Actor, director and business owner Noel Elie joins us to talk about marketing and branding your business, what it’s like to be an actor in Hollywood, and how to keep an optimistic outlook when going for your goals.

Brene Brown Unlocking Us episode Completing the Stress Cycle

TW: Eating Disorders




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A disussion about naturopathic medicine, naturopathic doctors, and what you can do every day to improve your health. Welcome the amazing doctor Joy worked with for Graves’ disease, Dr. Kayla Cook.


AANP WEBSITE: Naturopathic Doctors


Dry Skin Brushing




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Sass is back! We welcome Laura Ligos back to the podcast! We discuss: pregnancy and post partum nutrition, wanting to lose weight but not wanting the diet culture that comes with it, the problem with MLMs, the 1200 calorie diet myth, post-pandemic uptic of diet culture, and a fast round Q&A!




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Why you would work a lower-paying job, does following your passion really bring in the money, can you have money, freedom and happiness? Abby Wambach’s book Wolfpack, Joy starting at BetterHelp, how to really know what it feels like when you have a good therapist, the problem with gaps in resumes being a thing, and which sports we would rather do.

Who Gets to Be an Influencer

The Debate Over Critical Race Theory




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This is Joy & Claire Episode 82: Does Following Your Passion Really Bring in the Money?

Episode Date: July 8, 2021

Transcription Completed: July 21, 2021

Audio Length: 52:22 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. 

Claire: Welcome.

Joy: Welcome to our world, welcome to our world.

Claire: Oh my gosh, I was behind a car this morning that had, not a license plate, but the license plate frame, and it didn’t have the actual letters written out, but if you read it, it said M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E. 

Joy: Oh, I love it.

Claire: But it didn’t have an M, an I. It was like E-Y-E. Then I was like, M-I-C-K – ohhh.

Joy: Don’t you love when you get the cryptic license plates.

Claire: And I love that it was so wholesome. I was ready for it to be something about balls or something. You’re like, oh, it’s Mickey Mouse. 

Joy: It’s actually clean. It’s not dirty. Yay. Oh, that’s so funny. I can’t remember… Scott saw…. Some of the license plates you see on cars around here. He sent me a picture of a Jeep that had replicated the Barbie Jeep. It was to the T the color. It was crazy. Okay, well hi. Hello. Hello everybody out there in the listening podcast land. We have an email to start with. We talked last week about why you would work a lower-paying job and salaries and your worth and so on and so forth. One of our listeners, EJ, wrote us an email. Hi, EJ. It says, “Hi Joy and Claire. After your recent episode on job salaries, I thought I’d write in since I work a job that would pay much more in the private sector. I’m currently an AmeriCorps member in a non-profit that does disaster relief construction. My job is to lead volunteers through all phases of construction on the houses where we’re building. An equivalent job, like a project manager or site supervisor, could pay between $40-150,000 depending on years of experience. AmeriCorps member specifically state national make $14,000 in their 10-month term of service. It is not a salary. It is a living stipend. This is because we are serving the community, and most of the people we serve live by similar means. It is by no means a long-term job. Literally you can only serve four terms in a state and national branch of AmeriCorps. I’ve been thinking a lot of the same things you all were talking about because I’m nearing the end of my third term. I will have earned my maximum education award by then, so it is not financially worth continuing beyond 20 months of service, for me at least. I’m now faced with the same questions I had in college. What do I want to do in life? How do I want to make an impact? What brings me joy? I also have to hope that there is a job out there that fits those questions AND that I’m qualified for AND that will pay me decently. I, too, am running into jobs that would pay better but aren’t as fulfilling to me. As a young person, I often wonder if I’m being too picky. Should I just take a job that I don’t enjoy for 2-3 years to get experience for a job I might actually like? My gut tells me to follow my passion and money will follow. But I also know that my passion for non-profits is not lucrative, even though I may be worth more. It’s quite a decision that I’m faced with. All I can confidently say is that service is important to me. If at the end of the day that means lower salary, I’m okay with that. For now, at least. Maybe that will change, but right now the fulfillment I get from my job outweighs the monetary gain. Also, literally any job will pay more than the AmeriCorps stipend that I’m getting right now, so yeah. Best of luck in the job hunt, Joy. EJ.”

Claire: I love this because I think it just brings up that there’s so much more context to this decision for everyone. It will depend on what life stage you’re in. We’ve talked a lot in the past about not being too picky and taking any opportunity that’s “in the zip code” of what your goals are and that you can really get into analysis paralysis waiting for the perfect, exact right fit.

Joy: Yes. Which is very real.

Claire: Totally. Very, very real. There also is the balance between don’t necessarily feel like you have to wait for the perfect fit, but also don’t sell yourself short on opportunities just because they aren’t the perfect fit.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: Don’t’ pass up things just because they aren’t exactly what you thought they were going to be. And yeah, maybe there are certain points in your life. Like I talked about last time, I was an unpaid intern for the first several years of my career, and that was more because of the economy at the time than because of how I wanted to live my life. But at the time, It was like, yeah, I could eat random food scraps from the backpacking closet. 

Joy: Right.

Claire: Now if I did that, it would be a big problem.

Joy: But I think being too picky thing, I feel like it comes up a lot. I feel like it comes up a lot when we’re searching for jobs and looking for opportunities and the ideas that we have around jobs and fulfillment. So I reposted something that Adam Grant posted yesterday. It kicked me in the gut. I struggle with this so much. I don’t know if there’s an answer, but if anyone out there can weigh in to help me with this, it drives me up the wall. It says, “Think twice about opportunities that offer more status but less freedom. Winning accolades and influence is rarely worth it if you lose the ability to control your time and express your voice. Happiness hinges on maintaining freedom. Success is gaining degrees of freedom.” Truly, can you have a higher-status job… can you have both? And you look at all the white men in power that have these jobs, but can they maintain this level of unhappiness? All of it, my mind starts getting into cobwebs.

Claire: I think it really depends on what you have come to expect. Because I think I see a lot of people who have these higher-paying jobs that really aren’t – well, first of all, I don’t think that statement he made applies to all higher-paying jobs. It was saying that just because something has this higher status doesn’t always mean –

Joy: Like are you selling your freedom? True.

Claire: But not that they can never go together.

Joy: Right. And I think that’s where I’m asking is, can you have both?

Claire: I think you can, and I see that people do have both. But I think that it’s not as automatic. When you’re moving up or you get a job that has more status or it’s the sexy job, you equate a lot of things with that in your mind, and a lot of times when we as Americans think about a successful lifestyle that comes with – vacations and all this luxury, and that’s definitely not the case. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Dare to Lead podcast, which I love.

Joy: Brene Brown, Dare to Lead, great.

Claire: I love that podcast. I’m not really a podcast person, as you guys know, and I say this every single time that I recommend a podcast, but I really like this one. The one I was listening to was the episode with Doug Conant. He was this very, apparently, well-known CEO. He worked for Kraft. He worked for Campbell Soup. He worked for a lot of big food companies, and he really turned them around. Anyway, the point of this is he had this really high paying, really successful, really high-profile, came to really be well-known career, and one of the things at the end – Brene has this thing where all the guests she has on her podcast, she asks them all the same five questions at the end of the podcast. Somehow it came up that he was really grateful for having been home during the pandemic because he actually was able to sit down at the dinner table with his kids who are now in their 30s and 40s. He was like, “It made me realize how much I think I might have missed because I was never there when they were growing up because I was always working and I had this big career.” It was just one of those moments that you rarely get, sort of this glimpse behind the curtain. People will talk about that, but they’ll immediately spin it around and be like, “But it was worth it. I’m really fulfilled.” They try to put the silver lining on it right away, and it was just this really great – I don’t think he even meant it to be this moment of this look behind this curtain of him looking back on his life and realizing, yeah, I missed a lot. So you know, it’s all relative.

Joy: Do you believe in the follow your passion and money will follow?

Claire: I want to.

Joy: I struggle with that one so much.

Claire: But I don’t really believe it. Because I haven’t seen it happen, unless you’re like the one in ten thousand Instagram influencers. I think that’s the thing is that the only time I’ve ever seen that really take place is in the influencer world. And even that, I think requires a price that is beyond what most people really recognize. That your whole life just becomes this quest for content.

Joy: Yes, yes.

Claire: Everything that you do and every moment of your life, you’re constantly thinking how can this be a post, how can I turn this into a package and sell it? So you’ll see people who are like, “I discovered my passion, and now I make a $1 million a month on Instagram.” That’s because at the end of the day, that person’s passion is content creation.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: And that’s fine and great for them for living in an era where content creation is king. But truly, that’s the core of it. “I found my passion” – it’s like when you get to the root of their true “passion” is, they have to be super passionate about creating content. But when it comes to this big picture follow your passion and the money will come, I think follow your passion and the fulfillment will come. And I think a certain amount of money has to be a part of that because it’s really hard to feel fulfilled if you can’t make ends meet.

Joy: I just think it’s way more nuanced than all of these catch phrases, and I think that’s what really bothers me. We get into these catch phrases where it’s like, it’s actually not true. Sure, you don’t want to be miserable, so you want to do something that you’re not hating life every single day. But sometimes you have to do those jobs to get by. I feel like it’s a little bit gaslighting to be like, “follow your passion and the money will follow.”

Claire: Totally. Because then it makes you feel like, I must somehow be –

Joy: It’s kind of like the secret when bad stuff happens. “Well, I must not have been manifesting,” and you’re blaming yourself for it, and I hate that crap. I think that’s what I have a problem with. Maybe some would argue, “Joy, you’re not manifesting correctly if that’s how you’re thinking.” But I’m just like, no. And I’m probably part realist too where I have to land in the middle. I can’t keep my feet off the ground for that long, or else I go crazy. Maybe that’s why I don’t manifest a gazillion dollars in my brain. I don’t know. Those are the things that come up when I think “follow your passion and the money will follow.” Speaking of influencers, have you seen the episode of the New York Times – you probably haven’t. It’s called “Who Gets to Be an Influencer.” I highly recommend it if you guys have Hulu, or I think you can watch it on YouTube. But just Google “Who Gets to Be an Influencer,” and I’ll also put it in the show notes. A guy put together a group of Black influencers in a mansion in Atlanta to shake things up, kind of like the groups of –

Claire: The TikTok houses.

Joy: Yeah, the TikTok houses in California where it’s all white people. And their discussion is around how to get more Black influencers onto the grid because the algorithm right now is very white. And white influencers are being exponentially more than Black influencers. But not only that, it’s a vicious cycle because white influencers get more views. It’s almost like, again, the system is set up to pay white people more. So it’s a really interesting episode about how they’re working on creating content and putting more focus on getting Black influencers more exposure. Highly recommend it. “Who Gets to Be an Influencer.”

Claire: The way you said that in the beginning, I thought you were going to say it’s like a game show like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 

Joy: Oh, no. Yeah. No, The New York Times does episodes around specific things. They did the whole Britney Spears episode around her conservatorship. They have significant stories, I don’t know if it’s every month, they put out on Hulu and also you can YouTube it. Highly recommend watching that. Which then also makes me very conscious of how I consume content. Am I seeing only white people on my feed? And how can we diversify our feeds?

Claire: Always. I think about that pretty much all the time. Because I’m always on Instagram.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: One of the – yeah. I was going to launch into a whole Instagram thing.

Joy: Let’s not give Instagram – talk about the episode you were mentioning with Abby Wambach and Brene.

Claire: Oh, yeah. Also last week we talked about how you don’t have to settle for just “be grateful” and how so many of us were raised to have this knee jerk reaction to not ask for more because we were taught don’t be ungrateful. Don’t ask for more. Don’t be ungrateful. I was listening to the Dare to Lead podcast episode with Brene Brown and Abby Wambach. 

Joy: Look at you. Brene.

Claire: Two Brene Brown episodes in one week. It’s amazing. It’s because I have been working out earlier in the morning, and it’s too early to call my mom.

Joy: [laughing] Carol’s not up.

Claire: Or she’s actually doing things, so I can’t just call her to chat. She’s probably going to listen to this and be like, “You can call me. It’s not that early.” It’s like 7 in the morning. So I was listening to Brene and Abby go through Abby Wambach’s book called Wolf Pack. It’s all about leadership style and what she learned about leadership from her career as a super successful soccer player. And it turns out, she has a whole chapter specifically about this trap of “just be grateful.” For her, she talks about how she had this lightbulb moment as she was leaving the SB awards. And she was there with LeBron James.

Joy: LeBron and another big, high-paid athlete. Male.

Claire: Yeah. These other athletes who had made tens of millions of dollars, and their biggest concern was what am I going to do to invest my millions and millions of dollars. And her biggest concern was how am I going to pay my mortgage next month. 

Joy: Right. She’s like, the gap was so huge.

Claire: So she talks about this moment a lot. She went back to her hotel that night and she realized, “My world is so different.” Even though her physical contribution to the sport, she has scored the most goals of any soccer player ever in history, and yet here she is without a retirement plan practically. So she talks about how she had this realization that her whole career, she had sort of had this subconscious feeling that she didn’t really deserve to be in any of the places that she was but that she had been invited there and she should be so grateful that someone had asked her to come.

Joy: Right. You should be grateful that you’re at the table.

Claire: You should be grateful that you’re here. And she’s like, not that I’m not grateful. But she’s like, I freaking earned that. Every single spot, I worked for it. I am great at what I do, and that’s why I was there. I wasn’t there because someone else was showing – and I’m paraphrasing her words. She pretty much was like, I had this realization that my whole career felt like I was only there because someone else had graciously given this opportunity to me, not that I had earned the opportunity from my own hard work and skill. It completely goes along with what we were saying last week. As I was listening to it, I was like, oh I didn’t come up with this idea. Abby Wambach had it first. And I’m sure a million other people have had it. I always love hearing really outwardly successful people talk about these kinds of things, and I think it’s getting more and more common. But I feel like I always tell this story that on my first day of grad school – I did a graduate program through a law school, so my orientation was the same orientation as the law school orientation. So all of the speakers that they had on that first day were all these successful Colorado lawyers. The first female judge on the Colorado Supreme Court. People who were really successful and a ton of people who you would look at and think this person must have known they wanted to do this since they were a kid.

Joy: Right.

Claire: And the one thing that all of those speakers had in common was, “If you had told me on my first day of law school that this is where I would be, I wouldn’t have believed you.” Every single one of them, their story takes them into a place of, “And then something happened that I never would have expected.” I always just really appreciate hearing that sort of behind-the-scenes of people who are successful. So to hear that Abby Wambach of all people still have this feeling that she didn’t really deserve to be there, except that someone had graciously offered her a spot there, not that she was the best of all time and that’s why she was there – it’s really relatable, and it’s also just infuriating. That this is so ingrained that even the best of the best of the best of the best of the best second guess their right to have a place in that system.

Joy: That one enrages me too because it almost is a system that is set up where this is the “how it’s always been” mentality. Reminds me of Megan Rapinoe fight for – Abby Wambach as well – but fighting for equal pay in soccer. How big of a battle that it.

Claire: It’s like, this should be a no brainer.

Joy: This should be a no brainer. But how interesting that the system is set up to where – I hate to keep using this term – but it’s almost gaslighting her again where they’re met with resistance for asking for more pay, even though when you’re comparing apples to apples, they are winning –

Claire: More successful.

Joy: Way more successful. Winning more. More goals. Every statistic is higher than men’s. However, they are the ones met with resistance. It’s not happening, blah blah blah. And that would make me feel, if I was in that scenario, why are we asking? Or should we be asking? Do we just be grateful because we’re women. Where it’s back to the old mentality of, well, women just don’t make as much. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Claire: And there’s that tweet that’s funny but not funny. It’s funny but painful where it’s like, women should just stop choosing lower-paying careers. Like woman doctor and woman lawyer. [sarcastically laughing] 

Joy: [sarcastically laughing] I think about this a lot where comics often – like Iliza Schlesinger. By the way, her new movie is great. Go watch it. Good on Paper. On Netflix. I’ve watched it twice already. It’s a new comfort movie, one of those movies you could just watch over and over again. Yeah, it’s great. Anyway, she talks about that a lot. Being a comic but being referred to as a female comic. Where she’s like, growing up in the comedy clubs, you’re often referred to as the female comic. Or, “How does it feel to be a female comic in a sea of men?” Those questions drive her crazy. This is nothing new. I think what we are realizing is just how maddening it is that we have to be met with this, well should be just be grateful and sit down. Because we’ve come a long way. We can vote now. Or whatever.

Claire: Right. And those are the things that it’s like, when people want to say, “Well, you have all of these things. Why do you want more? It’s like, everyone is going to want more until everyone has the same stuff. Or an equitable amount of stuff. We don’t want necessarily the same exact, but we want it to be equitable. And here we are sitting as white women talked about this. We don’t know the half of it.

Joy: Right. I was going to just say that. For people of color, it’s beyond this conversation.

Claire: And it’s hard to want to bring awareness to that – not hard, but while we want to bring awareness to that, while also acknowledging we don’t know the half of it, it just really highlights still there is really so few groups – and that group, by and large, white, cisgendered, able bodied men who have the default amount of… privilege is the word I’m looking for, but I feel like that word is so overused. They get the default amount of things handed to them without having to feel like –

Joy: The default amount of 5 thousand steps, 5 million steps, 500 billion steps ahead of everybody from day one.

Claire: And you know, not ever being made to feel like, “You should just be grateful.” “You already get the door open for you, why do you want to ask for equal pay? You can’t have both.” “Well, you can’t have maternity leave. It was your choice to get pregnant.” We could just go down that rabbit hole for a hundred years. But for us, even in our serious positions of privilege, to even say that we still feel this way about certain things, to just realize that it’s actually a very small minority of people who don’t feel this way. And yet, they’re somehow the ones who call all the big shots. It sucks.

Joy: Yeah. We could go down a lot of rabbit holes for this discussion. I mean, I could make a whole podcast about this. Here’s the thing. I recently listened to one of The Daily episodes. If you want to have rage and just get angry, I think it’s important to get fired up about these things because it reminds us that there’s a lot of work to do. But it’s called “The Debate Over Critical Race Theory.” The fact that so much of this is up for debate just made me want to punch a wall. Highly recommend listening to that too. I don’t think anyone listening to this podcast questions that this is still a huge issue that people have to debate that… there’s no debate over it. We know that people are out there that have a debate about it. But if you lack an understanding about race in this country, just please listen to that episode. I can’t imagine any of the listeners.

Claire: You never know.

Joy: You never know. And if you do understand it, still listen because I think it’s important.

Claire: We don’t take for granted that we understand every aspect.

Joy: Yeah. There’s a part of me that’s like I want to understand other sides, but I don’t want to understand other sides. I just don’t.

Claire: Okay. So, the other exciting news from this week, very much relating to all of this, is that you have taken a little step in your journey towards a new job or just getting some more things back on the table. And that is that you signed up to be a therapist on Better Help.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: So how’s that going?

Joy: I sure did. This was a very… I don’t want to say last minute decision. It’s been on my mind for quite some time. I think with all new things, you’re just hesitant to try it and you don’t know what to expect. Is this going to be a good platform? And yada, yada, yada. So I think it was just more of, I really wanted to stick to my word of what I talked about last week around just starting. Just start something. While also realizing I don’t want to burn myself out and work really hard while I’m also wanting to use this time to sit and reflect and look for another job. So I signed up. I was like, I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to set a platform. The nice thing about this platform is as a therapist you can really control the amount of clients who come to you. And so I signed up, and I started getting clients right away. I’m already at a point where I’m not accepting new clients because I have a max amount that I want right now. But you can always turn on and off your availability. I just want to reiterate how easy this platform is to use for therapists, but it’s also really easy to use for clients. So they vet their therapist very well, meaning I had to go through a background check. They verify your license. They do a video interview with you. They check your driver’s license. They make you hold your driver’s license up so that you – everything is very we… it’s a liability to them. 

Claire: And it’s run by a person. You can’t fake it.

Joy: No, you schedule an actual video meeting with someone and you talk to them. They make sure that your background is professional. There’s a lot of quality control that they do. You’re rated on how quick you are to respond to people, so if you take too long to respond they’ll drop your score. Also people – patients and clients – I use that interchangeably just because at my old job I always said patience – can rate you. So you can get a score. Those are really difficult because sometimes in therapy –

Claire: People don’t like you.

Joy: People don’t like you – well, sometimes when you have to deal with difficult things, sometimes they don’t want to deal with difficult things. Sometimes reviews of therapists I kind of take with a grain of salt.

Claire: I mean, I take all reviews with a grain of salt.

Joy: That’s very true.

Claire: I’m on Amazon and it’s like, “This table arrived in pieces.” I’m like, eh, that’s a one-off.

Joy: Sometimes it’ll be like, “The whole bottle exploded.” And I’ll be like, well you live in a place that’s 6,000 ft or whatever.

Claire: My favorite… anyway, we can go down the whole rabbit whole of internet reviews. All that to say that I don’t think I’ve ever read a review of anything and been like, that is objectively what happened.

Joy: It’s very smart. And I know business owners probably hate reviews and Yelp and the invention of online reviews because it’s always that one person that comes on and is like, “Well, the envelop was kind of ripped” or whatever. Anyway. So you can review your therapist, and you’re rated by the platform. So I have a personal rating. They track that. They also kick you off the platform if you don’t respond to a patient. 

Claire: If you don’t respond at all?

Joy: Yeah, if you don’t respond within 24 hours, they’ll send you a warning. This hasn’t happened to me because I respond really quickly, but if you don’t respond to a patient, they will just kick you off the platform. They won’t send you any new clients. So they have a really good way of managing it to where the therapist is accountable. And if you’re not doing your job. But at the same time, it’s nice because they just send you clients. No one’s emailing you every day. It’s very hands off, very contented, like it’s a private practice where I just see patients, do my notes, call it a day.  So I’ve really enjoyed that piece. The first day that I was seeing clients, I was like, oh my gosh, is this what it’s like to work for yourself type of thing? There’s no one bothering me. There’s no boss breathing down your neck. Just that feeling, is this how it is to work for yourself? But the patients are awesome. There’s people that are so, so amazing. I really like the clientele. The limitations that I see for telehealth is obviously it just does not replace in-person therapy.

Claire: So okay. Talk about that for a second. We get a lot of questions from people who are like, “I looked for a therapist. I didn’t find one that I liked.” Or, “I had a bad experience.” Or, “There’s not one in my area” or whatever the thing may be. You kind of always say, yeah, tele therapy is really helpful but it’s not a replacement. And then when you see these services marketed, they very much market themselves as your primary therapist. This Better Help connection is your primary therapist. So what do you mean by that?

Joy: Right. And they can be for certain things. And I think how they refer patients. You don’t get a diagnosis on this platform, but they do a good job of referring patients that have concerns of depression or anxiety, things that you can manage on a telehealth platform. I would say if you have a very active and clinically severe eating disorder or substance use problem, then teletherapy is going to have limitations. It’s not that you can’t get help on those platforms, but it’s going to be limiting in the sense that in-person therapy, you can see body language. You can see someone’s appearance a lot better, which we take into account when we’re doing therapy. Better Help, the patient can choose to do video, telephone, or a live chat. So if someone really only wants to interact with me on a live chat, I can’t see how they’re physically doing. And there’ll be times when a client will come into my office and they look great, and then the next week they’re disheveled, and that says a lot about what’s going on with them. So from the clinician standpoint, that is something that’s limiting on my end. But it’s really up to the clinician, the therapist to say, hey patient, I think you would do better in an environment like A, B, or C. So I don’t think it’s really up to the patient or client to understand. I don’t think you need to worry about that if you’re like, “Well, what if it doesn’t help me?” Because I think a good therapist will know their patients when you need what we call a “higher level of care.” But I just think for something that might last a year and a half in therapy, if the treatment plan is really long, I think a combination of video and in-person would probably be better. For something like if you’re working an EMDR. EMDR can be done online, it just isn’t the same. But also, that is my insecurity because I am so used to doing therapy in. person. So it’s also something that’s like, I’m not going to do as good of a job because I don’t have that experience of doing that type of therapy on a telehealth platform. So that’s kind of what I mean around that is it has its limitations. It’s better than nothing. I’m not saying it’s bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s only the second day, and I feel like I’ve been doing really good work with the people that are coming to me. And they’re also not coming to me with such severe levels of depression that I feel like, woah, this is not the place for you. So I feel like Better Help is doing a good job of, perhaps they have clinicians on the intake side where they’re going to outreach those patients. I don’t know how they do it, to be frank, when someone signs up how they start assigning people. But that’s what I mean on that. Now as far as how you can find a therapist that you like – was that one of the questions that you asked?

Claire: Part of one of the questions that we get a lot is – and we talk about this a lot – is how to find a therapist or how to get started. We get a follow-up question from people a lot that’s like, okay, that’s fine, but what am I looking for. It’s one thing of the technicalities of, go to your health insurance website and here’s where you find them, and go to their website and see if it’s a good fit. But once you actually get in the office, how do you tell if it’s a good fit in just one or two sessions before you’ve spent several, several hundreds of dollars only to get five sessions in and be like, “This isn’t really doing it for me.”

Joy: Right. The best way I can describe it is if you’re with somebody and you feel like they get you. You feel comfortable talking to them. And it’s not like you have to spill your life story in the first session because that’s not always comfortable. It takes some time to build a rapport. But it’s not to say in the first session or second session where you’re like, well, how do I know if I’m building a rapport. I mean, truly do you like the therapist’s office? Does it feel warm and inviting? Is there crap everywhere? For teletherapy, you can kind of see their environment. Are they dressed appropriately? Are they late? Are they showing up late without telling you? On the platform, I can message people quickly and say, “I’ll be signing on in 2 minutes” or whatever. But that is something that, like with anything of quality, you should be looking at quality, you should be looking at the environment, you should be looking at their communication style. Are they sending you emails or phone calls to confirm the appointment? Some of these just common courtesy things you would expect from a service, because you’re paying for a service. So it’s not like they’re just rolling out the red carpet, but it’s a service you’re paying for. They should be professional. They should be having a professional office. Now as far as comfort level, the first session often times we’re doing an intake, so that sometimes can be dry and very basic questions that are not super directed at therapy per se. So the first session can sometimes feel like you didn’t get a lot of therapy in that session because they’re trying to get a background about you. But if they jump to any conclusions or they make any comments that make you feel uncomfortable, those are red flags. For the most part, a therapist should be warm and inviting and explain everything to you and say, this is how we operate. We typically schedule sessions this many times a month or every other week or whatever the case may be. Explain what therapy looks like. Give you their disclosure, which is their credentials. But I know it’s vague in the sense that people are like, well what if I don’t know how it feels. Well, maybe stick with it if you feel okay. But if you have any red flags, trust that. Trust your gut if you feel any red flags of a therapist saying something that didn’t sit well with you or if they were just ignoring you, dismissive. That happens at times, where you bring something up and they’ll dismiss it. Does that help?

Claire: Yeah, I think so. It’s hard because there’s not one answer that’s like, oh well, you’ll know a bad therapist when X, Y, Z. Some people the late thing is going to make them crazy. Other people are like, cool, I’m going to be ten minutes late just as often as you’re going to be ten minutes late. Ride it out. And I think that it is hard because it is something that, for most of us, it’s already taken us a long time to get to the point where we’re even ready to look for a therapist. It can take years to get to the point where you’re like, okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to go to a therapist.

Joy: Ready to do it.

Claire: And then to realize it could take you another several months or longer to find the right therapist, it’s like, no, I want to go in. I’m ready for my problems to be fixed today. I’ve already waited until the last minute to fix this problem. I don’t have time to shop for a therapist.

Joy: Right. And most of the time with therapy, you want to strike while the iron’s hot because you often will put that on the back burner. You lose motivation to do therapy because therapy’s something where you have to have the motivation and be in the headspace to do it. Which is another reason why I think Better Help is good for that, where they match you really quickly. So if you sign up, you get matched within 24 hours or 48 hours. It’s a great opportunity to get served quickly. Yeah, if you were in a situation where you want to see someone in person and you’re paying out of pocket and you’re trying to find someone, you’re like, well, I’m waiting all this time and perhaps they don’t have anything available for the next month. That’s another good point. I would ask upfront, what is your availability looking like these days? If they say, “I’m seeing people once a month,” then see you later. Unless you have an idea where you really only want to see a therapist once a month, great. Most people want to see their therapist at least two or three times a month.

Claire: Especially at the beginning.

Joy: Especially at the beginning. So if that’s okay with you, fine. But perhaps ask if they’re available. If you get through the intake and they’re like, “I’ll see you in about five weeks,” and you’re like, “What?” You know. It kind of feels like you’re left high and dry. I always say this to clients when they’re starting therapy. I understand during the first session, a lot of people are coming to therapy because they want relief. And so I will ask the question in therapy very often, almost every first session, “What can I help you with today that we can do within this time frame that will give you some relief?” And we talk a little bit about that. I’m not going to fix all your problems in a half an or our an hour. But I know you came here today because you want some relief or at least to start talking about some of these issues. What is something today that we can talk about so that I can make sure that I’m giving you some tools or some relief so that you can leave this session feeling just a little bit better. Everyone wants to feel better. You go to a therapist because you’re like, “I just want to start feeling better.” So that’s really important to me too. It’s not solving the whole thing in a short amount of time, but it’s at least starting. So I don’t know if that’s helpful. I feel like it is very much an individual choice, and it can change for every person. But if you have questions, you can always send those to me because I’m happy to help.

Claire: And I feel like what I’m hearing is that if you’re someone who maybe doesn’t have a diagnosis or does have a diagnosis but it’s pretty well under control and you’re just kind of looking for some talk therapy to regulate you throughout the month, then an app might be a good fit for your primary therapy. And if you need something more than that, you might have to shop around, even though we wish that wasn’t the case.

Joy: Yeah, here’s the other thing too because I don’t want to turn people away from teletherapy. I guess what I’m saying is, for some instances – and if you want to just get help right now, try it out and give it a shot. It’s better than nothing, so don’t let that scare you away. I think what I’m saying is there may be a limit to what you can do in teletherapy, and then you can search for someone that’s in person in your area. But don’t let that discourage you. If you’re like, “But what if my problems are too big?” I don’t want you to do that to yourself either. We can start somewhere, and teletherapy is great. 

Claire: So how are you feeling, not just about what Better Help is as a service, but how are you feeling about your life?

Joy: I am feeling better than last week. Last week I was having some major pity parties. I think I mentioned this, that every application I was putting in would just be met with a rejection letter.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: It’s just exhausting. And I know that’s part of the game. It’s just exhausting to be trying to make connections. I’m always trying to search my brain for, who do I know at this place who can put in a good word for me, because it’s all about who you know, so I’m trying to really do that. But also giving hope that maybe there’s one place that doesn’t have someone truly and is looking at resumes. But yeah, I think what scared me was it’s been a month.

Claire: Right, you started to feel like, uh, how… yeah.

Joy: You start to get scared about time, which I know better and I’m working through it and I’ll be fine. But it hit me that it’s been a full month that I’ve been looking for jobs and applying for jobs every single day. That scared me a little bit where I’m like, what if I don’t find something? So I think where I tend to go then is where can I control the scenario. I don’t want to be floundering, and I also don’t want to fall into pity parties. I know it’s fine to do that, and I’m not saying I’m above it at all. I do it. It’s just not productive to stay there, so my M.O. is always to say, I’m going to have this pity party, I’m going to have some bad days, but what can I do? I had a friend who told me – because I was really worried about having a gap in my resume. That’s just never happened to me before. So I’m like, what if they’re not going to look at me because this job clearly ended in June? My friend’s like, “Just sign up for Better Help and be a therapist on the platform. You can take a few people if you want, and that way you have a job.” So her voice was ringing in my head. That’s why I signed up and gave it a shot. And actually, this feels really good to have control over something. It’s a pace that I can set, and I can still have time to job search. I can still make time to have some chill out time so I’m not stressed out. I’m not packing my schedule all day. So I’m feeling a lot better. There’s always that voice in your head that gets worried, and that’s totally normal. But I’m just trying to take it day by day.

