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236: Peloton & Lululemon Go to War plus our tribute to Howie Godnick

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

John Mills joins us to discuss the brewing Peloton/Lululemon War.

  • Dr. Jenn – Finding the right intensity balance.
  • Jess Sims has tips for working out with your dog.
  • PDX Monthly interviews Hannah Corbin.
  • Selena Samuela is back on the tread!
  • Yahoo spotlights Robin Arzon.
  • Robin has started her 3 For 31 challenge.
  • Kirra Michel has a 21 Days of Meditation challenge.
  • Ally Love is a featured guest at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater benefit gala.
  • Susie Chan was on RunPod.
  • We have three new German instructors – Mila Lazar, Benny Adami, and Charlotte Weidenbach.
  • Angelo joins us to discuss if water additives like Crystal Light do more harm than good.
  • John Foley will be at CES 2022.
  • The latest Artist Series is with AC/DC.
  • Peloton Apparel has 7 Days of Surprises in store.
  • Cyclist asks if spin classes are good for cyclists.
  • Birthdays – Tunde (12/5)

All this plus we pay tribute to the Poet Laureate of Peloton – Howie Godnick.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Peloton & Lululemon Go to War plus our tribute to Howie Godnick

We should start by saying thank you to everyone who came out and joined us in Boston.

We had a great time.

That was a blast. Thanks to Kelly for suggesting Fogo de Chão.

That was the perfect place. It worked out great. They were so accommodating to everything that we needed.

The food was great and they were not paying for this. It was a good time and good food. We should say hi to Andy.

We met him at the Plimoth Plantation.

We were at the Plimoth Plantation having our Thanksgiving dinner and lo and behold, someone spotted you in the crowd. Andy came over and said hello. That was a pleasant surprise as well.

It was nice and I love meeting people from the community. What a surprise to have somebody come up out of the blue and say, “I am a Peloton person too.”

The other people at our table were like, “Who are you?”

They’re like, “What’s Peloton?” We then had to explain that.

We were like, “We have a podcast and I’m Joe Rogan.” They made me pay for their dinner because they figured I was rich. That backfired.

None of that had happened.

What pray tell do you have in store for people?

It’s been sad. Maybe there are people that don’t know. I can’t imagine you have not heard if you’re out there that Howie Godnick passed away. We were sitting in the airport getting ready to get on the plane when we found out. We’re going to dedicate this episode to Howie. You’re going to read a replay of episode 20. I was listening to it. Things have changed since episode 20. We’re going to do that and we’re going to talk about Howie a little bit. We’re also going to have John Mills join us. John Mills is going to chat with us about what is going on with these Peloton lawsuits. We have a visit from Dr. Jenn. She talks about how to find the right intensity balance so you don’t go too low. You don’t go too high. We also have a visit from MetPro. They are here talking about whether Crystal Light and other similar substances do more harm than good. Plus we have a ton of Peloton news. There are all kinds of things going on.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs, don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts. Wherever you find a podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. You could also leave us a review. That’s always super helpful. We have a new review. This is from Hound Mother.

That sounds tough.

It says, “Entertaining and informative. I look forward to every new episode. This week’s had me laughing while learning about the latest and greatest in the Peloton world and beyond. Thanks, Tom and Crystal.” Thank you very much for that kind review.

That was nice. Thank you so much.

We greatly appreciate that. You can also find us on Facebook, Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. You can sign up for our newsletter at TheClipOut.com where you’ll have all the links and things sent directly to your inbox, nice and easy to find. Finally, don’t forget our YouTube channel, YouTube.com/TheClipOut. If you’re watching this on YouTube and we look different, it’s because we got new cameras. We’re trying to figure those out.

If you see us messing with things, that’s why.

There’s all that, let’s dig in. Shall we?

We shall.

Joining us is John Mills. How is it going, John?

How is it going? What is happening?

I love that you bring that energy week after week. Thank you.

I just got off the phone with a lawyer. We talked about Peloton. I was tired of being on the phone and he was getting a Peloton delivered at that moment. He was like, “What do you know about Peloton?” I was like, “I don’t know anything. Pelo, what?” I just did it to be on the phone.

You’re like, “I have an Echelon.” That’s how much you don’t like lawyers, when you don’t even want to talk about Peloton with them. That’s bad.

That does say a lot because you love Peloton.

Exactly. It was a Zoom call. We could have checked out the Peloton. That’s how bad it was.

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You could have helped him set it up.

You’re like, “I’m a big fan of Echelon. I got to go. If you’re lucky, buy one and they’ll sue you. Why do you talk to me about this awful bike?” Thanks for coming out to our meetup in Boston. That was a pleasant surprise.

It was nice to see you. Thank you.

Everyone was very excited to see you.

I was just as excited to see you guys and everybody that was there. I’m thankful and blessed that you guys told me about it, and let me join in the festivities. It was exciting for me.

We’re from the Midwest. We’re so bad with geography. We didn’t realize that where you lived was close enough to Boston.

I had it backwards. I called Gina and I was like, “Gina, we’re going to be in Boston.” She’s like, “Crystal, that’s like seven hours.” Because I didn’t look at the little map, I just assumed you also were seven hours away because, in my head, you and Gina live next to each other.

They are in the middle of New York and Boston. It’s the same distance either way.

All those colonies look so crunched together.

They do, especially from here. We look up there.

I actually head to that mall often. I visit the showroom there often.

They knew you when you went to the showroom?

Stephen Archer is his real name. He was like, “You’re familiar with John Mills then.”

He’s like, “I know you. You guys are on John Mills’s podcast.”

He’s a super nice guy.

He does an improv thing in Boston.

I saw that. I followed him on Instagram. If anybody wants to follow Stephen Archer on Instagram, you can find out where he performs and see his videos on YouTube. He’s got a whole thing going. He’s an interesting guy. He’s fascinating.

He’s a great guy.

I guess we should move on to the topic. Peloton and Lululemon are just in time for the release of West Side Story going all Sharks and Jets on each other.

There are a lot of people that are like, “Who do I even root for? I don’t even know what to do. I love Lulu. I love Peloton. What’s going to happen?”

They are in a legal battle over who gets to wear clothes while they workout. Is that what it comes down to?

No. It’s what the clothes look like. Peloton and Lulu have had all these different collaborations for years now. In September, Peloton said, “We’re going to do our own line.” Peloton and Lululemon ended the partnership that they had, supposedly on a good note. I guess they saw Peloton’s line and they were like, “Wait a second. That looks just like our stuff.” They then filed a lawsuit. Peloton turned around and they filed a lawsuit saying, “Could you guys tell Lululemon that they can’t own the patents on these? Everybody does these so stop it.” Lululemon said, “No, we’re going to sue you. We’re going to counter sue your countersuit.” Now it’s another patent law. I don’t even understand this last one. John, do you have any thoughts about this?

It is very fascinating. The interesting part about it to me was that it seemed like an amicable split sometime earlier in 2021. Peloton said in that split that the collaboration was burdensome and time-intensive. Even though it sounds amicable, that sounds almost like fighting words a little bit.

It’s a little bit like, “You are too needy. You guys are divas.”

Peloton then come out with the line in September. In October, this article suggest that John Foley announces that they sold 600,000 items of clothing in that quarter. Immediately after that, the very next month, that’s when Lululemon sends the letter to Peloton saying, “Cease and desist because we’re going to sue you if you don’t.”

The way that you put that, it sounds like you think that this has to do with how much money they were making.

It sounds like but I don’t know.

I hear some backsliding.

As a boy, do they look that similar? Leggings are leggings.

There are some things here. John, feel free to correct me. I’m sure you have your own thoughts about it. First of all, the leggings aren’t the only issue. There’s the pair of leggings, the Align leggings, then there is also the bra, which has the strappy bra. Yes, there are a lot of makers that make the strappy bra, but Lululemon has a very specific fabric on their Align tight, and it has pockets. One could say that the tights that Peloton is making are made as a replica of them, but there are lots of other people who do too. That’s where I get confused because if you go on any website, or if you go to Amazon and look up for Lululemon knockoffs, there are a billion, so I don’t understand. This is where it gets confusing to me.

If the issue is like, “Our leggings have pockets and your leggings have pockets,” they need to be suing every legging that has pockets.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

That’s why Peloton counter sued. It was that thought process right there, “There are a lot of companies that look similar to this. You can’t just pick on us.” That was my interpretation of the countersuit. This third counter-countersuit from Lululemon to Peloton, that’s where I lose the thread.

It’s like Inception. It’s a lawsuit inside of a lawsuit wrapped in a riddle and stuffed in an enigma. It’s like a turducken of lawsuits.

We did just have Thanksgiving.

It is confusing to me too, which I think may have been confusing to Peloton as well. Lululemon initially initiated this by sending the letter that says, “Stop.” Peloton was like, “Hold on, give us a second.” In the meantime, they went to the courts and go, “Hold up.”

That’s another piece of this because it doesn’t look good. It’s not a good look. If Lulu is telling the truth, they say that they sent a letter to Peloton to get more information. Peloton said, “Hold on, give us some extra time to respond to this.” Their response was to file a lawsuit. Lulu was like, “What?” That was how I took Lulu’s position.

