(highlight) What’s cool about what I do is that I can evolve with it. I didn’t know I’d be writing about menopause. I didn’t know I’d be writing about bikes. That’s actually the best part of this existence that I’ve carved out is that there is no… I’m never one of those like, “Oh my God, it’s Sunday. It’s Monday tomorrow.” I’ve never felt that way because I do what I do. And I like to ride bikes and sometimes race bikes. And I write and I like to express myself, and I like to tell stories. And I like to take complicated scientific things and make them digestible; I’ve always really enjoy doing that. That’s not to say every day is a circus and a picnic; it’s not. Sometimes the process is hard, but I really love what I do, and that’s all… it honestly is all I know. (/highlight)
(chapter) Hello. I’m Craig Constantine. Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast, where I talk with movement enthusiast to learn who they are, what they do, and why they do it. This is episode number 103. Selene Yeager, menopause, health, and writing. Selene Yeager doesn’t shy away from topics others might avoid. In fact, she is leading the conversation around menopause. She shares her journey into creating a podcast about menopause and her own experiences with menopause. Selene explains her thoughts on diet, nutrition, health tracking, and, if you know who Selene is, cycling. She discusses her relationship with writing and what she’s currently reading. Selene Yeager is a professional health and fitness writer, cycling and nutrition coach, personal trainer, athlete, and, of course, a podcast host. She has written articles for many publications, including Bicycling magazine, Runner’s World, Men’s and Women’sHealth, in addition to authoring, co-authoring, and contributing to over two dozen books. Beyond writing, Selene is the host of Hit Play Not Pause, a podcast focusing on menopause for athletes. For more information, go to movers mindset.com/103. Thanks for listening.
(chapter) Welcome, Selene. It’s a pleasure to finally get a chance to sit down and talk. We’ve passed… So it turns out… I love my life. I love my life. It turns out that really cool people live in the same neighborhood as me. And then, after Melissa said, “Hey, let’s talk to Selene”, then it was like one day you went by and I was like, “I think that was Selene. I mean, I know she lives around here…” So I was thinking you lived in the next town, but it turns out we’re actually neighbors, so that’s awesome. I would love to mountain bike more, but I don’t think I could even keep you in sight, but that’s a topic for another day. So I’m torn between… Let’s do the obvious place to start first.
I know my wife is peri-menopausal and then is on the cancer therapy drug Tamoxifen, which one of its effects is basically if you weren’t going to have menopause it will give you the effects of menopause because it’s an estrogen receptor blocker.
As much as any guy would ever know about it, I know what there is to know about that whole life change. So that’s one thing that we definitely need to talk about. And if you’re [inaudible 00:03:29] the sound of my voice, you need to just press stop. Don’t listen to me; go listen to Selene’s podcast where she’s talking all about… I love the title. Say it the way you would say it.
Hit Play Not Pause.
Which is an awesome title for a podcast, let alone one that is about the menopause issue. So I want to talk about menopause, but I’m not even going to pretend to try and have a cogent conversation about it. So you started in September of last year. So tell me about… why did you go, " Yeah, I need to make an entire project about this particular topic"?
Big ass question.
That is a big question. It is a big question. And I will start with, that was not… I did not really ever set out to do a menopause podcast. That wasn’t in my dreams or my cards or my mission. I didn’t even think about doing one. But I had been a semi-professional athlete myself for a long time, still sort of am. More semi than pro these days. But, so pretty much all through my forties, and then I hit about 48 and I was like, “This is what everybody’s talking about.” I thought that maybe I was going to miss it. Maybe I wasn’t going to run into a lot of the issues that I’m sure we’ll talk about: power going down, body composition changing, anxiety, night… the whole nine yards. And I was also in the throes of writing a book proposal with Dr. Stacy Sims, who I had coauthored a book called Roar with. We came out with that in 2016. And at the time it was really to get menstruation on people’s minds because the female hormone fluctuations, particularly estrogen and progesterone, influence a whole lot of physiology that is just underappreciated as far as blood plasma and moods and strength, and I could go on and on, but. We had wrote this book sort of to be like, “Women are not small men.” because all the studies had been done on men and just translated to women and done women a tremendous disservice.
We can talk about intermittent fasting for a whole day on that.
I kind of want to talk about that one, but please keep going.
Okay. Yeah. No, no. So…
Yeah, so that book had come about and we gave menopause one chapter because it was sort of a whole tome on women’s lives, so it included pregnancy and all this stuff. And at the time we had gotten some blowback that one chapter was not enough, but neither of us were in that sort of space ourselves yet.
It’s like, you don’t know what…
What you don’t know, yeah.
…you’re going to be writing until [crosstalk 00:06:08].
Yeah. Yeah. So I mean we covered it, but a lot of people came back to us saying…
“No, no, no, no, no. One chapter is not enough. We need more. #Forgotten athletes”, all kinds of things going on. So I’m like, “Okay, let’s get this ball rolling.” So we got the ball rolling and I’m working on the proposal and all the sudden this sort of menopausal storm hits me. And I feel out of control myself and I text Stacy and I say, “I don’t know if I can write this book because if I can’t get my shit together and… I can’t tell other women what to do.” I mean I have a real authenticity ethic in my work and I’m like, “I’m not going to write something that I don’t believe.” And if I can’t stay on top of my own physiology, who am I to tell women that they can stay on top of theirs?
And she’s like, “Calm down.”
Sounds like an excellent friend.
You’re not the first person, believe me, to tell me this. She told me a lot of advice, which we’ll talk about. Women need to lift heavier weights to get the same anabolic stimulus, and you become more carbohydrate sensitive, and you need more high intensity, and more true rest, and there’s different adaptogens that can work. And she gave me this whole thing and I felt like I got on top of it. I was able to sleep. I got on top of it. And I was like, “Okay, we can write this book.” So this is a very long way to answer your question, but during this process, she was working with her agency that helps promote Roar and promotes her products and they came to me and asked if I wanted to be involved in a webinar on menopause in athletes. And I said, “You guys need a podcast.” And they said, “Do you want to do it?” and I said, “Yes.” And that’s exactly how it started.
I had been doing a podcast with a cycling… just, it was called The Paceline, and it was just conversations, how cycling fits into your lives, really fun. And I loved podcasting. I really enjoyed the medium and I thought it was really fun. And so when that presented itself, I was like, “Oh yeah, definitely.” Because nobody… I felt incredibly alone, especially as an athletic woman. It’s very much like puberty. Girls drop out of sport in puberty because their bodies are changing and they don’t… they’re just not comfortable and they don’t know what to do. Women drop out at the other end of the spectrum just as much, because they’re alone, their bodies are changing, and it’s worse; you feel like Carrie. It’s almost like Carrie. Remember that Stephen King book? No one is telling you these changes that are going to happen and it’s not… sports not fun anymore. Your training’s not working and you feel alone. And you feel like all the sudden all this weird… all the stigmas and stuff that you’ve heard about being old and unattractive and what… it all just rains down on you and you just check out. And I cannot tell you… We’re going on… I just started the show in October and we’re going on 210,000 downloads already. The women are coming out of the closet. They’re so, so, so grateful. So that’s how it got started.
One of the things that you, you didn’t mention it so I’m going to throw it in… you mentioned, and I don’t know where, I think I actually heard it in the trailer the first episode… Please people, if you don’t listen to podcasts, start with the trailer. Then go wherever you want to go in the podcast. But in the trailer, I think you mentioned that the puberty change happens when you have a peer group. So you get instruction on that. It’s like, “Oh, this is happening.” And I live with my parents. My mom expects this and my teachers know what this is. Whereas the menopausal change happens probably when you’re either by yourself or when you’re with a partner who is probably a guy, so no help there. Not only is it a major change, but it’s also one that nobody educates you on. Aside from there literally being no manual, you don’t actually have a peer group to help you with it.
And it’s been traditionally shrouded in shame and stigma. I mean, there’s a historical precedence for that. Women were locked up because they went mad or they were witches. Because these hormonal changes are so severe and they can cause such mood swings. The history of it is awful and fascinating. But you’re a crone, so nobody wants to talk about it. The only thing that I had heard is my mom, she’s like, “When you got to pee, you got to pee.” and “Your Nana went crazy.” I’m like, “Well, that’s good.” I got that to look forward to.
Balancing productivity [10:36]
(chapter) I say this many times, I’m always torn about where to go next. And I’m actually super interested in how you’re using, not just the podcast, but the book writing… and I’m going to say it, you’re a prolific writer, and I know that you write in the mornings so that you have a personal process that you use to support getting your writing done. And I’m personally, just, Craig is super interested in how do you… how does one make change in one’s life? How does one get their shit together and get done what one wants to get done? So I’m interested in knowing more about… not that I’m not interested; there’s a million things I want to know.
Yeah, no, no, no. I’m following you.
I’m interested in how do you wrap… you only have so many hours, how do you wrap inside of… when do you get on the bike? When do you run? When do you write? When do you read? When do you record podcasts? And I’m not accusing you of doing too many things. I’m just saying, for example, these are all the things that you clearly are mixing together and it looks like you’re doing it pretty well in terms of how it’s serving yourself. And the reason I bring this up is because, quite honestly, I’m not going to record the best podcast about menopause. It’s just not going to happen because you’ve already done 28 of them or 29 of them, so go listen to your podcasts. And as much as I want to talk about it, I’m interested in like how do you personally juggle all those things? And I don’t mean like, “How do you manage to do that? It’s unbelievable.” but how do you do that so that you get to where you want to go?
Well, I will tell you that my yard and my house is not as nice as yours. I…
Caveat, caveat; my wife, I call her the crazy plant lady. I mean that in the best way.
Well, but I say that… I do get the question of how do you do it all, often. And I always have, especially once I started racing semi-professionally in 2008, 2009. And when I started that, I made a very conscious decision that some things were going to have to get left behind or not get the same priority in my life. And the house is not a pigsty, but it is not… it is lived in and lived through not lived for. And my husband’s on board with that. So yeah, maybe someday we’ll get around to doing, but maybe we won’t.
It keeps the rain off our heads and the refrigerator works.
And we’re happy. And so that went by the wayside and I just really decided what I wanted to devote my life energy to and went about it. So I am very self-starting, so. And I always have words going on in my head, so I often do get up. My process has been the same since I started this. I get up, I check emails, I sort of, rolling into the day, I read through my RSS feeds, just stuff that I…
Yeah. That I want to think about or new studies that might be coming out that are interesting. And I am a lister. I write lists for the week and for each day. And I have whiteboards with big deadline targets on it. But I’m super organized that way, and I’m very good at compartmentalizing my day. So I’ll just be like, “Okay, I’m going to write from 8 to 12.” And then I usually run out of words then anyway, and so I’m going to fill the well, I call it, or make milk or whatever you want to say, go out, get on my bike, and then more words start coming. It’s like a word generator. And then I get back and there’s usually emails waiting for me and I eat some lunch and have another coffee and look at that. And then do a different kind of writing, often later in the day. It’s not the same as morning writing. Sometimes it’s refining or editing or doing something else. And then it’s family time. And then the evening sometimes we work late. I do a very heavy four day workweek. Friday I’m usually sort of out of words and out of stuff. So maybe I’ll just set up interviews or I’ll set up stuff or do some invoicing and all that other stuff that you need to…
Yeah, I call it admin day.
