Who is ready to swim with the Sharks? Check out this epic podcast episode with entrepreneur, Army veteran, Iraqi war veteran, All American Rugby player at Princeton, mom, and Mastermind member and friend Sarah Apgar who just appeared on Shark Tank on ABC a few days ago. Listen in as Sarah pitches her FitFighter brand on Shark Tank, and I ask her all the “behind-the-scenes” questions that you will love hearing about. Hop into the Tank now with Sarah as she faces Sharks Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky. Sarah shares her feelings walking through the doors of Shark Tank, entering the doors to the stage full of light onto the set... man, I had goosebumps as she described the feeling inside of her and which Shark she was going after. Sarah also shares the inside scoop on the decision making moments and brain chaos that led her to the new FitFighter Co-Captain. Sarah spent a ton of preparation time, over 30 days prior rehearsing every day, meditating, and making sure her formula of Preparation + a Little Fortune + Gumption + Commitment would meet in the end result! Hop in the Tank, start swimming and choose your Sharks carefully. Be sure to share this episode on your social media, and please tag me on. IG/Twitter: @ToddDurkin @sarah.apgar @fitfighter Facebook: @ToddDurkinFQ10 TIMESTAMPS: 2:26 - Welcome Sarah Apgar...From the Shark Tank to the IMPACT Show! 4:42 - Confronting the Sharks 7:40 - The Shark Sarah Was Going After 9:55 - A Guest Shark…? 11:25 - Who is the lucky Shark...now co-captain of FitFighter? 13:00 - Sarah shares a little on what her relationship is with her new co-captain. 15:07 - Sarah shares her new Co-Captain’s Super Power. 17:05 - Lori looked like she was going to make an offer 19:50 - Sarah shares some great moments and thoughts now that the show has aired. 25:51 - Decision Making Moments 31:57 - What’s next for FitFighter? 37:00 - Gratitude and the power of the community! 41:50 - Wisdom and Motivation from Sarah - The FitFighter core values: 53:15 - Final Wrap up - Keep the crack in the door open! --- Like Sarah, would you like to swim with a “good” shark in your business and life? If so, check out the TD Mastermind Group or the IMPACT Coaching Certification below… If you are a Trainer, Coach, or Fitness Business Owner seeking to make a more significant IMPACT, I invite you to join the Todd Durkin Mastermind Program. My Mastermind Program is for those seeking “best in class” content & coaching in personal development, leadership, business, marketing & coaching. Exclusively for my podcast listeners, and for a limited time, you can receive a FREE fitness business assessment and a complimentary (60 min) coaching call. Simply visit https://todddurkinmastermind.com/free-vna-coaching-call. --- Are you ready to be a Certified “Todd Durkin I.M.P.A.C.T. Coach”? Get Certified VIRTUALLY this Saturday, Nov 21st, 2020!! Do you dream of building your career or adding skills to your current business and personal life? Are you looking to clarify your purpose, goals, and direction within the life coaching domain and expand your coaching toolkit to increase revenues? If you want to be a “life-coach” to help people create more IMPACT in people’s lives, please join me Saturday, November 21st, to be part of the elite first group to become a Certified “Todd Durkin I.M.P.A.C.T. Coach.” For all information and to sign-up for my new I.M.P.A.C.T. Coaching Certification program, go to https://impactcertification.todddurkin.com/. --- About Sarah: Sarah Apgar is the Founder of FitFighter, a complete strength training system that makes you ready for your everyday mission. She is an Iraq War Veteran, All-American Athlete, Fitness Professional, Volunteer Firefighter, and mom of 2 little girls. Sarah and FitFighter have been featured on ABC News, USA Sports Radio, Armed Forces Network, and Oxygen Magazine, and performed for clients the likes of ESPN, FDNY, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Sarah promotes and celebrates the power of teams, women leaders, and public service, contributing a portion of sales to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation. Sarah has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a BA from Princeton University, and is a graduate of the Princeton Army ROTC Program. She lives in Port Washington NY with her husband, Ben Smith, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and her two young daughters, Emory and Arlyn. Follow Sarah Apgar: IG & Twitter @sarah.apgar @fitfighter Website: www.sarahapagar.com & www.FitFighter.com --- Please keep your questions coming so I can highlight you on the podcast!! If you have a burning question and want to be featured on the IMPACT show, go to www.todddurkin.com/podcast, fill out the form, and submit your questions! --- Follow Todd… → Instagram & Twitter: @ToddDurkin → Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ToddDurkinFQ10 → FB: @ToddDurkinFQ10 Don't forget that if you want more keys to unlock your potential and propel your success, you can order my book GET YOUR MIND RIGHT at www.todddurkin.com/getyourmindright or anywhere books are sold. --- ABOUT: Todd Durkin is one of the leading coaches, trainers, and motivators in the world. It’s no secret why some of the world’s top athletes have trained with him for nearly two decades. He’s a best-selling author, a motivational speaker, and owns the legendary Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where he leads an amazing team of 42 teammates. Todd is a coach on the Netflix show “STRONG” that is must-watch TV. He is a previous Jack LaLanne Award winner, a 2-time Trainer of the Year, and he runs his Todd Durkin Mastermind group of top trainers and fitness pros around the globe, coaching them with business, leadership, marketing, training, and personal growth mentorship. Todd and his wife Melanie head up the Durkin IMPACT Foundation (501-c-3) that has raised over $250,000 since it started in 2013. 100% of all proceeds go back to kids and families in need. To learn more about Todd, visit www.ToddDurkin.com and www.FitnessQuest10.com. Join his fire-breathing dragons’ community and receive regular motivational and inspirational emails. Visit www.ToddDurkin.com and opt-in to receive his value-rich content. Connect with Todd online in the following places: You can listen to Todd’s podcast, The IMPACT Show, by going to www.todddurkin.com/podcast.
Ancient views on the opening verses of Torah reading חיי שרה Chayei Sarah ("Sarah's life," Gen. 23:1–25:18) about the funeral for the pivotal matriarch of Israel remind us that we all go through phases of our lives. Like Sarah, Abraham and other key leaders of the people of God, we get a new name — character, reputation and legacy — when we are delivered from our old life of bondage to things that keep us separated from the Kingdom of Heaven. In this study, we explore why embracing our “new name” as a “new creation” of Heaven is essential to this transformation.
“You can have it all… you just cannot have it all at once” ~Sarah’s NannyWhat great and wise advice from a kind soul. Sarah Lowder comes from a line of amazing, beautiful, and kind women. She is as gracious and she sounds, and as sweet as the treats behind their glass display cases. I’ve had the privilege of watching Sarah and her husband, Preston’s, dream become reality. From selling King Cakes out of their home kitchen to opening a booming bakery that continues to exceed expectations, their story of success is an inspiring one! Like Sarah mentions… even when it may not make sense to others, find your passion, put the blinders on, and go for it! You can find Lowder’s Baking Company at…https://www.lowderbaking.com/https://www.facebook.com/LowderBakingCohttps://www.instagram.com/lowderbakingco/Please join our online community page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/277309686634356And follow me on insta @amykathleen.akhttps://www.instagram.com/amykathleen.ak/This week's Mindful Minute: Dr. Kristen Racehttps://kristenrace.com/https://www.instagram.com/drkristenrace/
TABLE TALK A dinner table discussion guide for your family and friends. Discussion: What about Sunday's message impacted you the most? Scripture Engagement: Genesis 18Isaiah 51Hebrews 11 Main Points: Disappointment tempts us to try and “fix” the problem ourselves. “People will never be perfect, even if we think they should be or hope they will be. And not saying He wants us to sit around and let people treat us badly. But God rights injustices like nobody else. If a leader or someone you look up to has failed, you do the right thing. God will take that disrespect and turn it into honor, like He did for Sarah.”“Like Sarah's, our story is one tiny piece of a huge one. Important enough that He'd show up at our tent door and call us by name, but way too vast for us to see how it all fits together. If God's hand in Sarah's life can take her from where she was to where she ended up, then yes, I want to be like Sarah.” Questions for Discussion: Is there any disappointment in your life you need to acknowledge? In what ways do you feel inadequate? How can you take steps to trust God in that area of your life? Do you believe that God is still writing your story? What are you hoping in Him for? Praying Together: Thank Him. What can we thank Him for? Praise Him. What is one thing about who Jesus is that we can praise Him about?Ask Him. What is a need we have or an area in which we would like to see God break through. Listen to Him: What is on God's heart about your need. What is He saying to you?
Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 412. (0:27) Stacy was just talking to Sarah about how discussing covid again is not mentally what she wants to do because she is ready to move past this. In America, covid is not trending in our favor. We do have a couple of questions that we are going to get to, but before we jump into that, Stacy has some exciting, positive news to share. As mentioned previously, Stacy's family has been going through foster training. Early this week, they officially received approval to be resource parents for foster care. It is such a light among all of the darkness 2020 has brought. They started this journey in November 2019. This has been something that has brought Stacy hope and makes her feel like she can make a difference. It is one of those things that Stacy felt called to do, and she is glad she followed her instincts. The process was drawn out because of covid, but they have finally been able to move forward with everything. They hope to welcome some youngsters in need of a safe, stable home in the near future. Stacy will not be sharing anything about the kids moving forward, but she shares this announcement in the hope to inspire others to participate in foster care. It feels as if there is a stigma around fostering, and this is a time in the world where people who live in less than ideal situations are more than ever in need of safe, stable homes. If foster care is something that resonates with you, please look into it as there are so many different ways you can do it to fit your abilities and lifestyle. You are welcome to email Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can share her experience with you and answer questions. Stacy genuinely feels like there is such a need for this right now. Covid-19 Q & A Series We have a series of questions that will touch at different aspects of covid and our response to it, and our way forward. (5:02) Sarah will also share the latest science available. She hopes that this is a show that answers some of the common lingering questions that have been floating out there. Thank you to everyone who sent questions and for utilizing this show as a trusted resource! They take this role very seriously and put a lot of effort into the research that goes into this show. We hope that you continue to come to us with your questions, and understand that sometimes the answer to your question is 'we don't know'. Sarah wants to start this episode with an email that we received from Cathy. This email encapsulates our experiences in many ways. "Thank you so much for your podcast! Living in Wisconsin where the cases are going up but everything is open my husband and I have chosen to stay isolated. I have not been in a store since March 13, except for two medical appointments and that is it, and I wore a mask for those. I am 59 years old but feel I am at a higher risk because I am on Humira for RA, have fatty liver disease even though I have never been overweight, have heart and kidney issues both related to birth defects. My diet is AIP, and with a few introductions, I have been in remission for over 2 years. I have been feeling pretty down the past few days as I had to miss our youngest grandsons 1st birthday party. While I did attend virtually, my adult children and 6 grandchildren are not practicing social distancing, so missing them has been heartbreaking. We do play in the yard together occasionally but maintain our distance. It is so hard not hugging. I do get out for a walk daily, do many crafts so I have been sewing, painting, etc. I just wanted to thank you for giving the information to continue believing that my husband and I are on the right course." Stick With It Stacy has such empathy for Cathy. (7:56) We commend Cathy for sticking with it. Stacy knows it is difficult and has been there personally. It is so painful to turn down family gatherings. Stacy is happy to hear that Cathy is getting outside, and engaging as much as she can because this will not end anytime soon. We have to find ways to physical distance. However, we are social beings and our emotional well-being is so dependant on our emotional connection with others. Stacy hopes we can continue to find ways to do this. If you are at risk, it is so hard And while we are grateful for all that technology gives us access to, it still sucks to have to miss out on opportunities. Sarah felt it was important to start this episode with Cathy's comment. It is important to understand how common this experience is. This feeling of stress around being someone who is taking precautions, and feeling like we are missing out, these are real challenges. It is hard to be physically isolated in our homes, and then we have these doubts wondering if we are doing too much. This self-doubt magnifies our feelings of missing out. Sarah wants to emphasize that these feelings are common and it doesn't take away from how important it is to continue to stay at home, social distance, use our mask, and wash our hands. Know that we are together in our aloneness. Help yourself focus on the positives. No matter your circumstances, we can all relate and know that you are not alone. Germ Exposure Let's start with Jeanie's questions for our Q & A! (16:04) Jeanie writes, "Dear Stacy and Sarah, thank you for your most recent podcast on covid. I know you must be tired of talking about this, but it was so helpful to me, mostly to know that I'm not the only one still concerned about this virus. I live in Missouri where cases are increasing and officials are not taking the virus seriously. Although my hometown of St Louis was mostly following science at the beginning, now that our local cases have fallen, half the population has gone back to life as normal. Like Sarah, I feel so much dismay that science is being disregarded and that this could all be done so much better! I'm so frustrated that we are living in a time where experts are demonized and people make up their own truth, facts, and reality. Masks should not be political, but that is exactly what's going on in Missouri. Except for Trader Joe's, most local stores have too many unmasked individuals, and as Sarah experienced, they do not respect "turns" or personal space. I only have one child, a 10-year-old daughter and she is so lonely from not having any playmates, but like Stacy, my neighbors are not taking the virus seriously enough for her to play with them. It breaks my heart to watch my daughter watch them all play together in the cul-de-sac in front of my house. It will be such a hard decision about whether she will return to school in the fall or be socially isolated indefinitely. A neighborhood mom told me she was going to tell our school board that she won't send back her kids if they require masks--because she believes masks are dangerous to her kids. My Facebook friends that live in the suburban county next to St Louis are posting pictures of their kids at dance competitions, ball games, and swim parties. Even those who were so worried about the virus a month ago! My family is looking around at all this and have begun to question me that we need to be so careful. I was really starting to feel gaslit, especially when we saw the chiropractor. She spent the entire hour trying to convince me that we shouldn't wear masks. I didn't believe most of what she said but I didn't know up from down when I left her office. She really had me questioning myself and my decisions. Your podcast brought me relief and validation. The chiropractor did say one thing that has been bothering me that Sarah may be able to answer. She says that it's very bad for our immune systems to be socially distancing, that when we all come back together it will be disastrous. I know that historically native tribes have been killed off by the arrival of European diseases they've been isolated from for tens of thousands of years, but are you concerned that you haven't shared any germs with someone outside your family for 3 months? What about if this goes on for a year? Also, I wanted to say that I appreciated the science on how