That’s how I took it as well. It also takes me back to the statement you made. It sounds like Peloton may have been thinking the same as us like, “There are a million people that make stuff like this. Let’s go to the court and see if they agree with that position.”

Why didn’t they just reach out to Lulu and save that and try to solve this with a phone call?

If you can get to C and D, they are not really looking to have a conversation. They are saying like, “Cut it out or we’re going to sue.”

I guess their response was the lawsuit.

They went, “You’re going to ask the court. Now we’re going to sue.” I agree with you. I take this back to Peloton sold 600,000 items in that quarter.

It’s interesting that they are choosing to target Peloton. I feel like Peloton’s fabric is different enough.

Even then, can you trademark fabric? All jeans are made out of denim.

I don’t know the answer to that question. For example, Beyond Yoga, their Spacedye is my favorite leggings of all time. I love to live in them and nobody else has them. They say, “Our exclusive Spacedye leggings.” I don’t know. Can somebody else technically make them? Probably.

Unless you’re inventing your own material, I would think everybody is working with similar stuff.

Maybe they did though. That’s what I’m saying. I truly don’t know.

Where do they get the material from? They can’t just go to Lululemons and steal it off the dock.

I don’t think that they did. John’s like, “I’m just watching now.”

I can picture John Foley in all black. He’s got a black beanie cap on. He’s got one of those canvas knapsacks all full of Lululemon materials.

He’s dropping from the ceiling.

He’s got black makeup over his eyes.

I don’t think the Peloton did that. I know that somebody is going to write a letter. We’re getting an email about that.

What’s hilarious to me also is in Lulu’s suit. They say something to the effect of they’re so familiar similar. They don’t want Peloton to demean or bring down their brand. It’s something to that effect. Someone could make a mistake and think that’s Lulu and it’ll hurt them.

That’s like talking trash. It always cracks me up whenever I see that in legal documents. It’s like legalese bitch slap. It’s amazing. It’s stuff you want to say to people in real life but you get to say it in a legal document. Now it’s forever in the court record.

I picture an attorney somewhere being like, “How do you say poopy face in Latin?”

I picture them all around the table and they are like, “That’s not a good one. You should say it like this.”

Everybody’s like, “Yeah.”

A lot of people don’t know this but Oliver Wendell Holmes invented the Z snack.

This one baffles me a little bit. I’m not going to lie. I think that they’ll end up settling. That’s where they’re going to end up. John, if I’m reading your interpretation correctly, that just means that they want a piece of it. This is no different from the music thing then.

They partnered with lots of different product lines. Why doesn’t Adidas want a piece of it? Why doesn’t Miami Fitwear want a piece of it?

Maybe Lulu’s just a little grittier. Maybe they just got jelly. They were like, “Peloton sold a whole bunch of stuff. It looked just like ours and they made more money than we did.”

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I don’t know what’s a lot, what’s a little. I don’t know how this space works and moves.

You would think there would be so much more. It’s so complicated with Mirror anyway because they threw Mirror into the middle of all this when they bought it. Their relationship has become complicated. I feel like on Facebook, they had changed their status. They were in a relationship. Now, it’s complicated.

I don’t know if 600,000 items of clothing in a quarter are a lot.

It’s interesting because three quarters ago, they rolled all of their apparel into their normal sales. They used to break apparel out and now they don’t.

Because they don’t want Lululemon to see. You can’t help but wonder. It’s not necessarily Lulu but just in general of what’s going to happen here.

It will be interesting to watch.

I’m here for it. I’m here for the court documents and the zinger. That’s all I’m here for.

They’re hiring Jeff Ross to help them write their legal documents. Thank you very much for joining us, John. Until next time, where can people find you?

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

Thank you.

Joining us is Dr. Jenn Mann, a licensed marriage, family, child therapist, and sports psychology consultant. She is also a five-year national team member in rhythmic gymnastics and sports psychologist for USA Gymnastics. It’s Dr. Jenn.

Here I am on my Peloton bike. I’m ready to talk about Peloton and all things psychological.

We appreciate that because that’s the only reason you’re here.

We share an obsession.

Speaking of obsession, we have a person who is looking for your help to find a balance. It’s from Jean Brillman. She says, “How can I find a balance?” She goes too light and struggles to push herself or she goes way too hard in an unhealthy way. She struggles to find that balance between working out and eating right.

That’s powerful. That hits on a lot of different levels. The first question that comes to my mind is, what is she using to figure out how hard or light to go? What I suspect the answer might be is external things like the numbers on the cadence, the numbers on the speed, the mileage, the leaderboard and things like that.

When I hear someone like this, the other thing that jumps out at me is this is someone who doesn’t know her body well. This is someone who’s not respecting her body on a lot of levels. It’s important that we tune into our bodies and listen to what our bodies want, what they’re capable of, what level they’re at, even if it’s not the level we want them to be at, what classes are appropriate for us and our level, and within those classes, how hard we should be pushing ourselves.

The other part about the food also sounds very similar. I’m a big fan of what’s called intuitive eating, which is where you listen to your body. You allow your body to guide you and set a diet plan, points, backgrounds, calories or anything like that. A lot of the time, when you haven’t listened to your body for a long time, it’s very scary and it seems overwhelming and impossible to do. For tuning in, I’m a big fan of what’s called the Hunger Scale, which is a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being the fullest you’ve ever been. It is Thanksgiving full and you’re going to explode. Zero being you have fainted. You’re so hungry and on the floor, and 5 is neutral.

I like for people to eat when they are at 3, which is solidly hungry. If you’re a 4 and you’re like, “I think I’m hungry but I’m not sure.” You’re not there yet. If you’re a 2, you’re starting to get dizzy and your stomach is grumbling. If you’re a 1, you’re cranky and light-headed at that point. On the flip side, you want to stop when you are on 5, which is neutral or a 6, which is, “You can tell that I had eaten but I don’t feel stuffed.” A 7 is stuffed and 8 is super full and uncomfortable. A 9 is you’re in pain. You’re filled with regret.

It’s learning to tune into your body. For a lot of people, it takes years. For me, it did. For ten years, I had an eating disorder where I was doing all kinds of crazy things. For me to recover, I had to tune into my body and become a pro at intuitive eating, which took a lot of hit and miss over a course of a couple of years until I was able to have a wonderful, healthy and peaceful relationship with food. To me, the bigger issue is learning to make peace with your body, learning to honor your body, learning to give your body what it wants, and finding that gentle difference between pushing your body and listening to your body in a way that pushes it in a positive way.

The difference to me a lot of the time, and a lot of women, in particular, will identify with this and quite a few men as well, is that a lot of people take up exercise as, “I hate my body. I want to change my body.” That is not a healthy relationship with exercise for your body. That is not going to last you for the long term. It’s cruel. You wouldn’t do that to a friend. You wouldn’t be like, “You have to exercise because your body is so ugly, awful and terrible.” Instead, what you want to do is come from a place of, “I love my body. I want to give my body what it wants. I want to live a long time. I want to have great endurance and be strong. I want to avoid osteoporosis by doing weight-bearing exercise and all that stuff.”

When you’re able to shift your thinking in that direction, your relationship with exercise changes. A lot of the time, the Peloton instructors start talking about what is your why? Sometimes I’ll be on my bike, riding and think to myself, “I want to live to see my daughters and grandchildren walk down the aisle.” That’s an ambitious goal. What is it going to take to do that? I want to treat my body with respect and kindness. Pushing it beyond what it wants, hurting and injuring it is not going to do that. Loving it and allowing myself to have a healthy, productive exercise plan and a healthy relationship with food, that’s the way to go.

I do that. I want to live long enough to see my enemy suffer. You don’t even know my enemies. How nice of you.

If your enemies suffer, mine as well.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

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

You can find me on social media @DrJennMann or my weekly column with InStyle magazine called Hump Day by Dr. Jenn. It’s all about sex and relationships.

Thank you.

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Prevention.com has an article spotlighting Jess Sims. She shares tips on how to workout with your dog. I didn’t read this. Is this how to actually exercise with your dog, or is it how to keep your dog off of you while you’re exercising? Those are the tips that we need.

I think it’s like if you running to exercise with your dog. I don’t think it’s specifically how to keep your dog from jumping on you. That’s its own workout right there to keep the dog off of you whenever you want to do downward dogs.

Every time we have to do something on the floor, the dogs are like, “Is it time to play?”

She suggested taking them outside and doing things like go for a run or go for a hike. She also suggested bringing them into your weight-bearing exercises and using them as weights, then of course, downward dog for the cool-down. Our dog does not like to be picked up.

Although sometimes walking here can count as resistance training. PDX Monthly, I don’t know what that is, but it’s out there. It’s something about Portland. They had an article where they sat down with Hannah Corbin, talking to her about how she became a Peloton star.

This is cool because it talks about how she was born and raised in Oregon, and that she had a dance career. It gives a little bit of her background. A lot of you probably already know that Hannah was adopted. She talks about being an adopted child and what that was like. She also talks about growing up and having exercise be part of her life, and what that has meant to her over the years. She also talks about the Pacific Northwest. For those of you from that area, I know that that’s always nice to hear whenever you hear people like, “Talk about where you’re from.” It’s nice to hear somebody do that. It’s cool to hear her perspective on the Pacific Northwest as well.