Yeah. All the stuff that you need to do. And sometimes I end up working on the weekends and sometimes I don’t, but the thing that I like about the way that I have set up my life is that it works with the rhythms of my creative and my physical energy.
Menopause experiences [14:43]
(chapter) Now, let’s talk a little bit more about menopause and about the life changes that you’ve gone through, let’s just say recently. If you could go back, what’s something you wish you could have told your five-year ago self that you think might’ve prepared you? Or like, “Oh, it took me five years to get the following figured out.” I could have done that in a week if somebody had told me.
Yeah. I think I would have just started some of the things I started taking a little more seriously. I wish I would’ve known that the anxiety was hormonal. I would wake up in the middle of the night and just very panicky, and that was sort of new. And that’s very common, I mean, as those hormones fluctuate and decline, cortisol goes up and it creates this anxious state and a lot of women get anxiety and depression, even if they’ve never had it before. And I didn’t know to attribute it to that, and that was disruptive. And I would have just gotten on top of that stress because there are things you can do. I started using CBD, as cliche as that is, because it was a sponsor and I’m like, “Oh, I’ll try it. I’m writing about it.” And I was like, "Oh…
Yeah. That really actually helped. I slept. So that kind of stuff, had I known the root cause… (quote) I think when you know the root cause of things you can explore answers as opposed to just thinking like, “This is just who I am now.” and “I don’t know, maybe life is just getting to me.” You just don’t know exactly what that’s coming from. So I think I would have definitely just told myself “That’s the hormones and they’re crying for help and you need to address that.” But I didn’t know that and it took longer than it should have. (/quote)
I was going to say what’s a question you currently have? What’s something that you’re like, “I need to figure out…” and I’m guessing it’s not going to be nutrition or it’s not going to be hormones per se and it’s not going to be lifting regimens or…
Well, it’s all of those things. You’re not a static being, right? And what’s interesting about the menopausal transition is it hits at midlife and it intersects with also quote unquote “aging”, so sometimes it can be hard to tease out what then is what. What are you attributing to hormones as opposed to just sort of passage of time, right? Certainly as you get into your fifties and deeper in your fifties, those become questions. But, I mean, things that I’ve decided… I was on my mountain bike the other day, barreling down like some big Rocky shoot and my mind went, “I wonder how long I’m going to still be able to do this?” And then I was like, “Yeah.” I was like, “Who cares?” I decided that I wasn’t even going to think that way. I’ll know when I know if that… I mean, I know people in their sixties that are still doing it.
Still barreling down shoots, yeah.
Yeah. So, we’ll see, we’ll see. I am very much more trying to dig my heels in and be present and enjoy time because I know how quickly time goes.
Presence and transitioning [17:45]
(chapter) This isn’t me going, “I’m done.” This is me going, “Oh, 9,000 questions.” Sorry. So I often say to myself, “Just say the thing you’re thinking” which is, yeah, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” It’s a Kurt Vonnegut reference. And I fancy myself a rock climber these days and…
Oh, okay. Thank you. V negative 12 bouldering. But often I can be spotted either mid route or at the top of a route or hiking in the woods, just with this gazing into the distance like, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” And I really think that’s, Craig come to the point, I think that’s something that maybe even three years ago, but certainly five years ago, I didn’t have that perspective. I had no ability to ever go to that point of view. It was always just like, “Did the thing, check. Did the thing, check. Okay.” Now is the allocated half hour downtime, check. Then we have lunch, check. I mean, it’s all just go, go, go…
I 100%… That’d be me.
So when you mentioned… I mean, I don’t barrel down rocky shoots. My bicycles nicknamed [inaudible 00:18:47].
That’s a good name.
And I kind of regret that… from my mind I think of it as female, which it doesn’t need to be female, it just needs to be freaking Satan. Because it was the first 29er I ever got and it’s a carbon fiber, so it’s super light. And I graduated from an aluminum Trek 4700, which I had riden until it fell apart. And I went down to the Parkway and I was flying along and I hit a rock the size of a golf ball and got my ass launched over the handlebars.
Wearing a helmet, I know how to fall, so it was a really minor accident in the grand scheme of things, but as I got lobbed over the handlebars, I was like, “Wow, this bike needs a name because I just got ejected.” I don’t know why I’m telling this story. Oh, I know why, once I figured out how to ride the damn thing, which is different than my old 26 inch wheels, once I figured out how to ride the thing, then I started riding more down single-track because that bikes meant to go down hill on single track. I started doing that and then I found I got in the zone more and I started to have more of those moments. So when you said you’re riding down the hill, you’re wondering, “How much longer am I going to do this?”, I’ve totally had those moments on the bike. I’ve had those moments driving off the road in a car. I’ve had those moments rock climbing. And I really think that’s something that… I wish I had gotten that message sooner. And this is where it turned into Craig therapy session.
Yeah, no, no, no. That’s fine. That’s fine. But it’s funny that you talked about that too, because one of the things I always said… It was amazing. I never, ever, ever, ever thought that I would be any kind of an athlete that happened. That was not a goal either. I was not one of those people who’s like, “Oh, I want to be an athlete.” I’m an accidental athlete. But it enabled me to race in South Africa and Israel and Cuba and Brazil and British Columbia and on and on. And one of the things that I always thought as we were racing, because we were racing to win… I was racing with a woman who was a very much a professional athlete and was expected to win, is that… I could still sort of take in the beautiful places, but you’re racing through them. And that was always the hardest part, like, “Oh, that would really great to take a picture.” I know that you can’t. I can’t stop and take a picture of that incredible waterfall that we are racing by. And usually, thank God that there were photographers there to get those pictures. But that is something I lamented in my racing career is that it didn’t afford me that, and now I have the opportunity that I’m racing less and doing more sort of adventurous riding and slowing down a little bit intentionally, that I can really take in that stuff.
That’s a wonderful perspective. I think that would be a great lesson if people take that away as like “Go…”, so how do we make that homework? How do we say to somebody who is going, “What the heck are you guys talking about?”, how do you… Do you remember the first, probably not, but do you remember the first time that that happened to you, where you have a moment of the… the first time that you saw that perspective?
Where you go, “Maybe racing past…” figuratively speaking, “Maybe racing past this isn’t what I should be doing. Maybe I should stop and smell the roses”, for lack of a better…
Yeah, well, I think I looked at it more like as the career was sort of coming into the place where I… I wanted to spend that… Because it takes a lot of training to stay at that level, right? At some point it’s a losing game. Like at some point you’re going to age…
I wish you could have seen her face when she said that. You were just like, “It takes a lot.” I could just see all the bike crashes and all the work.
Well, it takes a lot. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of training and, I mean, it’s… you’re talking like 15 to 17 hours a week sometimes. And it takes a lot. My husband rides too, and during the height of it we weren’t able to ride much together and he missed me and he said so. He’s like, “I’m glad you’re pursuing this. I’ll be glad when you’re back too.” You know? And so as I was sort of getting towards the end and being like, “Oh, I want to take that energy and pour it into other things like building my business.” or whatever that was. I mean it was very conscious thought. I just started being like, “I’m going to ride with Dave…” that’s my husband “… on Saturdays.” And I’m going to ride with his friends and his friends pack beer in their backpacks. Do you know what I mean? And we’re going to…
That’s a different group.
We’re going to sit down and we’re going to have a beer at a pretty spot. And I would go to some events that I would normally race through and be like, “I’m going to ride with a different group of people today.” And it’s hard because you’re not managing… it’s not a switch. It’s a dimmer switch, not a light switch because it is… I would show up at some places and people would be like, “Oh, you’re going to crush it today.” And so you’re managing their expectations and you’re managing your own expectations. And it takes a while to just everybody’s expectations and make them understand that you’re trying to enter a different place. But I think everybody has that with something, whatever your identity is wrapped up in. If you ever want to expand it, it can be hard. It can be hard to expand or change your own perception of your identity and what other people… I mean you hear that even when people want to stop drinking, right? Not to go off that tangent, but it’s the same thing.
I know exactly where you’re going.
That people get like, “Well, but everyone… I’m the fun guy.”
Yeah. Bob shows up and Bob’s always the guy who buys the first round and that gets us all started, right?
But maybe Bob really doesn’t want to do that anymore.
Totally, totally. But that’s hard for Bob. Because everybody has labeled him as such and he has sort of perpetuated that own thing. And it’s the same thing in anything. But that is definitely something that took me probably a process of over three or four years to sort of just transition through. And I still, sometimes I show up and I still do want to race because you can race age groups, so I don’t have to be the open… there’s different things. You can race open, which is just all the pro women, or you can race age groups so you’re just competing in a 5 to 10 year category. And sometimes I still want to stand on a podium or go for a podium, but it’s not all about that anymore.
Role modeling and menopause [24:45]
(chapter) Choose your own adventure; two questions. What are your thoughts on, because I’m assuming you have these moments, what are your thoughts on moments where you suddenly realize that other people are using you as a role model? Or other choose your own adventure option would be, you were talking about, both here in this recording and elsewhere I’ve read and listened, you’re talking about things about menopause that just aren’t said, that are not taboo, but that nobody talks about. So when it happens to you don’t know that that’s actually a thing. So choose your own adventure. You want to talk about more in the line of your own journey, which I was wondering what your thoughts are on those moments when you realize somebody has put you on a pedestal or people are using you as a role model? Or do you want to turn right, I’m cool with either, and talk more specifically about menopause issues that are unheard of or unspoken?
Well, I can do both because one is not very long.
Well, no. The role model thing is weird for me. I know that that is a thing. I never see myself that way. So, people approach me and it’s cool. And I get a lot of really lovely comments and very, very moving direct messages. And I am humbled by that, and I’m honored by that. Sometimes I walk around the house and I’m like, “Oh, man. If they only knew.”
If they only knew.
People don’t know.
If you could see me now. Because I’ve been writing that Fit Chick column for Bicycling
… because I’ve been writing that Fit Chick column for Bicycling since 1998 and still people will come up and be like, “Are you the Fit Chick?” I’m like some days-
That’s a great answer, some days still-
Maybe not at the moment, I don’t know. We’ll talk about that. So yeah, I will say the week that the podcast was going to launch and I was going to talk about being menopausal so publicly and put myself out there, I was freaking out. I was really freaking out. I was like, “Do you want to do this? Do I want to do this?” And I’m like it would be criminal if you didn’t. You have the platform, you have the opportunity, you have all these experts that you’ve interviewed over the years at your disposal. If not you, who? If not now, when? And I just did it and again, I’m very grateful for that.
