Peloton’s internal restructuring.
John Mills joins us to discuss BODi’s busy week.
Dr. Jenn: Tom’s Tonal Tantrum
Peloton breaks ground on a new factory in Ohio.
Peloton is opening a new call center in Tempe, AZ.
Business Insider takes a look at the rise of digital fitness.
Washington Newsday reports on the effect of connected fitness on gyms.
The Today Show spotlights kids and meditation (via Peloton).
Angelo drops by to talk about fueling up for endurance.
Buzzfeed writes about Ally Love’s wedding.
OK Magazine sits down with Jess Sims.
Cheat Sheet talks about Jess Sims and her dogs.
Andie Tomasa is crowned Miss DC.
Equinox decides to stop paying rent.
Apple Watch saves a man’s life.
Cynthia Oese, whose bike was damaged in a flood, got a replacement.
The latest artist series features Aretha Franklin.
Birthdays – Rebecca Kennedy (8/13), Nicole Meline (8/17)
All this plus our interview with Calvin Harris!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here
Peloton Announces Internal Restructuring plus our interview with Calvin Harris
A while back, we talked about Apple TV. We were raving about it. The point we were making at the time wasn’t about the quality of the content. It was about we didn’t feel like they had a breakout show yet.
That they were known for.
Netflix broke out with House of Cards, and then Orange is The New Black, and then it snowballed and they have lots of stuff, Stranger Things. Hulu had Handmaid’s Tale, which was their big breakout thing. They didn’t have theirs yet. When people started pointing out Ted Lasso, which we have now watched and it is delightful, I do feel like that’s breaking out for them.
I hear a lot of people mentioned it. I don’t know that it’s to the level of Handmaid’s Tale because I felt like that became a household name there for a while.
Ted Lasso has got a ton of Emmy nominations.
That’s true. Maybe by this time like a few months from now.
Especially if they can win a few, that will get it over the top. I definitely think it’s their most popular show right now. That would be my guess, but Schmigadoon!
I know you love Schmigadoon! That’s your favorite.
That’s so good. This couple goes on a couples retreat because they’re struggling relationship-wise and end up in a town that is a giant musical, like old school Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. There are musical numbers. They break into musical numbers and they’re mystified like, “What the hell is happening?” It’s funny. If you love musicals, it’s fun. If you don’t love musicals, it still works because they’re making fun of musicals but lovingly. It’s a good show.
I enjoy musicals when I watch them but I don’t have the love for them that you do, and it’s still very enjoyable.
I have to pause and be like, “That’s from Music Man.”
You don’t need that background to watch it. That was the point that I was trying to make.
Absolutely, I just can’t shut up. In case people haven’t noticed.
They might have noticed that.
I will shut up so you can tell people what’s coming up on the show.
We’re going to hear about your most recent experience with Tonal.
I had a bit of a meltdown.
Not because it was Tonal’s fault. We have John Mills joining us and we’re going to talk about some interesting news from Peloton, and also our thoughts about this new Bodybeach thing. We have MetPro dropping by and Angelo is going to talk to us about fueling up for endurance. We have tons of Peloton news to discuss, especially with instructors.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. Also, if you would be so kind, maybe leave a review so people coming along after you, know we’re worth checking out. That helps us a lot. We have a new review. This is from the Savannahkr, “Short, straight to the point, wonderful podcast. I love this one. It’s such fun to hear Crystal’s laugh.”
Also, something else you could do that helps us out. It doesn’t cost you a dime. It’s sharing episodes on your social media platform, whether it’s Instagram or whatever. When you see us post our audiograms or little picture links, share them with your folks. If you love Peloton, your friends and or family, you probably got some people out there that do as well. Maybe they haven’t checked us out. You can also find us on Facebook, Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Sign up for the newsletter at theclipout.com. Don’t forget our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/TheClipOut, where if you don’t want to listen and you want to watch, you’re going to look at us say all the things that you normally hear fall into your ear holes. There’s all that, let’s dig in. Shall we?
Joining us once again is John Mills from Run, Lift and Live. How is it going?
I’m doing great. How is it going?
I love the energy you bring every week.
Let’s jump right into it. We had a little birdie that talks to us about Peloton is doing some internal restructuring.
This is interesting. This is effective now and they talked about their objective for doing this was they heard from the employees that they needed to have clear guidance on prioritizing initiatives, aligned to strategic objectives, and a desire for a more streamlined decision-making process that allows them to meet those goals. Over products, we have Tom Cortese who is a Cofounder and Chief Product Officer. For content, we have Jen Cotter who is the Chief Content Officer, and then the demand management and growth is going to be headed up by Kevin Cornils who is also the Chief Commercial Officer. Now that’s different because he was over international growth, so that’s of note.
We have core operations and enterprise technology, which is going to be headed up by Mariana Garavaglia. She is the Chief Operating Officer. First time I’ve heard her name so that’s of note. She’s going to be handling the final mile delivery member support, ops planning, middle mile and enterprise technology. That’s ginormous, and then we have business performance and emerging business, and that’s going to be how a business is. That’s interesting. That’s going to be headed up by Brad Olson who’s the Chief Business Officer. We have strategy and mergers and acquisition, and that’s going to be headed up by Dion Camp Sanders who’s the Chief Strategy Officer, which is also interesting. I don’t feel like I’ve heard that name before either.
I forgot to mention two more things. Hisao Kushi is taking on a new role as Chief Legal and Culture Officer. He is going to have oversight of legal people, DEI, I don’t know what that is, government affairs and compliance team. He used to be Chief Legal and that was it. That’s a much-expanded role. Jill Woodworth is going to continue to be a Chief Financial Officer, but she’s going to add real estate and workplace services to her role. Go, John, I’m curious what your thoughts are.
As long as Jill Woodworth is on there. She’s awesome.
Just real quick, DEI is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Okay. That makes sense.
My initial thought was this was based on internal feedback on guidance around prioritization and streamlined decision-making. It made me think, does that align to they’re a newer company and they’ve grown really fast and we see them trying to manage to this growth? Does it align to what we see externally and they hear that internally? That’s what I initially thought, but then I started thinking big companies reorganize all the time.
Honestly, it can be both. They’re just trying to stay agile so they can address issues.
We definitely want that but also to me, it says that they are getting poised for even bigger growth. This says, “We’re on the precipice of big things coming yet again, let’s get ready.”
They’re trying to get out in front of it and in a good way.
They are structuring around the areas that make sense to us, the last mile and new emerging businesses. It’s all aligned.
Is this the first time we’ve seen Precor referred to as a Peloton commercial?
No, I’ve heard that before, being referenced as a Peloton commercial. Do you know what I did find? I don’t know if it was interesting but I giggled when I noticed that the Chief Legal Officer is also the Chief Culture Officer. It feels like the lawyer trying to make sure that you’re happy and feeling fulfilled in your job.
The thought process is probably if you screw up the DEI stuff, you’re going to get sued anyway. This guy knows where all the landmines are to be like, “No, we can’t do that.”
In all fairness, let’s not forget that Hisao has his own cultural differences. That might make him uniquely qualified to be open to hearing diverse opinions and hearing different ways of doing things. I also don’t want to shortchange him on that but I hear your giggles.
I know it makes sense. Legal guys are supposed to be critical thinkers and everything. It just felt like a hundred jokes are in there somewhere.
That’s fair too.
Should we read anything into the fact all these are getting put in place before the next earnings report?
I think, yes. John is thinking.
I would assume that we’re going to hear about that. We’ll probably hear deeper details around their position as to why there was this restructuring.
We should also point out in the middle of all this internal restructuring. It doesn’t look like anybody left.
Not only did nobody leave because that’s what I was going to build on. I did a little informal polling and from what I understand, everyone is optimistic about this. This is coming across as like, “I’m curious to see where this goes.” They’re, open-minded and happy about it.
It’s not coming from a position of crisis management. It’s more like, it’s hard to say streamline in this Russian novel of an email that was in front of us, but a way to make the company work better.
We’ll be hearing about that on the earnings call. They’re going to be like, “We restructured and we’re more efficient.” I feel like there’s some talk about that.
I’m wondering if there’s going to be something more aligned to the fact that they restructure.
