TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter

288. Peloton Reveals Instructor Action Figures Plus Our Interview With Melissa Kaul

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


  • Daniel McKenna drops Peloton lawsuit.
  • Peloton Minis are announced.
  • Peloton unveils the 5 Motivational Languages.
  • Peloton stock price has been slowly climbing.
  • Store closings have been announced.
  • Dr. Jenn – Equipment overload! How do you fit it all in?
  • Robin Arzon announces her 3 For 31 challenge.
  • Tunde received Creative Person of the Year from African Diaspora Awards.
  • Christine D’Ercole has a week-long Wordswork event in Zermatt, Switzerland.
  • Marcel Dinkins drops her first IG Live episode of “We Take That Hill.”
  • Leanne Hainsby has an emotional post from the Dance With Dani event.
  • Mariah Carey crashes LOL Cody.
  • Cody then caught a Mariah show at Lincoln Center.
  • Angelo has tips for striking a balance during the holidays.
  • Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid is doing Peloton.
  • Donna Mills talks to AARP about her love of Peloton.
  • New artist series featuring Kane Brown and Sportfreunde Stiller.
  • Logan Aldridge has a new Standing Adaptive Strength program.
  • New Lanebreak levels have been released.
  • Birthdays: Marcel Maurer (12/12)
  • All this plus our interview with Melissa Kaul!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Peloton Reveals Instructor Action Figures Plus Our Interview With Melissa Kaul

Do you know what I think we should do for our 300th episode?


Nothing because it is a lot of work. Our 200th episode was fun but it was a lot to do. People are always like, “You should do a thing where you play your best segments. I’m like, “Then you’ve got to go through all and find your best segments.

That’s hours and hours of work.

You then get to the end and you realized you didn’t have any best segments. You’re like, “That’s a bad idea.

I have this idea in my head. Maybe it’s for 400 because we don’t have time to do it for 300. What I want to do is put on a contest and be like, “Tell us why we should come to your city and do a live episode.” People will put in their reasons and they’ll do a video or whatever, and then we pick 7 cities or 10 cities. We go to those cities and record pieces of it, and then put them all together. That becomes the big episode. That’s what I want to do.

Maybe one day we will do a world tour. I guess we did do a world tour, kind of. We went to one town. Does that count as a world tour? It’s in the world, but we were in Philadelphia because we were invited to the Season 13 wrap party for Mystery Science Theater 3000. We got to hang out with the cast and meet Joel, Jonah, Emily, Barron, and all the cast that was present.

If you’re not a big nerd, you have no idea what that means. It’s just words.

None of that made any sense, but there are nerds out there who those words did make sense and they’re very excited.

It was a lot of fun.

We flew in on a Friday and flew out at 6:00 AM on Sunday.

Were there for 36 hours.

It was like in, out, and boom. We did go to Tinseltown, which was fun. We then found out what John meant. We went to the King of Prussia mall, where I thought there would be a lot more pillows and a harem, but I was mistaken. I now know it’s the third biggest mall in America.

We walk every step of it.

You got to hang out with Gina.

Gina was there. There’s a little bit of history here. There are some people that were a little sad we didn’t get to see them. The reason we got to see Gina and not other people is we have been planning this trip for a year and a half. I say that because it was supposed to happen last spring, and Gina knew this MST3, but she didn’t understand what that meant. She was like, “Whatever that is, you’re going to come to Philly. If you’re coming to Philly, then you should see me.” That was the only thing we ever had planned, then it kept getting pushed back because of COVID.

We couldn’t steal that from the poor girl.

That was all about me. We couldn’t steal that from me because Gina and I talk all the time and I hadn’t gotten to see her since 2018. That’s crazy. I can’t believe it’s been that long. We picked up right where we left off

She walked around the mall with us. There was a thing in the mall called the Holiday House where you walked through little displays, and it could not have been lamer, but we still had a lot of fun.

If it would’ve been by ourselves, I don’t think we would’ve had this much fun.

I agree. This is their Christmas Hawaii thing. There are sombreros there. Make sense of that. They had a fake snow machine that they had set on Ron Jeremy.

This is the best picture of all because we had the snow machine. At one point, we were so covered in it that you couldn’t even make out who we were. It was insane.

They had a Harry Potter room because it’s Christmas now, apparently. I don’t even understand.

Gina had to feed the reindeer.

There was a room where you could have a snowball fight. They had a little tiny leg lamp. Anyway, we had a great time. It was fun to hang out. Maybe if we come to your town, we can hang out with you.

For those of you who didn’t get to see us, the next time we are in Philly, we will make plans. We will tell you ahead of time and we will do a meetup because I owe Philly a meetup.

What pray tell do you have in store for people?

I know it’s been a while but we got to talk about Daniel McKenna again. We got some Peloton action figures. We are going to talk about the five love languages. Just kidding. We changed it to motivational language. We are going to talk about the stock price, and then there are some other things going on with Peloton. The instructors have been up to some things as usual. We are going to talk about that. We have a visit from Angelo, and we’re going to talk about striking the balance during the holidays. You don’t need to do all the things. You also need to enjoy yourself. We’re going to talk about how to do that. We had a visit from Dr. Jenn and we talked about equipment overload. What to do with so much equipment? How do you fit it all in? Lots to chat about.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs. Don’t forget, we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find a podcast, we will be there waiting for you. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you don’t have to remember to go look for us every week. It’s a little gift we offer to you for the holiday season. You can also maybe leave us a review. We have a new review from Baker7689. It says, “Dishing all the news. There’s no lack of Peloton news and gossip to be found. Crystal and Tom filter out the drama, as much as possible, and bring real experience, news, and insights to each episode. I love the banter between them and their commitment to the company.” Thank you very much for that.

That is such a kind review. Thank you.

You can also find us on Facebook. It’s a good way to stay up to date on things throughout the week, While you’re there, like the page, join the group. You can also join our newsletter at We’ll send you all the links and stuff weekly. Our YouTube channel also doesn’t cost a dime,, where you can watch these episodes. Finally, something that does cost a dime or multiple dimes is our Patreon,, where you get ad-free episodes and bonus content. Maybe in our bonus episode, we will explain to you how the artist series featured person stole something from me.

It’s such a great story.

The son of a b*tch ripped me off. I will tell that story in the bonus episode, not bore you with it here. I will bore you with it for a fee. You can do that at There’s all that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?

We shall.

I guess it was on Friday that this story broke. A lot of people probably are familiar with this story by now but since we are the historians of Peloton, we got to get everything into the official record. We will hash this out briefly. Daniel McKenna drops his Peloton lawsuit, which if you love Daniel McKenna, you think everything about that sentence was wrong.

You also seem to think that he got millions of dollars. Maybe he did, but we don’t actually know the answer to that.

That’s unlikely. If that was the case, this announcement would be coming from him, not Peloton.

The whole thing is a little weird because typically, whenever people settle, you see some kind of statement that says they’ve settled, and neither side accepts any responsibility or wrongdoing. We’re washing our hands of it. Everybody is good. That’s not what happened here. They said he dismissed it with prejudice, which means it cannot be taken back to court. Those are the only facts that we have.

There’s one other fact. No attorney’s fees were awarded. To me, that seems a hint to the outcome or who benefits more in this outcome. In my opinion, I’m not a lawyer, if you are the wronged party, you tend to get your attorney’s fees paid or at least part of it. The fact that they didn’t do that makes me think that there was some sort of settlement. I don’t think there’s a version of events where he just dropped it for free. I’m sure he got some sort of payment.

It doesn’t indicate it’s millions. Some people are acting like it was a slam dunk that occurred. The reason I’m chuckling about that is because everybody became lawyers when this got posted like they do every time. I will say ours is based on actually talking to real lawyers, and not people that pretend to be lawyers. The real lawyers all indicate that this language does indicate that a settlement was reached. Regardless of how weirdly it was worded, all of the attorneys do agree a settlement was reached. That is where the agreement ends.

Some people think that it means that Daniel was in the right, therefore Peloton had no choice but to settle. Clearly, he didn’t make these things up, and then you have a whole other contingent that says, “That means absolutely nothing. He got some money. That’s all he was ever after, and that’s the end.” I don’t know, we’re never going to know. What we know is that there was a dismissal of this lawsuit. It’s not coming back. That’s it. We’re done.

Daniel fired back up the social media machine.

He had been back on social media. The thing that I thought was most interesting is that hours after this came out, he was online selling his photography. For those of you who are saying, “He’s going to be back into fitness,” I disagree. I think that the non-compete stayed in place. I’m basing that on a precedent. Every single instructor that has left, whether it has been on a happy note or a not happy note has had to follow that non-compete. I don’t believe he got out of it. I think that he will be dealing with it too. If he is going to go back into fitness anytime soon, he would not be focused on his photography. He wouldn’t need to be selling photography He might want to, but he wouldn’t need to. We don’t know what he wants or needs.

For sure, for it to happen in quick succession like that. Anyway, enough about Daniel.

This is no disrespect to Daniel or Peloton, but I am tired of talking about this issue.

You have to learn to let go and trust the universe. Do the work, put it out there, and trust that you will be taken care of. Click To Tweet

I feel like we’re done now. I don’t think that there’s more Daniel news coming in the foreseeable future.

