don’t know.

You would think somebody would have figured out they didn’t have the exact same Peloton bike that you get at the store, especially since some of them, presumably all of them from the sound of it, were already Peloton users.

They could have dropped off one of these secret Pelotons at their door and just be like, “Hop on and you’ll be good,” because they had to bring in the camera crew anyway.

I feel like somebody would have talked about the fact that they didn’t get to ride their own bike.

That’s fair. I don’t know.

It’s a good question. When that happened, they realized that, “We can’t be having competitions.” That’s where my mind went.

Then it also makes you think if having competitions like that is important, then it makes you think that doing more shows like that must be important. What other off bike media opportunities are they exploring?

Maybe that or just the gamification stuff that might be coming in the future. The ability to get into some type of a competition and set your own competitions up, that rumored idea that might be coming along. I think in that sense, I think you’d want them to have some means to have more of a commonly calibrated bike.

I get what you’re saying about the gamification aspect, but the problem that it seems like they would run into in my mind is that if they’re going to continue with two tiers of bikes, one has it and one doesn’t, it’s going to be hard for that gamification thing to ever reach a tipping point because there’s going to be a large number of people that either opt for the less expensive bike or opt for the refurbished bike.

Then you have a whole other set of problems. Maybe they’ll refurbish the bike and throw that sensor on there for an upgrade.

I guess a lot of that depends on where that sensor lives and how easy it is to retrofit.

I had seen in a video with regards to how the bike works, how the new bike and the resistance knob you can just keep turning it forever. Whereas in our existing bikes, there’s an end point where it stops. Resistance in our bikes is based on a particular position of that knob. Whereas in the new bikes, it’s not, it’s truly based on this load sensor and the mechanics and the digital measurement. Where the knob is is of no relevance. From that perspective, I don’t know if they can throw it on there.

I think you’re right.

It’s like the volume knob on new car stereos. You can just turn it forever.

I don’t think you could just throw it on. I also noted that John Foley specifically hinted at, I heard the words “new verticals to come.” I got very excited about that because he made it sound like, “We’re doing strength. We’re doing the bike and all this other stuff, but we have new verticals to come. Don’t you even worry about it.” He also hinted that they have a very strong plan to move into other countries. He did not hint what those were, but it sounds like there are more foreign language options coming. That didn’t sound super far out. That sounded like that’s in progress.

Where do you think that would be?

I don’t know.

My first thought would be based on if you want to expand, it seems like the obvious choice to me would be to base it on language and which languages are the most popular. In that way, they can service a lot of different places. If you go with Mexico, that’s also going to work in Spain. Or Chinese, but Chinese has a lot of different dialects, there’s Mandarin and all that. Even though there are a lot of people that speak Chinese, there are a lot of different versions of Chinese, so that might be more problematic. To me, I think Spanish because many people speak it and you can set up one location, you could even set it up in Mexico, so it’s still in this hemisphere, which is easier for them to access, but it could branch out to all sorts of different people.

That’s an interesting point because they did not talk about any further opening up of anything. I had heard a long time ago, this is very old news, that if they had any more foreign language, that it would actually be taught out of the New York studio. To your point, Spanish would make sense if it were to be taught out of the United States because we’re close to Mexico.

We have lots of Spanish-speaking American citizens.

I think that’s a very logical guess there. It probably is it. He said some interesting things that when he started talking about the potential new verticals, my thought of course went to strength and a potential rower. He said some things also that sound exactly like he has said before where he was like, “We’re not really looking at acquisitions or mergers,” then we hear the rumor that they were looking at Tempo. My mind started spinning as I was hearing him talk about strength and new categories. I didn’t know where to go with it. Is he pushing away from strength and suggesting it’s a new category that might be something other than that? Or is this a deflection and we really are talking about what we’ve all talked about in the past?

I’ve seen too many indicators. My gut says that they’re working on strength in a big way because there are too many things. We have more strength content coming out in Germany this week. We have the resistance bands got added. We know that their VP of strength that they were looking at, there was some strength. That’s not made up. That was fact that they were looking for a person. It also was interesting to me how lit up he got. That was the one time during the call that he got John animated. He said, I’ll try my best to not quote but paraphrase, “We believe that we have the best in class for strength and we don’t need a product. We’re going to be doing it on the floor. We’re going to be increasing in volume. We haven’t seen anything on the market that makes us think that anybody’s got anything that interesting.” I found that a super fascinating sentence. Come on now, Tonal is pretty interesting, John.

I thought the same, but it also threw me a little bit as well. It’s like, are we talking about existing content, this existing body weight, weight-based content? Are we truly talking about a product?

It could also be brinksmanship, if they are thinking about something like that. If they’re either building one, they want to throw off the competition. Or if they’re thinking about acquiring one, they want to sell it. They don’t need them.

All of that is true. He said specifically that he likes to use free weights and he likes to use resistance bands to work out and body weight.

I would love to know if he’s used any of the machines. I’m thinking he maybe hasn’t because how would he? I feel like if John Foley walked into a Tonal pop-up store and use the Tonal, someone would take a picture of that. If nothing else, a Tonal employee would take a picture of that. I’m wondering if he’s actually used one.

I don’t know but whatever it is, I definitely think they have big plans.

I agree, and I like that second suggestion that you made, Tom. I think it is something like that. I think there is a product coming. That’s my gut. It’s not just we’re going to be using our existing content for strength. It’s a process.

Another thing that people keep bringing up to me is that Adrian was hired at a different timeframe than everybody else. Let’s not forget that Adrian is a bodybuilder first, so I feel like that means something. I feel like that’s a clue. Were there any other Easter eggs that came up? Anything else that you caught that was surprising to you?

We are creatures of habit because habit is comfortable. Share on X

I think you caught the big one. That strength piece was a good one. I caught when John Foley said, “I really like doing weight training with bands and free weights and body weight. Nothing on the market now that looks like anything that we would be looking into.” That was interesting. I also felt like, “Is he throwing us off the trail?”

He was going behind with a little sweeper.

We’re going to believe that, then two weeks from now they’re going to say, “We just acquired Tempo.” Really?

We’re not saying that, folks.

It’s not a prediction. We’re just saying you call BS.

The other thing I noticed in the numbers, and I keep seeing this and this is probably standard, is that of their revenue, the Connected Fitness products, the sale of the hardware itself is consistently around 80%. That makes subscriptions 20% or slightly less generally. It consistently stays that way. I keep waiting for one of these quarters where you’ll look at subscriptions and subscriptions will be like 30%, 35%, 40%. I keep waiting for that, but that’s not happening, which I guess is reasonable. You’re selling more and more product. Every quarter, you’re getting more and more subscribers. They’re incrementally increasing at a similar rate, so your subscription revenue is still around 20%.

