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171: Peloton Faces Streaming Security Breach plus our interview with Debra Anzalone
Peloton faced a security breach that resulted in them sending out a 24-hour live feed from multiple studios.
Jess King was seen recording a Tread class.
Peloton advertises for a VP of Strength.
Rebecca Kennedy is promoted to Director of Strength.
Cody Rigsby’s XOXO line is back.
John Mills joins us to discuss Peloton’s recent patent filing and a new bike from Nautilus.
John Foley was on the Masters of Scale podcast.
Tunde was interviewed by the Today Show.
Chicago Bears’ Kalil Mack gave an interview while on his bike.
Tunde is partnering with Athleta Girl
Aditi Shah has multiple television appearances that we’re just now learning about.
There’s a Kickstarter for a Peloton documentary.
New artist collaborations featuring The Weeknd and Ministry of Sound.
UK retail chain John Lewis partners with Peloton.
Robin partners with Instagram and Adidas Women.
New HIIT cardio warm-ups have arrived.
All this plus our interview with Debra Anzalone!
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Peloton Faces Streaming Security Breach plus our interview with Debra Anzalone
If we sound even better than usual, maybe not better than usual, but as good as we used to, it’s because last week we had to use the Zoom audio to capture the show because our computer shot craps. We’ve got our new computer. We’ve got our new audio. It’s all very exciting.
Now we just need new mic stands. If you’re on YouTube, you can see me fighting with it.
We’re very excited to have that back. Now that we sound extra normal, what do you have in store for people this week?
We’ve got some big news about some things that occurred. I’m not even going to give you a teaser as to what it is. You’re just going to stick around. There’s so much huge news from Peloton this week. Just stay tuned. That’s what you have to do.
Before we get to all the big new, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn, wherever you get your podcasts, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and subscribe, so you’ll never miss an episode. Also if you would be so kind as to leave us a nice rating and review, that always helps. We have a new review. I don’t know who this is from. The screen name is Mch2222222. “My favorite weekend podcast. After years of debating over spending the money for a Peloton, last April, I finally convinced my husband and we purchased the bike. I became instantly obsessed with all things Peloton. I followed all the instructors, joined tons of Facebook groups and stumbled upon The Clip Out. I gave it a listen one week over the summer and I was hooked. Crystal and Tom cover it all. I look forward to the weekend to hear them recap all things Peloton. They are funny, informative and great interviewers who let their guests tell their story while keeping the audience engaged and laughing throughout. I always look forward to their Peloton Prophet segments and also hearing their opinions on all things Peloton related. If you are a Peloton lover, this is the podcast for you, Mindy Matthews, Lexington, South Carolina, leaderboard name, #MindyRides.” Thank you, Mindy.
Mindy, that was nice. Thank you for such a lovely review.
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There was a bit of a security breach discovered within the Peloton ecosystem. It turns out they were unbeknownst to them sending live feeds from at least two of their studios. We have a reason to believe all three of their studios, but we could only confirm the tread studio and the yoga studio, but they were sending out live 24-hour feeds from their studios.
I’m pretty sure this is what you would refer to as a nightmare for security to have images such as a dark studio. You could actually watch people clean the studio.
I couldn’t tell, was that a cleaning crew or was that a tech crew?
I think it was a tech crew. You could see the people getting the instructors ready and you could see what the studio looks like when there’s absolutely no cool accent lighting. It was very interesting. This led into the whole reason that the story broke that everyone thinks that the rumors going around that Jess King will soon be a tread instructor.
The story that you broke in The Clip Out Facebook group, that she’s going to be a tread instructor because we were sitting there watch her record what would appear to be her debut on-demand tread class.
Since then, Peloton saw that this was happening, they have removed the feed. That’s why we’re comfortable sharing this information with you. We don’t want anything to happen to Peloton. We love Peloton. This would be destructive to Peloton if their competitors were to find out about it.
It was corrected mid-day on Saturday. We felt like it’s more of a humorous story that no real damage can occur from it.
I’m really curious to hear what everybody’s take on that is.
That’s an interesting one.
To me, I think you just described that as a freaking nightmare.
Luckily, it doesn’t seem like it had any major repercussions. It’s a humorous anecdote at this point. You hear many stories about people getting caught in a hot mic saying stuff. If the things they are saying on a hot mic, they shouldn’t be saying on a hot mic, so you don’t feel too bad for them. I’m not insinuating that’s what’s going on with any of the instructors, but still, you’re joking around with your friends and you say something that you might not say in front of everyone. Not that it’s something I wake up in a cold sweat from all the time.
It’s one of those things that when you think nobody’s listening, sometimes you’re just venting, you might just be blowing off steam and saying stupid things. You don’t want people to judge you by that. It wasn’t fair to anybody involved. It was basically like eavesdropping. It’s like somebody having a video cam in your bedroom and you didn’t know about it. It’s super creepy. They didn’t know that it was happening. Anyway, it’s all fixed.
We’re glad that it was discovered before it became a major issue for them. That’s the last thing that they need. A reveal within that is that it looks like Jess King is going to start adding the tread classes to her repertoire.
It does look as though that is the case.
There has just been a bevy of information about Peloton Strength coming.
It is clear to me that Peloton has some big news coming. Shall we talk about the job posting first?
I think we start with the job posting.
VP Product Marketing Peloton Strength, my understanding is this was only up for a few days, but you can still find it out there on the internet because once you put things on the internet, they’re out there forever. It’s still live on a few boards. The part that is absolutely fascinating is this responsibility acting as the marketing general manager for Peloton Strength and emerging content discipline and completely new and confidential connected fitness category for Peloton interactive.
The question you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a way to even do this? How do you advertise for a job, but within the posting basically like, “Don’t tell anyone?”