protesters are not spreading the virus and how you have come out in support of Black Lives Matters. It was the right thing to do. Thank you!" Being a Parent During a Pandemic Stacy adores Jeanie, and Sarah for not taking any breaths while reading about what the chiropractor told her. (19:17) This has been an issue in Stacy's neighborhood and it is fascinating. Virginia is kind of in the middle. Masks are required legally everywhere in public. This is not being respected by everyone. Matt and Stacy have had to sit down with their kids as a family to discuss this, especially because Matt has the risk of continued exposure. We don't know enough about the virus to know if people could potentially get it twice, and what that impact is. So they have made it clear as a family that they are not returning to life as normal. Stacy was very nervous about going glamping, but they followed certain rules that they set for themselves. They carefully discussed their travel plans and knew the risks, but they did not want to extend that to additional gatherings. It makes it harder to be a parent. Being a parent during this has escalated this to such a higher extent. What will this generation be on the outcome from this all? If you establish what the rules are for you and your family upfront, it makes it that much easier to define what you can and can't do and why. Stacy shared on their experience with birthdays in quarantine, video game virtual socialization, and ways they can connect kids that are not physical. Sarah has been doing the same. All of the topics related to the masks myth that Jeanie referred to in her question were covered in this podcast episode. Please also refer to this post from Sarah on mask use. Dawn's Question What isolation is doing to our immune systems is something that Sarah wants to address. (27:02) We received a similar question from Dawn, so Sarah wants to read that question and then address both questions together. Dawn says, "wondering if you’re concerned about isolation and how that is affecting all our microbiomes? Gut health has always been so huge for you, so do you have any articles or podcasts on gut immune health related to surviving Covid-19? And do you expect a surge of illnesses related to suppressed immune systems after isolation?" All of this is linked. Hygiene Hypothesis This ties into the original version of the hygiene hypothesis. (27:38) As originally proposed in the '90s, we needed to have this exposure to pathogens, especially early in life, to help educate and shape the immune system. What has changed about this hypothesis in recent years is the understanding of the gut microbiome. So this entire hypothesis has blended with something called the Old Friends Hypothesis. That actually the thing that we need exposure to is not pathogens, but rather this diverse range of microbial exposure to seed our microbiomes. The Old Friends Hypothesis even recognizes that there are some parasites that our immune systems have coevolved with over millennia. It is not just that we need that exposure, it is that our immune systems actually require the continued presence of these microorganisms in order to fully develop. What we really need is this acquisition of a diverse microbiome and where hygiene has steered us wrong is our overuse of cleaners and disinfectants. This has made our environments so sterile from probiotic organisms, especially environmental probiotics. When we overclean our environments and we are not getting exposed to a diverse species of microbes, this lack of seeding in our microbiomes can result in an overactive immune system. This is one piece of this puzzle. There are a lot of studies showing that social isolation and loneliness can impact immune function. That mechanism is not related to the gut microbiome. The studies show that this is a neuroendocrine mechanism. We talked about this in TPV Podcast Episode 382: Social Media and see The Health Benefits of Connection. So we do see that social isolation and loneliness can impact immune function. Sarah thinks that the heart of this question is touching on physical isolation's impact on immune function. Suppressed Immune Systems We have talked about ways we can try to stay socially connected while physically isolated. (31:19) However, there are not many studies about what happens to humans when they live in a sterile environment. This is because there are so few, truly sterile environments in the world. On Earth, there is no such evidence, but the astronauts on the space station do have a suppression of their immune systems. Studies showed that after about 90 days on the space station, especially first-timers, they have about a 50% reduction in the activity of natural killer cell activity. These are a type of cell that go around and find cancer type cells and virally infected cells. They then force these cells to basically commit cell suicide. These are very important cell types for our immune systems, especially in terms of cancer risk and viral infections. For the astronauts, there are three proposed mechanisms: stress, microgravity, radiation (not, lack of infections). The big risk to astronauts, besides cancer, is persistent infections. We are never actually not exposed to pathogens because we carry them with us. There’s no evidence that hermit living on Earth causes immune dysfunction. Although once you re-emerge and have contact with people, you wouldn’t have immunity to viruses that circulated while you were cloistered. So exposure is what would increase the likelihood of infection, not immune suppression. The good thing is that we are currently suppressing the circulation of all those other viruses and bacteria right now. What can we learn to take beyond this pandemic into our normal cold and flu season? If we can physically isolate at the first sign of symptoms, rather than our current societal norm, we could be preventing a lot of regular viral illness, including death from the seasonal flu. By also adopting more of us handwashing as a lifelong habit, we could evolve our norm. Yes, when we get back together there could be some other viruses that we start sharing. However, it is likely to be fairly slow build since we have taken ourselves out of circulation for all of these different viruses. Gut Health If we are physically isolated, is it impacting our gut microbiomes? (39:34) The most important determinants of the gut microbiome are diet, nutrient status, and hormones, which are a reflection of your lifestyle choices. So these are the most important thing. There is an effective exposure, which we see in studies of family groups. We know that baboons, the closer their relationships are, the more physical interactions they have, the more common their microbiomes are. This is seen in humans too. Married couples who report having a close relationship, will have more similar gut microbiomes to each other than siblings will. This is a reflection of the fact that whenever we touch a person, we are sharing our microbiome. There is potentially an effect if kids are not getting exposed to some bacteria by not being at school. However, this is a very small effect on the gut microbiome compared to the most important thing of a healthy diet, no nutritional deficiencies, and a healthy lifestyle. All and all, Sarah's process for looking after her gut microbiome through physical isolation is no different than at any other time. Work on social connection even with physical isolation. Get Sarah’s new Gut Health Guidebook for optimal diet and lifestyle information. Incorporate probiotics like Just Thrive Probiotic and/or fermented foods And incorporate nature time if you can get is safely. There is no evidence that our immune systems are going to be suppressed by a year of living in our homes. And there is no evidence that our gut microbiomes are going to suffer. The things that are more problematic are the impacts of feeling lonely and socially isolated. This part can suppress our immune systems and can reduce the diversity of our gut microbiome. Stacy and Sarah took a moment to discuss examples that show that no one lives in a sterile environment. Jessica's Question Jessica's question is a really good follow up to diet and lifestyle is still important. (52:25) She writes, "I know you both said you don't want to do COVID episodes every week buuuutttt, I have a COVID question. I've seen this article passed around along with the general idea that if we pushed real food, metabolic balancing, and immune support, the death toll from COVID would be much lower. In conjunction, there's been criticism of the messaging from media the only pushes vaccines, drugs, and basic immune support. I know this is an oversimplification, but in the spirit of science literacy, I'd love to hear your more nuanced view of why this is or isn't a feasible solution. I'm sure you get lots of questions, but thank you for your science-based approach to whole living! I'm an academic librarian (aka info junkie) recently diagnosed with early-stage Hashimoto's (no medication but high antibodies) so you and Stacy are a god-send!" Stacy thinks that this gets to the root of what we discussed on our last covid show regarding the mixed messaging in the community. Sarah has some science to jump into, but Stacy wants to state that you don't have to pick and choose. Covid can infect anybody in any health situation. Stacy strongly feels that the things we talk about with gut microbiome, sleep, lower stress, healthy eating, and anti-inflammatory lifestyle choices, that this is good for you and your immune system. However, this still doesn't make you immune from covid. There is no diet or healthy lifestyle that would prevent us from getting covid or even guarantee that we wouldn't have a severe course of the disease. We need to figure out a way of communicating healthy choices that don't take away from the messaging around the importance of social distancing, masks, physical isolation, and a safe and effective vaccine. There are so many barriers to adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, broadly across our entire society, that we faced before this pandemic. It is a multi-dimensional challenge that needs to be overcome. Nutrition & Covid Risk There is now data showing some nutrient deficiencies are problematic. (1:00:24) Very low selenium intake increases death rate from COVID-19 by 5X. The science behind this can be found here. There is some initial research being done on the impact of supplementation on covid. A combination of B12, D, and magnesium was administered in older COVID-19 patients. This was associated with a significant reduction in the proportion of patients with clinical deterioration requiring oxygen support and/or intensive care support. This is a small preliminary study and has yet to be peer-reviewed. There’s also an ongoing study looking at combo vitamin C and zinc. This is an area of active research with a lot to still learn. However, vitamin D is probably the most relevant nutrient and something that could be incorporated very simply into a national message. Amanda's Question Amanda writes, "Love all your recent podcasts on covid. (1:02:54) I’m so glad Stacy and her family are doing well. Sarah your research is the topic of many conversations with my family and friends. Recently I read an article talking about a link between low vitamin D levels and covid. Just wondering your thoughts on this. What science have you found to supposition or dispute this if any?" Sarah wants to first provide some context to this question. There is a very well known blogger who came out in early March with an eBook that made a case for avoiding vitamin D supplementation. They said that it increases the ACE2 receptor, which is the receptor that the novel coronavirus is binding to, to enter our cells. Sarah has received a ton of questions on this research. Recently there has actually been a huge increase in studies linking low vitamin D levels with an increase in severity of covid. The first few studies were done at the population level, which means it was hard to identify cause and effect. So they were correlating country/territory latitude or average vitamin D deficiency rates with mortality rate, varying results, from null to double mortality rate. The results were varied, which you can read more about here. Now, there are studies where individuals have vitamin D levels measured. It is showing that there is quite a large effect. Vitamin D & Covid-19 There have been quite a few studies that have looked at this. (1:05:38) One analysis that is just being published now, shows that this might be as much as a factor of 2. So having an adequate vitamin D status halves the mortality rate, compared to having vitamin D deficiency. There have been studies that have actually looked at vitamin D deficiency versus insufficiency. Backman said, "It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected." For more on this, see here and here. Testing positive for COVID-19 was associated with increasing age and being likely vitamin D deficient, as compared to likely vitamin D sufficient. Sarah shared the data from this study. Please also refer to this study and this study for more information on the statistical analysis that was carried out using Mann-Whitney. When you look at this collection of studies, it has just in the last month become really clear that low vitamin D is a risk for severe covid and death. Even these studies are suggesting these really high-level doses of vitamin D to address this prevalent deficiency. There have been some studies showing that perhaps one of the reasons why the rates have been lower in the northern hemisphere in the summer is related to the fact that when people are outside their vitamin D levels go up. The ACE2 Receptor ACE2 is an enzyme that is membrane-bound. (1:10:46) When a respiratory droplet containing SARS-CoV-2 enters your mouth or nose, it’s easily inhaled into your airway where it encounters pulmonary cells that have ACE2 enzymes embedded within their surface membranes. ACE2 is a type I transmembrane metallocarboxypeptidase that degrades angiotensin-2, thereby negatively regulating the renin-angiotensin system to lower blood pressure. ACE2’s role in regulating blood pressure is why hypertension is such a major risk factor for a more severe course of covid-19 illness. It is also found in arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines. The now infamous spike proteins on the outside of SARS-CoV-2 bind with ACE2, releasing the fusion machinery that the virus uses to dump its RNA and viral proteins into the target cell, where it hijacks the cells organelles to produce viral replicas instead of all of the various proteins that the cell needs to survive. It’s true that vitamin D increases ACE2 in various models of pulmonary injury, hypertension (see here and here). So the simplistic view spreading across the internet is to reduce ACE2 with vitamin d deficiency and you can’t get infected. WRONG! Not only is vitamin D critical for the immune function to help fight off the virus BUT increasing ACE2 in covid is a REALLY GOOD THING! The truth is the complete opposite. It is very very important to test vitamin D levels, and supplement to bring your levels up to normal. Researchers are suggesting at least 60 nanograms per milliliter as a target. This is a discussion to have with your doctor. The whole argument of avoiding vitamin D because it increases ACE2 is completely backward. You are not going to reduce ACE2 with vitamin D deficiency to a point where the virus can't get in. It can get in no matter what. Covid-19 normalizing ACE2 levels in the context of lung injury is very very beneficial. For more information on this, be sure to also reference this article and this one and this one. This is a reminder about the importance of making sure your information is correct before putting it out into the world. Covid-19 & Minority Groups There have been some comments online that the reason why the Black community has been so much more affected by covid is that they have a higher likelihood of being vitamin D insufficient. (1:20:50) This is due to the higher levels of melanin in their skin. You can read about this here. In this study, sex and ethnicity differential pattern of COVID-19 was not adequately explained by variations in cardiometabolic factors, 25(OH)-vitamin D levels or socio-economic factors. Mary's Question Mary asks, "I have a question about covid19. (1:22:55) I was sick March 9-29 with fever and other wonderful symptoms! Doc told me I probably had covid19. Thankfully I wasn’t sick enough to be hospitalized (or tested here in GA) and I’m finally feeling much better. Still tired and having more RA pain but trying to ease AIP with reintros! Hubby and I (both 62 yrs old) got tested for the antibodies, and we’ve both tested positive. Everything on the web is saying they don’t know if that means we’re immune to the disease or can get it again. My in-laws (95&94) live in KY and we’d love to go see them and the rest of the fam. Should we just continue to live our face masked life (we still wear them inside the grocery in consideration of others) and not visit? We are interacting with a small group of neighbors in the hood, playing pickleball, but washing hands and wiping down paddles and balls, etc... no hugging, no high fiving, somewhat social distancing (not perfect). We don’t know anybody else that has had covid19 or had symptoms. Wondering if you’ve found any research concerning immunity and contagion if immune?" Immunity The science part of this question is that we don't really have a good sense for how long you might be able to shed virus after your symptoms go away. (1:25:35) There is some research showing that people can shed virus for at least 24-days, and more public health officials are trying to talk about this. The suggested 14-day quarantine period is likely insufficient. Based on what officials are recommending, you should quarantine for 14-days after symptoms end. Even that might not be enough. There have been cases where people have tested positive for months. Some of these people have been sick for this whole period of time, and this is another thing that we don't yet understand. We don't know how long you are contagious for, and we don't know how long immunity lasts. This piece of the question is unfortunately something we can't answer at this time. We don't know if having antibodies (or what level of antibodies) is enough to protect you from reintroduction. And we don't how long after your symptoms end before you are no risk to the people around you. This makes making a decision on how to handle life post covid really hard to navigate. Stacy thinks the hardest part for them was sending Matt back to work. As Matt and Stacy returned to life after they were sick, they did have to have dialogues with people about how they were handling things given the unknown. Communication is essential. Matt and Stacy did their best to clean their house after they were sick, but it is not a personal skill of Stacy's. More than 30-days after Matt and Stacy were symptom-free, they decided to ask their long-time house cleaner to return after having a conversation with her to determine her comfort level with returning. If you have had the virus, there is no stigma with it, but you need to let people know. It is only fair that others know your information so that they can be careful. Stacy's takeaways after being sick were to quarantine for as long as possible and to communicate with people. Sarah applauds Mary for still wearing a mask to both be considerate and be a role model. Closing Thoughts It has been a doozy of a show! Stacy and Sarah want to thank all of our listeners for submitting questions. And a huge thank you to Sarah for pulling all of the science together. As mentioned last week, we do have something coming for you in the very near future. Make sure to stay tuned, join our email lists, and we will be connecting with you more on this very shortly. We will be back again next week. Thank you again for listening, we know this was a long show. We appreciate those who have stuck with us! (1:38:25)