I know how excited we get when someone talks about St. Louis and it doesn’t involve like, “That time I got murdered there.” Selena is back on Sundays.

She is back to running. Starting December 2nd, she is back live on the tread. She has been very excited to get back. You can join her at 12:30 PM Eastern. It’s a 30-minute rock run. If you need to take it live, because I realize you’ll read this after it took place live, go and join it on-demand because that’s amazing, 30 minutes is awesome. She’ll also be joining on-demand on the leaderboard for a 30-minute walk and run that took place on 3, 4 at 12:20 on Sunday, and then jumping into the live strength at 1:00 PM. It’s an upper-body class. She’s going to do both. That’s going to be fun.

Yahoo had a nice article about Robin Arzon talking about her being an Ultramarathon runner and how she handled that in the face of being diagnosed with diabetes.

I’m not sure how much you know about having diabetes and how difficult it can be to exercise. It’s actually quite a challenge because diabetes has all to do with your blood sugar. If your blood sugar drops while you’re running, and that will happen because your body, the system is working through the glycogen stores. That is using up the sugar in your body as you’re running or any workout, not just running. So some go faster than others. You have this long amount of work using up all the energy stores. You’ve got to be really on point with your nutrition.

That’s one of the reasons that she wears the monitor that she does because it’s constantly monitoring her blood. I’m not sure how it ports the insulin when she needs it but it keeps track of it. My point to all of that is it’s not simple to do long bouts of exercise when you have type-one diabetes. It is a very big deal that she has become such an amazing athlete. It just goes to show this Robbin’s thing of like, “Whatever you want to do, do it. Don’t let anything hold you back.” She does do what she says she’ll do. She walks the walk and I think that’s cool.

While we’re talking about Robin, she has her 3 For 31 Challenge going on.

This is really fun. You can do 3 miles any way you want. You can walk it, jog it or run it but you have to do it on foot. You do that every day of December. If for some reason you can’t walk, jog or run, you can also do 30 minutes of movement on the bike, yoga or strength. Any movement counts. Anything works. Don’t let that stop you. The point is to get 30 minutes of work every single day. She talks about how rest days are important. You should be varying the intensity. Some days you should walk just to give your nervous system and muscles a rest. It should not be going all out, full run every day of December. She also got a cool accountability tracker out there on Instagram. All you got to do is screenshot it, then you can check your own boxes off each day of the month. She wants you to tag her. For the record, I’m doing it. We’ll see how far I get. Christmas day might be a challenge.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

There’s also a meditation challenge for people.

This one is from Kirra Michel and she has 21 Days of Meditation. Every day, starting December 1st through December 21st, there are several people that are going to be participating in the 21- Day Meditation Challenge. Apparently, her tribe is called the Kira’s Koalas. That’s pretty cute. I love Koalas. It’s all about creating a habit and getting that consistency. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 45 minutes, count yourself in.

Here’s what I’m thinking. You know how sometimes when you drive in someplace, and then you just zone out and you’re like, “I’m home already.” Can I count that as meditation? I let my mind go free. It should count as meditation.

No. I think you actually need to take a meditation class to understand what meditation is before you start trying to do it in the car. Also, I wouldn’t do it in the car.

I’m trying to find a way to make it work. You don’t want me to be a part of it. You heard her, everybody. I’m looking for solutions. She craps all over it.

I said not in the car. All the time, you guys.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater had a benefit gala.

The only reason that we’re mentioning this is because Ally Love was in attendance. I believe it took place on December 1st at 7:00 PM. Presumably Eastern, since it’s on the East Coast.

That’s what the time would be in Harlem. Finally, for this segment, Susie Chan was on the RunPod Podcast, which feels redundant now that I say it out loud.

I understand why you did that. I would’ve done the same thing. Let me remind everyone, Susie Chan is one of the newest tread instructors. She is on the London team. I absolutely love running with Susie. Make sure that you don’t sleep on that. She’s also fascinating and fun to get to know. This podcast is a great way to get to know her. That’s Run Pod.

I was wrong. That wasn’t the final one. There’s one more we’re sneaking in. The instructors or some of them went on a field trip of sorts and saw Jagged Little Pill on Broadway together.

There was Jess King, Christine, DJ John Michael. I know he’s an instructor but close enough, Tia Mariana, Tunde, Jess Sims, Emma Lovewell, Selena, Rebecca Kennedy, Robin and Aditi. They all got to go. How cool is that?

It must have had a group rate or something.

Maybe that was leftover perks from that collaboration that never happened.

That could be it.

It just feels like that might be.

We have three new German instructors.

Isn’t that great? They are all on the bike and they all started. They’ve been doing their premier rides each day. We have Mila Lazar, Benny Adami, and Charlotte Weidenbach. All brand new instructors for the German team. Welcome to the family, guys.

Joining us via the magic of Zoom Tube is Angelo from MetPro here to answer all of your nutrition questions.

This one might be an easy one for you. This is from Naomi. She would like to know, “Is adding things like Crystal Light and other water flavorings detrimental? Sometimes I need to add a little something to my water. Cucumbers and lime juice don’t cut it for me.”

That’s a very practical question, Naomi. That is okay. Here’s the caveat. Not all flavoring agents are created equal. Speaking of equal, we have the artificial sweetener conversation. There are good players and less good players. Without getting into the politics of artificial sweeteners, you’re not going to pack on 75 pounds because you added some Crystal Light to your water. Any moves you can make towards natural and clean are good moves. I try to meet people where they’re at. If somebody’s eating a very clean diet, let’s keep you on that. There’s no need to veer. Let’s go with something clean and natural.

If somebody’s idea of a balanced breakfast is eating fries with a hamburger and shake, then I’m going to say, “If it will get you drinking enough water, I’m good with the Crystal Lights.” It’s balance. What I would encourage you to do, Naomi, is to look for some options that don’t have the more known bad guys when it comes to artificial sweeteners. I’m not as big of a fan of aspartame.

There are other options that some people say are not good as well but at least we go with the lesser of the evils. With that, there are a lot of options that are sweetened with Stevia. That’s a great option. A brand that I use is called True Lemon. It does use 1 or 2 grams of sugar but it’s mostly going to be Stevia. It is cut with a little bit of sugar alcohol or at least it was in the formulation that I looked at a while back.

You’re minimizing the amount that you’re getting. To me, it’s very flavorful. I put it in my water almost daily because it helps me drink more water. The other thing you can do is experiment with teas. If you like sweet teas, you can go back to Truvia or Stevia and experiment with those sweeteners, maybe not cucumber but the lemon because you can make your lemonade.

The answer is yes, I want you to drink water and hydrate well. Try to minimize to the degree that you can the frequency of artificial sweeteners. Adding some flavoring that’s not carrying a large calorie load is not going to be the deal-breaker if you’re trying to lose weight. I use Stevia and Truvia, and the lemonade packets that I like are called True Lemon.

I drive you crazy because I’m like, “I’m drinking my diet soda.”

We’re coming for that next, Tom. We got you laid off. We got you in rocking shape. We’re coming for that.

My analogy with somebody like me is like, “Let me have my diet soda.” You go into an AA meeting and you don’t start yelling at them about smoking. Choose your battles.

What most people find and I’m on lockstep with you on that, Tom, is pick your battles and win the important ones. What most people find is as you get into a healthy routine with exercise, clean eating and any of the habits that we’re working on, your body starts to naturally crave less of the addictive agents such as caffeine and things like that. You may still need some but not as much. You may still want this but not every day. What happens is there’s this natural, organic drop-off point where you end up having a little bit less and it is tiptoeing in the right direction as it’s replaced with more and more good stuff. If only I could get Tom eating broccoli, then I’d be happy.

That’s a hard pass.

You have a better chance on that soda than you do with broccoli. I assure you.

I believe you.

Thank you so much. If people want a MetPro type of information to help them on their fitness journeys, where can they find you?

They can come to see us at MetPro.co/tco.

Thank you.

The Consumer Electronics Show, is that what CES stands for? John Foley will be there.

He’s going to be a keynote speaker.

When you get frustrated with your life and you feel like everything bad is happening to you, don’t view things that way. There are too many good things in your life. Click To Tweet

A keynote speaker to announce the rower.

I find this fascinating. He’s not announcing the rower because that’s happening at Homecoming

That happened at CES 2021 and 2020 and 2019.

No, but there are lots of people that wish he did. I am fascinated by this because they have not been back to CES as a presenter since the tread announcement back in 2018. Will there also be Peloton presence as a booth? I don’t think so because I would have heard that by now. I think they already have people listed. It’s possible that they could add but right now, I don’t think they’re listed.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly what that means.

I wish we could go to that, just because the Consumer Electronics Show is fascinating.

There’s yet another new artist series. They’ve been crushing the classic rock lately. They had Foo Fighters, which is borderline classic rock, and then the Beatles, and now AC/DC.

I included this video just because I love how Sam likes to show the behind the scenes stuff. For those of you who are not watching, he’s showing how he’s getting ready. He’s got his little outfit all going.

It’s a schoolboy outfit like what Angus Young wears.

