Skip to content
  • Loading stock data...

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

John Mills joins us to discuss Peloton’s scuttled resale program.

UBS downgrades Peloton stock.

NASDAQ.com asks if Peloton is just a commodity stock.

Universal Music Group partners with SoulCycle.

Is Peloton the future of online dating?

The new Stacking Challenge explained.

Dr. Jenn – How to break your “all or nothing” mindset.

We’ve been getting tons of great feedback about Logan Active Clean.

The New York Times is reporting on shipping delays.

Alex Toussaint was on the Today Show with Carson Daly.

Cirque du Soleil launches online workouts.

Oliva has a new series – Breakthrough Run.

Be sure and wish Ben Alldis a happy birthday on January 22.

All this plus our interview with Leslie Crabtree!

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

People Are Using Their Peloton to Get Laid plus our interview with Leslie Crabtree

Dr. Jenn is back. 

I think we have a new system for working with her schedule better. There were so many good questions posted out there about like, “What are you guys struggling with?” I guess that question was better asked than the last time I did because you guys brought the questions.

Within ten minutes, it was just like boom. It was an embarrassment of riches.

Dr. Jenn was so excited. She can’t wait to go through these questions with us. Every week we’re going to be setting those up. If you don’t read yours in this episode, stay tuned because it will be in the future.

When we start to run low, we’ll throw that out there again. Now that we know how to ask it in a way that elicits a good response. Not that the responses were bad the other time.

I think that people took my question the first time, like personal questions for Dr. Jenn versus advice.

She’s like a sports psychology version of Ann Landers. If we were like, “Do you have a question for Ann Landers?” You wouldn’t typically respond with, “Where did you grow up?” There’s nothing wrong with that question.

Just not what we’re looking for.

Shameless plugs, don’t forget, we are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn, wherever you find podcasts, you can find us. If you find a good place where we’re not, let me know and I’ll fix it. While you’re finding your podcasts, you should subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you would be so kind as to leave a review, that’s always helpful as well. Here’s a review, it’s a little bit of a journey. This is from Da1Ram. It says, “Trying not to be annoyed. I tried to give this podcast a chance because I heard all things Peloton, but I’m five episodes in, I’m still annoyed and it just goes on and on and on.”

Because we didn’t say Peloton correctly?

That and they don’t like my jokes and they don’t like your laugh.

We are just not for them.

Then it says, “…update. This update is a long time coming, but I kept listening and I freaking love you, guys. I look forward to every Friday and love the updates.” We will grow on you like a fungus, if you let us.

We’re like the barnacles on a boat.

Thank you for the nice review, eventually.

Thanks for it. Not a lot of people go back and say, “Mine changed.” Whether it’s us or anybody else, that’s cool of you to do. People don’t typically do things like that. My hats off to you for doing that, especially because it’s us, but also just anybody in general.

If you would like to leave a review, don’t feel like you have to leave a crappy review and then fix it later. You could just start with the good one, that’s okay too. That helps people that are coming along after you to know that it’s worth checking out. Also we have a Facebook page, Facebook.com/theclipout. While you’re there, like the page, join the group. The group is where we post things like, “Do you have a question for Dr. Jenn?” That’s another incentive to be in the group. Our YouTube page, YouTube.com/theclipout, where you can see the interviews, articles and videos happening while we discuss them. We have a newsletter that I remembered to send out this week and you can sign up for that at TheClipOut.com.

I am starting to get involved in the clubhouse community and we are going to be going live every Sunday, 4:00 PM Central. What we’re going to do is like a breakdown of the episode, all the topics. Every Sunday, the episode that just came out, that’s what we’re going to discuss.

It’s like a post-show wrap-up.

Join us if you’re over on clubhouse. If you don’t know what Clubhouse is, look it up. If you’re interested, I’ll see if I can help you get an invite.

I can’t do it because I don’t have an iPhone.

It’s iPhone only.

There’s all of that. Let’s dig in, shall we? 

Joining us from Run, Lift & Live is John Mills. John, how is it going?

How is it going?

I love the energy. It’s a good day.

Yes. It’s a good day.

I guess we’ll start off with a story from Business Insider about how the used Peloton market threw a curveball at Peloton’s plans to resell their bikes.

John Foley said in 2020, “We’re going to do this certified pre-owned program.” A little while after he said that, he was on CNBC and he was like, “We’re going to have to delay that.”

John Foley is like, “We’re going to take trade-ins and resell the bikes.” The free market was like, “Are you though?”

People started going after the Bike+es or preparing for when the Bike+ would come out. They started putting their bikes up for sale. Some people were getting like cost. There were some people getting $1,800, $1,900 for a bike.

I think this just points to how incredible the demand is that even Peloton is like, “We didn’t know. We had no idea you were going to go that crazy, guys.”

When we have something and we sell it on Craigslist, we’re really bad because we’re like, “It’s such the worst.” So many times we were like, “Just take it to Goodwill.”

“Somebody can use it, you know?”

Now we did it with the Bike because it was so easy. It’s like you’re in the middle of typing the Craigslist ad and someone is like, “I’ll pay it.”

I was even lazier than you, guys, because I saw people saying, “I sold mine for $1,500. I sold mine for $1,600.” I was like, “No, they didn’t, you just gave them the $700 back,” but it kept going. I sold mine for $1,800. It was crazy.

Did you trade yours in?

Yeah, I traded it in. I could’ve gotten double that and it will still be less than what everybody else was getting.

Here’s a question, I know it’s a little unrelated, but I feel like it’s kind of related. People have talked about how long it’s taken to get their $700 back. Did you get yours back right away or was it a long involved process?

I got my $700 back.

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

You took a bet?

I took a bet.

I feel good that I sold mine because the lady lives here in St. Louis and I think she was a nurse. She’s a physician’s assistant. She works in a hospital and she loves the Bike. It’s great and she’s happy. I waited until my Bike was taken before mine was delivered, before she could take it. All was well in the world.

What I noticed in this article is it mentions that even on the Peloton site, if you search on used bikes in their knowledge base, it tells you, “You should go to eBay or one of those Facebook markets. Go check one of those out.”

It’s an interesting thing to notice in light of the delivery delays because one, I think some of it is probably being driven by that, the people are like, “Maybe let’s go buy a used one,” but also even before the delivery delays had really become a problem, people were willing to pay essentially what a new Bike costs to get a used Bike because they just wanted it right then. That says a lot about the demand for the product.

It does. I feel bad for this Peloton delivery discussion group, where they’re just upset that they haven’t gotten their Bikes and they’re so angry. I get that they’re angry. I don’t fault them for that at all but just like what we talked about, they need to get their bikes. They need to hang on because there’s a reason that this is happening. There’s a reason you can’t find a used one. Everyone loves them. Hang in there. 

I was saying to somebody the other day, it’s like if you can’t get tickets to see Springsteen, you don’t go, “I guess I’ll go see John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band instead.” It’s not the same. Although, On The Dark Side is a good song but it’s not Thunder Road. We’ve established that even with the delays at Peloton, super popular people were willing to pay full price for a four-year-old bike. They don’t care. What better time to downgrade the value of their stock?

Is UPS usually crabby? I don’t know anything about them.

We’re holding you personally responsible for the decision, John.

This particular analyst in UBS, I’m not as familiar with. There are those analysts that you’re very consistently seeing and this one, I’m not as familiar with. I’m not really sure. They downgraded them to sell and it immediately affected the stock price. It dropped that day.

Did it bounce back? I don’t even know where we are now.

I think we’re back up another 6% now, closing somewhere around 156. It bounced right back the very next day. I always find it interesting. Originally, I thought there’s not as much power in an individual analyst putting something out, but lately, it’s very consistent whenever any analyst publishes an upgrade or a downgrade, there is an impact. I see it. That was interesting as expected.

I’m going to declare myself an analyst and then I’m just going to say good things about Peloton. Do you think that’ll work?

I’m not a stock guy, I’m not Jim Cramer, but I can get things wrong just as frequently as he does. I’m going to say it, should you be taking stock advice from a company that has BS right in the name? That seems like an ill-advised marketing decision.

They also have a correction right in this article and they’ve had to fix the spelling of chewy. I’m just saying. That’s not exactly a difficult one.

That right there explains why it bounced right back up. What’s interesting to me is every time I see the negatives relative to the stock price, I also, in my group, we start having these discussions as to what caused it and because there’s so much angst around the delivery issues, there’s always an attempt to tie the stock movement to that, the delivery and service issue. I haven’t seen any tie yet. Even this to me was just the UBS statement. I still haven’t seen any real pain that Peloton has suffered because of that.