I was told that people who were watching this said that it was only up for four days. Either they found somebody really quick or we’ll see it again, I don’t know. I hadn’t talked about this yet because it was small news, but in conjunction with this, it’s a larger news that Rebecca Kennedy was a Master Instructor of Strength and she has now become a Director of Strength. I asked her, “Was this a promotion?” She said, “Yes, it was.” I said, “What exactly does this mean for your job duties?” No response. She did nothing wrong by not sharing that with me. I’m sure she was doing the right thing as a matter of fact. You’ve got to wonder, you put this into place, then you take the new Rebecca Kennedy instructor role. Then you roll in the new AI role that we just talked about. Your brain goes crazy. Are we talking a potential Tonal thing here? Is that what’s happening?
This certainly is starting to sound that it’s less about content classes and more about equipment. Obviously, equipment would have content and classes.
I know what you mean though.
It sounds like it’s more about equipment. We haven’t heard anything about the Rower in a long time, and I’ve always thought the Rower seems so niche that it seemed odd that it would be their next “big thing.” I don’t know.
I don’t know either. They also had some surveys that came out to a lot of people that do Strength classes, asking them what kind of strength classes they want to see. If you are a tread user or a strength user, you saw that survey. My point is that there is something big happening with Strength, we don’t know what it is. My mind can go all kinds of places with the potential here. I am eager to see the call on September 10th, the Earnings Call. Will things be announced? Will they be announced before? Will they be announced after? I don’t know.
Cody had a Valentine’s Day ride series.
It was called XOXO. It was back in January or February-ish. They ended it of course. The interesting thing is that today, they have had an instructor capsule collection in forever, and today, one dropped. It was all XOXO clothes from Cody. There were a couple of sweatshirts and t-shirts. They’re announcing that the series is coming back in September. For those of you Cody fans, you want to make sure you get in on the ride series. It is coming back. You can pick up your swag to go with it.
Returning this week, John Mills, who has his finger on the pulse of a lot of things, but for our purposes, the business end of Peloton.
That sounds geeky.
It’s purely an accident, I assure you.
Honestly, you get pretty deep in your posts. I love that though.
I feel like I should have glasses on or something.
It will catch up with you eventually.
You can edit in this week whenever you post your clip.
I got this patent request that looks like it was submitted recently. I pulled it up, I’m looking at it. It looks like it was submitted on May 4th. It was really interesting. A member of the group sent it to me. We’re texting back and forth like, “John, I noticed this and it was published on August 20th.” It doesn’t mean it was granted. It was just made public. That process is still occurring. My immediate reaction was to scroll to the bottom of a document. Ultimately, these things are continuations. They also file for patent late in 2019. Peloton is now filing with additional information. All of that previous patent information is in the same document. You’ve got to figure out what in there is different. I initially scrolled to the end, near the end at all the gamification section, which is why my mind immediately went to, “This aligns right.”
We’ve been hearing John Foley talk about gamification. He talked about it in the Q2 Earnings Call. He talked about in the Q3 Earnings Call. We keep hearing about gamification, but we haven’t seen it in some big way. We thought in small ways and not in a big way. That’s where my mind was, “This is the new stuff.” When you read that, it talks about, “We’re going to allow for many competitions prior to or within a class, the user can create their own mini competitions.” It talks about an ability to, from a central location, recalibrate and normalize bikes. If you’re in a real time competition, everybody’s operating on level playing field. I was like, “Wow,” until I realized all that information is also in the document that they actually published late last year 2019.
I think it was in the 2015. A patent attorney weighed in on my post after I found your post. They said that they have to include the original language. Them including that original language does not mean that nothing’s happening now. Then Paul Bradley pointed out that now there are images attached that were not attached before.
The imagery is a little bit different and that suggests that it may be related to gamification. My mind wants to believe it’s still related to gamification. I’m still drawn to that being the premise, but we’ll see. I hope those things apply. We can obviously suggest that is like their path, that’s a path that Peloton wants to take.
Two things popped into my head. One, this is interesting timing given that it wasn’t that long ago we had the All-Star ride where you have to wonder if they used some ability to calibrate everybody across the board evenly.
Then when you look at some of those scores, you think maybe not.
Maybe that pushed this idea forward.
That could have been a kick in the butt because you might have trouble getting athletes to do that again if they feel like somebody’s got a juice bike. Whether it’s purposeful or not, they look like an idiot.
I was thinking the same thing. I was actually really excited about hearing about both of those items. We’ll see.
Also with the call just around the corner, you can’t help but wonder, “Are we going to see some of these things? Are we going to hear some of these things be announced because there are a lot of new things? There are got be a lot of new things coming to Peloton’s market because it’s coming to the market in general. Peloton is not known for sitting back and letting others take over.
We’ve heard a few things and we’ve seen a few rumors and a few things slip. We know something is the grander thing. I suspect there’s something that we’re not ready for. We’ll see.
On the heels of that, you also came across an interesting contraption from Nautilus.
Nautilus goes into 2019. They released their Max Trainer M6 and M8. They’re thinking these things are going to continue with all this success. Then in May, they report Q1 numbers and they’re somewhere between 30% and 40% down year-over-year. Three months later, they report Q2 and same thing. It looks like the Max Trainer just didn’t do what they thought it was going to do. My thought is connected fitness hit.
They’re making carburetors when everybody is using fuel injectors.
They’re struggling. Then late 2019, they released their journey platform, which is their digital platform in preparation for devices or bikes or equipment that are going to be similar to Peloton. They’re going to be in the fitness space. Within that same month, they released their Bowflex C6 bike. They’re on this connected fitness path. In February, they do their Q4 2019 call. On it is the most depressing sounding call.
They were playing sad trombones.
They were like, “We’re late to this game and we’re going to try to catch those big competitors out there.” They’re talking about Peloton, “We’re going to buy, we’re late.” All of a sudden, they report Q1 right in May and everything is backwards. Their C6 bikes are backwards. Their swing bikes are backwards. Their Bowflex SelectTech weights that you adjust there, everything’s backwards. COVID hits, it’s selling out. Now, I think they’ve taken another leap. Those bikes prior were all bikes that didn’t really have a screen. You had to use your own. This Bellacor bike is the first one that has a built in spring. I see this in two ways. One, it’s their first real attempt to try to compete with Peloton. Two, I think they thought, “This is not only we’re competing, but we’re taking it to the next level.” I think that was their mindset with the leaning thing. I’m like, “That’s a little too gimmicky for me in my face. I don’t know.” It may sell really well. I actually think it will.Get on a pedal and set up your bike. Click To Tweet
I think it will because it appeals to people who don’t have a Peloton and you’re like, “I want something different.” Regardless of whether it sells well or doesn’t sell well, I have to give them points for at least they freaking did something different.