“It sounds crazy, but I’m experiencing trauma. From going into an office.” Welcome loves! On this week’s episode of In My Truth with Sarah Riegelhuth, we’re chatting with the gorgeous Jessica Ann. Today we’re picking up somewhere through an entire weekend of talking about truths, stories and feelings at Sarah’s home in Colorado, and you guessed it, we’re sitting on the living room floor! Jessica and Sarah met recently at Jeff’s Camp in Turks and Caicos and the two knew from the get go they are soul sisters. Jess is a writer, poet, philosopher, yogi and world traveller. Like Sarah, her core value is freedom, and she love to write, create and travel. Listen in for another deep conversation about the untruths Sarah and Jessica have been telling themselves. Join Sarah Riegelhuth and Jessica Ann in this episode of In My Truth as they talk about sharing themselves with the world, how relationships influence their work, and how they have been betraying themselves. - Disclaimer: What we talk about on In My Truth tends to be very raw and can be triggering. In this episode we dive into relationships and divorce, among other things. Resources for support and help are included at the end of show notes - scroll down for more information. - “I realised my abandonment wounding lead me to a life of betraying myself. I didn’t want to be abandoned so I tried to fit in with what everybody else needed and wanted, only to discover I was actually abandoning myself.” Like last week, we’re exploring feelings of shame (link), this time around divorce and relationship issues, along with truth and honour, transcendence, and how we’ve been betraying ourselves. Where have you been experiencing shame in your life, and how is that serving you? - “I found joy by getting here, but now that I’m here it’s like… I’m not joyful.” Jess and Sarah also share the stories they’re telling themselves around: Not putting ourselves out there in the world The different versions of ourselves we show up as Shame around problems with our marriages Using depression and feelings of sadness to be creative How we express our truth externally How we express ourselves behind closed doors Taking the easy way out by getting a job Being miserable for the first time as an entrepreneur Loss of freedom and loss of our core values Being in alignment with other people’s needs instead of our own Being an empath and not letting others’ energy get to us How to be in flow without being your own boss Abandonment wounds How we have been betraying ourselves Shame about struggling to move on from relationships Feeling like we ‘should’ be able to get past things How we reason and justify to ourselves - Remember you’re not alone, and there is hope, even though it may not feel that way at times. Talk to someone, a friend or family member and let them support you. Reach out to a professional. Do whatever you need to do to start your journey back to feeling good. Here are some resources I found on Google (because I am not a professional, these are not recommendations, just suggestions with love and empathy from me to you): Lifeline (Australia): 13-11-14 is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile. Beyond Blue (Australia): 1-300-22-4636 OR chat online between 3pm & 12am 7 days a week No Shame On You (USA): 1-800-273-(TALK) 8255 OR text 741741 for a 24/7 crisis text line (a live, trained crisis counsellor receives the text and responds quickly) OR visit I’m Alive for 24/7 online crisis chat National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-8255 Crisis Services (Canada): 1-833-456-4566 OR text 45645 between 4pm and 12am daily To never miss an episode, subscribe to In My Truth with Sarah Riegelhuth. Share it with your network and start having more raw conversations. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, find out more here: https://www.sarahriegelhuth.com/inmytruthpodcast Follow Sarah Riegelhuth on Instagram: @sarahriegelhuth @inmytruthpodcast
Live and Travel Like a Local in Rome, Italy: Podcast Show Notes I interviewed Sarah Mikutel from the Postcard Academy Podcast about living like a local in Rome. When we say live like a local, we mean staying in Rome for an extended period, a month or two, or more. I've never been to Italy (it's on my bucket list), but Sarah gave the complete rundown of top places to eat, stay, and culture tips. Listen to the episode above to experience Rome (at least in your headphones). While you're thinking about it, also subscribe to Experiences You Should Have on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Get to Know Sarah from Postcard Academy Podcast Sarah hosts the Postcard Academy podcast, a weekly travel show sharing the best food and culture tips from expats living abroad. She got the travel itch at 18 when she spent a summer in England’s Lake District working as a waitress/chambermaid. She wanted to stay in Europe forever, but it seemed impossible for Americans. Years went by. Finally at some point, while living in New York City, she realized she might be eligible for Italian citizenship due to her Sicilian ancestry. She started gathering all the documents she needed to apply for Italian citizenship while she lived in New York. But then the American woman translating her documents suggested another route: move to Italy and apply there. Like Sarah, she had the right to apply for dual citizenship thanks to jus sanguinis — the right of blood — and she received her Italian passport a month or two after applying there. So, on this advice of a stranger she met on the internet, Sarah left New York, moved to Italy, became a citizen, and has had the time of her life living and working abroad, traveling around Europe, and forming amazing friendships with fellow citizens of the world. Why Should You Travel to Rome? Rome is so beautiful and it is especially great if you love history. There's something about walking through the ancient sites of Rome; it feels like you're living in a museum. You add that to the food scene, it's a match made in heaven. Let's Talk Food: What to Eat and Where to Find the Best Pasta & Pizza in Rome. Pizza! Naples is famous for its pizza, but Sarah actually prefers the Roman version, which is thinner. Everyone orders their own pizza in Italy and they eat the entire thing in one sitting. At first, this seemed crazy to Sarah, but now she eats pizza like a local. Go order your pizza from Ivo a Trastevere, which is in the very popular Trastevere neighborhood by the river. Cacio e Pepe is another must-try. It’s a simple pasta dish made with black pepper, pecorino, and tonnarelli (like spaghetti). Try it at Velavevodetto. What is Italian Dining Etiquette? Spaghetti and meatballs do not exist in Italy, so don't bother trying to order it. They also use a lot less cheese in their pasta dishes — they like to experience the true flavor of their foods without mixing a bunch of extras into it. Even though there are public fountains all over Rome where you can fill up bottles with quality water, tap water is not a thing in restaurants. Be prepared to order still or sparkling. You’ll get bread on your table and will likely be charged a cover charge for this, about 1-3 euro a person. Drinks during the meal are usually water or wine and sometimes beer if pizza is involved. Never coffee during a meal. In fact, cappuccino is considered a drink for breakfast and Italians don’t drink it after noon. Sarah does, though, because she loves cappuccino and they haven’t run her out of town yet. Sarah's Favorite Day in Rome But one of Sarah's favorite memories was what they in the U.K. call a ‘city break,’ a 3- or 4-day weekend. Sarah had been working long hours in London and flew to Rome to take a break and reunite with an Italian friend. Her friend was from the north and had never been to Rome,
How do you decide when to take a huge leap in your career? What happens when your therapist thinks leaving your cushy tech job is a terrible idea—but you do it anyway? Googler-turned-comedian Sarah Cooper joins us to talk about writing satire, redefining success, and making men mad along the way. Sarah’s latest book is called How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women, and it’s out today (we got a preview copy, and it’s so great). She also runs The Cooper Review, a wildly popular satirical blog about business culture, and in 2016, her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, was a bestseller. We love Sarah because she’s funny as hell, and also incredibly open about what it’s like to trade a career in tech for the sometimes lonely—but also wildly satisfying—world of comedy. > I have so many outlets to discover myself and who I really am, which is something that I think is just really important for a life, you know? To know you left everything on the table and you told every story that you wanted to tell and you let everyone know who you are—and you didn’t leave this world without telling everybody that. > > —Sarah Cooper, comedian and author of How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings She tells us about: Leaving a career at Google to perform standup and write satire all day What happens when people think your satire is serious How being a Jamaican immigrant taught her to observe people so she could fit in The pros and cons of being a “people-pleaser”—and how to let go of that when it stops serving you How keeping a “best self journal” helps her stay focused while working alone Also in this episode Sara and Katel talk about the big career choices they’ve made, and how they’ve built structures and support systems to make those careers work for them. Deets: Sara celebrates seven whole years without a traditional “jobby-job,” and thinks back on Cindy Gallop’s advice that working for yourself is the least risky thing you can do Katel tells us why she took a pay cut to run A Book Apart—and how she handles the lonely parts of working, well, alone We both definitely wear fancy blazers at all times > I remember being so excited to work with a much smaller team and fewer people… I was like, “oh my gosh, this is going to be so great, it’s going to be just a few people, it’s going to be really nimble.” And then I realized that most of the time it was really just going to be me working kind of by myself. And it was a lot harder than I expected because there was essentially no structure unless I made it, and it took me at least a good year to kind of figure out how I was going to work, how I was going to be productive, whether I even liked that way of working enough to keep doing it. > > — Katel on trading corporate life for running an indie publishing company Plus: Our friends at Harvest want to make sure you know about Graywolf Press and 826 National. Fuck yeah for rock ‘n’ roll, women musicians, mental health, and our fave live show in fooooorever: Courtney Barnett. Sponsors This episode of NYG is brought to you by: Shopify, a leading global commerce platform that’s building a world-class team to define the future of entrepreneurship. Visit shopify.com/careers for more. Harvest, makers of awesome software to help you track your time, manage your projects, and get paid. Try it free, then use code NOYOUGO to get 50% off your first paid month. Transcript Sara Wachter-Boettcher [Ad spot] Thanks for Harvest to being our sponsor today—and for making awesome project management and time tracking tools that I rely on to keep my business running. I think you’ll love them too. They offer all kinds of reports that help you shine a light on the health of your projects, and they make it easy to track invoices and payments. Try it free at getharvest.com, and when you sign up for a paid account, you can use the code “noyougo” to save 50% off your first month. That’s getharvest.com, offer code “noyougo.” [intro music plays for 12 seconds] SWB Hey everyone, I’m Sara! Katel LeDû And I’m Katel. SWB And you’re listening to No, You Go, the show about building satisfying careers and businesses— KL —getting free of toxic bullshit— SWB —and living your best feminist life at work. KL “How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings” is the title of our new favorite book, and it’s out today. It’s written by our guest, Sarah Cooper, and we are so pumped to talk with her today. Okay, along with some extremely funny, satirical advice for getting by in the workforce, Sarah gets real about why she wrote the book, and what happens when people don’t understand that it’s satire. And how she managed a massive change in her own work life, going from being a manager at Google to a full-time comedian and writer. SWB Yes, I was super interested in that, and I was hoping we could talk more about that transition piece. Because companies like Google are so designed to really keep you there in a lot of ways, right? You don’t just get fed at work, you also get dry cleaning and haircuts. KL So weird. SWB It’s super weird. [KL laughs] But they’re very—you know—once you’re in them, they can be very cushy places to be— KL Yeah. SWB —and they also oftentimes will feel like you’re doing exciting work, and you’re paid really well, and so there’s a lot of stuff that kind of keeps people there. I have a friend who recently mentioned that—you know—she’s been at Google a long time and the idea of leaving is really hard for her. So, it’s interesting to hear Sarah talk about leaving somewhere like Google to do something that was so uncertain and so risky, right? Like a career in comedy and writing? That’s such a dramatic pivot. KL Yeah, I know. It is—it’s so fascinating and I loved listening to her story. But, Sara, you’ve been working for yourself for as long as I’ve known you, but that wasn’t always the case. That hasn’t been your whole career, you made a big moving from working at a traditional—you know—jobby-job to go out on your own in 2011, right? SWB Yeah, actually October has been my seven-year working-for-myself anniversary! KL Congrats! [2:27] SWB Thank you. It has been pretty great for me. I think that it’s definitely something that has suited me. But—you know—what’s really different about it compared to somebody like Sarah is that I don’t feel like I’ve taken such massive shifts. I feel like my changes have been a little more bit by bit over time. I wasn’t in a big, fancy, fully catered office with free haircuts and massages; [KL laughs] I was working at an agency with 40 people, which means I was working a lot with clients. And so my shift from working with clients at an agency to working for myself with clients was smaller. And the kind of work was similar. But I do think that over the past seven years, I’ve made more and more of those little incremental shifts, or kind of mini-pivots or whatever you want to call them, where I do feel like at this point my work has evolved so much—both in the kinds of clients I work with, the complexity of the projects, I definitely charge more [KL laughs]—lots of—lots of good stuff. KL [laughing] Yep! SWB But also just the makeup of my days. My day is not mostly clients, it’s—maybe that’s a third of my time. And a lot of my time is spent on things like speaking