I have to agree, John. 

It’s like the hot trendy club that you can’t get into. I think the scarcity is, as much as I hate to say it, making it sexier for some people.

Personally, the only thing that I think they’re in danger of messing up themselves is their customer service and how they’re approaching this transparency, how they’re approaching communications, “This delivery, just kidding. It’s not coming tomorrow. It’s going to be another two months.”

Texting people the morning of the scheduled delivery to say.

That’s painful every time I hear that. I put myself in that position. I bugged my local showroom person, on the Tread and the Bike+, and they were always very kind and they were able to help me out. I can only imagine sitting at home, “It’s coming today. They’re not here. Let me call them up. Is it two months from now?”

I would rage and then I would cry.

I get it and you’re right. If this translates somehow into service of existing Bikes, the customer service thing. Now we’re talking about something else. I don’t know if it does. I don’t tend to call much.

I only had one negative experience with their customer service. I think what’s happening is their lower tier is less empowered than they used to be. They’re very inconsistent. The big thing in the Peloton delivery discussion group is now they don’t get credits for whenever they don’t get their Bike on time. Everybody’s posting about all these credits rates, everybody’s asking about credits and now they’re like, “No more credits for anybody.” People are losing their minds now because they’re like, “So-and-so got credits. I want credits.” That’s the next thing. This is the kind of thing that gets to people.

The other thing to remember too, we talked about that ProPublica article a couple of months back, but that a lot of these Tier 1 support people you’re talking to, they’re not Peloton specific employees. It’s been farmed out to a third party that handles phone calls for a lot of different companies. They’re talking about Peloton on one phone call, they’re talking about your local electric company on the next or Reebok or whatever. They’re also not going to be as knowledgeable or as dedicated because you’re just one of a hundred different companies they might have to represent.

Speaking of customer service, there was quite a ruckus because somebody in the customer service department put in their first name and last name in the chat. Typically, if you go chat with support, it just has their first name and their last initial. This person put the whole thing in. At one point, the person asked, “Can I ask why people are getting their Bike before me that ordered after me?” The customer service representative reportedly said, “You cannot. You can either get a refund or you can wait. Those are your choices.” 

That felt like you took me back to the ‘70s and my mother was talking to me. “You can eat the green beans, or you can eat nothing and go to bed. Pick one.”

I thought that it was not real because it had both names in it. I was like, “This is a bunch of BS.”

She put on her little Nancy Drew investigator hat and went to work.

I was like, “Excuse me, customer support over at Peloton.” They were like, “Hello.” I was like, “I have some questions. Here’s what’s going on.” I relate everything and I sent them the screenshots of all of this. They were like, “Yes, we do recognize this name and I’m very sorry that this happened. We cannot say whether this is real, but it doesn’t necessarily look fake.” I came to the conclusion that it was real and I apologized to the dude because I was like, “Well.”

First, because it didn’t fit the formatting for the name that you normally see. She was like, “I don’t think that this is real.”

They can type it in so I didn’t know that. I hear that that guy doesn’t work there anymore. That’s what I heard. 

That’s a pretty douchey take to have with a customer. I get that they’re getting peppered, but like, “He got us.”

The lady I had was super nice. 

Getting a Peloton is far cheaper than paying for a gym membership when all you do is cycling classes. Click To Tweet

She was afraid you’re going to get her fired. I’ve been a lot nicer to you ever since it happened to me. You found another article asking, is Peloton just a commodity product? Like orange juice? What does that mean?

I don’t even know what that means. What are they even asking?

They are referencing commodity in this space to mean, is it just something that you can get anywhere? Like any other company in this space, they’re offering the exact same thing. That’s how they reference that. That’s how they use that in the space. They’re basically asking, “What does it matter? Can’t you go to NordicTrack? It’s the same bike. It has a cadence and resistance and they play music.” That’s the point of the article. As they go in to talk whether or not it is or isn’t, it starts to compare some things, what differentiates Peloton? They come to the conclusion in here, the differentiation primarily is that they’re aligned to luxury status, luxury brand.

People are saying, “I’ve got to have that because that’s what I see that celebrities and everyone else is having, that’s what I hear from my friends. That’s what I see when I go to the mall and I see an Apple store or a Tesla dealership, then I see a Peloton shop.” That luxury status they’re saying aligns to it. They’re saying economies upscale because they have many subscribers and then they’ve got many members that allow them to create capabilities and functionality that maybe the other competitors don’t quite have. It’s interesting to me that they primarily focused on the luxury brand piece. Basically saying, “Yeah, they are pretty much all the same, other than that.”

I find it fascinating that one, people still talk about Peloton like it’s a luxury item. There are certainly people that can’t afford it. I don’t mean to talk down to them, but especially when you’re talking about it in relation to other bikes, it’s price is comparable, unless you buy just a low-end bike, their price is on par with what all of these bikes are charging. I don’t get why the perception is that it’s “expensive” when it’s comparable to everything else that’s on the market.

Shouldn’t they get to charge a premium when they were the first ones to bring it to market? It was their freaking idea. Let’s not forget that. They created an entire space.

I feel asking if it’s a commodity, it’s like, “Is Nike a commodity because you can get the same thing in Keds?”

Maybe Adidas.

Maybe Hush Puppies.

His news articles is a commodity item, is what it is.

Maybe a Buster Brown, it’s going to cover your foot. Is NBC a commodity? They have TV shows like CBS does. 

They positioned Peloton as, “We know you were the first mover, but because people saw that, you’ve got all these competitors doing the same thing and some of them are successful as well. Why aren’t you just a commodity? What differentiates you?” That’s basically what the article says.

When I see Echelon and NordicTrack and all these other competitors have their instructors on Good Morning America and I see them have an entire stock market, like Peloton did when they were put on the NASDAQ, then we’ll talk.

You’re talking about the size of their audience and economy of scale. I feel like the size of their audience is an issue, but I don’t think it’s economy of scale so much. It’s almost like if everyone else is buying a Peloton, do you want to go and join the other club?

No, because you want to ride with your friends.

I think they’ve reached critical mass and the tipping point in that regard, you don’t want to be the odd man out. I know we live in a world of Apple versus Android, but this is almost like Apple versus Cricket Wireless. Right now, there isn’t a Pepsi to their Coke. There’s barely an RC Cola to their Coke. 

I still believe this and I know that a lot of people probably don’t, but I still believe that the social elements of Peloton are huge. I think that’s a core element that differentiates them. When you say social, people start thinking about the OPMP and I’m not talking about the OPMP. Specifically, I’m talking about the other thousands of Facebook groups that are out there relative to Peloton. I’m talking about the number of people that are in these thousands of Facebook groups that were on Peloton. I’m talking about how many people are following them and other folks on Instagram relative to Peloton. None of those things do you see on any of those other products. Not even to a small percentage of it, they’re vastly ahead of all of those other competitors.

By order of magnitude.

That’s exactly what I was going to say, John. I haven’t seen any of those other companies start up a podcast because no one is compelled to talk about it. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t or can’t buy another bike and still be part of the Peloton community. I’m just saying, if we’re talking about, is the Peloton bike itself worth it? That’s part of what you’re buying into. You’re buying all of that, the community, experience, everything.

Back to our second story, I feel like that’s the part the analyst repeatedly miss when they just see it as a hardware product.

If you think of Echelon, I think they’re producing two to three times the number of class content, according to them.

That side, I was at them, not you.

I don’t know how much you can believe that, when we go back to the whole Amazon bike thing, but that’s what they say. They’ve got music and live classes and a leaderboard. If you’re thinking about it from the app perspective, and you’re like, “Maybe it’s a commodity product,” but once you start thinking about the social element, Echelon doesn’t have any of that.

They never will because it didn’t get created by Peloton. It got created by the people.

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

It happened organically.

You can’t reproduce that crap.

Finally, before we let you go, there was an interesting movement from Universal Music Group. 

It’s the deal with Equinox.

They’re saying, now they have all this ability to watch certain programming, like Netflix and things like that?

It’s not only that, it’s also a music licensing deal. It’s giving them greater access to the music content. I want to dig into that more because I don’t quite understand how that works. If you just licensed with UMG, what can’t you play? Beyond that, they’ve got some type of music licensing deal. Along with that, there’s other content and I think that’s what you were referring to. I found it interesting, number one, that they’re going that route as a means to allow their various platform to play more content, which is used on the SoulCycle At-Home Bike. I saw this as a push to get more people to get that SoulCycle Bike. Secondly, I think it was Netflix, I found the piece that was interesting in that is you will be able to see that Netflix content on the Bike. I went, “Who else does that?” NordicTrack does, so does Bowflex.