You can’t help but wonder if this has to do with new products dropping soon and new countries being added on. That’s where my brain goes but we shall see.
Moving along, we’ve seen lots of stuff from Beachbody which is called BODi.
What’s funny about that is I’ve been watching their beta and some of their classes. They had an instructor who came in on her Instagram doing a live. She was like, “Welcome to booty live.” I started thinking, “Did they just hired her up?” I told her it’s not booty.
She’s gone by the afternoon.
We still get crap for mispronouncing Peloton years ago. It’s never going down except on the upside. I don’t know how many people were paying attention to it.
That’s an interesting point because, John, you posted a bunch of stuff about this. Let’s start with your thoughts on their Instagram because it grew an interesting amount at the same time that Peloton grew that same amount. That stood out to me.
Peloton is on Instagram. They’re constantly growing larger than their competitors. We monitor that. It just so happened that in the past few weeks, BODi interactive has gain 14,000 followers that same week, so did Peloton. Below that you’ve got Tonal and Bowflex who also gained somewhere around 4,000. You got the people pulling up in the rear. You got SoulCycle and Echelon who gained 400. The fact that BODi interactive picked up so many in such a short timeframe, what I post in my group was, is this just because this is a new thing that people were like, “What is that?” They’re still in beta so is this a reflection of something that might be a lot of growth in their social following? They are hitting social hard. That was the question I posed.
I have a couple of theories about that. First off you can buy them.
We certainly know some people who do that. Not that I’m calling anybody out. I’m just saying.
I logged into Instagram once I reset my password, and I scrolled through who’s following them. I didn’t do a major drill down. At first glance, I didn’t see a lot of profiles without pictures or anything and that’s typically a sign of bots. I didn’t see anything that seemed glaringly obvious as bots, but I will say that Beachbody seems to have multiple Instagram accounts. There’s one for Beachbody itself, then there’s one for Beachbody Performance, which I guess is the more selling you shakes and stuff. The Beachbody one has over a million and the other one had a few hundred thousand. The BODi one is at around 28,000. Those numbers could be a circumstance of their bigger platform saying, “Here’s something, go over here.” They have tagged the other channel in some of their posts on those other channels.
That makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t thought of that scenario but you’re right. It could just be them bringing those people.
They are funneling so now somebody follows them in three different Instagram accounts. It’s not necessarily indicative of a groundswell of support. It could be but my first thought is the people that are already following Beachbody went, “There’s another one for the classes. I’ll follow that.”
I also think that all of the instructors are hitting it hard. You might be having instructors that they might have followed in the past that now they’re like, “Go follow here.” They’re doing that. That doesn’t mean that won’t continue to take off, but right now they’re on such a marketing push in their beta. I don’t know if it means anything. It’s interesting.
That’s a good point. It’s something to think about because I have the same scenario happening with Apple Fitness+, IFIT and NordicTrack. I tried all of those separately. I hadn’t thought that they may be the same people, but it could be.
They’re set up as cool. It’s a neat looking setup, their studio.
One of the things you posted was the first time they had all the giant squares behind them and they were doing a class. All of a sudden, they bring Tammy onto this large screen, larger than life, literally. They’re like, “Tammy, fix your form. Don’t put your knees there. Put your knees over your toes, Tammy.” I was like, “That’s horrible.” Tammy was full body jumping and doing big moves. She was into it. She was doing jump squats and she got called out.
When Peloton first started, people were thinking that’s where Peloton was going to be because it’s so easy to go down that road. The people on that screen signed up to be on that screen. It’s not like they’re just grabbing people at random and chastising them on the internet.
I wonder if they knew that that was going to happen. Did they sign up to be called out? I think they just signed up to be on screen. I don’t know that they knew that.
When they advertised it, they actually said it. I understand you may not have known what that meant.
They could have thought of Tammy’s daughter. You didn’t know he was going to be like, “Tammy, get your shit together.”
They said in their advertising that they were going to be interactive, and then they can help you with form correction. Form correction sounds all nice until somebody says, “John, you could go a little deeper in that squat.”
That’s as you’re squatting in front of everybody on a large screen.
I’m holding in the gas that’s trying to come out. They say, “No, do not go down there.” That’s a different thing.
Another thing is you’re on the bike when you’re on Peloton. You’re hidden a little bit. You’re behind the tablet. Even in those small tablets, you’re hidden a little. Poor Tammy was out there jumping in the middle of her living room. There was nothing to hide behind.
That’s why this whole thing has been fascinating. I’ve had to stop posting as much about it. I was so fascinated by it that I kept posting. I’m about to post four posts in two days. All of this is fascinating. It’s not only with what they’re doing with the screens but I was learning things every day. The first day they had the little hopscotch on the ground. I thought it was taped. I then found out the next day that it isn’t taped. It’s like the floor is a display. They keep changing what’s on the floor. I’m learning things. The first day, they showed all these folks in the Hollywood squares. The next day on their Instagram, they’re going, “If you guys sign up, make sure you show up because if you don’t show up, then we don’t know what to do with the squares.
It’s beta so we got to give more recourse on that but that’s the point, people don’t get what they’re signing up for. You can’t just show up to an empty room.
You would think there’d be some sort of a cue or if there are 40 different images on there, just grab the one from the upper left corner and put them in where the blank one is. Nobody’s going to notice.
These are things that they’ll probably figure out after beta is over. They’ll be like, “We got to redo that.” I have mixed feelings about the flames. On the one hand, it’s a little too game show for me. On the other hand, it does add a certain energy to it.
That’s the reason why I post about it because people are divided on this. You got one side and the folks are going, “There is no way in hell you’re getting me to sign up to be on some screen. When I just got up with crust in my eyes and wearing pajamas trying to workout.” You then got the other side of folks going, “That’s innovative. That’s cool.” I’ve been trying to bring these two groups to a consensus, which is never going to work but it’s fun.
There’s an element of innovation to those two things. The fact that everything is on the screen including the floor, and the idea that you replicated the Peloton studio experience in a COVID world. I guess the person watching it and seeing all these people on these screens behind the instructor are like, “We used to see studio classes,” although it’s more like a Zoom thing. I thought there was some type of innovation to those two things. Whether or not people will adapt and use it, I don’t know about that.
I don’t know how gimmicky it is versus truly sticky.
What do you do when you don’t have enough people to sign up to fill up that wall?
The flames get higher.
They’ll just B-roll people on bikes.
They’ll yell at Tammy every two seconds.
“I think that’s footage from American Flyer. Is that Breaking Away? Come on, that’s Pee-wee Herman. You’re not kidding anybody.”
We got empty squares. Where’s Tammy?
Tammy’s never coming back.
“Put up that footage of Tammy in a fetal position. That’ll work.” Poor Tammy. Was that really that lady’s name? Please tell me it’s not.
Yes, I’m sorry. I don’t know her last name. It’s not like I said her city state zip code.
Here’s Tammy Social Security number. Thank you for joining us, John. Until next time, where can people find you?
They can find me on my Run, Lift & Live group or page on Facebook. They can find me on Instagram @RunLiftAndLive or at RunLiftAndLive.com.
If you’re looking to up your game with your strength workouts, you need to look into a Tonal.
Tonal is incredible. Tom, your favorite thing about it is that you don’t have to think. We’ve said that a couple of times.
I don’t think at all.
It’s so true. You walk up to the machine and you start doing your workout. You don’t need to record or memorize anything. You’ve got all these coach-led workouts but Tonal keeps adding new things on. They’ve added Pilates, barre and so many things, and they’re getting more creative. Every time I turn around, there’s so much dropping. There’s this great new class that I can’t wait to try. It’s all about hip mobility. We get so much information. It’s like this is how you can move your hips in a better way. It’s such a simple thing but so needed, especially when you run a lot and you bike a lot
It’s all digital weights and it’s capable of lifting up to 200 pounds. I know a lot of people are skeptical but it can do quite a bit of weight.
Listeners said that they’d gotten their Tonal and they typically do a bicep curl of 25 pounds. They could not do more than 9 pounds on Tonal because of the way it keeps the resistance on through the entire curl. That’s a huge difference. It’s a smart home gym that is going to replace every machine in the weight room and it has personal training programs built right in.