at events, writing books, doing workshops and more facilitation versus sitting down and doing the work for clients. And—you know—also running this podcast, which does take a bunch of time. And maybe someday we’ll make a bunch of money. And so I feel like on the one hand, I have quote-unquote the same business I had seven years ago, and then on the other hand, on a day-to-day basis it looks really different. And my goals have changed too. That’s one of the things I think is really interesting talking to somebody like Sarah is hearing a really different perspective on leaving a traditional kind of job and moving into something else. KL Yeah, completely. And I mean to me, and I think a lot of people, the idea of going solo and leaving the perceived—you know—quote unquote safety of a traditional job, has seemed kind of scary. I mean, when you initially did that, what did that sort of first leap look like? Did you do anything specific to prepare—you know—financially, [laughs] emotionally, mentally? SWB Yeah, so—you know—I think about something Cindy Gallop said to us in her interview a couple of episodes ago where she said that in—in a lot of ways, relying on another company to take care of you is the riskiest thing you can do, and that relying on yourself, in some ways, is less risky. And I think that that was something I kind of had come to on my own back then, because I felt like the company I was at—you know—didn’t value me for the reasons that I wanted to be valued. I mean I think that they did try to value me because I was doing a lot for them and they did recognize that, but it wasn’t in the way that I wanted and it wasn’t for the kind of work I wanted necessarily. And so I felt like looking out for myself was in some ways going to be better for me. What I did, though, to prepare for leaving, I did—you know—I had some savings, which was great. At the time, one of the things that was really helpful was that my expenses were very low. My husband was in graduate school, which means that he made almost no money. He was a teaching assistant while he was in graduate school, so he had a very small stipend. So it wasn’t as if I could rely on his income, but what it did mean is that we had chosen to rent a little mini-house behind a house in a neighborhood that was affordable near the university. And so we had a low rent and we didn’t have a lot of financial commitments—we didn’t have kids, we didn’t have new cars with payments or anything like that, because we had been kind of set up to live a lifestyle that made sense for a graduate student, even though I had a real job with a substantial income. So, that made it so that the—it wasn’t that I had this huge—you know—amount of financial cushion, but it did mean that the amount of money I needed to not get evicted and to keep the lights on wasn’t that high. So, one of the things that I did was I set some goals around finances. I really wanted to—I wanted to meet or exceed the income I had been making at the agency, not just because I wanted to have the same amount of money, but also because I wanted to feel like it was a way of proving to myself and maybe to the world that what I wanted to do was a real and legitimate thing that was worth paying for, and that I didn’t have to do it on somebody else’s terms. But I also thought about, “what is the minimum amount of money that I need on a monthly basis to not have life fall apart?” And when I realized that it just wasn’t that much, I thought, you know, I can scrape that together. If things are lean here and there, I can scrape that together. And that gave me a lot of confidence, so that was helpful. The other thing that I did is I knew that the company I was leaving really relied on me and so—they were going through a time of flux also, so I knew that they could really use my help for longer. So, what I did was I proposed to them that I would contract with them for a couple of months—I think three months or so I contracted with them—and so that gave me some time to kind of wean off of having that salary. And it gave them some time to get over me leaving and to have a—you know—different plan in place. And during that time I had that consistent money coming in from them, I did more of that reaching out to people in my network. And I knew people who worked at different agencies or different companies who I had maybe worked with in the past, and so they knew that it was helpful to work with somebody like me. And none of their companies had content strategy teams at the time, and so they would often bring me in and I was like the first content strategist they’d worked with on a project [laughing]. All of them now have whole content strategy departments, so I feel like they’ve kind of gotten the memo—and I don’t want to take sole credit for that by any means, that’s something that’s sort of shifted in a lot of people’s industries in general. But I think what that was really helpful, too, was that I looked at, “who do I know who is out there working in other companies I’d like to work with who has experience and can speak to the fact that if you have somebody with this skillset working on a project, you can do much better work, you can get things done much more effectively?” [8:12] KL Yeah. That’s so smart that you did that. And just when you think about leaving something and trying something new, it’s—you know—I think you are focused on, what does that actual moment look like when I stop doing the old thing and start doing the new thing? And the smart thing is to actually do a lot of prep work before that and kind of take stock of where you’re working, who you’re working with, and figure out where those avenues can lead to, where they can develop into something for your new project and, I don’t know, I think that… you know, that’s really helpful to hear. SWB Yeah, I mean I don’t know that I was that planned about it, [laughs & KL laughs] but I definitely did try to do that. And I also—I’m trying to be, you know, pretty honest about some of the financial pieces of it. Because I talk to people who are often, you know, wanting to take a risk like this and the risks for them might look totally different. And I never want to, you know, lie about that, or make it seem like that’s not a big financial risk. I didn’t—like I said—I didn’t have this big cushion, but I did have relatively low risk at the time, and that’s not going to be true if somebody has, let’s say, small kids at home, or already has a mortgage, and all of your calculations have to look different. And I think that one of the things that I hear a lot of is this sort of idea that, “just jump in, do what you love, take the leap!” without talking about how often people who do that successfully had like—I don’t know—family money or a spouse with a high, stable income or whatever, right? All of these other things that made that possible for them. And so I just think it’s a disservice to not be honest about those things. KL Yeah, it totally is. And I’ve talked about this before—I took a pay cut when I left National Geographic to come to A Book Apart, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t already been established in my career, if I hadn’t already—you know—moved up the management ladder and was making a certain salary that had allowed me to save. I was also partnered with someone who had a full-time job and who we had a little bit of a buffer, so I could do that and make a change. SWB So, what was it about that opportunity at A Book Apart that made you want it so badly you were willing to take a pay cut for it? Because working at a small company, it is riskier—you know—you said you got paid substantially less, there are not fancy offices, there are no free haircuts at A Book Apart. [10:38] KL [laughing] No, not yet. SWB What made that feel worth it for you? KL I mean, I knew it was going to be a huge opportunity and—you know—I was looking for a new challenge and that it certainly was. I knew I was going to be able to work with a whole new community of people and, you know, people doing work that I really admired and that I really wanted to be involved in. And I knew I’d be able to grow in a way that I hadn’t really been able to grow before. I was going to be able to grow my skill set, which was exciting, but also scary. SWB What do you mean? What were some of the things that you feel like you saw in that role that you were like “ooh yeah, I want to be able to do that”? KL I saw a chance to be a part of building something that was more or less kind of in its—you know—beginning phases. And that was super exciting. But there was also an opening to basically develop the role as I grew into it, and I’d never experienced that before. You know, I think I’d always gone into a job being like, “here is the list of responsibilities and this is more or less it.” It’s cut and dry. And this was an opportunity that I hadn’t had before where I was making it what it was, which was super cool. SWB So, was that ever hard though? Because I think one of the big shifts there you’re describing is going from a pretty structured environment to a really unstructured environment without, you know, having like, “here’s the boundaries of what your job is and here’s, you know, who is on your team.” And you don’t have a set of colleagues that work full-time with you, it’s like people juggling multiple kind of side gigs, and A Book Apart is often one of their side gigs. Was that hard? KL Yeah! I remember being so excited to work with a much smaller team and fewer people, because I think I was so used to working with such large teams and so many people that it felt like it was hard to really move things forward. So all of a sudden I was like, “oh my gosh, this is going to be so great, it’s going to be—you know—just a few people, it’s going to be really nimble.” And then I realized that most of the time it was really just going to be me [SWB laughs] working kind of by myself. And it was a lot harder than I expected because there was essentially no structure unless I made it, and it took me at least a good year to kind of figure out how I was going to work, how I was going to be productive, whether I even liked that way of working enough to keep doing it. And I think now it would be really hard for me to go back to a traditional office environment at least. I mean, I have a friend who has been freelancing for almost five years and they’re just realizing that it does not work for them. They need—they are realizing that they need to go to a place and do the work and then leave that place. And I very much understand that. [13:23] SWB Totally, yeah. I can relate to that feeling, but I’ve never quite sunk into it. I guess I’ve had moments where I feel like that, and then I’m like, “no, okay, I need to add some structure, I need to shift how I, you know, how I do things.” You know like people who talk about how they need to get dressed for the day or whatever before they start work? I’m not one of those people, but there are things that—you know—that I think about. I don’t do client work at nights or on the weekends. I do end up doing work at night or on the weekends, if I’m going to be honest with you. People sometimes ask me, “how do you do all the things that you do?” And I’m like, “I like to work and I don’t mind doing it in the odd hours.” But I don’t do client work then. I work on the podcast maybe. KL Right. SWB But to me, setting some of those boundaries like not doing client work and not replying to client emails late—that’s important and that’s something where I feel like it keeps it on my terms. KL Yeah, totally. It’s like you sort of—you have to have a little bit of a sense of office hours for there to be some kind of structure. Even if it’s only in your head and—because people, a lot of people don’t know that you aren’t—in a quote, unquote office every day doing that work. SWB I’m in a very fancy office at all times. [KL laughs] KL You are. SWB And I am definitely dressed up in a very fancy business outfit and I’m wearing a blazer. KL At all times. SWB At all times. KL Yeah. SWB Literally always. [KL laughs] KL I mean, I think about that idea of sort of working from wherever and at first again, how that idea was so exciting, but how it can become such a slippery slope. For example, on one hand I was able to plan and host that bachelorette weekend that we talked about a little while back because I could handle all the logistics leading up to it—you know—in and around my daily schedule. But when the weekend came, I also worked a little during that weekend because I could and I had a lot I need and want to get done. And to your point, it’s sort of like I love a lot of the work that I do and that’s—that’s okay, that’s part of my life, but I do need to remember that I want to set some boundaries. So, it’s great to have a lot of flexibility and freedom, as long as you kind of keep an eye on where the lines are. [15:30] SWB Yeah! And I let myself redraw the lines. They don’t have to be consistent all the time. But to always be thinking about “okay, I am redrawing this line right now and doing a lot of work stuff during a different—a weird time, but that might not be forever, I don’t want that being normal.” I like it though. You know, I get to do things like add a few days of vacation time when I’m taking a business trip, right? So, I go to the West Coast to go to a conference and I tack on a few days and I go see my nieces in Oregon. That’s awesome, I love being able to do that and I just have to juggle other things around it, right? I don’t have to take PTO, I don’t have to budget for it that way, I just have to juggle everything else around. I also love that I can do things like schedule appointments or run errands at like 2pm on a Tuesday and that again, I just have to be able to juggle everything else around it, which is why sometimes—you know—I do stuff in the evening that I would otherwise get done during the work day, but it means that I was able to do stuff during the work day that otherwise would be a nightmare like going to IKEA on a weekend! KL [laughing] Yes! SWB You know? And I feel like those are good tradeoffs for me, but I always want to take stock of what those things are. KL Yeah. Something Sarah mentioned was that work can be lonely. Were you lonely at first when you started this—you know—this endeavor, what you’re doing now? Or do you get lonely now ever? SWB So, I don’t tend to get lonely most of the time. Sometimes in small moments, but never in a bigger way. And I think one of the reasons for that is that I know that I’m pretty social and early on, I connected with a lot of people who were doing some of the same stuff that I did. So I remember in 2011 when I first left my job, a friend started a really small little Google group for people who were doing freelance or consultancy type work in content strategy. And it was only five or six people—eight people, I can’t remember. But that was really helpful at the beginning where I felt like “oh okay, I can chat with people who are sort of facing some of the same stuff as me or I can ask questions—what do your contracts even look like? What am I doing? What’s going on?” Very basic questions. [laughs] And that group kind of petered out—sometimes those kinds of groups peter out, but it was valuable to me in the moment. And then in 2013, I helped plan a little retreat with fifteen or twenty people running small consultancies and we came out of that and started a Slack group a little while later—I think actually a year later we turned it into a Slack group—and that’s still going and that’s—it’s a place I can bounce ideas off of, ask questions. And it’s also people I just really trust, which has been helpful. The other thing that I think has really prevented me from being lonely is that I do partner with people on projects a lot and I partner with you on a ton of stuff now, Katel. So, one thing that I’ve noticed is that I don’t work on A Book Apart and you don’t work on my client projects or come with me when I speak at conferences usually, but I feel like I have kind of a work partner where you kind of know what’s going on with my work and I know what’s going on with your work and we have enough work we’re doing together that—I don’t know—it feels like a colleague! [18:29] KL Ahhh, I love that so much! I agree, I feel the same way and it’s been such a cool thing to have developed where it’s like all of a sudden if we want to have a co-working day, we could do that. SWB Totally! Plus we get to talk to so many fucking awesome people together, which is something that I really, really love. So, why don’t we do that? KL Let’s do it. [music fades in, plays for five seconds, and fades out] Sponsor: Harvest KL [Ad spot] So, before we talk to Sarah, we’ve got to talk about something actually pretty related to her work—reading, writing, and creativity. Our friends at Harvest told us those things are super important to them, especially when it comes to making sure more diverse voices have a chance to share their ideas. So, Harvest has pledged to spend 4% of its profits each year to causes that help more people from all backgrounds read, write, and get creative. Two groups they support that you might want to check out are 826 National, which supports seven writing and tutoring centers for youth across the country, helping them write with confidence and originality. Check them out at 826national.org. And Graywolf Press, a nonprofit literary publisher that champions books from underrepresented voices. They’re at graywolfpress.org. SWB I love this so much because I think about all the incredible writers we’ve had on the