I know that there are a lot of people that think this is something Peloton needs to do. I know you asked that question as well, John, but I argue the counterpoint that that’s exactly what Peloton doesn’t want. That’s a differentiator because they want you to be engaged. They don’t want you to have acid. They want your whole ass there.

It’s the social community, but it’s the instructors that make it sticky ultimately.

I can go to any gym in the world and watch TV.

I think the thought process, I feel like that’s an old-world mentality about workout equipment about, “You watch TV or you watch CNN, you watch the game while you pedal on your bike or you run on your tread.” There are certainly people that still want to do it but I think Peloton is prepared to let those people go away to other companies because the people that have passion for the product are the people that are engaging with the content, not people that are binge-watching Game Of Thrones while they pedal away.

That makes sense that that would be anti to what they’re trying to get you to do which is what they’re creating and those instructors that are providing the content. I get it, that makes a lot of sense to me. For me, I want to be engaged that way. It works perfect for me, but my question in my group was, “Does everybody think like me? I don’t know, am I like the smaller percentage I didn’t know? Is there 80% of the people that are going, “I need to get this binge walk watching in. Can I do it while I work out?” Is that happening?

I think there’s a certain type of person. I don’t feel like it’s a majority and the reason I don’t think it’s a majority is because you’ve talked to a lot of people ever since you had your Peloton. I worked out before I got the Peloton, but I never stuck with it. 

We had an elliptical in front of a flat screen so you could watch TV while you did it and you didn’t.

I didn’t do it because I want to be trained. I want to have somebody tell me, do a sprint for this long, do whatever interval. I need that. That’s what makes me come back.

My prediction, if Peloton were to allow people to access Netflix and Hulu and things like that on the Bike, their churn rate would go up. I think what would happen is a certain number of people will be like, “I’ll do a free run or a free ride or whatever you guys call it and knock out these last two episodes of Stranger Things.” Then, “Now it wants me to roll in this other thing. I’ll watch that next time. I’ll just watch Stranger Things on the Bike.” The next thing you know, it’s two other shows and now they’re not engaged with Peloton itself. They fall off the wagon because they’re not getting engaged with an Ally Love or Robin Arzon or what have you. They fall into old habits and now it’s like, “I need to watch Stranger Things, but I can do it on the TV in front of the couch or on the couch.”

I’ll give you another example. Whenever I was doing my marathon on the Tread, I did that entire day because I’m a turtle and I did that entire day doing classes. I didn’t go and do just a run. It kept me engaged because I was listening to the instructors. I was getting high fives from my friends and that literally cheered me on. The last two classes I did was when Robin does the New York City Marathon, that was my second to last run. That was powerful. I was dying and I felt like I was there with her. I don’t get that from a TV show. 

The whole concept of Peloton would not want this because it would pull people from engaging in their content, which might like you said, Tom, create greater churn because they wouldn’t see the same value. Maybe they fall off. I hadn’t even thought of that. I was just thinking that there are probably multiple types of people and somebody wants it and somebody doesn’t, and not thinking from a Peloton perspective.

I think they’d rather give up the person that wants it for fear of losing the person that gets sucked into it. That’s a bigger long-term. If I was them, that would be my bigger long-term concern rather than losing a couple of people that are like, “I won’t be able to watch Netflix.” If that’s that important to you, then you can hang a flat screen in front of it. They’re not that expensive. If you can afford a Peloton, you can probably afford a 32-inch TV to hang in front of it these days. Thank you so much for joining us. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you.

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

An interesting article from YourTango, Is Peloton the future of online dating? I’m a little confused because I think it’s a good-looking bike. I don’t think I’d want to have sex with one.

That’s not really what they were going for. It was like to find somebody that you would want to date. This article cracked me up because it talks about how people are using the high five to flirt with people. If you’re having a good experience with the high-fiving, apparently the next level is to then video chat with them. You can get to the point where you’re talking online and then eventually dating. We know Peloton couples. There are lots of people who have met in the Peloton world so maybe this should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t. I put out my own little like, “What the hell, guys? Fill me in,” and I got many fascinating comments. First of all, we’re going to have to come back and do a whole conversation about this. I was even thinking maybe this should be a Valentine’s day special.

The Clip Out Dating Game. Next year we can do The Clip Out Newlywed Game.

I was thinking they could all come on and talk about their experiences. There were some very interesting things. Apparently, people change their locations to flirt with people too. One person was telling me about an unwelcome advance where a man changed his leaderboard location to say, “Looking good today,” in her leaderboard name.

I thought it was like, “My location in your pants.”

She did not care for that advance, they’ve creeped her out, which I can’t say that I blame her.

I don’t either and that’s the thing, if you go around high-fiving people like crazy, now you look like a weirdo.

This other guy was telling me that he high-fives all the cute chicks. I was like, “What exactly does that mean?” He was like, “If they high-five more than once then we’re flirting.” I was like, “I high-five my friends more than once in a ride all the time.”

I guess you already know them.

If people are above me or below me on leaderboard and I don’t have it filtered, I high five at random. I’m like, “Support for you, support for you, support all around.” There’s no discrimination. I did check with TheFred. I did in fact, high-five him multiple times and I let him know I was not flirting. I said, “I have high-fived your wife multiple times and I was not flirting with her either.” It has never occurred to me to use the high five button to flirt.

Which is good because you’ve not high-fived me one time.

You’re not on the Bike. Also, the instructors are on the Bike sometimes high-fiving us. When they’re not on rides and they see people on, they’re not flirting with us.

Spoiler alert, no instructor is flirting with you. If you’ve been high-fived by Robin and you’re like, “Is Robin flirting with me?” Let me make it very clear. No, she is not.

I also found it interesting that after talking about this article, several women were creeped out by the whole thing now. They’re like, “I may never high-five again,” and I was like, “Don’t do that because I don’t think everyone is seeing it as a flirt.” I think there’s a percentage of people, which I want to talk to them all, but I don’t think it’s everybody.

If you’ll harken back, all the way to when John Foley first announced the high five onstage with us, I might add.

I was there.

You don’t have to always chase the numbers when you’re working out. You have to listen to what your body needs. Click To Tweet

I know because it was us, we’re a thing. We flirt without a Peloton in between us. I said at the time, “Are you going to create a feature for if somebody passes you, you can give them the finger?” I think you need that feature more than ever. If somebody high-fives you too many times, you can flip them off whether they’re passing you or throwing a pass at you.

Either way, if it’s an unwelcome advance either on your left or they have flirted, flip them off.

Give them the bird.

John Foley seemed to think there would be additional gestures in the future, but he did not commit to any specific ones. We will be the first to tell you. I still think we need to follow up on this dating thing. I’m fascinated.

Should I be worried?

No. Fascinated with what they do.

You’re awfully interested in dating all of a sudden.

It’s crazy to me that a picture this big is getting people to flirt. I think the pandemic has some people sequestered.

That is true. Do you want to talk a little bit about the stacking feature and what counts in the new stacking challenge?

I think we talked about the stacking feature in general that it was new and I put a tutorial out in case anyone has questions about it. There’s a new stacking challenge and you have to take six classes from January 18 through February 1st, I think, and then you get a stacking badge. The interesting thing is, it says in the fine print that it’s cardio and strength classes. The interesting thing is, running and bike classes don’t appear to count for everyone at the very least. There needs to at least be one class in your stack that counts as a strength or a class titled as cardio, which is confusing because running and biking are cardio. People have been a little confused by that. If your stacks are not working to get you credit toward the stacking challenge, make sure that you have a strength or a class titled as cardio in your stack for it to work

That’s an important clarification.

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.

Thanks for having me.

Thanks for coming back. We greatly appreciate it. We put out into The Clip Out Verse, that’s what I’m calling it, asking people if they had any questions for you and they did come through. We love it too, because it makes our job easier. It sounds altruistic, we just wanted to know. Crystal wants to help people, I just want to do less work.

I want to help people so it all turns out well.

This one is from Sally Hillger, “I struggle with all-or-nothing thinking. I get anxious before a planned hard workout and psych myself out. I don’t want to do it unless I feel perfectly rested, which is almost never. I’m always concerned that I won’t be able to give my all in a workout and bonk. I end up procrastinating and taking too many rest days each week, which does not help my performance anyway. It’s just that kind of a cycle.” Turn that into a question and answer it.

