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TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

Peloton app extends the free trial period to 60-days.

John Mills joins us to discuss what the Precor acquisition means for the future of Peloton.

Goldman Sachs invests in Echelon.

Peloton launches Insights Lab.

There’s a new commercial for the Tread.

Dr. Jenn – How to stop “mom guilt.”

There’s a new safe way to clean your Peloton – Logan Active Clean.

Is Peloton about to poach an ESPN producer?

Robin Arzon responds to critics about working out while pregnant.

Monica Ruiz (aka The Peloton Wife) gets a shout-out for her 200th ride.

There’s a new Artist Collaboration with The Beatles.

Peloton is counting down the Top 50 songs of 2020.

The Elvis Collaboration gets remixed.

Peloton had a Year-End sale that depleted rapidly.

All this plus our interview with: Stephen Nalbach!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Robin Arzon Responds To Critics plus we interview Stephen Nalbach

Happy new year. It is officially 2021. I have never been so happy to say goodbye to a year. This is it. I’m excited. 

I hope so. I’m such a pragmatist. I’m like, “It’s just a calendar.”

It’s not just a calendar. There are a lot of things we’re putting behind us.

Hopefully.

No, it’s not a hopefully, it’s happening. We’re going to will it into existence because that is how I do things. I will them into existence.

Why did you let this year happen in the first place?

I didn’t see it coming. If I had seen it coming, I would have willed that crap out. I wish I had that power. Wouldn’t that be nice?

You wouldn’t be with me and I’d be exercising all the time. If you had that sort of power, you’d be like Samantha on Bewitched, you crinkle your nose. Next thing you know, I’d be on a Peloton. Before we get into things too much, we should talk about the last episode. We talked about the word deaf versus the phrase, hearing impaired. We were under the mistaken impression that hearing impaired was the more polite or acceptable form and there was apparently a period of time where that was true, but that is not the case that people who are deaf actually do prefer to be called deaf. That was our bad. Thanks to people. We had a couple of different people point it out to us.

I would like to comment. There have been times that people have corrected us, time to time. Just to be clear, I never mind that, ever, but I will say that when people approach it, the way they approach this, it is so much more delightful, so much more. Thank you. 

I think because our heart was in the right place. We thought we were saying the right thing. We weren’t. I did some digging because I just wanted to find out why that is. We had other people who were like, “Why is that? That seems like that would be the nicer thing to say.” For a lot of people, being deaf is almost like an ethnicity or a culture. Sometimes they even capitalize the D. They feel like they prefer death or for people that are on a spectrum of hearing loss, hard of hearing is preferred over hearing impaired.

It’s fascinating. I had no idea. Thank you to everyone who reached out and educated us so politely.

We posted about this in the group, but since we said it on an episode, we figured we should correct it on an episode. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, happy new year again. What do you have in store?

We have so much to catch up on because even though Peloton instructors had some time off, Peloton had lots of surprises in store. There are a bunch of things to cover and John Mills is back. Jenn Mann is on the show and we’re going to have that. Of course, our awesome interview.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts. Wherever you are getting your podcasts from, you can find us.

People are always asking, how can they help us? I just want to point out one thing that people can do to help us is when we post in the OPP, go out there and like it, because what happens is I post and it takes six hours to get approved or something like that, then it sinks down. If you guys go like and comment on it, it keeps bubbling back up. The thing is, there are many people that are new to the community. They have no idea. They don’t know that we exist. Educate them, share the episode, like our posts. You don’t have to like it everywhere, just in the OPP.

We have a new review.

I feel refreshed having some time off. We should take some time off more often. 

This is from auburnguy1982 says, “Love the podcast. I love this podcast as one of the original comeback recipients. Thanks to an XXL tribe post about the program, I started listening a few years ago, as I transitioned from app writer to Peloton owner. I sincerely miss my Friday commute due to this podcast and COVID, but I love to listen and catch up whenever I can. This couple is amazing and it’s funny that my wife and I are completely opposite as I’m the Peloton obsessed one. Great show. I look forward to hearing what’s up. What’s new.” The leaderboard name is TripleNickel.

Thank you very much for such a kind review. 

We have a Facebook page Facebook.com/theclipout, while you’re there, like the page, join the group. You can sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. Last but not least, all of these shows are recorded in video and they are live over on our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/theclipout. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to that as well, so our YouTube numbers don’t look sad.

Back again is John Mills from Run, Lift & Live. John, long time no talk.

Happy new year. Merry Christmas.

I think for once my energy level can match yours, John. I am so hyped. I feel like I need more time off because I feel refreshed. I just keep talking about it. 

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

Peloton announced as of this recording that they’re extending the 30-day trial to a 60-day trial for their app. 

I find that interesting. Do you think, John, this is them going head-to-head with Apple? Do you think this is them like, “Take the gloves off. Here we go?” 

The first thought I had was they announced this at the same time that they announced the new music, new collaborations and mixes. I thought, “Are they trying to entice people with the new music and then throw in this as kind of an additive to it, to get them to jump in?” When I read the article, they also say it went to sign up and I don’t know if this is the standard. Maybe this is new. I’m not sure. To sign up, you’ve got to get the credit card and it will automatically roll and do a purchase after the 60 days. All of a sudden you bought the bike and thread but it automatically rolled them into a subscription. I don’t know if that’s new or not.

I don’t know if it is either because like you, we’ve had the equipment so long.

You started with the bike.

I feel it’s probably common. I say that simply because anytime I sign up for anything that they want you to purchase at the end, you do a free trial and then at the end of it, it rolls into the actual purchase. If you didn’t want it, you needed to decline before it started. 

It’s like that. They pointed it out in the article, which made me go, “I wonder if that was always like that.”

It’s the article’s take on it and here’s why.

Trying to pad their word count.

I think that’s exactly. The thing is that, also what came out was five new commercials all about the app. There were five of them. They’re all 15 to 30 seconds. The interesting thing is they’re all focused on the app. There’s one about meditation, a couple about outdoor running and there’s one about weights. There’s even one that’s like, “You don’t need the bike.” That’s why I landed on, “We’re going head-to-head with Apple. This is our throwdown.” That’s where I came up with that. 

It’s like all the other stuff is surrounding. They want to go head-on with the app so then the commercials and music, that makes sense. Now we’re doing 60 days alliance with Apple. That adds up.

What’s interesting to me is that obviously, we’ve talked in the past about how focused on iOS the app has been. I think that now puts them in a very odd position and that if they’re trying to go head-to-head against Apple, it seems to me the low hanging fruit for them would be to make Android better. It seemed the Apple Fitness is going to be bundled in with so much stuff, many people are going to get it perceptually for free. They signed up for this other thing with Apple, whether it’s Apple TV, Apple News or unlimited data or whatever, and they throw an Apple Fitness. The perception is going to be, “I’ve already got Apple Fitness for free.” If you want to boost your numbers, it seems to me the obvious place would be to go after Android users because they’re not going to get it bundled in with things. If they’ve got to pay no matter what, then you need to make that your app and Android kick-ass. 

Tom, you might be onto something because we know that Apple has been planning this for a while. Maybe Peloton started making all these changes to the Android app now because they knew that that was going to happen. They knew that they needed to get it up to parity for that exact reason. You bring up a good point, but I think that they’ve addressed it. 

I know they’ve made some adjustments, but is it as good as the iOS?

The only thing you can’t do now, John, you have to correct me because now I don’t have Android anymore. I think the only thing different now is you can’t preload classes, right? Everything else is the same. 