Claire: Okay, I need to rant about gaps in your resume.

Joy: Please. Please do because I would like to hear about it.

Claire: I would like to just abolish that because the idea of –

Joy: Another way that women are put down.

Claire: It’s sexist. It’s super ableist, unbelievably ableist. It is just insane to think that anyone should be less employable because they have been doing something else other than just committing themselves to a daily job. For any period of time. I understand that if you have some sort of technical job and you haven’t done it in five years, it’s going to be tough for you to just get back on the job in day one and jump into it. Fine. Maybe you might think about doing some supplemental training right beforehand, but that should be enough. You should be able to go in there and be like, yeah, I’ve been at home with my kids for five years and I just reupped my license to prove to you – or I’ve been keeping up with my continuing education, or whatever the case may be.

Joy: Right.

Claire: But I don’t care what the job is. There is 3-6 to up to 12 months of on-the-job training that’s required for any given job before you really can get your grounding. It makes me crazy that we are all so worried about not having a career gap that recruiters will be like, well, that might not look good. I don’t give an F if it looks good. This is my life. I’m taking care of my kids. I’m taking care of my loved ones. I’m doing something other than just going to work every single freaking day. It makes me crazy. It’s just the quickest way to make sure that your job applicant pool is homogenous. 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: I hate it.

Joy: I hate it too. I hate that I worry about it. Because I know that’s what people do is they look at that and they’re like, “Why is there a career gap? What were they doing for that year?” Or six months that you were caring for your children. Yeah, it’s maddening.

Claire: If you’re a recruiter in that situation, yeah, maybe ask a quick question, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been out of work for two years. Was that a personal decision?” And they can be like, yeah, I was home with my family. Okay, great. Maybe you need to know if they’ve been in prison or something. But maybe not. Let’s not just penalize people who’ve been adjudicated for the rest of their lives by not giving them jobs. It’s just like, how does this relate to you not being employable if you’ve been out of work a couple months? It’s just so ridiculous to me. There are ways to tell if someone is technically proficient at a job before you hire them. I have worked with plenty of people who do not have a “career gap” who are crappy at their jobs.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: It doesn’t give you any information about that person, other than that they happen to have something in their life that had to take priority over being employed.

Joy: I’m so convinced that aside from surgeons and nurses and people who have to do… generally speaking, like mid-level jobs that don’t require brain surgery degrees, and you guys know what I’m talking about, I’m pretty sure anyone can do a job. It just requires how you learn and if you can apply the skills that you learn. Adam Grant had a post about this too. You should always look at experience because that doesn’t always tell you if they’re going to be able to do the job. I always remember that from one of my supervisors from long ago where she’s like, “Hire the person. Train the skills.” Because you want the person. You don’t want someone who’s going to cause problems and be a bully or bad mouth the company or whatever. But if they’re trainable and if they’re a go-getter, they can do the job. I’m just so convinced that that’s more important than actual experience. For most jobs. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Claire: One thousand percent. You’re right. Again, there are certain jobs where you have to have that technical training. But even then, you’re going to be so much more successful with somebody who has a really teachable attitude than someone who has the “skills” but isn’t willing to learn. Jabs. Jabs, jabs, jabs. 

Joy: So many things to be angry about. But it’s warranted.

Claire: It’s fine.

Joy: It’s fine, and it’s warranted. Can we end on a really quick light note of running through the lists of the “love it leave it” with fitness?

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Because I really like that. So you posted on stories a round of “love it or leave it.” Fitness this time. So, running road races.

Claire: You’re asking me if I like running road races?

Joy: Yeah. I know the answer. [laughing]

Claire: No, not for me.

Joy: I’d say love it. Trail running?

Claire: I would pick an in between.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I like it. I dabble.

Joy: Okay. I would say I like it. I don’t do it a lot, but when I do go I like it.

Claire: It’s fine.

Joy: It’s fine. Yoga?

Claire: No, not into it.

Joy: I love it. I don’t do it. Is that the same?

Claire: Maybe in my life have I done a small handful – and I’ve tried yoga so much, you guys. I’ve been trying to want to do yoga since I was in high school, and I just don’t get anything out of it.

Joy: Yeah. You’re going to have a lot of yogis coming after you now.

Claire: I just never leave and am like, “Oh, that’s so relaxing and restorative.” I’m like, “I’m sweaty. Why am I so sweaty?”

Joy: Okay, CrossFit. Obviously. 

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Obvi. Love it. Soccer? Not my jam. No balls flying at my face. 

Claire: Have I told you guys that I had to leave my soccer team as a young child?

Joy: No. What?

Claire: I didn’t like it, and I would just make dandelion crowns. They would put me on defense, and I would just sit down. I’m not into it.

Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny.

Claire: Okay, so this weekend. Let me tell you a story about running.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: On the 4th of July, I did a CrossFit workout, and it was a partner workout. This was my biggest insecurity exposed that I had to run with a partner. I hate running, as you all know. I’ve talked about it as recently as the last 90 seconds. I’m really bad at it. How can someone be bad at running? It’s just fast walking. I don’t know. I can’t do it without immediately just wanting to fall over. I immediately start breathing heavy. I immediately get tired. I have been trying to get good at running for most of my life. It has never worked. So whatever. It is what it is. I’m really bad at it, and I’m very slow. And when I say very slow, I’m talking 15 minute mile slow. Practically would be faster walking but for some reason I do the little run thing with my arms.

Joy: Sure, just a shuffle, yeah.

Claire: I’m shuffling. That is absolutely what I’m doing. So it was a partner workout. This is my biggest insecurity. Because the only thing that I hate more than running is the feeling that people are waiting for me. I hate it. I hate it when I’m hiking. Any time when I feel like people are like, “Come on, Claire.” People at CrossFit are not like that. They’re fine. They’re cheering me on. But in my head, they’re thinking, “Oh my God, this girl’s so slow.” I hate that feeling. So I showed up at the gym, and I’m like, it will be fine because the workout also had double unders and overhead squats in it. I’m great at double unders. I’m pretty good at overhead squats. The third thing was pull ups. I can do it with a band, that’s fine. It’s just a mile. I can run a mile. I get to the gym. It’s two rounds, Joy.

Joy: Oh no.

Claire: Two.

Joy: Oh no, two miles.

Claire: It was two miles. 

Joy: No, not one but two.

Claire: My poor partner was so wonderful, but she’s a runner. Literally a runner. We were the last people left, and she’s looking at me.

Joy: Seven minute mile, and she’s like –

Claire: Truly. I was like, “I’m such a slow runner.” And she was like, “Don’t worry about it. I’m rehabbing a hamstring injury. I haven’t ran in a couple of weeks.” And I was like, you don’t know who you’re taking to. Got to the point where she literally just ran ahead and waited for me because it was harder for her to go as slow as I was going.

Joy: Which is worse because you get no break and she runs and waits for you and gets a break.

Claire: At the same time, I was like, please run ahead so I don’t have to feel like you’re staring at me willing me to go faster. But you know you’re at the point where going that slow is actually harder. I don’t experience that because I love going as slow as humanly possible. But as some point, she was just walking. I’m like, why am I doing the run thing? I’m just shuffling. As we were running, I was one word at a time gasping through trying to have a conversation, like, “How [gasping] long [gasping] have you [gasping] been doing CrossFit?” [laughing]

Joy: I can’t stand when people talk to me when I’m either running and I can’t breathe or – we’re doing the Manitou incline in a few weeks. And I can’t talk when I do that, so please don’t talk to me.

Claire: No. And for you, it’s also less of a needing to breath thing and more of a one thing to focus on at a time.

Joy: Yes, exactly.

Claire: But for me, it’s an oxygen decision.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And she was like, “I’ve been doing CrossFit for like five years,” and we were talking about how bad wall balls are. And she was like, “For me, that is too much like a projectile sport.” I was like, oh I’m going to use that phrase.

Joy: A projectile sport.

Claire: Then I tried to say, “Yeah, my plastic surgeon says I can’t do any activities where balls fly at my nose,” but I couldn’t breathe so it didn’t land.

Joy: Oh, you couldn’t make the joke. That’s so unfortunate.

Claire: “My surgeon [gasping] said I can’t…” [laughing] I was like, I got to just drop it. She’s look at me like, “Your plastic surgeon…?” It’s from Clueless.

Joy: It’s from Clueless, haven’t you seen it? Can’t you read my mind?

Claire: Come on, you can’t hear me through my labored breathing? Okay, move on, go on. 

Joy: So the next one is Orange Theory.

Claire: I’ve never tried Orange Theory.

Joy: I really like it. Scott loves it. Kickboxing?

Claire: I’ve never tried it.

Joy: If I had the choice to go do it, I would go do it. Meaning like if there was a kickboxing gym.

Claire: I would.

Joy: It’s fun.

Claire: You know what I really want to try? Ju jitsu.

Joy: Oh, there you go.

Claire: I think I’d be good at it.

Joy: I think you would too. I think you’d be really good at it. Powerlifting? Love it.

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Strongman? I haven’t tried it.

Claire: I mean, I’ve done a few strongman things. I’ve tried Atlas Stone sometimes. And it’s generally, I have a good time with it. But I’m not very strong.

Joy: I would like to try it. I haven’t done it.

Claire: Did I tell you that when we were watching the CrossFit Games Semi-Finals the other weekend, Miles was watching the women and he’s like, “They’re muscles are so much bigger than yours.” I’m like, “Yeah, I know.” He goes, “Why? You work out so much.” I was like, “Thank you Miles. I ask myself that question all the time.” He’s like, “Are you that strong.” It’s like, “No, not even close.” “Really? You work out all the time.” I’m like, yes, that’s the million dollar question.

Joy: You’re like, I know, what’s your question? Oh my gosh.

Claire: I was like, and? 

Joy: So funny. You work out all the time, why don’t you have huge muscles.

Claire: Why are you not strong? You work out all the time. Yeah, I don’t know why I’m not that strong. I’m really very curious. 

Joy: Okay. Road biking? I love it.

Claire: Yeah. I haven’t done it in a long time because I sold my road bike, but yes.

Joy: Mountain biking? Absolutely not. 

Claire: I’ve never tried it. I really want to.

Joy: I’m terrified. Almost everyone I know who mountain bikes has torn their shoulder to pieces. No thank you.

Claire: Oh my gosh. I know some people who’ve gotten some very serious mountain biking injuries. I agree.

Joy: Nope. 

Claire: That’s one of those thing that’s like, I don’t think I would want to do downhill mountain biking, which is what you’re referring to.

Joy: Nope.

Claire: Just speeding downhill. 

Joy: Nope.

Claire: But I think I would enjoy a cross country mountain biking experience.

Joy: Sure, I can do that, but anything downhill.

Claire: But generally flat. You just have to go over some rocks.

Joy: Little tiny pebbles. Alright, I think that’s all we have. Let’s talk about our sponsors. Double Under Wonder, still get your jump ropes. Discount code is JOY. And then Eat to Evolve, delicious meals delivered right to your door. Really, really good food. The packaging – don’t spill my food when you’re sending it to me, and they do not spill your food when they’re send it to you. The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. Those are two easy ways that you can support the podcast. And as always, you can share with your friends. Tag us on Instagram, that also helps. Like our posts. Engage with us on social media. Or leave a review on Apple by giving us five stars and nice words. That’s all we have.

Claire: We’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Have a good week, you guys.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: Bye.

Corrections and feedback, Joy is feeling her feelings (what does that mean?), creating rituals during tough times, getting paid what we’re worth, applying to jobs, Joy’s health update, and how Joy will continue to keep her health in check.

SolÉ Water

Brene Brown WholeHearted Inventory




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 81: Takin’ Naps Walkin’ Dogs

Episode Date: July 1, 2021

Transcription Completed: July 18, 2021

Audio Length: 49:24 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire.

Claire: [singsong voice] Good morning.

Joy: [singsong voice] How’s your week going? Good morning, how’s your week going? We’re recording this on Sunday very early. Claire, I’m really impressed that you’re up and at ‘em.

Claire: This is late in Joy time, but it’s very early in Claire years.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Recently, when we got River, Miles discovered the concept of dog years.

Joy: Oh, dog years, not dog ears.

Claire: Not dog ears. Dog years. Then he started thinking that everything should have its own measurement of time. So tree years.

Joy: Oh, I love that. What does he come up with?

Claire: Oh, everything. “Mom, how old am I?” “You’re 5 1/2.” “Well, what is that in tree years?” I don’t know Miles, this is a unit of measurement you invented. It’s probably like a month actually because trees live to be… he basically has been discovering ages. So he asks everyone on the street, “How old are you? How old is your mom?”

Joy: Oh, that’s so cute. How old is your mom. 

Claire: We’re at the park, and there was some little kids. They were with their grandparents, and he went up to their grandparents. He was like, “How old are you? How old is your mom?” She was like 70, and she was like, “Uh.” I was like, “I’m sorry, he wants to know how old everyone is.”

Joy: Yeah, I’ll never forget I was at dinner with a friend last year – well no, not last year. It was before COVID. And her 3-year-old, we were sitting there at dinner. We were at a booth, so you could see behind us, and the little girl was like, “Grandpa!” really loud. The guy was older. We just started laughing so hard. We were like, “Sorry. You’re not old, but she just sees a grandpa.” 

Claire: She only has like two points of reference. 

Joy: It was so cute.

Claire: The other thing Miles is super into right now is knock knock jokes. But he doesn’t understand why knock knock jokes are funny. So he’ll just be like, “Knock knock. Who’s there. Pizza. Pizza who. We’re eating pizza.” 

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: I’m like, “We are eating pizza. Thank you.” 

Joy: That’s hilarious. 

Claire: Thank you for telling me that through a knock knock joke.

Joy: I love it. 

Claire: But he also loves the interrupting knock knock jokes. Are you familiar with these?

Joy: [gasps] Yes. Oh my gosh.

Claire: Should we do one?

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Okay, this is Miles’ favorite. 

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Knock knock.

Joy: Who’s there.

Claire: Interrupting bottom.

Joy: Interrupting –

Claire: [farting noise]

Joy: [laughing] I like the interrupting cow one personally.

Claire: I mean, they’re all good ones. But you can literally interrupt with literally anything.

Joy: Literally anything, and why not a fart.

Claire: He’ll be like, “Interrupting pizza. Interrupting pi- nom nom nom.” He’ll do anything you’re looking at or holding or interacting with. It’s so funny.

Joy: That’s so great.

Claire: Okay, so before we get too far into this episode, we wanted to make few corrections from our episode, not the one with Justin but the one prior to that. So thank you guys as always for writing in and letting us know if there is anything that we ever say that rubs you the wrong way very badly or that is inaccurate. So the first one is that the – I don’t even remember their name. What is the name of the person who we talked about being bullied by Chrissy?

Joy: Oh, Courtney Stodden. 

Claire: Right. So Courtney Stodden does not use she/her pronouns. They use they/them pronouns as of April or May of this year.

Joy: Right.

Claire: Thank you for pointing that out. We also got that wrong with Demi Lovato a couple of weeks ago not realizing that they had also changed to they/them pronouns.

Joy: Right. And I actually did know that, but I totally messed it up. I was like, well, yes. So that was completely something that I forgot to look at for Courtney Stodden, that they had changed their pronouns.

Claire: So thank you guys for telling us that. We definitely are going to be better about doing due diligence around that before we talk about celebrities.

Joy: To never assume. You just never assume, and I just failed on that part.

Claire: And then the other one was talking about master bath and master bedroom. So last summer when everybody started rushing to update the way that they talked about things and update the way that looking at different phrases and looking at different terms and the Dixie Chicks just became The Chicks. One of the other phrases that was brought up was the phrase master bath and master bedroom and how that phrase was created to refer to the bedroom and the bathroom of the master of the plantation, of the slave master. So the preferred terminology is main bedroom and main bathroom. So thank you guys for bringing it up, reminding me of that. That’s another one of those where I had known about it. The commentary I had read about it from a few Black activists was don’t change the name master bath, change housing policies. So I had sort of read that a few times and thought, “Oh, that wasn’t a big deal. I’ll just keep calling it this.” But then a few people brought it up after last week’s episode, and it made me realize this is a bigger deal. Just because you read a few people’s opinion about something and think, “Oh, I don’t have to change that” or “I should change that’ or whatever, it’s always really helpful for me to continue to hear people’s opinions and to continue to hear what stands out to people and to realize just because I’ve read one person’s opinion, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the final answer on the subject. And then there was also some feedback on the way that we were talking about celebrities and about… I can’t remember celebrities’ names ever. The Kimmy Schmidt girl.

Joy: Oh Ellen… no….

Claire: Ellie something.

Joy: Ellie Kemper.

Claire: Kemper. I was going to say Ellie Goulding.

Joy: Well I almost wanted to say Ellen Pompeo, but that’s Grey’s Anatomy

Claire: Ellie Kemper, about the debutante ball thing with her and just that we have been speaking about it very flippantly and sort of, “Oh, it’s not a big deal.” It is a big deal, and we need to be more aware of the way that we discuss issues related to gossip and that for us it is just sort of like, “Oh yeah, I heard this thing. Let’s chat about it.” We don’t really do a lot of research typically, and for issues that have that deeper significance, having this surface level commentary on them can feel very dismissive for people where those issues did really hit home. So thank you as always for bringing things like that up to us. We are always open to feedback. At the end of the day, our number one priority is to always be open to changing our point of view, updating our language, updating the things that we say, correcting ourselves. We always are really, really grateful for the opportunity to correct ourselves. So, okay. I just wanted to put that out there. And again, thank you everyone for writing in. And thank you – we have the best community. People don’t bash us typically. When people write into us and let us know, “Hey, this x, y, z thing got flagged in my brain when I was listening to this,” it’s always so respectful and very much from a place of I want you to know that this upset me or that this rubbed me the wrong way. Not like how dare you, you P.O.S.

Joy: Exactly, exactly.

Claire: So thanks for not yelling at us.

Joy: I think that throughout the years of doing this podcast, my hope is that everyone knows that we are wanting this to be a place of respect and love for one another.

Claire: And inclusion.

Joy: Everyone is welcome. If there’s any time that we are totally missing the mark, we want to know so we can correct it. 

Claire: And also, I think that any human on this earth is 100x more likely to hear feedback and correct what they are doing if it is presented in a way that is not aggressive or going to make you feel defensive. That always is just nice too, to not have to –

Joy: It’s nice.

Claire: It’s nice. It’s not owed to us by any means.

Joy: Right, I was going to say. People can be pissed off too.

Claire: Totally.

Joy: I’m a sensitive snowflake.

Claire: That’s true. We are open to feedback if you tell us ahead of time.

Joy: Just don’t throw things at me.

Claire: And that is a hard thing too.

Joy: It totally is. It totally is.

Claire: When you are on Instagram or getting an email or whatever, you’re not always in the mindset to receive corrections, and that can be tricky when something comes out and you start to get comments or you are driving and you check your inbox, and all of the sudden you have to go into this mental space that you weren’t in and you weren’t ready for, and it can kind of feel jarring and it can feel like this knee jerk reaction. You can get your hackles up.

Joy: Get your hackles up.

Claire: You know, like a dog.

Joy: Yeah, totally. And I think that is something that I will try to do –

Claire: Not you, Joy. You, humanity.

Joy: You, humanity. I think that I have been more aware, trying to set a boundary that I don’t check social media or emails at night because if I see something that makes me feel a negative feeling that I’ll be up all night. So it’s not that I don’t want to hear it. It’s just that we are in a place where we’re putting ourselves on a platform, and I think even more so it’s really important for us to be respectful and speaking of things in a respectful way. If it ever comes across that we’re not, we want people to talk about it because that’s something that’s important to us for our community. I always get so scared of hurting feelings. We never want to hurt feelings.

Claire: It’s all just a good point about boundaries around social media that all of us have entered into this phase of humanity where we’re all open to everyone else’s opinions at any moment of the day, and that’s really overwhelming.

Joy: It is, yeah.

Claire: Speaking of overwhelming, how are you, Joy?

Joy: Um… I… am… feeling my feelings. That’s my number one rule recently.

Claire: Okay, what does that mean though?

Joy: [laughing] That’s a good question too. Just in case people have missed that I left my job about a month ago. There’s probably a story that I will tell in about six months to a year from now. I’ll talk a little bit more about that. But right now, it’s just leaving it at I left my job, and the past month has been a lot of soul searching. When I say “feeling my feelings,” I have been working straight with no breaks other than a week or two vacation here or there since 2001, 2003. So I haven’t had a really significant chunk of time off in that long. So this decision and this whole situation was not something that I was really ready for. With that comes a lot of emotions. I think that throughout this whole time, I’m like, “I’m going to feel my feelings,” meaning I’m not going to jump into something right away. My inclination and my type of personality is like, alright, I’ve got to go to the next thing. I’m going to make some goals. I’ve got to get another job. I’ve got to make a plan. Lists, routines. Also just “moving on.” The first week of all of this time off, I was really sad and I was really frustrated. I was really all over the place emotionally. The second week, I was a little angry and emotional. I was kind of making this whole scenario like it was going to be linear, which I know it’s not going to be linear. But I was expecting the further I got away from the job that I was in the better that I would feel. That’s just what I made up in my head, as almost grief in a way where you’re like, more time will heal. It hasn’t. And that’s okay, but when I say “feel my feelings,” what I’m trying to say is I’m not going to drown myself in goals and plans and structure and trying to make a new routine for myself because that would be ignoring my feelings. So if I’m feeling angry, I’m just going to let myself feel angry and not judge it. That whole cliche thing of not judging your feelings. But for myself personally, what I tend to do it I try to pick myself up, move on, and also have a “I’ll show them” mentality where I make all these goals and try to accomplish, accomplish, accomplish as a big screw you. Which does nothing because nobody cares what I’m doing.

Claire: They aren’t checking up on you.

Joy: Nobody’s checking up on me. No one’s like, “What is Joy doing?” So I kind of equate it to a boyfriend that you wish would miss you.

Claire: One thousand percent, yeah. You hope that they’re sitting there being like, “If only Joy was still here to tell about how to do this.”

Joy: Totally. Totally. They don’t care. They don’t care. And so it’s just funny. I kind of joke with myself that I’m listening to all these bad breakup songs. It truly is feeling like a boyfriend who just doesn’t miss you that you’re like, “I’ll show you.”

Claire: Right. You’re going to go in the tight dress in the club and stand across from them.

Joy: Totally. Like I’m going to go in Khloe Kardashian’s revenge body. The worst show ever. It’s so funny. So anyway, that is where I’m at. I am not –

Claire: You’re in the revenge body phase.

Joy: I’m in the revenge body phase. I really am just trying to be aware of every single emotion I have and to just sit in it. Even though I’m a therapist, I’m not good at sitting in my own feelings and crap, and I tend to just be like, “Let’s move on. Let’s accomplish. Let’s go, go, go.” So that’s what I mean when I say “feel my feelings.” It’s different for everybody, but I have just been in this place of ups and downs and fear and scared. A lot of people wrote when I did a Q&A this week, “Hey, any advice for leaving a job?” Yeah, there are so many different scenarios. I’m not going to be the person to say jump and leave your job if you’re unhappy. But if you have to be in a situation where you do leave, make a plan, have a plan. I don’t have a plan. I am not in a scenario where I have a plan. I’m not doing something that I would give advice for. It just kind of happened the way that it happened. 

Claire: Right. Ask in a year for advice.

J :Ask in a year, ask in a year. I’m still too far in it to really have that clear mind of what is the right way to react to something like this, and I don’t think there is. But the other day when I was texting you, I was like, I’m having a real hard day. I am feeling so aimless when I have all the things I have to have done by 9am. What do I do with the rest of the day? Some people would be like, “I would kill to have that scenario.” It is terrifying to me.

Claire: It’s interesting when I was texting you that I was realizing this is what a lot of us went through last year during lockdown when all of our activities were taken away, and you didn’t ever experience that.

Joy: No. I had the exact same life during the pandemic.

Claire: And if anything, your job got more busy and more crazy and more hectic. Even though maybe you couldn’t go to the gym, you were doing the Peloton treadmill.

Joy: Right.

Claire: You didn’t have that same thing where all of the sudden the majority of us were like, “I can’t leave my neighborhood.” I guess my new activity is setting an alarm to remind me to go for a walk. 

Joy: Right, exactly. Where my job just kept going. And aside obviously from the social aspect of not seeing people, my job was the same. I was going to work every single day. Nothing changed except for there were no patients coming into the building. So that was a really good point where you said that. I’m like, oh, is this what you guys experienced? Because I am freaking out.

Claire: Yeah, just your routine completely being blown up.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Even though, right, the idea of having “free time” sounds like the dream, even people who don’t work still have things throughout their day that mark their day.

Joy: Right. That mark their day, yeah.

Claire: Humans are creatures of habit, and humans need structure. I’ve talked a little bit about – I’ll get into this Irish book I’m reading later – but even reading about civilizations that lived in mud huts. And we talked about this with Casper. Ceremonies, rituals, ways to start the day, ways to mark the middle of the day, ways to mark the end of the day. Intrinsically, even early humans gravitated towards and needed these routines. Just being adrift in a sea of whatever you want to do is not as relaxing as it sounds.

Joy: It’s really not. I’m definitely taking advantage of it at the same time, of going from 100 miles an hour to really going 25 miles an hour is a huge change for me, but I’m also being like, hey, this is just your life right now. Things are going to be okay. I’m trying to do as much as I can to not fall into a deep, dark depression. For me, that just has to do with making small goals throughout the day. So like you suggested, you’re like, hey, at 3 o’clock try out a new beverage. Buy a bunch of new beverages, go to Whole Foods. You love beverages, and try a new beverage at 3 o’clock every day. Do things like that that are a ritual and something to schedule. So I’m doing – it sounds very silly in the grand scheme of things, especially with my past life of doing a hundred things a day is I will do anything to run an errand. Running errands for me is, I’m going to go to the post office and mail this letter in person.

Claire: I’m going to run that errand.

Joy: I’m going to run that errand. My car is very clean, even more clean than it is normally. I washed my car. I walk the dogs a lot. I go to the neighbors every single day and we play with the dogs. We have dog dates. I’m just making these new routines my normal, which feels really good. Sitting down and having lunch and not trusting through lunch. Letting myself take naps throughout the day. Don’t hate me, but around 2 or 3 o’clock I lay down with the dogs and just take a nap. These are the times where I’m like, I just need to let myself have this time off. And also not feel guilty about it. I’ve been such a work horse my whole life, and I do like working, so having time off makes me feel like I’m not accomplishing things. And it’s also making me realize I associate a lot of my self-worth with accomplishments and blah blah blah. Just being like, hey, this is a blip in your life and you’ll get through it. I’m making it my job right now to search for jobs and job hunting is really in and of itself a job. 

Claire: It really is.

Joy: Oh my gosh. I knew this was going to happen, but I have put in so many applications and have received just as many rejection letters.

Claire: If you hear back at all.

Joy: If you hear back at all. I knew that this was a thing. I’ve been job hunting for the past few years, just off and on. So this is not a new thing for me. I’ve been planning my next step unofficially.

Claire: I feel like everyone always sort of makes disclaimers when they talk about when they’ve been looking for jobs. I honestly think that every single person out there, unless you’re in a tenured position or something, every one of us should always know what’s going on in the job market. We should be looking at jobs, at least a couple times a month. You should just be getting on LinkedIn and scrolling through.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: Not only do you never know what’s out there, but it helps you be aware of what the pay range should be.

Joy: 100%.

Claire: I love reading job descriptions of other types of positions similar to mine because I like to see what else is out there in terms of, oh, maybe I could be thinking of doing more x, y, z because I see that this similar role is more heavily geared towards that.

Joy: Yeah, exactly.

Claire: Career development. It doesn’t have to be all about looking to jump ship all the time.

Joy: Right, exactly. And it shouldn’t be a negative thing to your current employer.

Claire: It shouldn’t feel like a threat.

Joy: Definitely not. And if it is, that’s unfortunate. But I think that you should always be looking, like you said, around where you stand, if you’re paid enough. Especially as women. I recently learned that Colorado has – I don’t know if it’s a law or –

Claire: It is. So it’s a new law this year.

Joy: Oh, okay. Around pay transparency.

Claire: If you post a job posting, you are required to post the salary range, which I think every single person out there – if you are posting a job that does not include the salary range in the job post –

Joy: I don’t apply.

Claire: I don’t apply.

Joy: If there’s no pay range in the job description, I pass through it. No, I’m not going to waste my time.

Claire: “Pay is commensurate on experience.” What does that even mean?

Joy: What does that even mean? So I just completely pass by job descriptions that don’t have a pay range. But I have been really living my life on LinkedIn. I like Indeed and I like Glass Door. I use Glass Door to look for company ratings to see what people are saying about the companies, so I usually use Glass Door for that. I’ve found – and I don’t know how you feel – I’ve found that LinkedIn is much more user friendly.

Claire: It feels more approachable.

Joy: Approachable, user friendly. I feel like the searches are easier. You can communicate with the recruiters or the posting people. You can communicate with them easily, so I just feel like that is something that I’ve been learning through this whole experience. But definitely, definitely, I’m very grateful for living in the state of Colorado because it’s interesting that the job posting will say “Colorado residents, here’s the pay range.” I’m like, why aren’t you doing that for every state? But it’s because Colorado made it a law, which is another reason why I love living here.

Claire: I think it’s interesting too, I’ve been talking a lot about job transitions with a lot of my friends. I think right now the job market is kind of hot and cold. If you go and start looking for jobs, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, there’s so much out there.”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: But then I think a lot of people are having that thought. Yeah, there’s so much out there, but also a lot of people are applying. I can’t remember if we already talked about this or not, but one of my friends who does all the hiring for the company she works for was saying that she thinks that there is this – and LinkedIn has talked about this, the “great resignation,” that everyone is quitting their jobs right now. There’s a labor shortage, and that’s its whole own thing because of minimum wage being really horrible. Even higher-level jobs, a lot of people are resigning, and on elf the concepts behind that is thinking people haven’t been able to change anything about their lives for a year and a half. And now they’re like, you know what, I’m going to get a new job.

Joy: It’s a good point. Good point.

Claire: I do think that’s interesting. And you also have the added thing that people are coming off unemployment because states are starting to reduce unemployment benefits again. So maybe they’re getting more motivated to look for a higher paying job that’s different than what they were doing before. It’s really interesting that the job market right now, when you start looking, you’re like, “This is going to be great. There’s so many jobs.” And then you start applying and you’re like, “Hello?”

Joy: Anyone out there? Yeah. Do you feel like it’s all who you know?

Claire: A thousand percent. Yeah, I’ve never gotten a job at a company where I didn’t know somebody.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Which is crappy because that has so many implications for privilege.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: Actually, the company I work for, there used to be a referral bonus. They got rid of that because they’re like, this is just keeping us from being motivated to hire people of diverse backgrounds because our hiring pipeline is just people that we know.

Joy: Exactly. I’ve been thinking a lot about that because I was a hiring manager at my previous job, so I would be going through resumes. I would take into account when people gave recommendations, but I also would interview people that we didn’t know. And usually it worked out really, really well, so I just find it interesting because I will still apply to jobs, but in my head… who knows. Who knows where this is going to go, what’s going to go into the abyss? This is duh, obvious. It only takes one person to say yes and to hire you. It’s kind of that old cliche of you just have to keep searching until you find that one.

Claire: I will also say I have gotten a job in the past where I did get the random interview, not knowing someone, did really well in the interview, ended up not getting it because they hired internally – which also makes me crazy. Although I say that having applied to internal jobs as well, being like, “But I’m internal.”