That actually speaks… it segues very neatly into next question, that one of the things that I didn’t expect in the menopausal picture that I actually didn’t attribute to menopause until I started talking about it, and I heard from so many women that they feel the same is there was… I woke up on my 50th birthday and I did this big ride with a friend of mine down in the Pine Barrens and I actually took a selfie of myself in the woods to see myself. This is going to sound very strange, but I felt like I had stepped into being invisible in some weird way.
I’m a very public person and I’m always been putting myself out there and I felt like all of a sudden, I didn’t want anyone to see me and I wanted to shrink away and it was a really weird, really disconcerting feeling. And I talked about it and I wrote about it and it just blew up because a lot of women, and some of it is that societal piece that I talked about. Some of it is the hormonal shifts. Some of it is your body’s changing in ways that you don’t like. I wasn’t prepared for that. I’m still not 100% prepared for that, but I think it’s important and I think there’s a joyful letting go of self that can happen with that but you have to go through the hard work to get there. Again, had I not given voice to that and let other people see it and hear it as this “Role model,” then all these people would have been alone and maybe shut themselves out themselves.
Thank you for sharing that. I don’t want to say I don’t have anything to say in response to that, but I also don’t want to pile on. Awesome is, we can just let awesome be.
You’re very welcome. So as a podcaster, I’m wondering if you have the following problem that I do, which is running two completely different brains at the same time, one of which is I get to talk to Selene and the other one is how long have I been recording? How are the recording I’m working on? So part of my brain is going-
Yeah, that’s a really hard part of the job actually is watching the levels-
Oh, my God. We are only 28 minutes in? This is awesome. We’re just getting started. So partly, I think it says a lot about, not me, a lot about you, that you were… So I’ve talked to a few people. Some people, I really need to like take them on a let’s have a conversation journey. I love doing that. It’s so much fun, but some people such as yourself, I’m mostly like, I’m just going to press record and just going to sit here and have fun while you do all the talking. So I really think it says a lot about you that basically every question that I think I asked you, most of which are kind of questions, you went somewhere with it that was not just like, “Here’s the facts. Men are positive and cause anxiety, ladies be ware,” which is super useful. Please share all the facts you want to jam in here. But also I can see that you’re interested in sharing your personal story. Obviously you said, “Okay, I’ll submit to talking to you.” People do say no, so obviously you have some level of amicability to talking.
I think what you’re sharing, the pictures or the slices of life are not stereotypical… not what is stereotypically shared by most people who are like, “Let’s talk to a cyclist.” And they were like, "Oh my God, this one time I was bombing down this rock run but it was so awesome. And you’re like, yeah, I was bombing on this rock run. I can imagine the rock run you’d be bombing down. I’m like, holy crap. But your takeaway from that is an actual, really good life lesson. Thank you for sharing those things. Thank you for having the mindfulness to bring them up. You can talk right over me, otherwise I never stop talking.
No, but it’s interesting hearing you say that because I think one of the things that has led to my longevity at Bicycling, my God I’ve been there so long, but I had a blog when blogs were a giant thing [crosstalk 00:30:41] and I talked about… I would do the “Race reports,” but they were never that. They were never like, and then I jockeyed back and forth like that. It was like, I woke up in the morning and felt like puking because I was so nervous, just like talking about just-
Something in your DNA makes you want to try and help other people. Well, all right-
I’m not even really thinking that but it ended up that way. People would come up and like, “You get nervous?” I’m like, “Oh my God, I want to die. Are you kidding?” Every morning, I’m like, why do I do this? I’m going to talk to my husband. He’s just like, “It sounds like you’re ready to me.” Yeah, that relatability piece is so important because I raised with a lot of pro people and they all get nervous and deal with it different ways or whatever. I think that anytime that you can just… authenticity is such an overused word, but be authentic and just share yourself, it just takes the temperature down and allows other people to just do the same and that’s good for everybody.
I’m nodding, in fact my headphones are shaking.
Parkour aside [31:47]
(chapter) My immediate thought was when we sat down here or on my patio, when we sat down here, you asked me if parkour was my thing before we were recording. I double clutched because I want to go like, no, but it actually is-
Well, I heard you talk to that guy about… He was climbing the trees and stuff and you seemed so like a little kid into it that it seemed like it was-
Yes, it’s totally in my bag. But the problem is, I think of it. I shouldn’t say the problem, but the reason I double clutch and want to ride the brakes on the hill is I feel like to me, it’s just a vehicle and I want to say I’m doing all the things you’re doing, but I’m thinking about it the same way you’re thinking about it. So you’re in a bicycling, your bicycle was parked over there-
That’s an e-bike right there. That’s my Townie. I love that thing-
I’m like, that’s cool. I haven’t seen that one before, but anyway, your thing is, not even maybe predominantly, but a lot of it is bicycling, but for you, it’s part of your life. You’re clearly doing other things and bicycling is just the outward manifestation. So for me, parkour is my bag, but I don’t have a parkour clothing mine. Yeah, I jump on. Shit, I have fun, I play and parkour is a good word for that. So I tend to push back on that just because maybe it’s because I don’t like that I feel that I have been pigeonholed. Maybe I haven’t even been pigeonholed, but I feel like my podcast got pigeonholed as a parkour podcast-
Yeah, you’re not wrong because that’s what I thought that it was-
That’s okay. Clearly, the first season like the first 12 or 13 episodes that was the gang that I had access to. In podcasting universities, people, there’s this thing called the access issue, which is who will talk to you. So for me, I had access to basically all the parkour luminaries-
Makes 100% sense.
So I’m like, well, I’m going to go there, but anyway-
That is interesting. It’s interesting. [crosstalk 00:33:35] I find it fascinating. My nephew is really into parkour and it’s pretty cool-
You should be really into park. I know somebody owns a parkour gym-
I’m actually really intimidated by it.
I’m not laughing. Sorry, there was a sight gag happened there. I was not laughing at Selene.
Menopause next actions [33:51]
(chapter) I try not to railroad the guests because I can talk. I talk too much in life in general. So one of the things I like to say is, is there anything that you were thinking about on your way or here that you’re like, “I hope we get to talk about” or something that now that you’ve listened to me talk at you for half an hour, if there’s something that’s come to mind that you want to ask me about or that you want to talk about, otherwise I’ll just keep-
No, I think we’re going to cover it all. As I said in our early email discussions, I just really wanted to make sure that we discussed what we’ve already discussed is that so many women feel like they’ve hit this terrible end of the line and that it’s not the end of the line and I just feel like that’s really unfortunate-
(highlight) Let’s go further down that. I definitely want to talk about that but… Sorry, the but is a misspeak. I definitely want to talk about that. If somebody is listening and they’re thinking, “Ooh, that might be me,” what’s a good immediate set of next actions for somebody who maybe thinks that that’s what’s happening to them or they’re having anxiety, if somebody is like, “Selene, what do I do?”
Right. There are resources. The nice thing about everybody starting to talk now is that it’s getting easier to find resources on exactly what symptoms are. You can go to the North American Menopause Society page and there’s literally 37 symptoms that you can see that… You can find, and I think it’s important, a lot of doctors, even OB-GYNs are not versed in menopause. So the doctor that may have delivered your most beautiful babies does not necessarily know anything about menopause and that’s important to know. It’s important because, and I’ve had guests on the show talk just to that, doctors saying that you need to find somebody and that North American Menopause Society actually certifies doctors-
As I was going to say-
So you can go to it. You can go to a website and find, and it’s such a good resource. It’s such a good idea because women are super, super confused. There was a giant study about 21 years ago called the Women’s Health Initiative and they basically scared the crap out of all women from ever using hormone therapy of any sort. It will cause strokes, it will cause cancer, it will cause heart disease and all of that has since been shelved. The studies were not… they were flawed in many, many ways, but that message has stuck. It’s like the low-fat message that will never go away. Sometimes things get in people-
Should we do diet? Yes, if you’re trying to-
Oh, my God. Well, seriously. So I try to get that message out a lot too. Especially within 10 years during the transition when things are so crazy, it can be enormously helpful. It can help you feel on top of things and get in control and get you through it and then you can wean off of it. If you look, I just saw a graph that blew my mind the other day about women’s hormones throughout her lifespan and you can see puberty come up and then it’s pretty stint, a nice little undulating. It looks like somebody-
Some of the stable-
Like the graph is just going… Yeah, up and down in a spiral graph of hormones during this five to seven year period and then it flat lines and then it’s stable again. So to get you through that, someone may get vertigo and migraines and really crippling things. You don’t have to live with any of that. Some people get hot flashes all day and night sweats. If you are super, super disrupted, you do not have to live with that, things that you can be helped and it’s safe and it’s fine.
So I think that going to those resources and seeking out those resources 100% like if you think like, "Oh, I wonder. Go check it out and then just find yourself some resources, of course I’ll tell you check out Feisty Menopause, which is the parent company that does my podcast, is a community of women and you can just come and ask anything. We have an Instagram, we have a Facebook. Hit Play Not Pause has a private Facebook page. You just have to ask and we make sure you’re not a troll and you can come on in, but it’s such a supportive…
And when we first started that, we’ve got 5,000 women in there now, and I was blown away by the ca… I’ve got people who box and parkour people and bloc climbers and all stuff… I was just floored by the women in that group and what they did and who they were and it’s so, so supportive. It’s such a wonderful group of women. So there are definitely resources, but yeah, just dip your toes in the water and find your people, find a good medical person to work with and just set yourself up for success. Find a team.
Earlier, I was going to ask you, what was it like when you created that Facebook page? Because it’s better than the private group because I was suspecting and you just basically said it that you were like, “I don’t know. Do we really need this group? Should I really make this group? Is this going to be… Okay, I’ll do it” and then wow! People show up. You’re like, “Whoa, did we that-”
Did we need that? And people are so grateful for it. (/highlight)
I wanted to get all that stuff in here. That way, if I have to ask you for it all specifically, I want the Facebook page, I want the Instagram account. So I’m glad that we got to all that and it’s not just tacked on the end but we do put a episode [crosstalk 00:39:01]-
That’s cool. We have a membership too if people want to go deep, deep in there.
If you’re listening and you’re like, “Wait, what?” Just go to… I don’t know what the number will be, but they’ll be like mostmindset.com/whatever number this is. And it’s all there. It’s all linkable. It’s free. You don’t have to pay for me.
(chapter) Oh, there’s so many things to ask about. You’re going riding later today?
I went riding this morning. It was beautiful. It’s really beautiful. Now it’s sunny. I was wondering if we were going to get stormed on right now, but-
Don’t say that.