The side-to-side thing, it’s cool if you’re looking to replicate actually riding a bike. From an exercise standpoint, does it really behoove you?
They’re saying, and I don’t know what the studies are, but they’re saying that it helps your core. Not being stable when you work out, that works your core. If you’re on a ball and you’re leaning back and forth, that works your core. This should, in theory, do the same thing. Now you’re leaning on a bike and you’ve got to pull yourself back up. You should be using your core.
If anything, I think it creates buzz. I do think it’s going to sell. I think it’s going to sell well. Also not only because of that, I think also because their platform on this particular bike, they opened up so that users can get to things like Netflix. They have a Netflix app built in and Hulu and Amazon Prime. They got things built in. Those are the things that you’ve heard Peloton complained about.
Here’s my question. They’ve got a Netflix app, Hulu app. Do they have a Peloton app?
Yeah because they have a little section where you can sit your own tablet and just ignore the big one behind it and take a Peloton digital class.
That’s funny. It’s like throwing up your hands, “That’s it.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen that. There have been other companies that have been like, “We don’t have a Peloton thing. Here’s a tablet and you can go ahead and access Peloton right through our tablets.”
Will this bike have a monthly fee? Do we know?
Just like Peloton, the monthly fee is relative to their journey, digital subscription. I don’t remember the cost, but I think it’s similar. I think it’s $39 a month, something similar. It’s right in the same ball, most of them are right in that range. I think this is their first venture into the true competing. The mid-level price of this bike is $1699 and has a smaller screen. Then they got one that’s $2199 that has a screen the same size with Peloton, 21.5 inches or 22 inches, something like that. There are so many folks looking for variety and looking for something to use at home to get fit. All players are going to do well.
As you’ve said before, there’s enough pieces for everybody to get a piece.
Where can people find you?
They can all find me in my group or page on Facebook, Run, Lift and Live. They can find me on Instagram, @RunLiftAndLive. They can also check out my RunLiftAndLive.com website.
Thank you very much.
John Foley was on the Masters of Scale podcast.
It is episode 70. This podcast is all about business. In this particular episode, he gets to tell his story, which I love hearing him tell the story, about how everyone told him no, and nobody would buy into Peloton.
I was going to tease you about enjoying hearing the story over and over again, but then I realized how much that benefits me in our relationship.
You should just be like, “That’s nice.” It’s a great story though. If you haven’t heard John Foley tell it, don’t forget he’s been interviewed by us. Don’t forget to listen that episode. Also, I’m sure he had new things to say, and he always is very much himself, which I super appreciate. You can hear that on episode 70, Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman.
Tunde was on the Today Show.
I think that she was interviewed by Today.com.
I thought I saw something that said the third hour. Is that online?
You’re probably right. It’s just that the transcript is in here, so I thought that it was only like an interview. It goes through the questions that they asked her, and it’s a whole article, so that’s why I thought that. To be honest, I do not truthfully know either way. I think that there are a ton of people based on the messages that I got, who had no idea that Tunde once weighed 200 pounds when she was a teenager and that she has had this amazing journey to end up being a fitness trainer who’s in bad-ass shape. She’s buffed, look at those arms. That lady, there’s not an ounce of fat on her. Obviously, Tunde’s story is not just that. Tunde has a great story. Everybody has a great story. They’re not just their weight. If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Tunde, I feel like this is a good article that captures the essence of who she is as a person. We have interviewed Tunde also, so make sure that you check out our episode as well, because she told some of her stories and she talked about her family and where she grew up. It’s another great interview. Make sure you check both of those out.
Spinning off of that, the fact that the Today Show was talking to her, I wonder if that’s indicative of what we can expect. With NBC Universal having sold off all their Peloton stock, we had wondered if this means that we will see less of Peloton within the NBC Universal universe. The fact that they’re doing something like this makes you think maybe not.
I also don’t know when that got recorded relative to when the shares got sold. That’s a very good question.
You also got to figure if they were looking to jettison mentions of Peloton because they didn’t own stock. There are lots of stuff that never sees the light of day.
I hope it is representative that we’ll get to see things because there are many really cool people that are instructors at Peloton. They have such great personalities. They’ve done many cool things. They’re great leaders in a lot of ways that I think it’s not only good for Peloton, it’s good for people being able to hear their perspective as a person, not just on a bike or not just on a tread giving direction.
I find this fascinating. I’m looking forward to the picture of this one. There’s a bear riding a Peloton. That sounds adorable. How’s the PETA thing?
It’s like the sports bear. It’s the football bears like the Chicago Bears. He is a linebacker for the Chicago Bears. This is actually a funny story because their interview got pushed back, and by the time they got to do their interview, he decided to multitask. He met on Zoom while working out in his Peloton.
All joking aside, a lot of these sports leagues now they’ve acquired Peloton for their athletes and you have benchmarks that you have to hit. That’s their way of knowing that you’re actually working out because normally they would make you come in and work out so they can keep tabs on you. Now because of social distancing, they can’t do that. Peloton have been a way to make sure that they’re actually working out and progressing or maintaining the fitness level that the team expects and pays handsomely for. I’m sure he’s like, “You’re late. I’m not stopping this. My bonuses are tied to it.”
There was a lot of speculation what on Earth does his output look like? I’m guessing he averages about a million. That’s so funny. I love this one. You can find this on our Facebook group and on our Facebook page, @TheClipOut in case you didn’t know.
I’m the one that orders the run of show topics. You pick them, I put them in the right order and I messed up because I should’ve put this one right after the Tunde one. We’ll circle back around, Tunde has an athletic girl event.