Unless it’s his personal life that happens to come up. Other than that, I don’t see anything popping up. Nothing related to Peloton.

There were action figures that came out. Peloton put out some hyper-limited edition action figures. They are hyper-realistic as they are limited. For people who watch on our YouTube channel, we’re displaying them right now. Here’s a picture of Alex Toussaint. If you look at them or saw this pop up in your feed, they look so realistic. You might think that it’s just a picture of Alex.

It is extremely realistic. I think Alex’s looks a little more realistic than Robin’s. There’s a weird squishiness to Robin’s face, but they’re very realistic. There are two instructors, Robin and Alex. That’s it. They were released and were selling for $0.92 to represent the 92% of people who start off their year with Peloton and end their year with Peloton, which is an awesome statistic.

Especially for so many people that always say, “It’s just going to be a close hanger,” to show that 92% of people year to year are sticking with it.

On the flip side of things, that also means there are only 92 available. I had predicted that these would sell out in ten seconds. It did take a tad bit longer, but that is because people happened to pawn them.

They didn’t announce it.

They put a reel on Instagram within six minutes of the reel and put it out on the apparel website. That’s where they were, the boutique. They were gone in six minutes, 184 mini figures gone.

I’m surprised it took that long.

I am too. I can’t help but wonder how many people got multiple of these.

That was my thought. Hopefully, they would only let you put one or at least one of each in a cart because you could usually be like, “I’ll buy all of them. It’s $100.”

That’s all you had to do, but people didn’t know it was only 92. Who knows how many they bought, and then you had to pay for shipping and handling. The MSRP was $179. These were made in conjunction with a company that I can’t remember the name of and doesn’t matter because they’re gone anyway.

I would love to know how they arrived at $179.

Me too. I would definitely love to know that. It would be fascinating to know what that was about.

I know they’re tying in into the 92% thing. I feel like this was originally designed to tie into the TV commercial because there are only two of them, Alex and Robin, and in the commercial, they’re a little tiny. I can’t help but think that this is somehow a tie-in or originally intended to be a tie-in to that commercial. I don’t know why they pivoted.

It could be. It is possible that the company who made these saw the commercial and was like, “We know how to make minis. That’s what we do. We will make minis for you for this commercial.” I am surprised though that if that’s the case, they didn’t make the instructors for the UK commercial.

I wonder if that’s because Peloton is not as popular in the UK yet.

Maybe the company that makes them is based in the US and they never saw the commercial and this was something they did to get noticed.

Maybe they didn’t even think about it because they’re US based, and so it wasn’t on their radar. They just saw the one spot. It’s an interesting promotion.

It is a very interesting promotion and for the 92 people that got them, they will be very happy.

It could be the one guy that got 92 of them.

I saw one person got both. She got Alex and Robin. That’s the only person that has posted and said they successfully got them. I don’t know who else got them or how many they got. Whoever got them, I’m sure they’re very happy. Hopefully, they keep them and don’t put them on eBay.

You’re dreaming. Things are going on eBay so fast. I’ve already started to look in just to see.

I’m annoyed. I can’t help it. I’m annoyed at this whole thing. I’m irritated.

The only thing that could potentially stop them from being super expensive on eBay is the fact that there are so few of them that maybe not enough people even know they exist to go and look for them.

We’re probably not helping that by doing an episode that includes the imagery.

We will air this after we’ve done our own hunting on eBay. Now, we’re being investigated by the SEC.

I’ve heard a lot of complaints already and it’s been five minutes. People are very annoyed because they didn’t know that it was coming. Even if you had known, guys, there were 92. The chances of you getting them were slim.

You got a better chance of getting Taylor Swift tickets.

There are more of those to go around.

You are probably never going to get it anyway.

What’s the math on that if they had 92 and there are 3 million people? I guess they had 184 total, but you could buy both while you were in there so I’m just going to say 92.

For $0.92, most people probably bought both.

I think you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting one of these.

It’s the same odds of my first marriage working.

It was about as successful for me.

I do think these are cool. These look really good. I don’t know what the company is but it looks like McFarlane stuff. McFarlane makes cool hyper-realistic toys. I don’t think this is McFarlane but it is of that caliber.

In the reel that they posted, they had instructors coming out of different rooms and seeing these. These were sitting on the floor and they showed their reactions to it, and their reactions were really funny. They were about this tall. They’re not as small as you might think they are.

Barbie dolls are 12 inches and then action figures are normally 6 or maybe 4. If they’re in between, then I’m thinking maybe they’re 8-ish, but not quite as big as a Barbie doll, but not tiny like an old-school Star Wars action figure.

It was not. It was bigger than that.

It’ll be interesting to see if they do more of these.

I would love for them to do more of these.

With the runs this low, you won’t see this, but if they do more of them at some point, it’ll be a metric of the popularity of instructors. Especially if you go to eBay and Alex is selling for $400, but Robin is selling for $200.

It would not feel good for the instructors if that was the case.

It will be very obvious. I’m making up numbers. I have no idea who would sell for what.

I’m sure somebody is arguing with you. That’s not how much Robin would sell for over Alex.

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


I’m good at making things up. Anyway, there you go. There were action figures that you, statistically speaking, were never going to be able to access. It’s a cute little promotional item that they came out with. Hopefully, they do more or maybe do another run that makes them more widely avail available. They could also do all sorts of things where they could put them in different outfits.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could buy these at the beginning of specific drops and you could buy little clothes like the little outfits that you bought? I’m just making up dolls now. I’m playing with dolls that I can change the clothes on.

Congratulations. You’ve invented dolls.

I want them to match me. That would be fun. I’m just saying.

They can sell you little Pelotons to put them on.

They sit on your little machine while you workout with them so you feel like they’re right there. This would be amazing. Peloton, come on.

Also, a little Tread+ and then they could take it back.

Don’t say that. That’s sad, and then you get $4,000 in cashback, and then you have a sad John Foley.

Instead of Barbie’s dream house, you can get Foley’s Hampton house. Available for five days only.

You could get the true-to-scale size of the studio. You could put the little instructors in there. It’s a dollhouse.

They could sell you a Chelsea studio and the new studio

Also, the London studio. That would be amazing.

We’re designing their whole toy line for them. You’re welcome, Peloton. We’ve got it all mapped out for you. You can sell them little towels.

I would collect all of it. You would make a lot of money, Peloton.

Right now, they’re like, “Next time we’ll make 97. We’ll be rich.”

Not at $0.92 a piece. I guess 97 next time.

The sad thing is when these hit the secondary, these action figures will have a higher value than their stock. Hopefully, that will correct, which we’ll talk about here shortly. Speaking of fun and different, Peloton also unveiled the Five Motivational Languages.

We had the Five Love Languages. Dr. Lakshmin and Peloton teamed up to create Motivational Languages. This is so cool. We’ve got having fun, achieving goals, building community, positive affirmations, and tough love. Each instructor has their own holiday card and it falls within one of these categories. My favorite is Matty Maggiacomo’s own your magic. I love him. I love what he stands for. It was perfect that that happened to be the first card that I came across because that’s the one I wanted to use.

Hopefully, it works out the same for you with the minis.

Yes, I hope.

How do you get the cards?

There was a link. You can find it in our newsletter. You can also find it on my Instagram in the bio. You can find it in the article that we wrote. It’s at We have it everywhere. You can go there and you can get all of the cards. You can download all of them and you can send them to all of your friends.

Unlike the Peloton minis, you can get all of these.

Now that I’m looking at this holiday card, it actually says the link. It’s really tiny down there. It’s Bitly/pelotonholiday.

The Peloton stock price has been slowly trending upward. It was not $170.

I can’t stand this title.

It’s not like John Foley gets his house in the Hamptons back, but maybe that’s for the best. I would love for it to be $170 again, and not just because we own it, but maybe a slow steady climb is a little bit better than a rocket ship. The headline of this article is Peloton stock price is surging: Is this a dead cat bounce? Do you know what that means?

No. I can’t stop making faces at it though.

In stock parlance, that comes from the saying when a stock price is dropping. They’re like, “Even a dead cat will bounce if you drop it from a high enough height. They’re saying that sometimes a stock will plummet and then it’ll go back up and people think it’s correcting. They’ll then jump on board and then it craps out again. They’re asking if it is that. I don’t think it is, but don’t take stock advice from me.

Don’t ever take sock advice from us, but here’s what I will say about it, Peloton is doing all the things. They are being very focused. I did not start off as a Barry fan. I am coming around on the dude though. I really am. He is laser-focused. He’s like, “Whatever people, I’m doing my thing over here.”

He’s doing the fundamentals and the fundamentals aren’t sexy. Over time, it will win out I think.

They’re getting these lawsuits out of there. That needed to happen. Because they’re staying so laser-focused, they’re also shutting up all the negativity. There’s still a lot of it out there by the supposed fans of the company, but there isn’t as much coming in from the news articles as there was. That’s a huge part of it too.

The problem they’re going to have with getting the stock price back up to a more acceptable number is that the investor class is scared of it now. It’s going to take a while before they believe.