Joy: Right, right, right.

Claire: But then I stayed in touch with that manger, and they ended up helping me get another job. So it was like I didn’t get that job, but through that experience I was recommended for another position.

Joy: And you just never know. Right. You just never know. So I’ve been having this mantra play in my head recently that’s, “Just start,” which was from one of my bosses at the DA’s office who just was so inspiring and such a great manager and reminded me that you don’t have to have a perfect plan to just start something. So I’m trying to do that thing where if I’m hesitant about anything, I’m like, just start. Just do something. Just put in that application or sign up on Better Help. I actually just signed up on Better Help to be a therapist because I want to – this kind of goes against with me just kind of being and not making too many goals, but I do feel like I need to keep something churning in my brain that is professional work. Otherwise, I’m’ going to go nuts. This is something that I can just do is sign up on Better Help as a therapist and just do it. I was hesitant. I’m like, should I, should I not. No, just start. Just do something.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: So these are the things that I’m trying to tell myself instead of spinning out and being like, what’s going to happen. Because that’s going to get me nowhere. The other piece that you and I texted about briefly was cultivating joy. I talked to my naturopath about this too because she knew some of the situation. And when I told her that I was no longer there, she was like, “This is an opportunity for you to really, A, focus on your health. You’re going to be a lot healthier, and your health is going to thrive because of this. And to create joy in your life.” And not to sound too like “this is the secret,” but truly I do believe in aspects of the law of attraction. If we are in a place of joy and happiness, that is what’s going to flow into your life or you’re going to be more aware of those things, so that’s something that I’m trying to focus on every day. And I’m not used to that. I’m used to just churning through the day, getting done what I need to get done, and not thinking about what’s going to make me happy. And I realize there’s a whole host of privilege wrapped up in that. But it’s just very much like, what truly is something I can do today that’s just a simple joy, and that’s not something I’ve been focusing on at all in past years.

Claire: Yeah, I think it’s interesting, too, when you do get those opportunities to take a break from – really, I hate the phrase “the grind,” but it really is a grind. You get into a routine, and you don’t know what you’re missing. Suddenly when that goes away, if anyone has had the experience of these routines that you take for granted suddenly going away, it is amazing to realize how much you miss. In terms of miss as in “not notice,” not miss as in “long for.” It’s crazy to realize how much about your life you were not noticing.

Joy: You don’t notice.

Claire: Because you are just in this routine.

Joy: And that is a huge thing that has hit me in the face. I didn’t realize how much I was missing, as in not noticing, because of the grind that I was in. And it truly, truly was. So that’s the silver lining that I’ve been noticing. Wow, I actually don’t want that. I was listening to Brene Brown Dare to Lead podcast recently with her two sisters. She had an episode with her twin sisters. So her recent podcast with her two sisters, they talked about this inventory, and I’ll post the link in the show notes, about where your cup is full in certain areas of your life. One of them that they talked about is your fulfillment and your satisfaction with your job and what you’re doing with your life. They were all like, we’re really grateful that we’re at a ten out of ten with that. I thought for a second. I was like, wow, that’s one of my goals. I want to be at a ten out of ten with what I’m doing with my life as a profession. I didn’t really stop to think about sometimes when I’m applying to jobs, would I really want to do that or am I doing it because this is a good salary?

Claire: It makes you feel like you’re getting something done by applying.

Joy: Right. Exactly. So that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about too. The last thing I will ask – if listeners have insight into this as well, but I want to hear what you think as far as I struggle with there’s jobs that I see and would love to do. They pay nothing. There’s jobs where I’m like I would love to be a co-responder. There’s a lot of jobs out there right now, especially with the police departments because they want mental health co-responding with incidents. That just sounds amazing. I miss working for the state. And there’s certain jobs where they just pay nothing. And I have a lot of experience and I want to be compensated for that. There’s that almost martyr selfish reason that comes into play.

Claire: You’re not being a martyr if you want to get paid. That’s not true. There’s two things you’re talking about here, and I think they are important to pull apart. The first one is that you are very qualified to be extremely instrumental in programs that are potentially underfunded. So there’s one aspect of taking a pay cut because it’s something you believe in and you know that whatever that service is cannot support paying someone more. Co-responding, working for a non-profit, these are passion jobs. I feel like non-profit salaries are its whole own episode. Then he question is not, am I going to be valued? It’s, can I financially do this? Versus applying for a job at a corporation or a really stable program or something where you know that they could pay you more but they just don’t value this position at that level. And I think those are two separate things. When you look at a job – for example, I’ll look at a marketing management job, and it’ll say here are your responsibilities, the pay is $50,000-60,000. I know for a fact that these responsibilities are worth more than $50,000-60,000 or the amount of experience I would be bringing to them. Versus is if I were to see, oh, this is a marketing consultant position for a non-profit or for a shelter or for whatever and it can pay $40,000-50,000, I would look at that and think, okay, they really need someone to do these things but they can only pay $40,000-50,000. The difference is, in my opinion, the organization that truly can’t afford to pay someone more, they’re going to have to deal with what they get. Versus the corporation is, in my mind, knowingly low balling it.

Joy: That’s a good point. That’s a good point. I think it’s just that – maybe this is a female thing. I don’t know if it’s an all genders thing. But I just feel like the martyrdom gets pretty loud with, am I being selfish by not pursuing this passion because the pay is crap?

Claire: I mean, yeah.

Joy: I want to get paid more. I have almost 20 years of experience. Come on.

Claire: Then maybe instead what you do is you reach out to that organization and say, “Can I be on your board?” You know what I mean?

Joy: Yeah, that’s true. That’s very true.

Claire: Find another way to offer your expertise and your help without being the person who is getting paid an entry level salary with a senior management level of experience.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a good point. Okay. I’d love people to weigh in on that because that’s something I struggle with often. I think it goes back to how you were raised around money and your beliefs around money.

Claire: It does. I would love to hear from people who are in a job where they know full well that their same job in another industry, maybe in the for-profit world or corporate world, would pay significantly more. And not why you do it because I think we can all imagine the fulfillment and the other side of that conversation. But just, how does that feel? When I first started out in my career out of college, I worked in a non-profit. I was an intern because I graduated in the peak of the recession. I was an unpaid intern for the first two years of my career, just doing anything I could, literally just working for free because there weren’t any jobs. I lived in group housing with a bunch of raft guides. There was a whole 6-month period where I pretty much only ate extra food from a backpacking closet. I would bring home extra food after the backpacking trips were over. I mean, we bought some groceries, but that’s honestly what we ate. I pretty much realized, if I want to make more than literally $40,000 a year ever, I can’t work for a non-profit. I was going to go into non-profit management. I was applying to grad programs, and I realized this is not sustainable. So maybe I’ll just volunteer or whatever that looks like.

Joy: Support in other ways.

Claire: Right, support in other ways. Donate. I know that Will Lanier talked about this. He runs the OUT Foundation and OUT Athletics. He decided to go to law school because finally one of his mentors told him,, “You can do good while still doing well.” You don’t have to struggle, struggle, struggle in order to change the world.

Joy: Yeah, and I think those two things don’t have to mutually exclusive, so it doesn’t mean to do good you have to take less pay. You can do good and make money, but I think there’s just that mindset of money equals bad. And that’s just not true. But I grew up in a household that was blue collar, hard working. We did not have a lot of money, and it was more of just be grateful for what you have and give where you can. Money doesn’t bring you happiness – which is true. And I shouldn’t feel guilty for having experience and asking for a salary I feel I’m worth. So that’s where I think I run up against that weird old belief system.

Claire: Yeah. And there’s that “money doesn’t buy you happiness” – yeah, true, but there is a certain point, and studies have been done on this, that show, okay, “money doesn’t buy happiness” but a certain amount of money does relieve stress to the point of benefitting your health, benefiting your life span. 

Joy: Totally, totally.

Claire: So “money doesn’t buy you happiness” doesn’t mean just be grateful that you’re not below the poverty line, be grateful for what you have. 

Joy: Absolutely.

Claire: There’s always that perspective. You want to be grateful for what you have, while also acknowledging having a little more could really help in a lot of areas of your life. I think also that phrase “just be grateful for what you have” is so dismissive and is so limiting. It really holds people back because they don’t want to ask for more. They’re like, “Oh no, I should just be grateful for what I have.” B.S. 

Joy: “You’re being difficult,” yeah.

Claire: By the way, you can be grateful for what you have and still ask for more.

Joy: And always asking for more.

Claire: You wanting more doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you have. 

Joy: Or that you’re taking from other people.

Claire: I think that that is a huge dichotomy that isn’t real, that just because you want more means you must not appreciate what you have. I think so many of us believe that, whether it’s about money, whether it’s about our relationships, whether it’s about our bodies, whether it’s about… name any part of your life. There’s this underlying belief that if you want something else or something more, that must mean you don’t appreciate what you have in this moment, and that just doesn’t have to be true.

Joy: Right, it doesn’t have to be true. Yeah. 

Claire: So you can be grateful for what you have and still want more.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: If anything, it makes sense to be like, “Yeah, love this. More please.”

Joy: More please. Okay. That’s a good conversation for continuing the conversation because that’s something that I feel like I’m constantly thinking about, especially now. So I’ll keep you guys posted. Everything’s in transition. I’m taking it day by day. Feeling my feelings. And walking my dogs a lot.

Claire: Walking the dogs.

Joy: So I want to give you guys a quick update on my health and bloodwork because I recently got my updated bloodwork. So just a recap, I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease back in the fall, and I went on a 6-month treatment plan with a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Kayla Cook who I asked to be on the show and she said “yes.” I was very excited about that, so we’ll plan a date for her to come on the show. I’m already not scared but like, oh my gosh, it’s going to be an hour and I’ll be like, “We just scratched the surface” because she is a talker and she has so much good information to talk about. But we’re going to get through like two questions. I’m going to be like, “Could we do five episodes?” Anyway. So I recently got updated bloodwork. So we’ve just been tracking my bloodwork for my thyroid. My TSH, which is the thyroid stimulating hormone, my T3, my T4, and my lipid panel, as well as my liver. So my naturopathic doctor was worried because my cholesterol was really, really low back in the fall, along with really poor liver labs and my thyroid. All over the place. So my recent bloodwork – and it’s been creeping up and getting a lot better. Recent bloodwork, the T3 and T4 are back in the normal range, which is huge you guys. It was way out of range. Now it’s normal. Totally normal range. Not close to normal, it is in the normal range. My cholesterol is back up, and this is where my naturopath will talk about this. But she talked about how low cholesterol doesn’t always mean a good thing, and mine was really, really low, which she says that was probably attributed to my liver not doing its job. So now that my liver’s back, liver’s doing great, thyroid’s doing great. My thyroid stimulating hormone is still a little bit low, but it’s creeping up pretty slowly. She says because the T3 and T4 are normal, the TSH should go back to normal. TSH apparently is really affected by stress, and because I just had 2-3 months of very stressful work situations, she’s like, “That doesn’t surprise me at all.” I recently did a Q&A, and someone asked now that you’re in what Dr. Cook says “lifelong remission,” because I was like, “Do you say cured?” Doctors like to say “lifelong remission” or “in remission.” Someone asked, “Does that mean you’re never going to get it again?” And my answer to that is absolutely not because I could potentially get it again. If I go back to what I was doing, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to get this again or something similar. Maybe I’ll have Hashimoto’s instead of Graves’. But the pace that I was going at was unsustainable. Six months later, seven months later, eight months later, now I can see that pace was not sustainable. So if I go back to what I was doing, yes, I could get this again. But because I’m on a maintenance plan and I’m doing well with it, I’m going to continue to do that. That has a lot to do with managing my stress. Which I know is very cliche, and I feel like it’s overstated all the time, like “Manage your stress.” But for me, that meant making sure I got enough sleep, making sure that I was drinking water, making sure that I was fueling myself, making sure that I was not over-exercising – which I tend to do when I’m stressed out. I will “relieve life stress” by working out, and that actually blew up in my face because I was doing too much intense exercise, which I think we equate to “better.” And that’s just not the case. So I very closely monitor my heart rate when I work out now. I don’t do anything high intense, and if I do I get my heartrate down quickly. I’ve started doing jogs again, but I don’t run and I don’t do really hard long runs. So I’ll do little HIIT training sessions. I’ll do walk and runs on the Peloton, and that feels really good. But I watch my heart rate, and I don’t have any interest in maxing out anymore or pushing past the pain level. You know how in CrossFit, your heart rate is so high that you feel like you’re going to die? I will never do that again. Because that is what led to my body getting completely burned out.

Claire: And I think it’s maybe not ironic, but I do remember last summer us both talking about we’re working out more than we would really recommend or know is healthy because we’re using it as a coping mechanism.

Joy: Absolutely.

Claire: Even though you completely acknowledged and recognize that, that didn’t absolve you of the consequences.

Joy: Right. Yeah, you think you’re doing something good for your body, but it’s really – and I would caution everybody to listen to your body. Moving is great, but you don’t have to kill yourself in workouts. You just don’t. I am a testament of how it can go really poorly and how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle by just going on walks with your dogs and walking on the treadmill, yoga, things that aren’t pushing your heart rate to max. So that’s something that I will continue to do. There’s no going back to what I was doing before because that was what led me into this problem. Moderate exercise. I’m going to follow the diet that she put me on, which is limiting dairy and eliminating sugar and fruit combo. But please don’t come at me about that. That’s something that she and I have worked on. There’s a hold host of things that she has me doing that are really more simple throughout the day. But stress is huge on us, you guys. Just please, please, please take care of yourself around stress. Especially if you’re exercising to relive stress, just watch that because that’s, speaking from experience, that led to a whole host of problems. But the other piece that I wanted to reiterate is that working with a naturopath for Graves’ Disease does not mean that I don’t support Western medicine. I will say that until I’m blue in the face. Western medicine is amazing. Western medicine has also saved my life. I just chose to work with a naturopath for this specific diagnosis because I did not want to remove my thyroid or kill my thyroid. That is just a personal decision I made. It has nothing to do with thinking Western medicine is bad. I absolutely think Western medicine is amazing and naturopath/Eastern medicine is amazing, and both can be true at the same time.

Claire: And like we talked about at the beginning of all of this, it wasn’t that you were like, “Western medicine is crappy, and I never want to go down that road.” You were more like, “I need to pursue this other option first to know that I have exhausted all other options before I kill my thyroid.” You were always very open, like, “If that’s what it comes down to, if that ends up being the only thing that’s going to work, then so be it. But I know there are other choices out there and I’m being told that there are not.” And that is why you went and really pursued this path. It wasn’t like, “I don’t believe in this other solution.” It was more like, “This feels really extreme to me. I’m going to go see what my other less extreme choices are.”

Joy: Right, exactly. And luckily, it worked out. So right now, I’m not seeing Dr. Cook as often. She’s actually going to – she’s so amazing. She’s going to teach me how to do hydrotherapy so I can just buy a machine and do hydrotherapy at home. And do it with Scott too, so Scott can do hydrotherapy. You can do it on anybody. That is something that I truly believe also saved me. So hydrotherapy is the hot-cold therapy. There’s a lot of ways to do it. And whenever people hear me say hydrotherapy, they think it’s colonics, and it’s not. It is a hot-cold therapy, kind of similar to doing contrast showers, like hot-cold showers. It’s similar to that, but there’s a little machine involved. It feels like a TENS unit. There’s a little bit more involved in the process, but that’s really essentially what it is, is the hot-cold therapy. That has been truly amazing. I am on some supplements that help my thyroid. I’m drinking Solé water, which is this water that’s very easy to make. It’s salt water that you drink. Minerals, drinking a lot of minerals. 

Claire: Maybe put a link in the show notes.

Joy: Yeah, that’s a good point. I’ll put a link in for that. So I’m drinking Solé water. I’m watching my diet. I’m dry brushing. I’m making sure I’m sleeping, and that’s it.

Claire: Taking naps and walking dogs.

Joy: Taking naps, walking dogs. So as far as maintenance, I’m going to keep doing that. Dr. Cook was like, “I’m so glad that you’re at that point. That’s always my hope is that patients see that they can’t go back to doing what they were doing before to ‘get better.’” So that’s where I’m at with health. I will gladly take your questions if you have specific questions for Dr. Cook for when we have her on the show. Jus email us if you want to go into depth about a particular topic.

Claire: Well, we’re very, very, very, very excited for you, and we can’t wait to have Dr. Cook on the podcast.

Joy: You’re going to love her. She’s the best.

Claire: I’m so excited.

Joy: I mean, not only is she an amazing physician, but she’s just such a great human to talk to too.

Claire: I’m excited.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: Well, we’ve got to wrap up this week.

Joy: We got to wrap it up.

Claire: We got to wrap it up.

Joy: We got to end at some point, you guys. We’ve got to move on with our lives. You’ve got things to do.

Claire: You have things to do.

Joy: We’ve got jobs to search for.

Claire: Sitting in your drive way right now. Time to go inside, we’re sorry.

Joy: Time to go inside.

Claire: Okay. So you can always find us Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can email us at We say this every time, but still just to reiterate. If you have a question that needs an answer that’s more than just a quick yes or no or a quick, “Hey, what was that product? Oh, it was this.” If you want something that needs more than a sentence, please email us. Things that we need to think about and come back to get lost too quickly in our DM inbox on Instagram and then we lose it. Our Instagram inbox doesn’t have a comprehensive search feature, and if we can’t remember your name we’re never going to be able to find you again. So please email us if you have longer questions.

Joy: Right, we’re not ignoring you. We would love to talk to you.

Claire: We’re not ignoring you. We’ve lost your message because Instagram DMs don’t have a search function. You can support the podcast by ordering your Eat to Evolve meal. The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. I am really becoming more and more obsessed with these every day. 

Joy: I just had one last night that was so good. I’ll look for the name of it. It was like Mongolian chicken. It was so good, with kale.

Claire: Kale, who doesn’t love kale?

Joy: Kale yeah!

Claire: Oh no. 

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: Kale no. The other day, I at the very last minute got pulled into this lunch meeting. I was like, crap. So I wake upstairs. What the heck am I going to eat? And literally in that moment the angels came down and delivered my Eat to Evolve box. The guy knocked on the door and I was like [singing heavenly sounds]. 

Joy: The best.

Claire: I went outside and grabbed it, I was so excited. I literally have never been so excited for a delivery in my life.

Joy: Thanks Eat to Evolve.

Claire: I know, it was perfect timing. They didn’t even know. Maybe they did. They were waiting.

Joy: They were, for that moment.

Claire: Go to The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. You also can support us by sharing us with your friends, liking our podcast, liking our social medias, liking our posts on social media and commenting on those. That always helps. Leave a review, leave a rating. Yeah, we are just so excited you’re still here. Thank you for being here. We’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Have a good one. Bye, guys.

Claire: Bye.

Justin Lofranco returns! Justin joined us in 2018 on GGW Episode 271 when we recorded at Camp Timeout. Justin Lofranco started The Morning ChalkUp, the daily Crossfit news website. We discuss the 2021 Crossfit Games and get up to speed on all things Crossfit!




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 80: Crossfit News

Episode Date: June 24, 2021

Transcription Completed: July 16, 2021

Audio Length: 56:28 minutes 

Joy: Welcome to another episode of This is Joy and Claire. This week on the podcast we have Justin LoFranco back on the show. You may remember him if you’re an old school Girls Gone WOD listener that we had Justin on the show Episode 271. I don’t know if you recall. We were at Camp Time Out, which was such a fun trip. But we talked to Justin LoFranco because you may remember last week, we were like, hey we haven’t talked about CrossFit in so long. The CrossFit Games are coming up. Are we going to go to the Games? What is going on? As luck would have it, Justin was available. We brought him on the show. We talked all things CrossFit, and I feel pretty up to speed now. So if you are out of the CrossFit world, like myself, I feel like you’re going to get a lot out of this episode, so you’re not going to be too out of it when the CrossFit Games come around. Because, let’s face it, the CrossFit Games are our favorite time of year. It’s so fun to watch. Even if you’re not at the Games. But if you are at the Games, it’s even more fun. So we’re really excited for you to hear this. Just a quick note that if you don’t have anything to do with CrossFit, I think you’ll still get a lot out of this episode. We had some really good discussion. But also, we talk a lot about things that are just in the CrossFit world, and we don’t really stop to explain. So just a heads up that if you feel lost, it’s because we’ve been in the CrossFit community for the past 10-15 years. But I love Justin’s take on everything. He’s got such a well-rounded view. The Morning Chalk Up is his baby. He founded this amazing news company, and they put out a newsletter and daily posts on the Morning Chalk Up, on Instagram, as well as their website So you can hear all about this business there and how you can subscribe. As always, we just really appreciate your support. Please subscribe to our podcast. Share with a friend. And tag us in your post so we can repost any shout outs that you do. Thank you so much for supporting us over the years, and here’s our episode with Justin LoFranco from the Morning Chalk Up.

Hi Justin.

Justin: Oh hello. 

Claire: Hi. You look so burly and rugged.

Justin: I should let you write my dating profile. 

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Claire: Burly, rugged guy wears expensive jacks.

Joy: And also hasn’t aged a day since I last saw you. You still look the same.

Justin: When you stay in the cold all day long, you can’t get wrinkly skin.

Joy: Is that true? Is that true?

Justin: It’s all very tight. It’s frozen.

Claire: Wind burn keeps you young. It’s like exfoliation.

Justin: Yeah, it is kind of like that because snow and ice slapping you in the face.

Claire: Yeah. Women pay thousands of dollars a year for that treatment.

Joy: Yeah, what are we doing?

Claire: All over the world. And here you are paying thousands of dollars to go and do it in the wild. How was it? How was Denali? I mean, I read your extensive recap online of course.

Justin: Yeah. I always get this question, and I answer different every time. I think because something so challenging physically, so long. 21 days of climbing, almost 30 full days in the whole travel experience. And it takes a while to really digest it and say, how do I really feel about that whole experience. Obviously, I feel great and happy that we were successful in our climb and everyone did it safe. It changes, you know. I was talking to some of the guys from the team today. I was like, it’s actually kind of a little dull on a regular basis. It’s because we’re not looking out at this massive, arctic landscape.

Joy: Yeah, you’re just being a normal human now.

Justin: I feel like I’ve had and I’m going through a little bit of an adrenaline crash. Not because we’re jumping out of air planes every day, it’s not like that.

Claire: No, I get it.

Justin: But it is like this epic, all-encompassing, very significant journey. You don’t have any real touch with the outside world except on GPS’s.

Joy: It’s culture shock. 

Justin: Texting my sister these updates. I didn’t have Facebook. It wasn’t like I was really the one posting. She was posting the text, and that was the only access to the outside world that I really had. I don’t know. I feel like I have a little bit of an adrenaline crash.

Claire: So do you know what NOLS is? It’s similar to Outward Bound.

Justin: NOLS!

Claire: NOLS. National Outdoor Leadership School.

Justin: Okay, okay, yeah. 

Claire: Yeah, that sounds so familiar. So I did a NOLS course in college. It was 30 days in the Yukon. Very remote, not as technical as what you experienced, but a very similarly remote experience. A couple of days before we were done, our instructor started telling us about the post adventure blues. And it is truly a mental health phenomenon where it’s almost like a reentry sort of experience. You go through this mental health transition that is very well documented.

Justin: Yeah, most of my climbs, the longest one I’ve done is five days, which is still – it was like 45 miles total. Mount Olympus up in the peninsula in Washington. That was the longest one I’d ever done. Usually it’s just 2 or 3 days, or I might climb for a whole week, but that’s one mountain is 2 or 3 days and maybe take a break for a day and another mountain is 2 or 3 days. So it’s not the same as 21 days of being gone and totally remote, sleeping in a tent every day, a singular mindset about this one mission. You really gel together as a group. It’s 5 of us, and sometimes you yell at each other too. It’s all of that, right. You work as s team to accomplish this goal, and you have a singular focus like that. Kind of experiencing it, kind of understand. The CrossFit games come up soon, so my adrenaline will spike. It’s like work on steroids, as you guys know. I’ll balance it out eventually.

Claire: Well let’s just dive right into the CrossFit Games chat.

Justin: Let’s do it.

Claire: Your favorite topic, I’m sure. Well hopefully it’s your favorite topic because it’s your whole life. So last week, we were talking on the podcast and we were like, we really should start getting our poop in a group for the CrossFit Games. We got to go. We always question whether or not we should go, and then we always go and love it. We were like, but we are so disconnected at this point with the CrossFit competition circuit and cycle. I think a lot of people are feeling that way. Our last “normal year” really was kind of 2019 season. But even towards the end of 2019, things started to change. We had the Open. The 2020 Open was in the fall of 2019. Then we had the whole qualifying process got completely blown up. Then it got completely blown up again this year. And people are like, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be watching, where I’m supposed to be watching, what the time frame is. I’m going to tune into Instagram occasionally and see if Rich Froning is still a thing. So that’s where we’re at. I watched a little bit of the semi-finals this last weekend. We wanted to invite you on to ask you to impart your deep CrossFit Games knowledge with us.

Joy: And also, I think we want to process – or at least I do – so much that has happened with CrossFit over the last 1.5-2 years and how that plays into it. So it could get a little controversial. But it’s important, and I think that’s the reason why a lot of us stepped away from it. And also the pandemic happened, so it was almost this natural distance for a lot of people, and then people started not affiliating their gyms and then the pandemic was on top of that. There was this layered effect of CrossFit changing, and then we have a new CEO and so on and so forth. I think there’s a lot that we could talk about.

Justin: Anywhere you want to go. You ask the first question.

Claire: Let’s start with the basics. So walk us through where we are at right now in the CrossFit Games season.

Justin: Alright, so this is going to be the CrossFit equivalent of the State of the Union, which you probably need to know. And granted, I’ve been on a mountain for 21 days without access to the internet. But I’ve come back and I feel like I have at least the cursory knowledge of what’s going on. So here’s the lay of the land. CrossFit as a sport side restructured its sport to being a four-stage competition starting with the Open, which has gone from 5 weeks down to 3 weeks. Followed closely by a second online competition called Quarter Finals where athletes have to compete in, I think it was this year, 6 tests online. The top athletes from those areas competing in the Quarter Finals will move onto Semi Finals. Now each Semi Final area region is separated by continent effectively. So we have the North American continent, Asia, Africa, Oceana, South America. So one of the top athletes coming out of the Quarter Finals in one of those continents, you go onto Semi Final stage, which just wrapped up. Semi Finals is a host of different competitions that are run by outside organizations. Like Loud and Live that operates the WOD-apalooza event, by way of example. And the athletes go through these 3-day competitions very similar to what happened during regionals. Six or seven events, top five athletes out of the CrossFit Games. And then we have the CrossFit Games, which to our knowledge – and we believe this is true – does not involve any cuts or –

Joy: Yeah, like what they did in – was it 2019 when they did that for the first time?

Justin: And technically in 2020 when they called culled the herd down from 30 athletes at stage one down to five athletes, so they had to cut as well. But I don’t believe that’s going to be the case though. CrossFit hasn’t really said anything about it.

Joy: People were so mad about it.

Justin: They were a little less than pleased, I would say so.

Claire: So they’ve kind of combined the decentralized management of Sanctionals with the centralized scheduling of regionals to where they had a handful of Semi Finals weekends where you had three or four competitions happening around the world at the same time.

Justin: Yes.

Claire: But none of the events were actually run by CrossFit.

Justin: Yeah. The people running the events are the same people that were running the events during Sanctional season. They obviously don’t have as many because they had scheduled for 2019-2020 season the expanded schedule of 27 events globally. And they were going to be every single weekend for like five months. I’m like, kill me now.

Claire: I think we’re probably all glad. Maybe that’s why no one’s paying attention because they’re like, all I was going to be able to do in 2020 and I wasn’t going to be able to keep up and I was going to have to circle back at the CrossFit Games, figure out who was there. 

Justin: Yeah. That system’s over and done with, and we’re very unlikely ever to go back to it, to be frank. There were some merits to that system, time being not one of them. Which is every single weekend, it’s great, there’s a CrossFit Competition. But every single weekend, there’s a CrossFit competition, for like five months. The season was monstrously large and way larger than our infrastructure can support. We went from being like cool back yard barbecue sports to like the NBA overnight, as far as expectations. There’s not even enough photographers to photograph events, let alone media companies to cover them.

Claire: Right. So are the Semi Finals done? Was this last weekend?

Justin: They have the last chance qualifier, which is another online qualifier where they take the ones who didn’t qualify 6th, 7th, and 8th. 6th, 7th, and 8th for the most part are the ones that are going to be competing in an online competition. The top two will get an invite to the Games. I think that’s happening next weekend or next week or something. I don’t remember. There’s only two spots up for grabs. They get pulled into an online competition for an opportunity to qualify. That will be effectively the end of the Semi Final round or the third stage of the competition before the Games, and then in about two weeks prepare for the Games.

Joy: So is the same amount of people going to the Games as there were in years prior?

Justin: 40. 40 men, 40 women, along with 38 teams.

Claire: Okay. So talk to us about the people. Give us the run down on who you think at this stage would be your guess for top five women, top five men, and podium teams.

Justin: Oh wow. You know, I used to be able to answer this question.

Claire: Who are you watching?

Justin: Let me think here. I just got back, kind of reintegrated into CrossFit society. Because I was climbing, I missed the first three weeks of Semi Finals, so I don’t even remember all who has qualified yet. I want to talk mostly about – I still think Tia’s going to win. She is just –

Joy: Wait, you don’t think?

Justin: I do. 

Joy: Oh, you do. You do.

Justin: So it’s kind of up for grabs. Holte is such a strong competitor, always has an opportunity to podium at the Games. Katrin Davidsdottir has an opportunity to podium at the Games. Who won this weekend? Bethany Shadburne looked amazing this weekend. I think she deserves a conversation that’s putting her up there towards the upper echelons. She was 8th place in 2019. She’s already a top ten athlete. Men’s side, Vellner, Cole Sager looks about as good as he’s ever looked on a competition floor, and I got to see firsthand this weekend. I was really impressed with him. Vellner won the Atlas Games this weekend. Always been a big fan for his potential to win. He’s a multiyear podium athlete. He struggled the last couple years to get up there, but he’s a guy I absolutely would be looking at. BKG – Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson for those of you who don’t know. That’s a mouthful, so BKG is a little easier to get out. He’s another guy that I’d be absolutely paying really close attention to for podium spot. Multiyear top five athletes finisher, former podium athlete. Looking at that guy as a potential winner, replacement for Fraser. And I think for the first time in a long time, there isn’t an immediate answer for who’s going to win the CrossFit Games on the men’s side. Even when Froning retired and we were still like, “It’s Ben Smith.” Ben is a guy, and he won it that year. Yeah, I think Fraser was part of the conversation too. But Ben, he’d already been at the Games like six times. We’re like, “Oh, Ben’s been chomping at the bit. He’s right there. He’s going to be the guy to replace him.” Turns out he was the guy to replace him. That one wasn’t a huge shock. And Fraser got second again that year. And Fraser went on to do what Fraser did. Now it’s been after the third year, you’re like, “If Fraser competes, Fraser is going to win.” I mean, the guy just shows up and absolutely dominates. This is the first year I’m like, I don’t really know. I really don’t know. Noah’s another guy that we’ve said, “Hey, this guy’s got clear podium potential.” 5th place athlete last year. 2nd place the year before in 2019, his first time on the podium. Absolutely.

Joy: It’s kind of exciting though. It’s exciting to not have that predictionality in the books because we’re like, “Oh, Mat Fraser.” 

Justin: Very exciting. And that’s something we said, you know. “Oh, it’s always so obvious.” It’s after day one and the guy’s 50 points in.

Claire: Yeah, I think it was 2019 where he didn’t even have to compete in the last event and he still would have won. He was that far ahead.