I don’t know what the limitations are. I haven’t used the app that much lately, but I know historically there were limitations. I know over the last couple of months, we’ve seen some new updates as if it was trying to come up to parity, but I don’t know where it’s at right now. You have a point. Maybe they are attempting to get there. Someone mentioned this in my group, I would’ve thought they would also lower the price as well, but what they’re thinking is, “We’re delivering a better experience. We have more to offer within our app. By the way, look, we’re throwing in this music that’s exclusive to us.” Maybe they’re thinking even without putting the parity between the two devices, they’re at a different place.

Two things. One, I think we’ll have a conversation later about The Beatles. That’s a whole different thing, you bring up a good point about that, but also they do deliver a better experience because maybe you don’t need to buy an entirely new television but you do still have to buy a box and it’s not the same. I know with Apple lovers, that’s totally cool with them, but for somebody like me who already has all these TVs that can do all of these things, you want me to buy another box? Are you kidding me? You want me to buy another thing? I shouldn’t need to buy another thing. I’m all in at this point. I have the watch. I have the phone. What do you want from me? 

That’s why to me, I still feel like the Apple piece. I don’t know if they’re head in on this. It’s more like, “This is for the Apple enthusiast, the person who has bought into the whole ecosystem. Maybe we can get you to pay a little bit more.” That’s what it still feels like to me. I don’t know if they’re going after that space.

I concur. When people are like, “Peloton, better watch out,” my response, I’ll test both of you, name a show that’s on Apple TV. 

Clearly I can’t. 

Erica probably knows one.

There are many different shows and different streaming platforms that have a ton of buzz. Hulu’s got Handmaid’s Tale or A Teacher is on FX, but it’s streaming on Hulu, but obviously Netflix has a ton.

I think you’ve brought this point up before, so I know we’re going to get people saying there are good shows on Apple TV. We’re not saying there aren’t. The point is that we can name all of them. I have an Apple TV subscription, and I cannot name one television show.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

We haven’t even logged into it.

There’s nothing that’s like, “I’ve got to watch it,” versus Netflix versus Hulu. That’s your point.

They haven’t hit that big buzz show yet. My point is that for all the talk about they’re going to take down Peloton or they couldn’t take down Netflix or Hulu.

To your point, John, they want to be that go-to place for everybody. They want to have a little of everything so that a person who loves Apple can have a one-stop-shop and they don’t need to do all these other things. There is value to that. There absolutely is. 

The question is whether or not Peloton is really going like, “We need to fight for this space.” Are they just going, “We can’t advertise hard on hardware right now. Let’s push this Apple subscription?”

You bring up a good point. That’s a solid point. 

It not only gives them something to talk about that isn’t a piece of equipment, but also if they increase the perceived value of the app, then it doesn’t seem as much of a letdown when you tell the people waiting for a bike, “You get the app for free until your bike shows up.”

That’s a good point too.

Take some walking classes or some breathing meditation while you wait for your bike.

Calm down.

Take a hike with our app. It also came out that Peloton has acquired a company by the name of Precor, which sounds a little dirty. 

It’s not quite. It’s almost.

Precor is best known for established hotels and universities.

It’s different. I have many questions about this acquisition. There’s a lot we know. We know that they paid $420 million. We know that Peloton mostly did this according to them so that they have all of this in-house ability to go after commercial, they can increase their warehousing, manufacturing, all of those things but I have many questions. What happens to all the stuff that’s already on the floor of Precor? They already sell a rower. Does that mean that technically Peloton now sells rowers? You brought up the point, John, in one of your posts about the whole Mad Dogg thing. Does that mean that now Peloton owns Spin or some part of it? What is happening? 

To be honest, I was trying to start a discussion with that. I can’t figure out the tie there, but I couldn’t defend the question when I asked it. We know that Precor worked some deal with Mad Dogg Athletics so that they then produce these Spin Bikes and can put the terms spinning and spinner on those bikes. I don’t know if that means that they own the rights. It was like some type of deal between those two companies in that relationship.

They probably have in that context.

It makes you ask the question.

What happens to all the people that work for Precor? They’re building all this stuff for the home market. Are they going to start putting Peloton screens on their already existing stuff? Are they going to be like, “You guys that worked for Precor, all focus on commercial now. Everybody else all work on the home fitness.” My brain goes crazy with the logistics of this. 

I struggle to even focus on the home piece and maybe you guys can help me with this. I go to their site and you can go into the commercial stuff, you can go into the home fitness stuff. When I look at the home stuff, do people even buy that? It’s not even like they’re trying to push people. It doesn’t look fancy. It looks thrown together. I don’t get the home piece. If they’re more commercial, they say home things.

It’s almost like they’ve made all these bikes for hotels and if somebody is like, “I’d like one for my house.” “We’ll sell you one.” 

I know people have Precor Ellipticals and things like that for their home, but I wasn’t sure where that cutoff is. Is it like that on their website now because this acquisition occurred or was it always like that? I don’t know the answer to that. 

I don’t either. My mind could only focus on the commercial piece. I’ve seen other companies like that with their big commercial vendors and then you go to their site and there’s this little tunnel to some home purchase. It didn’t seem like that’s what they do. That’s what it felt like with Precor.

There are probably people that travel a lot. They’re always staying at a Marriott and they’re like, “I dig this Elliptical. Who makes this?” Then, “Okay. Yeah.” I could see a situation like that but it seems like their focal point though is selling them in quantity to hotels.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

What does that mean? Does that mean Peloton is going to now sell Ellipticals? I don’t understand. John Foley is on the record saying no to Ellipticals. 

He is not an Elliptical fan.

They said they’re going to work these things, of course in the interim, until they can fully complete this out and then merge these two things together. It makes you wonder what’s going to happen with that business. I don’t know. I also don’t know what Precor was worth a few years ago. I think Amer Fitness owns them. I can’t remember the parent company, but I read information about how they were thriving and then they wanted to sell that business. I’m assuming that even prior to COVID, it seemed like they were losing revenue and with COVID, it tanked. It makes me wonder, did Peloton just purchase the large corporation for pennies, the same cost it would have cost them to build out these facilities, plus all this R&D and people? You need to keep all that other business. Based on what they spent. That’s what makes me wonder. That’s why I’m not quite sure how this is going to all play out. I’m anxious to see how it all settles.

It seems to me though that if their goal is to get into the hotel space, it makes sense. If you think about it ever since like ten years ago, anytime you walk into a hotel room, every clock radio, you can plug your iPhone right into it because they had reached that level. If they can flip all the bikes and hotel gyms to Peloton’s, that’s a huge win for them.

Also for all of us who travel, that’s amazing. You could be able to workout anywhere.

In the short term, those bikes that have a user interface, you can log into Peloton on those bikes, but as those bikes die off and they sell those hotels new bikes because they already have a relationship with them, they can come back and say, “For the price of a Precor replacement, we can give you a Peloton replacement.” That’s something you can image in your ad materials of your gym stocked with Peloton’s and then it makes them a lot stick here. 

I also thought somewhat like the Lululemon acquisition of Mirror. Lulu acquires Mirror and they’re clear that in doing so they’re thinking they could push their athletic wear as part of that device. It’s like it’s another input in people’s homes, whether they’re doing fitness and they could sell more fitness wear because their instructors will be wearing it. I saw this similarly because Peloton has purchased this company and their products are in all these spaces already and they could use that also as an advertising channel, whether it be for their bikes and treadmills or their fitness gear. From these hotels and these gyms, I’m interested to see how this plays out in the short-term. They could just put the app on there, but they could also be pushing products on those.