It’s another awesome collaboration that she is joining up with Athleta Girl. She is talking to them about being healthy as a teenage girl. It’s a great experience. My understanding is that the general public can join it. I don’t know the process that you have to go through to do it, but I just think it’s fascinating that we’re starting to see all these collaborations with all the different instructors.
It sounds like a great one because when she was on the show, she talked about many of her struggles when she was a teenage girl.
I was listening to it not too long ago, and I don’t know if this is what you’re referring to specifically, but it got to me that she had the same issues. When she went into a gym, she was scared to go and work out in a group. She was scared to use the weights. I think that’s fabulous that she’s talking to teenagers about that specifically.
I was doing some digging around and I actually came up with a story. I found what I think is news for people.
I’m pretty sure it’s news for people, Tom. It was news to me.
If it’s Peloton related and it’s news to you, then I deserve a pat on the back. Aditi Shah has an acting career before she came to the wonderful world of Peloton.
I never knew that.
It turns out, she was on an episode of Inside Amy Schumer. If you watch this episode, I believe it’s episode 2, season 3 called Cool With It. If you want to see her pretend to snort cocaine, it’s funny, but that’s what she’s doing in the Amy Schumer one. The next one is from HBO’s Crashing. This was from episode three of Crashing as well. Then the next one is from CBS’ show, Elementary. This is from season six and it’s from an episode that’s got worms in the title. It’s like, “The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.” I saw her in the credits and I was trying to find her. The only reason we didn’t talk about this last week is because I couldn’t find her in the episode. I felt bad because I was like, “What’s wrong with me that I can’t find her in the episode?” When I finally found her, she’s literally camouflage. She’s against a wall with a pattern and they painted the exact pattern of the wall onto her. As I’m scanning through, because I’m not watching a full episode of Elementary, I’m not a 75-year-old woman. She’s literally camouflaged. She’s in the opening scene of the show. If you want to go find it, it’s available on Hulu. If you want to go find it, she’s in the very opening scene of Elementary, season six, the episode with worms in the title. There’s a little background on the acting history of Aditi Shah.
It’s a really cool find, Tom. I’m very excited that you found it and I’m also proud.
You’d spent three and a half years, I figured I could put in a little effort. I should be set until 2023. There’s an interesting Kickstarter for a Peloton documentary.
This is pretty cool. Ty Audronis, who was on a few episodes ago, he was talking about the tour. He is raising money with the hopes of creating a documentary. The idea would be to go around the country, filming stories about the bike that goes nowhere. They’re going to take the bike. The cool thing is they want to take the bike with them and literally plug it in next to cool landmarks. They’re going to stop in St. Louis. I’m imagining, and Ty, you’re not held to this. This is my image that you are doing. He’s going to pull up next to the arch and they’re going to do an interview at the arch while riding a Peloton hooked up. That’s cool.
I heard that when he’s in St. Louis, he was going to ride the Peloton while getting mugged.
He’s going to have to go a little east for that, just across the river.
That sounds pretty spiffy.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth your time to go look, the cool thing is that you can submit your story to be considered even if you don’t back. It’s not saying you’ll get picked, but they are going to pick some people at random who did not donate. They are also hoping that you will back them and then they’ll choose people from that pool as well. There are several different ways that you can back it. It’s not like you have to donate $1,000 to get through.
These Kickstarters, we’ve participated in a few over the years. There are all sorts of different levels. Normally, there are levels that are as low as $5 or $10, all the way up to like you had to mortgage your house.
This one starts at $10. You can get in really easy if that’s interesting to you at all.
There are some new artist collaborations either that just occurred or are about to occur depending on when you read this.
The one that occurred this week was Ben Alldis collaborated with Ministry of Sound. It was all very club-y. He did a whole class for Ministry of Sound. It was very cool. They’re starting to pull in the UK instructors more for these artists collaborations. I was excited to see this one. That’s very cool.Ego means Edging God Out. Click To Tweet
There’s also one with The Weeknd.
It has a ton of classes associated with it coming up. 08/26, 7:30 PM Eastern with Chase Tucker, there’s a run. Anna Greenberg is doing a Yoga Flow and Jess Sims is doing a Stretch on-demand. I totally missed Jess King doing a ride today too.
In the UK, there’s a new collaboration going with John Lewis, which is a group of stores over there.
They call it a concession. They’re having Peloton join their concession collaboration in several different cities. They started with the one in London. What we in the US would see as like one of their tiny showrooms, the little ones, but they can get clothes there and people can try out the bike. It’s very cool. I believe it’s a total of ten different locations throughout the UK, so that’s pretty cool.
It’s like a department store?
Yeah. John Lewis is a department store. I wasn’t familiar with it, but apparently it’s a big chain in the UK.
This is what I thought it was. John Lewis department stores or whatever they call them over there, we say department stores, but they have the best Christmas commercials you will ever see.
Is this the one you made me watch?
Yeah. You end up in tears every time. That’s like their tradition every year. The commercials are like short films or 2 to 4 minutes long. They’ve had a couple that have gone viral, but they had one that went viral a couple years ago, which was like the life story of Elton John, as a little kid playing piano. It tugs at your heartstrings, but they all do. This is a rabbit hole you want to go down.
You’ve shown these to me. Tom is right. You want to go down this rabbit hole. Take a moment and google them.
Robin has teamed up with Adidas Women.
I know it’s not the most sensational story this week because there have been a lot of stuff that has happened. Let me tell you this might be my favorite as a shopper. This was groundbreaking and historical in its own way. I stumbled across it because I’m me. This is really cool. Robin teamed up with Instagram and Adidas Women. We know that Robin has been a spokesperson for Adidas for a long time, but this was a collaboration like no other. It literally was the first time this has ever happened. They took Robin and had her open up her Adidas closet, because she has multiple. She has a Peloton closet too. Then she pulled out the new looks from the Adidas line and showed us how she would put them together. Then all you had to do was click on Adidas Women, their profile, look book and you could buy it right there in real time. I can just click and buy.
What did that cost us?
Actually, nothing because as much as I love the things that they were showing, Robin has a style that is like her shoes match her clothes.