It’s a pretty fun video. The actual live class with Sam took place at 12:30, our time. It was 1:30 Eastern. If you hadn’t gotten a chance to take it, make sure you go do that because Sam had a lot of fun with us.

For those who are about to pedal, we salute you.

Peloton apparel has announced 7 Days of Surprises.

Every day, starting December 1st through the 7th, there will be surprises. This was the first surprise listed, “60% off, select.” That was a good deal. You could get an outfit for $60. You could get a bra and leggings for less than $60. That’s a great Peloton deal. That is indeed a surprise.

That’s a good one.

Coming up on December 5th will be Tunde’s birthday.

Happy birthday to Tunde. I love her.

We watched that King Richard movie. It’s confusing because we had the subtitles on because we’re old. One of the Williams sisters, the name is spelled the same as Tunde, but they pronounced it “Tundi.” We kept hearing the name but seeing the subtitles and we’re like, “They’re saying it wrong.”

It was like that.

This is a sad past guest update. We will try not to make it too sad because I don’t think Howie wouldn’t want it to be sad. Howie Godnick passed away. I know many people know who Howie Godnick is, but the Peloton community has grown so much. I’m sure there are a lot of people that maybe aren’t aware of him or they’re seeing the name all of a sudden everywhere. They’re like, “Who is this and why is he such a big deal?” We thought that we would take some time out to explain who Howie Godnick is and why he matters.

What you need to know about Howie Godnick is best told in stories. I was given permission to share a few stories so I will. One comes from the JSS Tribe admin, Lisa Getty. I feel like this one sums up Howie really well. Lisa suddenly lost her job a few years ago. At the time, she and her husband lived in this house that they absolutely loved. Without a job, there was no way they are going to be able to keep it. She begrudgingly put her house up for sale. Howie came to her and said, “Let me buy your house and then rent it back to you at whatever you can afford,” because that’s who Howie was. That’s what Howie would do. He had a heart of gold. Lisa declined the offer because she felt like she could get by without needing that. It was so incredibly generous. She ended up being able to keep the house and it was only like a month or two later that she got a new job, and everything has been wonderful since then.

What a weight lifted knowing that worst-case scenario, she had this as an option.

That’s the thing that Howie would do. He has always been kind to us. He has always been in our corner supporting us. He has always made us laugh and is just a wonderful guy. Another funny story that I’ll try to tell correctly because I didn’t pull up the notes in front of me. A long time ago in the OPP, he posted a letter that he had gotten from SoulCycle or Equinox, one of the two. It was from Rachel at the set establishment, trying to get him to leave his Peloton and come back.

He had previously been a very frequent SoulCycler.

Howie said, “No, Rachel.” He wrote this letter that I could not do justice explaining but was hilarious, extolling all of the wonderful benefits of Peloton, and then ending with, “No, I will not be back.” Rachel wasn’t done and she sent another letter, which Howie posted again, and then he posted all of his responses back. It was so funny.

We should also point out because we haven’t said this yet. Obviously, Howie is very well known for his poems. He’s called the Poet Laureate of Peloton. If you’ve ever seen a poem in the OPP, it was almost definitely Howie.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

Another thing that I feel like will sum this up is during the first three months of the pandemic, every single night, he read a children’s book aloud to all children and he did all the voices, every single voice for every single book. I just can’t say enough good things about Howie. There have been a million tributes this week that I’ve heard. I’ve watched Christine’s beautiful ride. I’ve watched Jenn Sherman’s beautiful ride. I watched his entire memorial service because they livecasted it. There were over 500 people on. That’s in addition to the people that were in the room. It’s because he was so kind to everyone regardless of who you were unless you pissed him off somehow.

If he did, you probably deserved what’s coming your way.

During one of the memorial services, someone described him as seeing the world as evil or good. He was always on the side of good and he always liked to destroy evil. I do believe that. I think the same way. I really got that. I always felt like he was on the right side of things.

He was a big enough deal in the Peloton community that John Foley wrote an open letter about Howie and his impact.

Also, the Peloton like social media group did a story about it as well. It’s strange to me that as you go through life and you experience different losses, they all mean different things and hit you in different ways. This one has really gotten me. Howie had survived so many heart issues and other illnesses. I thought he was going to live forever. There was nothing that could get him down. For this to have happened so suddenly and without warning, it was really sad.

His son had just gotten married, and was also on Jeopardy and did very well. Howie was super excited about that as well.

That was both Max. Andy has gotten a new job and he was so proud about that. One of the things that I’m saddest about is that Carrie will be running her 50th state in Hawaii on December 8th. They had a huge celebration planned. I’m sad that he won’t be there for that. I know he’ll be there for that. He’ll still be there in spirit.

He was there in spirit on Jenn Sherman’s ride.

The stream kept freezing.

He loved to write his poems about the pause button both before and after it was in existence. It seemed only fitting that he would bring that ride to a repeated pause.

As you said, Tom, Howie controls the pause button now. There was a moment during the memorial service that it froze as well. Everybody was saying the same thing, “Howie is having his fun today.”

We thought we would replay Howie’s interview. He was on episode 20, which was a lifetime ago. It was so long ago. We also know that means there are so many people that didn’t read that interview because we have grown over the years, thankfully.

He had an extraordinary life. You need to read this because he is absolutely fascinating.

When you decided that you wanted to start the show, one of the reasons you wanted to start it is because there were so many fascinating characters in the Peloton community that you basically wanted an excuse to talk to. He was definitely on the list. That’s why he’s so early in the run. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the fascinating Howie Godnick.

With us is Howie Godnick. How is it going?

Since my girlfriend’s father’s name is Howard, we have to go with Howie. Otherwise, it gets awkward.

That would be weird. I always thought of it because I only have one sister. Her name is Karen. When you would meet a girl named Karen, I was like, “I don’t know if I could date a girl named Karen. That would be weird.”

It was almost an obstacle for our relationship but we got over it.

You probably didn’t know that going in. That wasn’t an intro question.

I certainly didn’t know it because he was not on Jdate. She was.

She knew her father’s name. Call me crazy. In this world, you can’t make those assumptions. You don’t know.

I went on one date and it worked. It was one online date. I was on Jdate. I was on a bunch of them but I had one date and that was it. I was off.

You ended up marrying the first person you’ve met through online dating.

We are still dating.

That’s crazy but also amazing.

It’s impressive.

It’s one and done.

I knew what I wanted and I was able to fool her.

Do you get to hold this over her head quite a bit? She was probably catting around on Jdate for months.

She only had one date before me and that person bore the first name of her ex-husband.

He wouldn’t have even gotten a first date. That would not have worked for me at all.

It went from ex-husband’s name to father’s name. My ex-wife is a therapist. I’m not going to get into everything that goes behind all of this.

Crystal for a long time hid her middle name from me because her middle name is the same as my ex-wife’s first name.

I’m embarrassed that’s my middle name because I do not want any association with that woman. She still carried Tom’s last name when we got married, and she still got mail at our old house. There would be things that got confused because it would have my first, middle and last name. She would get a piece of mail and it was awful.

When we went and got our marriage license and I saw it had her middle name, I broke out into a cold sweat. We get along great with Crystal’s ex-husband. I talk to him all the time. He babysits sometimes. He’s a good guy.

His new wife is great too. I love her. Her name is ironically Karen, which is your sister’s name.

Is your show a tribute to marriage?

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

We’re celebrating marriage and parenthood.

Swipe right.

Peloton, do you remember that?

How did you find Peloton? That’s always my first question.

It will take me back a bit into my medical history. Up until 1992, I was a runner. I had run four New York Marathons all under four hours. In 1993, I had a quadruple bypass at the age of 35 so I stopped running. That was about the time that spinning became big at least in New York and I became a big spinner at the studios in New York City.

Let me ask you a question. I was watching your TED Talk. I made the connection that you stopped running after you had the quadruple bypass. Is that because you had to? Did you feel more comfortable doing spin rather than running? I’m curious.

No, I just turned to something else. I miss running but for a while, my legs had to heal because they take veins out of both of your legs to create arteries for your heart. It hurt to run because my rib cage was melded back together with stainless steel. Bouncing up and down wasn’t the greatest thing. My wife was big into spinning and she got me into spinning. I started to go to Reebok. It was a big club in New York. I was already a member.

I got into spinning and became an obsessed spinner. I would take 2 to 3 classes a day. That was back in the time before anyone put any resistance on. There was no accountability and certainly no metrics. I spun my ass off standing, sprinting and dancing on a bike for 45 and another 45. I loved spinning and then would go out East. There was a spinning studio at East owned by a woman by the name of Marion. Marion went on to become one of the original founding crew of Peloton and she became a very good friend of mine.

I took all my spinning classes with Marion out in East Hampton at her studio called The Zone until 2003 when I had a massive heart attack on a spinning bike in her studio. I had to be medevac by a helicopter on 22 units of morphine back to Stony Brook, which was the university I graduated from in 1980. I hadn’t been back to it since 1980. I was arriving back on the helicopter as stoned as I was when I left in 1980. I stopped spinning after that because I couldn’t moderate myself on a spinning bike.

