Remember This.

The fear of failing the marathon is pervasive and crushing, and it really doesn’t have to be that way. For those of us who are NOT elites, NOT relying on our finish times to feed our families and keep our houses, there really is no way to fail. But the idea that your marathon finish time actually says something meaningful about you seems to go largely unexamined. It’s okay to want to get fitter and stronger and faster; it’s okay to want to break four hours in the marathon someday (I do!) and it’s okay to want to qualify for Boston or qualify for the Olympic Trials or whatever your heart desires. I wish so very, very much, though, that we could hold these desires in our hearts without letting them run our lives or feel like we’re failing when we don’t achieve them this time.

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33 going on 13

Trying to pinpoint when exactly this caring-about-other-people’s-opinions thing really began in earnest is an inexact science, but something about Jack turning 13 right around the 20-year anniversary of my turning 13 has stirred up a lot of memories that make me think that actually, this was kind of it, and it becomes quantifiable in part thanks to the pop-culture-nostalgia machine, which has turned out some fascinating and engrossing retrospectives on America in 1999.

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If you like good writing so much, why don't you just MARRY it?

The first e-mail I ever got from my husband included an attachment: an essay he’d written on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. We’d just met over dinner in the dining hall, and somehow the conversation had turned to this thing he’d written for a literature class class (of which he was clearly very proud, mainly because he’d managed to make a big joke out of the assignment while still demonstrating that he could write with intention and precision). I’d smiled and nodded (dude was bragging about his English paper) and quite possibly said something along the lines of “mmhm, I’d like to read that,” not thinking that he’d take me at my word. The e-mail arrived minutes after I’d returned to my room, subject: “I hope you’re impressed.” Body text read “With the essay.” File attached.

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The poetic equation

My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite,

I laugh at what you call dissolution,

And I know the amplitude of time.

-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 20 (1892)

Did Walt Whitman just write my coaching philosophy for me? I wouldn’t rule it out.

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Hey, The Fitness Protection Podcast is HERE!

The MOST EXCITING TOP LINE NEWS is the release of our longform podcast (on the LibSyn platform) in the Apple Podcasts App! On our most recent episode, “Brainfire of the Vanities,” we take on THE WELLNESS INDUSTRY, a not-so-small topic that is not-so-unrelated to the fitness industry (which is also known as our industry). The Fitness Protection Podcast has big dreams - we want to grow our platform enough to give us a voice in what we hope will be a cultural reckoning with fitness culture, diet culture, and the many forces that guide our decisions, purporting to be about health while they’re actually about money. More to come. Much more.

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"I give you money, you give me ideas" - though perhaps it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

Is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Season 1 theme song ever far from my mind? It is not.

I recently went back to the A.V. Club’s repository of Mad Men reviews and searched for “The Suitcase.” The reason this episode made the Best 100 list on The Ringer is because of the famous conversation between Don and Peggy (the “that’s what the money’s for!” conversation), and Emily VanDerWerff’s review offers some thoughts on that inarguably essential moment - it couldn’t not. But of course there’s more to the episode than its top-line dialogue: how about the scene between Peggy and Trudy in the bathroom at SCDP, as Trudy casually reflects on the experience of being pregnant, Peggy pretends to be interested and simultaneously pretends she isn’t thinking about how she, too, had a baby (whose bio father is Pete, Trudy’s husband) that no one but Don knows about? There’s nothing soapy or dramatic about this very brief exchange despite all of the subtext, and it’s probably somewhere near the bottom of the most-memorable-scenes-in-s4ep8 list: how could it possibly contend with Don finding Roger’s taped notes-to-self? The showdown over the phone with Mark at the restaurant? Peggy and Don sliding from the diner to the bar after seeing a roach? Duck literally trying to take a shit on Don’s chair (but failing because it’s actually Roger’s chair)? Peggy and Don standing side-by-side in his office as he takes her hand, just for a moment? ALL IN THIS ONE EPISODE. Trudy and Peggy in the bathroom are unmemorable because the interaction perfectly underplayed (Trudy to Peggy: “You’re witty - I always assumed but now I see that it’s true” - eesh): the platonic ideal of a Mad Men scene. How did anyone ever figure out what to write about this show?

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I don't need 37 pieces of flair to do it

Coach MK and I have been busy this week! No fewer than four podcast episodes were released containing my voice - something I never thought I would say - and to me the crown jewel is this Friday’s morning mantra, the moment where I finally got to give the world my spin on Jennifer Aniston’s standout scene in Office Space.

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