You’ll probably see that subscription percentage drop for a little while. Don’t you think? Because now you’re going to be able to go back and double dip. You’re going to be able to go back and sell equipment to people. Before, an equipment sale essentially signified a new customer. It’s not going to be that anymore.

These are people that are sending in a bike to get a new one. They didn’t essentially get a new subscription.

Did you find it interesting that this is the first time that they threw apparel in with the Connected Fitness?

Yes. I didn’t recognize that on the call. Now that you’re saying that, I recognize that in the PDF that they presented.

I didn’t look at that at all, but Jill Woodworth said that, “For the first time we’re doing that to narrow the focus of the way that the verticals were split out.” She also said something about that they still had a really good month, even though there were 60 basis points that they accounted for were just for apparel that it went down. I thought that was interesting because they made a point to say, “Basically we give all of our clothes away for free because of the referrals.” They were like, “Our referral program makes our apparel not really a thing.”

While I’ve got my BS flag out.

You’re like, “You have not seen Crystal’s dresser.”

I know you’re not the only one.

Erica has a lot. You have a lot.

I’m building another wing in my house. She has a lot of Peloton clothing.

I don’t believe that for one minute.

They said that a lot of it was based on referrals.

Even then, there are a few things that are $100. People are going in and they’re buying. You’re going to be like, “It’s $80 and now I got $20 left. Now I spend $300.”

They’re making good money on apparel, but as a percentage of revenue.

It’s probably really small because we’re much smaller. That was interesting to me.

Think about it this way. I feel very confident in saying at this point, you’ve probably spent as much on apparel as you have on equipment. If you add up everything over all four years, I’m not counting the second bike, the Bike+.

No, that treadmill was expensive.

I know.

Realize now that he’s asking you.

Really? Do you think so? I’m going to have to go count. Anyway, let’s go back to one other thing that I thought was interesting. They said that they’re going to be bringing the new factory online in December 2020. They said that it had the capabilities to flex for bike or tread, and a significant unit capacity. I thought that was fascinating as well.

In the last Earnings Call, they said December as well. I’ve been skeptical of that only because if you go to the site, they say, “As of Q4, we’re coming online.” On the calls, they said December, and maybe that means they come online early, but they’re just not up and running and prepared to actually produce at an appropriate level until December. I was assuming that they were going to need it to be up before December just to cover the holiday load. I was assuming it had to be up.

They didn’t seem worried about the holiday load at all, “We got it.”

They did say though, I did notice that Jill Woodworth said that they don’t expect the order to delivery timelines to shrink until the end of fiscal Q2, which would be the end of December 2020.

It’s a long time. They’re expecting that holiday spend.

They had an extra Christmas bump this year 2020. Basically, COVID gave them a Christmas bump, and then by the time that starts to wear off, it will be Christmas time and they’ll go to Christmas bump again.

They were very somber about it. They were not like, “Hoo-hoo.”

I get that but in all fairness, it’s not like they built their company banking on COVID happening. It was an unintended consequence. It’s not like they make respirators or masks.

I think they’re trying to be respectful.

That’s smart, but I think they’re allowed to be happy that they built a product. They saw a hole in the market and they were even more right than they thought.

The timing, coincidentally, it’s all lined up perfectly for them. It starts for them in end of March, mid-March and Q4 starting up. That normally is their slow period. That’s when everything is slowing down. You’re past the, “I’m going back to the gym because it’s my New Year’s resolution timeline.” You’re in April, and often companies slow down in April. They’re slow through that period all the way up until September, then you get into October, not just for Peloton but for all fitness companies, that’s when it picks up. The whole timeline when they generally would be slow, they have two straight blow-out quarters. We don’t know about the next one, but I assume.

Also, it cements their foothold. You have all these companies trying to either create knockoffs or rebrand an existing product or line to compete with Peloton. I think all it’s done is people throw around the Apple Fitness all the time, and I think that this really has cemented that. A lot of people are thinking about getting a connected fitness piece of equipment. It’s like, “If I don’t have a Peloton, am I going to be on the sidelines? Is it worth doing?” It’s interesting to watch the evolution of Peloton go from, “I don’t know if I should buy this. What if they go out of business?” to where now people look at their competitors and say the same thing. Even if their competitor is NordicTrack, that’s been around for 60 years selling stuff. They look at them now as the shady, fly by night, “Are they going to make it through this situation?” It’s fascinating how quickly it’s been a reversal of fortune in terms of perception from the public.

Even with that, you can also see that Peloton is dragging some of these legacy companies along this success train. We saw Nautilus say their stock is up 700% on the year. They just got into Connected Fitness in December 2019.

The shareholders were like, “Thank God you guys are finally on board.”

I’m not sure it’s rough because that’s a tacit admission that they failed. They spend all day focused on fitness products and they never saw the ability or the need to create a piece of equipment like this.

That reminds me of John Foley’s little ending, his little end sentence when he was like, “People haven’t changed their demand for at-home. They always wanted to work out at home. It just didn’t work before. This is the first time it worked.” I was like, “Mic drop.”

I love that statement.

It was always like a lesser than version of the gym. Peloton changed that.

Nobody will ever be able to take that away from them.

They weaponized at-home fitness. Thank you so much for sitting on that Earnings Call. I know how fascinating they can be. Until next time, where can people find you?

They can find me on Facebook. I have Run, Lift and Live group, Run, Lift and Live page. I can also be found on Instagram, @RunLiftAndLive. They can go to

People should stick around because we have more John Mills news coming up later in the show.

Thank you so much. That was a lot of fun.

Always fun with you guys. Thanks.

On the heels of the big earnings report, leading up to that, they dropped what was the big story last week, which we leaked.

Sorry, Peloton.

TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life


We love you that much, that we’re sharing your secrets. That has all been made official. What do we now know officially?

We know there is a brand-new bike called Bike+. We know that you can trade in your existing bike as long as it’s not damaged and it doesn’t look bad.

Don’t give them an Echelon bike with a Peloton sticker on it. They’re hip to that scam.

You’ll get a $700 credit if your bike is in good condition. You will also get an accessories package worth $300. That will come in the order, it will look like a credit on your credit card wherever you paid with. We know that there’s also a tread. We know that it is a smaller tread, smaller than most couches are. They didn’t put a front, what they call a bib section, so that it doesn’t feel like you’re closed in. It gives you more room. Whenever you’re trying to run with high knees, you don’t feel confined. It’s a big deal for runners because it helps with running form.