To that point, the next post that you have here, Tom. John, you posted this in your group. This is a demo of the Precor Preva platform and it’s on their commercial equipment. I thought you brought up some good points here because if you look at this, and we don’t even have to have the sound on, you can see in the images and when you’re watching this video that you sign in to all of these different things right on the screen. What it does is it pulls up these different tiles. There’s one for Netflix and there’s one for Spotify and things like that. I think what we’re all saying here is this new software could easily pull up the Peloton app but also to your point, John, maybe it will pull up a thing that’s like, “Go to the Peloton store. Do you like that top that Robin was wearing during that workout? Click on it. Buy it.” 

The Preva platform was built so that gyms could set it up to customize it. There’s an entry screen. They could put their own logo and their own disclaimers and messages, but also there’s an advertising pop-up banner at the bottom of the screen for selling product for that purpose. When I saw that, that hit me right off the bat, I was like, “Are they going to be selling Peloton boutique gear?”

Maybe makeup too because we know there’s some cosmetics thing happening.

We keep talking about hotels, but let’s not forget they’re also in universities. Here’s the advantage of a university is that you’re getting people used to your brand at a young, impressionable age. There’s a reason when a college freshmen starts, Gillette’s given everybody free razors because they want you to buy the refill Gillettes and they know that once you make that choice, you stick with it for decades at a time. I know I still use Gillette to this day because somebody handed me a free Gillette razor when I was a freshman in college. If they can get those college kids baked into the Peloton ecosystem early, they’re going to stay there. Also, those college kids, statistically speaking, are more likely to make more money and then turn around and buy. It’s smart in that regard and we should probably address one aspect that you and I discovered. 

I didn’t know if we wanted to do that here. 

I think we should. We’ll talk about it in an upcoming episode, but we were talking to Kristin Fleschner, who we’ve had on the show in the past. She’s blind and she’s a disability activist. She has had conversations with Peloton about their accessibility issues and because Precor is available in universities, they have to be fully compliant from an accessibility standpoint. We don’t even know if Peloton realizes this yet, but they basically in the midst of all this, acquired all the basic coding for making your various pieces of equipment accessible to people with differences. 

If they’re going to put it in hotels and universities, they’re also required to go by the rules because universities have to be compliant for people to be able to use it. They enter a different kind of level of needing to be compliant in those things. We thought that was super interesting. 

That’s interesting as well. On top of that, in acquiring this, we know that Preva platform, you can sign up for it, I don’t know that there’s a cost to it, but you can create a subscription. You can set up defaults so that the tiles that you want to see in whatever order you want to see them, what software you usually start when you’re working out. I don’t know what else they track. They may track metrics of how much you workout, I just don’t know how much they track. If you go to another hotel or gym and use another Precor product, you could use a card or login and all your preferences come up, all your information before you start working out. My mind starts thinking, “Are all those people going to flip to digital subscribers? Who are these people and do they flip? How do they flip them?” I’ve got all kinds of questions on that.

Those are great questions. Maybe it makes it more accessible to a college student. Maybe that’s what that does. It takes that whole like how they gave those digital memberships to all those HBC use.

It casts that net even wider.

It’s all coming together. 

Before we let you go, talk about Goldman Sachs is investing in Echelon. 

Talk to us about this because Echelon, that’s my favorite topic. 

I don’t understand. I know I’m a hater. I’m going to admit it. I hate on a lot of products sometimes. I’m sorry. I’m not hating here. Goldman Sachs led the funding route to make $650 million as a part of this round. I don’t know what they’re going to do with it. I’m assuming they’re going to expand the products.

It depends on what Peloton does. They’ve got a copy on that. Peloton has got to do something first on Silly, Silly.

I don’t know what they’re going to do with that but what I’m saying, I don’t know if it’s hate or not, in the article, they say that Echelon has 100,000 users and made $100 million in their fiscal 2020. That’s throwing me because 100,000 users, I’m assuming they mean members, not subscriptions. In my household, the one subscription it’s me, but I’ve got three members. It’s me, Erica and Jasmine. They’ve got 100,000 members, that means they’ve got 50,000 or fewer subscriptions compared to Peloton’s nearly two million. This seems tiny. I’ve got to imagine NordicTrack and Bowflex from Nautilus, probably even Minx. I think they all have more than 50,000 subscribers. To me, that’s not the money that they made in this funding route. The size of their membership to me is shocking. That’s stunning.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

Maybe it explains why they have such a low number of Instagram and social media followers because they don’t have that many subscribers. 

That would align to that. Maybe it’s easy to get people to invest 65 million at your company. That small amount I’m struggling. What are we doing? What’s the intent? I’m completely lost with this whole thing.

I think it’s a hot space to be in and this was low-hanging fruit.

That’s what I think too. They were like, “We need to be in one of these. These things are all the same.” Investors treat all of this as the same. If you look at Wall Street, they think Echelon equals Peloton.

Didn’t Goldman Sachs almost go bankrupt a decade ago?

They had a big, huge suit against them.

Just because they’ve got a big, fancy name that everybody knows, let’s not assume that they know what they’re talking about either. 

Maybe they don’t always make good decisions.

Two sides of this whole thing. On the one side, I’m going, “What? I don’t quite get the funding route.” What’s going on based on those numbers? On the other side of it, I know Icon is talking about going public. They said they’re going public in 2021. When they go public, what’s that going to mean? What’s the competition level going to look like as soon as they do? Is Viatek and Echelon looking to try to follow Peloton in the public space, along with Icon? Are they trying to come along that road?

It would not surprise me. I don’t think it’s necessarily a good long-term strategy, but I think for certain people at high levels, there’s probably a quick cash grab there and that would not surprise me at all. 

It wouldn’t surprise me either, because Echelon does whatever Peloton does, Peloton went public. I’m saying that I’m not even being sarcastic. I’m being dead serious when I say it would not shock me if that’s their plan because Peloton did it. 

Thank you so much for joining us again. Welcome back. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you.

They can find me on Facebook, in my Run, Lift & Live Group or page, they can find me on Instagram, @RunLiftAndLive or at RunLiftAndLive.com.

It came to our attention that Peloton has launched their Insights Lab, and what can we make of this? 

Basically overall it’s marketing research, but I think it’s interesting how they went about it because you had to be invited. If you get the link from somebody else, it won’t work. It’s also interesting some of the things that they ask because first, you have to qualify. After you get the link and you’re asked to invite, you still have to qualify. They want to know what equipment you have in your home. Do you live with other people? What’s your annual income? Where do you live? What kind of employment do you do? They want to know if anybody in your family works in certain industries. Most of that is standard.

Those are standard survey questions. They don’t want to ask a marketing guy questions in the marketing survey because we know how it works. We’ll skew their results. 

I totally get that but it’s interesting because they made a community. I think that’s interesting because you go in and fill out the surveys, but you can also introduce yourself. If you’re in this, I don’t want anyone to worry. There’s nothing in there that can identify you. Any of those questions that I just talked about, there’s nothing in there that’s going to say what your household income is or who you live with. You don’t have to worry about any of that from a safety perspective. I find it interesting that they want to have this community where people can discuss things. I also find this interesting because it’s specific to the Tread. A few months ago, there was this new thing that came out that’s like, “You can be part of all these different marketing things that we’re doing.”