I had strong legs and I was dancing on the bike. I had fun and would get lost in the music. I turned to bike riding in Central Park because I could do on a bike what I used to do on a spinning bike. In the meantime, Marion had hooked up with this guy named John Foley. She was part of a team designing this indoor at-home spinning bike. She used to wax poetic about it to me for the longest time. I would nod, smile and say, “What a neat idea that is.” I think to myself, “What a stupid idea.”

Why did you think that was stupid?

No one else was doing it. I couldn’t imagine. I have all my money invested in Visa. I’m getting or paying an 18% interest. All I know is my balance goes up by 18% every month. I’m not an investment genius so I thought it was a stupid idea. She would talk about it and then it launched. I didn’t hear all that much about it. Meanwhile, I was enjoying riding my bike in Central Park until I was struck with something called anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. I’m sure you’re well versed in it. I had never heard of it before in my life.

Essentially, I became visually impaired so I can no longer ride my bike, at least not in the city. There are too many tracks, too much traffic, and too many pedestrians. It would be too dangerous. I started going to the gym. Aspirationally, I would go to the gym and ride a bike four times a week. I would go to the gym twice a week. I wasn’t working out all that much. I would hear from or see Marion. She would rave about this new company called Peloton and how great it was. Finally, I decided that I would love to take classes with Marion again.

In May of 2015, I said, “Screw it.” I ordered my bike and back in the day, it took 8 to 10 weeks for the bike to arrive. By the time it finally arrived, Marion had left. I got the bike on July 2nd, 2015. I considered returning it since there’s a return policy because I had bought it in the hopes of once again riding with Marion. I didn’t know any of the other instructors. I didn’t know what the stupid bike could do. Nonetheless, I kept the bike. Marion’s rides were on demand so I would ride with her. I got into riding with others and 568 rides later, I’m still riding Peloton. It is without question the best investment I have ever made in myself. I’m still biking around. I loved the bike so much that I bought one for my girlfriend.

You ride together.

We don’t live together so she rides in her apartment. She lives four blocks away and she runs marathons. Her online dating name and the name I gave her as a leaderboard name when I bought her the bike is Marathon Mom. She’s on a quest to run a marathon in every state. She will run her 36th state and 47th marathon. We will often ride at the same time or go down to the studio together.

Did she ask for a bike?

No, she was riding mine periodically. I knew she was enjoying it for training for marathons and I wanted to impress her with a nice gift. I announced it on the OPP when there were only a few hundred or less than 1,000 people on the page. I announced that I had bought Marathon Mom her Peloton bike.

That’s a ballsy gambit like, “I bought you some exercise equipment.”

It could be taken the wrong way, but when you’re in love with a woman who runs marathons in every state, that’s not an issue.

Tom got me my birthday present. He did not ask before he got me this gift. I love the gift to be clear. He got me a Hello Fresh subscription. I’m so excited to try it. I cannot wait until it gets here.

Is that a hint about your cooking?

When do we cook? We are bad about cooking. You have been trying to eat healthily so I thought, “Here’s a way to make it easy.” You’re always frustrated because the category of culinary design that I fall into is an eight-year-old boy at a theme park. I like lots of pizza and chicken tenders preferably in the shape of something adorable.

You’re like me, Tom. First of all, here’s my palette. I love airline food. It’s almost the same meal every single day. I do not have a palette.

I can do that. I’m hyper-specific about what I like. I once did a low-carb and low-calorie diet as part of a medical study. I lost a bunch of weight and kept the bulk of it off. I lost about 70 pounds. I couldn’t go over 20 carbs and 800 calories a day. I got good at figuring out, “What’s the most amount of food I could eat?” I was never a big breakfast eater so I wouldn’t eat breakfast. I would have beef jerky for lunch, then I would have a plate of taco meat for dinner. I did that for years. I still eat tacos. I eat a plate of taco meat all the time. I will make taco meat and eat the meat.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

I’m the same way. The meal serves a purpose. It’s to fill my stomach. It’s a waste of time and money for me to go out to a fancy restaurant because I don’t eat red meat for health issues. There are only so many ways one can make chicken or fish. It’s yogurt for lunch and something plain for dinner.

You talk about the fact that you had an acting career.

I did. I graduated college as a theater major and the next day hit the streets of New York doing street mime and stand-up comedy in the Theater District while auditioning at the same time. I was an extra in a slew of movies. I’m sure you recognize me from all of them.

Were you extra in any movies that we might have seen?

Yes. There’s Zelig. Do you remember me? I was person number 500.

I love Zelig. I have seen Zelig probably fifteen times.

On my second day on the street doing street mime, I was there in my little clown outfit with my white face on. They were filming a movie in front of the Shubert Theater, which at the time had a chorus line. I used to use the mirrors of the chorus line to put my makeup on. I didn’t understand why they changed the marquee to a show called Never Say Never but in fact, they were shooting a film called The Fan with Lauren Bacall and James Garner. I’m three days out of school. The designer for the movie comes running up to me and says, “We’re doing a film here. Would you like to be in it? Do you have time?” “No, I’m booked.”

I wind up being in this film. He had visions of me doing all this mime shift with James Garner. I had a lot of mime shots on camera. It was fantastic. The first thing on my resume for a year was The Fan with Lauren Bacall and James Garner with Howie Godnick as the mime. That was my big break until the film came out the year after and I was cut. That sucked. I had been telling all my friends and family, “You got to go see this movie. I’m fantastic in it.” My big break was Saturday Night Live. I was a regular extra and a bit-part player on that show around 1981 to 1983.

You were there in the Jean Doumanian era. I’m an SNL aficionado. You were there when it was Charles Rocket and after.

No, it was after Charles Rocket. There was Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, Tony Rosato, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tim Kazurinsky, Julia’s husband and then-boyfriend, Brad Hall and Christine Ebersole. It was that group.

It was the non-Lorne Michaels timeframe. That was Dick Ebersol or Brandon Tartikoff.

It was from Jean to Dick.

That was a crazy time because Eddie Murphy started as an extra too, right?

Eddie was a supporting player. He was many cliques up from me. During the Charles Rocket era when he was a supporting player or something like that, the show is a live show and it has to be 90 minutes. They factor in laughter to get you to that 90 minutes. On a particular night, they had a lot of dead time in the end, so Eddie did stand up at the end and killed it. That’s what elevated him to where he was. During his era, that’s when 48 HRS. came out which was the biggest movie in the country at the time.

Eddie was a young kid from the inner city. He was nineteen years old. His ego exploded like any of our egos would have exploded. He came to 8H, which is the studio they shoot at, the next fall with this humongous diamond 48 hanging off his chest. The show became a star vehicle for not the ensemble it had been, a cast and a half or so before that. Eddie and Joe got most of the sketches. I was a supporting player trying to get some airtime and sketch.

You probably remember the Larry the Lobster Show where they had a live dial vote. Daniel Travanti was the guest host. I was on that show. In dress rehearsals, the expectation was that people would vote to kill Larry the Lobster. The live vote was to save Larry the Lobster so he survived for a few more episodes. That was the precursor for shows like American Idol. It’s the first time a network experimented with live voting. The technology that was developed and the overwhelming response to kill or save Larry is what led to networks being comfortable having live voting.

They finally did one where they “killed” him. Harry Anderson hosted that episode because he’s got a story about Larry the Lobster. Because of Night Court and the Dave’s World Show, they think of Harry Anderson as nice and friendly. His magic act had a little bit of a mean streak to it and it’s great. He was all about the idea of killing the Lobster but they didn’t. It was letting people think that they killed the Lobster and he wouldn’t give it away. They were getting inundated with calls. That’s a fascinating era. It was a star vehicle for Eddie because he put that show on his back and saved it. If there hadn’t been an Eddie Murphy, there would be no SNL. He single-handedly kept that show on the air.

When people hear I was on the show, they always say, “It was great back then.” It wasn’t so great back then. Putting aside the past seasons, which I thought was terrific, the show has always been better in hindsight than it was at the time. There were some funny sketches. The Gumby and the Whiners sketches were hilarious but there were a lot of dogs also.

I always look at SNL as a gambler. When you talk to a gambler, they only remember the wins. SNL is like that. People are like, “This sketch was great.” When they are 18 months or 5 years out, they don’t remember the sketches that tanked. They just remember the hits.

To me, that’s like fishing. I’m a Jew formally from Queens. When I go fishing, I go to Zabar’s. Once I went shark fishing, we would go twelve hours out on a boat off of Montauk. I learned during that twelve hours that yesterday was always the best day of fishing. It happens all the time how yesterday, it was this and that shark, and the only thing we caught were sunburns.

What’s interesting is the famous Star Trek sketch with John Belushi where they end up canceling it while they’re filming and dismantling the set. People think that sketch is so funny. What they don’t realize is that sketch, if you go back and watch the original sketch, is nine minutes long. When you watch it now, you’ll see it edited down. They edit out the funny 90 seconds or 2 minutes of it. When you watch the original one, it goes on and on like our discussion of SNL.

In my circle of friends, I was quite the celebrity. I could bring people down to the studio and it was a lot of fun. I was in my early twenties and there are stories from those days that I’ll save for another day. It was great and fun but it certainly wasn’t what I had “trained” as an actor to do. I had gone to the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales for a year to be an actor. Sitting in restaurant scenes, being operated on, playing John Wilkes booth or being in a people’s court sketch wasn’t exactly challenging me as an actor but it was fun.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

You ended up transitioning to law school. How did that happen?