show so far. Like Sarah, of course, you’re going to hear from her in just a second, or Keah Brown from last week, or Nichole Chung a few weeks ago. And then, of course, Carmen Maria Machado back in the spring—you know—her book was actually published by Graywolf Press! And I think about how—you know—the world just needs more writers like them and organizations like 826 and Graywolf are really crucial to making that happen. So I love that we’re able to spotlight them and—you know—writing and creativity are so important for everyone. So, even if you’re not going to be a capital-W writer, Harvest has noted that as a remote company with people in a lot of different time zones, they rely on written words to get things done and collaborate and that reading and writing skills make it possible for them to do that and make them successful. So, they want to support more people in gaining them and so do we. So thanks, Harvest, for caring about literacy and creativity and check out 826 National and Graywolf Press for more. [music fades in, plays for five seconds, and fades out] Interview: Sarah Cooper SWB Sarah Cooper is a comedian, writer, and self-proclaimed trash-talker based in New York City. She runs thecooperreview.com, a wildly popular satirical blog about business culture, and her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, was a bestseller. Now she has a new book. It’s called How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings and I am laugh-crying already. Sarah, welcome to No, You Go. [21:02] Sarah Cooper Thank you so much. SWB So, Sarah, we were reading your new book—Katel and I were actually just talking about it—and we really were laugh-crying. In chapter one, already I was losing it. I was reading the section where you—you started having all these illustrations of hairstyles to avoid and let me just describe this for readers who haven’t been able to read the book yet. It’s this illustration series where it’s like okay—long, flowing hair is too sexy and then there’s the hair that’s up in a bun is too boring, there’s the hair that’s too old, and then the last two are where I just lost it. It’s the one that’s like “too black”—natural hair, right? And then “way too black,” which is braids. Okay, so the book is full of illustrations like this and activities and basically advice for women to be successful, but don’t be too successful. How did you get to this place where you decided to write a satirical book of “non-threatening leadership strategies for women”? SC Well, it started as a blog post called “9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women” and I wrote it two years ago—and it was sort of based on my experience kind of making myself more passive and trying to be more pleasing in the office and sort of getting called out on being a little too aggressive with my opinions and seeing other women get called out on the same things. And so this idea of being threatening when, in fact, we’re actually just being direct or straightforward or saying the same thing that a man would say made me think it would—it’s kind of like the perfect thing for satire where you’re trying to tell women “this is how you be less threatening,” but really the way you were going to act in the first place was already not threatening. So, that led to that first comic, which I almost didn’t publish because I have a group of friends and family that I sort of run things by before I publish anything. And I did get the feedback that this might be construed as offensive and people might take it too seriously and I might see [laughs]—I might be seen as someone who is anti-woman for giving this advice. And so, I really worked on it to try and make it as obvious as possible that it was a joke, so the advice sort of gets more silly towards the end of the post where the very last thing is “wear a mustache so that people will think you are a man and that way you won’t even have to be less threatening.” After that, I published it and it just sort of went viral in the same way that “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings” went viral and really hit a nerve and people still did think that I was serious and didn’t realize that I was not actually telling people to put on a fake mustache. But I think a lot of people just sort of saw themselves in a lot of the advice. And so that was kind of the initial spark of the idea for this book and I started writing a different book actually, last year—and I wasn’t going to write this book, especially after the election. I thought that there was just a sense of hopelessness that all women sort of felt and I didn’t know if there was a way to create something that would be funny, but also kind of not dismissive of how women were feeling. And so it—it did take me a little while to figure out how I could do it and I think what happened was I started to get angry and I think—you know—women started to go from sad to pissed and I think when I became pissed I was like, “you know what? This ridiculous. We have all of these rules everyone is trying to tell us to follow, they’re contradictory and we actually can’t win because no matter what we do, it’s not good enough and it’s not right.” And I think that that was especially how I felt with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It was like she didn’t smile too much or she smiled too much or she was “too prepared,” I think was something that someone said, which just made me so livid. I was like, “wait a second. [laughs] If you’re too prepared, that’s not good enough?” So, it just got me so frustrated and so that’s when I was like, “you know what? I can make fun of this and I can kind of do it in a way that’s funny, but also kind of speak to how frustrating a lot of these rules are and this situation is and a lot of how women are feeling in the workplace in terms of how we should present ourselves when really we just want to be ourselves without being judged for all of these little things. [25:28] SWB Yes. I mean, there is so much kind of what I would say is shitty advice for women at work that is basically giving them these pointers for how to like “hey, here are some tips to suppress how you really feel all the time and act more like a man,” right? That’s kind of what they boil down to— SC Yeah. SWB —and so it’s interesting that you had that much of a problem of people not realizing what you were doing was satire. It seems very obvious to me. SC [laughs] Well, I think some women were like, “you know what? I’’—they are actually on my side without realizing that they’re on my side. I think that’s the funniest part because they’ll be like, “you shouldn’t be telling women to do this, women should just act the way that they want to act and if men are offended, then screw them.” And I’m like, “yeah, exactly, that’s the point of what I’m trying to say, [KL & SWB laugh] thank you for pointing that out.” So it’s more people not—you know—it’s more people that are kind of on my side that just kind of don’t realize that I’m not actually telling people to act like this, I’m saying that we shouldn’t be telling people to act like this and that’s kind of a running thread throughout a lot of the stuff that I do—it’s bad advice. Don’t take my advice, do the opposite of the thing that I’m telling you to do and that’s a—a lot of what this is as well. But yeah, people still take it seriously and I’ve got to laugh sometimes at that. SWB So, I’m curious—you’ve touched on this a little bit. Do you ever find yourself feeling frustrated or getting into some awkward space where you’re trying to write comedy about actual awful things that happen to real women all the time? Does that ever sort of get you down? Or does it feel like a positive outlet for you? I guess at some level it must since you [laughing] are writing a lot of comedy about it! SC [laughs] You know what? When you take something seriously and it feels kind of sacred, you are like “I don’t want to make fun of that because I really feel strongly about that” and so it did feel like a bit of a stretch and that’s why I wasn’t going to write it at first. And then especially with the harassment chapter—that chapter almost didn’t make it in there just because I—but it had to because then I was so angry about all of these things that women have to deal with. This idea that if we get harassed by someone who is a high performer and is a really incredible contributor to the company, that somehow makes it so that they can’t do anything about it because they need that person. [laughs] It’s just this idea that companies—a lot of companies—don’t seem to care about how they’re getting to their goals, they just care that they get to their goals and so they—there’s a lot of people who kind of get trampled on in that process. And so I think that what ends up happening is I’m a little scared to make fun of something or it’s a little bit too raw to make fun of it, but then the sort of frustration makes it so that I can’t help but make fun of it because I really, really need to point this out and I really—this is just something that I really want to say about it. [28:14] SWB So, I know that a lot of your work sort of stemmed from your experience in kind of a past life working at Google for a number of years, kind of working in the tech industry. You’ve said that it has given you plenty of material, and I’m wondering if we can go back to that a bit. Can you tell us a little bit about sort of both how you got started in comedy and in tech and how the two kind of intertwined? SC Yeah, it’s kind of a messy story. I always wanted to do something with performance and theatre and acting, and I kind of did it on and off while I was working. And I found stand-up because I wanted to be a better actress, and I kind of wanted to be more myself on stage and on camera. And so I decided to just get on stage at an open mic. And I drank a lot and got very drunk and got up on stage and told this story about dating and it was—it was very nerve-racking. But then I got up there and I felt very comfortable and I realized that I really liked writing for myself and I really liked being myself more than pretending to be—a character? That’s kind of—that was something that I was doing sort of in between working for Yahoo and Google and then I continued to do stand-up while I was working at Google and I would get my coworkers to come to my shows and I started to write a little bit more about what it was like to work with them and sort of making fun of the software engineers there and they—you know—loved that. They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I didn’t really realize that there was this sort of opening for satire in the corporate world before I wrote “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings,” which is really based on observation from sitting in meetings and—while I was supposed to be paying attention and contributing, I was making observations about what my coworkers were doing and especially the things that people were doing to make it seem like they knew what they were talking about when really most people weren’t paying attention at all. And I just always found it fascinating that certain people were seen as the smart ones. To me, almost everything is a sort of performance. And it’s also… I’m an immigrant. I was born in Jamaica. And so I think I’ve always kind of been like, “well, what’s the thing that I can do in this situation to make it look like I can fit in here and I’m part of it?” And so I was always sort of watching. And so I think a lot of it was just I really like observing all of those things and the first time I put that together was in “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings” and it really just resonated with people and that’s kind of what started my writing career that—as it is right now because that took off so much that I ended up leaving Google and—and writing my first book about it. [31:02] SWB Yeah, I think from that original post my favorite tip was maybe number six, which was “ask ‘will this scale?’ no matter what.” [KL laughs] SC Yeah. SWB Because, obviously, that’s the kind of thing I’ve heard a lot and it’s the kind of thing that is just said when you don’t know what else to say. And I think that that’s something that you really pinpointed so well is the way that people will sort of come up with these so called smart, insightful questions that are really just stock questions that they use to sound like they know what they’re talking about. SC Yeah. SWB Something that I want to touch on though—that you mentioned a minute ago that I think is really interesting, is you mentioned sort of being an immigrant and moving to this country from Jamaica and feeling like that gave you more of a sense of observing what other people are doing and figuring out what is the norm here. Sounds like maybe from a young age you became really attuned to needing to code switch and sort of trained yourself to always be identifying what the code is that’s happening, so you can flip on your “okay, I’m working at Google now” script and kind of blend. Is that something you feel like is a strong piece of your experience? SC That’s funny, I’ve never thought of it as code switching, I’ve always thought of it as people pleasing. [laughs] I’ve always been a huge just people pleaser, which is part of myself that I absolutely hate and I did it with—you know—sort of my parents, I did it with my friends, and I did it at work. I did it in relationships. And it took me a long time to realize that a lot of times I was doing and saying things that I didn’t actually think or feel just because I thought that’s what was wanted or needed by other people in that situation. So yeah, I mean I think that I developed that from a very young age. I have [laughs]—I have this memory of being very young, and I couldn’t read yet, and I was sitting at a breakfast table with my dad and he was reading the paper and he got to the comics section and he slides me the comics section and he says, “read this, it’s funny, you’ll laugh.” And he didn’t realize that I couldn’t read yet. And so I didn’t want to say, “Dad, I can’t read” [laughs] so [KL & SWB laugh] I looked at the comics and I just started laughing—I just started pretending to enjoy myself so that my dad would think that I was doing what he wanted me to do. And I feel like that was my earliest memory of just being like, “oh, they think that I should do this, so I’ll do this”—you know? But it took a long time for me to step outside myself and realize I don’t have to do that. I can say and do what I feel. [33:31] SWB And so I’m curious—as you were sort of starting your career working in tech and sort of going in with that people pleaser mentality, what was that experience like for you? SC Very successful, I have to say. I joined Google and was within a few years promoted to manage the team. And I did very well there, people loved working with me, [laughs] people loved having me in their meetings. You know, I think people pleasing is—it will get you to middle management. I don’t know if it will get you to be like a VP, but definitely as a woman especially, if you’re a people pleaser, I think that it can get you pretty far. The only thing is, you’re going to get something that you might not want, which is what I had. [laughs] You know, I became a manager and I was in a lot of meetings and I think that’s when I started to realize that I wasn’t being as creative as I wanted to be, so I guess it was kind of a blessing in disguise that I came to a point where I was more passionate about writing and stand-up and all the things I was doing outside of work than I was about the things I was doing at work. But I just find it fascinating how—you know—there’s so much imitation going on in the corporate world. I mean, that’s what people are doing in terms of how they figure out “well, this is how I need to get ahead, I need to—obviously this VP is talking so passionately about this product and all these features, and so I need to talk passionately about all these products and all these features.” Now, that VP might actually be feeling those things, but then the middle manager is just sort of imitating that passion. And so, I think that that to me was a lot of the things that I was doing as well. And it’s just kind of a strange situation, because they’re like, “oh, you have to be authentic—you know—you have to be really yourself,” but then a lot of it is just a performance in a lot of ways. SWB You mentioned how much of a people pleaser you always were, but it seems like almost flipping when you started writing the satirical posts because they’re fundamentally making waves. And I’m wondering if that was ever sort of a scary decision for you to make. SC It was. I mean, even as innocuous as “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings” was, I was so scared to post it because I didn’t want my coworkers to think I was making fun of them, because I was making fun of them. And I didn’t know if they would read it and I would ruin some relationships. So, that was really scary, but then a crazy thing happened. It came out, everybody read it, everybody loved it, they all started asking me if they could be featured in my next posts and they do this thing in a meeting and maybe that’s another trick I could put in there. And so that was kind of the first stepping stone of like “oh, this is okay!” And I will say that comedy for me definitely is sort of a defense mechanism. I can kind of hide behind the satire of it a little bit in order to say what I really feel. I feel like this is part of my growth is to say it in a satirical funny way, and