Try Tonal for 30 days, risk-free. Visit www.Tonal.com for $100 off smart accessories when you use promo code The Clip Out at check out. Tonal, be your strongest.
Joining us once again is Dr. Jenn Mann, 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. She also has a long-running radio show, The Dr. Jenn Show and she’s written four bestselling books, including The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. It’s Dr. Jenn, hello.
This is a selfish question because I live with Tom and he was doing a Tonal workout. He was struggling because first of all, he had some issues getting logged in.
It’s connectivity issues, so that was frustrating.
To start off, he’s already crabby right out of the gate. He starts this program that he’s been working on and it has a move called a front squat.
You basically have to impale yourself in the throat with a barbell and lifted using only your Adam’s apple.
I tell you all of that to get to my actual question, which is he was super angry.
I’m really mad. I cannot do this move where it’s telling you to put the bar. I don’t have that part of my body because my neck is there. I get very frustrated in case you can’t tell. She’s like, “Just go to the next move.” I’m like, “You don’t understand. This workout has you do nine sets of these things. If I skip it, I’m skipping 80% of the workout.” Finally, I was like, “Screw this, I quit.” I turned it off and went upstairs.
The real question I had was that it was clearly triggering those old thoughts of like he can’t do this, he’s not good enough, etc. I tried to help but I was not helping. I don’t know what to do in that case because I don’t want to see him go away. It has so many health benefits, so help.
A few things. First of all, there’s a brilliant man named Phil Stutz who wrote a book called The Tools, he wrote it with Barry Michels, two brilliant therapists. He created this idea of what we call Part X. There’s not a lot out about that so I’m going to explain it. Part X is that primitive part of ourselves that has those kinds of reactions. Everybody’s Part X looks a little different, but you can almost taste it, smell it and feel it when it’s in the room with your partner. When our partner is acting in a way that feels a little overboard, given the circumstances, it doesn’t align with what’s going on.
I don’t even want to call it an overreaction because it’s very real for the person at the moment, but where it seems out of proportion to what’s happening is where the person is unable to listen to you and have a productive conversation. In those moments, as the partner, you have to abandon all hope of having a rational conversation. You have to also abandon all hope of fixing it. A lot of the time, in our relationships, instead of being like, “Tell me about how you’re feeling,” we tend to be like, “Let me fix it. Why don’t you do this part of the exercise, move on to this or do that.” It’ll probably annoy him at the moment because he was in a primitive state. He was very frustrated.
Tom has to learn how to handle his big feelings about what was happening and work through it. He has to be able to evaluate it afterward and say, “What triggered me? What is it about me and my history that got triggered?” Was it that stuff that you named? Was it something totally different for him? Maybe he just got annoyed and frustrated, and then to be able to say, “How do I set myself up to succeed and not have that experience again? Is there anything I need to do with my login? Do I need to change my login? Do I need to remember putting a note about, ‘Press the reset button when this happens?’ Do I need to change my workout regimen and skip to a different Tonal program than the one that I’m doing?”
Evaluate it like if there are many exercises that are difficult for you, “I’m challenging myself and this is hard,” but like, “This does not fit on my neck.” That’s a little different than, “This is too heavy. That part of my body is not strong,” but like, “This is hurting my Adam’s apple. That doesn’t make for a good workout.” You want to evaluate, “Is there a better program for me in Tonal that I can switch over to?” No shame in that.
I get frustrated because it’s one day of this program and I want to do the rest of the program. When I hit that move, they’re the ones that are always saying, “Don’t forget to breathe.” I’m like, “Then stop putting a bar on my throat.”
We’re going to look at some of the tools that Tonal has. They have some in-depth videos where they go into things like that. There might be some modifications that he can do to make it more comfortable. You’re right, I want to fix it at that moment. I need to let him be mad.
I even said at one point, “I’m mad but I’m not mad at you. Let me be for a second.”
Give him the space. Turn up the volume on your earbuds or leave the room if you’re done with your workout, but give him the space. We tend to have a hard time when we see someone that we love being angry, frustrated and annoyed. Let them have that space to feel those feelings and move through them. He’ll probably move through it faster if you don’t try to fix it.
That’s good advice.
We’re both fixers.
Most of us do, especially everyone who’s a little type A. When we love our partners, we don’t want to see them struggle or be frustrated or be upset. Sometimes we need to let up and just be there when they’re ready.
That’s what I was trying to say at the moment. I was trying to give you the impression that it’s okay to leave me alone. You’re not going to solve this. You tried and there is not a way at that moment for me to do that move. I am going to go away now and eat worms. If you need me, I’ll be upstairs pouting.
Everybody gets a bad day. I certainly have my pout days. That’s for sure.
Thank you so much for that very personalized advice. I feel like, is there a copay?
Don’t worry about it.
I guess we can take it out and trade. Until next time, where can people find you?
Everyone can find me on social media @DrJennMann. I’m most active on Instagram. They can find me in InStyle Magazine, on their website. I have a weekly column called Hump Day With Dr. Jenn.
Peloton broke ground on their first US factory.
It is a pretty big deal. It is going to be placed in Ohio. I believe it’s called Luckey, Ohio. It’s going to sit on more than 200 acres. They’re going to have manufacturing, and they’ll also have office and amenity space. They are going to be building bikes and treads, and who knows what else? One of the cool things that happened was several leadership members of Peloton came. There was John Foley, William Lynch, and then I saw that Jayvee Nava was there. Also, they had some instructors. Tunde was there, Chelsea Jackson Roberts was there, and there were a very few hand-selected members that got invited to this. It was something like ten people who were home riders.
From episode number nine, Brian Albright was there. One of the things that I thought was very cool, and it shows that Peloton is so thoughtful about how they do things in their events, which is one of the reasons that people have such fun at Homecoming. I hope we get to go back to that, but they made sure that each home rider that did come and again, it was a very small amount, to have a shovel and hard hat from the event. There’s an image from Brian Albright who had the foresight to get it signed by John Foley, Tunde and Chelsea Jackson Roberts. It said, “Peloton Output Park Groundbreaking, August 9th, 2021.” How cool is that?
He also had a Peloton hardhat.
I love that. I think that’s awesome. We had another listener, Ashley, that was there. She got some phenomenal pictures as well. I did not share those but it sounds like everybody had a great time. The governor of Ohio was there as well to celebrate the groundbreaking. They’re going to have a thousand new jobs with this thing.
That’s also a great company to bring into your state. It’s new, it’s hype, it’s deep pockets. That’s what you want. Good job, Ohio.
You won’t find that here in St. Louis.
I believe we’re getting a pop-up Echelon boutique. Speaking of Peloton expansion, they are also opening a call center in Tempe, Arizona.
They’re going to hire 350 workers. Most of them will be member services, but they are also going to have management and other roles. There are going to be a variety of things there. This is another thing that’s very exciting. From what I was reading in this article from Arizona Central, Tempe is very excited about this as well.
They should be. We talked a while back about that ProPublica article about the call center that many companies farm out work to. My guess is they’re probably still using it in some capacity, but it looks like they’re trying to maybe move away from that.
I know they have a whole call center in Texas. I thought it was interesting that they chose to put another one in Arizona. I can’t help but wonder if their goal is to have one in each time zone in the United States because they’re building out in different areas where that went to a different time zone. I don’t know if that’s their plan but that’s interesting.
It’s also interesting to see that the easy choice for many companies is they build their call centers in India and they are sustaining in America. Business Insider writes about how Peloton is leading the revolution in smart home gyms. That’s breaking news.
I know it’s not a hot pick but there were some interesting little nuggets in here about how many people were going to be going back to the gym versus not. It’s that age-old question, “Is everyone going to go back to the gym?” “No, everyone is going to stay at home” or as this article comes up with, “No, it’s going to be a hybrid model.” Also, another little factoid that seemed to surprise some people was that this article quotes Peloton as saying that 40% of their members have a gym membership. I wasn’t surprised at that because how many people are digital members of Peloton at this point?
That’s a very valid point. They’re using that digital membership.
Let’s not forget that there are a lot of people who are triathletes. They need a pool and they may not have one at home. There are multiple reasons to want a gym. Also, some people like going into the gym and lifting weights and things like that. I suspect that doesn’t mean those people who have those memberships go every week or workout as often at the gym as they do in their Peloton. That would be an interesting study.