I think it’s great that they came out with this smaller tread for people. I know that a lot of people in big cities or if they have workout spaces that are already confined, because most people aren’t fortunate enough to have a home with a big, giant workout room. You’re creating a space. That tread with a smaller footprint is a big deal.

Another thing is that there has not been any ability to send the current tread anywhere else other than the lower 48. They haven’t sent it over to Canada. They haven’t sent it to any of the other places they’ve moved into like Germany, England. This allows them to do so. For the first time, the tread is going to Canada. That is a huge deal because Canada has been part of the Peloton community since the first tread came out. UK and Germany are new. It’s still a big deal to get to go over there, but think about how long. They said at the time, it will come to Canada soon. It’s been two years.

Technically, it never did. They’re like, “We’ve got this other tread.” Do you think this means that the Canadian users will be able to get the big tread, the Tread+ or whatever?

No. They will only get the smaller. The other thing to note about all those other countries, you cannot trade in your bike in any of those other countries. I don’t know if that’s like some delivery thing, because since they’re coming to pick up the bike, that’s my guess that it might have to do with logistics because they don’t want you to ship the bike to them. I’m thinking that’s what that’s about. Those are two really big things that are affecting the rest of Peloton.

The international market, the non-US markets. That’s a shame. I’m sure there’s reason for it, but I’m also sure that it’s very frustrating if you’re in one of those other places. You say the lower 48. Does that mean no tread for Alaska or Hawaii?

No Tread+, the smaller. The good news is they can still get the Bike+ in all those areas. The bike is amazing. It has swivel screen. It does have the health kit that we heard about. Let’s say I was watching an Apple Watch just beeped, I would put my little watch up against the thing and it would start seeing my heart rate. They recommend that you put your weights to do the bike boot camps at an angle, so that it’s like an L shape. They officially announced that bike bootcamps were coming and that they will be starting on September 15th. Jess Sims is officially going to be adding Bike Bootcamps to her repertoire. It seems like they’re a 30-minute thing, which I think is to start things off. Personally, I am super excited about all of these things. The questions that I keep getting are, “Are you going to get a new bike?” Yes, I am.

In all fairness, I know a lot of people are on the fence about whether they should or shouldn’t. I absolutely get that because while a lot of these updates are great, I don’t know that it fundamentally changes your relationship with the equipment. You’ve had your bike now for four-plus years, what this means for you is that you get the new bike and I’m assuming there’ll be a new extended warranty at some point.

There is a new extended warranty, 27 months. It starts over. It starts the ticker over.

For the people who have had their bike for a long time or the people who have maybe had it since the very beginning, to upgrade to this new one, it’s probably not a tough decision. The people I think that are going to have a tougher time are the ones that have had it for eight months or a year that maybe they’re still paying on it. If you trade it in and you still pay it, if you put some on your credit card and you take it to the pawn shop, you still got to pay your credit card company. I’m sure that’s a tougher call for that.

It’s like you said, four years, that’s a no-brainer for me. I’ve had four years of use on my bike. It’s been an awesome bike. Being able to start over with a fresh monitor, being able to start over with all of the new features, and also we talk about it every week. It’s a big part of what I do every day for the podcast. I can totally justify it. If we only had this bike for a year, I don’t think I could justify that, especially if I was still paying on it. I definitely couldn’t justify that.

The fact that they instantly gave people refunds and had delivery in the last 30 days, and then the trade in program, I feel like they’re doing everything they can to take the sting out of it for people that have been with them for a while, or even not a long while, but been with them before this was even a rumor.

I completely agree. I thought they took good care of people. I will say on the flip side of things, there are a lot of people that feel like there have been issues with the tread, the deck and basically there have been people that have had four and five replacements that are still having issues. They feel like they should get that straightened out before they offer more product lines. There are also people that feel like, “We bought a tread going on two years now,” and they’re still only a couple classes a day. What’s up with that? Now you’re taking our favorite boot camp instructor and you’re putting them over on the bike. Does that mean that bootcamps are crammy? These are serious conversations the community is having. Everybody is concerned like, “Where are the 45 and 60-minute runs? Where are the 45 and 60-minute bike rides?” This is something that the core community that we’ve been involved in for years is really concerned about.

Just playing devil’s advocate, I would think that if they’re making a lower price point tread, then that to me seems like a commitment to tread and tread content. It’s priced the same as Bike+ now, right?

I think it’s a little bit more. It’s right at $3,000. I looked at a lot of prices.

Still, the price has dropped significantly. If they can move more treads now, then you will have more people, current tread users and owners, on your side applying pressure to Peloton saying, “Give us more tread content.”

Honestly, I agree with you in that I feel like this is actually Peloton doubling down on that. I think that the Strength in general, Peloton has some big plans. I don’t know what those plans are, but I’m getting the sense there are some big plans coming with Strength. I feel like all of the markers are there, it may not look the same as that content does today, but I feel like there’s going to be more content. I urge people to be patient, but also tell Peloton how you feel. Go out there to Feature Friday, put it out there, get hundreds of your friends to put the stuff on. That’s really what does it for Peloton. That’s what they hear, that’s what they listen to and it’s always worked that way. That has been consistent. Telling me isn’t going to do you guys any good. I can share that here, but Peloton doesn’t listen to me.

Recapping from last week’s, I think pretty much everything we put out there was spot on.

I didn’t see anything we got wrong. I will say that there’s one thing that was unclear to me that Stephanie Caputo went and did the research. She got ahold of JV, which is not easy to do. She’s busy. She did clarify that the auto feature where it clicks on your resistance, that is only available on on-demand rides on the bike. We never said for sure what it was going to be, but I definitely was under the impression it was all rides, and it is not. It’s only on-demand.

That’s good to know. There were also some erroneous reports at the handlebars would move.

That is true. That was reported by other news outlets, and that was incorrect. I recommend people come here to get the best information.

We’re a little biased.

Joining us again is Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed marriage, family and child therapist, sports psychology consultant. You may know her from VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn or VH1’s Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn or her long-running radio show, The Dr. Jenn Show. She’s written four bestselling books including The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection & Intimacy. Also a five-year national team member in Rhythmic Gymnastics and Sports Psychology for USA Gymnastics. Dr. Jenn, hi.

Thanks for having me.

Thanks for coming back. We appreciate it.

You forgot my most important credential around here, Peloton addict.

You are that, which I love.

We are going to talk to you about how to use sports psychology to improve your own workouts.