It’s like me with my hoodies.
It is, but her shoes cost $200 a pair. To look the way I would want it to look, I would have to buy each piece.
It’s like a $600 endeavor.
I didn’t buy any of it. I also felt like at some point you’re copying somebody else. I like whenever I’m inspired by what they’re doing, but I wouldn’t know what to do with a piece of it and not the entire outfit, so I said no. You’re welcome.
Finally, there are HIIT cardio warmups now.
It’s brand new. It’s another piece of content coming. If you remember, we had the warmups that started for strength last week. Now, we have the HIIT cardio warmups. Also this week, brought to us by one of our readers, the note we noticed that all of the profile pictures changed within the app. There’s a new one for bootcamps. There’s a new one for strength, etc. They don’t look radically different, so I had to compare side by side, but they are different. That points to what I was saying earlier in the episode, big things are coming down the pipeline.
It sure sounds that way.
Joining us is Debra Anzalone. How are you doing?
I’m great. I’m happy to be here.
I always start with the first question. How did you originally hear about Peloton?
My daughter and son-in-law bought a Peloton and they were like, “Mom, you’ve got to get this.” I’m a spin instructor so I was like, “I don’t know. I did not want to be replaced.” I was thinking I don’t want one more thing that I have to be pressured to do. I said, “Let’s wait a little bit.” That’s how I first heard about it. They were one of the first to get a Peloton.
You were a spin instructor. That’s a ballsy move to go to your mom who’s a spin instructor and be like, “Get the spin bikes so other people can teach you how to spin.”
I’m like, “No, I have a bike. I don’t need that. I do my own classes.”
My mom owned a printing company. I remember when Crystal and I got married, we bought the wedding invitations that you can custom-do-yourself. I was like, “My mother is spinning in her grave that I’m not going to a printer to purchase these.” That’s a bold move. How much time was there between when they suggested that you buy this thing designed to put you out of business and then you purchasing it?
Tom, she got the Comeback bike. How long was the process between they told you about it? They tried to get you involved, to suck you in, and then you were nominated for the Comeback bike. What timeframe was that?
Probably 2 to 3 years. I kept manifesting it. I had the space picked out and I’m a yoga teacher too. I was constantly manifesting and visualizing that I was going to get one.
Peloton is coming after you at all angles.
That’s my dream job. I want to be a Peloton instructor maybe in another life.
You never know. You should reach out to them. What did the Comeback process look like? What was the nomination process? How did all of that work?
I got an email and it said, “Submit your story and then send it here.” I did and I wrote it up but before I sent it, I sent it to our older daughter, Tiffany. She’s the one that has the Peloton bike. I said, “Could you take a look at this?” She has Master’s in Mass Communications from Louisiana State University. She has her Bachelor’s from my alma mater, Boston College. My husband went to LSU, so she went to both. She reviewed it and she goes, “Mom, it looks great.” I sent it in.
In May 2019, I’m riding in the car and I get this email, “Thanks for reaching out to Comeback Program. Your story was great but unfortunately, it wasn’t selected.” I immediately send our daughter a text message and I said, “I didn’t get it but that’s about okay.” A day later, I’m riding in the car again. I look at my phone and I get this email. It goes, “Congratulations. You’ve been selected as a Comeback recipient.” I was like, “What?” I send our daughter another text message. I said, “I won.” She goes, “That’s great. I submitted your story from my perspective, but I didn’t tell you. Surprise.” I was like, “I couldn’t believe it.”
That helps take the sting out of them trying to put you out of a job.
It was great. July 16th, I got the Peloton bike.
I’m curious though because you started this journey with you not interested in the Peloton but at some point, you started manifesting one. What was that process for you? What changed your mind that you were like, “I want one now?”
I’m not really sure. I was looking for something else and I was looking for a community which is what drew me in unbelievably. Even the first year that I had it, I never started getting severely addicted to it until I joined The Tour, which was the former Tour to Peloton with Ty. I know Ty was on your show but now, I have all these buddies. They are always like, “Do you want to do a ride tomorrow?” I can’t say no. I had 742.5 miles and I’m at 43 or 44 tours. It’s been great, especially with being homebound, stay at home, and the isolation. It’s been a Godsend to have such a great virtual community.
What was your Comeback story? What was the tale that your daughter woe for them?
Tiffany told the story from her perspective of when our younger daughter, Tracy, was hit by a car in Italy. She was studying abroad through the University of Miami, but it was the Gonzaga in Florence Program. She was spending a whole junior year abroad where Tiffany had done it to the Medici Program and did one semester. Tiffany said, “Tracy, you need to do the whole year.” She was starting her second semester in her junior year and that was in 2003. Tiffany had not spent summer with Tracy because we were living in Italy at that time. Tracy kept asking Tiffany to, “Come on over, quit your job and travel with me for six months,” or whatever. Tiffany had quit her job and got to Florence where Tracy was. That was January 15th of 2003.
They were waiting for some other kids to come down to go to dinner. It was a Wednesday evening, about 8:15, and I get a call that she had been hit by a car. That was weird. I was doing my playlist for spinning and it was all Dave Matthews. I was sitting at the computer in Naples writing up my playlist and I get a phone call. Italy was good with cell phones back then. I picked up the phone and I’m hearing, “Tracy’s been hit by a car. She’s laying in the street.” They were all standing on the sidewalk. Two guys came around the corner in the pedestrian area and knocked down these huge iron posts that have the chains and there was a moped that was leaning on that. It threw all that on to Tracy.
She was the bigger of the two. She was 145, 5’6”, and was on the rowing team, the crew team in University of Miami. She was the powerhouse on the crew team because she was strong and muscular. Our other daughter, Tiffany, is eighteen months older and she’s more petite. Tracy is laying in the middle of the street going to Tiffany, “Good thing it was me and not you because you would have been this and that. I’m strong and all this.” She wasn’t knocked out or anything. She did have a tibs/fibs fracture so broken ankle and big laceration on her left side from her middle hip and covered with gasoline from the mopeds. They called and the 911 came. They took her to the Florence Trauma Hospital, and they were treating her there.