I think a lot of people will relate to this question because that all-or-nothing thinking is one of our biggest enemies. I don’t know if it’s just sort of the Peloton crowd that I follow in particular because there are a lot of tribes within Peloton, but most of the people who I encounter, who are really into Peloton are pretty Type A and I think also right now we’re in a pandemic so the stress level is higher than ever. Right now, whatever we are, we have a tendency to be more of right now and whatever coping skills we use to get through difficult moments, whether it is perfectionism, being hard on ourselves, whatever it is that we typically do, we’re probably doing a lot more of that.

The positive flip side of this is that there’s no better time than a pandemic to learn new skills because first of all, most of us are at home right now. My motto these days is if you can do it in a pandemic, you can do it any time. You are able to learn the skills now, you will be able to do this for life. Where you need to put your effort in is in changing your thinking. It sounds like a part of you recognizes that your thinking is unhealthy, that it’s actually sabotaging you. When you’re that much of a perfectionist and you demand that much of yourself, then oftentimes it backfires.

I agree with 99.99% of pretty much everything my Peloton instructor says. There’s one thing that they say repeatedly that I don’t agree with that pertains to this and that is, “How you do something is how you do everything.” I think that there are times where you should not do it 150%. I don’t need to sweep my floors in a pandemic with giving it 110%. Sometimes I need to do a workout where I’m giving 50% instead of a 100% because that’s good self-care.”

It’s important to focus on changing the all-or-nothing thinking and to first of all, recognize its backfiring. You’re doing more harm than good. You’re being more self-critical. Your workouts are not as good. You’re stealing joy from your life and your workouts and that this is harming you. I think that instead, what you need to do is focus on self-care and focus on the process instead of the outcome. Instead of, “How can I push hard in my workout? How can I give a hundred percent? How can I get the most joy out of my workout?”

I look at my Peloton workout and my “fitness regime” as an opportunity to escape and to live long. Anytime I get on my Bike or my Tread or I’m doing something, I think, “I hope that this helps me live longer so that I can spend more years with my daughters.” It’s important to shift your thinking and also to ask yourself, “Why are you expecting yourself to go 150% at every workout? What is it about your history, the messages you got as a kid, your self-concept? Why have you held on to this idea that is clearly harming you,” and to examine where did you get that from? As you guys know, we’ve talked about it on air and off air, I was an elite level rhythmic gymnast.

I was on the national team for five years. I performed in the ’84 Olympics. I had a very strict Russian coach who was much old school and so I understand this thinking and I once had it. That’s why I could speak to it, not just professionally but personally. I had to do a lot of work on myself to find that middle ground of, “I’m not going to use workouts to beat myself up. I’m going to use workouts to enhance my life, to live longer, get more joy, get some endorphins, to do positive things.” When you’re using them to beat yourself up, where you’re focused on the leaderboard and, “I have to get these numbers and this,” it hurts you. This is a time in our lives where we need to be working on not hurting ourselves, where we need to be working on being kind to ourselves and on doing things that help us feel good.

It’s like I said to you, guys, “I can’t wait to talk rainbows and unicorns and Peloton.” We only stick to the things that bring us joy. I think that this person needs to examine where the thinking came from, commit to changing it and to make the focus right now, changing her emotional state and her unhealthy thinking patterns over the numbers that she’s getting and how hard she pushes herself on the workout. Also the other thing is, if you keep up doing this, you’re going to burn yourself out and injure yourself. What is important is that you are exercising for a life and you’re exercising consistently, and that you’re doing things in your workouts that are going to inspire you and make you want to do it forever.

I will also say with the all-or-nothing thinking, because obviously I don’t apply it to exercise. I guess I do, I just don’t have the all part, but I do that with other things. I found that in those other things, when I do push myself through to do it, even if I’m like half-ass and once I start, I’m typically doing it better than I thought I was going to.

That’s why I am always pushing you in particular to do a five-minute workout because I do think that there’s an all-or-nothing. Obviously, as we’ve talked about on this show, your resistance to working out is very complex and has a lot of family history in it, but it is that all-or-nothing of either, “I do an hour workout or I do nothing,” and I think it’s important to start to integrate five minutes here. Just one five-minute workout. I consider that to be a major coup for you because it would be about breaking the all-or-nothing thinking and the mental barrier and not being beholden to your parents, thinking of pressures from when you were a kid.

Thank you very much for joining us. Until next time, where can people find you?

They can find me on social media, @DrJennMann. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, the works. I post most on Instagram and I post all of my Peloton workouts on my Instastories.

We have been getting tons of great feedback about Logan Active Clean.

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

We really have. So far, everyone I’ve talked to loves the set of products as much as I do. My favorite product is the Yoga Mat Cleaner and you can use it on any kind of surface. You can use it on your Tread. You can use it on your Bike. You can use it on the screen.

You can use it on your car dash and you’re like, “I don’t want to get the screen wet.” You don’t have to worry.

It’s amazing. They have two other products that they sell. There’s Energizing Air Mist, which I love the smell of and it’s great if maybe your gym is a little small and might get a little funky depending on how many people are in there. It’s great to do before or after your workout to clean your space. All of these items, by the way, are all-natural. There are no components in them that have chemicals.

They’re alcohol-free, completely organic. They’re cruelty-free.

They’re non-toxic and technically, you could drink it though we do not recommend that you do. There’s a hand sanitizer that you can get and it’s the same that is like an alcohol-based, but there’s no alcohol in it. It doesn’t screw up your hands and rip them up after you used it. Again, all of these products smell amazing. They’re also made in the United States, which I love. You need to check out their towels because the microfiber towels are soft and absorbent, and I love them. Especially the larger one to use on the tread is my favorite place to use it. All kinds of different items and if you are interested in checking it out, you can go to www.LoganActiveClean.com. You can check them out on social @LoganActiveClean. If you would like to get your order, you can use our special code for a limited time, Clip Out 10, and you will get 10% off of your order.

You get free shipping.

If you spend over $59 in the lower 48. I have had some people reach out to me and tell me the shipping was weird or it was super high. There have been some issues, he’s still working this out to brand new shops. Message Logan Active Clean and they will get you set. Do not let that deter you from ordering.

The New York Times had an article about the delivery delay. We won’t rehash the whole delivery delay, we’ve talked that to death, but I thought it was worth noting that the delivery delays have gotten to the point that it’s bubbling outside of just the world of Peloton and becoming actual news for things like The New York Times.

I agree. It’s fascinating. I do want to add one other thing that I heard from Paul Bradley. He sent me a note about this. We know that one of the things Peloton is doing is they are air freighting things in to get things quicker.

That isn’t cheap.

It’s not, but get this. They bought a cargo plane. Peloton bought a cargo plane to assist with this. They are taking it very seriously. I know that there are a lot of people that feel like they aren’t doing enough. I understand that when you are waiting for your Bike or your Tread, it certainly feels that way but I want you to know that not a lot of companies would do that.

They’d just be like, “What are you going to do?” They are trying to do something. We should also mention this New York Times article. I can’t share it because I’m out of free articles so it’s not showing up on the screen, but I should probably mention that you, Crystal, were quoted in this New York Times article.

We’ve got a little quote in there. It was pretty cool.

I was listed as husband, which I am her husband so that’s fine. I thought it was great because you see many women complain over the years just being identified as wife of, and I’m like, “The tables have turned. I got identified as husband of.”

2021 seems like an appropriate year for that to happen.

I got my name in the New York Times, I’ll take it. No shame in being your husband.

Thanks.

We also talked about this. Alex Toussaint was on The Today Show.

If you guys have not watched this video, you need to. What an inspiring story. Alex talks about his dad and his relationship with his dad. It’s heartwarming. When he said he still remembered the day that his dad called him and said, “I’m proud of you,” that’s the day he got hired at Peloton. He remembers the day, time, everything that he got the call from his dad. I got chills from it because he meant it and his story is just crazy. He went from cleaning the floors at a cycling facility and asked to be a teacher. They let him try it the next day and then Peloton found him there. They scouted him and that’s amazing. He’s a phenomenal teacher and I love his inspiration. I love hearing Carson Daly talk about how Alex truly inspires him on a daily basis. It’s fascinating. You get to watch them work out together. It’s a great video so if you haven’t seen it, you need to drop what you’re doing and watch it right now with the sound on.

Everybody wants a piece of the pie and now Cirque du Soleil is getting into the game with online workouts.

This really surprised me. Tim Shaughnessy sent this to me. If you would have named every place that would possibly ever come up with one, I wouldn’t have named this to save my life.