No, okay. No, I think it’s good. I rode this morning, I went out for about 20 miles and it was really, really pretty because it was all misty, but it’s so, so green right now. I love the green. I’ve loved the green-
Pennsylvania, it’s green and yellow this time of year.
Yes, the air is a little yellow with the pollen, but it’s so beautiful.
Yeah. Random, random, fun things. If you could have a billboard anywhere in the world. Literally you could say, oh, the billboard would be in Bangladesh. You can specify that if you wish. But if you have a billboard anywhere in the world of physical, real thing, what would you put on it?
There’s a reason I keep these questions filed away because people have really interesting answers. Let’s do fun dissect, Selene. If I asked your friends, the people who know you really well-
If I asked your friends what your super power was, what would they tell me?
That’s a great question. I’d like to know what they would tell you-
I wish I could remember where I stole that from. It’s either from Kelfa’s-
I would love to hear what they would say-
Take a guess.
Because they would probably not-
That’s actually the correct answer. I don’t know, ask them-
What do you think they would say-
But I would really, really… What would they say? I know what my dad would say. My dad always said, you can walk over a cesspool and not see shit, Selene.
I don’t know how work. That is a super power. What color would that super powers costume be-
I’m a bright side rose colored-
I am an optimist-
Rose colored headphones, rose colored glasses, rose colored bicycle-
I do have a-
I just want to point out she’s wearing headphones that are rose colored. I think they look very nice. They’re very pretty, and the glasses are rose colored and your bike is rose colored. I just got to point out that yes, rose color.
I think seeing the good honestly is the positive positivity, I hope is what they would say, because I think that that is probably my super power.
Positivity under duress, even under duress.
Roar follow up and writing [41:30]
(chapter) I know we mentioned ROAR that you co-wrote with, and I forget Stacy-
Dr. Stacy Sims.
Dr. Sims. Can I mention the book that you were just working on? Weren’t you just working on another book very recently? I didn’t we do a multi month delay for… But can I mention that-
The follow-up to ROAR?
Yeah, what’s the-
We don’t have a title for it.
Oh, okay because I was going to say, oh but anyway-
No, it’s good. It’s now that book… I don’t have to say COVID caused disruption in everything publishing included. So that book was actually supposed to come out in April. We should have had our hands already, but Stacy, she’s in New Zealand. Now she was planning on moving back to the states this month-
And she got… No, she’s there. Printers and publishers and photography studios and all that stuff got log jammed. So the book will now be a winter release, which is fine. That’s totally fine.
I didn’t mean to put you on the spot, like where is the book-
A lot of people have to bully me.
Sorry. What I was thinking was we’ve been talking in terms of the grand podcast content, we’ve been talking a lot about menopause and we specifically mentioned that in the book ROAR it only got a chapter and I wanted to make sure that we crossed the tee and say there’s the book is coming. That book will be out. You will be able to go get to the book, which is filling in that hole. Just wanted to make sure we mentioned-
No, we are going to have a whole book and it’s pretty exciting-
What was the hardest part about writing that one?
Starting. The hardest part about any of them is starting them. Starting books is the hardest part of the whole thing and finishing them. Oh my God, finishing books is terrible. It’s a terrible process. So I don’t know if it’s because I like the big picture of things. So starting, it’s always just like you have to know exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it and then finishing is just all the minutia, which I really don’t care about in any aspect of life honestly. The hardest part of racing for me was always the logistics, just getting everything together.
I’m getting there. With writing a book, what’s it like when you have to… It’s an artifact, it’s out there. You can do an update. If you made a mistake or you can fix a revision, but that’s it. There’s no unpublish button-
Oh, I try not to think about that.
No, you have to. I’ve had people ask that and it is what it is and it’s hard. I came up through Print, so I’m kind of used to that process of magazines where everything is fact checked 10,000 times and goes through copy editing to make sure that it gets out, though I will tell you one of the greatest upsets of my professional life and this has nothing to do with anything, but I’m going to say it because you asked the question, I got the chance to interview Michael Phelps before what he thought was going to be his last Olympics-
I didn’t [crosstalk 00:44:19] but I saw that, yes.
Yes, for Details Magazine, a cover story flown out, got to interview him. Did the whole thing. I am anal AF when it comes to getting people’s names… Like teeth, I’m like obsessive compulsive. I check things 12 times just in case they got wrong overnight, that whole thing. With a story like that, I-
Like yeah, this one matters.
Print Magazine and I don’t care I can say this because they’re not around anymore. The copy editor, fact-checker changed his number of metals in the lead to make it wrong. I was devastated-
Because that guy’s name-
Because your name’s on it.
Yeah, your name’s on it. I’m guessing you called Michael and said, “Jesus, I’m so sorry-”
It’s so devastating-
Did he even actually notice?
I don’t know. I’m sure he did. I’m sure he did. He had his own problems at the moment, if you’d recall. That was when he was before he… and you could tell. You could tell he was not in a good place.
I was just wondering whether he-
I’m sure he did because-
The details that were hyper fixed, but yeah, maybe for him at the time, that was a critical detail.
Yeah, and it’s a cover story. But they ran it online and of course, you can fix things online-
That’s easy. I’ve had people change things. The worst thing in a book was same thing, a designer went to input a formula and changed a plus to a minus.
Oh, oops. People at home with their calculator like, “Okay-”
Made the whole thing and somebody emailed me. I was like, dear Lord. And then they put an insert into the rest of the books to come, but like you’re saying, it’s fine.
[crosstalk 00:46:08] It’s there. I think people are probably a little more… Every time I say people I’m like, oh look, a generalization. That’s going to work out well. But I think everyone understands that, yes, it’s a dead tree. Somebody printed a piece of the internet, so maybe I should double check. I think we’re much more tolerant of that maybe we were
Well, especially now-
Two years ago.
Publishing is a very different animal than it was-
Oh boy, and we’re seeing the ramifications of fact checkers and copy editors-
I think it’s a pendulum and I think it’s going to start swinging back-
I sure hope so. I do hope so-
I hope it won’t swing back dead tree printing, everything-
No, I agree but-
But we’re going to swing back toward people… So I skipped over it before, but I’m going to go back to it. Now you said three of my favorite letters in the whole universe RSS. I was like, oh, I’m not the human being who knows that RSS as I’m… My whole world comes in through RSS and I think people are going to… They won’t use that as too techie, but people will find something which somehow allows them to wrestle the internet to the ground and get it to work for them. And the things that emerge from that wrestled beast will be curation following somebody such as yourself, who is constantly pointing to things that are interesting. It’ll be curation, it’ll be fact checking and validity and knowing that this isn’t an echo chamber. I’m getting good contacts-
Yeah, I hope so.
It’s going to take a while but-
I believe in the pendulum theory too-
The internet is still very young.
Oh yeah, super young.
The part of it that everybody else is thinking about. The internet itself is pretty old, but anyway, this is not a technology podcast-
No. [crosstalk 00:47:49].
I was going to just ask you if there’s a story you want to share, but you really have shared a couple of really good stories so far. I have so many things.
Intermittent fasting [48:01]
(chapter) I want to just circle back more to talk more about menopause, but I don’t to have a good question to serve up. So I’m just wondering… No, let’s talk about intermittent fasting-
Because I’m looking to chill.
First of all… Oh no, that’s not what I was thinking. What I was thinking was I often find that if I forced myself to go to a topic, then it sucks. I don’t do a good job and we don’t have a good… So when you talked about intermittent fasting, very briefly, we went past it, I’m a big fan of… So first of all, for people who don’t know what we’re talking about, we’re just going to start saying, IF. It’s going to just happen. So intermittent fasting, IF. I’d like to say, you already do this. You sleep at night, therefore you are fasting, and then at some point you wake up and at some point you break your fast, which we all in English is called breakfast. At some point, you do that. So we all already do some form of that. So that’s the first thing I’d like to just bubble burst is intermittent fasting is not this…
We’re going to do something completely different. We’re going to start meddling or fiddling with how and what we choose to eat. And that, for me, that was the gateway part of it. So I’ve done a whole bunch of 16/8, which is 16 hours of not eating and an eight hour eating window. This is effectively, skip breakfast, have lunch, have lunch time and have dinner. That’s what I do almost every single day. That’s called 16:8.
Another very common one advocated, I think most all of you by Brad Pilon or Pilon is ESE, Eat Stop Eat where you basically feed normally and then you skip an entire day. You wind up with about a 40 hour fast from your dinner to the next skipped one breakfast before midday kind of thing. So those are the two common ones. If you type intermittent fasting in the internet, you will find 16/8 is a common one. Eat Stop Eat is another common. And then the only other thing that I’ll throw out there is like some framework so that we don’t have to unpack all this again, is there’s research that’s been done on, words fail me, but there are religious fasting dictates.
Yes, [inaudible 00:50:00]. They have done blood tests, studies and verified that the benefits like in your HA1c… H1Ac. What’s the blood marker?
Yeah, I know in full name-
Acronym failed. There’s a blood marker which will tell you your average… It gives you a measure of how much your sugar has been in your bloodstream over time because the sugar in your blood tends to mess up your hemoglobin. So they can measure that. It’s not the greatest marker, but it’s a marker. So they have done blood test studies on people and verified that… They do Ramadan for a month. They’re basically doing restricted feeding for a whole month and there are all these strict rules, the health benefits are measurable objective and last all year.
Are they done on women?
(highlight) That’s what I was going to ask. I want to know what your thoughts are about intermittent fasting, because everything that I’ve read has always been either on IF, on high level male athletes or all the people that I’ve read, like I read about intermittent fasting. It’s from a guy. So what I want to say is, I think I’ve painted a reasonable picture of just the IF spectrum if you just go look on the internet. Now I want to know, okay, now let’s talk about it in the context of-
It’s terrible for women.
Context of women in the context of menopause.
Or as for menopause. I’m sorry, it’s-
Possibly even counter indicate it, a counter indicator-
Stacy would say-
Tell me more about IF from-
She has just actually done many speeches. If there was one thing she would get out, it would be IF in the women’s space. A lot of the original studies on intermittent fasting and such were done originally on men who were trying to lose weight quickly for a bariatric surgery. They had diabetes and they had other metabolic conditions and they really needed to get them into control and it was effective in helping those men lose weight and getting their blood sugar under control. Interestingly, some of the other human studies with women, pre-diabetic women would actually go into diabetes in some cases when they did that. And it all comes down to kisspeptin, which is a…
And it all comes down to Kisspeptin, which is a hormone that regulates your insulin sensitivity as well as some other things. I don’t want to get too far out of my lane, but women are not small men. It comes down to that. Men get a parasympathetic drive, so they feel more energy. They feel more relaxed, all this stuff. Actually, all the things you’re saying are true for men.
But with women, it drives up their sympathetic drive. So it makes them more anxious. I actually once talked to a neurologist, who was like all these young runner women that we’re putting on antidepressants, if we could just get them off keto and get them to eat, we wouldn’t be doing that.