Probably half of those people can’t get out of a gym membership.
“I can’t quit the gym.”
“I miss my six-hour window to quit the gym.” I guess some people are because Washington Newsday has an article about how consumers are turning to apps for their workouts. They say that approximately 9,000 gyms in the United States have closed.
That was pretty shocking to me to see it in print like that, 9,000. That’s an astronomical number.
It’s quite a sea change for an industry.
That’s probably one of the reasons that you’re seeing article after article trying to figure out what’s going to happen. You and I have said this a million times, we’re not going to see gyms go away altogether, but I do think we’re going to see less.
This says that 9,000 counts 22% of all gyms in the country. That’s a ton. Today.com had an interesting feature about how kids are turning to meditation to manage their anxiety, and Peloton plays a pretty significant role in that.
Chelsea Jackson Roberts was mentioned in this article as being somebody that people enjoy listening to. If you remember from our interview with her, she talked about how as a person who was an educator, or I guess she was an educator but had this passion as she was learning to figure out how can I take what I’m learning and figure out a way to apply that to kids. She has that program that she did. It was all about kids and getting them involved in it. Her dream of doing that has been broadened on this platform because parents are too. I’ve suggested this to Brian about anxiety. Just taking a minute to think about where you are. He has a little trouble being in the moment, and so I’ve suggested it to him. I’m sure I am not the only parent who suggested that.
If you’re like, “Meditation works for me,” especially when people don’t want to put medicine down their kid’s throat, “Let’s try this first and by the way, I already have a Peloton membership.” It’s a no-brainer. It’s also fascinating in terms of what it means potentially for Peloton long term as you have. The next generation is already getting baked into the Peloton ecosystem. When they’re ready to make their own choices, they’re going to be like, “This is a platform I already know because my mom had me do it.”
Joining us once again is Angelo from MetPro here to answer your fitness and nutrition questions. How’s it going?
It’s great. It’s good to see you guys again.
It’s good to see you too. Another great question from our Clip Out community. This one comes from Sherry Cantor. She’s looking for the best recommendation. She’s doing lots and lots of endurance miles and she needs to know how to fuel up appropriately.
I am going to presume that Sherry’s primary goal is performance. That being the case, then there are a few different dynamics here. Without having the whole backstory, I’m going to have to fill in some gaps, but I’m going to presume that we want to perform the best that we can at your current body weight. What you’re going to want to do is, generally speaking, the more quality fuel you can push through your body to recover, the better you’re going to perform. The threshold is up to the point that you start actually gaining weight. If you were gaining weight or putting on body fat, then you know that that’s your threshold. We’re going in the wrong direction. It’s too much fuel. We need to do it gradually. A basic priority hierarchy without knowing what time you train, what mileage are you doing into training fuel, I’m just having to back up and look at the basics.
What would be my number one priority with someone right out of the gate is going to be fueling at consistent times and balanced meals. Are you already eating outside of a post-training recovery? Are you already eating at least four times a day? For my high-level athletes, I have 5, 6 and even 7 times a day, depending on the sport and the circumstance, that’s unusual. I’ve had one athlete eating nine times a day. That was interesting.
Do they wake up in the middle of the night to eat?
Yes, he does. He’s waking up in the middle of the night to take an extra protein shake and stuff to gain weight. He had exactly 31 days to make weight for the NFL. That will be a story for another time. In this case, what we want are consistent meals. The mistake people make is it’s not that post-workout or pre-workout meal isn’t important. It’s that we’re stepping over the dollar to get to a penny. Make sure you’re getting base quality breakfast, lunch, dinner and at least 1 or 2 snacks in between. Get that down to a routine. If you’re not food prepping, food prep whatever meals are convenient for you, usually snacks. I like the food prep. Sometimes lunch.
Don’t worry about food prepping breakfast, because you’re usually going to wake up at home. You know your kitchen pretty well. As long as you have the ingredients, you’re good to go. Don’t worry about food prepping dinner because you’re going to either eat at home or you’re going to go to a nice restaurant or you’re going to eat something where you’re going to take the time to meet. What we miss out on is everything in between. Call it 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Where does the average American eat? What do they do? Raise your hand and tell me what you’re going to eat tomorrow for lunch. Nobody knows. It’s different every day.
If you can limit the variables there, that’s going to be the most bang for your buck. Moving on from there. Once you’re consistent, now we want to look at pre-workout, post-workout fuel emphasizes mostly carbohydrates before your activity, and a little bit of carbohydrates and protein post-activity. It could be a lot of carbohydrates and a little protein post-activity. Once you have that in place, now you want to go back and you want to see, “Can I add more grams of carbs, which are going to give me fuel to recover for my endurance sports specifically?” Spread them out throughout the day. It’s tough to go, “We’re going to add 50 grams to your dinner,” without having an impact. If I say, “We’re going to add 50 grams. What we’re going to do is we’re going to bump up 10 grams over 5 meals throughout the day,” your body will gobble that up.
That’s where there’s the benefit to the small meals throughout the day. It is when you’re trying to condition your body to be more efficient and utilize more fuel. We had a client who completed an Ironman and he qualified for the world championship. We did that part of the process which he couldn’t believe how much we got him up to eat. He was eating about 50% more calories and carbs than he was used to. He went in weigh a couple of pounds lighter than he was used to. With the combination of those two things, he did phenomenal. We see that all the time.
The art and the science is gradually getting there in a systematic fashion because most people try, “I heard I need to eat more.” They try and go from first base to third base without stopping at second base. That’s where you get into trouble. Gradually, over time, get there. Your metabolism and your body will acclimate and adapt to it. Finally, my last recommendation is don’t forget the self-care, stretching, mobility work, recovery work, things that you can do to keep your joints, your ligaments, your tissues and your muscles healthy so you can go back and do it again the next day.
That’s fabulous advice.
What I’m hearing is that the best course of action for me is if I start with 3 or 4 Cheetos at breakfast and over time, I can add more every meal.
You can eat all of them. You can eat the whole bag of Cheetos by the end of the day.
You always go there. Tom always comes back to Cheetos. That’s an incredible shrinking man right now.
I’m not even eating any Cheetos. Thank you so much for joining us. Until next time, where can people find you?
We’re still talking about Ally Love’s wedding. BuzzFeed had something of a think piece about how her wedding went down.
They talked a lot about how it was such a masterstroke on social media. A lot went into it that I’m not sure people are necessarily aware of. Before she went to her wedding, she had a class that was all about wedding songs. It was like her wedding ride. She asked members to send in songs to play during that class. That gave members an opportunity to feel like she was celebrating with them. The event was a whopping five days. It was not a wedding. It was a wedding week and each day had its own theme. A lot of brides will be like do not post anything on social media. We’re used to that. We know that, but she took it an extra step. She said, “When you do post, post each day on the designated day I tell you,” so it rolled out on social media, for the most part, the same way she wanted it. The first clips that you saw from all the different instructors were the very first day. They were there, and then you saw the second day, etc.
Everybody’s got that aunt who won’t follow the rules.
There were a few people like that. The other thing that she did that this author was totally wowed by is that she went private a week before her wedding. Her Instagram account had been public, and then she went private. Supposedly that was to have a private event, but the person who wrote the article also felt like it was to maximize the hype around her wedding. I want to be very clear that the person who wrote this was not nagging or being mean to Ally. They thought everything she did was brilliant. They were celebrating her prowess. One of the quotes they said was, “If you don’t like it, welcome to content creation. That’s how it is.”
The content that people like to engage with on the gram, thought goes into it. It takes a lot of work to look that casual, not that weddings are casual but a lot of the other stuff that you see is designed to look like, “I’m happened to be lounging here.” No, they were not.
We’ve been to enough resorts to see those people. It’s so funny, “Get that light just right.” I also will say that there were a lot of people that felt she went over the line. There were a surprising amount of comments that people got upset about it.
There was a lot of snark out there.
Congrats again to Ally. I thought it was interesting to see the perspective from another person who does social media, what their thoughts on it were.
Peloton announced that there’s going to be a Becs Gentry docuseries for people to check out.