I’ve done Cirque du Soleil shows as a promoter, not a performer, in case anybody was wondering. They filed for bankruptcy. They had to close down all their permanent shows that are in Vegas. Obviously they can’t be a touring property because touring isn’t a thing. This was a real gut punch for them, so I’m sure they’re desperate for anything, but do these workouts work like if you don’t know how to juggle? I’d be scared to death to do a Cirque du Soleil workout.

Me too and it’s called Cirque Me Out. It’s their artists and a three-part series and you get to do a full-body workout with them. It’s a little bit of everything. I’m assuming it’s dance-related, very high cardio. I think they just posted this.

“Come and watch our things and remember that we exist. One day when we’ve all gotten vaccinated, we can leave our homes again and go see a Cirque du Soleil show.”

They have a few different kinds. They have the Cirque It Out and three seasons of that. They have Yoga and then just regular, full-body workouts. I think they’re building it as they go. I don’t know if they’re trying to make money off this because it says, “Become a Cirque member to get our news,” but it doesn’t say, “Pay here.”

They do have a membership where you get tickets in advance and better seats and you get your own juggler, I think that is how it works. 

I don’t think that’s a thing. If it is, I’m totally signing up for that when they’re back. I would like to take a juggler home.

First the dating, and now you want to take a juggler home. What’s going on?

We’ll see.

We got a new series from Olivia.

We do and I want to point out it is on the Tread, not the Bike because she teaches both. This is her first series and this is called the Breakthrough Run and it focuses on endurance. I decided to take one because I wanted to check it out. It’s tough. Not like this is going to kick your ass to the point where you are dead at the end of it. It’s 30 minutes. She breaks it down into six different blocks. The idea is to do longer blocks throughout and then at the very end surpass the rest of it. Let’s say you do a sprint at the very end. I liked the way it was laid out. It felt fast. The music was good and I enjoyed that. I felt like I still had enough energy left at the end to do a 32nd sprint. I thought it was a good way to lay out the class and I enjoyed it very much.

Finally, we have a birthday.

Everybody send happy birthday wishes to Ben Alldis. Happy birthday to Ben Alldis and I’m sure we’ll have more coming soon.

Joining us on this episode is Leslie Crabtree. How is it going?

I’m good. How are you, guys?

My first thought was when I saw Crabtree, I was like, “Is she related to the teacher from The Little Rascals?

That’s a thing? What was the teacher’s name on The Little Rascals?

She’s Mrs. Crabtree. That’s where they get the teacher from The Simpsons. She’s Mrs. Krabappel, but they pronounce it Krabappel.

The best part is my mother-in-law is a teacher.

How did you originally find Peloton? I’m not sure where in your journey that that occurred.

I heard of Peloton. I’m a cycling instructor, not so much anymore. I took cycling and teaching took a back seat last 2020. I haven’t taught in over a year, but being in that world, I had heard of all the different kinds of bikes out there and have ridden a bunch of different bikes and heard of Peloton. Back in the day, I had taken some SoulCycle classes. I knew some people at SoulCycle that left SoulCycle and started on the Peloton bandwagon, if you will. After they were out of there because it started in a basement, it was after that when it was becoming more of a mainstream thing and people were buying the bikes. That’s when I started to hear about it and I never thought that I wanted to do that by myself because the allure of cycling classes is the community that you create and the energy in the classroom.

What year did you get your bike?

The healthier you go into surgery, the faster you will recover. Click To Tweet

I got it in March of 2020. I have been talking to my husband about it because what was happening is I was only going to the gym for cycling classes. I was working out on my own here at home. That’s an expensive cycling class when that’s all you’re doing at the gym. I didn’t think I wanted it. In March 2020, I had been talking to my husband about it because a gym membership is expensive if you’re only attending cycling classes. I had said, “I would love a Peloton. Would you be willing to invest in a Peloton? If you buy me the Peloton, I’ll quit the gym and save you money.”

I know COVID-19, people were talking about it, but there was that point in mid-March 2020 when everybody was like, “This is real and we’re all going to die.” Was it before or after that line of demarcation?

It was like the day of because I was like, “Gyms are going to close. Peloton is going to be hard to get because gyms are closing.” We bought it that day.

You were a smidge ahead of the curve.

At that time, you had a kind of two camps of people. It’s like, “Is it going to last a long time?” “It’s just going to be a week. It will be fine. It’s no big deal.” Nobody knew how it was going to turn out.” A lot of people were like, “I’ll just get back to my regular schedule when this is all over.” We were naive back then. Who knew?

I think what this also tells us about the Crabtree household is that they keep a lot of toilet paper on hand because your first thought wasn’t to go to buy toilet paper like the rest of America. She was like, “Get a Peloton.”

I was like, “We have to do this now.” That’s the only time I think that I’ve ever made a smart decision like that. Do you know what I mean? Right before it got bad, I had enough foresight to know that these are going to be hard to get our hands-on. I need to hurry up and do it.

You were on it. You were looking out ahead of time.

I did the same thing, but with bidets.

He did. That’s a thing.

I was like, “These are going to be hard to get.” I went and bought three.

We’ve never done anything with them, but if we need them, they are there.

If you run out of your toilet paper stock.

I didn’t know how to install the bidets. I stocked on super soakers. We’ll just bend over. It’s a lot easier to install. In my defense, at the time it was March, I wasn’t thinking about December. I thought, by December we’ll have toilet paper again and it would be okay.

Here’s the thing though. You have a bidet, how do you dry off?

It’s in a box. I don’t know.

Is there more paper product involved with that?

I don’t think that there is. My understanding, and it is limited because I’ve never used it, from what people have explained to me that you do a little air drying. Some of the nicer ones, not off of Amazon in the middle of the pandemic, that are like built-in, they have a dryer. We got a cheapy because we were afraid there was going to be no toilet paper. I’d say that’s a different kind of bidet.

At least you have them.

Changing gears to a more serious topic, you’ve had an incredibly long and very involved health journey. I was wondering if you could walk us through what that looked like for you.

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

I found out in May of 2019 that I had the BRCA gene mutation. I lost my mother to ovarian cancer several years ago, right after our youngest son was born. Before her getting sick, I’d gone to some doctor’s appointments. I talked to her oncologist and said, “What are my risks? What do I need to be worried about?” He was like, “I’m not worried about you. You guys don’t have a long family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Your mother is the classic case of ovarian cancer, post-menopausal and over the age of 60.” I was like, “Okay.” I asked the question very early on. I went on about my life.

My OB-GYN here in Nashville is like a dog with a bone. Every single year she would say to me, “Do you want to do genetic testing? Have you thought about genetic testing?” Every single year, I shut her down. I was like, “I’m not worried about it. My mom is a classic case of ovarian cancer. I talked to her oncologist. I’m good, but thank you.” Last May, when I went into my annual exam, she brought it up again and again, I said, “No.” She’s like, “Why don’t we at least do an ultrasound and take a look at your ovaries just to make sure that nothing is happening?” I was like, “I’m done with that. That’s quick and easy and don’t have to get insurance involved.” The whole thing with genetic testing is it’s expensive.

Is this something your doctor asks all of her patients or was there some reason that she was asking you? My doctor has never asked me that.

It’s because of my family history because of my mom. Protocols have since changed. When my mom was diagnosed, genetic testing was not part of the norm. Now, it’s standard procedure to ask the patient if they want to be tested for the gene. It wasn’t then because there was one company that was doing genetic testing. It was extremely expensive. It wasn’t a thing. Fast forward fourteen years, they’ve learned more. They understand that there are more genes than just the BRCA genes that cause breast and ovarian cancer. More companies are now doing genetic testing. It’s more cost-effective and insurance companies are realizing, if we catch this on the frontend and we do some preventative surgeries, it’s a lot cheaper.

It’s cost-effective for them too.

If they’re worried about their bottom line, their bottom line gives me an option to be preventative.

It’s one of the few times when it’s like the insurance companies are worried about their bottom line works to the consumer’s benefit.

I went for the ultrasound and it was a new ultrasound tech to the practice. She wasn’t new to ultrasound but new to the practice. The radiologist came down to say, “These are the images that I need.” The radiologist looks at me and I’m not the pregnant lady on the table. It’s not quite evident why I’m there and why she’s doing ultrasound of my ovaries. She’s like, “Why are you here?” I told her and she pulls her lab coat over and she said, “I’m also a geneticist.”