This is different than that. This is totally different. This is specific to the Tread and I can’t help but wonder, is this specific to the Tread because they want to make improvements to the Tread+? Is this specific to the Tread because they’ve never marketed the Tread? That’s per Peloton during one of their investor calls, or is this because they want to figure out the best way to market the new Tread that’s coming out? That is out there on the market in the UK and will be over here. What is their rationale behind this? Why are they doing it and why the timing of now? I feel like it has to do with this launch, but I’m not exactly sure what.

I feel it’s COVID-related. They’re creating this community. Typically the way these marketing research things work is they put you in a room and they’re going to show you a commercial. I did one years ago for Jiffy Lube and they got mad at me. I wasn’t officially a marketing guy yet, but I still had a love for it. They got mad at me because I was like, “I can’t tell any of all the oil change places apart. You’re all the same to me. All of your logos are square and they’re red or red and blue. Whether it’s Jiffy Lube, Valvoline, whatever, it’s all the same oil change place. I cannot tell you apart.” They were very mad at me for saying that, but I’m like, “You brought me in.” Anyway, they put you in a conference room and they put 10, 15 people around a table. They can’t do that anymore and I wonder if this is an attempt to replicate that.

Where conversations can still occur.

In the past, we would have never necessarily seen this starting because they could have reached out to people on a more one-to-one basis and put them in a conference room, and they can’t do that. Just a theory. While we’re talking about the Peloton Tread, there is a new Peloton Tread commercial. 

This has been going on while you’re playing this commercial, I will point out that December 26, 2020, they went live in the UK for purchase. It will be able to be purchased in the US. There are eight states that it will be able to be purchased in February 2021. In March 2021, it will be nationwide including, for the first time ever, Alaska.

The Alaskans have to be excited about that.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

They are and people are already asking, “I want to purchase it now and you can’t by a buy button.” The only buy button out there is for the UK and that didn’t go live until December 26, 2020. I don’t know if the plan is they’re not going to have a button to press buy until those states go live. We’ll have to keep an eye on that. I’m excited to see the Tread come out on the market and see how people respond to it because the Tread+ is a beautiful machine. I love running on it. I thought the Tread itself was a great machine, but there are a lot of questions I have like, “Is this going to receive fewer issues?”

There have been some quality issues with the Tread+, no secret for anybody. I’m interested to see how the classes are going to work when you have the free mode that works on the Tread+ but it doesn’t work on the Tread. How are they going to account for the different inclines and all things I’ve brought up before? I’m interested to see how it goes. I still don’t understand why the UK got it first. I don’t have a problem with it. I just don’t understand logistics-wise. Why did that happen? I feel like that means something about manufacturing facilities in the background. I would love to know exactly what it means. It’s the way my brain works.

Joining us back again is Dr. Jenn Mann, licensed marriage, family, and child therapist and sports psychology consultant. You may know her from VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn or VH1’s Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn or her long-running radio show, the Dr. Jenn Show. She’s written four bestselling books, including The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. She has her own fancy app called No More Diets. Dr. Jenn, how’s it going? 

I’m good. Thanks for having me on.

This question once again is from a listener and she asked, “How do you handle parental guilt when you’re getting in a workout every day but you feel that you’re missing time with your kids? Especially when they continue to ask throughout your workout like needy little punks?” I added the needy little punks. I’m speaking for her. I’ll say it so she doesn’t have to.

When they’re asking for you the entire time you’re working out and this one stuck out to me because my daughter is old enough to not do that. She now wants nothing to do with me, but I remember when she was 4 and 5 especially, it was constantly like, “Mom, mom,” actually, it was mommy, “Mommy, mommy,” and you’re like, “Agh,” because you can’t do anything without them interrupting you. I remember feeling constantly guilty. I have no words for this mom because I feel it.

That’s because you’re right there. You’re awaiting the answer as well.

I totally get it. As you know, I am a mother of twins. I’m grateful that they can do their own thing. I do remember those days as well. There are a few things. One is to create the boundary in advance. “Mommy is going to be on the bike from this time to this time.” During that time, I always say to my kids, “My Peloton, it’s not therapy, but it’s therapeutic. In this pandemic, you may hear me cry on the bike. You may hear me laugh on the bike. I’m okay. Unless the house is burning down, unless someone has fallen down and they can’t get up, don’t interrupt the Peloton therapy.” Granted they’re older, but I think that early on, you want to ‘train your kids’ to respect the Peloton, understand that this is mom or dad’s time to themselves and that this is an important time.

It’s a nice role model for your kid that shows them healthy time is good for me. I enjoy this. This is important for my well-being. When you’re a grownup, you’ll probably do something like this too, which sets a great example for them. If your kids are younger and you don’t have someone who is watching them, a partner or someone who lives in your home, a parent or whoever, then what I recommend doing is save some toys, coloring books or things for your kid that you only bring out. We want the novelty effect that you only bring out when you’re on that Peloton and I would stock up from the dollar store, stock up from Amazon, Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales, the New Years, anytime there’s a sale, stock up on things that you think your kid will like and you keep that stuff in a separate box that they don’t see. When you get on your bike and you do your 30 minutes or whatever it is, you can say, “I’ve got something fun and exciting. Here’s a new toy,” because that will keep them way more occupied than the same old LEGOs they’ve been playing with for the last five years.

That’s a good idea. “I’m going to get on the Peloton. You can watch an R-rated movie.”

That’s actually the next thing. I would go for the R-rated but if your child is old enough for screen time, and as any of you know who have read my book SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, I recommend not giving kids screen time until they’re at least three. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two, but there they’re saying that between 2 and 3 is a gray area in terms of brain development. My girls didn’t watch TV until they were three and a half. I always recommend better on the latter side. That first three-plus years, depending on how long you wait, it’s your opportunity to train them, to entertain themselves. What I found with my kids is that I was fortunate that early on, I had read the literature and the research and made a choice not to do that.

My kids were able to sit with a board book in their crib for an hour and a half on their own. They were able to play with their toys on their own because they had to, once you give them the screen time. It does make them less able to focus and concentrate. It’s like when you eat food with tons of sugar and MSG and all kinds of chemicals and stuff, it’s like, “That’s so exciting.” Then you have some steamed broccoli, it’s like, “This is boring. This is terrible.” If you grow up on steamed broccoli, and then you have something else, it’s like, “That’s good,” and then you go back to what you do. If the baseline is, I can entertain myself as a kid, then you’re ahead of the game but do not disturb novelty toys, saving up screen time for when the parent is doing the Peloton. Also, being able to have someone else in the house who’s aware of how sacred that time is, who will support you in what you’re doing and entertain the kids.

That’s priceless. 

One other thing I want to add is that we, as women in particular, I’ve yet to encounter a man in 30 years of being a therapist who has said this, but as women, we tend to have a lot of mommy guilt. I’ve never met a guy who said like, “I feel guilty for working out. I feel guilty for going into the office. I’m missing this time with my kid,” but I hear it from women all day long. I think that there is a lot to be said for us, working on letting go of that mommy guilt and saying, “I’m being a good role model for my kid.” Even that’s become a cliché, but it’s like you’ve got to put the air mask on yourself on the plane before you put on your kid, otherwise, you could faint because you didn’t get enough air and your kid can’t get the mask on. We need to feed ourselves and give ourselves the oxygen before we can give it to others.

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

On social media, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter @DrJennMann.

Many people struggle a lot with their Pelotons or any fitness equipment in general. What do you clean it with? You get it pretty gross. 

It’s something I see people ask all the time.

If you’re using it properly, it gets gross. 