I am so excited about this. It was announced right before we started recording. I haven’t got a chance to watch it because it isn’t posted yet. By the time everyone reads this episode, it will already have been out. I am dying to watch this because it documents her entire journey as she did her training up until the actual moment that she competed for the Olympics. She’s very vulnerable in her post where she posted about how she was super nervous when she was approached about this. She was like, “I don’t know, this is a very personal thing. What’s going to happen if I don’t make it, and then to put it out there in public for everyone to see?” She overcame those fears and I’m so glad that she did because I can’t wait to watch. I think that she is amazing on every level. I hope that she knows that we all feel that way about her because I’ve never heard anybody say anything other than that.
We’ve got a Jess Sims twofer. A twin spin is what we used to call it on the radio. She had a couple of different articles. The first is from OK Magazine talking about how she doesn’t always feel confident but Peloton encouraged her to take a deeper look at who she is.
She had some great quotes in there about how it took her a while to get to the point. She feels like now she’s in a good place with that. She hopes that everyone that takes her classes feels the same way. That’s what she’s trying to convey. When I posted this article, everyone was like, “Yay, Jess, she’s amazing.” She is and Jess is one of my favorite instructors. I love her.
The CheatSheet talks about her being a dog parent. Both of these articles came from the same place that she did some interviews on because she is teaming up with an organization. She’s going to be the face of this organization that’s all about dogs. I think it’s a dog adoption agency of some kind. I don’t remember because it’s been hours since I read this but it’s got a bunch of letters in it.
It’s pet food, but she also talks about adopting her dogs and they have a rescue center as well. She’s partnering with them. She’s going to be their spokesperson. She talked about what it was like to be a dog parent. There were lots to be covered about Jess Sims and she’s a great dog mom.
We found a cool website that we think you guys will dig. It’s called Nuts.com.
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I thought this was fun that as we’re gearing up for the Miss America pageant. That’s all the different states. I know that what we’re about to say isn’t a state. What do we call DC?
It’s the District of Columbia.
They are all crowning their own individual people so they can go wherever and fight to the death to be Miss America. Miss DC, Andie Tomasa was the winner and she loves her Peloton.
The Miss America competition is coming up in December, but she is going to be riding her 200th ride with Alex Toussaint and celebrating her wins. Congrats. That is so exciting.
I got to tell you, Equinox has figured it out here. I feel so dumb for never having thought of this. Equinox has decided that they’re not going to pay rent.
This is crazy. Back when COVID started, there were a lot of companies that were unable to pay because everything shuts down so suddenly, but everyone else is paid their back rent except Equinox. They’re like, “Nope.” All these companies across the country are suing them for millions. One is $3.3 million, another is $1.3 million. It’s all over the place. I don’t think this is going to end well for them.
I’m not a lawyer but this seems like ill-advised long-term stress.
It does, especially when they’re trying to launch new products and things. I don’t even understand what they’re thinking.
If I was thinking about buying an Equinox product and I saw this story, I’d be like, “Are they circling the drain? How long can they be here to service this product?” That would definitely give one pause.
Especially with everything shutting back down again. I don’t think things will shut back down to the way that they did in 2020, but people are getting nervous again.
9to5Mac had an interesting story about a man crediting his Apple Watch’s fall detection feature with saving his life.
I’ve heard lots of great things about this fall detection feature before. I do think it’s an amazing feature. The reason I’m bringing it up is not because of Apple Watch. The reason I’m bringing it up is because it’s one of the Peloton members. It’s a member services guy who this whole article is written about. He was already in the hospital and he went to the bathroom. He had been there at the hospital for some unrelated issue, went into the bathroom and then passed out. When he passed out, he hit his head hard on the concrete and his watch went off. It calls all of his emergency contacts, which is how they found him and saved his life. If it had not happened that way, he probably would not be with us. Incredible story. I just had to say that and I’m so glad that he worked for Peloton.
You also have an update on a listener we talked about.
Cynthia Oese lost her basement like all of her Peloton and everything, not just Peloton. She lost her bike, her tread and a whole bunch of stuff. It was mean. It’s awful that her basement flooded and she lost so much stuff. The water was coming in right on her bike. It was like a cosmic joke.
It was like somebody built a waterfall and aimed it at her bike.
We have so many great members in the community and one of those amazing members is Dave Cohen who’s also been on the show. We’ve interviewed him. He put together a GoFundMe for Cynthia. I guarantee you’ve seen her because she’s an OG. We were able to collectively raise $5,000 for her. It’s going to pay off her existing Bike+ that she was already paying on. It is going to get her a new bike. She’s so happy, she ordered it on Saturday and it’s already there. It got there in three days. Thank you to Dave Cohen for being an amazing person and congrats to Cynthia. I hope we get to do our comeback ride very soon. I’m sorry for everything that you’re going through. I hope the rest of your recovery goes smoothly.
We have a new artist collaboration. This time with an up and comer by the name of Aretha Franklin.
She’s been around for a while. I am excited about this one. Matty is doing the run and then there have been other classes. Hopefully, everybody gets a chance to take these. I know that not everybody is excited about the same classes I am in, but she is a legend and I cannot wait for this one.
I’m sure this is all tied into the new movie that’s coming out about her called Respect.
A couple of more birthdays because August is super busy. On August 13th, you can say happy birthday to Rebecca Kennedy. On August 17th, you can say happy birthday to Nicole Meline who has also been on the show. She’s no longer with Peloton but she’s one of their earliest instructors.
Joining us is Calvin Harris. Calvin, how’s it going?
I’m great. How are you guys doing?
We’re good. I’m super excited that you’re over there drinking espresso.
I am and I can assure you, I will be taking a few sips.
You do that. You got to ease into the day. Believe it or not, Tom and I already got our workouts on. We were on it. It was crazy. We jumped out of bed and started working out. He hated it and complained the entire time but he did it.
It was awful.
Usually, this would be right after Jess Sims’s Saturday 60, but I have a half marathon the next day.
Were you tapering, resting and ready to go. What’s the story behind the half marathon? Is this your first?
This is my third. I’m here in Brooklyn, New York so I did my first one during COVID 2020. My second one was in May 2021. That’s all Jess Sims’s fault. This half marathon foolishness is on Jess.
I don’t know how to break it to you, but we’re still in COVID.
It’s like, “Will it ever be over?” 2020 was a crazy year. The whole world has PTSD from 2020.
The P stands for permanent.
Was your first one virtual?
The first one was virtual. The second one was virtual also. This will be my first half marathon where there are actually people there. I got my running mask and all that stuff because I fall into the high-risk group. I’m still supposed to mask up in respect of anything else. It’ll be interesting. Unlike the prior two where I was trained up, this time, I’m not trained. I haven’t stopped running since my half marathon in May but I didn’t do a real formal training program. It’ll be interesting. I have no idea what’s going to happen.
You’ll do great because your body is used to running. If you’re not going into it with an expectation of a certain pace or doing something in a certain, you’ll be fine, but I know the nerves well. I did a marathon on my tread for my 42nd birthday in 2020. I didn’t train at all. I just got out and started walking, and I literally walked most of it. I speed walked it because I didn’t train at all for it. If I can do that, I assure you you’re going to do great out there.
Wish me luck.
I do have to ask before we get into the rest of the Peloton questions. How is this Jess Sims’s fault though? What did she do?
There’s a longer story but I’ll give the abbreviated version. Jess was the first instructor I met in the former Tread Studio. They’re not all in one place. After my very first class with Jess through Saturday 60, which is honestly the stupidest first class.
That’s a tough one. You did a Saturday 60 for your first class.
After class, she asked what my name was and talk to me. She asked how’s the class and I said, “It’s okay.” She’s like, “What was wrong with it?” I said, “The moves and this Turkish get-up.” In Jess Sims group, Turkish get-ups are infamously complained about and cursed about. I kid you not, in the lobby, she proceeded to spend the next five minutes trying to walk me through the Turkish get-up. It didn’t work but I was still amazed that she took the time to try to do that. After class, she can be on her way.