Justin: I don’t know if it was 2019 because that was the year of the cuts, and it was a bit of a weird scoring year.

Claire: Maybe it was 2018 then.

Justin: 2018. I’m pretty sure he didn’t have to compete in the last event or maybe even the last in all of the last day. 

Claire: Right, and he still would have won. While I’m not by any means questioning his athletic prowess, it doesn’t make it very interesting as a spectator. 

Joy: No, it doesn’t. It’s like watching the Super Bowl when they’re already, like in the first quarter, like meh. 

Claire: Right, it’s like, “Oh, the final men’s heat is going. I’m going to go to the bathroom.”

Justin: Yeah, it’s one of those things. That’s what was too bad. Mat kept it interesting to a certain extent. Like that 2014 year. He was not in first place coming into the final day and then he went and  sweeped three straight events, and he had to show up and compete and actually win, and that’s good sports. I’m not sure if it’s just because Mat was so much dominant. Maybe he’s the most dominant athlete to compete in CrossFit ever and that’s just going to be the case. Or maybe it’s just that we’ve got to look at the structure to make it interesting or find other opportunities. Back in the day, people really used to sell out in one workout. They’re like, “This is my jam, and I’m going to go and put everything into that workout.” And it made it really exciting because it pushed the pace for other athletes that were out there. I remember asking Rich about his 21-15-9 workout from the 2014 Games. I was like, “I saw you. I was rewatching this video and I looked at it.” I’m like, “You look like you were gassed when you were doing it.” He won that event, but he looked like he was gassed, and he was in the second heat, not the final heat. He was in the second heat at this stage of the competition. He was not doing well. And he’s like, “I wanted to put up a time that was so fast that I would make everyone else hurt to beat me.” And you guys have interviewed Games athletes or you have listened to interviews before. How many Games athletes today say, “I wanted to make everybody else hurt to beat me.” Like, “No, I’m just staying in my lane. I’m doing my game plan.”

Joy: Yeah, they’re like, “I’m focused on what I need to do.”

Justin: Yes, exactly. And I was like, yeah, we need more of that. We’ve got to figure out a way to get people back into that mentality. They’re like, “I know that Noah really wanted to win that workout, but I wanted him to have to suffer to beat me in that workout.” I’m like, that makes good competition. That makes good event. That makes good spectatorship. Right? We’ve got to figure out a way to get that back. My solution was, I said you should just make it $10,000 for every event somebody wins.

Joy: That’s a good point. 

Claire: Right. And everyone’s going to go and be like, “I want you to be in pain. I want everyone else to feel pain.”

Justin: I want them to feel pain, and I want ten grand. Yeah, that would probably work. This is the first time we don’t really know. I don’t think it’s going to be clear on day one or day two. I think that makes for a good sport. I’m really excited about that. I still think Tia is just going to kind of dominate like before. It’s not really about talking bad about the other athletes. She’s just still so far ahead.

Joy: Yeah. She’s just amazing. She’s in a completely different level.

Justin: I think by day two, we’re going to go, meh.

Claire: I will say, especially within the Semi Final commentators, the teen athletes were a big topic. We’re seeing these teenagers that have just aged into the adult competition but have been a lot of them competing at the CrossFit Games already in the teen division for years. Some of them have already been doing CrossFit for 7, 8, 9 years. And this is the depth of experience that we have yet to see from anyone in the sport because the sport didn’t exist.

Justin: Pretty scary. I think this is the first time that, except early, early, I mean 2007 or 2008 or 2009, when a 17 year old qualified for the Games. Well, 2007 just signed up. 

Joy: Right. You just walk into Dave Castro’s backyard.

Justin: Just showed up and paid the fee and threw down that weekend. Other than there was an athlete – I don’t remember her name, but it was a female I believe who was 17 and was the youngest athlete to ever compete at the Games. Except during the national champion phase when there was a foreign country where an athlete was also the top qualifier too. This is the first time through a new, fully vetted, live competition qualification system where we’ve had multiple teen division females, 17 year old females, qualify for the CrossFit Games and have gone through the same system as individuals. They didn’t get any national championship competition invitations. Back in the day when Haley was 16, she was competing in Regionals but she wasn’t getting the top five spot. We just had two athletes who are 17 that beat out their peers in the adult division. This is the first time we’ve ever had that. And they are really fit.

Claire: So fit. Terrifying fit. Yeah. 

Justin: It’s not just the capacity, it’s their numbers. 

Claire: Yeah. And I feel like you see these 17-, 18-year-old men/boys/guys/dudes who are so, like you can just see the human growth hormone just radiating out of their pores. Like you can watch their muscles rebuilt as they use them. And you’re like, I twisted my knee two months ago and I still have to be careful when I walk down the stairs. This is not their reality yet.

Justin: No, no. 

Claire: It’s not even close. It’s wonderful.

Justin: I’m actually more impressed with the women to be honest. The numbers that these women are throwing up are putting them in the upper echelon of lifters in the individual divisions. Like Mal O’Brien’s clean and jerk is 245. Tia Toomey won the Rogue Invitational with a 270 clean and jerk. She’s an Olympic weightlifter from the Olympics.

Claire: Literally competed at the Olympics in weightlifting, yeah.

Justin: Literally competed at the Olympics in weightlifting. She’s been training and weightlifting for a decade. Oh, okay, that’s great. 245’s pretty good. I think Amanda Barnhart I think got 265. Also somebody who’s known for their strength, who’s also a larger sized athlete than Mal O’Brian who’s like 5’3” and 120 lbs. or something. It’s nuts. I don’t think she has a double body weight clean and jerk, but if she does it’s an extremely difficult thing to do in weightlifting. For the female athlete to double body weight clean and jerks at nationals and perhaps even for the national championship. You know, Alyssa Ritchey was a CrossFit Regionals athlete and was only the 7th woman in American history have a double body weight clean jerk. Just saying. I’m looking at these numbers being like, that’s nuts. Both her and Emma Cary. Emma Lawson qualified and competed at the Atlas Games over the weekend. She’s Canadian. She’s only 16. She got I think 8th.

Joy: It’s impressive.

Justin: I’m like, don’t live near me. Go to a different gym. I’ve got to step my game up. I’m 34 years old. I’m like, shoot, you guys are so unbelievable. I’m so impressed.

Claire: Yeah. I’m like, did I miss my window to be fit? Maybe.

Justin: If you didn’t know then, you should know now.

Joy: Oh, the glory days of when you first started CrossFit and you actually thought you had a chance of going to the Games. Just in the back of your mind, just thinking, maybe. It was so small. Just maybe. The first Regionals I went to was at some colosseum in Castle Rock, and I walked in, and you just sit down on a bleacher, and the bleachers weren’t even full. It’s crazy. Anyway. What do you think about programming? What’s going on with Mr. Castro, and what do you think is going to be focused on for programming this year?

Justin: For the Games or for the whole season in general?

Joy: For the Games, yeah.

Justin: I’m really curious what he does. I liked a lot of events from 2020. My one knock on the events though – by recollection, I probably had a more accurate opinion when I was right there looking at them during the Games – but my one knock was, I wanted there to be more creativity. And not because you need to be creative to create great events. But he had so many opportunities with only five athletes to really do things that were completely different and perhaps not even possible than any other Games, right? I remember ’14, ’15, ’16 – definitely ’14, it was like throwing athletes in a meat grinder sometimes. And there were some criticisms that it was too hard back then, but nobody’s said it in the last several years that the Games have been too hard. And here’s the thing, it doesn’t just have to get harder to be harder and we have to beat people down more.

Joy: Right, not to kill people. Like the year Annie Thorisdottir almost died doing Murph.

Justin: That was ’14. And you’re like, well, part of the Games’ point it to find the tip of the spear. Not everybody is supposed to succeed at the test, but when you have athletes getting two minutes under the time cap and everybody gets two minutes under the time cap, you’re on a workout that only takes seven minutes. You’re like, well obviously they’re not heavy enough or you gave them way too much time. You don’t just want the athletes decimated, but at the same time, I want to see the women’s top end barbell, everybody fails but one athlete. 

Joy: Right. That’s interesting and exciting to watch.

Justin: Push them beyond – no one’s ever done a workout with a 275 lb. clean programmed in the workout for women. I don’t know that, but I’m pretty sure that that’s true. You’re like, okay, let’s see how far they can go. Let’s really test that capability. And that’s where creatively, it doesn’t just have to be heavier, but what other creative elements can we incorporate there. You could have done things for the first time – I think someone was interviewing me about this too back then, and I said, “Well look, I know this is kind of silly, but what if you had to make someone tread water with a kettlebell?” I know that’s kind of dumb, but –

Claire: Underwater clean and jerk.

Justin: How long can they las? Under water clean and jerk.

Claire: Just in, this is the year for the limbo.

Joy: Claire wanted to say it. She wanted to say it.

Claire: Every damn year. I have to say it. I have to bring it up at least once per year. 

Justin: Flexibility, mobility is a part of –

Claire: I have given deep thought to this. Coordination, accuracy, flexibility. It’s measurable. It’s repeatable. It has so many –

Joy: And there’s music,

Claire: There’s music. You look ridiculous. There’s so many things about the limbo that make it a truly just ideal competition.

Justin: That’s fair. How low can you go?

Claire: Take it.

Joy: How low can you?

Claire: Exactly. Dave Castro, you feel free to take that idea and run with it. I’ve been saying it for years.

Justin: That’s the kind of idea where you’re like, it doesn’t make sense to do it with 40 athletes, but if you only have 5. Because some workouts would take too long to cycle through. You couldn’t do a sprint repeat workout with 40 athletes because there’s 5, 6, 7, 8 positions on a track. It would take you 2.5 hours on the track. It would be nuts. Nobody wants to watch people do sprint repeats for 2.5 hours, like in a tournament style relay like they did when they did the obstacle course. Well the obstacle course gets way more exciting when you can [UNCLEAR] multiple times. Multiple, multiple, multiple times because you only have 5. Or a tournament style thing could be very interesting because you have fewer athletes. That’s kind of creatively where I was hoping – Look, this is the only time we’re doing this thing at Aroma’s. It’s not going to be the case again. They’re going to go back to sites and venues where they can have spectators and stuff. I was hoping that was there. That was a long-winded answer, but when it comes to the Games this year, I hope we don’t play it safe. I give Dave a lot of credit in years like ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16 when his attention to detail and increasing the spectatorship and the potential for great sport moments, his attention to detail was very keen. It was good, and he bought things like pilons and things like markers on the ground and looking at those elements and say, how do we really make this a spectator friendly sport. And I get it. He got his toy taken away and he got a little bit upset about that. I don’t think his heart’s been in it the last couple years. I hope he puts it back in there. And that’s the truth of the matter. I think he’s done a lot of great programming in the past in his complete, holistic Games experience. I think he lost that passion. Maybe he has it back, maybe he doesn’t. He had 2020 Games under a new owner, but it’s as barely any time considering when the sale happened and when the Games was actually on.

Joy: Yeah, when everything happened, yeah.

Justin: But I look at the Open and I look at the Quarter Finals and I look at him rubber stamping a lot of workouts for teens. I want to see if the guy’s heart is going to be in it. And I want to see the answer to that question by the product that he puts out.

Joy: Right, and I think there’s so much of that that drew us to it as well. You know, in the good ole days when they had the amazing open workouts and it was very exciting and there was this big production. He was kind of like this character of – yeah, it’s interesting.

Justin: He was CrossFit’s villain, and now he’s just the guy that programs a bunch of workouts. I know I’m over-reducing his role in CrossFit, but that was the position that he decided that he wanted to have, and it was entertaining.

Joy: It was 100% entertainment.

Justin: And sports is entertainment.

Joy: It is.

Justin: We come to be entertained, you know. Russell Crowe, throw him a sword like the Gladiator. That’s what people come to see. They come to spectate that. And to build that organically, not because you have great stars in the NBA throwing down massive dunks. The events and how they’re structured and put together have to create the moments. And that’s a difficult challenge. His attention to detail for many years is what helped build those moments and give opportunity for that. You could incentivize them financially. That might help too. But there’s a lot of ways of doing it. I think he has to have a big role in bringing that back. I think that’s going to be one of his biggest challenges is not finding the fittest in the most balanced competition sort of way. It’s putting on a great competition and entertaining a whole bunch of people. If they want more people to watch, it’s got to be entertaining.

Claire: I’m also curious to see if, at all, the vibe of the Games changes in a way that you’re the spectator can even notice, given the change in ownership and given that Glassman was vocally unenthusiastic about the Games. You know what I mean? He showed up. He was there. But he would be the first person to tell you, the Games are not it. We haven’t ever talked to Eric Roza. I doubt we ever will. Although I see him walking down the street all the time. But there’s a big ole place by CrossFit Sanitas that I love. I’m like, I think I know that guy. He has never been to the bagel place. To be clear, I don’t want to slander him. I have never seen him at the bagel place.

Joy: Oh my gosh, guess what? He eats bagels.

Justin: It’s carbs!

Claire: Anyway. The point of this is that I wonder if his thought process and if his ethos about the Games and its place in CrossFit is how is it different than Glassman’s? 

Justin: I’ve talked to him about this. I saw him this weekend and we’ve been on the phone a couple of times over the year that he’s owned the company now. His ethos about the Games is different. Greg, for being a brilliant programmer and trainer, never was able to figure out how to strike the appropriate balance with the whole community between the Games and training. He just never was able to trike appropriate balance and stuff. His heart was in training. He’s actually quite a brilliant trainer when you think about the workouts he put together and programmed and executed on and his vision for that and what it’s done for so many athletes in gyms that have changed their lives around and have so many more years on their life probably because of the effectiveness of those workouts. So he’s really a trainer at heart, not an entertainer. I think, and a lot of people think, he should have sold the Games off to IMG years ago and let them do what they did with the UFC. But that didn’t happen. So now here we are today. Now Roza, big fan of the Games. He likes the sport of CrossFit. I don’t think that CrossFit’s going to be making a concerted effort into developing CrossFit health as a concept, as a genre, as a vertical for furthering a discussion in health. I think he’s going to let the gym speak for themselves when they talk to their members. Look guys, we can help you lose weight. We can deal with hypertension. We can deal with Type 2 diabetes. We can get your mobility back. We can allow you to pick up your kids or your grandkids and be able to play with them and the benefits of those things. I think he’s going to let the box do that kind of advocacy about CrossFit and let the results speak for themselves. I do think he wants a bigger and more concerted engagement with CrossFit as a sport. I believe that. I think we’re seeing that. I think he wants to finalize the structure. He’s working with CBS on a live contract for broadcasting, wants to bring it back to the good ole days. Now the challenge is going to be surpassing that, surpassing that in a really big, significant way. Surpassing it doesn’t mean you’ve got 1.5x. Surpassing it and really growing it means you’ve gone 5x. So if peak interest is 1 million, then you need 5. So what we’re seeing is I think he’s trying to right the ship and get everything organized and coordinated and get the team set. They had to shotgun the games and get it done under new leadership. I think he was like, look, we’ve got to get it done, but I’ve got to focus on other parts of the company. Now they’ve got a good season structure and they’ve codified the relationships with brand partners and brought them back and brought sponsorship money back, brought spectatorship back, and all the things like that. I’ll see what he does in 2022. I’m looking for some big changes from a person who spends their entire day thinking and looking and talking to people that do business in the sport of CrossFit. I’m looking for some big changes. I don’t think that what worked in ’16, ’17, and ’18 is what’s going to get them there, to millions of viewership. 

Joy: To increase the viewership.

Justin: We want to have people tuning in on Sunday live, live, a million. They’re going to have to do something different than what worked for them in ’16, ’17, and ’18. I don’t know what that is yet, and I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen anything that’s big. I’ll give them another year, and then we’ll chat.

Joy: So here’s what I’m thinking. This sort of parlays into some questions we got from listeners today too is reputation. CrossFit has a reputation. I think that plays a lot into whether or not people are going to watch CrossFit because what is the reputation you think people say when you say CrossFit?

Justin: Well I think it’s probably a little cultish. Hardcore.

Joy: Yeah. It’s cult.

Justin: People still think it’s a little dangerous. Perception out there of the population. They say it’s more prone to injury. But yeah, that’s probably still their opinion.

Joy: So it’s almost like when people say, “I run marathons,” or whatever. People are like, ugh. There’s very much the idea that you’re either in that camp or you’re not in that camp. And people who have a very specific view about CrossFit, whether or not it’s you’re in a cult or maybe they paid attention to the drama that happened – I shouldn’t say drama. The big situation. 

Justin: It was fairly dramatic.

Joy: But I don’t want to downplay it like it was this drama. It really was a serious deal of what happened with Greg Glassman. I think whether or not they paid attention to that news or whether they think CrossFit – 

Justin: Oh, I think it had a negative on the barometer.

Joy: On the brand. Yeah, for sure. I think that a lot of gyms decided to step away from the affiliation. That is another big deal. So I think the 2020 year had a big impact on CrossFit, you could say negatively, as far as their reputation. So if they want to grow their viewership and people watching the Games, you have to make it something that a lot of people can get on board with as far as their mission, what they stand for, etcetera, etcetera.

Justin: Yeah. I completely agree. I think it deterred potential customers from joining a gym. I think also the pandemic where there were fewer options to join, if they had any lean or notion to do that – though some, like my gym, was open for the majority of the pandemic. They got people the first time because “my gym is closed, and this one is open.” That had nothing to do with CrossFit on a corporate level. They had a business opportunity that existed for some markets that were open. There are big box 24-hour gym who weren’t allowed to be open. Or as a corporation, they said none of them. These are independently owned, so they can make a decision. I don’t know the answer to what CrossFit is supposed to be from a mission statement perspective. I think that Eric has to figure that out for himself and decide the vision or what that direction is. I don’t know what it is. I think it’s a part of all the things it was before. It is the best hour of your day. An opportunity to get healthy and fit and do that and make lifelong friendships with individuals in your box. You come for the fitness, stay for the community. I think all of this is still very relevant and still the case today. But on a corporate level, what does CrossFit as a corporation stand for, I don’t think I can answer that question for you. I don’t think that they can answer that question yet. The deal was done relatively quickly. In fact, very quickly. And announced relatively quickly. The letter of intent was what they announced. The letter of intent was signed by Greg to say, yes, I have the intention of selling and you have the intention of buying. That’s a binding document. That was what we announced in June, a year ago.

Joy: A year ago, which is crazy.

Justin: They hadn’t even done a deal yet. It took them another month to do a deal, and then the DOJ had to approve the deal. And so they got that news out there very quickly to help styme the exodus and the damage that was going to be irrevocable at that point. But they are down to 12,000 affiliates now. More than 12,000 – I would say it’s less than 12,500, more than 12,000.

Claire: I think too, we’ve talked about this for years and years the difference between the brand of the affiliate and the brand of the Games. Those are two very distinct brands that they try to combine into one brand experience, and they’re just not a single brand experience. If you think about this truly from a branding/marketing perspective and a mission statement perspective and a messaging perspective. It’s very unique in the sense that the CrossFit Games and the CrossFit me who goes into the gym and is doing ring rows nine years in, my experience is very different. And the value proposition is incredibly different. It’s so different from the NBA where you go to the JCC or the YMCA or your local… just play a pickup game of basketball, the pickup game of basketball that you’re playing isn’t owned by anyone. You could do it anywhere. Maybe you do it because you love basketball and you watch basketball, but you don’t do it to have a direct connection to the NBA, nor do you expect to have one.

Justin: Yeah, CrossFit is different in that regard. The stands are filled with 100% CrossFitters.

Joy: Right, right.

Justin: Whereas the NBA, the stands might actually be 1% that play regularly basketball.

Joy: Exactly. 

Claire: Yeah, and so to your point of how are you going to get to 5 million viewers, well how are you going to get back to 15,000 affiliates?

Justin: How are you going to get to 25 million active CrossFitters?

Claire: Yeah, and how are you going to –

Justin: I’ve got an answer for that by the way.

Claire: Let’s hear it.

Joy: What is it?

Justin: I don’t think – and I’ve said this to staff at CrossFit, even recently. I said, look, I don’t think that America needs 10,000 gyms. Just don’t. I don’t think there’s enough people that want to do group fitness. CrossFit-style group fitness because there’s other group fitnesses out there. Yoga is group fitness. Soul Cycle is group fitness. Etcetera, etcetera. There’s a lot of group fitness out there. There’s millions of people that are doing it. I just don’t think America has a marketplace for 10,000 locations for CrossFit. By the way, there are not 10,000 group locations for any fitness out there, even in America. You have the number whatever it is now. It was 6-5, 5-5, somewhere in that mix. Let’s call it 6. It doesn’t matter. I don’t think it needs to add another 4. I don’t think adding another 4 will give them 10 million active CrossFitters in America. I think it will give them 4,000 times 150. That’s what I think, or probably lower than that.

Claire: Or it will give them less than that because a third of their gym membership will be like, “Oh, a gym opened closer to my house. I was already going to another gym.”

Justin: I don’t think that’s the answer is opening gyms. I think that the answer is taking CrossFit directly to consumers. That’s’ the way Peloton works, and Peloton has a million active CrossFitters – ah, jeez.

Joy: [laughing]

Justin: A million active subscribers to their online digital fitness.

Joy: And it’s amazing. I do Peloton. I have a Peloton. I love it.

Justin: I’ve never done it. I’ve seen it done, and I think it’s pretty cool.

Joy: And you know what it is? It’s the trainers. The trainers are freaking amazing, and you fall in love with them, and you’re like, “I’m never going anywhere else again.”

Justin: I was at my sister’s house all the time down near Huntington Beach. I’d work, you know. And this woman, who also was now working remotely because of the pandemic, I used to hear her every day in the garage. I’m like, hey, get it. She’s coming to work. Freaking, that’s great. She’s loving it. She’s into it. I can hear the speaker’s going. She’s like, “[heavy breathing] Come on!” She’s motivating herself. I’m like, yeah, she’s freaking doing it, and I’m loving it. I was pumped for her.

Joy: You’re like, “I’m going in there!”

Justin: Yeah, I want to get in and do a workout. So CrossFit employs the best functional fitness trainers in the world. I say functional fitness broadly because it appeals to anybody who is teaching functional fitness, not just at a CrossFit gym but anywhere. They employ the best trainers in the world on seminar staff, and they’re the only ones in the world that are legally allowed to produce an app called CrossFit. So you’re telling me that they can’t deliver CrossFit to people in their garages the way that Peloton delivers bicycle to people in their garages.

Claire: Or Street Parking.

Justin: Or Street Parking does or NCFIT does, by the way.

Joy: Yeah.

Justin: You’re telling me they can’t go live on an app. They’ve got the trainers, the best trainers, in multiple languages all across the globe. They have a studio with a lot of cameras.

Joy: They’ve got the equipment. 

Justin: They have the money. They have the equipment. They have the only rights to the mark. And they have a multi-year partnership with the largest creator of fitness equipment in America called Rogue.

Claire: And their new CEO probably knows some tech guys who could write an app for that. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure. He did work for a tech company.

Justin: I’m pretty sure for the cost of a Peloton bike you can get bumper plates, barbell, a box, a wall ball, and a jump rope.

Joy: You priced it already.

Justin: Of course.

Claire: That can’t all fit in the back half of your office while you’re on Zoom. No one’s going to go, “Oh, is that a box?”

Justin: No, but you can fit it in your garage, the same place you do Peloton.

Joy: Yeah, people want to do garage workouts.

Claire: Yeah.

Justin: I’m oversimplifying it, but I’m saying if CrossFit wants 10 million participants in America or globally, whatever marketplace you want to think of. How do you reach more people? How do you do that? There are a lot of people who don’t want to do group fitness. They just don’t, they don’t. That’s totally fine. People today would rather workout in a garage by themselves or go home after work or do it in the morning before work, shower, and return.

Joy: Exactly.

Justin: They don’t want to join the box. We’re not stealing members away from the box.

Joy: Exactly.

Justin: There’s nobody at Red Wolf CrossFit where I go that has been there for five years that’s like, “I could do this workout from home with no one around me.” There’s two, three people that might say yes to that maybe. But then they have to go buy the equipment. They’ve already in for thousands of dollars at their gym. And they’re in their routine and they love it. They love the people. They wouldn’t be stealing people away from the box. They’d be adding a whole new section of individuals that has no interest in working out with anybody else. That’s what I think. I’m oversimplifying a lot of things in a lot of ways to get from Point A to Point B. They have the ability to access equipment. They have the ability to use the mark and create the official CrossFit app. They have the world’s best trainers in multiple languages. They already have the infrastructure for three key components for delivering on this successfully. And for $25 a month or $40 a month, they can digitize fitness times 1 million. How much is that going to add to the bottom line? Because I guarantee there are investors that are invested in CrossFit that will say, “Well we want 5x off on the money that we poured in there. We didn’t do it just for a hobby. We didn’t give you a couple hundred million dollars so we could put it on our business card, on our Instagram profile that we are investors.”

Claire: Just so we can watch Mat Fraser win again. No. Okay, so we only have a few more minutes to wrap up. There was one quick question that I wanted to cover. Hopefully we can do it quickly and move on to a few of the –

Justin: I’ll make it brief.

Claire: Do you think we will see a difference in the Games because of the change to NOBULL?

Justin: The way the Games is operated and structured? Like the actual events and things like that?

Claire: Or I guess what about the Games do you think will be different other than the vendor tent?

Justin: I think the vendor tent will be a little bit different. We just saw the athlete clothing that just got teed up. They have it on their shoes. I think that with a small company there’s the capability of doing more creatively because they can pivot quicker. Now there’s some negatives to being a small company too. There are indeed purposes in how they develop shoes. Reebok was always 12 months out. They would have the next Games planned already for 2022 Games. I think some of the capability is to be more creative. The only thing I’ve seen is their jerseys, which look pretty cool, I’m going to be honest. The touch of having the last name on the shoe was really neat, really visually very appealing, and I think it’s really cool. I don’t expect there to be a lot that’s different, but they did the deal in January. That’s not a lot of time to plan the Games in six months, so I don’t expect a lot to be done. I think they could because they can creatively move quickly.

Claire: This is a really big, big, big topic, and I hesitate to even launch into this five minutes before. I’ll ask what I think is probably the least complex version of this question because we got a lot of questions about diversity in CrossFit. 

Justin: Ah, okay.

Claire: So this probably is the least complex way to tackle this. Do you think the current semi-final format helps encourage diversity and inclusion because it seems the more diverse regions get fewer qualification spots. 

Justin: Yeah, they do, to be honest. Asia and Africa, right. Let’s point to those ones specifically. And South America as well. South America gets fewer than North America. But from a sports perspective, I don’t think it’s necessarily – not everybody gets a medal in sports. That’s how I see sports. I think there has to be ways to increase diversity in the sport of CrossFit that doesn’t just mean that we’re giving spots to athletes that can’t hold their water against other athletes. The NBA is not a sport that says, well, you know – to be frank, we want more white people in the sport because there aren’t that many, so we’re going to give spots specifically allocated to tall, European centers that shoot 3-pointers. They earn their spot there. I think we have to find a system that allows more people to earn it and to help. One way, I’ll just give you a quick example, is what about increasing intermediate level competitions in the continent of Africa or South America. Look, we’ve got to create a farm system to help them step up their game. What about finding more ways like that? Let’s not just give spots to athletes that can’t compete against Katra. In Europe, they just can’t. You’re not good enough, I’m sorry. You can’t lift enough, and you’re too slow. And I think that good sports recognizes there’s a potential to earn it, but good sports recognizes how to foster another set of athletes from other areas. NBA does a ton in China. NBA does a ton in Africa. They’re saying, look, we want to find ways to find the best athletes in the world, not just Americans. That’s the truth. 

Claire: Right.

Justin: Go to the Olympics.

Claire: So it’s not about who is qualifying for the Games. It’s about what does the athlete funnel look like and how can you diversify the top of the funnel.

Justin: I think you would have better athletes in general over the next 15-20 years if you developed more ways for them to compete at higher levels that allow them to get the play that they need. I played sports all growing up. My dad used to tell me, “You want to get better Justin? Don’t play against middle schoolers. Play against high schoolers. They’re stronger than you. They’re faster than you, and it will make you think faster and get stronger in order to compete. Otherwise, guess what? You’re just going to get your butt kicked left and right. They’re going to steal. They’re going to block your shot. They’re going to be all over you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll never score against those guys unless you figure it out for yourself.” But in order to do it, you have to have an opportunity to be there. But that’s on the pickup court. That’s not at the high school state championship. I don’t get a ticket there just because I really want to go. I don’t think that’s the right model. I think, great, we’re giving an opportunity to get some athletes there and represent a global community. But one big criticism with national champions was you had to cut them all because none of them could compete in the later stages. They just couldn’t.

Claire: Right. They all came in from all over the world, and they got cut out in the first event.

Justin: Yeah. There’s a lot of people who aren’t very good at CrossFit that are better than a whole host of other athletes. They proved that at the Open. That’s not finding the fittest on earth, and that’s the point of the CrossFit Games. It’s finding the fittest on earth. I think one solution to that is finding ways of getting people involved in the more intermediate and advanced competitions in other areas, and I think CrossFit can be a solution to doing that.

Claire: Alright, Joy, do you have one last question? Or should we wrap it at that?

Joy: Yeah, I do have one last question. Did you listen to the Joe Rogan-Mat Fraser interview?

Justin: I did not.

Joy: Okay. Then it’s not fair to ask you.

Justin: But I got a pretty good rundown.

Joy: I guess what is your unofficial take on Mat throwing Dave Castro under the bus?

Justin: Well Dave Castro has pretended to be the villain of the CrossFit Games for a long time, and he is the villain of the CrossFit Games for a long time. I think Mat’s just one of the athletes that’s been willing to say something about it.

Joy: Sure. And it feels like it was this personal thing. They had this personal vendetta or something.

Claire: Can Dave Castro say, “I’m not here to make friends” for his whole career and then get butt hurt when someone’s like, “Dave Castro wasn’t very friendly”?

Justin: No, I think that’s kind of silly. But I don’t know if we should be particularly surprised that Dave hasn’t made a lot of friends over the years. I mean, if anybody’s been watching the Games the last six or seven years, when the athletes say, “Why are you doing cuts?” It’s like, “Well, just be better.” Okay, you expect that everyone’s going to turn around and be like, “Wow, Dave’s such a nice guy. Definitely loves us.” He’s just kind of a bit curt. Now Dave behind the scenes isn’t exactly that way. In fact, he likes you. He’s quite a nice guy, and I’ve had genuinely some good conversations with the guy. But Dave is trying to build the Games to find the fittest on earth. He’s got his own style of play, and the style of play is abrasive. So he shouldn’t be shocked when athletes don’t love him. And Dave, the abrasive Dave, the persona that he puts on also means that guy don’t care. I don’t think anybody’s sitting out there that’s done the Open for the last six, seven, eight years and thinks that Dave Castro really cares if people don’t like him.

Claire: Fair. Very fair.

Joy: I just thought it was interesting because Joe Rogan is arguably the most popular podcast out there, and for Mat to go on there and put – to me, I don’t know, I haven’t talked to either of these guys in person, so I always feel like a hypocrite when I’m just spouting off on something I don’t know every detail about.

Justin: What I share about it is – and I know where you’re going with it. It’s that, there’s a lot of things in the sport of CrossFit and the sport within the sport that’s gone on behind the scenes that nobody has any idea about. 

Joy: Exactly.

Justin: That primarily is just because the only person that was ever talking about anything was the CrossFit Games when the Morning Chalk Up came around, and now you know a heck of a lot of things you didn’t know before. And that doesn’t mean to say that the way anybody does business is dirty. That’s just to say there’s a whole realist of how this sport has been governed for years that has pissed off a lot of athletes.

Joy: For sure.

Justin: And the guy at the helm is Dave Castro.