I have a long history using sports psychology. The mind body connection is incredibly powerful. To give a brief background it’s relevant to this, when I was a rhythmic gymnast many decades ago, my first year I was expected to make the national team. I missed by 0.05. I came in 13th place at a top 12. My second year is expected to be top six. Long story, I made it by the skin of my teeth. I realized in order for me to really succeed, I was training with the top coach in the country. I was training with some of the other top gymnasts in the country. Typically, our team was out of the 12 spots on the junior team and the 12 spots on the senior team. We generally took up 16 to 18 of those slots.

I was working with high-level competitors on a day-to-day basis. I realize we have the same training. We have the same coach. I need an extra edge someplace else and I got into sports psychology. I was literally about 12 maybe 13 years old, and dad suggested checking out sports psychology. I bought some books and started studying it and made up some of my own concepts as well. Literally the following year, I was junior national champion and I won 5 gold medals out of 5. I beat my closest competitor by one full point. This is powerful stuff. I remember one other example is I had an athlete in my practice. I always talk to the athletes when we’re doing sports about, “What are your goals? What would you like to accomplish?” She said, “I would like to make the national team in my sport.” I said, “Okay.” We talked about a lot of the things that I’m about to talk about with you guys.

I get a call from her mom who said, “I’m not sure what to say because my daughter is the hardest worker, but she’s not as naturally talented as the other kids on the team. I’m worried when she says she wants to make the national teams. This is an unrealistic goal. I don’t want her to get our hopes up.” I said to the mom, “It’s not your job to tell her whether her goal is realistic or not. It’s just your job to support her. Let’s see what happens.” The kid used the techniques and not only did she make the national team, but she ultimately went on to become a top six placer on the national team. This is really powerful stuff, that mind-body connection. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an elite athlete or whether you’re someone who is new to Peloton, who’s getting on the bike for the first time. The messages that we send ourselves are key.

I think step one was getting her mother to shut up.

The mom meant well, but ultimately the mom was great because she didn’t say anything, she just supported her daughter, which is exactly what she needed. One of the things that is particularly powerful is visualization, to be able to visualize what you want to accomplish. A lot of people are like, “I’m sitting on the bike. What do I need to visualize? Me sitting and spinning?” What you want to visualize is let’s say you want to be able to do a Tabata Class, but you’re really intimidated. What you want to do is visualize yourself getting on the bike, visualizing yourself pushing through those difficult moments, visualize yourself finishing the class and feeling really great. If you are starting to run, visualize yourself getting on the bike, visualize yourself getting through class. All that stuff is really powerful.

I also recommend the Peloton meditation. My personal favorite is Ross Rayburn has a ten-minute long run meditation. If you’re someone who is doing long runs, and I’ve worked my training around my long runs, it is spectacular. What I like about it is that Ross talks a lot in the meditation about, “There are going to be moments that are going to be difficult in that run, and that’s okay. Here’s what you need to do to push past it.” It prepares you mentally for those moments. I also am a big believer about how our unconscious mind absorbs information, especially when we’re going to sleep or as we’re falling asleep. I always listen to my meditations as I’m falling asleep because I feel like it’s a particular spongy time for the brain to absorb messages. The other thing is positive self-talk. This is incredibly powerful. What you want to do is watch your negative self-talk. When you notice it, shift it to positive self-talk.

I feel a little called out.

Crystal, I feel you and I’m going to share a personal example. You’ve heard me talk before about my struggles as a runner. For me, running is all about overcoming my own ideas about myself as an athlete and overcoming what I believe about myself and doing something that’s really challenging. I’ve always said, “I’m not a runner.” Then in 1999, I decided that I was going to run the LA Marathon. I said, “I don’t care if I crawl it. I don’t care if I walk it. I don’t care how long it takes me.” I trained, I did a program and then I ran the marathon. I did 5 hours and 20 minutes, which I consider to be a major accomplishment. I ran for a while after, and then it faded away. When I got my Peloton Tread, I started running again. I realized that I was going around and saying like, “I’m not a runner but I’m getting on a tread.” I realized, “Why am I not using my own sports psychology techniques on myself as an athlete and with my Peloton?” I decided at that moment, “I’m going to change the messages I’m saying about myself. I am a runner.”

What I also found is that when I got on the tread and I started to run, I decided what my messages would be. As I’m running, what I’m always saying to myself are things along the lines of, “I am strong. I am light. I have great endurance. I can do this.” I’ve come up with these mantras. What’s happened for me is that they become, I gemmed them so much that first of all, there’s no room for the negative talk because it’s filled with this positive talk. Secondly, I’ve done it so much that it’s become habit. What happens is I’ll be running and then sometimes I will tune into my thoughts and I’ll realize I’m saying these things in my head over and over again as I’m running without even thinking about it. It’s dramatically changed my running and it’s dramatically changed how I think about myself and even how I feel about when I run.

It’s funny, I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t catch myself thinking negatively when I’m exercising. It’s hard for me to be like, “I can do this.” I swear to you, as soon as I say something like that in my head, I start looking for an escape hatch like, “My legs are really tired, so I need to stop running or I can’t keep up with the speed. I feel like I have a big stitch in my side and I can’t keep it up.” As soon as I try to tell myself those positive things, I start thinking about the fact that I needed to say it in the first place, and it pulls me out of that moment. Does that make any sense?

What you’re saying is that if you try to say positive things, that you come up with reasons why they don’t work. If you don’t try to do anything, what goes through your mind?

I just do it. I have this thing in me that when I start something, I have to finish it. I may not do it the way I want to, if I’m trying to do sprints, I go as fast as I want or I may not. I may not accomplish it from that perspective, but if I say I’m going to do it, I’m going to finish it.

If you listen to yourself, that’s a positive self-concept and positive self-talk that you’ve already ingrained in yourself, “If I start something, I finish it.” It sounds like you don’t need the other because that is deeply ingrained, “If I start something, I finish it,” is so deeply ingrained in you as an athlete, that all that other stuff almost doesn’t matter. You have this warrior attitude of like, “If I get a stitch in my side, I’m going to complete it, whether it’s at the level I want or not, but I’m going to complete it.” It almost sounds like that core belief about yourself overrides everything else, including any negative self-talk that comes up.

If I could only apply this to other areas of my life.

One of the things that I found, and I use this a lot especially with people with eating disorders and body image issues is that, we tend to have a lot of negative self-talk. What I like to have people do is every time a negative idea or a negative sentence comes up, to counteract it with four positives. If you look in the mirror and you’re like, “My thighs are so fat,” instead to then come up with, “My thighs are strong. My muscles are strong. I am grateful that I can get on the treadmill and run because of these great legs that I have,” those kinds of things. What happens is that when focus on that ratio of the 4:1 or even 5:1, that it starts to make the negative self-talk dissipate more and it helps our self-concept and our self-esteem.

Thank you so much for joining us. Where can people get more Dr. Jenn?