It’s going to have to be a few quarters of consistent doing, but they’re that laser focus. I think they can pull it off. We’re in it. It’s happening. Should we go back to the Daniel thing too while we’re going back?

I know we said we were done, but we forget to mention that after the lawsuit being dropped was announced, all his classes were purged from the platform.

We don’t know if Peloton insisted on that or Daniel insisted on that. We just know it was part of whatever agreement.

That could have been the one thing they both agreed on. Peloton might have been like, “We’re done with you dude. He might have been, “Keep off making money off me.” I could totally see that being the case. For the people that are upset that his classes are gone, I get why you’re upset. You like the guy and you want to keep taking the classes as long as you can, but it’s not necessarily an F-you from Peloton.

That could very much be Daniel saying, “If I don’t work there anymore, you take my sh*t down.” I totally see that being the case. While we’re speaking of class purges, we should also mention that it looks like Kanye is pretty much officially removed completely from the library, which is good. It’s time. If there’s still any part of you that thinks that guy is worth listening to, you can stop listening to us too.

I think they didn’t want to delete the classes because it was going to gut specific instructors. It’s going to hit some harder than others. They were trying to not make that happen.

After what he did, which we won’t rehash here, it’s not that what he did previously wasn’t bad enough, but that was next-level dumb. There was nothing left they could do. They also got rid of some other classes. It seems to happen once a year and everybody acts as if it has never happened before. It always happens.

They’re constantly purging classes. They just do it at a rate you don’t typically notice.

They purge classes like Disney World paints. They’re always painting the park. They start at the front and they paint to the back. When they’re done, they go back to the front and start over again.

That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.

That’s what Peloton does with classes. It is just a deal. Speaking of purging, they also got rid of a few stores.

There were 16 stores that closed across the US and Canada. We knew it was going to happen. It doesn’t make it any easier on the people that it happened to. Our heart goes out to all those store employees that lost their job. Those stores aren’t necessarily closed. They’re going to happen over the next 60 days. It was announced but it may not be done yet. My understanding also is there’s probably more coming.

In a lot of cases, they’re in these malls so they have leases.

Everyone in the theater is a freak, but we are lovable, wonderful, and weird. Click To Tweet

You can’t do it all at the same time.

They are still going to pay the lease so you might as well leave it up and running.

Again, our heart goes out to the folks that are affected by this. For those stores remaining, please remember that if you’re planning to order something, call the store. You don’t have to be in the same city as the store. You can call any store and order it and they will have it shipped to you. Please support your stores.

Coming up next, Dr. Jenn is going to talk to you about equipment overload. You’ve got so much Peloton equipment now, how do you decide what to use when? She’s going to help you figure out the best way to tackle that.

Joining us 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, 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 and Intimacy. It’s Dr. Jenn.


It’s so good to have you here. Our first question comes from Andrea. She emailed me this one. Before I even asked for questions, I feel like you will know exactly what to say to bring peace to her heart. She runs and bikes. She loves the challenge badges and she’s considering bringing the rower home.

She makes it sound like a puppy, “I’m considering bringing the rower home.”

It’s part of the family, Tom. I understand. She says, “How do you feed the need to get the challenge badges yet incorporate multiple pieces of equipment?”

First of all, I tend to focus on the process over the outcome. It’s important that she create a workout program in the big picture on a week-to-week basis that is balanced. It makes her feel good that she looks forward to it and is enjoyable. Probably when she brings the rower home, it’s the new puppy. She’s going to want to play with it more. I imagine that will be something that she may want to focus on. Also, you’re getting a great upper-body workout. Robin Ross sent me a great article all about how rowers are great when it comes to preventing osteoporosis. I don’t know if you’ve seen this article.

She may want to focus a little bit on the rower, and maybe get some challenge badges with the rower instead of focusing on the bike and the tread. It always comes down to balance, whether it is balance in the workout or balance when it comes to challenge badges or completing programs or anything with your workout. It is about finding peace, not overdoing it, and doing what’s right for your body at that particular moment in your life.

That makes sense. She can put the rower first and then she can build the rest of her workouts around that.

We were talking about the rower before we came on the air. I imagine using it once or twice a week to balance out the other workouts depending on how much I connect with it once I get it.

I like using it as a warm-up to my run. Instead of running easy, I like to do the row for twenty minutes, then hop on and do whatever run I had planned. I still do a five-minute warm-up like the warm-up that they always do at the beginning of the class because you still have your drills and things like that. It’s a great way to warm up and get your heart rate up but not too much.

That’s a great idea. I hadn’t even thought of combining it with other cardio.

I can see that rower getting into your house even sooner.

You’re inspiring me with that, Crystal.

Are row classes designed to be not as frequent? It seems like when people talk about the rower, in general, they don’t seem to think of it in the same terms as they do the bike in frequency.

One thing is it uses 86% of your muscle groups. According to the classes that I’ve taken, the instructors say it uses 60% legs, and 40% upper body, and the core is included in the upper body. People are like, “I don’t want to overdo it with the rower,” and not be able to do whether their big sport is biking or running. They don’t want to overdo it with the legs. I have found I can’t overdo it with the legs. It’s so low impact that it doesn’t wear me out like running. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s exhausting doing a 45-minute row but in a completely different way than running for 45 minutes. I could keep going for hours, but it’s not as engaging as running.

Any exercise you can do sitting down, I’m all for. I love exercising sitting down. Olivia has a five-minute abs class of the core class, in which she’s wearing a red sports bra and red pants. I’ve probably done it a hundred times. It’s all on your back. If I can lie down and exercise, I am at my happiest.

I get that. You’re getting a lot out of it and you’re still moving. People are also scared of doing a 45-minute row class because it does incorporate all your muscles. The unknown is always scary. I remember when I first joined Peloton and Steven Little was a coach that I took a lot. People would be scared to do the endurance stuff that he put out there. They would be scared to do a 60-minute class and a 90-minute class. It then became no big deal and then they took them all away. Now we’re back at the beginning where you got 20 minutes and 45 minutes.

I also think that 45 minutes is a big emotional commitment. Putting aside like, “Physically, can I do 45 minutes?” Once a week I do a 45-minute bootcamp. I end up sometimes moving as I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I do my bootcamp on either Tuesday or Thursday. I find myself moving it around because on the other day, I do a 20-minute full-body, 30-minute run, and a 5-minute stretch or core or something like that. Even though sometimes on the other day, I’m actually working out for more minutes, the block of 45 minutes mentally, I have to get myself psyched up for it. I have to prepare for it.

That makes sense too. Once again, you come at it from two different angles.

Thank you so much for all of that. Until next time, where can people find you?

You can find me on social media @DrJennMann. I also post my workouts on Insta Stories every day.

Thank you.

Robin Arzón has announced her 3 for 31 Challenge, which was her big announcement that we talked about that was going to be on CBS This Morning.

That is what it was. I don’t understand why that was newsworthy but it sure was.

I guess it’s the size that Peloton has gotten to.

Good for them and good for her.

A couple of years back, it hadn’t reached a saturation point where an instructor did this or how many people have Pelotons. Now they are so commonplace that you can do stuff like this.

The other thing is we talked about how it was going to affect her Web3 thing. She said that if you put on social that you’re doing the 3 for 31 and you tag the appropriate tags every single day for the entire month of December, then you get entered to be one of the first people that are part of her Swagger Society. You get to move to the front of the line.

Tunde won an award, Creative Person of the Year, from the African Diaspora Awards. I had to look up what diaspora meant.

What does it mean?

People who are not in their homeland. That makes sense. Congratulations to her. That’s cool. Christine D’Ercole has an event coming up in Switzerland.

It’s going to be in July 2023. We’re making sure you hear about it now because it’s in Switzerland. You’re going to need some time to sign up and pay for it because it’s in Switzerland.

It’s 5,000 whatever Switzerland dollars are per person.

Is it? I didn’t even read that part.

I found the website that’s selling it and it was 5,000. I don’t know if it was pounds or Swiss francs or how that works. I don’t know what the little emblems mean because I am American and pay no attention to other cultures. That’s how we roll. I’m ignorant of other countries.

Does that include things like your flight or is that just for the privilege of being there?

I think it’s for the privilege of being there. I couldn’t tell if you also get a room because it’s at a resort. I don’t know if that’s baked into it all.

I think it is baked into it. I just wasn’t sure about travel because you’re there for five days. You participate in wordshops on four of those days, and then there are events that the whole group does together. It’s July 10th through 15th, 2023 in Switzerland. I would love to go to watch it happen.

I wouldn’t.

It’s not your thing. I get it.

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


It’s not my jam. Also, if I go to Switzerland for five days, I wouldn’t want to be in a hotel doing workshops. I would want to go look at Switzerland.

They do that too though because they went in 2021. I should know because they just did it.

I think it was in Newark, wasn’t it? They went to scenic Newark and this time they’re slamming it in Switzerland.

No, it wasn’t Newark. It was another cool place. It was in another country, Tom. One of the people that got to go to it had told me that they did stuff the whole time. They had it broken up so that you could join the group to do the things if you wanted to or not. They would have a big dinner and you could go or you could go do your own thing. It wasn’t like you have to be there.