I got there about 4:00 AM because we were in Naples. The reason why we were living in Naples is my husband was the commanding officer of the Navy Hospital in Naples, Italy. He was in Sicily at a meeting in Taormina when it happened. Long story short, on the 16th of January 2003, my husband got back to Naples, got an ambulance, drove up to Florence to bring Tracy back to his hospital. On the 17th, which was a Friday of January 2003, she was going into surgery to have the IM rod put in her ankle to fix the broken ankle. She ended up arresting. What happened was that the anesthesiologist gave her too much narcotics and not enough oxygen after extubating her. She was coded.
It was weird because we were waiting to go into the room. I remember the corpsman said to my husband, “Sir, do you want to go in before we get her moved over and situated?” He said, “Today, I’m not a doctor or your CO, I’m a dad. Just call me when you get her settled.” I was on the phone with my brother who was a Catholic priest and I was telling him it all went gray. All of a sudden, I see the code cart go down the hall. I looked around the corner and it was going into her room. I was like, “Let me call you back, hold tight.” I hung up and that’s when we found out that she had arrested. They had to reintubate her and she was in a coma. From there, we were medevac to Germany to Landstuhl, the Air Force hospital there.
They put an intraventricular catheter into her head. We were medevaced on Martin Luther King’s Day. It was a long weekend. We were medevaced to Bethesda’s National Naval Hospital on a C-141. That was crazy because we were sitting back in the plane, they had her in a litter, and they had a trauma team with her. We were getting ready to land at Andrews Air Force Base. One of the team came back and said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry but we’re not going to be able to land for a while.” I was like, “Why?” “Because Air Force One is in the air and they’ve cleared the air space.” I can’t repeat what I said but I’m like, “You better land this plane.” This Sicilian came out of me.
They finally landed and got the ambulance to her. They got her over to National Naval Hospital. At that point, they did a CAT scan and she was swelling. She had a severe anoxic brain injury. She has a feeding tube and a Baclofen pump and we take care of her here at home. What’s ironic is in 2000, when Payne Stewart’s plane went down, my husband had five minutes of fame on CNN. He was the expert on hypoxia. He was in-charge of the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute where they train all the pilots and the flight surgeon. He was on there talking about hypoxic events in 2000 and then our own daughter had an event in 2003. I can’t make this stuff up.
That’s crazy how random things like in the flip of the switch, it sets off this domino effect and completely changes your life.
We figured eight minutes without oxygen. She died and they resuscitated her. I believe she’s here and every day, she makes other people stronger. She knew many people and she was always doing for other people. I always feel that there’s a reason and she gives me strength. She’s brought our entire family together. We were close like typical Italian family but even closer. I remember during the summer of 2002, she came to Italy. She was lifeguarding and I was keeping spinning. We hung out a lot together. I remember asking her, “Tracy, of your five senses, what is the one thing that you could not live without?” I remember her telling me she could not live without exercise because she was a fitness fanatic.
That’s where we’re at because she’s a spastic quadriplegic. She could only move her head and she can blink twice for yes and shake her head for no. Even through that, she is such a mentor and a role model for many people. I was able to survive ten months at National Rehab Hospital with her. One of us would stay with her every night and I was there every day. The nights I had off, I would go back to our apartment and I’d get on my spin bike. I would turn the music on and scream. I’d spin for two hours and cry. That was a cathartic event for me. It was an outlet. I think if it was now, I would be bringing the Peloton bike into her hospital room and I will set it up there.
You mentioned that fitness has always been important to your family. It feels like that might be one aspect of it. You’ve used it as an ability to deal with pain, stress, and processing things. It sounds like your entire family has done that forever. Can you tell us about that?
When I was in high school, I was more of an intramural sports person. I played B Squad field hockey. I went to a Catholic school until 8th-grade and their definition of gym was going down to lower campus and playing dodgeball.
I went to Catholic schools and that must be in the catechism because it’s the same thing. It was the same way when I was a kid.
I didn’t have a lot of gym at the time. I remember I started running in high school, going out and running in my neighborhood. We lived on top of a hill in Winchester, Massachusetts. I would run all the way downtown and my uncle would be like, “How long did that take you?” I would be like, “Whatever.” He’d be, “That can’t be possible.” I’m like, “Yes.” I found running at that point. When I went to Boston College, they had an amazing sportsplex that was 2 feet away from where I lived in these modular apartments on campus. We would go to the sportsplex all the time and work out then.
I started running marathons. My family would follow me around, give me water bottles, feed me, and the kids were always there to cheer me on. I did that but my biggest turning point was when we lived in Puerto Rico in 1983 to 1985. I was going to this class at the community center called The Workout Class. I’d go every day. It was a bunch of spouses. It was Jane Fonda in steroids with the heavy hands, the leg warmers, and all that. I remember the girl that was teaching, her son got poked in the eye with a stick. She called me and said, “Here’s my boom box. Here’s my tape. You’re it.” I said, “When are you coming back?”
She’s like, “I don’t know. I’ll be back.” She never returned. That was my beginning of aerobics. I’m self-taught at that time because we were living in Puerto Rico. Everything was in Spanish. You couldn’t just YouTube the class or anything. I started choreographing classes to the music and built on that. The biggest culmination of that class was I got asked to teach the Construction Battalion, the CBs. They had about 400 guys and they were all doing this 5:30 AM PT. They said, “Would you like to come out and lead us in your workout?” I brought my entourage with me and they set up a boxing ring outside at the end of the Island. We were in the boxing ring and they were all around us. We did the whole 90-minute class for the CBs.
Were they participating or were they staring and trying to figure out what was going on here?
A little of both pretty much.
Whatever gets the heart rate up. That’s what counts as cardio. That sounds like a Judy Garland musical like the lead actress has broken her ankle and you get to take over. You’re the star now.
I winged it for a little bit and then I got into my own rhythm.
It sounds like you lived in a lot of cool places. You’re seeing the world which is great. You leave Puerto Rico, you presumably leave that aerobics class behind. What’s your next step to be like, “I’m going to keep being an instructor?”