People can find me on social media, @DrJennMann. You can also find me on my weekly InStyle Magazine column called Hump Day with Dr. Jenn. Social media is probably the best way to stay up to speed with all the things I’m doing.

Thank you.

In conjunction with the big announcement on Tuesday, John Foley popped in on to Wall Street Journal’s podcast.

He did and it’s called Tech News Briefing. It was a special episode. It’s about 20, 23 minutes it says here. John Foley talked about Peloton through the pandemic. It was a special episode. I felt like it was truly recorded earlier in the morning because he sounded tired. He did not sound like his usual self.

A lot of people don’t know this, but he’s personally assembling these bikes. That’s where the plus part means. It means John Foley personally assembled your bike. He’s up all night. He is burning the candle at both ends, just out there with an Allen wrench and a miner’s light because they turn off the lights. All the other workers are like, “John, I’ve got to go home.” He’s like, “I’ve got bikes to install and I’ve got bikes to assemble.” He’s just down there.

I’m sure the warehouse where they are actually assembled loves you when you say that, Tom. The point is that this is a great way to get you started on what John Foley’s thoughts about where things are going. I definitely recommend that you listen to it. It’s pretty short, 24 minutes. Give it a listen.

Wired had a nice article about the wonderful world of Peloton. Our own reporter at large, John Mills, was featured prominently in that article.

He got called directly by Lauren Goode. They talked about him and his wife, and how he got started with Peloton. Then they talked about why no one’s going back to the gym. He did some shout-outs for some other companies in here. I know he mentioned Forme Life It even talks about his group, Run, Lift and Live. This was an excellent article. This was like a John Mills special. Anything you wanted to know about John Mills, you need to hit up this article.

We were going to talk about this last week, but it was such a huge week. We just did not have room for it. You had posted on your social media channels a little thing called Rockr.

I totally planned to do a little video for you to be able to see this bad boy in action on my bike. It’s really cool. The whole idea of it is that it sits underneath your bike and this works with Peloton, with smart trainers, it works with anything. The idea is that it’s indoors and it brings the outdoors to you in a safe way. It has these bubbles underneath you, which you can see through the screen these little orange bubbles. They look like a playground ball.

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I don’t think this picture does justice in terms of how large it is. It’s a platform that your bike fixes to, but you don’t have to drill or anything into your bike. Your bike straps to it.

Literally you just set the Peloton on it and you strap it down, and it fits perfectly. They’re even actually working on a modification that’s going to allow people to clip their Peloton into it. It’s going to be custom made.

One of the things I like about it is that you don’t have to actually physically modify your bike.

It is very soothing to know that you don’t have to change your bike in some way. The idea is that when you’re sitting on top of it, even if you don’t stand up out of the saddle, that when you move back and forth, it mimics the outdoor motion of pedaling.

It replicates being on an actual road bike.

It’s amazing because I could not believe the difference in my core what I could feel just riding in the saddle. When you get out of the saddle, it’s like learning to stand up out of saddle on the Peloton all over again. Over time if you’re like me and you’re completely unconditioned or deconditioned, whenever you get on a bike for the first time, your abs can’t really hold you up very well, so you get stronger over time on the Peloton and I was fine. When you put me on that Rockr thing, it is a whole new ball game. It’s back to square one for sure, in a good way. It made my Peloton fun in a different way. I love my Peloton. I love all the classes, but this added fun to it because it was a different challenge. It was a different thing. Even scenic rides were fun on this thing because it felt like you were really riding on the trail. It totally made it different. I couldn’t believe the difference that I felt.

If people are interested, the website is

I will be posting a video, so you can also look for that on YouTube if you’re like, “What is this?” You will have an opportunity to see more.

Some interesting new classes popped up this week, resistance bands.

This was unexpected. I love when Peloton manages to sneak one by me. It’s funny, I didn’t see this one coming, resistance bands. This is interesting for two reasons. Number one, if you trade in your bike, one of the things that you get with your trade-in package is resistance bands. If you don’t have them and you’re trading your bike, you will get them, FYI. Also it was interesting to me because as I said before, I think more is coming with Strength, and I think this is a good, easy way for them to incorporate people who may not be ready for big weights or maybe they just don’t want big weights. There are no weights available.

Also we were talking about how people wanted a smaller tread because they’re tight for space.

This is a good way to do it far, we have nine classes. They are by Hannah Corbin and Andy Speer. You definitely should check them out. As soon as I get my new resistance bands, I’m going to be checking them out. I am going to join the resistance. That is exactly what I’m going to do.

There are also new classes from Erik and Irene in Germany.

This is another big deal. As I keep saying that I really think that Peloton is headed down the direction of Strength, they’re going to be spending a lot of time on it. This is another indicator of that because this is the first time we’ve seen another country have instructors that are teaching Strength. We talked about this a few weeks ago, Hannah Frankson was doing a collaboration with that insurance company. I thought that might indicate that UK is going to have their own Strength classes soon. I still think that’s going to happen, but these are specific to Germany and they’re in German. They’re from Erik and Irene. If you go to your schedule, you will be able to see those. Interestingly enough, if you have an Android app, you will not see it on your schedule. I don’t know why.

TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life


I think because you’re strong enough.

I can see them on the web and I can see them on the bike and the tread, but who needs them on an app? Not salty at all.

We have a birthday coming up. September 18th, everybody can get ready to say happy birthday to Anna Greenberg.

She is one of our lovely Peloton yoga instructors. She’s so sweet. We actually met her when we were at the last HRI. She was one of the last people there at the end of the day. I got to go up and chat with her. I don’t know how much you got to talk to her, but I did get to talk to her. She was really sweet. We wanted to wish her a happy birthday. Make sure you send her a message, she’ll like that.

Swing by her page and say, “HBD.”

Joining us is Donna Carr. How’s it going?

I’m good. How are you?

We’re good. One thing that I love to start my interviews with is, how did you originally find Peloton?

It permeates the culture now that you have to live under a rock to not have heard of it. We’ve come a long way. I’ve always known about Peloton. I never thought that I would land there. I had some crazy stuff happen in 2018. Our lives literally burned down. Prior to that, I was an avid CrossFitter. I did CrossFit for almost three years. I couldn’t do that anymore due to the circumstances that we found ourselves in. I’ve spent some time finding some workout routines that would work for me. We’ve joined a gym and I walked on the treadmill. I wasn’t finding anything that we’ve clicked. The gym I belong to had a spin bike and I thought, “I wonder if I could use that Peloton app with it.” I downloaded it and it clicked with me immediately. I’m not in a situation where I can buy the bike or any bike. We live in a fifth wheel, so I couldn’t put it anywhere right now. Someday when the house is done, I will be buying the bike for sure.