then kind of get up the courage to say what I really feel and what I really think and be really committed to that. But it is really scary to put myself out there even a little bit, and even setting up a newsletter and sending out emails, and even when I had just forty people, I felt terrified to just send out my newsletter. It was just—it took a long time, but it’s been really great. You know, I think it’s been exactly what I needed in order to become more of who I am instead of this person that I think everyone wants me to be. [37:08] SWB I’m curious too, you talked about your newsletter. We mentioned at the top of the show The Cooper Review, which is the satirical blog that you run and I’m curious how and when did that get started and how did that build its audience? SC So, I posted “10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings” on Medium at first because I didn’t have a blog. And then when it got—it was starting to get millions of views, I was like, “wait a second, I should be getting some of that traffic,” so I created thecooperreview.com about—I want to say—a month or so, or maybe six to eight weeks after that blog post came out. And then I started using the post on Medium to sort of drive people to my website and get people to sign up for my newsletter and started to grow my audience that way. SWB And so you also mentioned a lot about feeling a lot of fear about posting it and then getting a lot of positive feedback, but did you also get negative feedback? Have you received much criticism or, you know, trolls or kind of angry folks? SC Not from my coworkers, but from—yeah, random strangers. People get very angry, especially on LinkedIn [laughs] when you think that you’re trying to tell people how to—how to look smart in meetings because they take their meetings very seriously. So, I get people saying, “well, you shouldn’t—you shouldn’t try to look smart, you should just be smart” and I’m like “okay, thank you.” [SWB laughs] Yeah, so that’s kind of funny, but then I also get—you know—I wrote a post about gaslighting, which also made it to the book as well, and I got a woman who wrote to me and said that her boss did this to her and it was very painful and—and how she usually finds my things very funny, but this was just very painful for her and she didn’t appreciate it. She didn’t think it was great for me to write this. And I was very sensitive to that, so I wrote her back and said “you know, part of the reason that I write this stuff is because I want people to be more aware of it and I think that—you know—like G.I. Joe says, “knowing is half the battle.” And so when you are aware that these things are happening, then you can do something about it, then you can say, “hey, this is what’s happening. I’m not crazy, you’re making me feel like I’m crazy.” And she wrote back and it was really nice. She was like, “yeah, that is true, that is a good point. If I had known that that was what was happening at the time, that might have helped me.” So, I have situations like that, I have, I’ve gotten some hate mail about this book. It’s not even out yet, no one can read it yet, but just the title is making people upset. A man wrote and said he would definitely not be buying my book [laughs] because it was offensive to men. It’s really, really funny actually. The subject of the email is “blatant sexism.” It says, “I won’t be buying your How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings. If I wrote a book called ‘How to Be Successful Without Hurting Women’s Feelings,’ no publisher would touch it and I would be lambasted for writing it in the first place, even when calling it satire. What appalls me the most is not that you wrote it, but that most men will ignore the blatant sexism, uncomfortably laugh it off, and pretend it doesn’t hurt because that is somehow more manly. I’m man enough to call you out on it, Sarah Cooper. [laughs and KL and SWB laugh loudly with her] [40:13] SWB Is it too late to get that as a back cover blurb? [all laugh] SC I know, I know. It was so perfect because I just love that—I love that “oh, most men are just going to laugh it off and just—and hide their pain” and I’m like, “welcome to our world. This is what we do all the time.” So, when I first got that, I was like, “oh my god, this is—I’m offending people, I’m offending people” and then the second I sort of shared it with a few friends, they were like, “oh my gosh, this is hysterical, you have to share this with everybody.” SWB It is quite funny and it’s also it’s like oh my gosh, you couldn’t even have the title of your book about not hurting men’s feelings out [ KL laughs] without hurting this man’s feelings. SC Exactly, exactly. SWB He’s so sensitive! You know, sometimes I just think men are too sensitive. SC I think they’re too sensitive, I think they’re too emotional. [all laugh loudly] SWB Exactly, exactly. When I read your work, I feel like it comes from a perspective that I relate to a lot and obviously all of the content about—you know—being harassed at work or being looked over for promotions, all that kind of stuff, I’m like, “okay, this really resonates for somebody who’s a woman.” But I know that you have male readers and I’m curious if you get a different kind of feedback from men who read your work? SC I think there’s just a range. I mean, I think there’s men who—god bless them—they feel like men and women should be equal and so we shouldn’t treat them differently. And it’s really hard for them to just accept the fact that yeah, we would like to be treated differently, but we haven’t been. And that’s the point. The other thing that frustrates me is that—and this happens with men and women too—it’s just like, “well, why didn’t you write a book about this?” Like this guy. “Why didn’t you write a book about women’s feelings?” It’s like there’s a specific audience and there’s a specific thing I’m trying to say and I’m sorry I couldn’t write a book for everybody, but that’s not how books work, I can’t do that. And so I think that there’s men in that camp—I think there’s men in the camp of “oh this is going to be great for my—my wife, or my girlfriend, or—you know—a friend of mine who is in the working world” and they probably don’t think that—that it will help them that much and I think that that’s fine, too. Maybe some of it will sort of—I appreciate that and I obviously it will be great that they want to share it with their female friends, but I think that the men who actually say, “I want to read this, I want to know what this perspective is like”—those are the men that just—they make me so happy. I always think about after the election; my husband is a straight white man and I was really upset after the election and he said to me, “you know, Sarah, I understand this is different for you.” And that’s all he had to say. You know, all he had to say was just appreciate the fact that this is different for me than it is for him and that’s all I want men to do is just say, “hey, this is an experience.” This is an experience that we have and these are things that we have to deal with that you don’t have to deal with and yes, we appreciate that there are things you deal with that we don’t have to, but can we just talk about us just one second? So, I think those are the men that I’m hoping to get to more of and I definitely see that. I have a great—a good deal of men who really support me and really support my work and are not even remotely offended by this title and actually see how they can learn something from it too. [43:25] KL Yeah. It’s so funny hearing you say all of this and then at the end of the day, it’s still—just to underscore it—we’re really not—it’s not a lot that [laughing] men would have to do. It’s like just paying attention— SC Right. KL —and being a little more self aware and—you know—leaving that channel open. Thinking a little bit more about your career and your work as a comedian and an author, was it scary to leave the perks and stability of a giant company like Google? Is there anything that you miss from that? SC It was terrifying and it took me a long time [laughs nervously] and no—everybody was pretty sure that I was making a mistake. Even my therapist was like, “you know, you should stay there at Google.” [laughs] My family, my fiancé at the time—now husband. Because the thing is, I met my husband at work and he’d see me at work and I was happy, you know? I really liked those people and I really enjoyed being there, and Google is such a comfortable place to be. Everything you could possibly want is there. I probably took advantage of the nap pods too many times, [KL & SWB laugh] but it was great—it was great. And so the thing that I tell you I would miss the most is having a place to go and be comfortable and being around people that I just really respect and admire and make me laugh. I miss that very much because I didn’t realize how lonely writing was going to be, I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy sometimes being alone, but then really, really, really need to talk to people and—so now it just takes an extra effort that I didn’t have to do before, to talk to people and go outside and go do things and in order to get that stimulation and find that new material and all of that stuff. So, it took me a while and I was panicking for at least the first six months after I left, but I realized that it was a bigger risk not to leave than it was to stay because I could always go back. And once I told my boss I was leaving and he said I could always come back if I wanted to, that made me feel like, “okay, I can do this.” KL That’s great. I’m glad that you had that and I completely get that apprehension about making such a big change—you know—not just like this is a big career change, but this is a big change in how I operate on a day to day basis. That’s huge. So—you know—today, these days, what does a typical week look like? [45:57] SC Well, it’s kind of crazy right now because I’m in this—you know—the last four weeks before the book comes out, so it’s a lot of working with PR. But usually it’s writing, it’s working on my blog, it’s—I have contributors who write and submit things and so looking at that stuff, it’s writing new material for stand-up, it’s going to an open mic maybe in the afternoon, maybe one or two open mics in the afternoon. Maybe I’ll have a show at night. And I am meeting a lot more people, I haven’t really found collaborators that I work with regularly yet, but that is something that I want to work on. I’d love to start a podcast like you ladies! That is something I have been thinking about, but I can’t get past coming up with a name! So, I would like to do something like a podcast or more regular content because for me, I’ve realized I love having a schedule and that’s been the hardest thing for me is just to have a consistent schedule. KL Yeah, I appreciate that. Especially being in a field that is—you know—very much creative, I think people often underestimate how much it helps to have a schedule, how much it helps to have stability, however you can make that happen. So what is great about working as a full time comedian and working the way that you work right now and maybe what’s kind of harder about it? SC I think what’s great about it is kind of what I was saying before is that I have so many outlets to discover myself and who I really am, which is something that I think is just really important for a life, you know? To know you left everything on the table and you told every story that you wanted to tell and you let everyone know who you are—and you didn’t leave this world without telling everybody that. And I think that’s really important. And then using that to inspire other people and—when I get people writing me that they are starting to draw or are starting to write satire or they are doing something else, that’s really exciting for me, and I hope that I can do more of that, which is create more things to inspire more people to create things. That’s the thing that’s great about it, it’s kind of this journey for me as a person that I get to be on and I don’t have to dedicate the majority of my day to being at a job that I am not that excited about. I can devote most of my day to doing things that get me closer to who I want to be as a person. And the thing that’s hard is staying motivated and, you know, getting out of bed, not getting frustrated to the point where I just feel like I don’t want to do anything because nothing’s working. You know, it’s really hard just when there’s nobody telling you, “hey, there’s a deadline.” You make the deadlines, sometimes you just don’t want to do that thing or you just don’t feel motivated to do that thing and so it’s—I think that’s the hardest thing is finding that consistency and that motivation for me so that I can keep going without having any external people telling me what to do. [49:00] SWB Do you have any techniques that you’ve found work for you when you’re having those moments where you’re like, “well what if I just got back under the covers?” SC Yeah. I have a journal called the “Best Self Journal” and it it has kind of changed my life and if—sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t. If I don’t use it, it’s very bad. If I use it, it changes my day. And basically what I do is the night before, I will write down every hour of how I’m going to spend the next day and doing that makes me—first of all, it makes me realize, “hey, there are—there are enough hours in the day to get done what you want to do” and also it just is this thing that I keep referring back to throughout the day to kind of stay on track. And so if I have that, it really helps me keep going because I have this plan and I can kind of follow that plan. If there’s nothing, if my day is just an open blue sky, then I will just piss it away on Twitter—and that’s—that’s what I’ll do. So, that has really helped me. SWB I love the “Best Self Journal.” I know that I’m not going to be my best self necessarily every day, [SC laughs quietly] but thinking about what would I be doing if I was really being my best version of myself in this moment is like—that sounds like a pretty cool exercise. SC Yeah. SWB Sarah, this has been really great and we are about out of time, so I have one last question for you, which is just, where can folks follow your work? SC So, my personal website is sarahcpr.com. s-a-r-a-h-c-p-r.com—c-p-r is just short for Cooper, it doesn’t mean I know CPR or anything like that. And you can see all my events on there and all my press and all that stuff. If you want to check out thecooperreview.com, that has all of the blog posts and hopefully we will return to a regular publishing schedule there as well, once we get out of the book craziness. SWB Well, that’s awesome. So, everybody, you heard her—follow Sarah and also How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings is going to be on sale by the time you’re listening to this. And even though I’m personally pretty okay with hurting some men’s feelings, I definitely loved it. So, pick it up! And Sarah, thank you so much for being here. SC Thank you. And the book has mustaches in the back that you can actually wear, so another reason to buy it. [laughs & KL & SWB join in] KL Perfect. [music fades in, plays for five seconds, and fades out] [51:20] Sponsor: Shopify SWB [Ad spot] Hey, it’s time for a quick career check with Shopify. This week we have Zeina Naboulsi on the line. She’s the executive assistant to Shopify’s CEO, Tobi Lütke, and she’s here to talk about the interview process. Zeina, tell us what you’ve learned! Zeina Naboulsi Well, one of the pieces of advice we constantly give to candidates is “just be yourself.” And it sounds so clichéd, but it’s true. Three years ago, when I interviewed at Shopify—or even when I recently sat down with Tobi about my new role—I just remember giving myself permission to be authentically me. This alleviated so much pressure. This is a new challenge for me, but going forward, I can look at it from a lens that’s really mine. Interviewing is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Imagine spending the whole time trying to be someone else. Just think, if you can approach an interview being your authentic self, you know that you’re going to show up on day one and every day after that as you. SWB Thanks, Zeina! That might sound hard to do, but it’s so true. And if you want to work with folks like Zeina, then you should check out Shopify. They’ve got roles in offices around the world, all at shopify.com/careers. [music fades in, plays for five seconds, and fades out] Fuck Yeah of the Week SWB Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. My fuck yeah today. It’s very important. KL Yeah? What is it? SWB Rock and roll. KL I love rock and roll! SWB I think there was a song like that… KL Was there? [laughs] SWB Probably. Okay, so specifically, tonight me and Katel are going to go and see Courtney Barnett— KL Ughh! SWB —and I just love her so much! Her album from earlier this year, “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” has been on repeat for me over and over and over again for the past few months. KL Me too, I love Courtney Barnett and I remember when she came out with the song “Avant Gardener,” which is essentially a song about her having a full-on public panic attack. And it’s such a great song, I identified with it so much. I really appreciate that she sings about anxiety [laughs] and depression and brings it into her art and she’s just so fucking good, I can not wait. SWB Yes. You know, there’s just something about her songwriting that really gets