Some people are sweatier than others, but the thing is, what do you clean it with? You want your electronic equipment and your fitness equipment to last a long time, especially when you’re paying the kind of money you are for a Peloton, but you want that to last. “What do I use?”

Especially in the age of connected fitness, it used to be like it was just stainless steel and vinyl.

Now there are special coatings, there are plastic pieces that like protect from sweat.

There are screens, Wi-Fis, dongles.

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I believe we have a solution. It is called Logan Active Clean. We’ve been talking to Logan Active Clean for a while. They have been talking to us about launching their new products. They wanted us to try them out and I was skeptical because when you use cleaning products, there’s almost always a residue left behind of some kind. This cleaner doesn’t leave any residue behind. I tried it on every surface I could think of. I tried it right on my Peloton tablet. I tried it on the Tread. I tried it on the Bike. I even tried it on the Tonal. I tried it on my yoga mat. I tried it on my steps that I step up on. I tried it on the bench for the Tonal, and no residue was left on any of those surfaces.

It’s completely organic, alcohol-free and cruelty-free, that’s important to you. You don’t have to worry about what you spray it on. You can spray everything down and wipe it and you’re done. Here’s a little thing, I pointed out to them that they hadn’t even thought about. You can use it to clean your car because you’ve got a screen in your car and you want to wipe down the dashboard and you’re worried about that. You take it out to your car.

One of the things I want to point out is it even works on the Tread+ slats because they’re sticky. It even works on that. I haven’t found anything it doesn’t work on and it smells good. If you guys are interested in trying this out yourself, because you read The Clip Out, get 10% off of your order. Use the code Clip Out 10.

If you spend $59 or more, you will get free shipping in the contiguous United States. 

If you want to check it out, you want to see what else is out there. You can find it at LoganActiveClean.com. If you want to follow them on Facebook, it’s Logan Active Clean, and on Instagram @LoganActiveClean.

An interesting story from Barrett Sports Media. 

One of ESPN’s position is an NBA Countdown producer. I had no idea that was a thing until I read this article.

That’s one of their shows, NBA Countdown. She’s a producer for one of their shows. 

She’s not like on every NBA game, no counting down. There’s not a producer for that?

We don’t watch a lot of sports here.

There is a show called NBA Countdown and they have a producer and apparently, she is potentially leaving and moving to Peloton, which is the whole reason we’re talking about this. Her name is Amina Hussein and it’s just a rumor. Nobody over at ESPN network would answer or give any comment, nor Peloton, which probably means it’s true because if it wasn’t true, they would be like, “No, it wasn’t true.”

Call Peloton and say, “We’ve heard you’re hiring Tom from The Clip Out,” and they’re going to go, “No.” They’re not going to be, “We don’t have a comment this time.”

This is interesting because ESPN has been losing a lot of people just in general with everything happening this year. It’s been a crazy year, but I find it interesting that Peloton is in the news for potentially poaching ESPN talent. That’s crazy.

They’ve had hires from big companies before obviously, Instagram, Disney. They keep hiring from these big companies and it says a lot that the people that have what I think a lot of people would consider to be dream jobs are willing to leave a job like that for Peloton. I will also say ESPN is notorious for paying like crap. I know they used to be notorious for like, you would go there, build your resume and get the hell out of Dodge. 

When you’re known for being a big company, that’s easy to get away with.

People wrote about Robin Arzon and some of the criticism she’s been getting for daring to exercise while pregnant. 

Apparently, she has been getting a lot of comments. Shocking on the internet, people have opinions. People have been telling her like, “Robin, you need to calm down. You need to not work out so hard.” She’s like, “I’m going to go ahead and worry about my body and you worry about your own.” She said it in Robin’s style. Even if you’re a person who’s concerned that she’s working out too hard, I don’t think that any of us should compare ourselves to Robin because doctors will tell you, you can work out when you’re pregnant to the level you were before. For example, if you were running before you got pregnant and it’s comfortable for you to run, by all means, continue to do so. That is probably however, not the time to start a marathon training program. You have to take it into consideration. She’s used to vigorous workouts, hours long a day. Continuing to do that while she is pregnant is not unusual.

Here’s another thing to take into consideration, she’s a fitness professional. She probably, just with a capital P, knows more about it than you do. 

It’s her body. She knows more about it than any of us.

I will say, “It might be my body, but there’s a lot I don’t know about it.” She’s a fitness professional. This is her job. She’s been trained and certified and she knows things and she knows more than the neckbeards on the internet. 

Let me be clear. I fully support Robin in this. I will also say just because you’re a fitness instructor does not mean that you understand how your body will respond in a pregnancy. People who are doing this for the first time, being pregnant for the first time while working out, need to talk to their doctor. I assure you, Robin has talked to her doctor. The bottom line is let her live her life. It’s none of our business. Yet here we are talking about it.

We’re talking about how people shouldn’t talk about it. I think that’s where we’re grandfathered in. That’s our loophole. A follow-up on the Monica Ruiz story from last episode, she was our guest. She was great. She’s the Peloton wife, if you’re unfamiliar. 

She mentioned to us that she was going to be taking her 200th ride the weekend that her episode aired. Then she broke her toe and then she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to ride. She had to make some adjustments last minute and she was able to still ride. She was able to ride with Jenn Sherman who gave Monica her first shout out ever in her Peloton career. She gave an excellent shout out. I have to give a special thanks to Jenn’s Men for making that happen because I made a message. I would like to say a phone call, but it was just a message. That was then sent through the Jenn’s Men Brigade through Fred and then how we got that to Jenn Sherman. She was like, “Do you remember that commercial?” She’s on here and she did 200 rides and it was an epic shout out, because Jenn gives epic shout outs. Congratulations to Monica, it was also her birthday. It was a big weekend in general. It was cool and I was glad I was on to be able to see it.

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I’m glad you taped it so I could see it. I wouldn’t have been on to see it. Peloton took one step closer to a monkey’s ride. I think they’re slowly trying to figure out ways to get me on the Bike. It still didn’t work, but this is close. 

This was a great collaboration. The collaboration we are speaking of is the Beatles collaboration, not one cycle ride, but two. There was a 30-minute version with Leanne and a 45-minute version with Denis, as well as a 45-minute run with Becs, plus there was yoga. There was a 60-minute yoga class. I haven’t gotten to take the bike rides yet, but I did take the run and I took the yoga class and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It’s great to listen to the music you love. Circling back to our conversation with John Mills, talking about how this is interesting with Apple, because there’s kind of an Apple battle with Beatles and I did not know this. Can you briefly tell that story?

The backstory here is that The Beatles and Apple have gotten into it numerous times over the years. The Beatles, in case you’re unaware, started their own record label in the late ‘60s and it was called Apple. When Steve Jobs started his computer company, he’s a huge Beatles fan. He called his company and an homage to them, Apple. When the company took off, The Beatles were like, “What’s this about?” They sued them over copyright infringement for using the name of the record label and Apple lost that suit, and had to pay them a sizable sum of money. One of the deal points of that settlement, you’re talking like the mid ‘80s-ish, was Apple had to promise to never go into the music industry.

Nobody could even think about what was to come.

What do we care about music? They agreed to that. When they launched iTunes, this was part of the reason The Beatles were one of the last artists to make it to iTunes is because they were mad. They went back again, head-to-head over Apple and music and they had to pay them again. It’s interesting and I think, especially in the wake of Apple Fitness, launching for them to turn around and do a Beatles thing. I don’t know that the Beatles would do something like this with Apple. There has been bad blood there, but money can change a lot of things.