From Puerto Rico, we went to Jacksonville. I had to get certified because in Puerto Rico, there wasn’t any certification. I went to a workshop and got certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America which is now the Athletics and Fitness Association of America. I had to go through that whole thing and become a group exercise leader or whatever. I’ve continued on with those certifications. That was the first step and then I started teaching. I taught the Jacksonville University Baseball Team and different venues. It was cool. I kept that up. In 1999, we were living in QS. I decided I wanted to become a spinning instructor. I got into the spinning scene. I got certified by Mad Dogg Johnny G in 1999. I’ve been teaching ever since except for the hiatus with Tracy’s accident. I’ve been teaching spinning, then I got certified to teach yoga when we moved here in Lighthouse Point which is between Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. I got my 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification and then I went back and got an advanced one in Costa Rica. SpogaDeb is my leaderboard name and it’s for spin plus yoga equals spoga.
You’re not instructing at the moment because of the pandemic but are you still an instructor or what’s that been like?
We went back to teaching in June 2020. It’s a small yacht club in our neighborhood and we socially distance. They have to wear their mask. We wipe down all the equipment. The class is 5, 6 people so they can be 10 feet apart. That works.
I’m sure that checks a lot of boxes for you though because it gets you out of the house. It makes your brain work in a different way. It helps with loneliness and also changing up the pace. I know it’s hard for me. I love being able to work from home. It’s amazing but it also is very isolating, I have to make myself go for a walk every morning. I have to make myself reach out to people and talk to them. Otherwise, I would go a little crazy.
That’s where The Tour came in for me because now, I have Peloton buddies and they’ll say, “Let’s do this tomorrow.” I’m getting into the Power Zone Pack, that whole Power Zone Training. Here’s another thing. I keep it like, “I got to do this three times a week. I got to do two chores a week.” I’m on a bike a lot. My family thinks I’m insane. My sister sent me shirt that says, “Peloaddict.”
It helps to be able to work out and keep moving. It helps with everything going on. It helps you process and it helps you move in a different way. It helps my mental state and I feel like it helps a lot of people being able to do that. Since you’re a spinning instructor, do you sit there and think about the classes that you would create when you’re taking other classes? How does that work being a spinning instructor taking spin classes?
I get completely absorbed into the class. I am not like the teacher. I thought I would be. I thought like, “This one, the timing is off.” The only time I would critique a class is if they go from 0 to 120 and then there’s no recovery. It’s crazy when they say, “120 cadence.” I’m like, “What?” At 50 to 60 or 70 to 80, I’m like, “That’s a little nuts.”
They need to check their bike calibration or they’re going to be thrown out in metrics like that. Who’s your favorite instructor or do you have one?
It changed a lot. When I first started, it was Tunde and I still love her. I feel connected to Emma because I’m from New England and Emma grew up in Martha’s Vineyard. That whole vibe takes me back to college, old boyfriends and stuff. She does have a good knowledge-base for music, for all the musicians, which I love. I like her music. I resonate with her style but now I’m getting into the Power Zone. I love Christine. Christine is my therapist. She is amazing. I did the Haleakalā for the PeloFondo. She’s incredible. I love Olivia. They’re all excellent, Denis and Matt. I’m getting into the Power Zone Pack now. I love their precision and the way they teach and it makes sense. Some of these tours, I feel like I’m up in zone 5 through 7. I never recover. I look at my metrics and I’m like, “I’m learning how to go down to zone one.”
You have to do that if you’re going to do a lot of riding or a lot of running. You’re going to do that endurance if you’re going to be up there for hours. It’s better for you long-term.
I’m competitive. I don’t know if it’s because I was born premature. I was born six months early. Ironically, my mom and dad were moving into a new house, so I came early. I was 4 pounds and I had to fight in the isolette and that made me competitive.
That’s amazing that you survived that. That’s so early. Even now, they would freak out if a baby was coming that early.
I can’t even imagine, that was like 35 years ago?
It’s 39Y. That’s alphanumeric. One of the good things is I qualified for Medicare. I enjoyed your previous guest. She gave me a lot of hope.
Vivian, she’s amazing. She’s a badass at 85. She gives me hope. I want to be like that in 85. Somebody put on my Facebook wall in the group and they said, “I want to VivUp.” I feel like that could be a new thing. That needs to be a hashtag. We all need to VivUp.
Instead of live strong, Viv strong.
You’re onto something good. I can see it on t-shirts and hats.
When you teach a class, do you find that having a Peloton is starting to influence your own instructing style?
Yes, even my fitness level is gone way up. Just in the music especially and I’ve always been on top of music. It’s Lizzle and it’s great because I’ve always done team rides. I do Disney theme. I’ve done The Matrix, Tarzan, Mama Mia. I’ve always done those, but it rubbed me up a couple of notches for sure. I’ve incorporated the ten-minute arms. We’ll do Tuesdays as just spin core. It’s a 60-minute spin class and then we do some core. Wednesday, they do Spoga which is 40-minutes of spin, 10 to 15 minutes of upper body strengthening. We go to the mat and we do Pilates with the Pilates ring, blocks and bands and then we go into yoga. It’s like a circuit. Those are my two definite happiest days. When I’m done teaching, I’m like, “I love what I do.”
That is good. It makes life so much better if you enjoy what you’re doing. I’m fortunate enough to enjoy what I do. I can’t imagine not being able to.
You mentioned that the community is important to you and you’ve mentioned a couple of communities. Where do you feel is the most at home for you for Peloton and why?
The Tour. It’s the most positive community I’ve ever been in. I cannot even imagine, when I go on to a ride, there are 100 high-fives already. I feel like a celebrity. Ty, Jen, Jill, and Larry, and they have Cokie now too. The five admins do an excellent job of keeping everything positive and making sure that no politics or anything creeps into that group. I joined March 16 and it’s 15,000 people now. It might have been the first batch in the first 100 to join. It’s amazing. I did a Circuit. They have The Tour To Circuit now, which is why I want to get a Peloton tread also because my husband would enjoy it.There's just zero enjoyment in being competitive. You would be judging yourself out of the gate. Click To Tweet
He’s got a birthday present coming up, maybe Christmas or whatever holiday.