I’m not familiar with that phrase “a fifth wheel.” What does that mean?

We live in a fifth wheel. It’s a big trailer that you pull behind a truck. Typically, people camp in them. We are living in one full-time.

The difference between a camper like an RV and a fifth wheel is it’s a fifth wheel to the car. It sits on the back of it.

It hooks into the bed of the truck. An RV is the kind you drive and it’s self-contained. A travel trailer, you hook up to a hitch and you pull it.

This one sits in the bed of the truck.

It’s the kind you see that has the bump out in the front.

I’ve seen them. I just didn’t know what the name was. It’s an outdoorsy thing and I’m an indoorsy guy.

You’re unfamiliar, I understand. I know that this is quite a story that occurred that got you here. Do you want to share what happened?

We live in Paradise, California and a few years ago, on November 8th, our town and two of the surrounding towns were hit with the deadliest wildfire in the State of California. It’s rough now with the wildfires that are happening in the state.

It brings that all up again.

The smoke in the air doesn’t help. On November 8th, a fire started in a neighboring town. Due to the weather conditions, it moved fast. It was windy. The embers from the fire floated into town and were starting spot fires through the town. That started to happen around 8:00 in the morning. It was too much for the fire department and the law enforcement to fight. They proceeded to evacuate about 50,000 people.

How much notice did you get in a situation like that?

I was at work in a neighboring town. My son was already at school. My husband was also at work out of town. My daughter was the only one in town at school because she goes early. She called me and she said, “Mom, I need to get picked up. They’re going to cancel school because there’s so much ash in the air.” I was like, “I’ll have your dad come and get you.” Living where we live is like the boy who cried wolf. We have fires all the time. In 2008, we were evacuated twice but nothing happened. They put out the fire and it was fine. We never thought that it would happen while I lived here. Growing up, it was always when, not if. It was never, “If we would have the big, devastating fire.” It was always, “When is it going to happen?” I thought we would move away and not be here at the time.

My daughter calls so I called my husband. I say, “You’ve got to go pick up Emily. They’re canceling school.” He goes, “I’ll go and get her.” I was on Facebook and I happened to see a neighbor of mine posting that they were evacuating. I hadn’t seen any notifications that we needed to but I thought if they’re evacuating, then maybe this is something we should think about. I called my manager and I said, “I’m going to go home.” There was somebody else there that could do my job. I’m going to meet my husband and daughter at the house. We’re going to hook up our trailer. We did have a travel trailer. I’ll grab pictures and things that would be important that you don’t want to lose, things that can’t be replaced.

I start to drive up and it’s about 15 to 20-minute drive, and cars are coming down the hill. We live in the foothills and I work down in the valley. I’m driving up and it’s getting darker and darker. I was on the edge of town and it looked like Armageddon. The sky was red clouds. I thought, “I’m not going to do that. There’s no way I can drive into that. I’m at the edge of it. If it’s that bad here, don’t bother.” As I was going up the hill, I had texted my daughter. I said, “Tell your dad I’ll meet you guys at the house. We’ll grab some things.” This was before I had seen the sky. I had texted her again and I said, “Have your dad call me.” She texted me back, “He can’t call you right now. He’s helping put the fire out behind the school.” He did call me. He goes, “We’re done. We can’t put it out. It’s too hard. I’m giving up. I’ll meet you at the house.” I get up to the top of the hill and I go, “This isn’t going to happen.”

My husband didn’t have a cell phone. He was anti-cell phone. He refused to get one. My daughter only had an iPad because we were like, “You don’t need a phone yet. When you get into high school, we’ll get you a phone.” I knew at that point there was no way to get a hold of them. I’m like, “They’ll figure it out. They’ll go to the house. They’ll get stuff.” I go back to work. I did not hear from them for four hours. It was hard. It was a long four hours. I went back to work. I have to say I work for an amazing company and great people. They said, “Clock back in and sit there. We don’t care.” At that point, everybody knew that this was bad by 9:00 or 10:00.

It’s something the whole community is dealing with.

At that time, we had 15 or 16 associates that lived in Paradise. They were having their own harrowing stories. At one point, I called my mom who’s elderly and lived up there with my oldest brother. A lot of people lived in Paradise and worked in the neighboring towns. I called my mom and I said, “Perry is going to come and get you.” She said, “No, he’s not coming. The fire is behind the senior park. I’m leaving now.” I go, “Mom, who are you going with?” She goes, “The neighbors.” My mother doesn’t drive. I felt like a parent. I was like, “You better call me. I don’t know these people. Who are these people you’re going with?” She would call me periodically. Traffic to get out of town was stop and go. A trip that would take fifteen minutes to cross town was taking three hours. It was taking a long time. In that time, people were caught in between the flames. It was not a fun day. I come to find out that my husband and daughter, in trying to get out of town, ended up only being able to drive around town from spot to spot. They could not find an avenue out. At one point, my husband had to get out of the truck and push a vehicle out of the way so they could continue up the road.

When you say they couldn’t find a way out of town, is that because roads are closed or because things are falling and blocking paths or traffic?

More so the roads are closed. They weren’t allowing people down certain ways. If you’ve seen any videos, certain parts of town were black as night.

I don’t know that I’ve seen videos of this, but I’ve seen videos of people in the thick of it and it’s crazy.

I didn’t go through it, but they did. At one point, they ended up at the local hospital on the helicopter pad with other people. Somebody there had a cell phone and then that’s when they were able to call me and let me know that they were okay.

He’s lucky he knows your number. I think if he didn’t have a cell phone, he still has to remember numbers.

It might have been my daughter who drew the number. He might have known it. He called me frequently from work. At this point, I could not call either of my children. I couldn’t do it. I could call my husband because our numbers are one-off, but my kids, I’d be out of luck. I couldn’t reach them.

I was worried when you said your husband was anti-cell phone, I’m like, “I hope that’s about his opinion on the cell phone and not about the husband.”

One of the first things I said to him was, “You’re getting a cell phone now.” Within about two months, they both had cell phones.

That’s good and they got out of there safely.


How did you finally reconnect in the middle of all this chaos?

They came to where I work. They knew I would be at work. They never made it to the house.

As much as that sucks, it also might be for the best though.

I considered that a silver lining because it was a 26-foot travel trailer that I didn’t have to live in because we got a bigger fifth wheel.

Also, they might have been trying to get stuff out and it might have been dangerous.

They might get stuck on the wrong side of a fire or something.

My husband is smarter than that. He would not have put them in that position with it being that bad.