Joy: Right.

Justin: And I think naturally –

Joy: Here’s the guy that won the CrossFit Games and could probably win for five more years if he wanted to, and yet he’s kind of giving a little bit of a middle finger. I’m like, are you biting the hand that feeds you?

Justin: Dave said, “Mat Fraser’s slipping.” He brushed it off as, “Oh, that’s entertainment. I’m creating entertainment.” Stuff like that. I don’t think Mat thinks that clearly. So yeah, the commissioner of the sport went off and said he thinks that Mat Fraser’s slipping. Mat Fraser did go out and won by the largest margin and shattered every test that Dave put out there. Dave, I guess you’re slipping because your tests aren’t very hard. Yeah, it’s a personal thing that Dave said, so I guess you can’t be that shocked. 

Joy: Yeah, I know.

Justin: Right? You guys look at our site, I don’t remember the whole thing, but yeah “he’s slipping” was kind of the whole quote that came in there. And he said some other things. But yeah, I guess I’m not that shocked when it comes down to it because, A, it’s not true because he kept smashing everything after that. He’s trying to create controversy where there doesn’t need to be any. And you know what, he took a dig at Mat and Mat took a dig at him. Grow up. Get over it. If he’s creating entrainment by him saying that, then Mat’s creating entertainment by saying all that –

Joy: Exactly, exactly. It’s a little childish.

Justin: Congratulations, you got it. Now that’s what you wanted, right? You wanted shots being fired across the bow, and you want Joe Rogan’s 1.5 million listeners per episode on there. And you know what, I guess that was good for sport because that’s what you wanted originally. You got it. Great.

Claire: If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. 

Justin: Yeah. But hey, if your argument is that I did this for entertainment to gin up interest, well guess what? Mat Fraser did that more than you did, so you should be thanking him. 

Joy: Exactly. Thanks Dave.

Justin: Thanks Dave. Appreciate that. Maybe they have some spat that is personal, and there could be many reasons for it. I’m not aware of it, so I couldn’t speak to it. But from a perspective of “he’s slipping” and that’s his response. He says he’s doing media and Mat says, “I’m doing media too.” What’s the deal?

Joy: What is your plan for the CrossFit Games where people can find you there?

Justin: We are going to go in person. The team writers and stuff, we are planning to basically do wall-to-wall coverage, which is what we do always. Videos, interviews, analysis, sports coverage should be on We won’t be broadcasting live. That’s going to be CBS this year. They’re our online partners and stuff. We’ll piggyback off of that and tell you some interesting things. Mostly looking forward to actually getting a chance to start over again with a new style of coverage for the CrossFit Games now that they’re codifying and figuring out how they want to look and how they want to invite media partners in to give more coverage and more analysis, etcetera. So excited about a new opportunity to do that with a new team and have fun with it. At the end of the day, it’s a big celebration of fitness and it’s a great opportunity to hang out with a lot of CrossFitters. So that’s also really my favorite part about the whole thing.

Joy: It’s so fun, it is.

Claire: We always call is CrossFit Disney Land.

Justin: It is. Or summer camp.

Claire: Yeah, CrossFit summer camp, totally.

Justin: It is.

Claire: Well, where can people find the Morning Chalk Up. Tell us a little bit about how to sign up for that.

Justin: Yes. So the Morning Chalk Up is Monday through Saturday daily newsletter about CrossFit. Tell you a lot of things going on, not just about the sport. Community, health, how people are changing their lives, inspirational stories, etcetera. Go to our website, sign up through the link there. Or you can go to our Instagram account @morningchalkup – shocker – and access a lot of our content through there too. We’re publishing every day multiple times per day some cool, interesting stories. But hopefully inspire you to continue staying in the gym and stay involved with the community that you love.

Claire: Thank you so much, Justin, for joining us. Everybody, you can find us @joyandclaire_ on Instagram. You can go to Find us on your favorite podcast app. Rate us. Leave a review. Share us with your friends. We would really appreciate it. You can always email us We read all your emails. We love them. If you’re going to the CrossFit Games, let us know. We’re trying to figure out what the heck we’re going to be doing, but we are 80% sure we’re going to be there. Justin, thanks again for joining us, and we will talk to you guys next week.

Justin: Yeah, thanks so much for having me.

Joy: Bye, guys.

Crossfit Games 2021, gym breaks, vaccinations, organizing, cancel culture, and Joy’s 2 degrees from Keven Bacon.




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 79: Mobile Diplo

Episode Date: June 17, 2021

Transcription Completed: June 29, 2021

Audio Length: 52:21 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Whenever I say my name, I always feel like I’m saying Dj-oy.

Claire: Dj-

Joy: Because if I say it really fast, I’m not saying the “j” sound. And when I lived in France way back in the early 20’s of my life, my French family – in French, you can’t say the “j” sound.

Claire: Right, it’s not a hard “j.”

Joy: And so whenever my French mom would say, “Joy,” she would say, “Dj-oy.”

Claire: That’s so cute.

Joy: So happy pride month. We were late on saying it last episode, but it is still pride month.

Claire: Yes. Happy pride month. We are donation-matching up to $1,000 to the OUT Foundation. We talked a little bit about it on our Instagram a week or so ago. We still have a little ways to go on $1,000. So if you go to our Instagram profile @joyandclaire_ and go to our link tree, one of the top buttons in our link tree will take you to the OUT Foundation to donate. We have had Will Lanier on Girls Gone WOD several times. I think we had him on Joy and Claire as well. He did a bonus episode for Joy and Claire with Andy last year.

Joy: Yes, during COVID, right?

Claire: During COVID, yeah.

Joy: I mean, we’re still in a pandemic. It’s just no t-

Claire: But during the height, during lockdown.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: He’s in law school now and still is the executive director, I believe, of the OUT Foundation. He’s wonderful. We love him, and we love the OUT Foundation. They do a lot of things to increase visibility and access for LGBTQ+ community members in the CrossFit and functional fitness and just fitness in general space by creating scholarships for LGBTQ+ people who can apply for a scholarship to join a gym. We love supporting them because they are a smaller organization, which means that our donation goes a lot farther. Literally, we are very good friends with the executive director. We feel very, very confident about where the donations go. We know that’s always a question when you’re donating to a non-profit. So check them out and please donate.

Joy: Please donate. And I just have fond memories of at the CrossFit Games doing the WOD in the middle of the whole eating area where they had the big Jumbotron. OUTWOD was able to do a whole workout and sit there for three hours and promote their organization and promote the OUT Foundation, and I remember that just being so much fun. It was really hot, but it was great. And remember when we bought the t-shirts. You could buy a t-shirt and a hat, and I still wear my hat all the time. I remember the t-shirts. I put the t-shirt on, and one of the guys was like, “You need to crop that.” They were just cropping everybody’s t-shirts.

Claire: He just walked up with a pair of scissors. 

Joy: Yeah. He’s like, “Please let me crop that t-shirt.” And I was like, “Okay, fine.” And it was so funny. Such good memories, year.

Claire: Speaking of which, we need to decide whether or not we’re going to the CrossFit Games. This always happens, every single year.

Joy: Oh yeah, it’s June. This always happens, every single year. 

Claire: We’re like, “Are we going to go? I don’t know. It’s so much work.” And then we go and we love it. Or if we don’t go, we have major FOMO.

Joy: So I feel really bad, but I’m so out of the loop with CrossFit.

Claire: I mean, same, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a great time in Madison.

Joy: Fair. 100%. And I’m like, are people even going? Is this still a thing?

Claire: Yeah, are people going?

Joy: Are people mad at CrossFit still? What’s going on?

Claire: Is Rich Froning, is that guy still alive?

Joy: Is he still alive? What’s going on with Rich Froning? Is he going to be there? We just need to know all the details. I feel very out of the loop.

Claire: I know. You know who we should have on?

Joy: Dave Castro.

Claire: Let’s get Justin – Dave Castro, obviously. No, let’s get Justin LoFranco, The Morning ChalkUp founder on next month. And he can touch everyone who has been listening to Joy and Claire from the CrossFit days but has fallen away from following the seasons. And he can catch us up. So I know there’s one semi-finals coming up this weekend, and then I think there’s one more next weekend. Three might be more than that. But Justin just got back from climbing Denali. 

Joy: Oh wow.

Claire: Normal things that you do.

Joy: Oh Justin.

Claire: Oh Justin. So maybe we can have him on to get us up to speed with your pre-CrossFit Games, Girls Gone WOD throwback content if you’re into that.

Joy: Sure. I would be really into that. We just went from – not “just,” this was an evolution. But we went to the open workout in 2015. Was is 2015?

Claire: 2017.

J :We went to that open workout where we were just inches away from Katrin. And now – 

Claire: And now I don’t even know –

Joy: Who’s even in the Games.

Claire: Right, who’s even competing? I don’t even know.

Joy: Is Katrin still alive? 

Claire: Is she competing? I don’t know. I know. 

Joy: Is anybody hurt by now? Because that’s just what I’m waiting for.

Claire: And I also had to unfollow all those people on Instagram because their accounts were so diet culture-y.

Joy: Diet culture-y. And you can have abs if you drink this drink, yeah.

Claire: Exactly. Which is fine. Girl’s got to eat. Or not eat in some circumstances. Girl’s gotta get that sponsorship dollars. Which I completely – you know what – 

Joy: Girl’s gotta macro count. No? Too soon?

Claire: Girl’s gotta macro count? Girl’s gotta eat one gram of protein for every pound of body mass.

Joy: Girl’s gotta eat 1200 calories a day.

Claire: Oh no.

Joy: Oh my gosh, it’s not funny. It’s so ridiculous.

Claire: We’re laughing, but we’re –

Joy: We’re laughing at how ridiculous it is.

Claire: CrossFit athletes, that’s the only way they can make money, so I get it. But I unfollowed all of them because I just couldn’t have my brain in that world all the time.

Joy: Yeah. You just got to dip in every once in a while. Every once in a while, seek them out. Much like all the celebrities out there that I admire, they only follow one person. Which is going back to the episode from last week.

Claire: And it’s Dave Castro.

Joy: And it’s Dave Castro. I mean, he doesn’t follow anybody, which always cracks me up too. Oh geez.

Claire: I love it.

Joy: So CrossFit Games. Is anyone out there going? Would you guys want to see us? [laughing]

Claire: Seriously.

Joy: I mean, part of the reason I go to the CrossFit Games is that I love meeting people.

Claire: That’s like the whole reason. I mean, we have a lot of reasons to go. As I bring up all the time, Brandon’s family lives right there. We can take the kids, the whole thing. Most of Brandon’s wardrobe is purchased in the Reebok tent every year, and it’s been a couple years now. His shorts are getting old. His t-shirts are getting old. You guys think I’m exaggerating. I am literally not. Brandon wears scrubs to work, so he doesn’t have to buy normal clothes. We have our master bedroom – I use the term “master” very loosely. Because we don’t have a master bath. There’s just [tongue tied]… blah, one main floor bathroom.

Joy: One main floor bathroom.

Claire: Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. So our closet, we just have your standard small bedroom closet with the two-panel sliding door, and that’s our entire closet. Then we have a nine-drawer dresser. So that’s all of our clothing storage. We don’t have a bunch of clothes in the basement, anything like that.

Joy: Just the piles of laundry in the basement.

Claire: Yeah, just the piles of laundry in the basement. That’s not a clothing storage problem.

Joy: That’s just not wanting to fold your clothes.

Claire: That’s just a… what’s the word I’m looking for? Order of operations problem.

Joy: If someone wants to make a crap ton of money, all you need to do is figure out how to make a clothes-folding machine.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: That’s all you need to do.

Claire: But also, I need a clothes putter awayer machine because I have a giant stack of folded laundry on my basement floor that’s been there for a week.

Joy: You just need the little pully thing… what is that? A dumbwaiter? That can pull it to the top.

Claire: Yes, I do. All that to say, of all of that, four drawers of that – almost half of our entire clothing storage space in our house is used up from CrossFit shorts and CrossFit t-shirts of Brandon’s.

Joy: Of Brandon’s.

Claire: And almost all of them have been purchased at the CrossFit Games.

Joy: That’s impressive.

Claire: So next time you guys see Brandon, which I know all of you do regularly, including Joy. None of us see Brandon regularly. I’m the only one. Just notice what year of CrossFit Games paraphernalia he has on.

Joy: Is it the bright orange year? Is it the teal year?

Claire: Green year, the teal year? Today he’s wearing the teal year shirt with the army green year shorts.

Joy: Oh great. The teal year shirt was Carson. Because I remember I got a teal year shirt. Blazing hot.

Claire: 2016.

Joy: I just remember being in the bullet proof coffee tent with Sandy doing some oxygen up our nose. 

Claire: I know, that was a great year. Okay, as we – we’ll just stay on the topic of CrossFit because my update is that I got back in the gym after being out for a month. I had some medical stuff going on, and I wasn’t feeling good. At first, I thought I’m just going to take four or five days off. It was only supposed to be maybe a week. And it turned into a month. Just my body did not recover the way that I thought it was going to or the way that it was supposed to. So I didn’t go to the gym for a month. It was really hard. It was interesting – we talked about this a couple of weeks ago. The way that my motivation to go to the gym has changed. But the thing that was hard about not going to the gym also has really changed. In the past, it would be like, oh my gosh, I feel fat. Which, again, fat is not a feeling. We know the now. For me, going to the gym is the only time I leave the house, And it’s definitely the only time that I see a group of people that I know. Like I can go to the store, but I don’t know those people. So not being able to do that for a month, I almost literally didn’t leave the house for anything other than groceries. I went on a walk or two with my friend Heather and maybe saw one or two other people once. It was so hard. And this is one thing I’ll probably talk about forever or until I get another job where I work in an office is that working from home is so hard for me. I said something about this recently on my Instagram, and so many people were like, I miss the commute. I do miss my commute. I had a 30-minute commute. It was really easy. I miss everything about leaving my house and going into the office. 

Joy: Yeah. And you use CrossFit as a way to have a commute because you have a gym that’s 25 minutes away.

Claire: Exactly. I just have so few other outlets at this point in my life. I am not signing up for any other lessons or anything.

Joy: Right, like places to go for yourself.

Claire: Right. And so I finally was able to go back last week on Thursday. So I went Thursday and Friday and then I went today, which is Monday. And even just going once, the shift in my attitude was immediate. It’s like, if any of you guys out there are Harry Potter buffs like I am – 

Joy: There’s a lot. There’s a lot of you.

Claire: There’s a lot of you. So congratulations if you’re about to get the reference, and I apologize if not. It’s like in Harry Potter when they were wearing the horcrux and it makes them feel like crap, and then they take it off and the world just lightens. That’s how I felt after I got to CrossFit for the first time in a month. Everything just feels lighter. It feels less dramatic. My outlook on life just feels less shitty. I feel like less of a drama queen instantly, and it was so nice. It’s so great to be back in the gym. It sucks always going back after a small hiatus because –

Joy: Any time off.

Claire: Yeah, to any time off.

Joy: You have to reorient your body to everything.

Claire: Yeah. And it’s like, man, I was so close to getting back to that movement, and now I feel like I’ve taken a few steps back. But I feel like leaving for a long period of time almost is easier because you expect yourself to really not be at that same baseline. But if you only leave for a couple of weeks, you are still so familiar with what it felt like to be where you were a couple weeks ago.

Joy: Sure. You kind of have that comparison. 

Claire: This is so much harder than it was four weeks ago. Versus if you’re out of the gym for six months, you’re like, yeah of course it’s going to be harder. I’m always just shocked and dismayed by how less fit you can get in mere weeks. But yeah. And it’s so hot, and we don’t have to wear masks anymore. I hadn’t been to the gym since masks had gone away.

Joy: Oh. Yes, okay. So I had a thought on this recently because I don’t know how you feel about all of it, but when masks were no longer required in doors if you’re fully vaccinated – and there are some places, like my nail salon, they still wear them and that’s fine. I don’t care. I’m going to honor whatever people want to do. But when this all first started, I wore a mask everywhere. I was like, this is too weird for me, I’m not ready yet, I can’t. I think what it came down to more was the social aspect of it because we still were in that zone where wearing a mask equals respect for one another. That’s kind of how I viewed it. And especially living in Denver, that’s how we are here. Rarely would go anywhere where people were not wearing masks. That’s just the signal that this is what we’re doing. So when it was lifted, I still was in that mode, well I just want to be seeing – and I talked to someone. I think it was Laura Legos. We were Marcoing back and forth about how you want to be seen as someone who is respectful and wanting to wear a mask. But also, if you’re wearing a mask, you’re like, but I’m also vaccinated. Like, you want people to know that you’re vaccinated. So taking off the mask feels weird, but also then that shows that I’m vaccinated. So anyway. It took me about a week, a week and a half before I fully was like, I’m not wearing a mask anywhere I go because now we’re good. We’re good now. Like I felt okay going into Target, going into the grocery stores. I think there’s also the feeling of you don’t know which establishments are still requiring it, so walking in kind of looking around like, hey, have a mask in your hadn’t. Mask, no mask, no? What are people doing here? But now it feels fine. Going to Target, no mask. Going to the grocery store, no mask. And I don’t even think twice about it. I still carry them with me of course.

Claire: I carry one with me because I still have been to a few places where, like the ice cream shop in Longmont, they stopped requiring it, but as of last week they required it. And a bunch of families showed up and couldn’t go in because they hadn’t though that they would need, you know. And is up to every single business. Again, I totally respect that. I think for the ice cream store, most of their employees were – they’re teenagers, they couldn’t be vaccinated yet. So they kept the mask mandate until teenagers could start to be vaccinated. And you know, nail salons, I feel like nail technicians a lot of them have always worn masks. Especially for acrylics and stuff. But I agree with you that I thought I’m going to be the last one. I’m going to be in it until the bitter end.

Joy: I’m going to hold on, yep.

Claire: And now, we walk into a store. Brandon keeps his on. I think it’s more so because he wears a mask all day. He doesn’t even realize that he has it on. So he’ll put it on and just immediately forget that he’s wearing it. I just bring one with me. I don’t put one on anymore.

Joy: I’m the same. I just put it in my pocket. If it feels like this is a place where we need to wear one, I’ll wear one. I still want to be respectful, but we’re also now in this middle road where everyone’s mostly vaccinated. Especially in Colorado, I think it’s almost 50%. But it’s funny how, and this really doesn’t matter to people outside Colorado, but Scott and I were watching the news one night and it talked about most of the people who are not vaccinated in Colorado are in all the rural areas. I found interesting because I’m like, wow, in the big cities everyone is getting vaccinated. But what is the fear around vaccinations in our rural areas.

Claire: Or access. I think it’s a combination.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: They showed a map of vaccination rates around the country and a lot of the southern and traditionally red states have lower vaccination rates. It is very political, and we’ve all known that this whole time. That’s not new to anyone. And also those areas have a lot more rural communities, a lot more lower income communities, a lot more Black communities. That is also a factor. I think it’s easy to look at those and be like, the right wingers just aren’t getting vaccinated. There’s so many factors to it.

Joy: Yeah, it’s not necessarily the case. I’m not making light of this, but I really thought it was so cool when Diplo had a concert and had a vaccination site. I’m like, Diplo, you just need to go to all these rural communities, have shows.

Claire: Just drive Diplo around.

Joy: Don’t even have a show.

Claire: No, just drive around, like on a parade float. 

Joy: Get vaccinated.

Claire: Can you just imagine him driving down 70 through Kansas on a parade float?

Joy: [laughing] That’s so great, that’s so great.

Claire: Who doesn’t love Diplo?

Joy: Aw, man. I’m just glad I now know who he is. So yeah ,mask wearing and back at the gym and now you’re on board.

Claire: Now I’m on board. And then today, speaking of not knowing who Diplo is, the coach was wearing these shorts that had – so they looked exactly like the motif in the cafeteria from Saved by the Bell, like that blue splash you know what I mean.

Joy: Yes, with the sprinkle thing, yeah.

Claire: And I said that. I was like, “Woah, check out those shorts. They look like they’re from Saved by the Bell.” And he was like, “From what?” And I was like, “From Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell.” And he’s like,” I’ve never heard of that.” I was like, “What do you mean? You’ve never even heard of it?”

Joy: How old is he?

Claire: 24!

Joy: What?

Claire: So then, somebody was like –

Joy: Oh Claire, you’re that age now where you’re starting to make references that they don’t understand.

Claire: I was like, “Come on!” And someone was like, “Claire, he’s like 40 years younger than you.” I was like, “How old do you think I am?”

Joy: 40 years!

Claire: I was like, “You think I’m 60?” I want to be like, “I’m 33, to be clear.”

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: So then I was making fun of him for being so young, so then he put on an 80’s power ballad station and was like, “Now we’re going to listen to some songs from Claire’s childhood.”

Joy: Great, thank you. I love the 80’s power ballad station.

Claire: I was like, I’m a little offended but this is the best play of the workout playlist, so I don’t know what to tell you.

Joy: It really is.

Claire: I was shocked and appalled.

Joy: That makes me very sad that he grew up without Saved by the Bell.

Claire: Not even knowing what it is.

Joy: Not even knowing what it is. Kelly Kapowski.

Claire: And he was like, “Who’s in it?” And I was like, “Kelly Kapowski.” 

Joy: Tiffani Amber Thiessen.

Claire: AC Slater, I don’t know names.

Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I think someone actually did do a Saved by the Bell podcast. I just haven’t listened to it.

Claire: Oh, I’m sure they have.

Joy: I can’t listen to those shows because I get too nostalgic, and it makes me sad. I don’t know why. It’s kind of adjacent to how I can’t watch some reality shows because I just get into this weird hole of nostalgia that I’m not ready for.

Claire: Okay, so then he’s like, “What’s the equivalent today.” I was like, “No, if they made it today, it would be a reality show.”

Joy: Yeah, there is no equivalent.

Claire: It would be like Cheer. It would be some crappy high school reality show.

Joy: They really need to make another season of Cheer. I don’t know how they would do that. –

Claire: Well they were making another season of Cheer, and then the pandemic happened.

Joy: That’s right.

Claire: And all of the competitions got cancelled. If you remember –

Joy: Yes.

Claire: In Cheer, Spring Break was their hell week. But then Spring Break was when everything happened.

Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s totally right. 

Claire: And then, Jerry got arrested for child pornography, right? 

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: So that sucked. Because it came out in the fall of 2019 maybe? It took me a while to see it. Or maybe even the summer of 2019. 

Joy: But you were really excited about it, right?

Claire: I ended up loving it. But I’m like, I’m not going to watch a reality show about a bunch of cheerleaders. And then Brandon’s sister, who has very good taste in television I have come to find out, was like, “You should watch it. You’re really going to like it.” And then I did. She was the one who told me how great Great British Baking Show is. She knows.

Joy: She has not failed you.

Claire: She has not failed me yet. Speaking of Great British Baking Show, I think there’s a new season that they’re filming right now. So it’s going to come out at the end of the summer.

Joy: Do I smell another Get Ready, Set, Bake!?

Claire: Absolutely.

Joy: I am really looking forward to another season of the Home Edit because I watch their Instagram, and it looks like they’re filming, and that makes me really excited.

Claire: I never watched that because I knew that I didn’t have the willpower for it to not turn into a $700 container buying binge.

Joy: Okay, yep. I allowed myself one room of things from the Container Store. Because I knew if I go into the Container Store, I’m going to leave with my whole life savings gone.

Claire: Gone. So expensive.

Joy: It’s so expensive.

Claire: This is a plastic square. Why?

Joy: Plastic things. I’m just like, okay, also when you walk into the Container Store, I don’t know if they’re still doing it now, but they had all the Home Edit line. I’m like, I need all of this. But anyway, I just let myself do the bathroom closet. Something very small. But I’m in that mode again where I’m like, oh my gosh. Because I have all this time right now. What can I organize? So maybe I just need one drawer or one cabinet. It can be so overwhelming. I think I spent an entire afternoon just organizing under the bathroom sink because of all the stuff that’s under there. So many products and so many things to throw away. Which by the way, please remember, go through your products. Look at the little lid that’s on the product.

Claire: Not the product lid. An icon that looks like a lid.

Joy: Yeah, an icon that looks like the lid is coming off of it. That means once you open the product, it’s good for it’ll either say 12 or 24. Then you have to throw it away. But then you have to remember when you bought it. I have a lipstick I put on the other day just because I was like, “I’m putting on lipstick.” And it smelled, and I was like, aww crap, I got to throw this away. But I got really upset because I was like, well, I haven’t worn lipstick in over a year. Who knows, I probably wore this once. My point is, had to go through all these products and throw a bunch of crap out. I think that’s really hard to do because sometimes we’re like, “I’m still going to use this.” But kind of the same thing with Marie Condo where it’s like, does it bring you joy?

Claire: Does it bring you joy? Is it going to give you some sort of bacterial infection on your face?

Joy: Get rid of it.

Claire: This past weekend, another big milestone occurred. It was the first time my mom had taken the kids overnight since probably January 2020.

Joy: Wow.

Claire: Yeah. So we have not – I mean, Brandon and I, we did that backpacking trip last summer, and then we had one night in a hotel in Boulder this winter. But other than that, we have parented every night for the whole past 15 months or whatever. It’s a lot. Parents out there will tell you, bedtime is the star that breaks the camel’s back every day. You get to the end of the day, and if you’re not a parent, if you’re winding down or cleaning up the kitchen, you’re like, okay. Day is pretty much done, I can do whatever I want. Parents, the hardest part of the day is about to start, especially for parents of young kids. Our bedtime routine right now, because Miles and Evie are so different and they have to go one after the other, it can take 2.5-3 hours to get them both into bed from start to finish. Or from the time we finish dinner to the time that Miles is in bed. So having my mom do that was amazing. And with our free time, instead of relaxing like a wise human would have done, we deep cleaned our entire garage.

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: We pulled every single thing out, put it in the yard, vacuumed the shelves, power washed the garage floor. We had boxes in there of kitchen stuff that I inherited from my grandma when she passed away last year that I hadn’t even opened. It was wonderful. It felt very, very good. Now we can finally put our car in there.

Joy: Yeah. It gets really hot out. You don’t want your car sitting in the sun.

Claire: And it was a lot of, this does not bring me joy.

Joy: That stuff is really hard to do because you know what a big task it’s going to be. That’s why I so admire those girls. Even though that’s their job and they enjoy it, man, that’s a lot of work. Some of the kitchens that they’ve done, all of the stuff that they have to take out gives me anxiety. That’s a lot of stuff. And they have a team, I get that, I get that. But still, I’m over here being like, if I took everything out of my cabinet, oh my gosh, yeah. It’s overwhelming.

Claire: Imagine though if you were doing that at Kourtney Kardashian’s house. You would not be able to get int here fast enough.

Joy: Nope. Please sign me up for that. I will be the first one there, and I would do that for a living. 

Claire: And they do Reese Witherspoon’s house.

Joy: Totally. Yes, they did her whole wardrobe of all her Oscar dresses.

Claire: That would be the dream.

Joy: They had a whole section for Legally Blonde. So they got to do all of her costumes. Oh my God, yeah. Give me a break. Anything with celebrities, please sign me up.

Claire: Right. If that was what you were doing, rather than going through your expired lipstick.

Joy: The rules do not apply if it’s a celebrity.

Claire: No. I will throw out Reese Witherspoon’s expired lipstick any day.

Joy: Any day. I want to know if there’s anyone out there who’s ever been an assistant who worked for a celebrity. I had a friend in grad school who was Kevin Bacon’s nanny.

Claire: Wow, you really are only two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

Joy: I really am, yep. We’d be sitting there, and she’d be talking on the phone. I’d be like, “Who are you taking to?” She’s like, “Kyra.” Kyra Sedgwick. NBD. And his daughter, she was on the Mare of Easttown. And I just remember being like, oh my God. She’d always talk about Sosie. My friend and Kevin Bacon’s daughter, they were like besties. Yeah, I’m only two degrees from Kevin Bacon.

Claire: So funny.

Joy: Yeah. Anyway, but celebrities are great. Love them. Speaking of celebrities, have you noticed that Chrissy Teigen has been off social media for a really long time?

Claire: I know it will shock you to hear this, but I have not noticed that Joy.

Joy: Okay. Well the reason I ask is because there was this drama. Some really old tweets resurfaced that were really mean towards this – she’s a reality star. She was on I think Couples Therapy. She was married to – oh my gosh, I can’t remember his name. Doesn’t matter. But Courtney something. Chrissy Teigen got into some hot water because these mean tweets resurfaced, and they were mean. Mean Girls mean. Regina George times a thousand.

Claire: Not like a joke at someone’s expense mean. 

Joy: No. They were really, really, really mean. And so she got a lot of blowback for that, so she just went silent on social media. She’s someone who would post and do stories and do Instagram Live every single day.

Claire: Oh my God, constantly. She had like 8 hours of screen time per day.

Joy: Yeah. I’m just like, how do you have the time to do this. But she did this all, all day long. I just saw her post today that she made this huge apology and talked about how she’s been reflecting on the person who she was and how awful she used to be. It kind of got me thinking about how some people are like, nope, cancel culture. There’s a lot of things I could say about cancel culture. In some aspects, I’m like, there’s a difference between cancel culture and someone just being a flat out jerk and it surfacing and it being like, oh you’re not who I thought you were. You know. And someone would argue I think that for Chrissy Teigen. But we don’t know her. She seems like a genuine person I think in this instance. It’s got to be hard to be that famous and have something that public happen where you’re like, yeah, I was an a**hole in my 20’s, who wasn’t? 

Claire: And I thought… gosh, what’s her name? The woman who played the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Joy: Yeah, I know who you’re talking about. Emmy… Elly… no.

Claire: Elly…

Joy: Kemper. 

Claire: Kemper. So she had something recently too come out about how she did a debutante ball in her early 20’s, and it was put on by this super racist organization. She had a statement about it that was like, “I didn’t know at the time, but ignorance is no excuse.” But yeah, it would be really hard to think that anything you’ve ever done could result in you losing your job. Yeah, we’ve all done dumb things. I don’t know if you have grown as a person since then, I don’t really know if you should be made to go back and rifle through all of that. I mean, maybe if you’re a celebrity that’s the price you pay.

Joy: Maybe. It’s a whole deep dark discussion. You can go down rabbit holes. I’ve been thinking about that a lot too, with especially politicians where they want to dig up pictures from their past. Understandable. If you have someone who is running for president and they have… I mean, it doesn’t matter sometimes because we clearly elect someone who had a lot of crap in their past. But anyway, I think it’s just one of those things where older celebrities will joke, oh my gosh, I’m so glad we didn’t have social media back then because I didn’t have to face all of that. Celebrities who are older who were maybe famous during their younger years. Drew Barrymore was super famous as a kid. She never had to deal with all of that because there was no social media until she was older. But where do we draw the line in, let’s just take an example, like in Hollywood. There’s this very powerful person –

Claire: Kind of like how we were talking about Ellen two weeks ago.

Joy: Sure, yes. Yes, I guess that’s a good example. I’m thinking kind of an extreme of you can’t put everyone in the same camp as like Harvey Weinstein where all of the sudden everyone has just known this culture and the underbelly of Hollywood has existed, but no one speaks out about it because of the power and the money. There’s been a lot of instances like that where you think, yeah, you get to be cancelled because that is absolutely unacceptable. Versus a celebrity who makes a really stupid decision in her 20’s to make some really mean girl comments. I don’t know if that necessarily makes her cancelled. You did something stupid. Maybe you should really check yourself. But at what point do we cancel everybody when you’re like, “You made a mistake. Nobody gets a second chance.”

Claire: Yeah. And I think that’s the thing that everybody who rails off about cancel culture talks about is where do we draw the line with nobody’s perfect versus people have to be held accountable. It’s really hard. There’s no hard and fast rule, and everybody is offended by different things. Everybody thinks that certain things are more serious than others, while other people are ready to just let it be water under the bridge. It’s like, well, who are you to judge. Really, where do we draw the line. And that has been the question about cancel culture really since the past couple of years because at this point we have the ability to find out just about anything about anyone.