me because it’s like it’s quirky and fun, but it’s also often really open about things that are sad or difficult. And so I like that kind of juxtaposition and it feels really honest and kind of disarming, right? Because it feels like—it feels like you’re kind of really getting to know her. And so it makes me happy hearing her voice and it makes me feel like we don’t have to pretend that things are fine when they’re not, but that also, things are going to be okay and it’s okay even if you’re sad. KL Yeah. Plus I love any opportunity to hang out with you solo, obviously, but we are taking our partners with us tonight, so that’s a bonus. We’re doing a double date! And we’re so cool, we’re doing it on a school night. [laughs][54:01] SWB I totally still feel like, “oh my god, we’re going out on a school night.” I used to go to a lot of shows in my twenties—all through my twenties I went to shows constantly and I feel like the past few years, I really haven’t made it to as much as I would like. And—you know—part of it is getting older and it gets late and I get tired and I’m not going to lie, that happens and I’m okay with that. I’m actually pretty okay with that. But part of it I think has been because my work life has resulted in a lot of travel—I’m in and out of town, I’m at conferences, it’s sort of like going to a concert can sometimes feel just like a lot. And it’s also just hard to keep up with bands and when they’re going to be in town and am I going to be in town? So, I feel like that’s been less of my life than I’d like it to be, but I’m trying to kind of bring a little bit more balance back around that. So, we saw Sweet Spirit a few months ago. And then just recently me and Will, we went to go and see Liz Phair and relive some awesome nineties vibes, that was also excellent. KL I’m so sad I missed that. SWB Yeah, I felt like I was one of the youngs at the show—[KL laughs] KL Yeah. SWB —which is also a pretty interesting feeling because I don’t feel like that that often anymore. And so—I don’t know—I like that I feel like I’m kind of coming to terms with where I am in life, which is that I can’t go to everything and I’m also—I’m not going to go out for a drink with you after the show. KL No. SWB I’m going home! KL Going to bed. SWB I’m definitely going to bed. And—you know—I don’t really want to go to a festival. KL Yeah, no. Those are over for me. SWB But I still fucking love a good, live show and I am so fucking excited to be out there tonight seeing Courtney Barnett. So, fuck yeah to getting out and seeing artists you love! KL And fuck yeah to badass women musicians. SWB Fuck yeah! Well, that is it for this week’s episode of No, You Go. NYG is recorded in our home city of Philadelphia and it is produced by Steph Colbourn. Our theme music is by The Diaphone. Thanks to Sarah Cooper for being our guest today. KL Thanks for listening. And hey, if you like our show, don’t forget to subscribe and rate it wherever you listen to podcasts. Oh, and tell a friend or two. See you again next week! SWB Bye! [music fades in, plays alone for 32 seconds, and fades out]
Summary: Sarah Stremming, founder of The Cognitive Canine and host of Cog-Dog Raido and her partner, Dr. Leslie Eide, join me to talk about their latest addition: Watson, a 6-month-old Border Collie puppy. Next Episode: To be released 9/21/2018. TRANSCRIPTION: Melissa Breau: This is Melissa Breau and you're listening to the Fenzi Dog Sports Podcast brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, an online school dedicated to providing high-quality instruction for competitive dog sports using only the most current and progressive training methods. Today we have two guests joining us, for the first time ever: Sarah Stremming, of Cog-Dog Radio and the Cognitive Canine, and Leslie Eide. Longtime listeners are undoubtedly are already familiar with Sarah, but let me share a little about Leslie. Leslie graduated from Colorado State University’s Veterinary School in 2006. She completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine in Albuquerque, N.M., and then became certified in canine rehabilitation with a focus in sports medicine. She is now a resident with the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Eide also helped to create and teaches some of the classes to become a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT) through the University of Tennessee's NorthEast Seminars. Like Sarah, Dr. Eide is involved in the agility world. She has trained two dogs to their ADCH Agility Dog Champion title and one to ADCH Bronze, an Agility Trial Champion title and a Master Agility Champion title. Three of her dogs have qualified and competed at USDAA Nationals with multiple Grand Prix Semi-final runs. And today, these two lovely ladies are here to talk to us about puppies, especially one in particular … . But we’ll get to that. Welcome back to the podcast, Sarah — and hi Leslie! Pleasure to “meet” you. Sarah Stremming: Hi Melissa. Leslie Eide: Hi Melissa. Melissa Breau: To start us out, Sarah, can you just remind listeners how many dogs you have now and who they are? Sarah Stremming: I have two Border Collies. Idgie is 9 years old and she’s my main competition dog right now. And Felix is 3 years old, and he’s in training and just keeping me on my toes. Melissa Breau: Leslie, would you mind sharing the same intro for your dogs, including the newest addition? Leslie Eide: My oldest is Brink, a 12-year-old Border Collie, and he right now is champion of holding the couch down. Next would be Stig, my 7-year-old Border Collie, who’s the main competition dog right now and who most of my online training videos have in them. Next is Ghost, my 5-year-old Australian Shepherd, and she is quickly trying to surpass Stig as the main competition dog. And then finally the puppy, Watson, is 6 months old and 1 day, and he is a new Border Collie. Melissa Breau: So, it’s Watson I really wanted to talk about today. Leslie, would you mind sharing a little on how you wound up with him? And why him … even though that meant bringing him over from Japan? Leslie Eide: It just kind of happened. I didn’t go out looking for a Border Collie and saying, “Japan is the place to get him!” I actually met Miki, who is sort of his breeder but not really, a couple of years ago at Cynosport, which is the USDA agility national competition, or international competition, but it’s always held in the U.S. One of her dogs had something happen to him, and I worked on him at the event and he did really well, and we became Facebook friends and stayed in contact. Last year, she won Grand Prix with her dog Soledea. And Soledea, the weird part about it, actually belongs to someone else. She just competes with her. She announced that Soledea was having a litter, and I had been looking for, I don’t know, probably had my feelers out for about a year, looking for a Border Collie puppy. I really liked Soledea, so through Facebook I was like, “Hey, I’m sort of interested,” and she was really excited about it. When the puppies were born, I many times thought it was too much trying to get a puppy from Japan, and everything you have to go through, and blah, blah, blah, blah. I kept saying, “No, no, no, no,” and finally she said, “I’m getting the puppy to L.A. Make sure you’re there to go pick him up.” And I was like, “OK.” So that’s how it ended up getting a puppy from Japan. It all comes back to the world of sports medicine, and that’s how you find puppies. So a little bit of fate in a way of it was just meant to be, despite all the odds. Melissa Breau: Sometimes, when it’s meant to happen, it’s just meant to happen, and it doesn’t matter how many times you say, “Well, that’s pretty complicated.” You end up with the puppy. Leslie Eide: Yeah. Melissa Breau: I know Sarah has talked a bit about him on her podcast and you’ve both blogged about him a little bit. My understanding is that you guys are doing things a little … for lack of a better word … differently than other agility handlers or even dog trainers might with a new puppy. Can you share a little bit about your approach thus far with him? What are you working on, what have you worked on? Leslie Eide: For me, it’s not much different than I would say I’ve raised my other puppies. I’m maybe what you would think of as a lazy trainer. I’m more about building a relationship than necessarily having a list of things I have to accomplish — “He’s this old, he must be able to do these ten things.” I just let everything happen in a more organic manner of he shows me he can do it, and then I say, “OK, I’m going to reinforce that.” An example is I had him at the agility trial this weekend. He hopped on the measuring table and … we’ve never worked on “stay” a day in his life, and because he was willing to stand on the table, I took the opportunity to say, “Hey, I can reinforce this,” and got some really good training in when it was again more organic of him telling me he knew he was ready for it, rather than saying, “He has to know how to stay by a certain age,” or “He has to be able to know how to wrap a wing jump by a certain age,” that kind of thing. Sarah Stremming: For me, more what I do with Watson is teaching him how to be a dog in this house, and how to go out on off-leash walks — as everybody knows I’m pretty into — and providing him with lots of environmental enrichment. I just want to make sure that he maintains this delightfully optimistic personality that he has. I know that you had Julie Daniels, I think just last week, and she talked about optimism. I loved it. I like that word for describing what he is, because it’s not like he doesn’t have any fears, because they all do. That’s not real. That’s not realistic. It’s more that when he encounters something novel, his first guess is that it’s going to be good for him, and I just want that to stay there, because if that stays there, then agility training is a piece of cake. If you’re not trying to overcome fear of other dogs, or fear of strangers, or fear of loud noises or weird substrates or anything like that, agility training is not that hard, especially for a pretty seasoned competitor like Leslie. I think both of us feel pretty confident in training agility skills and also handling. Not that we can’t improve and that we’re always trying to improve, but for me, I want him to maintain that really optimistic outlook on when something new is happening, he’s game to try it. Leslie Eide: I guess I would add, goes along with what Sarah was saying, is I also want him to learn what it’s like to be a dog in my life. So, like she said, being able to live in a household with lots of dogs, but it’s also about getting used to our schedule. I’m a busy person and usually work 12-hour days, and while he may get to come with me to work, he also has to realize there’s going to be some really boring time at work where he just has to sit and chill. And that happens at home too. So that’s really important to me that he doesn’t necessarily get upset or get stir-crazy or all upset when he doesn’t have something to constantly do. Border Collies are definitely busy, smart dogs, and so learning what our life is like, and not necessarily doing things out of the ordinary while he’s a puppy, and then suddenly, when he’s grown up, being like, “OK, now you’re an adult, and you just have to live with how our life is,” but rather teaching him how to handle it when he’s young. Sarah Stremming: You said, “How are you guys doing stuff differently?” I think that is the primary component, because most sport people that I know, especially in the agility world, really, really want their puppy to have tons and tons of drive to work with the handler. I’m not saying that’s bad. We want that too. But they tend to go about it in a way that seems really imbalanced to me, and the dog experiences isolation/boring-ness or super-exciting training time. That’s not how we live. I guess if your dogs all live in kennels and they come out to train multiple times a day, then you could pull that off. But we both want our dogs to be free for 90 percent of their time. We just don’t want them to be crated, kenneled, etc., for large portions of their lives, so they have to learn how to just hang out early on. Melissa Breau: I don’t remember if it was the blog or the podcast, but I feel like I remember something one of you at one point put out about planning to hold off on teaching certain skills until he’s a bit older. I was hoping you could talk a little bit about that too. What skills are you holding off on, maybe, and sharing a little bit of the reasoning. I know we’ve talked about it a little bit already. Leslie Eide: I think mostly the blog was relating to agility skills, and that a lot of times we start teaching the foundation movements right away with a puppy, like wrapping a wing, groundwork. You’re not necessarily putting them on equipment or doing anything like that, but everything that you are teaching them in some way relates to eventually an agility skill, including convincing them to tug with you. That’s a big thing of “They have to tug,” and it goes from there. Those things I think will come. I’m not going to push for them too soon. That’s kind of going back to the story of working on a stay on the table this past weekend. If he shows me he’s ready for something, then I’ll take advantage of it, but I’m not going to push him ahead of his comfort level. I’d rather him be comfortable with everything, be happy with playing with me, and know that good things come from me and that we’re going to do fun things, rather than taking it straight to an agility focus. Melissa Breau: I’d assume the two of you have had a pretty big influence on each other, and your approach to dogs and all that good stuff, over the years. From the outside, at least, it seems like you’re essentially taking all Sarah’s developed with her Whole Picture approach and applying it to Watson. Sarah, is that accurate? And for those not as familiar with your approach, can you give us the down and dirty version of what I’m talking about? Sarah Stremming: I would say that’s accurate. The Four Steps to Behavioral Wellness is what we’re talking about. That would be communication, nutrition, exercise, and enrichment. The communication front — that’s just training. That’s just having a positive-reinforcement-based training relationship with the dog, where you give the dog a lot of good positive feedback all the time. Nutrition is kind of self-explanatory, and Leslie’s a vet, so I pretty much defer to her in that regard with him. Exercise — I like free exercise. He certainly goes on leash walks, but the leash walks are more about learning how to walk on a leash than exercise. Again, I defer to Leslie in the exercise department because her field is sports medicine. You definitely don’t want to be overdoing it with a puppy at all, and he would like to be completely wild and run and run and run all day long, so we have to talk about that. The enrichment piece is really big for me. We do lots of things for him to shred. You should see our house. There’s cardboard shreds everywhere. So just giving him things to shred, feeding him his meals out of a slow bowl, we have all kinds of little kibble-dispensing toys around, lots of chew bones, things like that. So just making sure that his brain is exercised, his body is exercised, he is not confused, he is communicated with appropriately, and that he is fed well. That’s what we’re trying to do. Melissa Breau: Leslie, I’d guess your background’s had a pretty big influence on your general approach, right? How has your experience as a vet and a canine rehab specialist influenced your views on this stuff and led you to take this approach? Leslie Eide: It’s maybe changed it a little bit, but not much. I’ve always been a little bit more laid back with my approach with puppies. I’ve always had this belief that puppies should get to be puppies and experience their puppyhood, and not just be thrown into intensive sport training right from Day 1. Maybe that’s a little bit of backlash from my own experience of being thrown into competitive swimming as a 5-year-old and doing that for most of my young life, and everything was about training and being really serious. I also would say, from the vet side of things, I think there’s a lot of injuries that can happen when they’re young, and by pushing things and doing stuff repetitively that causes problems at a young age, or maybe they’re not as visible at a young age, but then they show up a little later in life and can definitely cut their careers short. I want to be successful, but I also want to do it for a long time, and not just a year or two and then have to give it up because they’re hurt for some reason. Melissa Breau: We’ve talked quite a bit about what you’re NOT doing. So I’d love to hear … I know you mentioned a little bit of leash walking. I’d imagine you’re doing some other training with him. What ARE you focusing on as far as training goes with Watson right now? Leslie Eide: Well, Sarah’s trying to teach me how to teach him marker cues. We’ll see how that goes. So we definitely have that going on. He gets the basics of “sit” and “down,” and again, most of it is capturing offered behavior, rather than setting out as a training session of “OK, we’re going to learn this behavior.” We do fitness exercises, so I have my building blocks that I use to make all my canine fitness exercises. So starting to work on ones that are appropriate for him, like learning targeting, front paw targeting, rear paw targeting, being comfortable getting in an object or on an object, like a box or