Sometimes things move quickly, but some of those things change rapidly in that situation. It’s not even about smart or not smart. It’s all of a sudden, the wind shifts.

That whole fire was that. It was a perfect storm of conditions that made it devastating for the entire town.

What’s the journey back look like to where you’re at now? How did that happen?

You spend a couple of months like, “What are we going to do?” A lot of people moved out of the area. Your entire community and your life changes overnight. I’m a creature of habit and for me, habit is comfortable. I didn’t have that anymore. Two days after the fire, we drove up to Oregon. My job was gracious enough to give all of us affected two weeks off with pay to go figure it out. We all needed to figure out where we were going to live and what are you going to do. My in-laws live in Oregon. We drove to Oregon to get out of the smoke, decompress, and figure it out. While we were there, we realized my husband isn’t going to live in an apartment. He hated apartment living.

There are going to be no houses available to rent. Whether the desire is there or not, in those two weeks, 50,000 people already got it. That first week after we went, we started looking at fifth wheels because that’s the biggest you can get. We found a fifth wheel that we thought we could live in that for an extended amount of time. We bought it and we brought it home. We live at our local airport. We had some good friends that work for a construction company here and they happen to be the ones that own the airport. Within the month of the fire, they started putting RV pads at the airport to accommodate their associates that had lost homes. Enough of them found alternative housing that our friend was able to get us a spot here.

That was fortunate.

It was because from the drive home from Oregon back to Paradise or Oroville Butte County, let’s put it that way. Nobody was going back to Paradise right then. Three places that we had lined up to potentially park our trailer fell through because the spaces weren’t a good fit for how large this trailer is. The people offering the spaces didn’t realize that we wouldn’t be able to get the trailer in there.

Living at the airport like that, you’ve been there for a while now. Is that going to be your permanent place?

No. We’re rebuilding. I sent Crystal some pictures. We decided to rebuild and I knew we needed to get a head start on that because you’re going to hit a spot in the rebuilding where things are backed up because everybody wants it.

Everybody is doing it. It’s supply and demand.

We got a head start on getting the property cleared and getting hooked up with a company that’s called a kit home, but it’s a stick-built home. They simply supply you all the materials. They pre-build the walls. Your house gets delivered in different stages and pieces. We got all the floor joists for the first floor in one shipment. When you’re ready, you call them. They deliver the first floor walls because we decided to go with a two-story home. That’s how it goes. My husband is doing 95% of it himself.

I can’t even change my wipers. He’s building a house by himself?

My father-in-law is a retired contractor. My husband spent summers doing that. He’s familiar with it. It’s ironic, in 2005, 2006, we spent ten months living in that 26-foot travel trailer while we completely remodeled the house that burned down. The funny part to me of that story is we lived there for ten months. When we left that trailer and walked across the driveway and moved back into the house, I said, “I’m never living in a trailer again. I’m never going to do that.” In 2018, I said, “That’s adorable. I’m going to double down and we’re going to live in it for way longer than ten months.

Do you have an ETA at all? Is there even a way to gauge one?

I stopped doing that because if you had asked me late 2019 or my husband as well, we would’ve said, “No, we’ll be in the house in August. We’ll be in the house before school starts. It will be great.” When you’re building a house by yourself, you have things. Things don’t go smoothly all the time. I had that whole crushing moment around June and July when I realized, “This isn’t going to happen.” It’s not a great realization to come to, but I did. I’ve come to terms with it. I refuse to put an ETA on it. It will be done when it’s done. It will be great and fantastic.

Whenever the new house is completed, do you think you’ll ever go camping in that trailer again?

That I can for certain tell you no because we will be selling this. This is not a weekend camping trailer. You live in this trailer. You take it, you drive somewhere, you park it, and you live in it for a while. I could see us buying a smaller trailer.

If anybody’s looking for a deal on a fifth wheel. It isn’t in a rush. My next question is the City of Paradise, will they change the name?


They should, it doesn’t sound like paradise at all to me.

Tom, I get what she’s saying. It’s something bad that happened to the town. It’s not the town’s fault.

It is a bad, terrible and devastating thing that happened. You either fall apart and you can’t deal with it. If it’s too much, then you go somewhere where you can deal with it. For me and for us, it was the right decision. It made sense financially for us to do it this way. Our kids are still in school and I love where we live.

It sounds like you’ve got a nice community there too. It seems like people banded together and there’s probably the sense of you went through this terrible thing together.

I know nothing about the town but it sounds picturesque. That’s what’s in my head.

It’s picturesque. We live in the foothills and it’s an amazing place to live. We live about three hours from Tahoe. We have Lake Oroville, which is down the hill. It has amazing parks and waterways. We’re close to everything. We’re a day’s drive from pretty much anything in the state.

There are a lot of great things in that state. That’s good.

It’s a day’s drive from several other states with some great things like Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Utah.

It’s funny, a little behind the scenes stuff for people reading. Before this started, you were super nervous to talk to us. All I can think is like, “You went through all that and we’re what makes you nervous?”

You’re like little celebrities to me. I found the show in February. I listened to whatever that episode was. It was in Valentine’s, around that time. I went back and I’m like, “I’m doing this.” I binged it and I’ve listened to every single one. I’m on 131 now. It’s been the cheapest type of therapy I didn’t know I needed, to listen to all the incredible stories.

I get what you’re saying. It puts perspective on what you’re going through because that’s one of my favorite things about the community and it has always been. It’s like, “If people who are going through all of the things that they are going through can find time to exercise, what is my excuse?”

Now you’re going to get to be perspective for somebody else.

That’s why I did it. There are many people being affected by the current fires. I see people posting in Peloton pages who are being affected and evacuated. They are offering that perspective like, “This is a thing that happened, but life goes on.” You can get to the other side.

In the new home, do you have a spot picked out for a Peloton?

I get a whole workout room. Who needs two dining rooms? I don’t.

Peloton is a great escape for you.

It has been amazing. When I downloaded it, the first class I took was a Robin Arzón twenty-minute outdoor walk. She alone is like a therapist. She does amazing things. She’s so positive. All of the walking and cardio classes always have something to say that speaks to any trouble you might be having.

It’s like music that you need to hear. You hear a song that resonates with you. I feel like Peloton instructors are like that too. You’ll take a class that you needed to hear what they had to say. It was the perfect timing. You’re going to the gym though. Is that how you’re getting the access now or you take outdoor classes?

I use the gym to ride a bike. I go to the gym for the bike and then my brother has a cheap ProForm that I can ride. A couple of times a week, I split it up. I get a couple of rides in, but the bulk of the workouts I do are at home in the trailer.

It’s your home because your family lives there.