It was there for you if you want. I think about it like when we went to Podcast Movement and I don’t leave the hotel.

Workshops don’t last for hours. They’re like an hour. It’s four of those over five days.

I thought there would be more things in association with that. You’re still getting to see Switzerland. Just so we can educate the audience, they should invite us to attend this so we can explain it to people more better.

Christine, I’m sure you’re listening.

That’s why I need to participate in a wordshop. I just said, “More better.” I need help.

That’s not the word shopping that she does at all. It’s self-talk and learning about that self-talk and how to self-talk.

Marcel Dinkins has debuted her new IG Live series, We Take That Hill.

Her first guest was Kristin McGee. They talked all about their why and how to do the hard things and how each of them shows up. It’s definitely worth watching. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I suggest that you do.

Leanne Hainsby had an emotional post.

We had talked a while back that there was going to be a fundraiser memorial called Dance with Dani on December 4th. That was to celebrate Leanne’s friend that passed away a few months ago. It’s been a while now. Leanne posted a follow-up talking about how the event was and that it was very difficult to do the event but also healing in its own way. I thought it was nice that she was able to post about that and share it with people. It is difficult to be transparent with feelings of this magnitude. I have a lot of respect for her for doing that in such a gracious manner. I hope that she can continue to heal.

The final episode of the season of LOL Cody happened with Bowen Yang as the guest as we knew, but then Mariah Carey’s surprise like All I Want for Christmas Is You popped up unexpectedly.

A lot of us thought that this might happen, but it was nice to see.

The problem they’re having now is that after Lizzo and then Babyface, people are anticipating these sorts of things and expecting them to happen.

They’re being rude about it. I wish people could shut up. I’m so tired of all the negativity.

Here’s something positive that I haven’t heard anybody acknowledge. It didn’t crash their system. Babyface crashed their system. Lizzo crashed their system. How about a hat tip for Mariah Carey not crashing their system? It’s either nobody gives a f*ck about Mariah Carey, which we know that’s not true, or they’re fixing things.

That’s a good point. I will also say that people were a little annoyed that she didn’t sing, but she did a little dance so that’s good.

Was that the Mariah Carey dance?

Trust me, hers look nothing like mine.

You have one thing in common with her.

What’s that?

All I want for Christmas is you.

Do you want Maria Carey?

No, but that’s her song. Speaking of Mariah Carey, Cody then went on to catch her show at Lincoln Center.

Is that what this is? I thought this was some other thing. She was playing. Is that her?

I’m assuming that’s her. If you turn up the audio, she’s singing All I Want for Christmas Is You.

That’s what I give for never ever turning the volume up on Instagram.

She’s doing the hand thing with the microphone. Does that make her voice go up when she raises her hand?

I didn’t know that was a thing either. I didn’t know she did that.

A lot of them do that. I feel like she was the first to notice. The other thing is the fingers on the mic. Their fingers would go up as they would hit the high notes. They look like Groucho Marx with a cigar.

That’s so funny because the other night we were watching Harry Connick Jr. Did you notice the faces that all of the band members were making? There were some faces. I felt like I saw some very private moments with these gentlemen.

That clarinet owes you dinner, sir. That’s not a spit bow. That’s a swallow bow. By the way, if Harry Connick Jr. is coming to your town, go see it. We went and saw the Christmas show and it was perfect. We went and saw Michael McDonald’s Christmas show.

Don’t do that back. If you get a chance to do that, don’t.

I love the Yacht Rock and The Doobie Brothers and that kind of stuff. That show was trash. It was an hour long. It started at 8:00 and ended at 9:00. There was no opening act. He sang two songs we knew the whole night. It was all Christmas songs, except it was all Christmas songs you’ve never heard except for one. He then sang one Doobie Brothers’ song and that was it. They were done. I was like, “What the holy hell is happening?”

We were like, “What just happened?”

We were in Michael McDonald’s hometown. He’s from here. The Harry Connick Jr. show was amazing. It was the perfect selection of Christmas songs. It wasn’t all Christmas songs, but it was mostly Christmas songs. It was Christmas songs that, for the most part, you would know.

Even the ones you didn’t know were fun.

Even the one he wrote that he’s had in his album. You’re going to see his show. That’s okay. I’ll allow that, Harry.

I’m sure Harry is really grateful.

He’s very invested in my opinion. Anyway, go see Harry Connick Jr.

Go see Mariah if you can too. I’m pretty sure that was only for a select few. You had to be in the It Club to get in there.

It seems very branded.

It does, and there are only eight rows there. It’s a whole different world those instructors live in now.

It's terrifying to put your heart out there. Click To Tweet

Speaking of the holidays, you’re probably trying to figure out how to stay focused on your fitness goals. If you want to strike a balance, Angelo is going to help you how to navigate all the wonderful food at the holiday parties. It’s coming up right after this.

Joining us from MetPro is Angelo here to answer all of your fitness and nutrition questions.

Thanks for having me back.

We always appreciate that you’re here. Thank you for being here. We have a question from Stacey Rob. She wants to know how can she allow herself to indulge a bit for the activities of the season while sticking to a healthy nutritional plan and not going overboard in either direction.

Stacey, I’ll tell you the trick to that. The trick is to indulge a bit but don’t go overboard.

Why didn’t we think of that?

That wrapped it right out.

Thank you much. That’ll wrap it up. I’m out. Joking aside, that is a great question. This is 101 when I’m coaching my clients. Every time we take on a new client, there’s a series of high-priority topics that we try and cover with our clients. We can’t just say, “I’m your coach. Hop online or hop on Zoom or hop on the phone, we’re going to have a six-hour workshop.” You can’t download stuff that fast so we do it gradually.

Here are the highlights from the best of the most important things you need to know when we start day one. One meal doesn’t ruin it. I’ve watched thousands of people go off track for one meal, and it is amazing how one meal doesn’t ruin it. It is also amazing how the failure to transition back to your routine the next meal or the next day will decimate results. When I say transition back, that doesn’t mean you have to measure out every bite. If I get you to do that, great.

Even if it’s a principle, what happens is there’s this kind of limbo state where it’s like, “I’m off track and I know this isn’t going to be the greatest weekend. I already blew it Friday night, so we’re just going to bust on through. We’re just going to throw caution to the wind Saturday and Sunday.” Monday then comes around and it’s like, “I’ve got all these leftovers. I got to finish them off now. Might as well.” That’s what kills you.

There are also physiological reasons for that. It’s the way your body retains glycogen and stores glucose for future fuel inside your muscles and inside your liver. If you’ve been watching what you’re eating, you’re likely running in a state of not major, but at least minor glycogen depletion. The body has the ability to hold extra glucose at the muscle site for a short period of time. When you have a high-carb meal or a high-calorie meal, your body will absorb that as a usable fuel.

Essentially, think of it in these simplistic terms. Your reserves are now full. Your cup runs it over. If you add on top of that, there’s no more room in your muscles to hold extra sugar. Your body is going to store it in the form of fat. That’s not what you want. If you have a bad meal, no big deal, just get back on track. As long as you come back to center on your good routine, no permanent harm is going to be done. It’s the getting back in routine quickly that the coaches at MetPro are always going to be a stickler for because that’s what gets results long term.

Here’s the real question. One meal is he going to screw up ten meals. What about eight meals? I’m trying to find the tipping point.

Tom always works the angle. He wants to know how much trouble can I get in, what will kill me, and then let’s back it off a little. That’s Seinfeld’s old shtick. It is cliche and it’s haiku and we’re always saying it, but it is about routine more than a diet. All of that stuff is relevant. It’s not what happens Saturday nights, special occasions, and busy seasons. It’s what happens at 2:00 in the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday.

I once had a conversation with a client. He’s like, “I don’t know if I can do this, Angelo. On the 22nd, I have this going on and then on the 26th, I have this going on.” I’m like, “I want you to get out a calendar and circle all the meals where you’re going to completely blow it.” He goes, “Here, here, here.” I said, “Add five more to that. If you can stick to that, you are going to have the best diet month you’ve ever had in your life.”

The reality is it’s not this one off here or there. It’s the 45 meals and snacks you’re going to have between Monday and the weekend. Can we get 85% of those to be dialed in when nothing special is going on? Can you say, “I have a goal. I have a purpose. I want to nourish my body.” Can you stick to a healthy vitality protocol where you’re actually eating in a way that’s going to promote the specific goal? Whether that’s performance, weight loss, PRs or whatever it is, can you eat in a way that is going to propel your goal forward the majority of the time and the majority of your meals? If your answer to that is yes, you can absolutely make progress. It doesn’t matter the time of year.

Crystal and I have talked about this a lot. You give yourself permission because you’re like, “W difference does it make now?” The answer is it makes a lot of difference.

It’s also interesting how it’s shifted for both Tom and me mindset-wise because we’ve been doing this for a long time now. It’s interesting because I know we still have our things where we go off. When we went out of town for Thanksgiving, honestly, we had the best intentions, but there were things that happened to us.

We ended up in a food desert.

We did not expect that. We did not see that coming.

It forced us to miss lunch and dinner. When we finally sat down to eat at 9:00 at night, we ate all the food.