Joy: Yeah. And I think about, okay, if I was to become super-duper famous tomorrow, what crap in the past would come up for me? I’m like, I don’t know. I’m sure I did something stupid in my 20’s that some ex-boyfriend would resurface and be like, look at this picture. She’s half naked. I don’t know. I don’t know. I danced at a lot of clubs when I was in my 20’s, who knows. To me, I’m like, well everybody did that. And I think what it comes down to is we are consumers of content and we put our time and energy into these celebrities, so then we get to say, “Well, we’re not going to put our time and energy into you and support you anymore.” I think that’s very different than supporting a huge system that is tearing down women and forcing women to do horrible things to get a job. I think with the Chrissy Teigen thing I was like, I think that’s very noble of her to come out and be like, “Hey, I’ve taken some time away to think about this.” She clearly cares about her audience. She knows that she has this huge platform and hurt a lot of people with whatever she did when she was younger, and she’s trying to make amends with it. And if people believe her, they believe her. I think the other part that I was thinking about is, what it comes down to too is we as consumers of Instagram and content, we have this specific idea of who these people are made up in our mind. We don’t know them. So when something comes out and everything that is on Instagram, even though it’s the curated imperfection, when we see any faults in that we’re like, [gasp] “They’re not perfect” or “They made a mistake.” And we’re very quick to hate people because we almost want that fall from grace. Almost like Britney Spears, how they talked about how people just wanted to tear her down. And I think there’s a little bit of that baked into especially the Chrissy Teigen example where she’s beautiful and she’s so famous –

Claire: People want to be able to say, “I knew you weren’t as cool as I thought you were.”

Joy: Totally, yes. And so we’re very quick to be like, “Take her down. Lose all her followers.”

Claire: “I never liked her. You could tell she was fake.”

Joy: Exactly. “She must have been a total b****. She must be a b**** to work for.” Whatever the case may be. So I’ll say one last thing about this because it made me think of Schmachel Schmollis, which I don’t ever want to say her name because she drives me crazy. She is one that I think is an exception. I should not say exception. She is one that is not in the camp of, we need to give her grace. And the reason is – this is hard for me to say because I don’t know her. It doesn’t seem to me that she is a good person at her core.

Claire: Schmachel Schmollis?

Joy: Yeah. Schmachel Schmollis. And the reason I say that is because of the recent things that have happened over the past six months. If you don’t know, just Google it. There’s so many articles people wrote about it. And when she posted this video on her Instagram and then took it down because –

Claire: But didn’t take it down for like a week.

Joy: Didn’t take it down for like a week because she was getting all these comments and all this attention about it. And people were like, “I can’t believe. This is cancel culture. Can’t she make a mistake?” I’m like, no, that’s just inherent ignorance, and I can’t help that. And because she makes her money from coming off of this holier-than-thou, you can make your life great, all you have to do is hustle. That I don’t like. I just don’t like it. I think it’s shady. I think it’s like you’re just making money off of this crap or you’re stealing other people’s stuff. I’ve seen her steal Brené Brown’s sayings. She compared herself to freaking Oprah and Harriet Tubman. 

Claire: Harriet Tubman, that one. Not just to rail on her, whether or not she deserves it, I think that as a whole – kind of like how we were talking about if you’re going to get plastic surgery, fine, but then don’t pretend it’s because you went keto.

Joy: Exactly, exactly. 

Claire: If you’re going to make money because you have followers, then yeah, your life is going to be under an amount of scrutiny that may not always feel fair to you. But that’s sort of the gig. We talk about this all the time. That’s why I don’t want to be an influencer. I don’t want to feel like I am pressured to turn every moment of my life into content. I don’t want to feel like that becomes who I am. On the one hand, we can say, you guys don’t really know us. Nobody really knows these content creators and influencers, so you don’t know how to judge them. But on the other hand, they sell that familiarity and that closeness as trust to their audience.

Joy: Correct, correct.

Claire: Which they basically they sell that trust to ad partners.

Joy: Yep, yep, exactly. You’re exactly right. I think we’re all very smart people and we know the difference. I think there was another blogger/podcaster Jenna something that did the same thing where she was really nasty to someone, so white girl privilege to this woman of color, and she kind of outed her by publishing what she wrote in an email. I was like, yeah, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them” Maya Angelou. That is exactly how I feel when I see those influencers who are showing their true colors. Eventually it’s going to leak through.

Claire: And maybe that’s not who you were when you set out and started your Instagram account, but maybe that’s who you’ve become as somebody who’s spent the last however many years really having to hype yourself up and believe that you’re the shit. I don’t know.

Joy: I just think it’s interesting, and I’ve been watching that and thinking about that a lot. Because I’m not out to hate anybody, but I think it drives me crazy when I witness someone like a Schamshel Shmallish who is making so much money and the top selling book. I’m like, but I don’t know if you’re really a good person. Or, you have some work to do. And that’s fine, we all do. But trying to cover up her messes. I don’t know, she didn’t do a good job of correcting her mistake, let’s just put it that way. And Chrissy Teigen did.

Claire: In summation. 

Joy: In summation, that is my unofficial take on people I don’t even know. Maybe I’m just being a big ole hypocrite. Okay, so I want to read this email really quick because It goes with the post you just did Claire, and I want to talk a little bit about it because it’s important and it still comes up. This is from Danielle. “I’ve been a listener since the GGW days, and I love your podcast. I’ve gotten a little behind on episodes, and I just listened to the episode where you reminded everyone to get rid of their shame pants. This was very important for me to hear because I recently tried on my wedding dress that I bought last year, and it no longer zips. I bought it last spring for my wedding in August, but we ended up postponing until this year. When I realized the dress no longer fits, I cried. My mom and sisters are very supportive of me, and they suggested that I get the dress altered to have a corset back so that the dress will fit me and I will be comfortable in it on the day. I’ve been wrestling with this idea because I love the back of the dress and I was just thinking I could lose some weight and in two months have it fit. But this episode made me realize that this is my shame dress. Thinking of not fitting into it is just going to stress me out, and it is better to accept altering the dress, not worrying over the next few months about losing weight. Thank you both for all that you share on your podcast and for being supportive of your listeners.” So I know that we’ve talked about this. It was a recent post we just put up truly about how we don’t need to be living up to other people’s expectations. Can we just live our life? Can we not be putting so much focus on our bodies? And even when people are doing the post with the rolls and the no rolls. Can we just not even do that? We’re all just fine just the way we are. If you need to take a dress and alter it so you can be happy and comfortable and enjoy your day and not worry about dieting and making yourself miserable before your wedding, do it. I’m very proud of you Danielle.

Claire: We support the course of action.

Joy: Yes. And that is all.

Claire: And that is all. Yeah, we talked a lot about that in the episode two weeks ago of why do we have to have all these definitions and things we have to chase. This is such a huge example. Your wedding dress is a garment that you think about for a long time and you probably will keep for a long time if not for the rest of your life. It’s a huge investment. It was probably really expensive, and altering it is going to be really expensive. I think that’s a huge act of self-love to say, I don’t have to change. And this is a freaking piece of fabric, and it can change instead.

Joy: It can change instead.

Claire: But it is. It’s self-love. It’s giving yourself permission for your body to change in different seasons. It’s giving yourself permission to not force yourself to be something that you’re not, which is a couple sizes smaller. I have really been thinking a lot lately about, you know we think about, again, there’s that cliche of self-care is a face mask and a pedicure. But what does self-love really look like? And how can you create a life and create choices where you really show yourself love in the real sense of the word. Not just treat yourself like somebody you love, but really what would you do in any of these given situations if you weren’t worried about the outcome on anyone but… like if you weren’t worried about how it made anyone feel except for yourself and you were only worried about making yourself feel the way that you want to feel. I feel like that sounds so meadow when I say it, like I’m really beating around a bush here. 

Joy: Well, do you have an answer to that? Like, what it looks like for you?

Claire: I think for me it does go back to what we talked about with you don’t always have to be doing more, more, more.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: For me, self-love is really saying no. It’s not taking the road less traveled sometimes. And if I can view that as an act of self-love instead of any of the million things that we’ve been taught, like laziness or avoidance or you know, Jillian Michaels would probably say you’re lazy for not wanting to lose these ten pounds before your wedding. No. That’s not what it is. It’s self-love to not put yourself through that.

Joy: Right. Well this is a really silly example, but I think of Bethany Frankl who I recently watched one of her reality shows on HBO Max just because that’s who I am and I’m not ashamed to say it. But it’s a reality show where she is – and she is one of the housewives in one of the original Real Housewives. She made this huge brand. She has like a million, million brands. She has this new reality show on HBO Max where she did a search for her next executive director. So someone who would be running all of her brands for her because she doesn’t have all the time in the day. And she’s very smart and a brilliant woman. I was just like, she’s kind of the person that I’m like, I’m not doing enough because I’m watching her doing all these things. And I realize I do that comparison piece of, I can’t believe she has 20 businesses and what am I doing with my life? You know what I mean? Like, that is where we get stuck in that comparison trap. But also, side note – I hope I don’t get crap for this – but she has a brand, her whole brand is called Skinny Girl.

Claire: I know. But also side note, how many assistants does she have? Somebody buys her groceries for her. Somebody gets her car washed for her.

Joy: Walks her dogs.

Claire: Somebody cleans her house for her.

Joy: Dresses her, yeah, right.

Claire: That’s the other thing of the, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We talk about this too where we’re like, we really don’t.

Joy: We really don’t.

Claire: And there’s a tweet out there that’s like, if you take public transportation, you have less time than someone who has a car. If you cook your own meals, then you have less time than somebody who has a chef. If you clean your own house, all of those things. It’s like, well you have the same 24 hours as Beyonce. I mean, technically yes. But Beyonce has a staff of people who run her house, take care of her family. I’m not saying that she doesn’t put in the work, but I don’t have the same 24 hours as her. And I don’t have the same 24 hours as you, and I don’t have the same 24 hours as Brandon even who leaves the house and goes to work. Everybody’s time is relative, and it’s different. That’s why comparing yourself to celebrities is so annoying because this is not real life.

Joy: I can’t help it, I just do it.

Claire: I know, you can’t. I know. It’s your lot in life to just compare yourself to celebrities.

Joy: It’s my lot in life. It’s just the way I self soothe and make myself feel my feelings.

Claire: You self-soothe/self-hate at the same time.

Joy: I do.

Claire: It’s a horrible combination.

Joy: Anyway. I was just like, this is the problem. We’re still glorifying this. It’s nothing new.

Claire: We talk about diet culture too. It’s not going to go away. It sells. It does. People want to think that they’re just one weird belly fat tip away from this perfect life that they believe that the perfect body will open the door to. It’s not true. Okay, I had a few questions today on Instagram that I thought would be interesting to hear your answer, and then we will wrap up.

Joy: Great.

Claire: What was your childhood hobby? Mine was writing. Like, I used to write books, journals, plays, poems. All the time, I was writing.

Joy: I loved to read. And this will not surprise you, but I loved to read Nancy Drew and anything mystery.

Claire: Oh, that is hilarious.

Joy: I was obsessed with mystery books. I went through mystery books like one a day. But yeah, reading was my jam. And we always had these reading competitions in school. So of course, I was like, anything competition I have to be the best. You get stars by your name depending on how many books you read.

Claire: Or you get a beach ball from Scholastic or something. Yeah. Current favorite snacks? So I said mine are ghost pepper cashews from Whole Foods, which they’re not with real ghost peppers. If you guys don’t know what a ghost pepper is, it’s one of the hottest peppers in the world. These are just very spicy cashews. You can get them at Whole Foods. They’re so good. And then I’m always into canned fish. I recently tried a new type of canned cod. The brand is Bela, and it’s super high in protein. Like one can had like 40 or so grams of protein. So if you are someone who struggles to find high protein snacks but that’s something that you feel like you need. I’m very much that person. I don’t really know what to eat for protein if I’m not eating a string cheese. There are just moments in your day where you’re like, I would feel so much better if I had a big hit of protein right now. If you can handle canned fish, the cod, it’s really not that fishy. It’s a little bit oily because it’s packed in olive oil. But check it out. It was very tasty.

Joy: That was hard for me to get through. There’s two strong camps of canned fish. My side or her side.

Claire: You either truly love it or you truly hate it. Nobody is “meh” about canned fish. And I’m really so into cold watermelon right now.

Joy: I thought you were going to say cold water.

Claire: I just love cold water. Just chilled. Just some chilled still water.

Joy: That’s so diet cultury, Claire.

Claire: I do love cold water, don’t get me wrong.

Joy: I do too.

Claire: But the precut watermelon and then get it in the refrigerator, it’s just so delish. I can’t buy a whole watermelon because I don’t know how to effectively cut a watermelon. Maybe this is silly to never buy a whole watermelon, but I feel like I don’t have the right tool. I feel like I need a bandsaw. These guys are gigantic.

Joy: Yeah, they’re huge. You need a big ole knife, yeah.

Claire: And they’re so messy. I’m just going to buy the little pack.

Joy: Fair. I am really into, this is so silly. But when I was working at the vaccine clinic and I’d go to Whole Foods for my lunch hour, I got into these Urban Remedy bars that are way too expensive and overpriced, but they’re so good.

Claire: So good. I know, they have a little cold case at Whole Foods.

Joy: Yeah, it’s a cold case. They’re just kind of super food, super seed bars. Or they have cacao, or they have a matcha one.

Claire: They’re so you.

Joy: They’re so good.

Claire: They are like the bar form of a juice bar. 

Joy: They’re so good. They’re so good. And I’ve just been really loving the feeling of drinking a really cold La Croix or whatever soda I have in my house outside. And I always put it in a koozie. I go outside, sit in my chair with my koozie and a cold beverage. It’s the best.

Claire: Okay, would you rather work out to a “meh” kind of playlist or stick with one song that’s legit your jam the whole time?

Joy: Oh, meh. No, I will do a meh playlist instead of one song.

Claire: Oh, I would do one song. Absolutely. I’d rather listen to the same song over and over and over again.

Joy: I guess. That’s true. If it was a brand new song. Because remember when Macklemore was blowing up. That’s right when I started CrossFit. Thrift Shop. You know the song, Thrift Shop? Thrift Shop was the jam, and I swear we played that over and over again at CrossFit J so many times. Yeah, I’m going to go with my first answer though because I don’t want to change.

Claire: Okay. What is your go-to answer when someone asks you for a fun fact about yourself in an ice breaker situation?

Joy: What do you think? I always talk about my Emmys. 

Claire: Fair enough.

Joy: If I’m going to talk about myself. I don’t actually go there all the time. Sometimes I’ll say I was in a ballroom dancing competition if I don’t want to act too full of myself. “Oh, I have Emmys.” Talk about that. It always leads to the story of why I won Emmys.

Claire: Mine is way less glamorous. I once worked at a pirate themed candy store where I had to dress and talk like a pirate.

Joy: Have we talked about this before? We had to have.

Claire: I’m positive we had. But yeah, when I was in high school –

Joy: But what did you have to say?

Claire: “Arr, welcome to Candy Cove. Avast ye land lover, there be change.” I had to wear a whole thing. Sometimes I had to dress up like the pirate captain. We rotated who dressed up like the pirate captain. It was so bizarre, and it was just a bunch of theatre kids who didn’t have anything better to do basically.

Joy: I love it so much. 

Claire: It was at the FlatIron’s mall. I was 16. It was one of my first jobs. I didn’t work there very long, but yeah, it was bad. Let’s see. If family ties, geographic location, and your level of education didn’t matter, what would you do for a living? This feel relevant to you Joy right now.

Joy: I know. I would move to LA, and I would probably try to be an actress because I want to be in Hollywood.

Claire: Why not? Do it.

Joy: I just love it so much. I love Hollywood. I love LA. I love hearing about people trying to make it in LA. I love celebrities. I would just be in a city where celebrities are spotted constantly. I’d be in a grocery store and there’s Gwyneth Paltrow.

Claire: And she comes over and is like, “Joy, it’s been so long.”

Joy: Oh Gwyneth.

Claire: Oh Gwen. 

Joy: Let’s go to Juice Bar and have an Urban Remedy bar.

Claire: Let’s go to Juice Bar and have a bar that tastes like it’s made out of bird seed. But it’s chilled.

Joy: But it’s chilled. I saw a recent article that’s like, “How does Gwyneth get that skin?” I’m like, because she’s so rich. She doesn’t just put a serum on her skin. She’s so rich.

Claire: Stop asking questions and eat this bar of chilled suit. I bet people would buy that.

Joy: For sure.

Claire: Oh my goodness. Alright guys, well thank you so much for joining us. As always, you can support the podcast by leaving a review, by sharing with a friend, by sharing about us on your Instagram. That is a huge way to support us. You can also check out Double Under Wonder. They came out with a new design this week. You can now get mermaids on your jump rope handles.

Joy: Mermaids.

Claire: Mer-maids. Who doesn’t want a mermaid jump rope. I know a lot of people who do, including myself. Use discount code JOY You can have just one mermaid handle and the other one can be stars or whatever. I actually found when we were going through our garage an unopened Double Under Wonder jump rope that was in a gym bag from forever ago. It was probably the first one I ever ordered from them. And I had just vacuumed and power washed the whole garage floor. I open it and all the damn glitter came out. I was like, “Come on.” 

Joy: Because it used to come with glitter.

Claire: I think you can still get it with glitter. It’s delightful if you didn’t just power wash the floor you’re standing over.

Joy: Sure, right.

Claire: So check out Double Under Wonder. Also check out Eat to Evolve. That is Eat to Evolve. They are on Instagram @evolve. Use discount code JOYCLAIRE15 for 15% off your first order. It is so hot. You don’t have to cook. Just order Eat to Evolve.

Joy: Oh, it’s so convenient.

Claire: I had the barbecue chicken salad for lunch yesterday.

Joy: That’s one of my favorites.

Claire: It’s so good.

Joy: It’s so good. It’s one of my favorites. I just have to say, the packaging is lovely. No mess. I’ve had food delivery services before where things get turned around and fall out of the package.

Claire: Although, it is a lot of Styrofoam. I want to talk to them about that. What can we do here for some more sustainability? It’s hard. Shipping cold things is hard.

Joy: Very hard.

Claire: Alright guys, thank you for joining us, and we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

What happened to Ellen, Claire’s life updates including River, Joy reviews the Friends HBO Max reunion, Botox and plastic surgery thoughts.




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 78: YOLO This

Episode Date: June 10, 2021

Transcription Completed: June 24, 2021

Audio Length: 55:56 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire:  And this is Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire. Thank you for listening. How are you? Happy Thursday.

Claire: I just have to tell, Joy is in a much better mood this week.

Joy: Oh my gosh, yeah. Was it obvious last week?

Claire: No. But I mean, you’re just singing.

Joy: And the sun is shining.

Claire: The sun is shining. The tank is clean.

Joy: The tank is clean. The tank is clean! Every time I say that now, I think of that line –

Claire: I know. You can’t say “the sun is shining” without saying “ The tank is clean. The tank is clean!”

Joy: Is that Finding Nemo?

Claire: Uh huh.

Joy: Yeah. And I feel like we said that on an episode of Girls Gone WOD forever ago.

Claire: I mean, Finding Nemo came out when I was in high school. Let’s find out when it came out. It came out in 2003. Yeah. 

Joy: That’s when Ellen was really… I mean, Ellen is still really big. But she was so cute.

Claire: She was so cute. And then Finding Dory came out in 2016. Wow, it really hasn’t been out that long.

Joy: Really? 2016?

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: That can’t be true. Finding Dory?

Claire: Finding Dory came out in 2016. I do remember thinking, “Wow, I’m surprised that this still had legs.” 

Joy: Sure.

Claire: And it did. Fins, I guess you would say.


Claire: See what I did there?

Joy: Do you believe the drama with Ellen?

Claire: A hundred percent.

Joy: You do?

Claire: Oh yeah.

Joy: Why?

Claire: Because this is one of those scenarios where people have nothing to gain and everything to lose by calling it out.

Joy: Okay. Well for listeners who maybe don’t know what the drama is, I don’t know, what do you want to say – a year ago, there were some people who came forward who said that Ellen, the business and the talk show, had a very toxic work environment. We kind of touched upon toxic work environments in the past few episodes.

Claire: Speaking of which.

Joy: Yeah, speaking of which. That was something that was kind of blowing up about a year ago, and Ellen was in hot water.

Claire: And she sort of played dumb. 

Joy: Did she? Okay.

Claire: She was like, “Oh, I had no idea that these certain producers were treating them like that. I would have fired them.” And everyone was like, okay great, but you did know and you’re not immune from it either. I think a lot of people were like, she fired some people but it was to save face. It didn’t really solve the problem. She sets the tone. I have never watched daytime television really. I haven’t had cable since college. But I do really appreciate the times around Halloween when she makes her favorite producer go through the haunted houses.

Joy: Oh my God. Is it Andy? I want to say his name is Andy.

Claire: Andy, yes.

Joy: If you have not watched, just Google “Andy haunted house Ellen” or whatever. If you have never seen Andy go through the haunted houses – and I think they started doing it with celebrities, which is really cute too.

Claire: The celebrity ones though to be honest with you are not as funny as the earlier ones where he either goes through by himself or with another member of the staff. Because I feel like when you’re going through it with Chrissy Teagan –

Joy: It’s like I just want to be focusing on Chrissy Teagan. I’d be like, “Wow, you’re so beautiful. I don’t care about the scary thing next to me.” Yeah.

Claire: The earlier ones are way funnier.

Joy: So good.

Claire: They’re so funny. It doesn’t have to be near Halloween. If you just need to laugh out loud, go look them up.

Joy: So you never watched it.

Claire: I never really watched it. I mean, I liked Ellen abstractly. But I also really liked her because of her performance as Dory. But no, I totally believe it because I just don’t think, yeah – she’s a very beloved media figure. People wouldn’t have anything to gain by speaking out about something like that and would have a lot to lose. It’s one of those things where –

Joy: We don’t work there. We don’t know the truth. When I heard about that, it was like, she’s such a happy, positive, funny. person. How could she be so hard to work for or whatever. And I also remember Karen Kilgariff from My Favorite Murderer. I want to say a long time ago had made some tweet about that because she used to work for the Ellen show. So I think she either said something in a tweet or had alluded to something like that, that it was true. In any event, don’t be e jerk at work. Don’t be a jerk at work.

Claire: Don’t be a jerk at work.

Joy: [singing] Don’t be a jerk at work.

Claire: That’s our new jingle. I was going to say something else about celebrities and it’s gone because I don’t think about celebrities very much. So the thought didn’t stick, oh well.

Joy: But I mean, Andy was probably a fan favorite. Her show was really fun. It really was. I loved how she danced at the beginning. She always wore cool shoes. She did really good things for people. She had really good feel good episodes. But anyway.

Claire: Alright. So this week, we thought we would just catch up a little bit. Last week, we did a lot of catching up with Joy.

Joy: We’re so sick of that. Let’s move on from that.

Claire: We’re so sick of freaking Joy. This isn’t the Joy show. This is the Joy and Claire show, okay.

Joy: It’s really not. Enough of Joy. Joy, stop talking. Joy just hums in the background.

Claire: Joy, agree with me. Agree with everything I say.

Joy: I’ll just nod. That would be good podcasting.

Claire: Yes, as we all know. Just hit your microphone with your head every once in a while so people know you’re still there.

Joy: I love that you actually just did that.

Claire: Well, I needed people to know how it sounded. Please don’t edit that out. So in the meantime, Brandon started a new job, so I’m going to talk about that. He is doing pretty much the same exact job. Turns out, when you’re a nurse and I think a lot of more vocational-type professions, which I don’t consider nursing a vocation by any means because I know that requires a ton of, you know, extra training and schooling. Not that vocations don’t. Okay, you guys know what I’m talking about.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Nursing is sort of the same, no matter where you work, and that’s the beauty of it. So he’s working in the same unit doing basically the same thing, but now instead of working at a hospital in the surgical department, he is working in a surgery center. So it’s all orthopedic, which before he was doing all sorts of surgeries because they would just take whatever came in the ER. But now this is all orthopedic, which is great because it means it’s all prescheduled, which means there’s no weekends, no holidays, no on call.

Joy: He knows when he’s going to work. Beautiful for the family.

Claire: In a way, though, this job is actually a little bit less structured. It’s a lot less structured because at the hospital every single person. There works a 7-7 shift. There are some people who work day shifts, but for the most part if you’re a nurse, you work a 12 and it starts at 7 and it ends at 7, whether the 7 is am or pm. For this surgical center where Brandon’s working, his schedule varies day by day based on what they have on the schedule for surgeries. So for today, eh had to be at work at like 6 in the morning because they were doing some total joint replacements, which take a lot longer, so they start a lot earlier and end a little bit later. Other days, he works more like 7-4. So I don’t love that personally because it’s going to make it hard to coordinate child care.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Or he’s not going to know if he’s going to be available to pick Miles up from school until two hours beforehand, which is not great. But I will take that over him having to work Christmas Eve.

Joy: Sure. Or just being on call. 

Claire: Or being on call. I hate on call so much.

Joy: For people who do on call shifts, that just has to be so, I don’t know, you can’t really relax. You just never know.

Claire: You can’t relax. And for me personally, I get really bratty about it because when he’s on call, so am I. We can’t as a family go anywhere. He’s like, “Well, you can take the kids.” I’m like, “Listen, me taking both kids by myself to do something all day is not my idea of fun and relaxing weekend.” I love my kids. Love to hang out with them. I’ll take them out for maybe an hour or two, but the whole point of the weekend is to be with everyone. And especially this past year when I’m home all week, I get so irritated when he’s on call, so we can’t leave. And I also can’t leave and leave him home with the kids because –

Joy: Right, because if he gets called –

Claire: If he gets called, I have to –

Joy: You can only be somewhere that’s only ten minutes away at most.

Claire: I pushed him way out of his comfort zone and would go to the gym, which is 25 minutes away. And if you’re on call, you have to be there within 30 minutes. I was like, “Listen. I will work out with my phone next to me. I will put it in my pocket.” Which is a big CrossFit no-no, right. You don’t bring you phone out on to the floor. And I would tell the coaches.

Joy: It could get shattered, yeah.

Claire: It could get shattered. But it’s also like, this is not the space for that. So I would have to tell coaches, listen, my husband is on call. I might need to leave in the middle of the workout. And that had never happened. But Brandon was always like, “Make sure you have your phone.” “I have it. I have my phone.” “Is the ringer on?” “Yes, the ringer’s on. It’s fine. I’ll be there.” So anyway, he didn’t get called that much, which I’m grateful for. I know that a lot of people who work on call actually get called in all the time. He didn’t get called in that much, but in a way it actually made it more annoying for him to be on call. Because we aren’t going anywhere and you aren’t even getting paid. We get like $5 an hour just to be on call. You actually get paid with a weekend differential if you actually go in. I just get irritated. So no on call. So that’s really exciting. I feel like there was one other update. Oh, Miles, last week he did rock climbing camp. It was so fun. And then for the rest of the summer, he is doing farm camp. 

Joy: Do you still have the climbing wall in your basement that Brandon built?

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: That’s so cool.

Claire: And Miles, his interest in it sort of ebbs and flows, just like any big thing that you get your child. You think, oh my God, they’re going to use this every day. And then they use it every day for like four days, and then they don’t touch it for six months, and then there’s a ten day period where they’re on it all the time. Anyway. It was worth it. He’s not on it as much as I dreamed he would be. So he went to coming camp. There’s a kids only climbing gym in Boulder. Of course there is. 

Joy: Of course.

Claire: He loved it. And then he’s for the rest of the summer going to farm camp, which is at this super cute little farm in Longmont called Sunflower Farm. They have stuff on the weekends all the time. Families can just go. They have goats and chickens and horses and cows and sheep.

Joy: How fun.

Claire: So you. Go and you do the farm chores in the morning. All the kids, they first thing they do is they feed the goats. Miles got rammed by a goat today, just a little on the side.

Joy: Just a little bit.

Claire: And he was really, yeah. But they have chickens, they have peacocks, they have a tortoise. He’s just going to be there all summer climbing trees and feeding some goats.

Joy: That’s so great, I love it. So fun.

Claire: Yeah, and it’s only ten minutes from our house, which is a big bonus. Because for the last ever, we’ve been taking him to Boulder for school and daycare and everything.

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: I personally am just doing the same thing. I don’t have anything new or exciting going on.

Joy: Your mom’s living closer to you.

Claire: Yeah. My mom just moved into a new house that’s not even a mile away from me. So you guys probably remember about a year ago, my grandma passed away. Not from COVID, she had a stroke. She was living with my grandpa in Arkansas, and she was 88 or 89, and my grandpa at the time was 92. He’s now 93, and they were independent together. But without her, he’s not really independent. He’s mostly deaf. He can’t really drive. He can take care of himself. He’s totally mobile, so he can do stairs and all that type of thing. He can cook a little bit. He can take care of himself. But he can’t go anywhere. And obviously that’s a huge restriction, so last July he finally moved out here into the area. But he’s one of those people who was like, “I don’t want to be a bother.” So he didn’t move in with my mom. He moved into an apartment that was 20 minutes away from my mom. What ended up happening is she ended up driving over to his apartment every single day and spending all day over there. So finally decided this isn’t working. And my mom had been renting her house about 40 minutes from where I live. So they started looking. Like I’ve said before, the town that I live in, Longmont, is one of the more affordable towns in the front range to live in. So they started looking to live here. Ended up finding a house about a mile away from us and miraculously ended up getting it with how crazy the housing market is right now. 

Joy: Yeah, like crazy.

Claire: It’s crazy.

Joy: Absolutely crazy.

Claire: They did the whole like, waived the inspection, all of that. And they got lucky. Their house, there are a lot of deferred maintenance issues, but there’s no big problems.

Joy: Yeah, big problems. And I’m sure you have to do that right now if you want to get the house.

Claire: You really do.

Joy: Because you probably have 50 other people trying to buy it.

Claire: Exactly. And because they were moving out of a rental instead of having to sell their own house, they were able to be more flexible with the closing date and all of that. So anyway. That’s been great, but they’ve been dealing with getting the deferred maintenance up to date on the house. They had to get all this stuff installed for my grandpa because he wanted his own kitchen in the basement. Anyway. So even though she lives a mile away, we haven’t seen her. She comes over for 20 minutes here and there, which is so nice to just be able to have her stop by. She’ll stop by and just do bath time with the kids and then leave.

Joy: Yeah, and that’s so easy for her to do now because she’s so close.

Claire: Or it’s like last night, the house they moved into have these amazing peony bushes. I don’t know why I said that so weirdly. Peon-y.

Joy: Peon-y. [in French accent] Croissant.

Claire: Croissant. And so last night, she just drove over to my house, opened the door, brought in this huge vase of peonies, and left.

Joy: Oh Carol.

Claire: I know. It’s so cute.

Joy: That’s adorable.

Claire: And then today, I’ve been working not in my cute little office but mostly upstairs because I need to be with the dog and my office is not, A, big enough for a puppy to entertain itself in, but also there’s cords and stuff everywhere. Anyway. So I’ve been working upstairs. And I was sitting there this morning and I was like, “What is that smell?” In a good way, but I couldn’t figure it out. Finally, I was like, oh duh, it’s this giant bucket of peonies that right by my face that smells so good.

Joy: So good. So good. I have a peony bush just outside that it’s waiting to bloom. I can’t wait to cut them and bring them inside because they smell so good.

Claire: What color are they?

Joy: They’re a light pink.

Claire: Lovely.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Like pillows.

Claire: They really are.

Joy: They’re pillowy.