I was fortunate and was always able to pay my bills through entertaining, either working on the streets. I did street mime for many years. I did paid children’s theater. I would get extra work on films. I would do SNL which paid nicely. I would wait tables here and there, which was terrific but I wasn’t acting. I wasn’t doing what I thought I could do. The thing about that career is you don’t get a chance to show anyone you have no talent, let alone that you have talent. I was lucky that I was working.

I had at least the intellectual wherewithal to understand that my picture alone, which is what opens the door for you, your picture and resume, wasn’t the look of the day, whoever the look was back in the early 1980s like Robert Redford or whomever. That wasn’t me. I was one of the zillion character actors that were waiting tables, being bicycle messengers and extras in films. Love plays a huge part in it and there’s nothing wrong with pursuing it. I pursued it for four years or so and made a living at it. I wound up as an assistant casting director on a SAG feature film.

There was this one guy who would call me every day and beg me for extra work. I was in charge of casting all the extras in the film. You would look at his resume and he had littered throughout his resume what I called moments. They were moments of which I’m sure he thought he would never have to be an extra again. He had a recurring role on a TV show, a real part in a movie, and a Broadway credit. Here he was at the age of 54 begging me for extra work. I asked him why. He said he needed two more days of work to hit the SAG minimum to get health benefits.

As much as I loved the life I was leading, I wanted eventually to have a family. I didn’t want to live a gypsy life. I wasn’t on the verge of getting married or anything like that but I knew what I wanted for myself. I knew I needed to find an alternative to what I was doing. I auditioned for Ringling Brothers and got accepted to Ringling Brothers. In the five months gap between the audition in the center ring at Madison Square Garden and hearing back from them, I had done a lot of due diligence to learn what life was like being part of the circus and living on a train eleven months a year. You smell like elephants. You have a rough life.

I started to think about what else might I want to do with my life. As a Jew, I had three choices. I could go to medical school. Since I had been a theater major, that meant going back to college and taking the sciences. Since I was already leaving revenue to take on debt, I was working and making a good living but I was going to go to school and take on school debt, I didn’t want to have to start seven squares back.

The other alternative given my heritage was to be an accountant and kill myself, no disrespect to accountants. The third alternative was to go to law school. When I was in college, I used to drive to the courthouse not because I had this deep-seated love for the law but I thought it was great theater. I figured I will go to law school. That’s what I did. I graduated first in my class and it has been a fun ride since.

There is a lot of crossovers, especially if you’re going to be a trial lawyer. You need to have a performance aspect because you want to win over that jury.

A performance aspect to your personality is beneficial to whatever you do as a litigation partner in what’s euphemistically referred to as big law in New York City. You spend more time behind your desk than you do in front of a jury. There are also oral arguments, trials, depositions, negotiation, communicating with your clients and adversaries, and having a sense of presence and performance. If it comes naturally to you, it only benefits you. As I tell young associates all the time, “If you think my humor works for me in court and you’re not a funny person, don’t try it. You have to be yourself.” It has worked most for me.

Crystal and I have this conversation all the time. She will be like, “I need you to do this presentation.” I will be like, “Here’s what you should do.” I will have this funny bit that but also drives a point home. She’s like, “That’s not who I am. I can’t do that.”

It falls flat and is insincere when I do it. Tom could do it great but if I tried something like that, everybody would think I was a prick.

You can do that presentation as you and not be a prick.

If I try to put a schtick to it, it fails miserably because it’s not who I am. You get exactly what you see with me. I am so blunt and honest all the time. If I try to do something like that, it is completely insincere.

I have always had this weird ability to be able to say crappy things to people and then they laugh.

You don’t always get away with it. There are times that you get busted because someone doesn’t quite have the same sense of humor as you.

I mostly get away with it.

I have never seen him get busted on it. I have never seen that happen. The only thing I have ever seen reverse to that is when somebody starts crap with him and he goes right to that place automatically. They never have a comeback for whatever he says because he thinks of it so fast and they end up looking like idiots.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that in being funny, you can also weaponize that and be mean in a way that is going to eviscerate people. You also have to be careful. When you do get in arguments with a loved one, you could say things. At the moment, you want to say something mean and cutting that you can never walk back.

He’s good about not doing that, just to be clear.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

Tom, if we can talk offline about how one finds the line?

What’s great is when you finally decide to divorce her and then you’ve got ten years of, “Here it comes.”

Finding the line is important. It’s like on the OPP. The OPP can take a turn. My humor can go in lots of directions, not that people will necessarily find it funny but it’s my humor. I choose to employ and apply it in a way that’s not necessarily cutting and hopefully, a little bit clever to cool people out sometimes.

You have this way of neutralizing the situation. You take the focus off of the polarized viewpoints and bring this gravity to it of like, “Can we get some perspective?” without saying, “Can we get some perspective?”

I can be very nasty too but I truly do have a genuine affection for the OPP. It is part of what got me so invested in the bike. It was not to coin the phrase, “It’s more than just a bike.” It wasn’t just riding at home. It was being part of what then was a much smaller community of folks spread out across the country, all of whom had inspirational stories that would motivate me every day and hold me accountable. I wanted and was happy to be part of it. Not to get too touchy-feely here but it was that spirit that got me so invested in the experience of Peloton.

Things grow and the page has grown. God bless because that’s a reflection of the success of the bike, which endures to all of our benefits, except for Tom. At the same time, as it grows, it brings in folks of lots of different personalities, backgrounds, attitudes and edges. Sometimes it saddens me to see where it goes. I try to do my part periodically to take the temperature down a little bit.

Is that how the poem started? Is that where it came from and why you started doing it?

It started back in late 2015 when I was trying to get one of the instructors to do a television theme song show ride. I would post comments all the time for them to do. They used to take requests for theme rides and I would post TV theme show rides all the time with The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies and this or that. I started to get a little bit more creative with it. That’s when I first started marking up the Declaration of Independence and stuff like that, putting different words in and waxing poetic about it until Jennifer Schreiber Sherman. I love her.

She wrote to me and said, “I’m going to do your goddamn TV theme show ride.” After 4 or 5 months of lobbying, in February of 2016, it was the first Home Rider Invasion in which I participated. It was the first official Peloton HRI. Before that, some OGs had put together an HRI but it wasn’t sponsored by Peloton. At that February 2016 HRI on that Sunday, she did that TV theme show ride, which gave a stamp of approval to my lyrics and poetry. Not everyone loves it and I have gotten a lot of crap for it too so I use it sparingly.

I think they’re great. They make me laugh every time.

I was thinking a TV theme ride would be a lot of songs because those themes are pretty short.

It’s fantastic. Tom, you should take that ride. Just sit on the bike and take the trip down memory lane.

He’s like, “I’m not doing it.”

I immediately started trying to think about TV shows that were based around bikes but I can’t think of any.

There are The Beverly Hillbillies, The Flintstones and Hooligan’s Island.

I get that. I was just trying to come up with TV shows that were based around bikes to see if I could.

Jenn did a great job putting together a playlist. I provided some suggestions and you’re right. Some of the songs are 1 minute or 2 minutes. She was playing the old versions of The Odd Couple, for example. There must be 48 songs in those 45 minutes. It’s one of the most taken rides on-demand of all time. That’s what started me in lyrical wordplay.

That was February of 2016. It was a Jennifer Schreiber Sherman ride.

Jenn is a friend. She is great. The ride was on February 21st of 2016. That was a Sunday.

You have had quite a health journey. You talked about some of that.

There are a lot of inspirational stories embedded in the Peloton community. Mine is perhaps one of them. It’s hardly the most inspiring but nonetheless, it’s mine. I have been fortunate that I got to tell my story twice in front of a video camera, so more people have seen or heard it. As I indicated in ‘93, I had a quadruple bypass at the age of 35 and 10 years later in 2003, I had a heart attack on a spinning bike in East Hampton.

I became visually impaired first in 2009 and then in 2010. That happened to each eye one year after the other. The result is I’m essentially blind completely in one eye and have limited vision in the other eye. You get used to that because you don’t wake up every day and say to yourself, “I can’t see through my elbow.” It’s your baseline. Light causes me extreme pain. Thus, I’m often seen with sunglasses and a hat to block out the light. I have the palest, widest and most phosphorescent skin on Earth because I don’t go out very much and my apartment is very dark.

I had two stents put in 2012. Lucky me, it turned out I lost 40% of my blood internally. I was collapsing and passing out for about a week or so without knowing what was going on. I did get a couple of rides in though, which was pretty stupid. I didn’t know I was dying. That turned out to be two ulcers. It turns out I had two ulcers, one of which was largely caused by a combination of many meds I take, including blood thinners and aspirin. At the time, I was on an anti-inflammatory because I have a bad back.

I have a lot of design defects but people have it a lot worse than me. I have no complaints whatsoever. My cardiologist said to me back in ‘93 after my bypass surgery words that I live by, which were, “You didn’t die. You have to live.” I truly do believe in that. Some people wake up every day hardly as fortunate as I am. As you may have seen in my Award of Courage speech, I have a picture that sits on my desk of a very poor man buying a handful of water in Chakur, India when I was there. It was 120 degrees and he’s buying a handful of water.