It took forever to call it that and now it’s home, and it took forever to call the new house, the house. Now it’s the house like, “Let’s go to the house. How’s progress going at the house?”

Progress is still progress, even if it's not moving forward at the speed that you would like. Share on X

When Crystal first moved in, she would always refer to it as “your house.” I was like, “No, it’s our house.” She moved into the house that I already own. She would always call it “your house.” I was like, “No, you live here.” We’re both paying the bills but still, she was a contributing, functioning member of the household. I’m like, “It is also your home.”

It takes a while for those adjustments.

It’s home now for the time being.

It’s home now and for now.

I do a lot of the cardio hit classes. I’m walking when it isn’t smokey or 104 degrees and I love strength training. I bought some hand weights before COVID. After the fire, when we moved into the trailer, I bought some weights thinking, “I’m going to work out.” 2019 was bad. I pretty much ate my feelings for the entirety of 2019. I gave myself permission. I went through a traumatic thing. This isn’t going to kill me and our situation sucks. It’s hard to cook in this and meal plan. I used to meal prep. We eat out so much. I tell myself, “It’s all right. It’s not the end of the world. The further into the situation we get, the better I get at dealing with that part of it.” The first six months after the fire, I don’t think I cooked a single meal. I’m winning at this point.

Honestly, you are. The fact that you have a positive outlook, this is something that you want to talk about to help other people and you have a plan. I bet a few years ago, you would look at you now and be like, “We’re going to get there? Okay.”

I knew we would get there because that’s the kind of people we are.

That’s a lot to contend with.

I’m glad that you are in the process of building your house. I know that it’s probably frustrating to have it out there to be like, “Who knows when it’s going to be done?” At least it’s in progress and it’s moving forward, even if it’s not moving forward at the speed that you would like.

This is going to sound terrible. The part that I find the most frustrating is I don’t have anywhere to put a Peloton bike.

Your fifth wheel needs a trailer.

Maybe they get one of those little sheds. Hear me out. We have a little shed for our trash cans. It’s super tiny. It’s 5×5. It’s collapsible and you could keep the bike in there and then pull it out to work out and then put it away.

It’s tempting but I don’t think it would work.

Would you want to put your bike out in the elements?

No, but if I was desperate, I might try to finagle something. We’re going to need a 360 view of your living area and we’ve got some creative people here.

TCO 173 | Rebuilding Your Life


I am going to post a picture of the room that’s going to be the workout room for suggestions on where to place the bike. I have convinced myself that I probably need a tread too. That’s how I’m looking at it at this point. At first, I was like, “I’m never going to get the Peloton bike. That’s not going to happen. It’s too expensive.” I’ve then come around to, “I’m totally getting the bike. That’s not an option.” Now I’m dancing around the whole tread scenario to like, “I like the tread workouts.”

You’re already paying that monthly fee. You’d hate to have it go to waste. This is the pitch I got from Crystal.

You’re saving money in the end.

I like how you think, Crystal.

That makes two of you.

Who is your favorite instructor that you’ve been working out with?

I’ve done a workout on the bike with all of the bike instructors, with the exception of Erik and Irene. I have come to realize that I like Emma a lot. I like her teaching style, her presence on the bike, and the way her rides are. I’ve gotten into Denis also. I’ve been doing a lot of Denis yoga. I always wanted to do yoga and it never clicked. He’s such an amazing yoga instructor.

He’s soothing as he speaks.

The first time I heard him say, “If this movement isn’t available to you, then don’t do it.” That did it for me. I was like, “This guy gets it.” I haven’t taken an instructor that I didn’t like on the tread and the strength workouts. I love Adrian, Chase, and Jess Sims. They’re all amazing. They wouldn’t be at Peloton if they weren’t.

What is your leaderboard name?

It is DonnaReads20.

The actress?

Thank you, Tom. That is exactly it. I used to watch The Donna Reed Show on Nick at Nite.

Who’s the twenty?

It was 2020. I needed to put something on there. I do like to read, so it was like a play on words.

For people that aren’t familiar with super old-time sitcoms, you would know her as George Bailey’s wife in It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m making connections for people with the pop culture. That’s my superpower.

A lot of times I sit there and you make a pop culture reference and Crystal’s like, “I don’t get it.” I’m like, “Crystal, you’re killing me.”

It would be funny to do a montage of all the people yelling at us through episodes like the things that they can’t answer. We should have somebody do that. All the times that we get something wrong, we say it wrong or we don’t know the answer, and have the montage of everyone answering us. Do you have any advice for people starting their journey of physical fitness, or perhaps you might have something to give a piece of advice about your specific situation that occurred since you said that was one of your reasons for wanting to talk to us?

If you don’t have access to the bike and all you have is a travel trailer, a small space, the strength workouts are attainable to do in a small space. That’s what they were intended and how they were designed, because they’re doing them next to the treads, so you don’t have a lot of space. They’re conducive to small space workouts. Try them all. Try all the instructors.

That’s never bad advice. It’s always a good thing to sell people.

Before we go, how can people find you on social media, if you would like to be found?

I’m on Facebook. I’m Donna Pearson Carr and I am on Instagram. I have a total of maybe 3 or 4 posts and I’m not even sure what my Instagram is.

If anybody figures out what Donna’s Instagram handle is, let her know on Facebook what it is.

It might be @DonnaPearsonCarr. I’m simple. Not a lot of creativity over here in that regard.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to join us. Hopefully, now that you’re at the other end of this interview, you know that there was nothing to have been nervous about.

No, it was fine. Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to do it, being open, and sharing your story. I know that’s not easy and I appreciate you doing that. I know that it will speak to people. I would almost guarantee you will get messages about what you did for them. Thank you for doing that.

I hope that somebody gets something from it.

I’m sure they will. I feel confident about that.

Thank you.

I guess that brings this one to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next week?

Another fun interview, we are going to be talking to Eric Goodman.

At long last, how did he slip through our midst this long?

I think because he entertains me so much on a daily basis, I forgot.

You felt like you already had entered him.

He’s always so nice and joins our Zoom calls whenever we do have them. He’s part of our family.

Speaking of Zoom calls, let’s do one. We haven’t done one in a while. How about this Saturday?

I’m free.

I think they work better if you’re there.

I can do that. That will be Saturday the 12th. What time?

6:00 Central.

7:00 PM Eastern. We’ll hope to see you guys there.

We’ll put out an announcement on Facebook and whatnot too. Surprise, we’re going to do a Zoom call. How about that? Until next week, where can people find you?

People can find me on 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. Don’t forget to our YouTube channel, and wherever you’re getting your podcast from whether it’s video or audio or both, be sure and subscribe you 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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