Claire: They’re so fluffy. I love peonies. So that’s pretty much – I mean, I don’t have a whole episode worth of updates for you. I wish I did.

Joy: How’s River doing?

Claire: River is doing pretty good. Okay, so, again. Because I am not that trained as a dog trainer. Previously, like I said, we had this crazy dog. We had her trained by a professional because she really needed that level of intervention, and we were trained over the course of a day or two on how to maintain her training. And we were pretty proficient at that. But we weren’t a part of her actually getting trained. So even though we could maintain her training, we haven’t ever trained a dog from start to finish. It’s going pretty well. She’s really smart. We know she’s mostly lab, and we were told she’s Aussie but there’s no way. She’s got to be Catahoula because she’s huge and she’s covered in these Catahoula spots. Did I already talk about her genetic test on the podcast? 

Joy: No, I don’t think so. 

Claire: Really? I feel like I did.

Joy: I don’t think so.

Claire: If I did, I’m sorry everyone. This is just how my brain works. I don’t remember when I said things or to whom. So I posted something when we first got her on Instagram, and the rescue reposted it. And a woman started following me who was like, “Hey, I think I have River’s sibling. It will be fun to follow along.” Then a couple weeks later, she reached out and she’s like, “Hey, we had the genetic test done. I don’t know if you’re interested.” So she sent me the genetic test results. Looking at the genetic test results of her dog and also looking at her dog, I’m like, okay. They look similar, but I don’t think they’re from the same litter. Because her dog doesn’t have any spots. She’s completely that kind of blue silver, kind of Weimaraner color. And River looks blue silver, but underneath that in the sun she’s brown. Whereas that blue silver color is very distinct. River is more like all the mammal colors all at once. Who knows. This woman’s dog is part blue lacy, which is in the Catahoula, not family, but originates from a similar area and time as the Catahoula, but doesn’t have any markings and is a little bit smaller. But there’s no way River doesn’t have Catahoula in there. She’s super, super smart. She’s very lab-ish. She’s so dopey sometimes. I’m like, I love this. I love having a dopey dog. Our last dog was a border collie, Aussie, shelty mix. She was not dopey for a second of her life. And it was fun, but at the same time there were a lot of moments where I was like, I wish she would just be dumb. 

Joy: She was so smart.

Claire: Painfully smart.

Joy: Painfully smart.

Claire: Whereas River looks at you sometimes and she’s like [dopey sounds]. This is what I wanted. I wanted a dopey dog sometimes. But she learns really quickly. She knows sit. She’s almost completely potty trained. To be fair, we haven’t had her in anyone else’s house, so I can’t quite test. I don’t know what I would trust her to not pee in someone else’s house, but she hasn’t had an accident in the house in weeks. She’s doing really, really well.

Joy: That’s really good for her age, yeah.

Claire: And we do a good amount of time, like she sleeps in her crate, and then she probably spends a total of 2-4 hours in the crate per day depending on the day, like 30 minutes to 90 minutes at a time. That’s normally in the morning and around dinner time when she’s getting really bites. She definitely has sundowner stuff, which is really common for puppies. If you’ve never heard that term, it’s common also with babies. It’s also common with people with dementia where they get agitated around sundown. And she really has that, so we just put her in her crate, let her chill. So we’ll see. I do think we’ll still probably pursue more training with her. When we had Luna, the training that we did with her utilized an e-collar. And I know they’re really controversial, but the biggest thing that I loved about the e-collar was having absolutely very consistent off leash training. And for the lifestyle that we have, that off leash recall is so critical. Not to say that you can’t, but it’s hard to have that reliable of off leash recall without an e-collar. And so there were times when Luna, we would be on a fourteener, and she would take off after a pika. And she could have jumped off a cliff.

Joy: What’s a pika?

Claire: It’s like an alpine prairie dog.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: You know what I’m talking about? Those little things, they make the little yipping sounds. I almost just did it, but I’m not going to. Have you ever done a fourteener?

Joy: No.

Claire: We talk about this like once a year. Have you ever done one?

Joy: And have Brandon text me once a year to ask me to do one.

Claire: He’s like, “Yeah, Joy really wants to do fourteeners.” I’m like, Joy needs to stop saying that because I know she does not really want to do a fourteener.

Joy: [laughing] I really don’t want to. And it’s so funny how you’re like, “I don’t want to do a fourteener.” I really don’t want to.

Claire: I hate fourteeners. I know I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life. I know I’m supposed to be outdoorsy. I hate them. I just don’t like summit hiking. I’m not a summit bagger. I just want to go for a hike in the woods. I want to go to the lake. I want to have lunch at the lake. I want to maybe take a nap. I don’t want to just hike up until I can’t breathe and then turn around and hike back down. No thank you. 0% fun.

Joy: 0% fun.

Claire: So anyway.

Joy: So she would take off to a pika.

Claire: Pikas are basically the equivalent of an alpine prairie dog. They look sort of like prairie dogs. They’re endangered because of the climate crisis. Just FYI as a heads up. Pikas because they are very heat sensitive, so as the temperature starts getting warmer at higher and higher elevations, they’re being pushed higher and higher up. But Luna would take after one and after we had the e-collar, one little “boop” and she’d be like, “Oh, that’s right. Wait, I was with you guys.”

Joy: Oh, okay. So she would be really responsive to that. 

Claire: So we I think, we’ll see how River does over the next couple of weeks, but we might work with someone to train her in that way as well just because we know we’ll have her off leash. And we would use the e-collar and test it on ourselves before we put it on her. It’s really not – I know people are going to come at me about the e-collar. It was so effective with Luna. We’ll see, TBD about whether or not we’ll use it as a tool with River. But it just is so consistent, and we found it was really effective.

Joy: Can you plug the shelter or the place that you got her? 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Because I know that you posted about her needing to adopt out some puppies.

Claire: And actually, this is a problem everywhere. Boulder County Humane Society was posting about this. I still follow the Utah Humane Society, which is where we got Luna, and they were posting about this. And the rescue where we got River was posting about this. Right now, dog rescues are in a crisis because people are returning the dogs that they got during COVID.

Joy: Really?

Claire: Yes. In major numbers. 

Joy: Oh God.

Claire: People were going back to the office and being like, oh my gosh, I actually can’t take care of a dog anymore and this dog is only a year old. And for whatever reason they got this puppy during COVID and now they don’t want it anymore, so they’re being flooded with intakes. And a lot of dogs, they’re calling “oops litters” from COVID. Where maybe they weren’t able to get their dog in to get spade –

Joy: Spade or neutered, yeah.

Claire: Yeah, so they ended up with a bunch of “oops litters.” And on top of that, there’s been a huge decline in adoptions far below pre-pandemic levels. So it’s sort of like everyone who was kind of considering getting a dog all got them last year, and this year there’s no one left who is still thinking about it. And so normally it’s kind of a steady hum of people adopting dogs. And it was like last year everybody jumped in, and now there’s nobody else who’s like – or it’s run way, way, way down. So the shelter that we got River from is called Moms and Mutts Colorado. They are mostly a foster-based rescue. They don’t have a shelter that you can go to and browse, but the reason that they’re foster-based is that for the most part they take in pregnant mutts. Then they have the puppies with the foster, and then the foster takes care of the puppies for the first eight weeks, and then they put the puppies up on the site and adopt them out. And they’ve gotten to the point where they can’t take in any more dogs because all their fosters are completely full. They haven’t been able to find more fosters.

Joy: I was going to say, do they need more fosters? Are there other ways people can help?

Claire: I’m not sure. 

Joy: Maybe contact them. Maybe find a way, if they can donate to them?

Claire: Yeah, donating would be really, really huge and helpful because they also are just having a hard time with covering the medial costs for all their dogs. So if you want to look it up, the Instagram is @mamcorescuedogs. Guys, they are so great. It’s nothing but puppies. Just go to their website.

Joy: Just go to their website. While we’re on that note, I also want to put a plug in for one of our listeners, Marie, who runs the account from Billings, Montana Shelter Mom. So it’s @shelter_mom_. Follow her on Instagram. Even if you’re not in Billings, Montana, sometimes she’ll post ways that you can help the shelter that she works for. The dogs are so cute, and she posts such beautiful videos with them. I just think her heart is the size of Montana.

Claire: It’s amazing. I love her videos.

Joy: It’s so beautiful. I really enjoy following her.

Claire: I agree. It’s just Grade A, heartwarming content.

Joy: 100%. You know what, I was talking to someone about this recently, and I don’t know who it was. Doesn’t matter. But you know how when you follow people and you just kind of are watching people’s Instagram and you’re maybe getting influenced by those 200 people that you’re following. I was talking to another creator about this and just kind of a content creator and how you can be influenced by other people’s posts and sometimes maybe copy them or they will copy you and you don’t realize that you copy them. I think about how comedians often say, oh I don’t watch other people’s comedy because I will undoubtedly, unintentionally copy someone’s material.

Claire: Inadvertently take it in and work it in.

Joy: Yes. It will somehow influence me, so I never watch people’s comedy just so that doesn’t happen. And I was thinking about this. Content creators, what if we were just like Beyoncé or Taylor Swift and we just didn’t follow anybody. Not that we’re even close, not even a paper thin –

Claire: Beyoncé. Taylor. Joy and Claire.

Joy: But I was like, there’s kind of something to that. Even on a smaller level. What if we just stop following everybody. I would still follow Shelter Mom. But what’s an account that you would still want to follow?

Claire: If we unfollowed everyone?

Joy: And you just had one account. Like Joy the Baker has this really cute account called Drake on Cake. It’s so cute. And she just follows Drake. That’s perfect because the account is really only for Drake. 

Claire: Let me see. I feel like there are always some people whose stories I just love. I love following all the mug makers that I like.

Joy: You follow mug makers?

Claire: Yeah, hello.

Joy: The moist maker. Oh my gosh.

Claire: I love mug makers. I love watching their pottery process. They all have such a cool aesthetic.

Joy: So soothing. Yeah.

Claire: They’re just cool to follow, so I really like them. 

Joy: Do you have someone you really enjoy, a mug maker? By the way, speaking of moist maker, I need to recap the Friends reunion after this.

Claire: Please do. Just go ahead and do that. 

Joy: Oh, but think of a mug person. Tell us who you follow.

Claire: There’s a lot of mug people that I follow. One of my favorites that I recently have been enjoying her stories. Her Instagram is @uzumaticeramics. She is based out of California. She just has such a cool aesthetic. She just moved into this cool new house in Bishop. She’s been remodeling it, so there’s all that kind of content. And then all of her actual things that she makes. I also like @sandboxceramics. I like watching her creative process. It’s hard to get any of these people’s mugs because they sell out within two minutes when they actually put them on sale. I still like following them. I’m just scrolling through my top of my Instagram right now to see who do I love when they come up. I also love @potterybyjenn. She’s based out of, I want to say Portland or Seattle. That’s where I got my favorite mug. There’s just so many good ones. And Erin McDowell who is my pie lady.

Joy: Oh the pie lady for sure. I don’t know what I would do without Britney Spears’ dancing videos.

Claire: Oh man. Britney,

Joy: She’s just joyous. She just loves and lives life. Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been thinking about. Maybe we just need to all pick one person to follow that has nothing to do with what we’re creating. 

Claire: It better be us. You guys all are picking us, right?

Joy: That’s true. Please just follow us. We’re really all you need.

Claire: Please be my friend.

Joy: Tell us what you need. We’ll post all of it so all your needs are met.

Claire: We’ll just repost all the other people’s posts.

Joy: Oh, that’s so funny,

Claire: Okay, Friends.

Joy: So Friends reunion on HBO. When did it come out? I don’t know, the last week of May. Everyone was talking about it. Really emotional. I thought it was going to be – well until. I saw the trailer – I thought it was going to be an actual episode or some type of hour-long bonus Friends episode. No, it was just them coming back to the set, having a reunion. It was great. So it starts out – I’m not going to go through the whole thing, but it was an hour and a half on HBO Max. It starts out with all of them coming back to the actual set. I’m sure there’s some kind of museum in the lot wherever it was. I don’t know if it was Warner Brothers or what lot it was in, but they had recreated the entire set of Friends. So they all walk in. You see their reactions of them walking into the set. Which was really cool because each person walking in, you can see it on their face of, oh my gosh I haven’t seen this in so long. Some of them haven’t seen each other in a long time. So just them coming together. The main point that struck me was how close they are. Even if they haven’t seen or talked to one another in a long time. Like you could tell that Matthew Perry, they hadn’t talked to or seen in a while. But it’s like they are so close, like family, true family, that it was just really cool to see that. I’m like, they’re actually really good friends. They really truly love each other so much.

Claire: I enjoy Friends. I’m not the type of person that’s like, “Friends is overrated.” But I was never that into it. It came out at a time in my life where –

Joy: I was going to say, you were probably a little bit younger to get super into it.

Claire: Yes and no. I have friends who are diehard Friends fanatics.

Joy: Oh really?

Claire: But I just never for whatever reason was into it at that time whenever it was coming out, and I’ve never been the type of person – even now, with any show – I’m never the type of person to just sit down and watch an entire series of anything start to finish. I think the last time I did that was with Schitt’s Creek because Brandon was out of town and I was trying to clean out the refrigerator. 

Joy: Maybe Arrested Development way back in the day? Did you watch that?

Claire: I didn’t watch that start to finish, uh uh. 

Joy: Oh.

Claire: I have seen all the episodes, but I don’t binge TV shows. I can’t. It’s not interesting to me.

Joy: I started laughing because all I could think of was Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog. Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog.

Claire: Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog.

Joy: God, such a good show.

Claire: It really was.

Joy: It is so freaking funny.

Claire: Anyway, all that to say, I appreciate Friends, I enjoy it, but I’m not into it. But when I saw the trailer for the reunion, I still was like, oh this gets me right in the heart. 

Joy: Right in the heart.

Claire: Even when you just see it for a second, you can just see, oh my gosh, this is so nostalgic. This is a big moment. It was almost like if you were to reunite with the people you lived in the dorms with. Go back into your old high school with all your high school best friends that you had kind of kept in touch with but maybe not really. And it just seemed so genuine. 

Joy: So genuine. I think that everyone who watched the Friends reunion, that’s kind of what we all – I’m not speaking for the masses – but when everybody watched Friends, it was like you just want to laugh, and it’s feel good, and it’s about people you love, and it’s the ups and downs. It completely, completely changed everything. They talk a lot about the creation with the producers and the writers and how they casted everybody. It was really well done. The way that they did the reunion episode though, it kind of jumped around a lot. Which was fine because you have so many things to cover. But it interviewed the creators, the producers, and then they also did a live show with James Cordon hosting. So they had it in front of the Friends’ fountain. They had this huge audience where people could ask questions. It was really cute. I’m like, who got to get to go to this? I’m so jealous. Then they had surprise appearances in the audience, like the couple that played Monica and Ross’ parents, super cute. So they had these cute cameos. Janice showed up. The only cameo that I really missed was Phoebe’s brother. I really wanted to see him. He was the best. You remember Phoebe’s brother?

Claire: Yep.

Joy: “My sister’s having my baby!” He was so freaking funny. I love when he would be like – she’s like, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Melting stuff.” He was just the funniest, funniest character. So they had that piece. It was kind of a clip between the live audience, interviews, and talking with people in the audience. And then they’d clip to the whole Friends cast sitting in their old studio on the set, talking about memories and reminiscing, which was really cute. And then they had some parts where they would reenact some of the scripts. I think they did a table read together, which was really cute. The thing that Scott and I kind of nailed down was how amazing David Schwimmer is as an actor. He’s unbelievable. And I don’t know how we got that sense, but you just get the sense from when they’re talking to also when they’re reading scripts to just his being. He loves acting. There’s just something about him during that show that’s like, wow, Ross is really Ross. David Schwimmer is an amazing, amazing actor.

Claire: And is Ross. Kind of. Have you ever seen the Madagascar movies?

Joy: No.

Claire: Okay, well he’s the voice of the hypochondriac giraffe.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Just go with me here.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: And you’re like, yeah, David Schwimmer is Ross is a hypochondriac giraffe. 

Joy: And he also played what’s-his-name. Lawyer, the Kardashian dad on the OJ versus whatever Netflix show that they did.

Claire: No, I definitely did not see that. 

Joy: I was a little worried because I was like, oh my gosh, this is Ross from Friends. And he did a really good job. He was actually the Kardashians’ dad. I can actually see him doing this. He’s amazing. I mean, it’s heartwarming, it’s lovely. I think the only thing that Scott and I were like, “What?” All of the sudden, record scratch, “Why are you here?”  They would cut to people who had been on the show. Like Reese Witherspoon, they’d cut to her being interviewed about her experience being on the show and how excited she was to play Rachel’s sister. But then all of the sudden, they cut to David Beckham being interviewed. I was like, I don’t remember David Beckham being on an episode. Why is he being interviewed about Friends? And he was just talking about how Friends impacted his life. I’m like, really David Beckham?

Claire: Almost David Beckham was in the room when they were asking everybody else and felt like they had to also include David Beckham. 

Joy: It was like, “Well he’s here. You want to just put him on?”

Claire: It’s like, yeah, who doesn’t love David Beckham? Yeah, sure.

Joy: He’s hot, put him on here. Yeah, it was really funny. But so great. It made me really reminisce about how, I think we all, like an album, like an important element in our lives, we think about where and when I watched Friends. For me, it was with my mom on this tiny little television set in our kitchen. We would all just sit around the kitchen. My mom would be making stuff or even just leaning against the kitchen island, and I’d be at the kitchen table eating or whatever, doing homework, and we’d be watching this together in our kitchen. My dad would pass through and he would laugh. Those are the memories I have of how that was our show and how we would always watch that together. And even in college, I’d be home on the weekends and sometimes we would watch an episode together. Or even just how funny it was during my life when my boyfriend and I at the time were dating in secret and how it totally mirrored Monica and Chandler. So it’s just really cute. It makes you really nostalgic in the best way. The only thing that I was a little bit woah was they all had Botox.

Claire: They just looked a little puffy.

Joy: They looked puffy. You’d look so much better. Just don’t do that stuff to your face.

Claire: I mean, it’s hard. I feel like in Hollywood… it’s a different world.

Joy: It is, but does no one tell them it looks really different?

Claire: Everyone around them looks like that too. Everyone in Hollywood looks like that. Like when we went to LA, and everyone we saw was getting a tummy tuck. And we were like, you know, I mean I wouldn’t judge you for that anyway, but I can’t even say anything because you live in LA. This is normal.

Joy: That’s true.

Claire: If you were in Hollywood, you don’t realize how puffy you look because everyone around you is puffy.

Joy:  I guess if you have money to blow, I’d be happy to fill my face in. I just feel like they don’t look any better.

Claire: No, they don’t. I agree with that. You don’t look younger. You just don’t look old in the traditional way.

Joy: You need to have that – I don’t know, who’s an actress who doesn’t do Botox?

Claire: Like Helen Murrin or somebody. If she does Botox, get me her Botox lady.

Joy: Yeah, exactly. Give us the number because you’re doing it right.

Claire: I know. I feel like I always say this, but I’ve never seen somebody who had convincing lip fillers. I said that to someone and they were like, “Well maybe you have and you didn’t realize.” I was like, “Great point, actually.”

Joy: It’s a great point.

Claire: I also see a lot of people who I’m like, I know your lip doesn’t just do that. [goofy voice] It doesn’t just sit like this.

Joy: [goofy voice] Pucker your lips.

Claire: [laughing]

Joy: But that’s kind of how their lips look. Anyway, if I ever had that much money to blow, I don’t know if I’d fix anything on my face. I don’t know.

Claire: I would get Botox. I’ve gotten Botox one time. I got it. 

Joy: Oh you did?

Claire: Yeah, so most people have they call them “the elevens.” Little wrinkles in between your eyebrows when you furrow. I don’t have one per eyebrow. I just have one mothership of a wrinkle that’s directly in the middle between my eyebrows. I’m only 33, and it’s just there all the time. When my face is relaxed, it’s still there. I don’t have to furrow to show it. So I got Botox on that once probably in 2017. No – 2016.

Joy: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Claire: Yes you did. I texted you from the parking lot. I was texting you and Jess, and I was like, “No judgement, I’m about to get Botox, and I’m nervous about it.” And you guys were both like, “Go you.” Didn’t even register. You definitely knew because I had a whole conversation with you about how I was worried about it.

Joy: I was so underwhelmed about it and nonjudgmental about it that I don’t remember.

Claire: I would do it again. I don’t know why I haven’t.

Joy: What did you notice?

Claire: The one thing I didn’t like – and I think that this would have potentially gotten better if I had gone back again to the same person and we had worked on it. I felt like because of the location of where my wrinkle is that I’m trying to make –

Joy: Relax.

Claire: What’s the word I’m looking for? Make less bad. 

Joy: Make less bad. Decrease, improve.

Claire: Whatever, improve. You kind of have to paralyze the whole top half of my face. I have to immobilize both of my entire eyebrows, which looks insane. You look like a sociopath, and you can’t make facial expressions. But the way that she did it, it just made me look like Jack Nicholson when I try to raise my eyebrows. Only the outer corners of my eyebrows would raise. And it got better.

Joy: Jack Nicholson, that’s so funny.

Claire: You know where he does that thing where he just kind of raises – 

Joy: Totally. Yeah, exactly.

Claire: But I think if I had kept going back a couple times and been like, “Hey, last time you kind of overdid it with the immobilization of the centers of my eyebrows. Can we play around with this a little bit?” And I think maybe if I ever do it again, I might get a little bit of filler, which would make me feel like the results were a little more dramatic. But one time, my mom – and she listens to the podcast. Mom, I hope I’m not outing you for botched Botox. But my mom got filler once kind of in the same spot, and the person giving it to her gave her way too much. It didn’t stay where it was supposed to and it sort of slid down into the bridge of her nose. So then she just had this lump in her nose.

Joy: Oh, ow.

Claire: I don’t think it felt like anything. But it just sort of sat there for a couple months until your body just naturally absorbs it over time. But it didn’t hurt, and it’s teeny, teeny, teeny, teeny needles. Needles don’t really freak me out though. Do you get freaked out by needles?

Joy: No, definitely not. No, not at all. I just think it’s funny. Not all of this is super expensive to do, but do you remember how much it costs to just get one Botox? Or how many Botox shots did they put in your face?

Claire: I don’t remember the number of units. I want to say the whole experience was under $300. 

Joy: That’s not wildly expensive. I’m thinking if you got a face lift, I don’t know how much those cost. Maybe $10,000-15,000, maybe more. I don’t know. Totally just making that up.

Claire: Yeah, a facelift probably is maybe like – so back in the day when I got fake boobs, that whole procedure was, I want to say, around $7,000 or $8,000. And the majority of that is the anesthesia. Anesthesia and time in the operating room. The facility fees and the anesthesia fees are the bulk of what you’re paying for any given surgery. But since you aren’t having to go under, it’s really not that expensive. But yeah, $300, you could spend that in a facial and some eyelashes.

Joy: I’m thinking if I really had a desire to make some changes to my face, realistically I could do it. And if I had so much money to blow, I think it would be tempting to just mess with your face or mess with your boobs or mess with your butt. I don’t know.

Claire: Why not?

Joy: Judge me. But I think I’d be like, “Let’s just try it.” YOLO.

Claire: YOLO. Got one life to live. Fill her up. 

Joy: But then feeding into beauty standards, I don’t care. There’s a part of me that’s like, I just want to YOLO this a little bit.

Claire: I just feel like, YOLO my face. What’s the problem? Here’s my take on plastic surgery and beauty standards. So we talk a lot about how showing up with your dimples and your body hair and your stretch marks and your whatever, sag boobs.

Joy: Normal things that bodies do.

Claire: Normal things that bodies do. Not making a big deal of it. “I’m out here with my thighs,” whatever.

Joy: Or even the pictures that I saw recently where people will pose one way and then they pose a different way, and they’re like, “I have rolls and both pictures are equally great.” We don’t need to do that either.

Claire: Stop. Just stop. Just post the picture with your rolls and don’t call it out. Just be like, “Here’s a picture of me riding a horse,” I don’t know. 

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Joy: Wear a bikini top and ride horses.

Claire: It’s fine, it’s fine.

Joy: “I had so much fun riding my horse today. The end.”

Claire: The end. You don’t have to be like, “And look at my rolls.” So in those moments, what I’m getting at here is when we talk about those moments and we talk about those moments, seeing people who are just living their lives, seemingly without regard for these “giant imperfections” is like, oh great. If you’re not worried about that, that gives me a little bit of permission every time to worry less and less. The more people out there I see just living their lives with their saggy skin and their saggy boobs and their forehead wrinkles, it gives me a little bit more permission every time to stop worrying about that for myself. With that being said, I also can very much appreciate the fact that we live in a society where there are standards that have been created without our consent for us, and it really takes a lot to live outside of those standards. And it can cause a lot of stress. While I don’t by any means want to say that you need to look a certain way because I really don’t believe that, I am never one to say that if you feel you should look differently, do what you got to do. I don’t think anyone else should be in charge of that decision for you, and that’s where the waters get very murky.

Joy: Very murky. Because then it comes into, “Are you feeling bad about yourself? Don’t change because you feel bad about yourself.” And it’s like, maybe not. Maybe it’s just a very objective – well I think it would be hard to be super objective. Maybe it’s a decision where you’re like, I just kind of want to have, I don’t know… a facelift. I want to have Botox or whatever.

Claire: Listen, yes, I acknowledge that whatever this decision is, is not free from the influence of –

Joy: Exactly, exactly.

Claire: Capital “S” Society. 

Joy: That’s impossible to separate.

Claire: It’s impossible to make any decision free from the influence of that. So for an example, if I were to say I’m going to get a tummy tuck, it’s not because I think that anyone out there – and this is a very hypothetical situation because I don’t have $10,000 to spend on a tummy tuck. But if I were to say, I’m going to get a tummy tuck, the message I’m trying to portray with that is not everyone out there without a flat stomach is gross and by flattening my own stomach I am ridding myself of the burden of being gross.

Joy: Totally.

Claire: Right? It’s more like, I know that when you look at this part of my body, you’re like, “Oh, that person’s had kids,” and I maybe don’t want that to be the first thing that crosses your mind when you see me. Or maybe I’m going to get Botox because, like I said, I’m 33 and by the time I get to be 53, if I’m going to be able to hold a credit card in my forehead wrinkle. That’s where I’m going to keep my pencils. I just think there’s a lot of valid reasons out there, and who am I to say what’s valid or not valid by the way. But it’s just that murky grey area of saying, who is anyone else to tell you how to look or not look and what to do in order to get there? However, what truly are the factors that are influencing that desire?

Joy: That’s really hard. I think that’s really hard to suss out because I think it’s fine to say, like you said, this is a certain way I want to look. But then it’s hard to not tease out, well, that’s diet culture. That’s celebrity magazines and all the crap that we’re fed about beauty standards. I think that’s hard to really tease out.

Claire: Right. If you go and dye your hair pink… why do we draw the line at certain body modifications and not others.

Joy: Right. Like, I had braces when I was in 7th grade. I wanted straight teeth, and I asked my mom if I could get braces.

Claire: Right. I was given braces against my will, but I’m glad I had them now.

Joy: That is something where it’s like, straight teeth is… I don’t know. Maybe you need to get braces because you have something wrong with your jaw. There’s plenty of reasons why you get braces maybe to not have perfectly straight teeth. But that is something that I did not even thinking about it back then because I wanted straight teeth because I was embarrassed because I had a huge gap between my teeth. And in 7th grade, you’re like, I don’t want to look like this.

Claire: Right, you want to look like everybody else. 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: And to go back to the tummy tuck example. Well, what’s wrong with people looking at me and immediately thinking, oh that girl has kids?

Joy: Totally.

Claire: I’m probably going to be with my kids in that moment. I think what I’m trying to get at is it’s not worth it to judge people for those choices because the motivation is so complex, and it’s not black or white of oh you’re doing this because you think everyone who doesn’t look like a Barbie is gross. Or, oh you’re the girl from that TLC music video.

Joy: What’s wrong with looking like your natural self or whatever the case?

Claire: Yeah. It’s not black or white. And it’s hard.

Joy: And it’s all out there enow. So if all of the sudden, I don’t know… I’m having a hard time coming up with… maybe a real-life example for me would be I would get huge boobs or something. And all of the sudden I’m posting on social media and people are like, woah, that was definitely not there three months ago. Now all of the sudden, it’s out there and I’m – I guess you would say – being judged for it whereas before social media the only people that really knew about it would be your friends and family.

Claire: Right.

Joy: But because of social media, everything we do or don’t do is contributing to a societal problem or not standing up for a societal issue. That’s where it kind of comes into play where it’s like, oh you’re feeding into the patriarchy. You’re feeding into the beauty standard myth and all that crap.

Claire: Right. Instead of just seeing someone in a magazine – the other thing that I’ve been laughing about is people are freaking out about Snap Chat filters and how they’re giving teenagers unrealistic beauty standards. I’m like, hey, we’ve been talking about this since the 90’s with airbrushing and Victoria’s Secret catalogs. 

Joy: Totally.

Claire: These new Snap Chat filters are not making anything worse. It’s just giving you access to doing it yourself, which we all wished we had in the 90’s.

Joy: We really did, yeah.

Claire: I also think that what you were saying about everything being public, it’s also that everything that you do… we’re thinking way more about what will strangers think about this choice?

Joy: That’s an interesting point. That’s interesting. Never before have we ever thought about it.

Claire: No. When I was 19 and I got fake boobs, I had no worries about what are strangers going to think about this. Yeah, I was like, what about my boss who I’m not really close with enough to tell them what’s happening, and I come back after two weeks of PTO and show up with giant boobs. They’re going to be like, “Hey Claire, what happened?” It was more like that. Oh, this is a little more taboo. But it wasn’t like strangers are going to judge me for this.

Joy: Right, exactly. I had a boss years ago – no one’s going to know who it is – who got a boob job, and I remember that. She was super open about it, and I was expecting her to come back and it being a big deal, and it just wasn’t. It just wasn’t. And not only that, people who get really big boob jobs, they’re not getting huge, huge boobs. They’re mostly getting bigger boobs that aren’t like gigantic, enormous where you’re like, “Woah.” Like wearing a t-shirt you’re just kind of noticing, but you’re not like, “Woah!”

Claire: And you’re only really noticing if you knew them pretty well before. 

Joy: Exactly, exactly.

Claire: I will say the one thing that does drive me crazy, though, is when you have fitness or wellness influencers who have obviously had a lot of work done but are not upfront about it. The reason that bothers me is that they are selling an aesthetic. Usually saying, “drink this powder,” “do this workout routine.” It’s like Elle in Legally Blonde where she’s like, “I got liposuction.” 

Joy: It’s Legally Blonde.

Claire: Yeah, it’s Legally Blonde. “Normal people can’t have this ass.” And that makes me crazy. I’m like, okay, just tell us you’re getting Botox. Don’t make us think this is because you stopped eating eggs. Or just tell us you had a tummy tuck. Tell us you had a mommy makeover. Don’t make us think this is because you did 75 Hard or whatever that new thing is. 

Joy: I know, the next fitness craze.

Claire: Just say it, and it’s fine.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Or don’t, but then don’t turn around and sell your body basically.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: That’s the one thing that just makes me a little bit – that is where I kind of start to feel like, listen, if you’re selling an aesthetic –

Joy: We’ve been bamboozled if you’re sitting there –

Claire: If you’re selling an aesthetic and you’re selling tools to achieve that aesthetic and you’re basically saying, “Look at me. You too can have this body by using these products and doing these things.” But you’re not being upfront as an influencer about, “And by the way, I get these treatments” or “I do these things.” I really love how Julie Bauer is so upfront about having fillers and having Botox and all the work she’s had done on her skin and all that. At first, it drove me a little crazy. And now I’m like, no, this is great because people otherwise would be following her like, “All I have to do is eat paleo and I too will have this smooth, silky forehead.” 