She starts talking to me about all these new genes now that we can test for. Genetic testing has gone a long way. She said, “What we can do is draw your blood and we’ll send it off to the lab. Before they conduct the genetic test, they’ll contact your health insurance company. They’ll get pre-auth and if there’s anything that you owe, we’ll let you know what that is before they conduct the testing.” If you’ve ever tried calling to get yourself to get authorization on any procedure, you know it’s not fun. It’s enough to make you never want to do it again.

It’s like beating your head up against a wall over and over again.

You still don’t know if you got the right answer. You could still go for whatever procedure.

“We’re going to tell you the answer, but just so you know, it doesn’t count. If something goes wrong, we can’t be held liable at all.”

That was the main reason I didn’t do it because I knew it was expensive. I didn’t feel like going through the hassle with my insurance company. They removed that obstacle for me. I was like, “It’s a blood draw. Let’s do it now.” They drew my blood. They sent it off. I wasn’t even concerned and the whole time I’m thinking, “I can finally shut up my OB-GYN. She will finally stop. I was arrogant. This is going to come back negative. I’m going to prove her wrong. We’re going to stop talking about this. We’re all going to move along.” The joke is on me. The results came back and I was positive for the BRCA2 gene.

For people who may not be familiar with that, it means that you have a higher chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer. What did they tell you that your percentage was? Are we saying 20% or 40%?

I had an 85% chance of developing breast cancer and the older you get, the higher that risk goes up because of the type of cancer that I would be at risk for. Everyone has a BRCA gene, men and women. BR for breast, CA for cancer. In men or women, if you have a mutation in your gene, then it puts you at risk for certain types of cancer. It’s not just breast and ovarian. Those are the most prevalent, but I’m also at an increased risk for melanoma, as well as pancreatic cancer. Those risks are low for me because we don’t have a deep family history. We don’t have any pancreatic cancer so they’re low.

I have a brother and if he were to have the gene, there’s a 50/50 chance that he would have the gene. He would also be at increased risk for prostate cancer. His would be prostate, pancreatic and melanoma. Those would be his risks. When you have a deletion in the gene, it doesn’t function the way that it’s supposed to. Technically that gene is supposed to prevent you from getting breast cancers or those types of cancers but since I have a deletion, it leaves me open to those. My lifetime risk for breast cancer is 85%. My particular kind of breast cancer that I would be at most risk for is estrogen-fed. What do your ovaries produce?

Estrogen.

The longer I’m exposed to estrogen, the higher my risk for cancer. It’s like the longer you’re exposed to secondhand smoke, the more likely you are to develop lung cancer. We’ll say for estrogen, the longer I’m exposed, the more my risk goes up, which is why the longer I keep my ovaries and the older I get, that’s why my risk goes up. My lifetime risk for breast cancer was 85% and my lifetime risk for ovarian cancer was 22%. It’s not that high. I’m not that concerned. The general population risk for ovarian cancer is about 1%. When you compare me to the general population, it’s enough to wake you up. The general population risk for breast cancer is 7% and that got my attention. I started talking to physicians.

What are the next steps? It’s either wait it out or do something. What’s the do something?

I met with a geneticist, a genetic counselor and went through all my risks. Stanford University has this amazing interactive tool, this risk assessment tool that you can plug in your genetic mutation, you can plug in your age and you can plug in what you decide to do. Do you decide to monitor? Immediately when they found out I had the BRCA gene, they were like, “What we’re going to do is we’re now moving you to some breast imaging every six months.”

A 3D mammogram just once a year and six months later, it was followed by a breast MRI. Every six months I’m being seen, but I’m only having one test. I’m only having that particular test annually. That’s the immediate thing is you’re immediately moved to increase surveillance. I met with a gynecologist-oncologist who would deal with the ovaries and I was offered surveillance there. He said, “We can surveil your ovaries. The way that we do that is we do an ultrasound every six months. We’ll also do blood work. We do something called a CA-125, which anyone who has had ovarian cancer is familiar with it and knows that it is a tumor marker for ovarian cancer.”

He said that we would do that every six months. I don’t know if that was every six months, but whatever the frequency of it was, it was surveillance. He said, “I’m going to tell you and you know this because you watched your mom die of ovarian cancer. I’m going to tell you that I can bring you in and do an ultrasound and your ovaries are clean, and you can come back in six months and have Stage 3 ovarian cancer. It’s a very quiet cancer and its symptoms mimic GI upset like bloating.

Most likely you’ll chalk up something else, not your ovaries.

He said, “I have plenty of women that I surveil. I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that it makes me nervous.” I said, “I have seen the death by ovarian cancer movie and I don’t like it. I’m not interested in doing that.” He said, “Let’s take your ovaries out.” He removed my ovaries and fallopian tubes and he made no bones about it. I said, “When should I do it?” He’s like, “This year. I want them out in the year.” They probably should have been out around 45. I’m 47. He’s like, “They need to come out.” That was the first step but that also did two things. It took my risk for ovarian cancer down because I no longer have ovaries and fallopian tubes, but it also reduced the amount of estrogen in my body, which also reduced my risk for breast cancer.

I have a follow-up question, not to be flipped, but you said it takes your risk for ovarian cancer down. Wouldn’t that be zero or is there some weird fluke thing?

As it turns out, the lining of your abdomen is made of similar tissue to your ovaries. You can develop primary peritoneal cancer. It takes my risk from 20% to 1%.

It’s back down to normal. I was curious when you were like, “They took them out, so it reduced the risk.”

I don’t think you’d be the only one asking that question.

I’m like, “How can something that’s not there cause cancer?”

That was a fair question. When they took out my ovaries, it took over all my lifetime risk for breast cancer and it cut it in half. I went from 85% to 40%. That’s a nice reduction.

It’s still a significant number.

That was something that I grappled with for a while. I thought, “If my airplane had a 40% chance of crashing, will I get on it?” “No. Let’s remove the breasts.” That tool that Stanford developed helped me figure out how I wanted to handle this too, because it doesn’t show survival statistics. No one knows that, but depending on if I just did surveillance or if I started removing things, it showed me what my risk was for developing that kind of cancer, what my risk was for having a recurrence for needing chemotherapy. It was a helpful tool because I went into this thinking, “I’m surveilling everything. Why do these BRCA women take their breasts off? This is ridiculous. We’ve got good technology and mammograms and MRIs. Why did they do this?” I looked at this tool and I thought, “When you remove all these parts and my risk for breast cancer is now less than the general population.”

Removing those organs and body parts, does it do anything to you other than now you couldn’t have any more children? Should you have been at the point in your life where you could still have children? Is there anything else that I’m not thinking of that it does to you?

It threw me into instant menopause.

It’s a big hormone change at that point.

I fell off a cliff. I was knocking on the menopause door anyway. I was 47 years old. Who knows when I would’ve gone through menopause? We don’t know, but I was at least in perimenopause, which is the first step to menopause. The other thing that it does too is the earlier you go into menopause or the earlier you take out those ovaries or have a hysterectomy, that estrogen does also help with bone density, which is why osteoporosis is a thing for women who are in menopause because estrogen helps with bone density. It also helps with heart health. Women in their 30s who have this done, that’s a real concern for them.

That’s a long time. You’ve explained all this. It’s a lot of measuring the benefits, the pros and the cons.

I think you make a good point in that. You were pretty close to that point anyway, you weren’t accelerating how quickly that was going to occur. That seems like the lesser risk in that scenario.

I had kids. I was done having kids. If I had gotten pregnant again, I probably jumped off a cliff. When they’re 14 and 16, you’re virtually home free.

That is exactly our ages so we hear you.

That might be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to me right now.

I’m thinking of them graduating from high school when I’m 70. I have friends that have made that choice.

For other people, that’s great. It’s just not a choice we would want to make.

It was like, “You can have my ovaries. I’m done with them. I’m sure they’re shriveled up.”

Your bike can tell you a lot about yourself. Click To Tweet

In the interim period between when you had found out this information and made that decision but they hadn’t started any of these procedures yet, were you anxious? Were you like, “You’re talking a month or two and it will be good?” What was your mood like?

It was stressful. I found out in May of 2019 that I had this mutation. I started meeting with doctors and genetic counselors. I met with several physicians. Let’s face it. I had the luxury to be able to plan for these. My life was not currently in jeopardy and under the threat of cancer. I did not have cancer. I had the ability to interview physicians and I did. I picked my physicians and I went with one physician, one breast surgeon and I ultimately decided against him and found a woman that did my mastectomy. She was amazing and had an amazing experience, but I took that time. That time between discovery and surgery was spent meeting with a lot of physicians, talking to BRCA patients, other physicians and bouncing ideas off friends. I was vetting this out.