Whatever motivates him. The one that I did, we could substitute the bike for the bootcamp. That was a lot like the class I teach because it was stretch, restorative yoga, strengthening, core and bootcamp. It was a lot of fun.
I don’t remember them having that when we talked to Ty. That’s cool. That’s new. That’s neat.
It just came out and they have a great way of getting you excited about, “The next one that’s coming out. Tomorrow’s Tabata.” Everybody has been putting on, “This is so hard.” I’m like, “I know.” The thing nails off.
Especially if it’s Robin Tabata.
It’s got Robin, Leanne and Hannah. There’s a bunch. It’s going to be a tough one. I’ve got to rest up.
You can pull it off.
If anybody can, you got it.
I will let you know.
As a Peloton user and a spin instructor, do you have any advice for newbies starting this process?
Get on a pedal and look at your set up. Your bike set up is so important. Even though I’m used to a spin bike, this is so different. When I got on for the first little bit, I felt like I was either too far forward. The spin bike I have as a V bike. You can adjust everything. They don’t make them like that anymore. People are getting too confused. With Peloton, I’m still trying to find the right tweaking for the saddle height and handlebars and whatnot. That’s important. I’ve been spinning since 1999. I started getting some pain right above my knee cap. I said, “There’s something wrong with my setup.”
I went back and looked at Christine’s set up and Hannah too. I was like, “Let’s reassess this,” to get on there and start with some shorter rides and then build up. The Power Zone Training is important. I liked the fact that there’s an FTP test that you can do. I try to stay in my zone as much as I can. The only bad thing about the zones is that if you’re on the leaderboard and you see people going, they’re climbing up, you want to get there. He’s then like, “Zone two.” I’m like, “The heck with that.” I’m going to crank it up because your ego takes over. I’m like, “Come on now, your grownup.” I’m so competitive. I don’t want to let anybody pass me. We have some strong riders in our group.
I’ve given up on that years ago. There’s always going to be somebody stronger than I am and every bike is different. If you and I were doing the exact same ride, we might have a different experience if we simply switched bikes on the exact same ride. That’s why I’m like, “Whatever. It is what it is. I’m going to do what they say.”
There are people on there when we did the hour ride, the Haleakalā. One of the outputs was 1,050 and mine was at 600 or not even. I think it might have been 500. I was like, “How do they do that?” I weigh about 105 pounds. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.
It’s how much you weigh. Another thing that’s into it is if you have an easier bike or a harder bike than they do. There are people that calibrate their bikes because they think it’s too hard. You can’t trust what’s out there. You cannot compare your numbers to somebody else. All you can do is compare your numbers to your numbers. Anybody else’s, you have no idea what they’re doing on their end. I’m not saying everybody is messing with their bikes because there are people that never touch their bikes. Whenever I’ve gone to the studio and done a ride there, it is completely different. I remember one ride. It was a Milestone Ride we did in Chicago at 400. I blew my numbers out of the water by 150. It was crazy. It wasn’t challenging. I had to keep increasing the resistance to get where I felt like I usually am at home. It was completely different. That’s why you can’t trust that.
Ego means edging gut out. I checked that out the door before I left the spin world.
Crystal and I are both very competitive. I honestly think that’s part of why I don’t do sports is because I am super competitive and I also suck at it. There’s zero enjoyment in that for me.
You would be judging yourself out of the gate.
I’m like, “I suck at this. This is my miserable.” I’m scratching that off of things to worry about.
We’re going to have Dr. Jenn listen to this episode.
We definitely have a good one.
She finds this for new angles to come back at me.
How to live with yourself.
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us. Let people know where they can find you on social media if you would like to be found.
My Facebook page is Debra Mericantante Anzalone. I’m SpogaDeb on the leader board. That’s the other one. We have a Facebook page for our daughter, Prayers for Tracy. There’s also a website, but we transitioned after about twelve years of maintaining the website, which is still there, but we linked it over to Facebook because more people were going on to Facebook. That’s where I am. I used to have a Facebook page when we had our business which was Aerospace Medicine Services International but we’ve closed that business and we’re retired officially, that was fun though. We were doing FAA flight physicals for pilots. I have a Doctorate in Public Health and Health Systems Management. I was the one that started the business. When you’re a Navy spouse and you moved seventeen times in 29 years, you have to keep putting on a new hat every place you go. Usually, you get the job of your dreams right when it’s time to move to the next station.
It’s cool to see the world but that’s also difficult. I know how much moving sucks. That would be tough for a lot of reasons.
It helps clean out your garage. That’s a good thing. We’re moving location now since 2006 so we had a huge purge. I was like, “That’s it. We’re purging it all out.” Especially with hurricanes, we had to be able to put the cars in the garage. When you move every two years, you have to clean it up.
Buy everything disposable. Who cares?
You have every color of towel and shower curtain.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. You sound very busy. We appreciate you.
This was wonderful. I truly enjoyed it. Thank you so much too. I see you on the leaderboard. Not Tom but I know that Crystal is there.
That brings this episode to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next week?
We are going to talk to Jen Myers. For those of you that are local, this is very exciting.
She hosts a morning show on a local radio station. She’s on a radio station called Y98 and she’s been there for quite a bit of time.
I feel like I’ve made my adulthood listening to her. She’s always been a part of my daily commute.
She has a very interesting story to tell us about her journey.
You guys are not going to want to miss this because there is a lot happening. She’s a road rider, so we get to hear about her outdoor riding experience. Just tune in. You don’t want to miss it.
Anyway, until next week, where can people find you?
People can find me at Facebook.com/CrystalDOKeefe. They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, on the Bike and of course the Tread, @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on Twitter, @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TomOKeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. Don’t forget to swing by our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/TheClipOut, where you can watch the show in its entirety with all our fancy pants, screen chairs and whatnot. Anyway, that’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.
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