The whole thing was fascinating. Plus, everybody went nuts when they saw the original advertisement and there were all kinds of people thinking it was a rower. I think everybody needs to wrap their head around when Peloton says something big is coming, just assume it’s a music collaboration until we hear otherwise. Speaking of music collaborations, Peloton released new classes for New Year’s week that are counting down the top 50 songs of 2020 and they broke it down into 30-minute classes so there are five of them. On New Year’s Eve, they’re going to be doing all of them back-to-back encores, which I think is great. Also, if you didn’t see it over on the tour, you can go over and take it as a group altogether. They’re doing them all back-to-back together as one of their tours. Check that out. This was all the instructors talking about the top 50 countdown. It’s a cool little video. If you have not seen it, it’s all of the songs that you as writers ranked the highest.

While we’re talking music, they announced their Elvis collaboration, but they’ve made a new announcement in relation to that. 

I love this more than the Elvis collection, which I wasn’t super excited about. It’s not my jam, but this is cool. It is all Elvis remixes. It’s all these different artists that have mixed it like Big Boy and Chromeo. They’re songs that have been remixed with Elvis versions and they made it into a whole new type of class. How amazing is that? It’s unique. I love how they took Elvis classic and then they mixed it up.

For the kids nowadays.

That’s great. I also want to point out that at the beginning of December, Peloton said, “We’re going to have a lot of gifts for you.” People thought they were going to be physical gifts, but they weren’t, they were musical gifts and there was a lot.

Those are huge acts that they’ve been partnering up with in December.

To your point, you’ve got to wonder if this becomes a new holiday tradition every year, because they’re not doing live classes. Will they drop some amazing collaboration every year? Although I don’t know how you can top Beyonce, The Beatles and Elvis.

There’s still a lot, Rolling Stones, The Monkeys, of course. It doesn’t even need to be said. Peloton had an end-of-year sale that started on the 26, which is all but depleted by now, I’m sure.

The email came out and it was gone quickly. I’m glad they did it. I’m sure it’s like a bunch of return stock. Our buddy, Bob Treemore, did a little analysis and he found that they were adding skews by the dozens, meaning when we have a brand-new drop, it’s got a 1,000, this was a few.

Clearly, these were returns and they wanted to get rid of them, which is good. If you were lucky enough to get one, great, but most of the stuff was gone instantly. It went fast. 

Even by Peloton boutique standards.

I’m glad they did it and some people were able to benefit from it. I bought everything in full price, though.

Joining us is Stephen Nalbach. Stephen, how is it going?

I’m great. Thanks for having me.

Thank you for joining us. Stephen, how did you originally find Peloton?

One of the partners that I work with talked about trying to get back in shape and he’s like, “You’ve got to get on the Peloton.” I blew him off. My wife had been exercising and wanted it for Christmas gifts. We got it back in 2016.

You’ve had it for a while.

It only took me four years to get 100 rides though.

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She’s been riding the bike.

She’s on 1,500 rides.

When did you officially start riding? When did you begin your journey to 100?

I’d been on and off. I started riding back in 2017 but I couldn’t stick with it. June 1st, 2020 is when this whole thing started. I’m trying to get a healthy lifestyle and get back to where I was.

Whenever you were posting your pictures on the OPP, it indicated that there was quite a weight loss journey through your time that you have become a neurosurgeon. Was exercise always part of your journey? Would you have to put everything on hold as you become a surgeon?

It was exercise and healthy was up there until I got accepted into neurosurgery and then it went all downhill. It takes up some of your time.

They always show on TV which is whenever you have to do your residency and stuff, it takes a lot.

We all know that TV is never wrong.

That’s why I’m asking. They show how ridiculous when you become a medical doctor in general but also when you’re doing a residency, there are all these hours that you have to put in. Is that accurate? Is that hard to manage?

When I was doing it, it was before they enforced the 80-hour workweek. It was typically over 100 hours a week.

That’s a lot. I’m curious, neurosurgery is fancy. How does that work? When you were 9 or 10 years old, were you like, “Neurosurgery?” Did you get to buckle down and start right then or is it something you could go down the medical field? I understand like, “I want to be a doctor.” You get involved and you’re like, “I’ll focus on hearts or I’ll focus on being a pediatrician.” This seems hypercomplex. Is that something that you can come to later in your career? Do you have to hit the ground with that as a focus?

Normally, what you’re saying is right. They knew they were going to do that from the beginning. When I got into med schools, I thought I was going to be a pediatrician. Apparently, that’s the most common thing. I soon learned you treat the parents, not the kids. That was the end of that.

My day job is a concert promotion and sometimes we’ll do a Disney on Ice or something. They’re the worst shows. If something goes wrong with a concert and somebody gets mad, you’re like, “Here’s free beer.” You’ll shut them up. If something goes wrong with a kid’s show, you ruined someone’s childhood and they will not let you live it down.

The first two years are hitting the books hard and a little bit of patient interaction. In the third year, you have to pick if you are going to go into the medical side or the surgical side. The medicine seems like rounding and pontificating whereas surgery is hands-on. That’s what I wanted to do. I trained in Philadelphia in a rough area and they had an amazing trauma program. I thought I was going to be a trauma surgeon. I said, “I had the good scores that I could have cardiac or neuro as an option. I’ll do those rotations last just in case.” On my first day, I’ve got to take out an AVM from the brain with a surgeon. I’m like, “That’s what I’m going to do from now on.”

What’s an AVM?

It’s an abnormal collection of blood vessels. If it ruptures and bleeds, it could be fatal. I was assisting, I didn’t do much of it, but they throw you right in.

God forbid if anyone ever needs to do anything in my brain but I’m hoping I at least get a guy that’s built up a little PTO first. Is that too much to ask?

That’s why the training programs have all the big names and they’re famous in the field but the surgeons are, usually the residents for the most part. The critical part is the big name.

How does that work? You said scores. Is this a written test? I’m picturing you’re standing over an operation game.

I was picturing holding up brains and then he had to identify whose brain they were.

That’s the Abby-normal.

I don’t know what’s happening but I’m glad you guys are good.

That was a young Frankenstein. I was not going to make the reference because, in his field, that’s one of the most common jokes. Since he brought it up, he’s a lot.

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There are steps from 1 to 3. It doesn’t determine how good a physician, surgeon, or doctor you’re going to be. The fancy residencies need to have high written scores to get your foot in the door. There’s another part where you interact with actors. That should be the most important one but it’s thrown, “You don’t know how to talk to people.” You can cut.

It might be a little insight into why sometimes surgeons don’t have the best bedside manner too. If you’re the person getting cut on, having the skill to cut is more important.

That would trump being able to talk to people.

Tom and I have talked about this many times that you have to have a lot of confidence to be a surgeon, and I would think even more so whenever you’re cutting up somebody’s brain. It’s like there’s so much going on in there.

You need to have confidence and ego, but I felt you have to keep it in check. That’s why I relate to a lot of patients more than some of my colleagues. It was a struggle to get where I was. I didn’t come from a line of doctors. I had to work. I always tried to remember where I came from, be able to relate to patients, and not use fancy words to intimidate but break it down to the level that everyone can understand.

You seem down to earth, so that’s one of the reasons I asked because you do have to have a lot of confidence to go cutting on anybody. I could never do that. Thank you for what you do. That’s amazing.

Backing up a little bit in your career. The first time they put a scalpel in your hand and they’re like, “Have at it,” what was that like?

My heart is racing, not as much as being on a podcast. My speaking is making me nervous.