You are right [inaudible 00:52:45] because keto is like the kissing cousin-
… to IF [crosstalk 00:52:49].
Same thing that’s driving the same processes. And maybe women might have a little, whenever you mess up your diet. Or no, mess up is the wrong word. But whenever you tinker with diet, often weight loss might happen just as a by-product of just changing things. But long-term, it almost always backfires with women. They end up anxious. They end up with more body fat. They end up with higher [crosstalk 00:53:14] blood sugar, like the whole thing.
And especially one of the symptoms of the estrogen decline, as I said before, is the cortisol going up. Anything you do to put your body under more stress is counter-indicated. It’s a bad idea. It just does not work the same for women as it does for men. And there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, but there’s also scientific evidence out there. (/highlight)
One of the-
And in Ramadan, I’d be surprised if there were women-
Who had even been acknowledged that they exist.
Yeah. It’s hard to … That’s all I can say. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know.
Oh, get off… And push my soapbox away.
(chapter) Your most recent podcast guest was RDN registered. Who is your most-
And I was listening to that and she had a very delightful approach to how she works with her clients. And I’m going to vastly oversimplify and basically get it wrong, which is how do you feel?
No, you’re not vastly [crosstalk 00:54:16] because every time I dug deeper, that’s what she said. You’re not vastly oversimplifying, but she’s right.
And I think that’s a good lesson. So if you’re going, “IF what,” so how do you teach that lesson though to someone?
(quote) I am educated. I write about this stuff. I talk about this stuff and I still fall prey to it. It’s very hard. I fell prey to the low carb thing for quite a while. And yeah, I was riding worse and all this kind of stuff. And it took me going like, okay why don’t you try to eat around your rides? And I’m like, wow, I feel so much better in a fed state. Imagine that. But it’s very easy to disconnect from yourself and to lose sight of this; you should feel good when you eat and train and recover. And when all the cylinders are firing in the right way, you should feel good. (/quote)
But if you never stopped to think about that, and it’s amazing how many people don’t actually stop to think about that, you can go down some paths that leave you in bad places. Women, low energy availability is one of the biggest problems among women athletes of all ages, honestly. And the problem with women in the menopausal transition is that they may not have periods to tell them that they’re in that place. A young woman, she loses her periods. That’s not good. That’s not healthy.
That’s not supposed to happen, right?
That’s bad. But if you don’t have your periods because you’re now post-menopausal, or just in that place where periods come and go, you don’t have that red flag. And you can be doing really, really serious damage to yourself, softened bone density and all kinds of things that can be almost irreparable. It is really important to … You’re meant to be in a fed state when you’re exercising.
Yeah. I think from my personal experience, a guy, when I started doing IF, it wound up being more like, “Oh, I’m not actually going to starve to death”.
And for me it was more like, I realized when I was actually hungry versus when I was eating for society pressure. So I think that was the benefit for me.
I think because there’s something to-
It was not so much for that.
Yeah, there’s something to that. There’s something to that for sure. And-
I’m not pushing IF on women.
No. No. No. No.
I’m just saying that, I think it’s what actually really helped me was that detangling of the eating.
I think there are ways to do that. I had on Evelyn Tribole, who was intuitive eating. I think there are ways to do that too, but take maybe some more work, where you actually do listen to yourself. Like, am I hungry? Why am I eating? It’s a little bit more of a process of being like … because we can’t certainly just give in to this mindless eating thing.
Which is not good either. [crosstalk 00:57:00].
That’s never good.
Yeah, of course that’s not good. And for a lot of my audience who are endurance athletes, you naturally become a better fat burner by nature. Your aerobic system grows.
You do all this stuff. I think the big problem came during that low-fat debacle. I think that was hugely, hugely disastrous for our public health. I think that’s one of the worst public health things that has happened in my lifetime, honestly. Because everybody got fat phobic and just sugared up and carbs. And it’s been really bad for us.
I would wholeheartedly agree. Our parents’ generation was processed flour was the one before that because that also caused a big problem. Yeah.
Health tracking [57:49]
(chapter) Where do you want to go next?
We can talk about anything. We can talk about riding bikes.
That could get of hand. You must know Tomias from Genesis Bicycles.
Oh yeah. They’re selling his shares, right?
Yeah. Well, in more recent years retired. But I distinctly remember the day, it was like the day before I bought my … that’s my third mountain bike, owning my third mountain bike ever. And I think I had one, two. I had two road bikes, but the second one, I crashed it and I bought another one just like it. So I’m like, I’m counting it as the same bike. I never bought a lot of bikes and I never had more than one at a time.
And I remember the day I was standing in Tomias’ bike shop with my older aluminum track. And I’m drooling over a carbon fiber Cannondale. But I’m going like, but I already have a mountain bike. And he looks at me, he goes, “Do you know most people who bicycle as much as you, they have lots of bikes. In fact, they have to hide them.” And I was like, I had this moment of like … I’m actually going somewhere with this. I hadn’t realized how myopic I had become about like all right, I’m not a hardcore bicyclist, but I am a mountain biker.
This is just part of who I am. And this is my mountain bike. And this is the seat that I had at Selle Italia. But it was like a $400 seat or whatever, a $400 bicycle. But I had all these things, but it never occurred to me to just step back and go, all right, well, if I erased the whiteboard, what would I want to ride?
Or if I erase eating by doing a prolonged fast, what am I actually hungry for? Or what? I ate that. I feel like, oh, I feel like I need to take a nap. Or I ate this, I feel great. So I think it’s challenging. Duh, Craig, it’s challenging to figure out how to look over your shoulder and spot the blind spot or the thing that you’ve not realized you’ve bought into, or that maybe because you were taught outright.
Yeah. I think we’re in a really interesting time. I don’t have one on now because actually, I was testing a thing called Supersapiens, which is a continuous glucose monitor, which was really interesting. And they are-
I heard about Peter Attia talk about the Oura Ring. And I was wondering if that was a wedding band or an Oura Ring. She just flashed her Oura Ring at me.
My husband and I both have it, yeah. And this is a finger I set myself, but we can talk about that.
I have 90 stitches from a bicycle accident.
Oh look at that. Now we’re showing our scars, folks. Yeah, I love this thing. The Oura Ring is what I’m pointing at, folks. When I got my first shot, I could actually watch my first vaccination. My readiness score was like, something kept your heart rate higher than usual last night. And then the next day, it literally said, feeling okay?
Check fluids. Right.
Literally your body temp. And then the next day, boom, right back up. I could watch the process. You can really see. And the same thing with the glucose thing. I think what really blew me away about the glucose monitor is that there are certain things that I would have assumed would have caused a spike. Friday night is just order out night, so we ordered Chinese and whatever.
And I’m like, this is going to be … And it wasn’t. And I was like, that’s surprising. And then I came back from a ride. I was very hungry because I’d sort of overshot the ride and undershot the fueling. And I just had this little roasted potato and it looked like I went up Everest and went boom, like this shot. Like it’s just-
I was in a rocket shot right into space. And [crosstalk 01:01:19].
That’s why they’re so yummy.
And I’m like, this is fascinating. And then I got a sort of a cantankerous call from somebody. It was like this Twitter fight that was going on, that I actually stepped into and I shouldn’t have stepped into. But my blood sugar went boom, up with that. It’s really interesting to watch what affects it. Because your body shoots that in. So it’s like fight or flight and you could watch it happen in real time. It’s very interesting. But where I’m going with all of this is, I think that now, it’s still on the fringes. But as the stuff moves its way into mainstream, people are going to have a lot of power over seeing what stuff does to them.
Yes. Someone that I know just who’s old, he is upper 70s, signed up for an Apple Watch. They do these. Apparently if you’re of the right age and the right group, you can sign for the thing, they’d give you the Apple Watch at like half the price. And then-
… it’s like gamified to pay you. And basically they’re collecting data.
Oh totally. Yeah.
On their durables. It like, said, “Hey, you haven’t got up in an hour.” This person works with their computer a lot still. And it reminds him to get up. And okay, that to me, it’s a little cutesy yet about what we’re doing with it. But I had-
But it works?
But it works.
My daughter, she’s 19 and that keeps her.
I had a Fitbit
She has to close those rings, man.
I had a Fitbit which doesn’t have those. But my Fitbit used to have step counting where I’d be out like … For a while, I tried to run. I would be out running. I’m air quoting, “running,” Craig “running”, look out. And I’d be like, okay, I’m trying to hit a certain heart rate. So I need to run a little bit faster. And that kind of stuff, you had to be, I’m going to say a serious athlete. Maybe not a pro, but you had to be a serious athlete-
… for you to really start going like, oh, I need to pedal a little bit harder to get my heart rate a little bit higher to meet my training regimen.
That was like serious stuff.
People would be copying out things out of books from right in their own hand, paper charts. And now to be able to be like buzz, buzz, buzz. Oh, right. I need to move more. That’s a big deal. If you’re going to talk to my mom and they’re getting a step counter to get-
Nope. It makes a big difference. It really does.
Yeah. I hope that we don’t go the whole range of like, okay, put the chip in my arm so we can track everywhere I go. I don’t want to go to that police state kind of thing. But I think giving people, I was going to say giving people tools is always a good thing. Not necessarily, but giving people tools to let them see what’s really going on, I think that really helps a lot.
But there’s also something to be said for, I also recognize the … Word lookup fail. I recognize the uniqueness of my position. I’m in a special case. Boy, I wish I could think of … There’s a word for this. The privilege. Thank you. I recognize the privilege. Like, yes, I worked really hard for 30 years, but a lot of people didn’t even have that opportunity.
And like, yes, we’re sitting on my patio and a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to live in suburbia.
200 yards from mountain biking and bouldering.
From a place where they can-
So that you’re like, yes, I chose to move here and you chose to move where you live, but not everybody can move the chess pieces the same on the board.
Oh totally. Totally.
If you’re in the corner, you’re kind of stuck.
So I recognize that and I’m often thinking about that, in the podcast. It’s like, okay, I’m loving this. This is awesome. And I’ve got ideas and you’ve got ideas. And I’m like, okay. That’s why I asked before about if ladies, if you’re thinking about this, where should you go? And it’s like go to this Facebook group.
Because that’s something that pretty much everybody, if you can hear me, you’re on the internet, you can go to that Facebook group.
So I try to find ways to connect back to, if you only hear 30 seconds of this Ramblefest, what can you take away? So in that vein, are there any other things of like … So I know the two books we’ve talked about. And really, honestly go listen to all of Selene’s Hit Play Not Pause. It’s a great collection of people talking about, and whether or not you’re female, like diet and motivation and all this stuff. It’s like, there’s plenty of awesome material there. I think it’s a great project.
Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. And I do have a lot of male listeners I’ve discovered, which is kind of cool. And some things are transcendent. I had Kelly Starrett on. He’s the-
It doesn’t matter who you are, he’s interesting to listen to. So yeah, it’s cool. And some of the men who listen, tell me that they listen, so they understand their wives better, which I think is really sweet. It’s more magnanimous than I might ever be, but I’m glad that they’re there.
That’s a good point.
Important truth [1:05:48]
(chapter) Oh, okay. You want to do good questions. All my good questions come from other people. What’s a really important truth that most people would disagree with you about? It’s a brilliant question. I know. And I should write down where I got it. A really important truth that most people would disagree with you on.
I don’t know if I have an answer for that.
I don’t know if I have an answer to that question.
I was going to say, what would you answer to that?
Okay. This is a little trite.
It might strike something in me.
Oh no, this is not that cool. Mine has to do with podcasting and no, it’s not all that. I think that it is not important that we produce our podcast content on a regular schedule.
And that’s like one of the commandments that everybody seems to agree with is, thou shalt … There’s a couple of things like commandment zero, is thou shalt wear headphones. And then number blah, blah, blah. And one of them is you have to produce content on some sort of schedule, probably weekly, but we’ll tolerate every other week. That’s like the ground rules for playing. And I disagree with that.
And that’s why I said, this is trite. Like yes, podcast and Craig you’re off in your own little corner of the universe. The reason I disagree with that is because we do not need, no insult intended, we do not need any more episodes. There are millions of shows and then tens of millions of episodes. So, I think the ones that you create are pretty damn good because you’re doing something that the world needs. And I try to do that when I talk to people. I don’t just grab random people-
… and make another episode.
And I know for me, for a fact, being a slave to a publication schedule means I have to lower my standard of what I’m doing. It’s just like nuts and bolts for me. So I went, ah, I want to do a certain kind of thing. I want to talk to certain types of people and I want to do it a certain way. And nowhere in there does that mean that I’ve to do it every week. But I don’t think that’s a very globally important truth, but that’s the biggest truth that I think I disagree with most people with. I like to ask that question because I don’t really have a good answer to it myself. And most people have the same reaction you do, which is, that’s a hard question.
Well, it is a hard question. The only thing that I can think that I’ve been thinking of lately, and I don’t know that most people would disagree is that, I think that we need to truly defend people’s right to speech. I think freedom of speech right now is under all kinds of examination and assault. And I think that we forget that the ACLU defended really vile people’s right to speech. But it’s important to hear people speak, whether or not you agree with them and-
I agree with you 100%.
… whatever terrible things they’re saying, because powers change. And if we take away power, you know what I’m saying?
Whatever you decide will be used against you at some point. And I think it’s important to listen. And I personally try to understand. The most vile of the vile, I don’t. I just maybe think you’re broken or something’s wrong.
Well, I only have so many hours, right?
Yeah. But I do. I think that we’re in this time that I don’t think you’d need to give people a platform necessarily. We can talk about that all day.
But the fact that they have the right to say whatever they want to say is an inalienable right as far as I’m concerned.
I think I certainly agree with you. Everything you’ve said. I think most people that I would associate with, would also agree with you. I think where people tend to disagree is, what does that actually look like in practice? And that’s where we get into the nuts and bolts of life.
And one, it’s hard because the weeds are Twitter. The weeds are like these places.
Yeah. It’s difficult.
Yeah, it’s difficult. But I think it’s knowing and remembering history. And it’s not even distant history. It’s recent history.
It’s very important.
It’s very important.
(chapter) Anything else spring to mind that you want to jump on? We are at an hour and 10 minutes. How many bikes do you own, if that’s not too personal of a question?
Oh, no, no, no, no. I do try to only have bikes that I ride, because-
That’s a good place to start. Right?
Yeah. No. Well, it’s true. I don’t-
Go collecting bicycles.
Right. And I think bicycles deserve to be ridden. And so if I have a bike that I’m not riding, then I need to find it a home because I just feel that way. Even if I like it and I like watching it sit there, it doesn’t do anything. It needs to find a home. So currently, I have one road bike, one old road bike that I use inside if the weather is crappy. I have a geared mountain bike. I have a single-speed mountain bike. I have a fat bike. I have that E-bike townie. Am I missing? Oh, I have a cyclocross bike. And I have, like a gravel bike because I do a lot of those long gravel events.
Do they have names? I know that-
… the manufacturer gave them names, but do you have names for them?
Yeah, I know, but they’re not exciting.
It’s like Jane and Blossom.
But they have a personality?
I have a sexy love bike.
Yeah. They have personality?
And where I’m going with all this is, which one is your favorite?
It would have to be that gravel bike, just because it’s my go-to right now. It brings me a lot of joy and I can get on it and ride. It’s almost limitless. I couldn’t ride South Mountain, which is a really technical, technical trail. Those are mountain bike trails, right?
I feel better because I can’t ride any of the shit over there.
But I can ride a lot of the park way on it. I have to pick my way carefully through some of them.
There’s some thought required.
I’m wondering, it depends on who is listening. If your fans are listening, they don’t even need to know anything more about bicycles. My fans, bicycles? What’s that? What are your thoughts? So cap length and size and there would be women-specific design and all this stuff. I think a lot of people don’t like to ride bicycles because they’ve never been on the right bicycle. I don’t know that I ever found that myself, but just being in a really cool bike shop and watching the people who really love bicycles and who loved to create cyclists, watching them, they match-make.
They’re like, mm, hold on one second. I’ll be right back. And they come out with a bike and they’re like, now this bike, isn’t exactly what you were asking for, but take it for a spin. And I’m just wondering what your thoughts are about cultivating love of cycling, because cycling is really unique. It’s like swimming can be challenging. If you don’t have a pool or you don’t have a community center, swimming is hard to get to. And running, yes, we’re all humans, we can all run. But that can be physically pretty damn demanding.
But I think bicycling, like here, mom have a trike. Here’s a bike that’s actually got three wheels. And so I’m just wondering what your thoughts are.
(highlight) Do you find yourself called to share or spread the love of bicycling? Because by the way, it’s clear that you love bicycling. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. It’s clear that you love it. And anybody who sees anything that you do related to bicycling, can’t help but want to fall in love with bicycling.
Do you share that love on purpose? Or what are your thoughts on …
No I share it as part of just sharing my authentic self, honestly. Because I do really love bicycling and I feel like, it’s just part of my DNA. And it always has been quite honestly, even though I didn’t really think of it until I was much, much older. I always really loved to ride my bike. But I think that in many ways, I have a couple of thoughts. One, I think a lot of people inherently love the idea of bicycling and love the wind in your hair and that motion. There’s something meditative about the motion. There’s something freeing. It feels like you’re flying, all those great things, which partially explains why there are no bikes available right now. Because during the pandemic, everybody bought them.
It’s amazing. It’s amazing. And I want our goal actually in the bicycling circles is to try to retain 10% of those people. We know we’re not going to retain all of them. Some of them are just going to go back to whatever. But if we can retain 10, that’s a big deal. And try too, because it’s interesting what you were saying before about we have the ability to … I can leave my garage and I can ride over here. And then after we’re done, if I had time, I could ride over to South Mountain and go on a mountain bike, or I can ride wherever.
But there are a lot of people, for whom the infrastructure in which they live is very prohibitive to any kind of riding. And-
And the society is very prohibitive. Get off the road.
And we need to really change that. Cars are not the answer. And I think more and more people are opening up to that. I think people who are walking around New York City going wow, downtown without traffic is amazing.
Yeah. And places are doing it. It’s happening. And it will. It will, will happen. I’m a 100% convinced of it. There’s enough momentum and E-bikes are going to change things. Have you ever ridden one?
No, I’m kind-
Oh my God.
It’s kind of one of those things it’s like, I should avoid that or I’m going to-
Nobody rides an E-bike without smiling ear to ear. It’s so, so fun.
It’s magic. I mean-
It’s magic. I’ll tell you, I did this ride with Specialized, which is a bike company. And we went from Salt Lake City to Vegas, which is a very long journey.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
That’s like 1,100 miles or something.
Yes. Yes. I ride very long distances. So we-
It’s downhill the whole way though.
Yeah, no end at all. We had a really long day. I can’t even remember what day it was. And we pulled into … It was maybe the second last day of the tour. And I was actually with Rebecca Rush, who is multi-world champion. She was someone I was racing with at the time, at some of these mountain bike races. And she’s like, she had to present for something and she needed a hair straightener. And I was like, what? We literally just got done with like a 100 miles, maybe a 100 or 200, I can’t even remember.
And I was like, you need a what? She’s like, it’s only five miles away. I’m like, I am not riding five miles with you to get a hair straightener for whatever. She’s like, we’ll take the E-bikes. And I had not been on one yet. And I was like, oh my God, I don’t want to do this. So we got these turbos and we got on. And you just start peddling and it goes, voom. And I was like, oh my God, let’s go anywhere.
Let’s go anywhere. This is the most fun. They are so, so fun. And people are like, oh, it’s cheating. It’s whatever. It’s like-
… the exercise level, and I’ve actually done this test with a heart rate monitor to check. I’d ride somewhere on my regular bike and then I’d ride on this bike and see. And yes, you’re definitely lower heart rate or whatever, but it’s the equivalent of brisk walking. So it is not nothing.
A hell of a lot better than sitting in your bucket seat in your car. (/highlight)
Yes. Not just for you personally, but also for everybody else.
But if I was a millionaire, if tomorrow I was Bill Gates, I would buy a large city, or I would buy a town and give everybody E-bikes and take away their cars-
… for a period of time and be like, try this.
Yeah. And I …
Yeah. Cities like Copenhagen spring to mind where I went there and rented a bike. And I haven’t ridden nearly as much as you, but grab a random person, I’ve ridden a lot. So I’m like, okay, city riding. And I got to remember that. I was just like, oh no, this is easy.
[crosstalk 01:17:18] I could just flow with those traffic signals. You’re like, what? Bicycles are a first-class citizen. And nobody laughed at me because I was on the orange donkey bike.
It was just like, they were everywhere. It was such an experience. Now mind you, it’s a relatively small city, but it does demonstrate-
There are pockets. It’s happening.
… that you can do it. That demonstrates that it will work at scale. Like to me, that’s still at scale. That’s not like-
I don’t know why we tolerate sitting in traffic for hours on end. I really don’t.
I don’t tolerate it either.
I don’t either, but people do. And man, I’m like, that’s most of your life.
We all just got a big lesson about, is it really important that you go to the thing that you were going to go to? And not that I’m going to say any good ever came from it, but people are going to be very intentional. And the whole thing I said about like, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what it is. How about the next time you go to the thing that you didn’t get to go to because it didn’t happen last year? So …
The next time you go to the thing that you didn’t get to go to because it didn’t happen last year. So I think it’s a moment-
Take advantage of that reset for sure, think about things. And people have, there’s no question, they have.