It was not pretty. The interesting thing is the next day, we didn’t go crazy. In the past, we would have. In the past, we would’ve been like, “Whatever. Forget it all.” We didn’t. We indulged some every single day but it was not a free-for-all like it was on the cruise.

I like the cruise incident but we won’t talk about that.

Calories don’t count at sea. It’s in international waters. Everybody knows that. I shouldn’t have to tell a fitness expert that.

It all comes back to using the nautical term, anchoring to a solid routine. If you have a good routine in place, it’s not a big deal. There are tricks of the trade and that’s what we do with our clients. We help them with tricks of the trade because there are a lot of people who can indulge, can have a cheap meal, and know how to determine the good, the bad, and the ugly. Simply stay out of the ugly and go with the good and the bad, and we’re going to be all right.

Most people don’t know what those things really are. There are good, bad and ugly when it comes to desserts, entrees, beverages, and alcohol. Those are all the little nuances that we love helping people discern that tips the scales in your favor when you have all those pieces working together. The big overarching theme is going to be less about what happens on Saturday night with your family, and more about what happens Monday morning. Are you back in a routine?

I’ll give you a little heads up for what you’re actually battling. You’re going to be battling a stomach ache Monday morning, where you feel like you never need to eat another bite for the rest of your life. You’re going to go half of Monday without eating anything. You’re going to be like, “It’s amazing. At 4:30 in the afternoon on Monday, after eating nothing all day, I want to eat the same thing that I ate last night.” it can quickly perpetuate itself. Be on the lookout for that. Ease yourself back into your routine of small meals. Don’t let it turn into not eating until you’re starving.

I don’t consider MetPro a diet, but some people think as we have these conversations that the goal is we’re trying to say everyone needs to eat a certain way or do a certain thing. It’s all about making yourself feel miserable all the time. When we talk about these things like having these one-offs, it’s not like the rest of the time, you’re miserable. That’s important to note, especially when we’re in busy times or we’re in times when we’re spending a lot of time with our family and friends, and there are all these treats around.

It’s not about denying yourself. It’s about how you want to feel and what your goals are. For some people, that comes easily, just eating good foods. If you’re somebody like Tom and me, that does not come easily. We have to work at it. We have to do that routine that you’re talking about.

You hit the nail exactly on the head, Crystal. Let’s turn this into a whole tirade now. It’s about purposeful eating. It’s about the purpose of your approach. There is no right or wrong. I’ll go on a mini rant because the industry swings. It used to be like, “All carbs are bad,” then we were weird for saying, “No, all carbs aren’t necessarily bad,” and then it was, “You only eat between these hours.” Actually, we have found that with all types of different eating schedules and styles, when strategic, you can have good results. We were weird for saying that. Now, it’s never to deny yourself anything. It’s all about having a healthy relationship with food. That is true as well.

It’s purposeful because everybody asked me, “What’s the right strategy?” The answer is always, “It depends.” For a decade, here is the business I’m in. People would come to me because they needed to edge out their competitors on stage at a physique contest where if they didn’t eat perfectly on a meal plan strategy that was going to be the winning strategy for them to bring their best at 6:30 PM on a specific date where they’re going to be under the lights, tanned up, oil and flexing, and they were a little bit glycogen depleted, then they’re going to end up having the silver medal instead of the gold. That is what MetPro was designed for.

When somebody comes to me and asks me, “Help me get in shape,” I’m going to ask, “Are you a competitor who’s already weighing, managing, and calculating every macronutrient and every meal that you’re eating, preparing in advance, carrying the foods with you, and you’re looking to actually place in your next competition? Here is the strategy for that.”

If somebody comes to us that is part of the majority of society that says, “I’m tired of feeling exhausted all the time. I want to look and feel my best while living my best life. I know that I need to instill some healthy habits. I need to find a food strategy that works for me. I need to find something that’s not punishing that’ll still get me feeling better.” Guess what? You’re going to be able to do that and your program is going to look nothing like those 9 to 5 bodybuilders.

It’s just that’s what everyone has in their mind. They think that they’re going to get put on a regimen that’s going to feel like a highly advanced pro-athlete, bodybuilder or figure competitor. In reality, it’s going to be how do we take the 80/20 rule and the best of what they’re doing, and apply it principally across your day-to-day life.

I will be the first person to tell you that none of this is worth it if you don’t enjoy food. You have to go out and have yourself a good indulgence. Otherwise, why bother to have what and never enjoy food? That’s not what it’s about. Get yourself a solid routine and then you’re going to be able to have the indulgences you want. You’re going to be able to enjoy them guilt-free because it’s not going to amount to a hill of beans. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s not going to set you back. You’re still going to be able to make great progress and have that balance in your life.

Thank you. That’s awesome.

If people would like nutritional information like this tailored to their lifestyle, where can they find you?

They can go to Thank you, guys.

She’s not a celebrity to us, but for our UK audience, I’m sure she is because they wrote an article about her in The Sun. She’s got to be something. Susanna Reid who hosts Good Morning Britain was talking about her fitness journey and how much she digs her Peloton.

I love seeing the different phrases that the UK uses in their articles versus the US articles. In America, the headline would read Susanna Reed reveals what she’s doing Peloton after gaining some weight. What The Sun says is that she reveals doing Peloton and cutting out snacks after putting on a stone. It sounds like she picked up a boulder and she’s carrying it.

She wants to increase her resistance. The knob is not enough. She’s doing it with a rock strapped to her back like Sisyphus. I know that he pushed it. Don’t at me. I know that. I looked that up and that translates into roughly 14 pounds if you’re curious. There was also something else that they said here which I thought interesting. It’s a word we use but in a slightly different conjugation. It says, “Susanna who has been candid about being teetotal.”

It’s like non-alcohol.

We say, “They’re a teetotaler.” I’ve never heard it used, “Being teetotal.” I thought that was interesting. It also referred to her having hangxiety. I’ve never heard that. I don’t think that’s a British thing, but it’s a phrase we haven’t heard. Some people, when they have a hangover, they also have anxiety.

While we’re on phrasing, can we talk about this goblin mode thing that everybody is talking about?

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


Is this going back to the guy in the clarinet?

No. Did you hear that the new word that got added to the Oxford dictionary in 2022 was goblin mode?

I see that but it was so dumb that I didn’t read the headline. Also, it irritates me when you add phrases to the dictionary and say it’s a word. That’s a phrase, not a word.

I agree. Do you know what goblin mode is?


Never mind.

I thought you were going to tell me.

I thought you would know.

I was riveted. I thought you were going to share what goblin mode is. In my head, it’s dirty. I’m hoping.

Let me google it. A type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy. Typically, in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.

First off, I feel like this is hurtful to goblins.

Apologies to goblins.

I don’t know if I can co-sign this. Where did that come from?

I don’t know. Kids today.

They’re gobbling hatred.

It’s probably from kids watching too much Harry Potter eighteen years ago. It just made it to the dictionary.

There is a lag time.

We’ll ask the teenagers later.

While we’re talking about celebrities but not teenagers because I know teenagers aren’t going to know who this is. Donna Mills was talking to AARP. In fairness, I have Donna Mills up on the screen. I know that this is a pro shot. She’s got all the makeup and all the things going forward.

She looks amazing.

Even taking that into account, she’s 81 years old.

My hat’s off to Donna Mills. She looks better at 81 than I look now. It’s annoying. She’s gorgeous.

Apparently, she’s a big fan of her Peloton. I think we’ve talked about this before. She’s posted on Instagram about it perhaps.

I didn’t remember that.

She is talking to AARP about aging and how to stay looking like that. Apparently, if you’re in your 40s and you’ve got a Peloton, you’re well on your way to looking like Donna Mills when you’re 81. For people who are wondering, she started on Knots Landing, which I would probably have to explain what Knots Landing is to people that don’t know. If you don’t know who Donna Mills is, I don’t know that you know what Knots Landing is. It was a nighttime soap opera from the ’80s. It was a spin-off of Dallas. I don’t know if that helps you with anything. She was Clint Eastwood’s girlfriend in Play Misty For Me. It was the last time he had an age-appropriate onscreen girlfriend.

The latest artist series features Kane Brown.

Hello, Kane. It’s nice to see you again.

This is great because I know a lot of people don’t feel like there’s enough country music on the Peloton platform. I know he’s crossed over with Top 40 stuff as well, but his roots are country music.

I would call him solidly in the new country. There is nothing classic country about his music. I enjoy it though.

I’m not even a country guy but he has songs I liked. I liked all the money I made off of him when we did a Kane Brown show at my arena.

I enjoyed watching from the front row.

Thank you, Kane Brown. We bought those tickets. We paid cash for them.

That’s why when that lady wouldn’t get out of my way, I had no problem telling her to freaking move it because we bought those tickets fair and square and she didn’t.

Also, since I said the name of the last artist collaboration, I’ll let you say the name of this one.

I got. It’s Sportfreunde Stiller.

I think they’re related to Ben Stiller.

No. They are a legendary German indie band. The name of their band means friends of the sports when you translate it from German to English. This was perfect for what was happening with FIFA. They were soccer balls.