Over time, she’s like, “You’re a runner.” I said, “No, I’m not a runner. I’m at best daywalker.” “Believe me, you can run. You can do it.” After a while, I was like, “I’ll try it.” Little by little, I would run. I started doing longer runs and my first half marathon. Now I’m into it. Right up on the wall, I’ve got the stereotypical medal holder. If a race has any medal involved, I’m in. All the medals that I can get.
I’ve never gotten myself a medal holder but I’d like to display them all over the house. Not that I have that many. That makes it sound like I have a lot and I don’t. They have this one in St. Louis that is addictive. It’s called something frostbite or something like that, but you do it during the wintertime. There’s a series of four of them, and you do one each month. One is 6 miles, 3 miles, 4 miles and 5 miles. All of the medals come together to make one giant medal if you do all four.
It’s like Voltron.
Are we talking about the five Voltron or the Voltron with a whole bunch of them? There are more than one Voltron.
Voltron is actually from St. Louis.
What? How is Voltron from St. Louis?
It was created by the Koplar media, which locally owned KPLR. One of our independent channels, Channel 11. They couldn’t get the rights to Transformers. They went and created their own cartoon and that cartoon was Voltron.
This is what I mean. We just went down one of those little wormholes. You’ll never know what you’re going to find out. I think we’ll flush out this story some more. I want to hear how you originally found Peloton? How did you come into the world of Peloton?
My Peloton journey has three parts and is ongoing. I’m here in New York, in Brooklyn but I’m from Maryland. I grew up just outside of Washington, DC. I’ve worked in Baltimore a lot but Maryland is home. In 2018, I’ve gotten a little heavier than my norm. I’m already a big guy. I’m 6’4” and 230 lbs. I’m already big as it is but a lot heavier. I was like, “I need to do something about this.” There was a local gym in Columbia, Maryland, where I live. That’s midway between DC and Baltimore and they were having one of those things you see on Instagram or social media saying, “Join our program, you’ll lose 20 pounds or this percent, and you get your money back if you do it.” I was like, “I’m in. Let’s try it as a jumpstart.” Me being me, I need to make it as guaranteed as possible.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been relatively active but never in great shape or terrible shape. I’m always in that middle place. Whenever I wanted to lose a lot of weight when I got too heavy, I would usually start cycling more than anything else. That was always my go-to, outdoor cycling. I was like, “What I need to do is I’ll do this bootcamp thing over the next six weeks, have a bike, and then I’ll definitely lose the weight. I had seen Peloton. I had known about it. I bought my Peloton in the fall of 2018 and I lost all the weight. Shout out to Progressive Athletics in Columbia, but it was also the Peloton that got me down on the weight.
How expensive was this bootcamp that you thought, “I’m going to buy a $2,000 bike to get my money back?”
There’s an oddity in this because I’m a CPA by profession, Chief Financial Officer of my organization. It made sense to me at the time that I’m going to spend $2,000 to save $500. That was the price of the bootcamp.
Do you work for the government?
I don’t but the math worked out because I was like, “If we break it down over time, how long I’ll probably have the bike, the cost of the bike versus going to a spin class, and it’ll all just even out over time. It’s gone back to the life cycle of my bike.” At least that’s how I talked myself into it.
The math on the Peloton bike totally works out. We ran the numbers and Crystal was like, “It was break-even, unlike the first six months.” It does but I’m like, “You’re going to buy an extra piece of exercise equipment so you can get your money back from this bootcamp.”
I saved money every time I like to buy fewer clothes than I expected to. That’s my way of thinking. Tom doesn’t understand that kind of math. I feel like we’re on the same page with that math, Calvin.
I think we’re right in the same place. The good news though is I did get my money back, Tom. I did the bootcamp challenge. I kept going to a combination of going to progressive and Peloton. I did my first beginner’s classes with Ally which were great. She does great classes in general but with a beginner class, it’s perfect for a newbie. Honestly, I knew I was at the right place when I took my first ride with Robin. I took a ride with Robin. I was doing a twenty-minute ride. When you’re a newbie, going from 10 to 20 is a big step. There was a certain point on the ride and Robin said, “If you’re not riding, that’s a crap.” I was like, “This is where I belong. This is me.” I was locked in at that point and then I rode and rode.
The year turned to 2019 and the job was changing a bit. My boss was changing which is not a good situation. Right at that time, the job that I have now had been posted. It was a national search at National Urban League, a historic nonprofit. He’s looking for a job to be their Chief Financial Officer. It’s a big job. My predecessor was in the role for twenty years. I was like, “You might have only 1 or 2 chances to get this job. I’m going to put my name in that to see what happens.” It’s the longest interview process of my life, three months.
The good news is that I had to come up here three times and because of the interview process, I got a chance to go into the studio a few times. Even though the office was in the financial district, I thought it was more important for me to be at a hotel in Chelsea because, in Chelsea, I could just walk to the Peloton Studio. They accepted my logic. I didn’t mention the Peloton part. I’m hired now so what are they going to do? They didn’t know that that’s why I was interested, “Why the hell do you want to be in Chelsea?” I said, “I liked the neighborhood.” That was my answer. I did the interviews there.
During the interview process, don’t tell them you bought a $2,000 bike to save $500.
I left that part out of the discussion, but I had done my classes there and the interview was still going on. Because the interview was so long, I was getting a little sad. This is where I met you guys. I’m sure you don’t remember.
I do remember. I told Tom, I was like, “I’m pretty sure this is the gentleman we talked to at Homecoming.”
Homecoming 2019, I call them the Disneyland queues because you had these lines where people would wait in line to take pictures with Robin. When I first met Robin, I was like, “This is cool. Queen Robin.” I said, “You’re the Queen of Peloton, aren’t you?” I took all these pictures with everybody. I must have been just cheesing up because even with this random picture I took with Emma, they ended up posting on there. They’re like, “This is the guy because he’s too happy to be here.” While I was there, I met you guys and you talked about the podcast. At that point, if I wasn’t already in the community, I dove headfirst. Honestly, after Homecoming, I was nervous about the job. I was like, “After all this stuff, we go through this whole process and I don’t get the job, it’ll be disappointing.” I got in and it’s been years.
That’s an amazing gig.
I’m very honored to be there. It’s an amazing organization. It’s existed for 110 years. There haven’t been that many Chief Financial Officers in the roles. It’s humbling to have been chosen to do it.
I want to tell the audience what you said to me at Homecoming because I remember you were standing there and you were looking at us like, “What the hell is this?”
You are very skeptical. You were like, “What are these two weirdos doing over here.
That’s true. I was.
Thanks for admitting it. You were like, “What is this?”
I remember telling you that it was a podcast. You were like, “A podcast about Peleton?” Your eyebrows were at the top of your head. You were like, “I don’t get this. I don’t understand this.” I was like, “You got to try it out. You got to go into Facebook and meet the people. You got to trust me, they will pull you in.” I remember it was later that day or the next day, I saw you started following me on Instagram. I was like, “He’s going to listen.” I was so excited.
That’s true. I certainly dipped my toes into the Peloton waters over that time, but at Homecoming, you’re just swimming and rolling at that point. Everybody was so nice. You guys were great. Everyone I met was fantastic and everyone was very excited. People ask me, “Is it a cult?” “It is a cult but it’s a friendly cult.”
It’s the best kind of cult. Where else can you have a cult that you’re healthy and you love everybody you talk to? You still get to do whatever you want. People aren’t making you do things. If you’re going to belong to a cult, this is the cult to belong to.
Although I do have to say, when you’re in a Studio Strength or Saturday 60 with Jess Sims, she’s honestly making you do things. I don’t think it’s a little different there. The last part of my Peloton story ends up being once I moved up here, I was in temporary housing for the first few months. I left all my stuff there and tried to figure it out. I found this great place here in Brooklyn. I love it here. I love the neighborhood. They have a Peloton in the apartment. It’s got cages, no shade on those cages. My sister had cages so no offense to cages, but the studio is here. I’m going to treat the Peloton studio as my studio and they happened to be streaming.
My sister agreed to take my bike because I didn’t have anyone to take it. She agreed to take it and she’s using it now. My niece loves Jess Sims more than anything. I sent her a picture of me and Jess and she was like, “She lost her mind for that.” I was like, “I don’t need a Peloton in my apartment because I go to the studio because that’s down there. This is pre-COVID, where none of those became options. At that point, it’s a wildly different experience because I would go to the studio multiple times a week.