The picture that sits on my desk is a reminder of how lucky I am, not because I’m luckier than that man. You think of the millions of people in the world who don’t have the spare chance to buy the handful of water, you’ll look at that man as a lucky man. That reminds me to keep life in perspective and how fortunate I am. I had some things but none of them has sent me back and none of them will.

Do those health issues run in your family? Is it an anomaly?

People ask me about the heart stuff, “Do you have a family history?” I always say, “I do now.” The answer is no. I was doing everything right before my bypass. I was a runner. I always watched what I ate and lived a good lifestyle. As it turned out, my total cholesterol was too high but more important to that was my HDL, which you want very high, was very low. My ratio of total cholesterol to HDL was almost 20 to 1, which sucks.

That’s an indication of what was to be the heart attack on the spinning bike ten years later. I blew out one of my bypass arteries because I was riding so hard on the bike. I was stupid and wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor. There was no resistance back in those days. There was but nobody put resistance on. You sprinted for an hour and a half and danced. Someone with my history at that point should not have been dancing. Perhaps I should have sat that dance out.

I wound up feeling the severe chain in my chest. One of the other riders in the Peloton community who I did not know then but I’m good friends with her now. She’s a physician. Jamie Stern was in that class that day. I owe her an apology and $40 for the class because I messed it up for everyone but I tried not to. I went out to the front desk and Marion was standing. She wasn’t teaching that class and I said, “Get me an aspirin.” With that, I collapsed to the floor.

Another physician in the class was an OB-GYN. I’m the only male patient she has ever had. She attended to me while the ambulance came. All I remember was tears coming down my eyes and me asking her, “Will I ever see my boys again?” I have two boys now. I have two younger boys then. I started crying and could hardly breathe. The pain was gripping because it was a pretty massive heart attack. She got me to calm down and I certainly saw my boys again. It did suck.

I used to travel a lot for work all over the world. Every year, I would be Platinum on what was then Continental. That year, because I was out of pocket for a couple of months, I didn’t make plans. I wrote to the then Chairman of Continental Airlines and showed him my history with the airlines and how every year I had been a Platinum member. I had flown enough miles to be whatever their highest level was. I explained to him that I had been medevac by helicopter. Had it been up to me, it would have been a Continental helicopter. I asked if I could be an honorary Platinum for the year and they gave it to me.

You hear so many lousy stories about airlines. That’s good for them for doing something nice.

Where are they now? They got absorbed by United. I messed up the whole airline. That’s my medical history. I deal with the vision stuff. I go to rainforests and not beaches. I don’t let it stop me or my girlfriend, Carrie, from traveling. We still travel the world. I wear my sunglasses and hat. I may look silly in a Broadway show wearing sunglasses but screw it. I’m having a good time.

It’s whatever you got to do to enjoy life. You only get to live it once so who gives a crap what anybody thinks?

You won’t get to live it twice. I want this one to be good.

You want them both to be good. Was it a fluke that none of this stuff popped up until you were older? Why did it happen? Why weren’t you having these issues when you were a kid or a teenager?

There are a lot of cardiologists and physicians in the Peloton community. I will sound like an idiot talking about this but heart disease and blockages in the arteries sneak up on you. It’s not until you are very occluded and blocked that you start to become symptomatic. I’m very fortunate that I didn’t keel over and die during any of that. I run every day long-distance and I didn’t do a Jim Fixx. As a result of my experience, because everyone in my firm knew me as Howie the Athlete or Howie the Runner at least, all the old partners went out and got stress tests after me.

It was the greatest thing that ever to happened to my cardiologist. I often say that I’m God’s gift to the medical community because I have built a lot of 2nd and 3rd homes for a lot of doctors in the New York area. With the eyes stuff, it’s a rare condition that can randomly strike. It’s 1 in 50,000 people in one eye. If it happens in one eye, you have 1 in 6 chances of it happening in the other eye. Call me lucky. I got it in one eye and then I got it in the other eye.

Is the eye stuff is completely unrelated to the heart stuff?

It’s completely unrelated.

It’s crazy that all those things could happen to one person.

My life is good. I got no complaints whatsoever.

I admire your attitude about it because it would be so easy to be like, “Something else is wrong with me?” You then feel frustrated and mad. It would be so easy to do that.

I have my moments that I get frustrated or my eyes are killing me from all the light or this or that. You can go through life as a miserable winch. You may be entitled to go through as a miserable person complaining, “Woe is me. Everything happens to me. It’s just my luck.” That becomes the totality of your life. I made a choice to not view things that way. There are too many good things I have in my life, great opportunities and things I get to do to dwell on some of the other crap I got to deal with, especially when you got that guy buying a handful of water in the 120-degree heat who gets to do that when so many people don’t.

If that guy had your health situation, he would be dead. He’s not in a place where he would have access to that. It’s not to say that India doesn’t have that but in his life, he’s not in a place where he has access to that.

When I had a heart attack and they had to get me from Point A to Point B, I got to go on a helicopter. It was great. I asked the pilot to hum the theme song from M*A*S*H as he took off. That’s a true story. That’s what morphine will do to you.

How did you end up getting the Award of Courage from Sloan Kettering?

I don’t know but somebody who knew somebody who knew my story reached out to me. I pushed back when they offered it to me because of all the design defects I have had, for better or worse, I have never had cancer. I thought there are many more inspirational people who can talk the talk because they have walked the walk than me. They insisted so I said yes. I’ve tried to tie in my perspective of fighting back against some of the twists and turns that life throws at you, and helped them raise that night over $1 million. It was the cost from that night. It’s a fundraiser.

They choose people who have a story to tell, people who have connections and can sell very expensive tables and seats. I brought together a combination of access to people with money and a bit of a story to tell. I sat down two days before, scratched out some thoughts, pulled together some slides, reached out to my friend Michael Fox because he’s a role model to me. I asked him if he would introduce me. My son Max introduced Michael and then Michael introduced me. It all came together and it was an extraordinary experience.

You’re glossing over that but that’s Michael J. Fox. That’s an amazing experience to have. You’re personally friends with him. I know because Tom has friends that are celebrities and it’s a little bit different when you know them personally. That’s cool that he would do that.

It’s cool and Michael is a great person. I didn’t ask him because he was Michael J. Fox. Honestly, that doesn’t escape me because I got to refer to him by something. He and I have talked about how these twists and turns impact your life. We had talked about it and dealt with it. What he continues to fight through and fight for has always been inspirational to me. He was a role model to me. The fact that he would do that for me meant the world to me and it was not easy for him. What Michael has is a progressive disease and it was progressing. When he did that for me, I was quite honored by that.

You seem to have a very similar take on your physical ailments. He has always been open about it. He has as best as you can a pretty good sense of humor about it. He built an entire sitcom around being someone with Parkinson’s.

He did. My son worked on that. He’s the production assistant on that. He has a great perspective. There’s some perversity to this but I understand what he’s saying. Michael always says that Parkinson’s is the best thing ever to happen to him. It gave him meaning, purpose and the opportunity to elevate what was good about a B-side disease because no one talked about Parkinson’s into a major issue. He has raised extraordinary sums of money and he’s involved in the organization. He’s not just lending his celebrity to the organization. Michael is involved on a day-to-day basis. It gave him a true purpose in life beyond what he had accomplished before that.

Before Michael J. Fox had or knew he had Parkinson’s, the perception was it was a disease that old people got.

Nobody talked about it.

It was like, “You get it but you get it in your 80s. Something is going to take you out and it sucks but you’re 80.” I don’t think people perceived it as something a 35 or 40-year-old super healthy individual would have.

It wasn’t getting the type of funding that any other more well-known or celebrated diseases we’re getting. Michael shone a spotlight on Parkinson’s as it should be shown on lots of other diseases to get the necessary financial support. He did that. He didn’t do it alone but he played a major part in it. He remained extraordinarily involved in the cause.

He always seemed like such a genuine person to me. I have always been a fan because he always seemed genuine.

An example of how likable the guy must be in real life is his family ties. Alex P. Keaton was written to be a complete douchebag. On the page, Alex P. Keaton was supposed to be this Republican bastard, the epitome and cliché of what people thought a Republican douche would be.

He was Lee Atwater as a child.

Instead, Michael J. Fox was so effing likable. It shone through and he couldn’t hide it. I always refer to it as he Fonzied the show. Fonzie wasn’t supposed to be the star of Happy Days. That happened sometimes. Urkel wasn’t supposed to be the star of Family Matters. Alex P. Keaton was not supposed to be the star of Family Ties.

He didn’t push his way in. It was his natural ability.

It was not through a pushy temper tantrum but his personality, in a good way, took over the show. It became a star vehicle for Michael J. Fox.

It changed his life in good and challenging ways.

For a long time, he was Alex P. Keaton.

He was plucked out of obscurity from Canada. He never graduated high school, which he regretted and suddenly he was on this star machine. It changes your life in many ways for the better and potentially for the worst.