Here’s the deal. If we didn’t know who a baseball player was, do you think there’s hope and hell of us knowing soccer?

No, we don’t. We know that America participated and won a game.

That is breaking news. We got all the scoop here about soccer.

That’s why you tune in, so we can tell you about sports stuff.

We have no idea who these people are and that’s okay because it’s not for us. It’s for Germans.

I need to say something. These guys talk to me on Instagram. I posted their thing and they were like, “Hi.” How cool is that? None of the American people does that.

Did they say hi in German?

No, they sent me a little high emoji. It was a little hand waving at me.

This business can be tough–the not knowing what's next. Click To Tweet

I don’t know how you say hi in German.

It was a German artist series. For all of you out there that are like, “I’ve never heard of it,” right, you don’t live in Germany.

There are multiple countries now. That’s okay.

There have been multiple countries around the world.

In the Peloton world.

Mila, Tobias, and Marcel Maurer all did classes for this artist series. I thought that was cool.

We have a new adaptive class from Logan Aldridge.

It’s not just a class. It’s a program. The cool part about this is they had a seated adaptive strength program. It was for a week and there were eleven different classes, and now they’re standing adaptive strength. This was just released. That is super cool. I love all these adaptive classes. On one more note about Logan, I was able for the first time to take one of his tread classes.

Something stood out to me at the very beginning of his class. He described what he was wearing for people who could not see it. I really loved that. I will also say this man has the best energy on a tread always. It’s not just on a tread. He does it all the time. If you haven’t gotten a chance to take a class with Logan, you need to stop what you were doing and go do that now because he is a joy to take a class with. That is all.

We also have new Lanebreak levels.

Holiday Mix. This one feature Kylie Minogue, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Buble, Dan + Shay, and more. I could say every single name on there. Thank you, DJ John Michael

I dig that Kylie Minogue Christmas song. I don’t know why that’s not more of a staple.

I agree. You played it for me a couple of years ago. We’ve listened to it since then. You were like, “Check this out.” It’s really good.

That song should be everywhere.

I’m going to Lanebreak to it for what it’s worth.

Finally, we have one birthday. It’s Marcel Maurer.

That is taking place on December 12th. Happy birthday, Marcel. We hope it’s a good one.

Coming up after this, we’re going to talk to Melissa Kaul. She is a singer-songwriter and works on Broadway.

She’s fascinating and very inspirational.

For sure, so stick around.

Joining us is Melissa Kaul but I have been told, she goes by Mellie.

Thank you for having me.

We are very excited you are here. For those who may not know, we got to meet you in person when we were in New York a few months ago. We’ll get to how that all came to be but it was super cool. We always loved meeting people from the Peloton community, so it was fun to get to do that.

It was so cool to get to meet you guys because everyone’s like a virtual friend. I was like, “You are alive. You breathe.” During the pandemic that’s what got me through. It’s all these hands that I’m high-fiving, but to see someone in person was lovely.

It makes a huge difference. I say it all the time but I feel like those connections and being able to see people in real life are what keep me coming back for more to keep doing the show and to keep showing up. I love having those conversations and seeing people in real life. It‘s very cool. How did you originally find Peloton?

I was one of the people that discovered Peloton during the pandemic. I had done spin classes my entire life. I used to teach spin. I have gone to every studio there is, but I’m also an avid runner. I have been dealing for the last few years with different injuries. I have been doing some of Matt Wilpers’s Strength for Runners which is wonderful. I feel like he’s met with my physical therapist and they were like, “Make her do this.”

I was trying to run during the pandemic, and I was so injured. I had Achilles tendonitis and I had all these things that were acting up. Normally, when that would happen, I would go to a spinning studio or I would go to the gym and I couldn’t do that. I had friends that had sworn by Peloton before the pandemic that were trying to get me to go to classes. I hadn’t been available, but I had been meaning to go.

I was like, “I can get a bike.” I was like, “I might as well.” I had never done any of their classes. I didn’t know the style. I didn’t know any of the instructors. I was out of work. I had moved back to New York and I work in theater, so everything had shut down. I was like, “I don’t know if I should be spending this money,” but I was going crazy. I needed something.

I got my bike. I could say for the first three months, I didn’t buy the membership because I was afraid. I was worried about money because Broadway was shut down. Since I had taught classes before, I did the sample classes, and then I would make playlists and I would teach myself.

It then started getting to a point in February of that year, so that’ll be two years from this coming February 2023, when I took my first class. I was like, “I like this style.” I felt like it was safe and it was fun, but I didn’t find an instructor I had connected with. I was trying all the different ones until I found Jenn Sherman. I don’t even remember what song it was, but she was so funny and such a great instructor. Two minutes in, I was like, “That’s it.”

I remember because the last few years have been difficult for me. I went through a divorce from my ex-wife. My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia. I wrestled if I should move back to New York because I was down in Miami with my father. I had opportunities that popped up before the pandemic shut everything down. I had come back and then I found myself isolated and completely alone. I can say that the day I took Jenn Sherman’s class, I remember walking around smiling. I was happy. I had been so unhappy going through so much. She uplifted my soul. It was like, “This is something special.” I kept doing it and then it’s helped me heal a lot of the injuries I had, and made me a stronger athlete. That’s a very long-winded answer to your question.

What a story.

It’s also a very long-winded show so don’t feel bad.

You belong here,

I talk.

That’s what we were hoping for.

Sometimes my friends are like, “You left a five-minute voicemail. You can just say, ‘Call me.’” I’m like, “I just want you to know what was going on in my life.”

Mellie, the voicemail shouldn’t have subplots. There has to be a story.

In my head, they do. I’m like, “Then this and then that.”

I was taking a class. It was Camila Ramon, and she got added to the tread. She was like, “I will answer the phone, but do not leave me a voicemail. That’s rude.” She was like, “Don’t even get me started on anything longer than a minute. I’m going to delete you. It’s not going to happen.”

That would totally annoy her. I can’t help it. It’s like how I have always been. I was the kid in class that was like, “Stop talking.”

I also think there’s a little bit of change whenever you go from one generation to another. Our kids don’t use the phone at all. Everything is texting. It would be weird. Camila’s on the younger end of things, so that might be part of the “Don’t leave me a voicemail thing. You mentioned Broadway. How we got to meet you is you were working on The Music Man. You do costume design, correct?

I don’t do costume design. I work as a dresser. I’m in the wardrobe department. I’m with the kids, so I’m in charge specifically of the boys because there are 8, sometimes 9 kids, depending on if we have a swing with us. There’s a woman who dresses the girls, and then I dress the boys. I’m in charge of their costumes and making sure that they have everything they need for every scene. It’s been fun. I don’t have children of my own, but these kids speak words that I don’t understand. They are teaching me that I’m old-fashioned in certain lingo and stuff I say. They are making me cool. We have a lot of fun together at the show. They are wonderful people. It’s been an honor.

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


I hate to burst your bubble, but as soon as you say the word that the twelve-year-olds say, “It’s not cool.” We ruin it. Anyone over a certain age, if we adopt the lingo, they immediately abandon it.

It’s true. They laugh at me.

We have at home, one is 16 and one is 18. If we say something that’s from the new vernacular, they immediately groan.

They will say stuff like that to me. They will be like, “Mellie, oh, my God.” What they say is, “Let’s talk, Mellie.” I feel like they are the adults sometimes and I’m the kid. I’m going in there and I’m shutting the lights on and off or I’m impatient to get them dressed. They are like, “Calm down.” What happened here? I don’t know what this says about my maturity level.

It was funny. They were going around and they were picking because there’s a bunch of us that work with the kids. There’s another dresser, but then there are also child guardians who are basically like a mom, a teacher, a parent, they are everything because some of these kids are young. Our youngest is seven.

It’s to make sure that they are safe. We want to make sure they are not hit by scenery if they are tired or sick and all sorts of stuff. One day, the boys were going around to all of us saying, “You look this age, but you act this age.” When they came to me, they said, “Mellie, you look 21” or something. I was like, “Didn’t you know I turned 21 every year?” That’s amazing, and they said, “You act like you are ten.” I said, “Pretty much.”

Coming from a ten-year-old, I don’t even know if that’s an insult.

We got to see you interact with them briefly because they were all waiting at the door for you, and they seemed to love you. You could tell there was a real connection.

They were excited to see you.

Thank you. I feel the same way. Especially having gone through so much of what I have gone through, having them come to me every day. Kids are so great because they live in the moment, and so they are happy to be there. They are not moody. If something’s wrong, they say, “I’m upset because of this or this.” They are like, “We need to do two shows today. This is great.” That’s an energy I like being around. I like being around positive people, and it’s very refreshing. I’m lucky I have had this opportunity. We are only running until January. After that, I’m not quite sure what I will be doing, but this has been an incredible year.

That would have to be a very anxiety-inducing career. You are always on the lookout for the next gig.

It very much is, but I always say it chose me. My passion is singing and songwriting, and that led me to this. I work in the arts and that’s not something that was a choice. It was my soul was like, “You have no choice because you are not going to be happy unless you are a part of this,” but it is very difficult. You have to learn to let go, trust the universe, do the work, put it out there, and trust that you are going to be taken care of. That is a very hard lesson and a scary place to be.