I was going to ask another question about bikes. So, that’s your favorite.
Well, I look for excuses to run errands on that because it’s just so much fun to ride. Yeah.
I can understand that. I had another question, but it escaped me. Sometimes I think I should write stuff down, but I much more enjoy the interaction than I do taking notes.
I’m not editing, so it’s fine.
I’m not editing this, so it’s fine.
Neither am I. What? Let’s see. So, we did favorite bike. We did… where are we?
Do you want to know what it’s like to ride 200 miles across Kansas?
If you’d like to share, sure. I would like to know everything about it. People ask you that a lot?
No, I mean, people ask… it is funny when you do distance stuff, you always get the, “I don’t even like to drive that far in my car.”
The furthest I’ve ever gone is, so I’m from round here, we used to like ride our bicycles to the velodrome. Back home, it’s called the velodrome. And then some of my friends used to race dirt, not me. I’ve been in the velodrome on my bike and been like, “This is not my jam.”
I’ve done some races but that’s not my-
I’m really good at beating on the boards. I mean, like I’ve been called out by the announcer, like, “Who’s the dude in the second court.” Like I’m really good at that.
That’s important role.
That’s important, but where I was going with this was, I used to ride the MS 150’s.
And do the ones in Lancaster.
Those were great.
Those were so pretty.
A lot of work. But, what I was going to say, is like, one of my favorite bicycling stories was we were, I don’t know where, probably 30 miles west from the velodrome. And they had, I’m pretty sure it was Marty Knott’s team, and it was sponsored by Domino’s pizza and they gave Marty the Domino’s noid. You know, the thing with the big red head? They gave him the Domino’s pizza noid outfit with the giant dead mouse size helmet with the floppy ears. Right?
So me and I think it was three of my friends were riding 12 speed, regular bicycles. But we were in reasonable shape for 18, 19 year old kids. But I mean, it’s Marty, right? So, the thing was, if you could get to lunch before Marty you won, I don’t know what it was, but it was like a bike or something. It was a big deal, for us anyway. And they told us, the way these things work is it’s not meant to be a race, its mileage. You basically get people to sponsor you and then they donate money for multiple sclerosis, but you can make a race out of it if you want to. We certainly did. And you couldn’t leave before whatever, 7:00 AM, and Marty wasn’t leaving until like 8:30. It was like, we’re going to sit on Marty until 8:30.
So we left the velodrome.
So, he’s trying to catch you, kind of like a hound and hare.
He wasn’t really trying, no.
We left the velodrome on our bikes and we were serious. I mean, like it was four of us, and I mean, I never really was any good at road racing, but I have some road racing stories. We were drafting. We were like signal… We weren’t kidding around. We were like as fast as we could. We went, and when he caught us, at nine o’clock or whatever, I couldn’t believe it. I was in the back, I look back and I’m like, “I think I see…” Because at first you see the red dot. And we were somewhere out toward Lancaster, where you could see miles. I looked back and I saw the red dot and I’m like, “Guys, I see a red dot.” So, we’re like, “Okay, now we need to stop screwing around because if we can see him and he wasn’t there before.” then we weren’t kidding around. He motored by us. This is a four person, if you know about bicycling, four person draft line, which is about as glorious as it gets, we were all in. And he went by with the helmet on, just motored past us.
Yeah. And he’s by himself. He’s not riding a draft line-
And the dumb ears-
Are flapping, my brains going, “That’s a drag, Marty.” He just motored by. And I think when he went by, he said something and we yelled, “I don’t think there’s anybody in front of us.” As he went by, like little exchange of like, “I think you have now caught the people who were at the front. You can just like ease up and coast.” So, when I see people who are really good at, well at anything, but when I see people who are really good at bicycling and I see how much love they’ve put into it, I just like, “Hats off, sir.” Except I was exhausted. Grumpy because he passed us. But it was just amazing to see that level of athleticism, dedication, in a sweaty, like how much air can possibly be inside the noid, I don’t know.
I couldn’t believe it. It was just so over the top. So, that’s my, I think that’s the most amazing story that isn’t a Craig’s amazing story. Like I had this experience and it just, I’m assuming it was Marty, if I have the name wrong it’ll be a bummer.
I’m sure that would’ve been Marty.
That that reads like a Marty story. Just a giant noid head and two giant legs.
Yeah. Yes, that would be Marty.
I assume you’ve been to the velodrome. I mean, I know it’s still there, I don’t know if you’re from round here, but-
I’m not from round here, but I have many friends who have raced at like the Olympic level.
Do you have any great stories? Any great bicycling stories like that? I mean, not that you have to top me, but do any stories flash into your head when I told that one?
I’ve never, well, no, I have raced in costume, but I’ve never raced with a thing on my head like that. As Carmen Miranda, I’ve raced as Carmen Miranda. So, I had a fruit thing on top of me. I do these races that are called single-speed cyclocross world championships, and they’re not really world championships, with a wink and a nudge world championships, but they are you dress in costume and it is really impressive to see people racing in things that you wouldn’t think that you would even be able to ride a bike in. Like their bananas and Tyrannosaurus Rex’s. It’s very fun. Yeah, pretty fun.
I’m not at a loss for ideas, I’m watching the time and I’m wondering where to go with my remaining minutes.
(chapter) So, you’ve done a ton of writing-
With a T or with D, riding or writing?
Oh, I’m sorry.
I often have a hard time telling the difference when people… I always say yes.
Writing, with a t. I would use a larger adjective for the amount of riding with a D. I was going to say, you’ve done a lot of writing with a T and I’m going to say print, like basically before the internet was really a thing, print work, internet writing, you know, all these things, do you feel like writing is, obviously it’s a passion, cause there’s no way you could do that much of it if you weren’t passionate about it. But do you feel like that’s your fetch?
I don’t know what I do if I didn’t write. I’d be useless.
That’s where I was going.
I don’t know what I-
I feel like I stopped riding, and therefore for me, riding with a d, wasn’t my thing. I mean, I enjoy it. So, I was going to say, if you tried to stop writing with a T, not-
I really have no idea what I would do. I say that all the time. I am constantly writing in my head.
I have absolutely no idea.
So, you’ve done magazine, feature length magazine, you’ve done online, you’ve done blogging, you’ve done books, what’s the next thing? Like what more can you possibly-
I’m still doing the same thing, right? Like I’m still-
Yeah. I don’t mean like you suck, stop. I just mean-
Appreciate that, thank you.
What’s next? What’s the bigger… Do you teach people how to write? Do you-
No, that was a negative face. That was a wrong drink face, yes. But what, just more of the same?
More of the same. Like what’s cool about what I do is that I can evolve with it. You know, like I didn’t know I’d be writing about menopause. I didn’t know I’d been writing about bikes. You know? Like that’s actually the best part of this existence that I’ve carved out, is that I’m never one of those like, “Oh my God, it’s Sunday. It’s Monday, tomorrow.” Like, that’s just not, I’ve never felt that way, because I just really, I do what I do. And I like to ride bikes, and sometimes race bikes, and I write, and I like to express myself, and I like to tell stories, and I like to take complicated scientific things and make them digestible. I’ve always really enjoy doing that.
Yeah, that’s not to say every day is a circus and a picnic, it’s not. Like sometimes the process is hard, but I really love what I do. And it honestly is all I know. I don’t know what else I would do. I’ve thought about that many times. Like, what else would I do? When I went to school, I thought I might go pre-med and I was just like, “Ooh, that’s a lot of school.” Like that’s literally what I thought. I’m like, “That’s a lot of school.” And you know, when you’re a kid, it feels like you’re going to be a hundred by the time you get out. It feels like-
30? I’ll be dead by the time I’m 30.
Right, exactly. My whole life will be over. That’s a long time. So, I ended up just going into communications and I ended up doing medical writing because I was pretty good at actually understanding those concepts. And then I was like, “Oh.” I was writing for magazines, like infectious diseases and children, like stuff of the exactly-
Complete good work, but wow, this is a big audience.
Yeah, it’s also just woo. You know, it’s just rough. So, I wanted to get into… One of my first, I was a managing editor of Contact Lens Spectrum, and you can’t believe how many women burn their eyeballs with curling iron’s. The eyeball is a very resilient organ, is what I learned. People like darts, curling irons, all the eyeball pictures you can imagine, and they recovered. So, I was like, wow, that’s… But I need to do something else. So, I learned about Rodale Press, and I was like, “That’s what I want to do.” I want to take all this stuff and like talk to a lay audience. And I kept sending them resumes and they sent me a nice rejections. And then at some point somebody found, a head hunter found them, and called me up and I wrote a book chapter. The sample book chapter that you had to write to get a job there at the time was the chapter on dental floss. And because they believed in infotainment, so if you could make a chapter in dental floss, educational and engaging, you were in.
Yeah. So, that was the litmus test. And that started me on this trajectory and the most wonderful life. I met like all my friends, I met my husband, I found my path, I got into bike racing, and it was one of the biggest, most important cornerstones of my existence.
(chapter) Do you have a preferred medium to read? And I don’t mean like digital ebook, I just mean short form, long form, classic literature. Like if I told you, “Okay, here’s the library of Alexandria. It has all the books ever written,” you’d be like, “Okay, I got to go somewhere.” Would you be running to fiction? Would you be running to-
I would be running to fiction.
I like a good story. It’s funny, a friend of mine kind of wrecked it for me for awhile. We were on a ride and she’s very non-fiction and she’s like, “Fiction’s just a waste of time,” she’s like, “Why would you read something not real? There’s so many people to like…” I was like, “Am I wasting my time?” What has she done? And now she’s reading fiction. And I’m like, “Christine, you killed me.” She’s like, “Oh no, there’s some good stories.” I’m like, “Of course there’s some…” But I like a good story. And there’s no one particular genre that I would gravitate towards. I was in a book group for about 20 years, that I recently just took a hiatus from, but what I liked about that is I just read stuff that I never would’ve found out about or read on my own because it’s so hard to choose.
Yeah, don’t ever read the statistics about the amount of stuff that’s published every minute, right? Because you’re just like, “Oh my God, I’m never going to like-”
Well, it’s like music, right? It’s just impossible to dig through it. So, these days, I’ve got like a stack, like everybody who likes to read in the bed, different things. Everything from like Blondie’s memoir to I’m finally reading How to Change Your Mind by Michael Paulin, and I’m looking for… That friend, who is into fiction, gave me a book, but it was about like a teenage girl that disappears. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. I’ve got a teenage girl and I’m not reading something that’s going to take my head into any… I already have a good enough imagination. So, you can have that one back. Yeah.
Did you ever read the book, non-sequitur, The Girl Who Loved Tom Nolan? N-O-L-
I know that, I have not read it.