He’s got a story. I have heard him tell a story in an interview about how when he got the word that he was cast in Family Ties, he was on a payphone. The story was he was across the street from a fast-food restaurant and he’s accepting this role on a major television show on network TV thinking, “I wish I had enough cash in my pocket to go get some food at this fast-food restaurant.”

He was just a kid with no money. He was a normal person. That changed his life. It’s so funny how one moment can do that.

Not to turn this into the Michael J. Fox story, but how did you cross paths with him?

As is often the case and I’m sure it’s not unique to New York, at a certain point in your life, you meet new people through your kids’ school friends. At first, we became friendly with Michael, Tracy, and their kids through our kids, and then we started vacationing with them a bit. That’s how we became friendly with them.

I always think it’s got to be weird when you’re a well-known person like that and to pick up new friends because you’re wondering.

“Are they just being my friend because I’m famous?”

“Why are they here?” That has to be difficult.

We were in St. John’s once and we were walking to dinner. I was talking to Michael and these two women are walking towards us. As they approach us, they say, “We love you, Michael.” They kept walking and we kept walking. I said, “That must be so odd for you.” He said, “I’m worried that I had been with her before.”

That makes me love him more. What a great story.

We had that $20 milkshake in St. John’s. We were on a cruise and we went to St. John’s. We took the kids out to a restaurant and it was hot. We were like, “Let’s get milkshakes for everybody,” not realizing you’re on an island and they have to fly in milk. It was a little sit-down hut restaurant. We get the bill when we’re done and we’re like, “$140? What did we get?”

Was it good for you?

It was one of the worst milkshakes I ever had before I knew how much it costs.

How much usage have you gotten out of that story since?

There’s quite a bit. We always make a joke every time we order milkshakes and tease the kids like, “Let’s check the price this time before we order.” It was not on the menu. That should have been a clue.

It’s like that line in Pulp Fiction where he’s like, “$5 milkshake? That better be a pretty good milkshake.”

The guy that sold you that milkshake owned second homes next to all my doctors.

Looking back, that was freaking brilliant. We were talking about how hot it was and they were like, “We have milkshakes.” What an upsell. Good job.

We walked into it. Also, it’s such a good circle-of-life moment. He’s got second homes by selling food that causes heart attacks.

I’m sitting home alone in the dark eating yogurt.

Back to the bike, you have some pretty strong opinions about Peloton and various things like the pause button and things like that. Walk us through a few of those.

I am famous or infamous for my views on the pause feature. Let me preface this by saying I have never had any use for a pause feature. I paid for this because I think it’s the right thing and I understand the plight of many stay-at-home moms or dads with young children who are trying to squeeze in some exercise, which is one of the selling points for the bike. It was John Foley and his year-end speech who was highlighting the extraordinary convenience of the bike for folks who are stuck at home with young children and babies.

The ability to pause a ride doesn’t hurt anyone. The arguments you hear in opposition to it go to the integrity of the leaderboard. Let’s talk about that. First, the leaderboard is used by many but not me. I wipe it off for health reasons. I don’t use any metrics and no leaderboard because I don’t need to be chasing anybody. The leaderboard is used by people to chase people and stay ahead of people. It’s an incentive and that’s fantastic. I take nothing away from that.

It will continue to be just that even if the person in front of you paused for four hours. You are still chasing an unknown person because you think that gives you a better workout. You’re trying to stay in front of someone who’s coming up from behind you even if that person paused for three weeks. It’s giving you a better workout and that’s the choice that you make. In terms of the leaderboard itself, the least to my knowledge in my years of having the bike, no one has ever won a cash prize, trophy or been accepted to the US Olympic spinning team based on their placement on the leaderboard.

I get the pride factor and the need to win the day. That’s all well and good. It’s a compromise between some person’s ego, not used in a pejorative sense because there’s nothing wrong with ego, versus a stay-at-home mom who finally was able to get on the bike, then her child awoke from a nap, and her ability to pause the ride. Given that tension, I err on the side of the mom who also paid $2,000 for the bike, pays $39 a month, and whose ability to pause won’t impact any other rider in the least. That’s my view of it.

I have wax poetic and not so poetic about it. Oftentimes I stay out of the mix. I know it’s an old, tired argument on the OPP. The company has stayed relatively silent about it. It is what it is. I don’t need it. I’m not looking to pause. I don’t even ride with the leaderboard. I don’t ride with the clock and the metrics. It’s not for me. It’s the right thing to do for all those other people who would benefit from it, who are paying the same amount of money as the guy or gal who is adamantly opposed to it.

As someone who doesn’t ride the bike, I don’t know that I’m entitled to have much of an opinion but I did. Crystal watched me. I instantly landed in the same spot. I’m like, “That person has a greater need and it has no material impact on anybody else. Who cares?”

It has zero impact. The other argument you sometimes hear is that the classes were designed to be taken without a break. Maybe they were and maybe they weren’t. Blazing Saddles was intended to be watched from start to finish without a break but sometimes I have to pee and my VDR allows me to pause that.

TCO 236 | Howie Godnick Tribute

 

If you want to get technical, spin classes were “designed” to be taken in a studio, not in your house using internet streaming technology, if you want to drill down on it.

I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. I always support anyone who is advocating for it because I’m bored. I will wax poetic about it. Sometimes I will get a little bit adamant and arrogant about it but it’s not for me. It’s the right thing to do when one of the things that you’re selling is the extraordinary convenience of being able to ride in your home on your schedule.

I also think it was interesting how quickly you went into lawyer mode. You had it all broke down.

If you know Tom, it’s so funny because he can be so freaking sick. I have seen this happen. There have been times I have been like, “Maybe you shouldn’t be on the radio.” He will be like, “I’ll be fine.” He will walk in coughing and sneezing. His head is hung down. He will be sitting there playing his game and the guy who hosts the radio show will be like, “Let’s take it over to Tom O’Keefe.” Then he’s instantly a different person. He completely sounds different. He’s on. He will do his ten minutes and then he’s like, “I need to go home and take some Advil and cold sinus.”

As soon as I kill the mic, I’m like, “I’m shutting down.”

Having come of age in the 60s, 70s and 80s, it’s all a function of timing your drugs correctly.

It’s also because I do the same stuff. I can be very analytical. I’m a big fan of linear logic. If we know this, then we know this.

I have had to learn to argue completely differently.

We should wrap it up.

It’s a great show. I love the institution of SNL. I’m proud to have played my tiny role. If you go to a show, at least last time I went as an audience member, the studio is on the 8th floor but the balcony is on the 9th floor. If you’re waiting in line on the 9th floor, they have lots of pictures from old sketches. There I was in one of the Wiener sketches and I was proud to see myself on the wall. It was not a picture of me but I’m in the restaurant scene. I’m proud of my little part of that institution.

Before we go, why don’t you tell everyone your leaderboard name in case they would like to follow your non-metrics-using self?

I had to pick a name that no one else had taken yet and knew how to spell. My leaderboard name is Godnick. There’s a Godnick Too. That’s my youngest son when I took him to the studio on Father’s Day.

Is there anywhere else that anybody can find you online? Do you want them to find you?

Speaking of poetry, I write a lot of political poetry that I would never reference or mention on the OPP because it’s political. There’s a Facebook page called Godnick’s Musings that anyone can come to visit and join the 2,000 or so people who subscribed. I don’t care one way or another but if you want to read more of my viewpoints in lyrical fashion, they can find it there. I have two videos that are posted. One is my TED Talk, which I gave in March. The other is my Award of Courage speech, which I gave in May of 2012. If you search me on Google or YouTube, those will come up. Thank you. This has been fun.

It has been so much fun. Thank you for joining us and being on the show. It was a good time.

Thank you very much.

He will definitely be missed.

He was one of the good ones. A couple of nice things that people have said to me was that we were very lucky and blessed to have known him. That is true, and that we should all strive to be a little more like Howie. I intend to try to remember that every day because I would love to have made an impact on the world the way Howie did to so many people. What a wonderful guy.

I guess that’s it for this one. 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 the Tread @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter at @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. Don’t forget to join the mailing list at TheClipOut.com. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running.

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About Howie Godnick

Howard O. Godnick focuses his practice in the areas of complex securities and commercial litigation, including class actions and corporate control disputes and creditor rights litigation. Howard has tried cases in federal district, bankruptcy and state courts throughout the country, including representing U.K.-based hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund in its proxy battle with CSX Corp., which resulted in the election of four of the fund’s nominees to the board of directors.

For almost 30 years, Howard has successfully defended hedge and private equity funds, their portfolio companies, boards of directors and auditing firms in cases touching on every facet of their businesses, including commercial torts and RICO claims, proxy contests, common law and securities fraud claims, accountant liability claims, bankruptcy confirmation battles, breach of contract claims, preference actions, market manipulation and short-selling claims, appraisal arbitrage litigation and corporate governance disputes.

In addition, Howard is considered one of the country’s preeminent litigators in the area of alter ego liability, having successfully litigated and counseled clients on alter ego and vicarious liability globally. He authored “My Portfolio Company Did What?! Private Equity and the Perils of Alter Ego Liability” and the follow-up articles “I Am Not My Sister’s Keeper” and “Which State Wants to Pierce Your Veil?” for Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report. Howard gave a TED talk titled “Wash Your Hair” at Bergen Community College’s TEDx event.

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