It’s like being in Frogger. Not the road part, but where the logs go by. You hop on a log and then you just hope that there’s going to be another log in time for you to hop onto that.

This was about my music, but I had a dream that I was standing at the edge of a cliff and I had to jump. I wanted to get to this forest that was like a cross. Down below is this amazing forest, but there was no log. In my dream, there was a voice that said, “You have to jump.” I was like, “I don’t know.” I finally jumped, and when I jumped a log appeared. I woke up and I felt very strongly that was a message to trust, but it was hard.

It’s been a little bit since they announced that they were going to end the show in January. Can you start looking for things?

Yes. I have reached out to other people, friends and contacts saying, “We are closing. I don’t know what’s going to happen if you are going to need someone.” That’s what all of us do. One of my friends who’s a wonderful man is the supervisor at Moulin Rouge. He’s offered me a day. It’s called day work or two days of day work, where you go in and you help prepare the costumes during the day. I started doing that in addition to The Music Man just to pass. He was also the person when I first came back to the city. I was calling people. I didn’t have work and he took care of me. I was working at Moulin Rouge right before the pandemic.

Having worked on something as successful as The Music Man, does that help get the attention when you are going for the next thing? You are like, “I did The Music Man.”

Yes, but in this business, whether it’s backstage or onstage, a lot of it is who you know. Someone who vouching for you. Someone who says, “This person is not a freak. They are going to work hard.”

A freak in the right way.

We are all freaks. Everyone in theater is a freak but we are lovable, wonderful and weird.

In theater, they will say, “Don’t worry, this person isn’t normal at all.”

None of us could do the 9:00 to 5:00. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There are reasons why we couldn’t do it.

I see it in my daughter. Not so much Brian because I haven’t seen him reject typical hours. My daughter is very much into drawing. You can tell that she has to do it on her own terms. I feel like some people we have known who have been in the arts, that’s how their brains tend to work. It’s like, “I need to do it at this time. I need to do it this way. to” That must be hard to find your way whenever you are so creative and you have so many things to show people. I’m assuming the part of your brain is always wanting to work on your music instead of going over to theater. You might love it, but you have these other things you’d rather be creating. It’s probably a difficult thing to work through.

It’s hard to balance it all. For me, I wanted to sing since I was born. My mom said that I used to sing myself to sleep in my crib. She’d walk in and I’d be singing. I vaguely remember that. I remember crying and then realizing I could sing. That is my biggest passion, and it’s always been my biggest outlet. Through auditioning, writing music, and studying, I was led into theater into backstage work, which for me is such a gift because I stay inspired.

There are days when I’m working on my music and I have to put my guitar down and go to work. The great news is that by working on these shows, I’m inspired. I write music because it inspires me. If I were to work somewhere else, I don’t know if I would be able to be as creative. It sets the spark and then I try to learn what I can when I’m at the show from all the incredible people I’m working with because everyone is so intelligent and has worked so hard. To be on Broadway in any capacity, you have to pay your dues.

Except for that seven-year-old.

If they are sick or if they are hurt, I will go over to them. I say, “Are you okay?” “I will be fine. I just need to rest.” They handle things. They have this amazing attitude, so I try to learn from them and take it and apply it to my own music and use it to inspire me to go pursue my music.

I would think it’d be hard to write songs when you are hearing the same music every day. I feel like you’d write a song and get halfway through and be like, “No, that’s 76 Trombones. I wrote it again. That’s the third time I have written that song.”

That music is so beautiful. There are some days when I rewrite the lyrics, making up silly things and saying stuff. The music that I end up writing, I never know when it’s going to come. It usually comes from something emotional. Whether it’s happy or sad, there’s usually some emotion that’s so strong that I feel this like, “I need to get my guitar right now,” and I go and I get my guitar. I will sit there and I will play around. Sometimes something comes and sometimes nothing comes. When I get that feeling, usually I can write. It’s a question of, “Is the song going to take a few months to write or is it going to be a song that I write in five minutes?”

I had a dog who passed away, her name was Dublin, and I wanted to write a song for her. My friend who’s a musician kept saying, “Write a song for her. It’ll help you heal.” I couldn’t write it. I couldn’t connect to it. Months were going by, I kept trying. Nothing was happening, and then one day I had that feeling and I sat down and within five minutes I had written the entire song. You never know how it’s going to hit.

Sometimes with stuff like that, your brain is working on it in the back.

In terms of what we are talking about, there was one time when I was backstage and one of the little boys, his name is Tanner, had suggested an idea for me about a song. He said, “You should write a song about a memory.” I thought, “That’s a great idea.” He said, “Think of a special memory.” I thought, “That’s a great idea.”

I was thinking about it. I had this memory of being in Disney with my father. All of a sudden, and because of everything my dad’s been going through, I felt very passionate about it. I’m downstairs presetting all the costumes for the finale, which you guys saw the show so you know, it’s a massive change. Everyone comes on and it’s craziness backstage.

In the middle of that, this song came into my head. I’m like, “I have to write this down. I don’t have my guitar. I had a tune and I had words.” It all came to me. I’m literally pulling out my phone trying to write down what was coming into my head, and then getting the boys dressed. It was crazy. I got home maybe around midnight. I took out my guitar and I thought, “Sorry, neighbors.” I wrote the song and got it out of me and recorded it. That was a perfect example of when both of those things are conflicting. The other goal is I love working on Broadway. I’m so lucky and blessed to be able to do this, but I do hope that one day my work will be my music. I can go visit all my friends and hang out and it’s such a gift, but I have been working on my music since I was a baby.

Is it anywhere where people can go find it?

I do have a few songs that are on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube under Melissa Kaul. I have only released five songs right now. There are Dreams to Find, Endless Tears, Dublin, a song for my dog, Believe in Tomorrow, and Just Yet. Those are the songs that I recorded and have put out there. I have written so many other songs since then, but the pandemic took a lot of my money. It costs money to record. Until you get a recording contract, it can cost money to do it yourself. I was doing it all myself. I have written a lot of songs and now my focus has been trying to perform and get out there. I get stage fright and I also credit Jenn Sherman for helping me with dealing with that. I can honestly say for years, I was too afraid to share my music because it’s so personal.

When you are playing a character when I would be acting in a show, I still would have stage fright but you are in that character. You are singing music someone else wrote. You are playing a totally different role. When you are singing your own songs, you wrote them. I have had to start looking at them as I’m a character singing my songs, even though I wrote them, as I start to perform them. I’m trying to look at them that way.

You distance yourself from them a little bit.

It’s terrifying putting your heart out there. During the pandemic, I kept listening to Jenn telling her story of how she was hired and how she sent that email, and you never know until you try. I kept thinking and I’m a very motivated and determined person. I set a goal and I do it. This was something that I had been struggling with and I thought, “What have I done?”

I have recorded some songs. I have been working on writing my songs, but I haven’t performed because I have been scared. She helped me see that I needed to face that and do it. I have slowly started to do that. I have still been terrified. I did my first open mic where I got up with other singer-songwriters and sang one of my songs. I have been putting that off for a very long time because getting up in front of other singer-songwriters to me is terrifying.

How did it go? Do you feel like it went well?

I felt like it went well. The people were supportive. I got up there and for the first moment, I felt disconnected from my body. I heard myself on the microphone, but it felt like, “What the hell am I doing?” I just breathe, connect to what I love, and then I got into it. It wasn’t perfect. I always hear every mistake I make because that’s who I am. I’m a perfectionist. For what it was, I felt proud of what I did. Now, I have to go back and keep doing it.

That’s a huge step right there. Congratulations. I’m very proud of you. We tell the kids all the time, and I know it’s different because you are an adult, but it’s true for all of us. The things that you are scared of, you can be brave and scared. It’s not one or the other. That takes a lot of bravery.

If you are not scared, it’s not bravery.

I’m learning it’s okay. It means you care. I’m so shy naturally. One of my voice teachers always used to talk to me about Barbra Streisand because she has stage fright. He said, “If your passion is greater than your fear, that’s all that matters. In your case, I think it is.” My mom used to joke with me when I was a kid because I remember her best friend brought me balloons on my birthday, and I was too shy to thank her. I was hiding behind my mom. I was too afraid to look at her friend and say, “Thank you.” My mom said, “What on earth did you pick this road where you have to be in the public eye?” It’s like I said in the beginning, I feel like it picked me. It’s the inside of me and what my spirit is trying to do. I have to get out of the way and deal with it.

It’s the price of entry.

Anything you do is better than nothing. If you feel overwhelmed, start to panic, and feel tired, turn the resistance way down. Click To Tweet

It takes a lot of bravery so that’s great that you are doing it and you keep doing it. That’s very awesome.

Thank you so much.

What is your leaderboard name?

Sparkle Pegasus.

That’s a hell of a leaderboard name.

I wanted Sparkle Unicorn, but I think that was taken. There’s no deep meaning behind it, except for the fact that I love sparkles. I love unicorns, rainbows, pegasuses, and anything that has to do with magical stuff.

I instantly have Trapper Keeper in my head.

Lisa Frank.

I always look for those with unicorns or something on it.