My typical thing was Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the Peloton studio. Tuesday and Thursday, I would go to my local gym and train here right around the corner at Form Fitness. Saturday, I would be on Saturday 60. Sunday on football season in the fall, I would do Jenn Sherman’s 60-minute football rides. When Jess King had her thing on Thursday, I’ll do the Jess King Experience.
The thing is I was very consistent. I was always on bike four. If you look at any classes that might have been in those time periods, with Jess King Experience, I was sometimes on bike one. You would consistently see my shiny head and be used to looks of torture and pain. I was consistent and I’m always there. From that, it was a different experience because I won’t go as far as I say I know the instructor. It’s probably a stretch coming there still but certainly, I was around them enough to say to a person that every instructor I met was exactly the same when the camera was off. No difference at all.
It ended up enhancing the experience even more because they were all very consistent people who were just good people. Dennis, after a yoga class, tried to get me to get my form right. I talked to Kendall or Selena about back things. All these great people. I got amazing tips on running from Becs. My experience within the studio enhanced the experience for me because I had all these opportunities to chat with them. The thing that I made the most fun of, although I don’t make fun of it now, is I would always take a picture after every single class, no matter how many times I had done it with the instructors, I always have a picture.
At this point, I have dozens of pictures with all of these instructors that I’ve had these classes with because as I would take one after every single class, except in those rare cases where they would immediately go to the back where they cut another class right after. I have all these great experiences, which I got to tell you with the studio being closed and still being in COVID, it ends up being like, “Those were really great times.” That was my experience in the studio and had some amazing classes. I’ll say the best classes I’ve ever had were all in February of 2020. Tunde and Alex’s class. I was on bike four. It’s an amazing energy. Even after, there was a whole party where everybody hung out in the lobby for a good two hours.
I am so envious. Living here in Missouri, I never get to go.
If there was one that even beat that, that would have been Jess Sims and Chase. At the end of that month, they had a Saturday 60. Nicole, who’s been on your show, helped organize an entire basement of a place and everybody went to brunch. There were about 50 of us there. Jess and Chase came by. There may not have been drinks that were not your typical post-workout drink. I don’t remember too much of what I had picked while I was there, but it’s all of these amazing experiences that you have. At least for me, my experience in New York City is directly connected to Peloton and the studio.
On my birthday in June, I went out to dinner with folks from the studio. There’s a bunch of us that went to a New York Liberty’s game from the studio. We were going to another game. We’ve got about eighteen of us. All different folks and different backgrounds, but we’ve all found that connectivity and a huge part of my support system in the city is from that when I did my Brooklyn Half Marathon. Oddly enough, it was in the 90s and I was about to die. I literally felt like I was going to pass out.
One of my friends from the studio, The Other Beyonce, agreed to pace for me. That’s the leaderboard name. He paced for me for the last seven months. I literally would not have made it without him being there. There are all these great things that have happened in the city that are connected to that. If you look at my Instagram, I’ve only been on Facebook for a little more than a year when COVID started, but you’ll see all these things related to Peloton that I’ve made all these great relationships and all these great things that have happened because of trying to win, Tom, trying to get my $500 back.
I was thinking that you might be certainly the only person I’ve ever heard of that love Peloton so much you got rid of it.
If I’m going to be unique, that’s not a bad one to be unique.
I was fascinated by that turn of events that you’re like, “I love it so much, I don’t need it anymore.”
Once COVID happened, I ended up getting a Peloton. I have one right here now because who knows when we’ll be able to get back in.
When you bought the second Peloton, did you have to sign up for a bootcamp class so you would save money or did you just take the hit?
I thought about it, but I figured at this point, I don’t need it. I decided to go all in and just do that. Although to that point, right after I got the bike, I signed up for a Peloton training group that I had a lot of fun with a strong, great coach named Jake Goldstein. There are people who like to brag about their numbers and there are people who literally have these numbers that are out of the world like Myke Yeager. I know you’ve had on it. He’s one of those guys that’s top 1% or 2%. Myke Yeager and Jake will be 1 and 2, in that order. Jake was a phenomenal coach. I had a great time. I didn’t need the bootcamp in that case because I was training with Jake.
You’ve mentioned this before and my understanding is that you’ve posted about this. You have a health condition that affects your lungs. When you talk about all of this training you’ve done, you gloss over the fact that not only have you been training hard and changed your health completely, but you also have done it while battling this condition. Can you tell us about that?
I’m so used to that, I forget to talk about it sometimes. I have a rare disease called Sarcoidosis. It’s an inflammatory disease and it can affect any organ. Most commonly is the lungs, where I have it. I also have it on the skin, lymph nodes, bone, bone marrow, potentially neurological. We have to do some tests on that. It ends up being very different for everyone. It can sometimes be fatal. Truth be told, if you have it in your heart, that’s pretty bad. If you have it in your brain, that’s pretty bad. There’s no known cure and cause. Oddly enough, for most folks, within the first three years, when you have it, it goes into remission. For some of the strongest doctors, they won’t even see you until you’ve passed a year three because the study is shown once you’re past year three, then this is your deal. I was diagnosed in 2014. The odds are extremely high that I’ll have this for the rest of my life.
I’m fortunate because when I was first diagnosed, I was in Maryland. Johns Hopkins happens to be there, one of the best hospitals in the world and they happened to be one of the few places in the world that has a clinic devoted to my rare disease. I was accepted into the clinic. Even though I’m in New York, and they have excellent hospitals here in New York City, I still see my specialist at Johns Hopkins. I take a lot of medicine. I take about a dozen pills a day. Once a month, I get an infusion. A nurse comes to my home, shoots an IV into my arm and 2 to 3 hours later, I’m good to go.
I don’t want to make it sound like it’s easy because it is absolutely not easy. The reality is it can change at any point. I’ll say at least that it feeds well into my meticulous nature because it’s a disease where you have to be on top of things. You have to pay attention to what’s going on. You have to be particularly sensitive to changes in your body. I can’t assume that anything is minor or not. There was a point several years ago where I had what ended up just being vertigo, which can be common for folks but because of my disease, we had to go through a litany of tests to make sure that the sarcoid won’t spread into my ear, spread into my brain or whatever. It turns out that none of those was the case. I’m just having vertigo. For me, anytime something happens, we have to really check.
The good news is that you can’t catch it from me. It’s a natural thing. Unfortunately, what that also does mean is that I fall very squarely into the high-risk group of people with COVID. When the vaccine was available, I got it immediately here. There are a lot of studies and articles that have been out there. People with my condition because of some of the medicines I take, I’m immunocompromised. It’s entirely possible that the vaccine is not as effective for me as it might be for others. It is a reality, truth be told, in a normal world and who knows what normal will look like ever again. As long as you’ve got ways of managing it, it’s a non-issue.
At a time like now, I have to be especially careful with what I do. I will say that everything I do is all doctor-approved. When I told her I was going to do my first half marathon, she had this look on her face of skepticism. Her phrase was, “Listen to your lungs. If your lungs say it’s okay, it’s okay to do that.” No doubt, it made it more challenging to exercise. By the same token, one of the first things my original doctor at the clinic say before he retired was how critical it was for some of the medicines I’m taking. There’s a steroid I take that makes you gain weight and makes you hungry. That’s a terrible effect. It makes you gain weight. That’s how important it was for me to be as active as possible because they’re getting the whole status of just trying to look a particular way that you want to keep your weight down because it just helps out for things.
Peloton has been great with that. There was a point, just a quick aside, I mentioned one of my favorite classes when it existed was with Jenn Sherman doing those 60-minute Football Rides. I always loved the way she set it up. I was able to tell that my lung function was declining because of her classes. I would take the same exact class at the same time on the same bike. I remember after a few months, I was like, ”I don’t feel as good and my numbers don’t seem as strong.” I was able to look back on my Peloton history and say, “Two months ago, I was at this output, and now I’m at this output.” I looked at all the classes and I have a decline going. It doesn’t make sense that I’m taking the same class. It turns out that one of my meds wasn’t working as well. Oddly enough, in one particular case that I still remember, because I’m a numbers guy and I like to look at my own numbers just to see how things are going, Peloton helped me identify when my meds weren’t working as well.