I’m somebody who needs all of the information before I can move forward. Once I feel like I’ve got all the information, then I feel like I can make my decision. In October of 2019, that was my first surgery. That was the ovaries and fallopian tubes first. I knew that I was going to start with that first. It was the easiest surgery. It was laparoscopic. It was outpatient. I was in and out of surgery in like 30 minutes. It probably took them longer to put me to sleep than it probably took him to remove my ovaries. It was an easy surgery and I also got the biggest bang for my buck, if you will. I took out my ovaries and at the same time, not only did I reduce my risk for ovarian cancer, I cut my risk for breast cancer while I was there.

I did that in October and I knew that was the only surgery I was doing in 2019. I need to see what menopause is going to look like for me because I’m hitting the menopause brick wall. My mom is not here so I can’t ask her what menopause was like for her. I don’t even remember what age she was when she went through it and my dad is like, “I don’t know.” It was anxiety-producing because your mind plays weird tricks on you. Here you’re thinking, “I never thought that I would have ovarian cancer. What if he opens me up and I already have ovarian cancer?” You think about those things and then the anxiety around, what is menopause going to look like for me? Am I making the right decision? I could do all this and never have gotten cancer.

You’ll never know. It’s like when you’re lying on bed at night and you think about someone breaking in and you hear every noise.

Nobody is telling you what to do. Unlike someone who has a disease or has ovarian cancer or breast cancer, their doctors are saying, “This is what you need to do to save your life.”

It’s a lot more of you have to make very large decisions.

It’s a lot of pressure because I also know that it’s going to take me down for a while. I’ve got a family. I’m fortunate enough that I stay at home with my children, but I stay at home with my children. I’m doing that so that my husband can work. There’s a lot of second-guessing. It’s been a very long eighteen months, stressful and throw COVID-19 in. Now, I need to have my breasts removed. I want to get that done because the longer I have them sitting on my body, the more at risk I am for developing breast cancer. In January, we had this plan that I would have my breast removed in June because we were going to go on a family vacation. We were going to do all of these great things and COVID-19 hit. Nobody was doing anything.

My surgeries are considered elective and elective surgeries were stopped. I needed to go in for my annual breast MRI. It was at the beginning of the pandemic. I was scared to go in. Nobody was doing anything. That added an extra layer of anxiety to it, but I also knew that this had to be the year. I knew that and the anxiety of scans every six months and waiting to hear those results and potential re-scans. That happens with MRIs where they see something and you have to go back in and it’s typically nothing, but now in the back of my head, I might have breast cancer. It wears on you.

That’s a lot of general maintenance.

Everybody is used to going at least once a year to the doctor, making your rounds once a year, but whenever they call you back in for anything it’s stressful. Whenever you have to add in multiple stops, that’s a lot to deal with and a lot of anxiety, like you said.

I met with my breast surgeon and I told her. I said, “I want to pull the trigger on this.” She’s like, “Right now, hospitals are even safer than they ever have been because we’re all weirded out by this. We don’t have patients coming in for elective surgeries. We’re empty right now. Maybe it’s not a bad time to do it.” My husband and I discussed it, we thought about it. We moved forward with the June date. I knew that I wanted to try and get everything done, all surgeries and reconstruction done in the same calendar year because of insurance. We figured June was enough time for hopefully the pandemic to settle down.

It was enough time to go through all the reconstruction that everything would be in the same calendar year, and I would hopefully be feeling good by Christmas. That was the goal. I went at the end of June for my double mastectomy and they put expanders in, which are bags. The size of a breast implant and they are empty when they put them in. It’s got a port and you can feel it through the skin and that’s how they insert the needle and fill it with saline to expand the skin, to get your skin ready for reconstruction. I had expanders for four months and had the reconstruction on October 2, 2020.

Does insurance cover that part too?

They covered it. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I believe that one of the genetic counselors said to me, I cannot be denied coverage for BRCA-related surgeries because I have a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. They paid for the surgery and the reconstruction. They pay for mastectomy bras and pillows. The insurance will pay for quite a bit. It depends on your insurance.

I feel like if we went back through the archives, there was probably a giant PR nightmare for insurance companies at some point that led to them doing that. It doesn’t sound like something they would willingly be like, “Sure.”

Think of the number of women that get breast cancer. One in eight women develop breast cancer. Think of how big organizations like Susan G. Komen are that have brought so much awareness. There are insurance companies that have come a long way and they covered the mastectomy and reconstruction. If I don’t like the way they look, will they cover revision? I don’t know. Maybe or maybe not.

I get that.

That’s more subjective.

That’s a lot harder sell. One is medically necessary and one is not. That’s a little bit different. You had your surgery in October. It was November that I saw your posts that you were able to get back on your bike, your comeback ride. That was November 23rd, 2020, if I remember correctly. What was that like?

I was excited to get on my bike. One of the things that I did and one of the things that I credit Peloton with was it gave me a place to forget about what was going on and to get into shape because I trained for my surgeries. Again, I had the luxury to be able to do that because I was not fighting cancer. I had the ability to get myself into a good physical shape as I could. I was already in good physical condition to begin with, but I started focusing, knowing that this part of my body was going to be disrupted, getting everything as strong as I could.

Being cardiovascularly strong helps you recover from anesthesia and all that stuff a lot faster. Being healthy helps you recover a lot faster. I rode up to my first surgery. I had the mastectomy. I got on the two weeks after mastectomy and I took it easy. I did a recovery ride. That felt good. I trained up to exchange. I had some additional private pay work done while I was under. I had a tummy tuck. I delivered two kids. I had two C-sections. It turns out that I had a bad diastasis recti, which is where your ab muscles separate. It creates all kinds of back issues, which I have. I’m going to tell you straight up, that’s not why I had the surgery. I had the surgery because I didn’t like what was happening to my abdomen.

Much respect. You were already there.

Truthfully, if I hadn’t done it, then it was never happening.

I think it’s a lot harder to heal from that than any of the other things that you did.

It was a brutal recovery because she had to stitch my abdominal muscles back together. If it had just been removing excess skin, that would have been a lot easier. She had to bring my ab muscles back to where they belong and stitch them. Truthfully, that’s what kept me off the bike longer. I could have gotten back on the bike at six weeks post-op. She kept me from doing any cardio because it is what it is. I was luckily able to keep my nipples because a lot of women who go through mastectomy can’t keep their nipples. Particularly if they’ve got breast cancer, they just take everything. I was able to keep mine, but because she’s taken, she hollowed out my breasts. There’s no more fatty tissue there.

Your nipples do wonky things. They needed to be moved because implants are not the shape that I was anatomically. It was not my natural shape. My nipples were placed on where they were on my old breast. Now I’ve got implants that are shaped very differently than my breasts. She had to move my nipples. Because of that, she didn’t want my heart rate going over 100. She wanted the blood flow to continue to make sure that they stayed alive. I would have been off the bike for six weeks, but then you throw in the tummy tuck and I was off for a little bit longer. I think I was off for eight weeks.

That’s still quick given everything that you went through, but I know it does not feel quick.

I’d come down, I’d look at my bike and I’m like, “One day.” I kept threatening my plastic surgeon. I was like, “When can I get on my bike?” She’s like, “I have seen some of those Peloton workouts and they are hardcore. No.” I was like, “They do have classes out there where you can dance on the bike. That is not the class that I take. I’m a purist. I like the traditional indoor cycling class. I occasionally do the dancing on the bike. It’s not my favorite thing, but that’s not the class that I’m drawn to. You don’t have to worry about all that stuff.

Because I’m a yoga teacher, I’ve also learned to listen to my body and I’m not going to get on my Peloton and do a Power Zone workout because number one, it’s going to suck. I’m not going to meet my numbers. I’m very numbers-driven. If I don’t land a certain place in my output, I’m annoyed. I’m not going to do that to myself. Number two, I’m smart enough to know that I need to start like I’m coming back from an injury. I know I need to be kind to my body and I’m not going to undo all of this recovery just because I want to get on my bike. That’s stupid.”

It’s long-term thinking.

I got on the bike. I did an easy ride. It felt good to move my legs. I hid all of the stuff. I hid all of them. Anything I could hide, I did. I had leaderboards. I was like, “For my sanity, I can’t.” I was happy to have my heart rate up, break a sweat and move my legs again.

Your abdomen stayed in one piece.

Everything stayed where it was supposed to.

That would take a while to feel like you could turn without wondering, but I’m anxious just hearing that.