I don’t want to quote the author because I might get it wrong, I think it might even be… Nah, I don’t think it’s a Stephen King book. Cause it’s not really a horror story. It’s about a girl who gets lost in the woods, and she’s the Tom Nolan’s of baseball.
I just got goosebumps, you just saying that, because it’s already scary.
She survives. It has a happy ending. I won’t spoil it.
Well, then I would read it.
Yeah. It has a happy ending. It is definitely a rite of passage sort of book, but it’s literally about a girl that gets lost in the woods. And she loves baseball. Tom Nolan, I think, was a pitcher. I don’t know much about baseball.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Anyway, so she was big into Tom Nolan, and that plays into what she does with her days while she’s literally lost in the woods in New England. Good story. It’s a novella. I mean, I was just like wondering, cause that’s a fiction story, but it’s a great-
That sounds great, that sounds up my alley.
It’s a great story with a capital S.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I didn’t mean to add more things. I don’t like the question if you’re stuck on a desert island and you can only take one book, what would it be? For me, it would be like the Merck Manual or something. You know, something really… Like one about diseases.
Yeah, because I don’t reread things. My mother would take The Good Earth, the pages are falling out of it. I’m like, “That’s the most terrible book ever.” Sorry to everyone who loves The Good Earth.
That’s how the world works. Any book I love, somebody hates. What’s the book that you’ve, I don’t want to say read the most times through, but that you’ve spent the most time with?
There was one by Wally Lamb and I can’t remember the title of it. It was about twins. It was the only book that I got to the end and I just started sobbing. Because I usually don’t get… I’m very emotional, I cry at like movies, and Folgers commercials, and things that have no business making me cry. But I don’t cry-
Does anyone know what Folgers even is anymore?
Well, you know, the son comes from the military and the mom doesn’t know-
The best part of waking… Exactly, right.
I haven’t even seen that commercial.
Yeah. But I don’t really cry at books. I spent the most time with it because it was like 900 words and it was like 900 pages long.
I know this much is true.
Yes, I know this much is true.
I’m cheating, somebody just held a computer up to me and said, “This book?”
I got to the end of it and just had like this crazy emotional response from the just-
Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe there was something needed to be released.
Yeah, no, it was, it was good. And that’s what I mean by a good story. Like I want something that, because I like to read to wind down, that’s one of my favorite way is to like signal to my brain that it’s time to wind down. But, I don’t have, you’ve got to get me in the first 40 pages or you’re not going to get me.
I have what I call the page 88 test.
Oh, 88. You make it twice as long as I do.
No, no, no, open the book to page 88, find the first, like don’t start in the middle of a paragraph, but just read something off of page 88. And by that point, the author will be done with the preliminary, “I’m not sure how to start the book,” stuff and you should be in the meat of the book. And if you read page 88 and find yourself reading page 89, this is going to be a good relationship. That’s what I do.
That’s interesting. My mom reads the end first.
Oh, I don’t know that I’d want to do that.
Well, yeah, the left face is just the right face. She always does but she doesn’t want to be mad at the end. So, I kind of get it.
This book and I are on a timeout.
Taking a time out.
But that’s how I felt with this book that my friend gave me. I’m like, “If I knew everything was going to be like a bow on the end ending, I would get through it.” But I wasn’t willing to put myself… She gave me another one. She likes these, it was a lot of tension and another was a young girl growing up in a swamp. And you always felt she was on the verge of danger. Right? But you grow to like her so much, you didn’t want anything terrible to happen to her.
It’s only a book.
I know, I know. Please don’t be a terrible thing. Yeah. Where the Crawdads Sing, I think it was, it was really great. Yeah.
Are there any books? I don’t tend to give away a lot of books, but I do gift give books. I’m a big believer in books should never be loaned, you should always give them. Just give them a book and don’t ever give it back.
People don’t ever give them back anyways so you might as-
Well, I didn’t mean it as a passive aggressive, you suck.
No, I know.
But yes. And my mind is doing [crosstalk 01:34:41].
I used to give Dr. Seuss’ My Many Color Days to people.
Oh, that’s a good one to give. But I was going to say, what book do you think you’ve given a lot? You know, I don’t need the one you’re giving the most, but like what are books that you tend to share?
Oh, help me. I’m going to need help because it’s I Love Octopuses and it’s about… Look up an octopus book for me. It’s not The Secret Lives.
Most [crosstalk 01:35:03] know there’s a third person present.
Yeah. It’s not The Secret Lives of Octopus.
I know there’s a Netflix series called My Octopus Teacher, which I saw.
I saw that. I saw that. No, but this is-
Speaker 1 (01:35:11):
Soul of an Octopus?
Yes. Soul of an octopus. I’ve given that to so many people. I was so annoying reading that book. My husband would be fast asleep, I’m like, “Do you know that octopuses have three hearts and they can move every…” Like, so many things. Like I’d just be like this annoying font of octopus facts. But I loved it so, so much. So, definitely that one. Definitely that one.
I’m laughing because I mentioned at the beginning like “If you have things you want to look up,” I often wind up going to these obscure places where I’m asking you to root around in the cobweb corners of your mind.
People are like, “What’s the word for…” Yeah. What’s the word for I forget? Anything else you want to say about books before I move on? Either ones you’ve written, or one’s you’re reading, or if everybody within the sound of my voice, if you’re still listening at this point, you must read, and we’ve already done one, but anything else that you think people should read? I mean there’s some really good books about like the constitution or surveys of history. There’s all kinds of things that people should read, but I’m just wondering-
I’m reading one called, The Unwell Woman, right now, that’s going to be coming out. I think that it’s worth, worth any woman, I mean, men too if you’re game to pick it up, and just how you want to talk about… I used to roll my eyes super hard when people use the word, the patriarchy and they’re like, oh boy, here we go. You know? But now I’m like, they right. Man, they’re right. Like what male dominated androcentric medicine has done to women since the begin is horrifying. Like I knew it was horrifying, but I’m even more horrified by it as I’m reading. Because it’s a history of that. And even like the Greeks that we love to put on the pedestals, like “Oh my God.”
Certain parts of the Greeks, yes. Some of it, yes, exactly.
Like with the treatment of women and their wandering wounds and how evil they are. And like all this stuff is just stunningly terrible.
And what’s that called, The Unwell Woman?
But not yet, you have a pre-
I have a pre, but it’s out. It’s out at the end of the month.
Yeah. And definitely can pre-order it I’m sure. And it’s really eye-opening. Really eye-opening. And I really am enjoying Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. I mean, I’ve had friends who’ve talked about that forever, and the history and benefits of psychedelics. It’s fascinating to me.
In the last five years, there’s been a lot more talk about-
Yes. Yes, that’s the word.
Well, I have a friend who’s had chronic, chronic terrible depression for… And he read it and it took him a long time to sort of come around. But he lives in California where they have ketamine clinics and it has changed his entire life to have the guided… I mean, it’s changed his entire life. So, it’s very interesting stuff.
I would agree.
And this is the soapbox I’m happy to get on all day, but it really bothers me that I can go and buy a case of Jack Daniels, but I can’t buy weed.
Yes, but some of our laws are puritanical and Pennsylvania is a great classic. We still have blue laws here about, you can only purchase alcohol from state controlled stores. It’s just like-
It’s all power. It’s all power.
In my opinion, that’s a pretty minor like, you know, “The world sucks.” That’s a pretty minor item on the world sucks list, I agree. But it is just like an example of like, “What?”
And we just finally could buy like wine in a grocery store in the past like five years.
That was cutting edge, yes. Do you remember when the liquor bottles used to have the tax things on it to… That’s how your parents could tell if you ever opened the bottle? You’d break the tax seal.
Oh, those were the days.
The days, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mm-hmm (affirmative). There’s a book that is, I refer to it as my anti library, A-N-T-I like the opposite of a library, which I think I got from Brian Holiday. Anyway, and the idea is, it’s like a reminder of all the shit that I don’t know. Not so much like it’s meant to guilt me-
Which is good. No, that’s good. I like learning what I don’t know.
I never really sat down and like poured through fundamental human biochemistry, but I love to ramble on about [inaudible 01:39:25] maybe I should read. So, that book reminds me that I should check my assumptions a little bit until you read that book. So there’s just cool things like that. I read a book once called, I’m pausing because I can’t remember, I think it’s Four Fish. It might be Three Fish, it could be Five Fish. This is not a Dr. Seuss book.
Blue fish, red fish.
No, no, no. I think it’s called Four Fish, basically it talks about salmon. It’s like four staple fish that are like a major deal in the whole United States Western ecosystem. Like, in terms of if you wipe these fish out, you get all kinds of problems. But also in terms of like, we eat them and they’re fun. It just talks about where these fish come from and it was kind of an opener about, to me I thought fish shape was the shape that they came in a soup. Like, no, this is an animal. But it was a good book, it talked about the different, just the history of those fish. That was a good one that I read. And oddly, I know exactly where I read that book, I read it when I was on a trip once. Are there any books that always take you to the same place? Like same physical place in your mind?
I don’t revisit books enough to answer that question.
Okay, I was just curious.
Okay. So, I’m weird. I think that’s-
I’m curious what book takes you-
Well, I was just thinking, I read that book, I think it is called Four Fish, it impressed me so much I can remember the title. But I was at a retreat for our certain programming. Because I brought a couple books with me-
I do have a funny story about a book.
Go ahead. Is there a story you’d like to share?
It’s not a long story, but you’re making me think about, I read this book and I honestly can’t remember the title of it, it was the Mayan something. I think it was sort of a dark story about these tourists that were in the Mexican Mayan jungles. They were on vacation, so they’re all hung over, and they go on like a guided tour kind of thing. And it all goes terribly wrong. Like it ends up being like very Blair Witchian. And it’s that kind of almost mystical, terrible things happening, spirits and plants that are living. I couldn’t put it down, but it was horrifying.
It was an airport book. I bought it in the airport, I read it, I finished it in the airport waiting for my flight, and I felt like I didn’t want this book with me anymore. So, literally, I left it in the airport intentionally. And I’m sitting there and we’re in the air and the flight attendant walks down the aisle and she’s got that freaking book in her hand. And she’s like, “I think you left this.” I was like, “Oh my God.” I’m like, “No, I’m sorry I think you’re mistaken. Why don’t you take that book?”
It was like The Ring or something. I’m like, “Just take it, I don’t want it.”
3 words [1:42:16]
(chapter) (highlight) All right. Well, I want to be mindful of your time. So, I think I would just say, and of course the final question is, three words to describe your practice. It’s okay, it’s part of-
I would say, if I had to use three words to describe my mission and my practice, it would be to inspire, to empower, and to humor.
Terrific, as I often say. It was a pleasure to meet you, get to hang out, talk about bikes, talk about books. Yeah, thank you very much. I’m sure I’ll see you around.
Yeah, no, I pass by here all the time.
Thank you. (/highlight)