Have you ever told anybody at Peloton about that? Have you told Jenn Sherman?
I don’t think I ever told Jenn that. A few folks at Peloton hadn’t heard that story before. I even imposed it back then because I had taken the two-class and I was like, “Here’s here and here’s now.” It’s the same with bikes. I’m always on bike four in her class. It was exactly the same but my numbers were going down. It wouldn’t make sense unless something’s off. I do a lot of scans and tests, including a lung test called Pulmonary Function Test. It’s a terrible test in a small room with a big tube in your mouth. They were like, “Your lung function has declined.” I was like, “I knew it. I looked into my bike number and my bike number said I wasn’t doing well. That was the reason why?” Peloton helped me identify when my lungs weren’t working as well.
That’s an amazing story.
Do you feel like you use the bike and the exercise to manage your condition like all the running you do? Do you keep on track by doing that?
It’s a critical part. Truth be told, I need to do a little bit more strength but for pushing my lungs, aerobics is one of my best things to do. Just seeing how I’m feeling on the bike or how I’m feeling when I’m running. I love running outside. I say this about the bike too. I’ll probably never get the tread. It helps me and as my doctor has told me. I don’t want to make it sound like this is easy with Sarcoidosis but there’s nothing special about me either. I am just curious to see what’s possible. I’ve certainly been made aware my outcomes are not typical and not normal. I’m lucky because I have great doctors. I’ve gotten great guidance and great coaching from my trainer here, but also some of the folks at Peloton.
I’m curious to see what’s possible, particularly as I’m squarely in middle age and have this condition. A lot of times, it’s like, “Let’s see what happens,” just like the half marathon that I’m trying. I’m very curious to see what will happen. Keeping a healthy dose of curiosity is helpful because otherwise, it can get depressing when you’ve got this condition that your body doesn’t do what it wants to do. It’s attacking itself all the time. The medicine is to help stop my body from attacking itself.
I feel like you have a positive outlook. We’ve talked to people before that have diseases that are chronic. There’s a common theme that you have this positive outlook about it and not everybody does. You probably take it a little bit for granted that you are a positive person but if I were in your situation, I would be mad and bitter all the time. I don’t think that I would handle it as well. I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit for your positivity.
Thank you. I appreciate that. I don’t want to pretend that it’s easy. There are tough times and I’m glad folks are more comfortable talking about it. I’ve battled depression on it and this disease has certainly played a big part in it. I don’t want to pretend that it’s easy or that I’m glossing over it. It’s tough a lot of the time, but I still find that the better I can manage my attitude about it and my outlook on it, the better my outcomes are. I want to sound like I’m happy go lucky but I’m not all the time. I find there’s a direct correlation between me trying to find a positive part in it where possible and my outcomes. It’s not easy and I appreciate what you’re saying there.
It sounds like you’re mindful of it. Do you make yourself talk to yourself positively about it?
All the time. I have a bunch of mantras. Peloton is great with mantras. You do hard things and you get to push. I have all those mantras and they come up all the time when I’m running and try to push myself through things, “You can do hard things. You know you can. Yes, you can do hard things. Keep going. You’ll be fine.” I have to talk to myself a lot. If you see me on the street running, you’ll probably wonder, “What is wrong with him because he’s talking to himself all the time?” I don’t use my inner voice. It’s always out.
They say it’s more powerful that way.
You should just run wearing Bluetooth headphones. They’ll assume you’re on the phone. It’s been so much harder to spot people that are having psychotic breaks. I used to be like, “He’s talking to himself. He needs some help. Let’s go over there.” Now, everybody’s on the phone.
In New York City, you have no shortage of both. I’ll look this up. There’s nothing in their head or in the ear, carry on.
“I’ll move to the other side of this anyway. I’ll be over here.” What is your leaderboard name?
My leaderboard name is CalvinFnHarris.
I feel like I know how you came up with that.
The leaderboard name is a dose of Robin and a big dose of Jess Sims. I originally had my leaderboard name as CalvinHJr because that’s my handle on all social media, Calvin Harris Jr, but then there was a class with Robin. Robin keeps coming up and says things and then all of a sudden, I’m like, “I can do that. Why not?” Robin said, “Choose a leaderboard name that makes you proud.” My best friend Barry was like, we always had this running joke for all the things that we would do in our younger days. Things we would not do now. He says, “What do you mean? You’re Calvin effin Harris.” I was like, “That’ll be the funniest leaderboard name.” I was convinced that Peloton would not allow that leaderboard name because it’s obvious what FN stands for. No problem. I was like, “We’re going to go with this.”
Fast forward to my very first Saturday 60 class with Jess Sims, afterwards, we did the obligatory picture. I’ve got dozens of pictures and she asked me my name. I say, “Calvin.” “What’s your leaderboard name?” “CalvinFnHarris.” She paused and said, “What?” “It’s CalvinFnHarris.” “You mean like Calvin effin Harris?” I said, “Yeah except I don’t have that expletive in my name.” The very next week, I did my second Saturday 60, we’re doing these exercises, Jess Sims looks over and she says, “CalvinFnHarris, how you’re doing?”
She went through this whole story on how we had met each other a week after. I was first blown away that she technically didn’t say my leaderboard name but she did. She somehow remembered this whole time of us leading each other. After that, the leaderboard name stuck because some people never say FN. They just call me Calvin. It’ll be either Calvin Harris or CalvinFnHarris so it’s stuck. Even if I wanted to change it, which I’ve done, it’s my name. It’s never going to go away.
I think you just have to accept that you are a memorable person.
For better or worse, a little bit of both.
I’d say better.
Do you have any advice for people that are just entering the world of Peloton?
The phrase I like to use is, “Ride your own ride, run your own race. Do whatever works for you.” One of the best things about Peloton, beyond the community itself, is that it can meet you wherever you are. We just talked about the leaderboard. Depending on what you take, ten people who are Peloton riders. If you ask about their leaderboard name, you might get ten different answers. Some use it for competitiveness, no problem. Some use it to just track where they are compared to others, no problem. What I do is I find all the people that I know at the beginning of the ride then I hide it. I just want to say, “Good seeing you.” Maybe you want to motivate people. You can use whatever you want. There’s no wrong or right answer to that. It’s the same thing.
It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are. It doesn’t matter how strong or not, the thing is you’re moving. If anything, I would encourage someone to remember that it doesn’t matter what you are doing compared to others unless you decide that it matters. I had an amazing experience and hopefully, I get to have it again of being around the instructor so much, being in the studio experience, having so many friends that I’ve made in real life from the studio experience. For the vast majority of the Peloton community, we’re doing it at home. We’re doing it on our own. Maybe in some cases, there are dual bikes as what John Mills and Myke Yeager has at home. In most cases, people are just doing their runs or rides at home. It doesn’t matter how you want to do it unless you decide. Jump right in, find what works for you, find the instructor that works for you, and then go for it.
That’s great advice. Thank you so much for joining us. Before we go, remind everybody where they can find you on social media. I’m pretty sure they remember your leaderboard name.
On all social media, it’s @CalvinHJr, short for Calvin Harris Jr. That’s my Instagram. Facebook is @CalvinHJr1. You can see me in all those places. I’m going to start writing as a columnist for a website called SarcoidosisNews.com. I’ll be joining as a columnist. My column was going to be called Run Your Own Race, My Journey With The Disease.
Good luck with your race I hope that you are happy with how you do. I know you’re going to do great, but I hope you’re happy with the results.
Thank you. It’s great talking with you guys. It’s great seeing you again.
You too. I can’t believe you remember that. I remembered it because I remember your skepticism so well. That was so funny.
I was glad not to be getting side-eye during this interview. That was nice.
If we ever get to come back to New York, I hope to hang out with you. That would be an absolute blast. Maybe we could take a class together. I would love that.
I guess that brings this episode to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people for the next episode?
We are going to be talking to Ali from the hit podcast, Ali On The Run.
That’ll be fun. Until then, where can people find you?
People can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on the leaderboard for the bike and the tread @ClipOutCrystal and on Instagram @ClipOutCrystal
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. Don’t forget our YouTube page, YouTube.com/TheClipOut. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.
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