I’m not allowed to do any core work until after the first of the year. No targeted abdominal exercises to give my muscles a chance to settle back into where they belong so they don’t move again.

That makes sense.

I bet you, even then, it’s going to be probably nerve-wracking at first.

I had the expanders and the expanders are heavy. The material itself is heavy. They fill it with all that saline and it’s heavy. I asked her. I was like, “If I’m doing jumping jacks, are these things going to fall down to my knees? Is that a thing? Can that happen?” She’s like, “No, that’s not going to happen.”

She’s like, “It’s not my first day. This isn’t new technology. We’ve got it under control.”

When I asked her about ab exercises, I was like, “Are you sure it’s safe to do sit-ups?” She was like, “Yes. I’m not going to tell you to do sit-ups if you can’t do sit-ups.” I’m like, “How do you know I’m not going to pop a stitch?” She’s like, “Because that’s not a thing.”

I get you though. I still say the same thing to my doctor, “I don’t think I’m ready to do sit-ups.” I didn’t have any surgeries or anything, but I’m like, “Err on the side of caution, is where I land.”

Are you ready to get on the bike?

No. What if something happens? What if I pop a stitch that I don’t have? It’s too big of a risk. Is there anything you wish that you had known before all this started or you went down this road, or do you feel like you’ve navigated it effectively?

I feel like I have navigated it effectively. I’m proud of myself, but I’m also going to say that I have an amazing support network and none of this could be done without my husband. The guy was waking up every four hours to make sure that I had my pain medications and still getting up and going to work. He didn’t even wake up with our kids when they were babies.

He needs you to be okay, so you can continue to take care of the kids in the house.

Nobody ate a good meal while I was down. In fairness, at mastectomy, I had a meal train for a solid two months. We had people bringing us food. I handled it well because I had the support that I needed.

If someone is reading, is there something you think that they should know? What should their takeaway be from your experience?

TCO 191 | Fitness For Surgery

 

The first thing that pops to my mind is to get a second opinion. Make sure that the doctors that you land with are working for you and you click with them. My first breast surgeon, I asked for a second opinion from his female partner and he told me no.

I’ve never heard of a doctor saying, “No, you can’t have a second opinion.” That’s baked into the whole concept.

They could not be happy about it.

He told me, “You can get a second opinion, but not from my partner.” I was like, “Awesome. I’m leaving.”

He was worried you would pit them against each other somehow or something.

I don’t know what the concern was. It’s irrational because in my mind, from a pure business standpoint, don’t you want to retain the patient in your practice whether you operate on them or your partner operates on them. You still get that revenue.

In this world, you would think that he’d be sensitive to the fact that a woman might want to talk to a woman about something. That’s not crazy.

That makes sense to me. A woman has a woman’s body so she would understand your concerns in a way that a man may not.

Even if the man understands, it’s not going to be in the same way. It’s not going to be from a firsthand perspective. It doesn’t mean that a male doctor couldn’t understand or be compassionate, but it won’t be in the same way by definition.

I’m glad that you got your second opinion.

It turned out that I had one of the most fantastic teams for me that I couldn’t have asked. It ended up being an all-female team, which I didn’t go in wanting it off. I went in wanting the best physicians, male, female. The gynecologist-oncologist who removed my ovaries and fallopian tubes was a male. He was phenomenal. I didn’t care who did the surgery, I just wanted to make sure that whomever I did got me. That’s the first thing is to make sure that you have a surgeon that you click with. If you don’t and you’ve got questions and you think that they might not be right for you, find another doctor. It’s not hurting anybody. Go and get another opinion. You can go back to the guy that you saw if that turns out to be the one that you liked. It’s fine.

It’s like dating. Play the field. You can go back to the first one. It’s okay.

That’s my first piece of advice. The other thing that I would say is the healthier you go into your surgeries, the faster you recover. If you have the ability to get yourself into shape, if you have the ability to do some cardio and some strength training, the healthier you go in, the healthier you come out. The faster you recover, the faster you bounce back and the faster you’re back to your normal life, the fewer complications you have. If you’ve got the musculature to be able to get yourself out of bed and get moving and work your lungs and get your blood flowing. It’s less blood clots and you get the anesthesia out of your body faster. It’s more beneficial for you.

It sounds like based on everything you’ve said, you’ve worked on your fitness on purpose. It was purposeful. Now that you’ve been through all of this and you also rode your Peloton throughout, what was the community like for you? Were you able to interact with the community? Were they supportive of you?

None of my hashtags were breast cancer-related or any kind of cancer-related. I had just become active in the Peloton Facebook group. I didn’t even know there was a thing. There was a community and the high-fiving while I was riding and was pushing me forward. Seeing someone in, if I was in a live class or an on-demand class and seeing who was in there now, having people above me that I was chasing. That can be fun too if you get someone who’s chasing you, who high-fives you after they passed or you passed them and they high-five. There was that support. I do not need a workout partner to work out. I do it because I like the way I feel when I’m done. I know that it’s good for me. I don’t necessarily need the community to keep me showing up, but it keeps me going. After I made that post, which I struggled with even coming out and saying anything, the response was amazing. It was out of control. My teens were like, “You’ve got 7,000 likes.”

Here’s the reel. You did something to impress a teenager.

Somebody needs to put your name in the record books right now.

If you would like some more followers, would you like to share your leaderboard name and how you came up with it?

My leaderboard name is @Cycling2Sanity because I have always felt that exercising and in particular, cycling, keeps me sane. My students, when I would come into the room and I would start the class, it would be like, “I had a bad day.” They’re like, “She’s had a bad day. This is going to be a rough ride. She’s going to kill us.” It’s because that’s where I get out my aggression. I can walk in angry, pounded out on the bike, and leave a much happier person. I like to say that your bike can tell you a lot about yourself. Not just the numbers that it puts out, but when Cody tells you, “You need to get ready with your Tabatas,” you’re like, “After a hill, now you want us to do some Tabatas? Are you kidding me? I’m out.” What does that tell you about yourself? When you’re faced with something challenging that you might not feel like you’re up for the challenge, do you bail or do you get it out?

I get it out.

I bail.

You never got started.

I feel like your bike can tell you a lot about yourself. You know when you’re getting on and half-assing it.

For the record, that’s okay too. Sometimes you need to do that. People sometimes beat themselves up for that.

Half-assing it is better than what I do.

Which is zero-assing it.

I want to thank you for taking the time to share your story with us and spend some time. I’m sure that the community will like your story and be excited to follow you. Before we go, how can people find you on social media, if you would like to be found?

My Instagram page is open. If you’re interested in my journey, it’s @LeslieMCrabtree. Some folks from the Facebook page have found me on Instagram, and three women I’ve been able to help. Thank you for letting me come on here and giving me another platform to talk about it, to raise awareness. If someone is going through the same thing that I am, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long tunnel, but there’s a light at the end of it.

I have no doubt that we will hear from people or you will hear from people that have questions for you. It’s awesome of you to share your story and give that opportunity for people to ask you questions because there are always people going through things you don’t know and they don’t even know. Maybe there’s somebody who’s not even realizing yet that they’re going to be going down this journey. They’ll read this. It will stick in the back of their mind and however long from now, they’ll be like, “I remember this.”

Somebody that’s at the very first step. They just got the diagnosis, but they’re like, “I don’t know if I can handle all that.” They hear it. They’re like, “That’s what it looks like. Maybe I can.”

That’s doable. Thank you.

I appreciate the opportunity. My story is on Instagram. It’s down there. You can see all my past stories. If anyone is interested in my journey, I did chronicle my journey on Instagram. If you go to my page, if you have the time or the desire, you can flip through them.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We appreciate it.

What pray tell do you have in store for people next episode?

We are going to have fun talking to Bob Treemore who is our Twitter friend, who has all kinds of Peloton information that he has dug out of the mainframe somehow.

We’ve talked about him in the past about when he goes into the nether regions of the internet webs and finds out all sorts of interesting things.

Everything he’s doing, it’s all legal.

He’s not hacking anything, but he knows how to read the code in a way like how I can read pop culture. He always has a little interesting tidbit. He’s going to talk to us about tidbits and about a little high-level insight and how he does what he does and it will be going. Until next time, where can people find you?

People can find me on Facebook 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, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget our YouTube page, YouTube.com/theclipout where you can watch all of these shows in full video glory. Sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com. Wherever you’re getting your podcast from, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. Thanks for tuning in and until next time. Keep running and pedaling.

Important Links:

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

Join The Clip Out community today:

Leave a Comment