Jerry Seinfeld has a great joke where he talks about the number one fear of Americans is public speaking. He’s like, “Number two is death.” That means for the average American, if they’re at a funeral, they would rather it be their own. They have to give the eulogy.

It’s funny because I’ve never given a eulogy. I would be freaking out.

The nerves are racing. They know when you’re ready or not. They’re not going to put you in a situation that’s dangerous for any patient. You know you’re doing better in the case when the attending would come in, they’ve watched you, and they’ve seen that what you’re doing and it’s going safely. The first one, I made the incision too deep and they were like, “Tell us if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s slow down here.” He held my hand and brought me through it. I had great training.

I was immediately wondering how you know how deep to cut. Is that something you practice?

There are skills labs and they’ve gone with virtual training but there’s cutting on pig’s feet, suturing, and things like this. We’re not thrown in right away. In med school, it was observing for the most part.

When you think about it, somebody did it first. If you go back far enough, there was somebody that was like, “Give me a knife. Let’s get in there and see what it looks like.” Let’s get down to the house. Even though there was a metaphor but somebody had to be like, “I’ll slice a bitch open and see what it looks like.” That’s crazy.

It’s because of those people, we are where we are. It comes a long way but the outcomes are not good when surgery first started.

Whenever you went through this process that I’m sure took several years, did you find that you were losing your health and wellbeing throughout?

It’s part of that picture I posted on the Peloton page when I was accepted to med school. Some of my classmates said, “You’re the strongest nerd I’ve ever met.” I was working out, eating healthy and doing great. When you get home after the 100 hours a week, I’m not going to go to the gym. There was no Peloton at that time. We lived in a small apartment in Boston so there’s not enough room for a home gym. It’s sleep, eat, drink to get through that weekend and repeat it.

My first thought was like, “Did you intern at St. Eligius?”

Where’s St. Eligius?

That’s the name of the hospital in St. Elsewhere. Would you take a place in Boston?

We re-watched the whole season.

It’s a little past natal. I was too young.

You were studying instead of watching television.

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Television is my favorite. We’ve moved several times and the first thing I do before unpacking is set up the TV.

That’s an important thing. You’ve got to have everything ready to go because when you finally get to sit down in your new home, the last thing you want to do is not be able to use your television. Do you love or hate, or are you completely ambivalent about doctor shows?

I love them before and now. It’s hard to not point out that that’s ridiculous.

Are there any doctor shows that you watch that you’re like, “They’re doing good there?”

You can tell they’ve consulted and they have some of it but they dramatize it a little bit. I always said that it’s like Grey’s Anatomy. More people are sleeping with each other.

It is not as good looking. There’s more sex but it’s uglier.

I’m going to get in trouble for that.

Is there one pet peeve that all of those shows get wrong? Is there a something you see them get wrong over and over again that drives you crazy?

Medicine is specialized but the star of the show can do brain surgery on one day, heart surgery the next, and then figure out what infectious disease is killing everyone. They know everything. They all become specialized. It’s like, “You don’t ask me a hard question because it’s like an electrician-plumbing question.”

That makes perfect sense.

It was funny because I love WKRP.

It’s a little older than me but I know the show.

It is a show that like, “I want to work in radio.” Now I go back and watch it. The thing that drives me crazy is whenever they’re on the air, they almost never have headphones on. You wouldn’t hear a thing. You wouldn’t hear the music you’re playing, you wouldn’t know when to start or stop talking, or if you played the right record. I’m thinking he has all this hyper medical knowledge and he was like, “My thing is don’t wear headphones.”

I’m glad I ran and got these Peloton headphones. When I don’t have headphones, I remember your message. It’s like, “Make sure you have headphones.” These are the only ones because they don’t match the new iPhones with the Peloton ones.

They sound great. It’s nice whenever you have the headphones on because if you don’t have headphones on, we can hear ourselves on your side.

Right before I joined, I was like, “Where’s the headphone?”

As you got into Peloton, how did it help you with your getting in shape journey? Was that the only thing you were doing? Where you focused on changing your diet? What were you doing? What worked?

I love how there are all these diets out here but in science, there’s only one way you’re going to lose weight. If you burn more calories than you consume in a day. However you can do that, it’s the way you’re going to lose weight. It’s a four-pronged attack at hand at it is trying to do the 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you follow my leaderboard, you can see that I’m not doing 30 minutes a day but when you have a good day, go longer. When you need a day off, you need to take that off or you’re going to burn yourself out.

That’s what’s happening in the past. I have found intermittent fasting has been helpful doing that 11:00 to 7:00 window. People think it’s hard to skip breakfast. That’s not the hard thing. It’s hard not to sit and eat a bag of potato chips and pretzels while we’re watching TV right before bed. That was hard for the first few weeks but you get used to it. This one is going to be tough for you, Tom, but skipping dessert, cutting back on alcohol, and switching to clears, no mixers, reducing those empty calories.

I always say that I’m fortunate that I’m not a big drinker. When I’m trying to lose weight, that’s easy for me to give up. If I enjoyed that, that would be more calories I’d be pouring onto myself already.

You don’t like dessert?

I like dessert.

What’s funny about Tom is when he’s on one of his kicks of like, “I will lose weight now,” he doesn’t eat any carbs and then includes desserts. It’s crazy how disciplined he can be but also, he eats zero fruits and vegetables. I don’t know how he’s still alive because I’ve never seen him eat a fruit or vegetable and I’ve never seen him drink a glass of water. I don’t know what’s happening.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

If you cut me open, I’m made entirely of rickets.

We need to study you.

I would’ve made a great pirate except that I’m not tough. I do the intermittent fasting thing too. I do the same 11:00 to 7:00 window and skipping breakfast is easy. It’s sitting down to watch TV and you want to munch.

Everyone around you is eating but it’s the willpower that you’ve got to stick with it.

In intermittent fasting, the hard part for me is breakfast. Sitting still is hard for me and not eating. I was thinking about when I’m at work and I always want to eat while I start my day. That’s what I want to do is have my breakfast while I sit there. That made me think about TV shows and how they portray surgeons. You guys go in, have conversations at hospitals, walk into the surgery, and start cutting on people. Is that how your day goes? Do you spend most of your day in surgery? Do you spend most of your day doing paperwork? Is it half and half? Does it depend on the day?

In order to have those surgeries to do unless they’re emergencies, you’ve got to meet those patients. The way we run our practice is there are two days of a clinic where you’re seeing patients in the office and going over their scans with them, examining them, coming up with treatment plans and then two days for operating.

That’s reasonable.

I know that there are exceptions on either end of that spectrum. What’s the average length of time for surgery?

It depends on what surgery it is. Some surgeries we do are under 30 minutes. Some brain tumors during residency, like we’ve had some big tumors, can take over 24 hours. Sometimes you need to take a break, have a patient remain intubated, and come back the next day. In a private practice like ours, that window is going to be anywhere from 1 to 3 hours for most cases.

For lack of a better term, you’re in there the whole time. Is there like, “Surgery in,” or some downtime where you’re doing other stuff or things where you’re waiting for certain things to happen to check?

There are cases where you’re by yourself without an assistant and you’re there the whole time. We try to operate as partners. If one needs a break, you can, and the other can keep going. There are times when we’ve sent out a specimen, we’re waiting for the pathologist and waiting to see if it’s okay to proceed or do we have enough where we can stop. For the most part, it’s surgerizing the whole time.

Did you ever get tired of saying the following, “I’m no brain surgeon, wait?”