a disc or something like that. And then a lot of new experiences still. Most recently, over the past couple of weeks I’d say, I worked to introduce him to the underwater treadmill so he can start getting some exercise in that, since that’s a really easy way for me to exercise him at work. Melissa Breau: That’s so cool. Leslie Eide: Going places, we went to the beach for the first time, he goes to shops and meets people, he goes to agility trials and hangs out. Like I said, at agility trial learned how to do a stand-stay on the measuring table. So I’m the anti-planner. I don’t set out with “We’re going to learn this.” It’s more see what happens and go from there. Sarah Stremming: For me, the things that I need to teach him are things that make him easier for me to manage in a house with six dogs. We’ve recently started working hard on all the dogs are trained to release out the door by name, and so I want Watson also to know that with everybody else. So we’ve been working on some very early iterations of that. And things like the best stuff for puppies is not on the counter or the kitchen table. The best stuff for puppies is on the ground. And body handling, so handling your feet, and looking in your mouth, and accepting passive restraint, as is so important for all of them to learn. Things like that are more my focus with him. Leslie Eide: I would say something that’s really big is playtime, too. That’s not necessarily something like a skill we’re teaching, but just making sure that playtime happens every day in some form. Melissa Breau: Are there skills that you think get overlooked that you’re making sure to cover right from the start? You mentioned handling, you mentioned play skills. Anything else on that list for you? Sarah Stremming: I do think body handling gets overlooked, but for me, especially within the sport of dog agility, I think a lot of people start out with puppies ringside, watching agility, trying to “teach them” to be cool waiting their turn. And then what happens is at a certain age the puppy notices what’s going on in the ring, and they start to wiggle and scream and not contain themselves. And then, depending on the trainer, the puppy might get a correction, or the puppy might be removed from the arena, or they might try to distract the puppy with food, or I saw a competitor once basically just hit the side of her puppy with a tug toy until the puppy decided to turn around and latch on the tug toy instead of squeal at the dogs in the ring. For me, again, it’s an answer of what are we omitting? But it’s about the teaching him the skill of waiting his turn before we ever ask him to wait his turn. The early, early iterations for that, for me, look like feeding all of the dogs a little bite of something, and I say their name and I feed them, and then I say their name and I feed them. Watson is trying to eat everything that I’m feeding, but he doesn’t get anything until I say his name and then feed him. So he’s bouncing around and being ridiculous, and all the other dogs are sitting and waiting, and eventually they go, “Oh, this isn’t that hard. When she says my name, I get to eat.” Just like what Leslie was talking about, they show you that capability when they have it. It’s kind of like a 3-year-old child only has so much self-control, and I really feel that way about puppies too. They only have so much ability to “wait their turn.” So teaching him the skill of waiting his turn way before we ever ask him to wait his turn is a big one for me that I think people maybe don’t overlook, but go about it in a way that I wouldn’t. Leslie Eide: For me, it’s relationship. He can train, and he knew how to do that from pretty much the moment I got him, but he didn’t necessarily know that I was a special person to him. So, to me, it’s about building a relationship before asking him for a list of skills that he needs to be able to do. Definitely, training can help build that relationship, but I think it’s also just one-on-one time, especially when there’s a large number of dogs in the household. And it’s about snuggles and play and that kind of thing. Melissa Breau: Obviously we all TRY, when we get a new puppy, to do everything right, and there’s definitely nothing more stressful than that feeling. But inevitably something goes wrong. We’re out and about and another dog barks and lunges at the puppy, or kids come flying at the puppy’s face, screaming, and they scare the bejesus out of him. Have either of you had to deal with any of those types of moments yet? And if so, how did you handle it? Is there prep work you’ve done, or things you do in the moment … or even afterwards, stuff you do for damage control that you can talk about a little bit? Sarah Stremming: We honestly haven’t had anything big that I have experienced, but there have been things that he saw and went, “Huh, I’m not sure about that.” Like, we had him in this little beach town after running on the beach and there was a lot of construction going on, and so there was a jackhammer going into the concrete, and he wasn’t sure if that was what should be happening, and I can’t blame him, really. What was important for me, and what I usually tell people to do, is as long as the puppy is still observing the thing, allow them to continue to observe the thing. So he looked at it until he was done looking at it, and then he turned away from it, and then we all retreated away from it together. I think what people try to do instead is they try to distract the puppy away from it with food, or they try to make it a positive event with food, or they try to drag the puppy towards it, maybe, or lure the puppy towards it, and it’s best to just let them experience their environment from a distance that they feel comfortable with. He really hasn’t had any huge startles about anything. I tend not to let him see a lot of people unless I know them, because he is going to jump on them and I don’t want them to be a jerk about that. He did meet one strange dog that I hadn’t planned on him meeting once on a walk. And that dog — I actually posted a video of this on the Cognitive Canine Facebook page — that dog was inviting play before Watson was ready, and he scared Watson a little bit, but not terrible. What was amazing was that Felix walked up and intervened, and then the dog played with Felix. Watson still stayed there, and then he was like, “OK, I can tag along if there’s three of us, but I don’t want to be the center of attention.” If he had run away, let’s say that dog had really scared him and he had tucked his tail and run towards me or something, if the puppy is coming to me looking for shelter from whatever it is, I always give it to them. So I would have absolutely picked him up and just allowed him to look at the dog from a distance. But I tend not to try to involve food in those moments unless the dog is trying to approach. Let’s say, when Felix was a puppy, he saw a fire hydrant, seemingly for the first time, and decided that it was monster. I let him look at it as long as he wanted to the first day he saw it, and then we walked away. And then the next day, he looked at it and he wanted to sniff it and approach it, and I fed him for that. And then the third day, he was like, “Oh, here’s the thing. Feed me.” And I was like, “OK, good. Done. Here’s one cookie, and now I’m never going to feed you for that again because it’s over.” I think people freak out, and if you freak out and they’re freaking out, then we’re all freaking out, and it’s not a good thing. Leslie Eide: Yeah, he really hasn’t had anything, but I completely agree with Sarah. And I’m pretty good about it, again, going along with not planning everything. I’m pretty chill about everything, so when he reacts to something, I’m not going to feed into it by being like, “Oh my god.” It’s about, “Cool, dude. Check it out. I’m not going to force you into anything. We’ll just stand here. If you’re comfortable staying here looking at it, then that’s where we’ll stay.” If food comes into play, it’s for when he turns around and looks at me and says, “OK, let’s go.” It’s more of a reinforcement of choosing to be back with me and go on with me on our whatever we’re doing, not a reinforcement for necessarily … Sarah Stremming: Which we would do if the thing was exciting, too, not just if it’s scary. It’s “Choose me over the stuff in the environment that interests you.” Melissa Breau: I’d love to end on a high note. Can each of you share one piece of advice for anyone out there with their own puppy, hoping to raise a happy, balanced dog? Leslie Eide: My piece of advice would probably be something like, “It’s all going to be OK.” We all can make mistakes, and luckily dogs are very forgiving, so don’t beat yourself up if something bad happens or you make a mistake. There’s lots that you can do to bounce back and still have a perfectly wonderful puppy. Sarah Stremming: I think mine is really similar to yours, in that I would say … Melissa, you had mentioned we’re all paranoid about doing everything right and that’s really stressful. So my piece of advice would be to embrace and accept that you will not do everything right. Embrace and accept that you will screw something up at some point and that you’ll survive, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll learn, and that will in the end be a good thing too. I seriously look back on every puppy and go, “Yeah, could have done that better, could have done that better.” All of us do that, and that’s fine. Embrace it and run with it. Melissa Breau: For folks out there who are interested in following along as Watson grows up, what’s the best way to do that? And where can people who want to stalk — or at least follow — each of you, where can they go to stay up to date? Sarah Stremming: The first question, where can they follow Watson, we are running a subscription to a blog just about Watson. It’s called “Puppy Elementary,” and you can find that by clicking the Puppy Elementary tab on my website, which is thecognitivecanine.com. Again, you can follow me at thecognitivecanine.com. That’s where I blog. I also have a podcast called Cog-Dog Radio, and of course I’m on Facebook with The Cognitive Canine and Cog-Dog Radio, and just me, so that’s where you can find me. You can find Leslie at work — all day, every day! We are teaching our course together … is it next term? October? Jumping Gymnastics, for FDSA, together, so you can find Leslie there too. But your website is thetotalcanine.net?Leslie Eide: Yes. And Facebook. I’m on there. My business-y type page is The Total Canine, which has a Facebook page, and then the website is thetotalcanine.net and it is “canine” spelled out. And my real work is SOUND Veterinary Rehabilitation Center, and it’s on Facebook, and the website is soundvetrehab.com. Melissa Breau: Where are you located again, just in case somebody is in your area and wants to come look you up? Sarah Stremming: About 40 miles north of Seattle, but the SOUND Veterinary Rehab Center is in Shoreline, Washington, which is just north of Seattle. Melissa Breau: One last question for each of you — my new “last interview question” that I’ve been asking everyone: What’s a lesson that you’ve learned or been reminded of recently when it comes to dog training? Sarah, you want to go first? Sarah Stremming: Mine is exceedingly nerdy. When I told Leslie what it was, she was like, “Oh God.” It’s to remember not to stay on lesser approximations for too long. In real words, plain English, basically that means to progress as fast as possible. So don’t wait for perfection before moving on to the next thing that you’re going to be reinforcing. I’m always shooting for low error rates, high rates of reinforcement, I like nice, clean training, and because of that, sometimes I can stay on approximations that are not the final behavior for a little bit too long because I get a little bit too perfectionistic on those, and it bites me every time. I was recently reminded of it in Felix’s contact training. Melissa Breau: I’ve never done that. Sarah Stremming: I know, right? I think it’s the sickness, honestly, of people who are really obsessed with training just get way too fixated on the details. But anyway, that’s mine. Leslie Eide: I think I’m going to pick one specifically to make fun of Sarah. Sarah Stremming: I expect no less. Leslie Eide: In that it’s something that I never do, but she probably really wishes I would, and that’s take data. Sarah Stremming: Leslie never takes data. Leslie Eide: No. Sarah Stremming: I take data on everything. I always say that if we could put us together, we’d be a great trainer, because I’m too detail-oriented and nitpicky, and she’s too freeform. Leslie Eide: Yeah. Sarah Stremming: Which is why together, with Jumping Gymnastics, I think we do a nice job teaching together, because we do come from both of those different sides. Melissa Breau: Thank you so much, ladies, for coming on the podcast! And we managed upon a time when both of you could join me, so that’s awesome. Thank you. Sarah Stremming: Thanks for having us. Leslie Eide: Thank you. Melissa Breau: Thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in! We’ll be back next week talking about details with Hannah Branigan to talk about prepping for competition and more. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or the podcast app of your choice to have our next episode automatically downloaded to your phone as soon as it becomes available. CREDITS: Today’s show is brought to you by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Special thanks to Denise Fenzi for supporting this podcast. Music provided royalty-free by BenSound.com; the track featured here is called “Buddy.” Audio editing provided by Chris Lang. Thanks again for tuning in -- and happy training!
“We're all different and that's part of human nature, to celebrate those differences.” -Sarah Dennis Calling in, rather than calling out… In this episode, I had the privilege to discuss the history and the current reality of racism in our society as well as the potential for change from the inside out (and the outside in) with educator Sarah Dennis and artist & activist Ashley Lana Scott. Sarah and Ashley had never met before so this was a truly candid conversation about what it takes to be an ally, how to support one another in looking inward at our internalized racism (regardless of skin color), and why these sometimes uncomfortable conversations are crucial to the cultural dialogue. (BTW, that's the difference between calling in and calling out… IN is initiating a conversation, OUT is pointing a finger in an accusatory way.) Of course we talk about impostor syndrome and feeling like a total fraud when trying to have said difficult conversations, too! This is a conversation that is humorous, sensitive, hopeful and deeply thought-provoking. So take a deep breath, relax your mind open, have a listen, and let me know what you think over in the Facebook Group… And if you haven't already, check out Episode 045: Talking to strangers, where you'll hear how I met Julie and why I'm taking on a theme on the show that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Also, Episode 046 with Andrea Ranae Johnson on how to use your power and privilege for good. Connect with Ashley Ashley Lana Scott's Website Ashley's Facebook Ashley's Instagram Ashley's Twitter Ashley's LinkedIn “At the end of the day, the thing that is pulling the strings is our silence, on every side, and that silence is deadly. Like Sarah was saying, when you allow yourself to feel that shame and then you don't want to do anything about it, you allow it to overcome your action, it makes the decision for you… I suggest getting your hands dirty with that shame.” -Ashley Lana Scott Connect with Sarah Sarah Dennis's Website “I actually like the word ‘co-conspirator' better, I think ‘ally' is really soft and wimpy. For me it's not a call to action, being an ally. But being a co-conspirator makes me feel like, “I want to dismantle this system and I'm going to do anything I can to figure out what that looks like.” -Sarah Dennis Show Notes Galore: http://www.thecreativeimpostor.com Magic Page! Get a free gift from me: http://www.thecreativeimpostor.com/magic This episode was mixed by Edwin R. Ruiz of Mondo Machine. The Creative Impostor theme music was created by JoVia Armstrong. I'd LOVE to hear from you! If you're listening in Apple Podcasts, PLEASE subscribe and leave a review.
Our guest this month is Sarah Levett, a veteran of the Aussie comedy scene. We talked about never being too old to try something new, working in LA, working in radio, balancing motherhood with a career among other things. Now we recorded late morning on a weekday so if you hear what sounds like a power saw a couple of times in the background,it is!. The neighbours’ were renovating! It’s only a couple of times though! Enjoy the episode! Like Sarah on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-Levett-115071285270107/?fref=ts For bookings and more http://sarahlevett.com/ Follow Sarah on Twitter https://twitter.com/SarahLevett Like Women In Comedy The Podcast on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/womenincomedythepodcast Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/wicpodcastoz Like Jasmine and Thao on Facebook www.facebook.com/JasmineLangdon38/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thao-Thanh-Cao/1507264242875083?fref=ts Twitter @JasLangdon38 and @Thao_Thanh_Cao Find us on Itunes, subscribe and give us a review! https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/women-in-comedy-the-podcast/id992781966