Even the magical dolphins were amazing. They would always have the little thing.

Dolphins in general are one of my favorite animals. I tried to be a dolphin trainer years ago. That was something because growing up in Miami, I was always in the water. My mom used to joke that I was a mermaid. I was looking for a job during the summer. The place that I was looking at the time helped rescue dolphins and rehabilitate them. I thought, “I love dolphins. I will try.” I didn’t make it because you had to be an incredible swimmer. I have been swimming my entire life, but it wasn’t even about that. It was about being able to hold your breath for a very long time because the people who would work with the dolphins would also work with the orcas who could dive very deep.

They were so beautiful, but I couldn’t hold my breath. I was so proud. I did the best of all the girls. We had to hold our breath. We went into the sea lion pool and I had to swim across and back underwater holding my breath, and I had made it the whole way and was coming back, and three-quarters of the way back, I started blacking out. I thought, “I’m out for air. Please don’t die. This is dumb,” but I do love dolphins.

Somewhere there’s a picture of a sevenyearold me getting kissed by a sea lion. My parents took us to SeaWorld when I was a child.

There’s also an adult picture of you getting kissed by a dolphin. Sorry if that’s problematic. It happened.

They are magical. They are so intelligent.

Speaking of the Trapper Keepers, I was always flustered by them because they were very gendered. It was like I was too much of a boy to want the unicorn Trapper Keepers, but I wasn’t enough of a boy to want the Camaro Trapper Keepers, and those were your only choices. They wouldn’t have licensed properties on them back then.

That’s true. It was very either/or and that was tough.

It was narrow football or dolphins and ponies. I was left out.

I’m sorry. I need to make you one now. You can feel that need in you fulfilled.

With The Monkees on it or something.

Put The Monkees logo. There we go.

I was always confused by how they opened. Didn’t they fold open?

They were a whole thing.

They then had the other way. It’s awesome.

I’d be sitting in class trying to figure out how to set all of that up and the teacher would call me, “Melisa.” “What did I do?”

A lot of teachers hated the Trapper Keepers because they would put some information on there. They would put the times tables on there and they would put the state’s capital. Kids would be like, “They got stuff right here,” and the teachers had to be like, “You can’t look at that. You are supposed to learn that and know that, not look at it.”

I remember getting in trouble. I don’t know why this made me think of this, but my friends and I had started to learn the alphabet in sign language in fifth grade. We realized we could talk to each other when we had to be quiet by spelling things out. As I told you, I won’t shut up. We were sitting there and we are talking. I remember my teacher going, “Melissa, stop it.” “We are not talking.” “Yes, you are.”

It’s the best when you find a teacher loophole. Those are the best. They are mad and they can’t do anything about it. Those are great.

They used to say, “Settle down,” so I’d sit on the floor and I’d say, “I can’t settle any more than this.”

I felt the same way about my first marriage.

I don’t know if they found me in music, but I thought it was funny.

Is it safe to say that Jenn Sherman is your favorite Peloton instructor?

Yes. I finally got to meet her. I finally got into a class and it was wonderful to get to see her in person because the person that had made such a difference in my life over the last few years, I wanted to see her and meet her. That was lovely.

Did you get to tell her that she helped you?

I was an idiot. When there are people that have had a massive influence on me, I act like an idiot. I just stood there and she said, “What is your name?”

You are like, “I was hoping you tell me.”

I got nothing.

I said, “I go by Mellie,” and she was looking at my necklace because I have Mellie. She’s like, “I see that. I know that necklace,” because she has one similar. A bunch of us were inspired by her necklace. Because I love rainbows and colorful things, this necklace was something I had to have. We talked a little about that and then I said, “You’ve helped inspire me to help perform again.” She said, “Good for you. Just do it. That’s amazing.” At least I got to tell her that.

There are a few other people I want to meet. Melissa Etheridge is my biggest inspiration as a singer-songwriter. I’m afraid that I will say nothing. I love Mary Chapin Carpenter and Dolly Parton. There are people I want to meet. I have a great story about that to give you an idea of how stupid I act. Another person who influenced me a lot was Gloria Estefan because I grew up in Miami. I used to take lessons from her teacher.

We are after each other. It would always be Gloria and then she would have left and I would come. My brother ended up going to school with her son in the same high school. Every time they were in any event at school, show or anything, I would go one night, but Gloria didn’t come. My brother was then friends with him. I remember Gloria even dropped my brother off at our house by the garage. She wanted to meet our dog because she’s a big dog lover.

At the time we had a dog named X-ray because my dad is a retired radiologist. He’s a Beagle mix, this beautiful little dog. My dad said, “I will carry her out.” He walks her out the front door and dropped her. He has a back spasm. He was lying in the driveway with a back spasm. Her son was like, “Sir, are you okay?” She starts calling for him because she doesn’t see that my dad’s lying on the ground with a back spasm. To make a long story short, I never got to talk to her then either. One time, we even dropped my brother off at her house. She had dalmatians running around that I loved and she wasn’t there.

All of these years later, I was working on The Last Ship. It’s the show that Sting wrote that he worked on, and Gloria came to see the show. My friends on that show knew this whole history with Gloria. At the end of the show, this is pre-pandemic, they said, “Gloria Estefan is here, if anyone wants to go say hello.” All my friends said, “Mellie, you have to go. Go meet her.” I went down there and I walk up to her and my best friend Sam was with me because Sam was working on the show too. I said, “Hi, I’m Melissa. I go by Mellie. I’m from Miami. I took lessons from Gina.” It was verbal vomit.

I literally said everything I had wanted to say for eighteen years, and she was just looking at me. She was so lovely and so kind. She was interested and she said, “What’s your name? Did you take lessons from Gina? You are from Miami. Who’s your brother?” She cared and I started getting so overwhelmed that she was so nice, and then people were watching us and I felt guilty. I was taking up her time. All of a sudden, I got light-headed and I said, “Thanks, bye.”

I walked away and my best friend Sam said, “What the hell was that? Why did you do that? What is wrong with you? I was going to take a picture of you. She was interested in what you were saying.” With other people, I’m fine, but if someone has had a massive influence on me, I get very emotional. It’s hard for me to articulate that at that moment.

Next time, you have to have a script prepared that you can read.

I do. I have to write out the main points and be like, “I’m sorry, excuse me.”

TCO 288 | Singer-Songwriter


I have a PowerPoint presentation for you.

“Can you sit down? I have a few things I want to say.”

At least you got to meet her. Not many people can say that they have gotten to meet somebody that has that much influence on them. It’s cool that you’ve been able to do that.

It was cool, and then she did her show, On Your Feet!, which was amazing. I was lucky. I have been very lucky and blessed that I have gotten the opportunities I have had. This business can be tough, not knowing what’s next, the hours when we are putting up a show, and the rehearsals. We are there all the time. We give up holidays and time with our family, but then there are some magical moments that happen. Bruce Springsteen came to The Last Ship too. I remember he walked by backstage and I remember all of us running up to each other, “Bruce is in the building.” It’s those moments that make it, but then you don’t want to act the way I acted. You want to be cool.

You got to keep it together.

Do you have any advice for people just getting their bikes?

I would say, first of all, take the pressure off. It’s what I said when I used to teach people too. This should be fun. This should be something that brings you joy. Take the time. Try every instructor. If you don’t connect with someone or if you are feeling you are making yourself do it, that’s okay. That might not be your person.

There is someone for you. There are so many wonderful instructors. A lot of it for me has to do with the music. I would say try to find instructors that play the music you like. If you don’t feel like doing it, give yourself the shortest class possible. Anything you do is better than nothing. If you feel overwhelmed, and you start to panic and feel tired, turn the resistance way down.

No one is judging you. It’s to make you feel good. The more you can do that and take the pressure off, the more you’ll do it, and that’s how you’ll keep coming back, but if you make it a chore, then you are going to quit. That’s why I did go through a lot of instructors and there are so many that I think are amazing, but it took me coming to Jenn to say, “This is my person.”

When I do runs, I found Matty Maggiacomo and Matt Wilpers. I think that he knows so much and he’s made a difference for me as a runner in terms of form, weak muscles, and things that I was like, “Maybe that’s why I got that injury.” You’ll find your people. I would say take the time and have fun.

Very good advice.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Before we let you go, let everybody know where they can find you and all your things.

On Instagram, I am @Mellie_The_Unicorn. I worked at School of Rock and the kids on School of Rock stole my phone and set that up for me. I am @Mellie_the_Unicorn. I’m now working on The Music Man. The kids told me I had to be on TikTok. I do share a lot of music on TikTok. I am Mellie Tinkerbell. On Facebook, I am Melissa Kaul, but it’s Melissa then with “Mellie.” To find my music on Spotify and all of that, it is under Melissa Kaul, and I think I listed the songs. Thank you so much.

This has been a lot of fun.

Thanks for letting me talk and talk.

It’s what we are here for.

I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook at They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Peloton leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or Facebook at You can find the show online on While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget our YouTube channel at That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running and rowing.


Important Links


About Melissa Kaul

TCO 288 | Singer-SongwriterSinger, songwriter, fitness enthusiast and unicorn at heart







Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!