I like to add a level to that because I was lucky enough to train at Harvard. I’m like, “That’s not how we did it at Harvard brain surgery.” I say the H-bomb until someone is up a day and they need to be put in their place.

That’s a great 1-2 punch. You’ve got the brain surgery and then if they’re still going to be a little crap, you’ll be like, “Harvard.”

That’s not how we did it.

Whenever you’re all-in on Peloton, did you have an instructor that was your go-to that changed everything for you or you were like, “I am going to do this now,” and you stayed focused?

I stayed focused but I do have an instructor. You can check my rides. It’s all about Jess King. There’s a huge crush.

Does that mean you’re a runner now too?

I don’t do the tread yet. Part of the reason that I have to do something is I hurt my knee going to the store to pick up beer. If I don’t change it, I’m going to need knee surgery. I say beer to be cool. It was White Claw but don’t tell anyone.

At least you’re doing something you love.

I’ve still been a little afraid to go back to running because the bicycles are not as hard on your knees as the tread would be.

He’s like, “You don’t want that knee surgery in there mocking around.”

He’s like, “I am not saying that at all. I hope that no one that I work with is reading this.”

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

When I started back in 2017, it was always with Jess. For Nicole, my wife’s 100th ride, we went to the studio in New York and we wanted to do a live ride with her. Funny story. Everyone tries to get a picture. I don’t know if she had a class before but she came out and my wife was like, “You’ve got to talk to her. I’m too nervous.” We were starstruck. She’s like, “You’ve got to go up there.” There’s a little juice bar there in the studio and Jess is going to get it and I show up. I’m like, “Hey.” She’s like, “Hi, bye,” and ran away. I realized I was the creepy old man. I’m sure she doesn’t even remember and she didn’t mean anything by it. She was busy getting ready for the next class. She was like, “You blew it.”

I’m sure that’s what happened that she had a back-to-back class and she didn’t have time.

Your wife should take solace in the fact that you’re not good at picking up women. That’s an upside. That should bring her comfort.

That’s been made clear to me throughout my life. My brother’s best man speech commented heavily on that.

It’s been a theme is what you’re saying. Your wife has nobody to blame but herself that she didn’t get to meet.

I still don’t know how. I must have confused her but she’s stuck now.

You guys went so far back that you didn’t get to the part where they have this system that they come out right after class and they have everybody lined up. You guys went early on.

It’s 2017.

Back then, there were no bodyguards or anything. It was helter-skelter. She was so low key. It was fine. Right now it’s nothing because of COVID. Whenever it pops back in, there’s this line. As soon as they come out of class, they go in, freshen up, come out, do pictures, and have a little spot all set up for that. I’m sure if you ever get a chance to go back, you will be able to get your picture.

Whoever is allowed to leave the house again.

I’m hoping 2021 is going to be the year we all get to leave our house again.

Not right away, unfortunately.

You’ve got to be loaded for bear. You’ve got masks coming out. Yours is a surgeon.

They’re running short even in the hospitals.

Are they still?

It’s better with the PPE but we don’t have enough beds and places to put patients.

It is crazy times.

It’s scary.

The second wave was worse 100 years ago. It’s not going to be different this time either.

If only there was a way to know these things.

We’ll bite our tongues.

That’s for the best. What is your leaderboard name for those who may not know?

It’s Thecookiemonsta. I don’t know if it was from being in Boston but it was because it wouldn’t let me put -er at the end because there are many letters you can use or something. I got it from Jennifer Jacobs. I don’t think she’s with Peloton anymore. She’s one of her early rides and she looked into the camera and was like, “Come on, Cookie Monster, take me all the way to Sesame Street.” I’m like, “That’s it.”

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

Good thing he didn’t go with Oscar The Grouch.

Being that I enjoy cookies a lot. At that time, it fit because I was the fat guy on the bike for a while.

Do you have any advice for people who are now getting their bikes?

I guess you hadn’t heard on one of your shows that they only did 45-minute rides in the beginning. I would always try to do 45 minutes and it would knock me out and then I need three days off. That fourth day, I’m like, “I’m not going back.” Starting the cycle again of getting bad habits. There’s no shame in starting with the beginning of classes doing only 10 to 15 minutes or whatever you feel is good. You’ll see yourself building up, coming back, and being able to do more and more.

That’s great advice.

You’re a doctor, you could make that prescription.

Studies have shown that if you can get your heart rate up 30 minutes a day, you’re going to live longer and be healthier. In any way, you need to get that even walking. It doesn’t have to be on the bike. Although I found this to be the quickest way to get those calories off.

It’s more fun than walking.

Before we let you go, I’m curious. You said that the study shows to get your heart rate up to 30 minutes a day is good for your heart. Is there something people can do every day that is good for your brain?

Constantly using it. You need to exercise your muscles, simple things like word puzzles. Constantly challenging your brain like reading. Trying to learn something new every day even as a neurosurgeon, every case, we learn something new. As long as your brain is trying to incorporate new information and learn those facts, it’s going to stay healthy. This is from the guy who was the first thing I do is set up my TV which isn’t helping my brain.

It depends on the show you watch. It also depends on how you watch a show because there are some shows that are mindless and you let them roll over you. There are other shows that can engage you. Not necessarily educational but I’m thinking of a show like Lost. There was so much going on. You had to actively watch that show, pay attention, connect threads and plot points. I would think if you were in an MRI, your brain would be lighting up in totally different ways watching a show like that versus the real world.

I agree with that. The way we watched Dateline, we’re always trying to figure it out. We become investigators.

I remember Lost was the first show that we binged and I drove to three different Hollywood videos and blockbusters to find season three so that we could watch it. This was before everything was on demand. I was engaged and I left it. He was a neurosurgeon so that was good.

I was disappointed with the ending but it was such a fun ride.

They have trouble finishing shows like Game of Thrones.

She loves the books and buys the Season Three. She’s like, “I’m done if you are.”

I had to bail because they screwed it up. The books are different and I can’t even.

She was like, “I’m good with stuff unless you want to keep watching.” I’m like, “I was only watching for the boobs.”

My concern is like, “Is this dude ever going to finish these books so I can read the actual way that he was supposed to happen?”

I heard he got ill so I’m not sure we’re going to get it. I definitely will read it. As soon as he puts it out, he’d make tons of money.

That’s the problem. He’s already made tons of money. His incentive is his demands.

There’s such a fan base that they’re going to tear him apart. Whatever he does, it’s not going to make a group happy.

You’ve got that right.

TCO 188 | Neurosurgeon’s Health

 

We’re familiar with that sometimes. Before we let you go, where can people find you if you would like to be found?

Our group is at TylerNeuro.com. On Facebook, it’s @TylerNeurosurgicalAssociates. You can interact with us. If you want to follow me, I’m @DrNalbach on Instagram and Stephen Vincent on Facebook, but it’s basically family pictures and vacation trips. Occasionally, I’ll share some of the stories that our practice does, patient stories, good outcomes, some happiness in this world of sadness and loneliness in our homes.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to join us. We greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

Thanks for having me. I’ll see you on the leaderboard.

Bye.

That brings this episode to a close. What pray tell do you have in store for people next episode? 

One of two things, we’re either going to talk to Robin in January 2021, or we’re going to have an interview with a very interesting company, something a little different than we typically do. We could be interviewing MedPro, which we’ll talk about when that happens, but I’m not exactly sure how the timing is going to work out. It might be Robin, it might be MedPro.

Until then, where can people find you? 

People can find me at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, 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, Facebook.com/theclipout while you’re there. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. You can check out our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/theclipout and sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep peddling and running.

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