Joy: Or even like Mark Sisson who’s the epitome of health at his age. But you’re kind of an outlier. You probably also have really good genes. Like, I have – definitely not Mark Sisson genes – but I have really good genes to where whenever I talk to someone, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t think you’d be 43. I’d think you were for sure in your young 30’s.” Which I’m like, hmm, thank you. But my mom is the same. My mom has really good genes. It’s just how we’re built. So our skin doesn’t look as old and blah blah blah blah blah. But I’m not going to start pitching beauty products, like “look at my great skin” because I just have genetics.

Claire: Right. You’re like, “I look this way.”

Joy: Oh I can’t help my face.

Claire: You’re not saying, “You too can look this young by using Target cosmetics.”

Joy: Exactly, exactly. There’s genetics to it as well, which I think a lot of influencers and fitness influencers where I’m like, yeah you have washboard abs even if you just ate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Claire: That’s a mother thing I appreciate about Julie.

Joy: Julie, yeah. She always says I would have abs no matter what.

Claire: She’s like, “This is how I look. I will have these abs in 10 pounds. I will have these abs in 10 less pounds.”

Joy: Same with my shoulders. “How do you get those muscles?” I will always have these shoulders.

Claire: No one asks me anything like that about my body. What did I get? These freckles. Glad you asked.

Joy: Stop.

Claire: My freckles are natural, thank you. Although, freckles are in now. I’ve seen all these TikToks.

Joy: Are they? Oh yeah, people are putting them on their face.

Claire: I’m like, “Oh you.” You never had to deal with a blistering sunburn because you sat next to the window in English class. I don’t want to hear about you and your fake freckles.

Joy: By the way, speaking of Julie. Did you see, I don’t know I think it was a couple weeks ago. Someone keeps asking if we’re still friends with Julie.

Claire: Oh, we talked about this, didn’t we? That someone keeps asking her if we’re friends. And we’re like, “Yeah, we’re still friends,”

Joy: We’re still friends.

Claire: We’re still friends. It’s just that there was a pandemic, and Julie leads a very different life than we do. It’s fine.

Joy: It was just really funny. People wanted to cause drama. So maybe we’ll have her on the show again and be like, “Let’s pick some fights because clearly people think we’re not friends anymore.” Okay, I do want to do a quick correction from last week that I misspoke when I talked about Demi Lovato because she recently –

Claire: They, yes, Demi recently came out.

Joy: Demi Lovato…?

Claire: Because you said “she recently came out.”

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: Demi Lovato recently came out as non-binary.

Joy: Demi Lovato recently came out as non-binary, and her pronouns are they/them.

Claire: Nope. Their pronouns are they/them.

Joy: Oh my God. This is how it happens. You just need to keep trying. You just need to keep trying.

Claire: You just need to keep trying, and you just correct your friends.

Joy: Yep, keep correcting. Keep correcting.

Claire: Demi Lovato’s pronouns are they/them. Thank you to the listener who let us know about that. We did not realize that, and so we were – 

Joy: I knew that. Like, I knew that. And I was just like, oh my gosh.

Claire: Oh I didn’t know that because I don’t follow celebrity things.

Joy: Yeah. I think that’s all the updates. Please support our podcast by going to The discount code is JOY. That is for an amazing jump rope from an incredible company., discount code is JOY. You can also support us by going to Eat to Evolve and entering the code JOYCLAIRE15 for 15% off your order. That is incredible food. If you don’t have time right now, if you want something delicious delivered to your front door, Eat to Evolve has a lot to choose from. Because I can’t eat dairy right now, I have to do a lot of meals without dairy. They have also wonderful snacks. So please, those are two great ways you can support the podcast. And if you don’t have the ability to support us by supporting sponsors, you can 5-star rating and review on Apple iTunes. And share with a friend. The best way to support us is by sharing our podcast.

Claire: What’s your favorite Eat to Evolve meal so far?

Joy: Right now, I’m loving the chicken marinara.

Claire: Oh, I haven’t tried that one. 

Joy: It’s really good. There’s a chicken marinara.

Claire: I really like the carnitas.

Joy: I think you mentioned that. They have this awesome section that’s called Grab and Go so you don’t have to microwave it.

Claire: We’ve talked about that a lot.

Joy: Yes. And I love the Grab and Go. Super delicious. They have chicken salads and lovely dishes.

Claire: And they also have stuff you can freeze. Not all of them are great for freezing. I found out the hard way when I accidentally froze the Cuban pork, and there was a pickle in it.

Joy: Oh, yeah.

Claire: So that was weird. I threw away the pickle and replaced it with a fresh pickle from my fridge, so problem solved. Crisis averted. But I opened it and I was like, yeah, I probably shouldn’t have first frozen the pickle and then microwaved it. It was very weird. If you just want to have some on hand, it’s so nice if it’s getting late and I haven’t eaten lunch yet to realize I have some of these meals in the freezer. I’m just going to grab one. Or like last night, Brandon didn’t get around to making lunch for himself. He was going to make his lunch for the whole week. He didn’t get around to it. I was like, don’t worry about it. We have a couple meals in the freezer. 

Joy: Just take a meal. Love it. And you can do as little or as much as you want, so you don’t have to subscribe to a meal plan or anything like that. Alright. 

Claire: Alright, guys. So we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Okie dokie.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: Bye.

Happy June! We review last week’s episode and the age factor, Joy’s life changes, thinking about what’s next, discovering your identity, staying true to what you really want, the definition of success and toxic positivity.

Lindy West Shit, Actually

Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 77: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Episode Date: June 3, 2021

Transcription Completed: June 18, 2021

Audio Length: 55:46 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire. Happy June.

Claire: Welcome.

Joy: Welcome.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: Memorial Day has come and gone.

Claire: Yes. And here we are shocked to find ourselves in June. I just feel like April didn’t happen at all. So even though May felt like it took a while, I’m still catching up from the fact that April didn’t feel like it happened.

Joy: Yeah. We had – not to talk about the most exciting thing in the world, the weather, but we had the crappiest weekend weather-wise. And normally you associate Memorial Day weekend with sunshine, getting outside, and just happy things.

Claire: Pools opening.

Joy: Yeah. Kind of the cusp of summer. And that was not it at all. We were inside for two days because it poured rain.

Claire: Poured rain, which it never does.

Joy: Never ever. But I’m going to go ahead and say it for everybody that I’ve ever heard in any state is, we need the moisture.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: I feel like no matter where you live, everyone says we need the moisture. Maybe not like Seattle.

Claire: Well maybe less so in the Pacific Northwest and east of the Mississippi River.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: If you live west of the Mississippi River, you probably need the moisture.

Joy: You probably do need the moisture, yeah. So here we are. I hope everybody liked the episode from last week. We have been partnering with an amazing company called Scouts Agency. It’s female-run. Their whole mission is to get females on podcasts. So, we’ve had some really great guests that we normally wouldn’t have, and I just love their mission and I love that they are putting women out there that are doing great things. So hopefully you’re loving these interviews.

Claire: Gaby was really sweet. So, we’ll get into Joy’s big life change, which we’ve talked a little bit about.

Joy: What are you talking about Claire?

Claire: No big deal. NBD. But Joy’s big life change, the change occurred like an hour before that interview was supposed to start.

Joy: Yeah. And we had already rescheduled with Gaby before because of something else that came up, and I was like, we can’t reschedule again. 

Claire: So, I just kind of –

Joy: You did a great job running solo.

Claire: It was fun. She was great. She was super easy to talk to. I maybe wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. For example, not knowing who Amy Astley was. 

Joy: Come on.

Claire: Joy was editing it. She was like, “Claire, how did you not freak out about that?” I don’t know who that is.

Joy: I’m like, “She worked for Amy Astley? Oh my God, she was on The Hills. Hello, Teen Vogue.” 

Claire: I was like, if you guys are about to get this reference from literally our second episode, I’m really impressed. The time that Joy asked me if I like Pat Benatar, and I was like, “Oh, him.” 

Joy: Who is he?

Claire: Who is he? I don’t think I know him.

Joy: It’s like I’m clueless. I’m like, “Do you like Billie Holiday.” She’s like, “I love him.” 

Claire: That’s exactly what it was. It was the exact same, yeah. So anyway, yeah. Gaby was great. Here we are. 

Joy: Here we are.

Claire: And that interview also made me kind of think, maybe we should be talking – I mean, I feel like we talk about mental health a lot. But I feel like I’m hearing – and maybe it’s just the younger generation, I don’t know. Again, I’m not… whatever. But I just hear still so much, no one is talking about this. I kind of feel like people are talking about it. Maybe it’s just because I’m talking about it a lot.

Joy: Or maybe it’s the way that we’re talking about it. Maybe it’s the social media… I mean, a post isn’t going to do it. But maybe as a podcast or with your friends even. I think that’s a different context of how you’re talking about it.

Claire: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, we talk about it on the podcast almost every single week. At least, I feel like we do. Maybe we need to be more…

Joy: Maybe we need to be more in depth of how we’re talking about it.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: Because I can appreciate that as well. There’s just such a surface-level way to talk about mental health. And just because you’re mentioning it doesn’t mean you’re getting into the weeds with it. But I also really appreciated that she was of a younger generation and how much I… I think we all make assumptions about people older than us or people younger than us and I just really thought she was very well spoken, very smart obviously. I think people in their 20’s, they’re the people that I think are going to change the world because they’re just so passionate. They get it. They really, really get it.

Claire: I think it’s interesting too when she was like, “Yeah, I’m too young to be taken seriously.” I remember feeling that way.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And now I feel like I’m almost to the point where I’m too old to be taken seriously. I don’t have TikTok. I don’t know whatever any of this stuff is.

Joy: You said you got your news from LinkedIn.

Claire: I get my social media news from LinkedIn. That’s the social media platform I spend almost the most time on.

Joy: Yeah, but you do that for work, right?

Claire: Yeah, it’s part of my job. But all that to say that I had that moment during the podcast that you all heard where I was like, I don’t think I ever had an age where I was like, I am the correct age to be taken seriously now.

Joy: It’s very true.

Claire: I went straight from “I’m too young” to “I’m too old.”

Joy: Yeah, and it’s also who you’re working with. Because for the longest time I was the youngest person on the team. And then you kind of start to measure up to whoever else you’re working with. “Oh, how old are you? Oh, well I’m older than you.” “Oh, then I’m younger than you.” And it kind of seems to always be this unspoken thing in the workplace. Yeah, when you’re older, it is interesting. I’ll see people who are coming into my workspace and they’re younger, and you automatically have this thing of, well… not “what do they know” per se. But almost like, “Well, I hope they can handle it here” or something of that nature where I think if anything, younger people have more stamina, and they haven’t been tumbled around in the businesses.

Claire: Right, they’re not as jaded.

Joy: Exactly. But I remember that. I remember being a 25-year-old therapist and working with families and teens, and the parents would be like, “You look as old as my teenager. Why are you doing therapy with my kid?”

Claire: Right. I got married, not super young, but I was – how old was I when I got married?

Joy: 28?

Claire: 26.

Joy: Oh, 26? Oh my gosh.

Claire: I think I was 28 when Miles was born.

Joy: Right, you were 28 when you had Miles, that’s right.

Claire: So not crazy early. I didn’t get married when I was 14 or something. I was definitely younger.

Joy: But this day and age, probably younger than your friends.

Claire: I was one of the first people in my friend groups to get married. I was by far the first person in my friend group to have kids. So, because of that, even though I am a similar age to a lot of people that I work with, I am in a very different life stage than they are. Most of them are, if they’re married, they’re recently married. Most of them don’t have kids or are just starting to have their first kid. So that sometimes makes me feel like I’m going to go home to my two kids that I have to feed, and I will get to work, or I’ll start my day and I’ve already lived a whole day trying to get the kids ready, or I’ve been up since 5:30 because the dog threw up or whatever.

Joy: Don’t you love waking up to barf? That’s my favorite way to wake up is either cat puke, dog puke, someone’s puke.

Claire: Someone’s puke. I remember seeing something. I think it was that account @semi_rad. I know I’ve sent his posts to you before. Ones that are all the outdoor comic and infographics. And it was like, “Why hasn’t somebody created an alarm clock that sounds like a dog getting ready to throw up because I never get out of bed faster than when I hear that sound.”

Joy: It’s so true. It is so true. I’ve seen a similar meme of that sort where they’re like, “Nothing gets me out of bed like a ninja than…”

Claire: Right, like hearing a cat about to throw up.

Joy: Ugh, yeah. Yeah.

Claire: Anyway, so it was a great interview. It was interesting to reflect on always having some reason to doubt yourself.

Joy: Yes. And that you don’t necessarily grow out of that just because you get older. I think as you get older, you definitely gain more confidence, and you care less about things, which is very liberating. I’m speaking for myself – I wasted a lot of time in my 20’s worrying about stupid stuff or caring about what people thought about me. Because I think you’re at that age where you’re just trying to prove yourself, so you’re constantly wondering where you stand. With age, that really goes away. That’s amazing. Or building your confidence is really good. But you never really just completely are like, “I made it here, I’ve arrived.” It just never happens.

Claire: No. Sometimes I still feel like, oh, I’m not being taken seriously because the people here think that I should know this already. 

Joy: sure.

Claire: Yeah. You’re damned if you do. You’re damned if you don’t. If you are successful by 25, then it’s a fluke or whatever. If you’re successful at 55, you should have been successful sooner. There’s no way to win.

Joy: I was thinking about this with some of the celebrity interviews I’ve been listening to as well lately. Child actors, for example. Working since they were a kid and how much that messes with you, really not having a childhood. I think it was Demi Lovato, who by the way is amazing and she has a new podcast that I really, really like. I think it’s called 4D. I’m sure if you’ve searched any podcast, it’s one of the top charts right now. But she talks a lot about that, of how being a child famous person or actor or singer.

Claire: Child famous person.

Joy: Child famous person. Because she was on, what? What was that dinosaur? The singing dinosaur. Barney, she was on Barney.

Claire: Oh. I was like, there’s so many dinosaurs. You did not narrow it down at all.

Joy: The one. The first one. And so, she talks a lot about that and how that shaped her. How you learn to appreciate money at that age. But at that age, you’re too young to really deal with your money, so your parents are dealing with your money, but you’re making the money. And you’re all of the sudden becoming the breadwinner of the family. How weird would that be? To be the breadwinner at 9. Very bizarre. 

Claire: That sounds great. I need to sign Miles up for acting classes. He’s already very dramatic.

Joy: Great. Let’s just channel that energy.

Claire: And Evie loves dancing.

Joy: Great.

Claire: I’m going to be making money.

Joy: You’re on your way.

Claire: I need to start a TikTok or something.

Joy: You should.

Claire: I’m too old.

Joy: So, age is nothing but a number, I guess? 

Claire: So, on the topic of wondering what we’re doing with our lives, you had a big change. You talked about it a little bit on Instagram. We’re not going to get too far into the details, but more so the “what now.”

Joy: What now. 

Claire: Give us the high level, the very high level of what happened.

Joy: Yeah. I’m going to give you the high level. Maybe in ten years I’ll give everyone the full story, if we’re still podcasting then. But just for the respect of a lot of things, I won’t be sharing what brought me to this decision. But you know my career as a therapist has been 20-some years. I recently went through a reorg. If you’ve never heard that term or been in the business world, reorg is essentially you have a management structure and then they just wipe it out. They’re like, we’re going to wipe out this structure and we’re going to redo it. The long and short of it is I made the decision, and I left the job. That was a series of a lot of things, but mainly just coming to the realization that this was no longer in alignment with what I wanted. I have been kind of thinking about different paths for the past two years but just never took it seriously because I kind of chose comfort over taking a risk. 

Claire: And then there was COVID and nobody, you know.

Joy: Absolutely. That’s the last thing. I was like, oh my gosh, it’s the most secure job. You just kind of go to that place of security. So, I’m no longer with my job. My last day was Friday. And I’m terrified. I have no plan. What I’ve been thinking a lot about is how much I’ve had a plan my entire life. I know everyone’s like, you don’t have a plan, life just kind of throws you curve balls. But for the most part, my life’s been pretty safe and secure. I play it safe. As a person, I just play it safe. I’m not one to throw caution to the wind and sell my things and go live in a van. While that sounds wonderful, it’s just not my personality type. I’ve been thinking a lot too just kind of prefacing everything I’m about to say or have been saying is “good for you, not for me” to quote Amy Poehler’s book.

Claire: Yeah, you’re not somebody who finds… well, we’ve talked about this so much. You are a creature of habit. You thrive on routine. You are not somebody who feels necessarily liberated by the concept of just getting up every morning and doing whatever you want to do. That to you is stressful, not relaxing.

Joy: Exactly. So, I have been thinking so much about that piece of how I from college to grad school to graduating grad school, really the only time that I felt this level of fear – and fear’s not the right word, but uncertainty – where I just had to trust that something was going to work out. For example, when I graduated from grad school, it was oddly enough the exact, to the day, in 2003 of what I’m going through right now. I remember I had the summer off. June, July, August. I was like, alright, I’m going to give myself three months to get a job. After grad school, you’re just kind of scrambling. I didn’t have a job. I was wondering where I was going to live. All my roommates were moving on, everyone was moving on. And I remember just being so panicked that every single day – this may sound cheesy, but the sis 2003 Joy. I read The Purpose Driven Life. I was at a bookstore. I saw The Purpose Driven Life on top of a stack of books. And I picked it up, and I was like, I think I want to read this. I was so lost and scared that I needed some type of anchor. And that book saved me because it had just one day devotionals of what to focus on. It wasn’t super spiritual or religious, but it was enough to get me anchored to something to where I was taking it one single day at a time. And that I will always remember because when you’re in this moment – I’m having deja vu of that same time in my life – that when I’m in this moment of I don’t know what’s next, I just have to anchor myself every single day to be like, alright, what can I control today. And that’s this thought. Or it’s, I’m going to focus on “this” thing. So after grad school and I got a job, I worked for 11.5 years and then I moved into another job. For the past 20 years of my life, I’ve had a predictable job. And when I left my previous job, I had another job lined up, you know. So in this instance, it’s the first time in my life where… significantly, I’m not talking about college because that’s different – but in my adult career life where I’ve had no plan. It’s really scary, and there’s a lot more to how this all happened. But what it came down to was I really need to focus on what is going to make me happy. The other path wasn’t going to make me happy, even though I maybe thought it might or that might have been the more secure path. It is terrifying and I think for the first time in a long time being able to be like, what do I really want. I felt this expansion when this all went down of, oh, I get to define who I am. Because for the past 10-15 years, I’ve been doing what’s responsible and what’s expected, almost like the outer expectations. If we’re going to talk about four tendencies, kind of like they say about – what is it, the one that I am? The obliger.

Claire: Yeah. Where you’re a rule follower. 

Joy: I’m a rule follower. I’ve been obliging my whole life. 

Claire: That provides security.

Joy: Totally.

Claire: I think when we think about rule following or doing “what’s expected,” we hear that talked about so much in social media of the hustle culture. “Don’t just do what’s expected of you. Break free from the path.” And blah blah blah. It’s like, you know what, there’s a reason most people do that because that security feels really good, and it is really good. And also, having an opportunity to take a step back and realize what would life look like without that. 

Joy: Yeah. So, it’s almost kind of just stepping out of this shell that I’ve worn. And I’m not saying that it wasn’t me, but I started to really notice that there were things that weren’t making me happy anymore. And it was me recognizing this. I had a really great growth during my time there. I tried very hard and I heard some people kind of messaging where you kind of feel like you’re doing the square peg round hole scenario where I tried very hard to fit in or infiltrate something that just wasn’t fitting me and vice versa. It’s painful, and I had a very hard time with it. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m emotional. And my rule for myself right now is I’m just going to feel the feelings. When anyone asks how I’m doing, “I’m just feeling the feelings” and I’m not trying to rush into anything. Scott’s been amazing through all of this. He’s like, “I want you to just focus on taking care of yourself. Don’t look for a job tomorrow. Take your time because,” he’s like, “I could see yourself panicking and jumping into the next job that will have you, and you’ll be miserable in that one too.”

Claire: It’s crazy to think – we’re recording this on Monday afternoon. All of this has happened in literally one week.

Joy: Yeah, less than a week. Exactly one week. Exactly. Exactly.

Claire: I feel like it’s so important too to talk about that combination of, yeah, deep down I do feel that this is the right thing. And you’re super emotional about it, super scared. And it’s not like, “And I just knew. As soon as I walked out the door, I felt this freedom.” 

Joy: No.

Claire: No.

Joy: No. But I think when I was kind of going through all of this, I’m like, I really just have to take time to figure out even who I am, like my identity. People talk a lot about second careers. Maybe that’s for me. Anything goes at this point. When I was at my naturopath yesterday and I told her about everything, Because you know, I was sick last year. I got freaking Graves’ Disease. And I know a lot of it had to do with the stress from work. I know it. I know that for a fact. And we can sit here and argue about how much you let work impact you and yada yada yada. I care deeply about doing a really good job. I just really do. I take my job very seriously. I’m a Type A personality. I would stress out about good grades. That’s just kind of the person that I am.

Claire:  Yeah. Another thing we’ve talked about a lot, what you do –

Joy: Is a lot of my identity.

Claire: Yeah. You’re the type of person, you don’t separate what you do from who you are. 

Joy: And my naturopath was like, “Stepping away and really being able to find joy again will make you that much healthier long term.” Because on another note, my treatment plan is almost done. I’m wrapping up my treatment with her and feeling really good, kind of feeling back to normal. Almost back to normal. Her just kind of saying, “When you find that place of being able to breathe and really take it all in, I just know your health is going to rebound even more.” Because, she’s like, “Even for the past six months, you’ve been in an environment that kind of is doing the opposite of what we want to do for your health.” These are all my choices that I chose to get myself into. I’m not pointing fingers. I want to make that very clear. It’s just like, “Oh, this is just not fitting me anymore.” But because I’m such a rule follower, and I want to please people, and I want to do a good job, and I was like, “Oh. This is actually really killing me.” She’s like, “You don’t want to look back 15 or 20 years from now and be even more sick for whatever reasons because you felt like it was the more responsible thing to do.” So I’m really in it right now. It’s only been a week out. I’ll share what I can. I especially just want to share what I’m working on as far as what I want to do next. I don’t have a clear view of what exactly I want to do next. I have some ideas, but I’m not going to share that until I’m really out of this. But it’s crazy. It doesn’t feel like my life. I feel like for the past week I’ve lived someone else’s life. Where I’m like, “I don’t know whose life this is.” This is brand new experience for me. I guess I can say I’ve been lucky over my life that I’ve never been in a scenario like this before. I think if anything I have felt so freaking supported. And not in the sense of I’m looking for validation, but just people being like, “I support you. What do you need?” People calling me every day. My friend sending flowers. Because they know this is not an easy thing for me. I think what I love the most is my parents and Scott, the people closest to me, who are not worried. I’m almost looking for people to be like, “Yes, it’s real scary.” No one’s worried because I think everyone knows crap always works out. 

Claire: Yeah. And that, like you said, it’s almost amazing that you’ve gone this far in life without having going through something like this to the point that you are so qualified, so smart, so prepared for whatever is going to happen next. And I think also, speaking as somebody who’s close with you, it almost is sort of exciting to see, oh now Joy is actually going to get the chance to do this thing that she never would have done on her own.

Joy: Totally. Totally. And by the way, Brandon was texting me through all of this too. Brandon is like the best emotional support person. And he was like, “Think of it this way.” And Sandy kind of says the same thing. “Would you ever have made this change? If you would have kept the path, would you ever have left?” I don’t think so. I would have, again, ended up where I would have been sicker. That losing your identity type of feeling or your health. I truly believe that I would have just kept the comfortable, as Sandy likes to say, even though you’re in a rut, you’re in a comfortable rut. She’s like, “Because the edges are really soft. You’re still in a rut, but the edges are real nice.” She’s like, “You just have to recognize, when you’re in a rut you need to get out even though it’s comfy in there.” So we’ll see. I am excited too. I think there’s that really hard turn of emotions where you’re just kind of pivoting from one to the next that makes you feel alive again, as annoying as that sounds. This does feel exciting, and I can feel it that there are better things ahead. I would not have been able to see that if I would have stayed the course of what I was on.

Claire: Well I think it’s exciting. I know it’s hard to go through. But like I said, it’s going to be interesting to see. I know the people who have been listening to the podcast for a long time know that I did something similar to this a few years ago.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: What, 3.5 years ago now? Where I was in a super horrible, stressed-out job. That was a little more extreme. It was really just –

Joy: Toxic.

Claire: Super toxic. So, I ended up leaving without a plan. And we had a couple episodes around that time where we talked a lot about there’s the saying “leap and the net will appear.” To me at that time, that felt a little bit misleading. It was sort of like, leap and you’ll end up building that net, and it might not really look like the net you thought it was going to look like. But at the end of the day, you’re going to figure it out. I started coaching CrossFit again and did that for several months. I started a side business doing floral design. I did a handful of weddings that summer, which was super fun. I started doing all the email marketing for Shane Farmer for a while. All these little things where it gave me this opportunity to really dabble in these little ideas where I had always thought, well what if I did email marketing as an entrepreneur? And then I did that and was like, eh, not for me. Well, what if I was a florist again? Eh, maybe not for me. Well, what if I coached CrossFit full time? Eh, maybe not for me. But it gave me this opportunity to really fully put myself in these scenarios where I had often thought, “I wonder what life would be like if I had chosen this other path.” And it gave me the opportunity to weave together a few of those other paths and recognize, actually, maybe the grass is not greener in the full-time CrossFit coach yard. Maybe the grass is not greener in the floral design out of my garage yard. But I was able to answer those questions. That was enough to keep me busy, keep a little bit of money coming in through the door. Until I got to the point where I realized that for me, actually, I do want to go back to a corporate job. I just need to find a business that’s more win alignment with my values, and now I know how to look for that.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: I remember the day that I quit. I was driving away. The business that I worked for that was super toxic, they’re building is huge, and it’s right along the main highway that goes between Denver and Boulder. I was driving by it all the time. And in those first few weeks when I would drive by, I would think, “Did I make a huge mistake?” I would always look at it when I would drive by and think, “I should be in there right now, shouldn’t I? That was dumb. That was dumb.” Looking back now, I don’t regret it at all. And pretty quickly I came to realize this is not a decision that I could have made any other way if I wanted to be true to myself. Like you were talking about, I could have just continued to shove it down deep and pretend that I wanted that life. And that’s fine for a little while. And it’s a paycheck. It’s a job. You know, you need to do that sometimes. 

Joy: Yeah, that’s a really good point because I always think about Brené Brown or Liz Gilbert. People who would be like, “I quit my job and I’m traveling across the world.” No. I would never encourage someone to just throw caution to the wind. Because that’s not who I am. I always want to plan. But this is just an instance where that just wasn’t –

Claire: It’s not one of the options.

Joy: It’s not one of the options for me. So, I think that that is a very personal decision. I’ve been talking to a couple of people who are like, “Yeah, I’m right where you are, and I’m not sure if I’m going to do that.” Do what feels right to you. Because I know that 10 years ago, you would have never predates that this would be something that happened in my life because it’s not who I am.

Claire: And I think it requires, for a lot of people, getting to the point that it did for me, getting to the point where it didn’t feel like I had a choice anymore. I’m waking up every morning. First thought in my head when I wake up and the last thought I have before I go to sleep is, “I need to quit my job.”

Joy: Mmhmm.

Claire: You know. It’s the only thing I’m talking about. It’s the only thing I’m thinking about. I’m not present because all I can think about is, “I have to get out of here.” 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: So it got to the point for me where it was a choice that I made, of course, but at the same time it wasn’t. And I know that’s not the exact situation that you’re in.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: But yeah, I didn’t quit and go start becoming an Instagram influencer who lives on a houseboat or something. But I just sort of laid low for a couple months and did a bunch of random stuff. To your point, I love when you hear people like Elizabeth Gilbert say, “Don’t quit your job and go” –

Joy: Yeah. She’s like, “That terrifies me.”

Claire: If you guys listening have not read Big Magic, just hang up the podcast right now and go listen to it on audio book. It’s really so much better on audio book because she reads it. And you guys know how I feel about when authors read their own books. Which I need to just quickly say that you guys have to listen to Shit, Actually by Lindy West. The last time I laughed so hard while listening to a book was Bossy Pants, which when Tina Fey reads. It is top notch. Although some of the jokes now when you hear them, you’re like, does not hold up. But this book, my friend Heather – hi, Heather – recommended it to me. So funny. Go download it right now. You will not regret it. It’s literally just a bunch of satirical movie reviews, and they’re all based on how much she loves the movie The Fugitive.

Joy: Which is amazing. When you told me that she thinks it’s the best movie of all time, I agree. I think that’s the best movie of all time.

Claire: Have you started listening to it?

Joy: Not yet. I’m going to drive to my parents’ tomorrow, and I’m going to listen to it.

Claire: When you hear her describe The Fugitive, you’re going to be crying-laughing. 

Joy: Crying-laughing.

Claire: It’s so funny.

Joy: So Lindy West, also the author of Shrill, also wrote Shrill the Hulu series with Aidy Bryant, yes.

Claire: So great. But anyway, back to Big Magic. Listen to it on audio book. I listen to it once a year. It’s so wonderful. And Liz Gilbert really talks about, don’t quit your job to pursue your passion. Don’t make your passion do that for you. Don’t make your art support you. I remember that book was the first time I heard that perspective. Because, again, hustle culture or girl boss culture, it’s so all about quit your job and live your passion.

Joy: Yeah. And people stumble into MLM’s that way, because they’re just like, ahh. And that’s how they prey on people.

Claire: Yeah. Or you go out there, and you do go out and “live your passion,” and then six months into it you hate it and you’re not passionate about it anymore and you’ve killed this thing that was a cool creative outlet for you. We talk about that a lot. That’s why we don’t do this podcast as a full-time job. This is very much our hobby. Neither one of us do this – I mean, we make a little bit of money here and there on our sponsorships. This is not our job.

Joy: No.

Claire: And sometimes I’ll meet people and they’re surprised that this is not my full-time job. I’m like, first of all, thank you for thinking I’m that famous. And thank you for thinking I can make a living with 15,000 Instagram followers. But second of all, we wouldn’t want that. I think it’s also just interesting to think about that narrative of, corporate culture sucks you dry. Just quit and go live your passion. Because that’s no necessarily the answer either.

Joy: Yeah, it’s not one or the other. It really isn’t. There’s some things about corporate culture that are really, really great. And there’s a lot of people who work in corporate culture. I think it’s just what you said earlier. The right place, no matter what it is. I quite frankly don’t know which way I’m going to go with it. There’s a lot of thoughts in my brain that I could go. But because it’s just so new, I’m just not going to entertain anything until I feel like I’ve had a good two weeks away from it, at least.

Claire: Well I for one am mostly just shocked that you aren’t currently in Venice Beach. I don’t know why you’re not.

Joy: Yes, that is fair. That is very fair. Mostly because I’m going to spend a week with my parents.

Claire: Take them with you.

Joy: I have to monitor the creek.

Claire: You and your mom need to go to LA.

Joy: Yes, we do.

Claire: Okay, tell us about the creek real quick.

Joy: Oh, the creek. [laughing] 

Claire: Give the people what they want.

Joy: Give the people what they want. Okay, so, anyone new to the podcast. My dad and my mom live on a piece of land in the mountains that has this whole creek that goes through their property, and so every May the creek starts running and my dad gets very excited and he measures the flow rate of the creek. And he just writes it down every single day. Not sure what he does with it. He just has a little pad of paper, and he just writes it down. Probably compares it to previous years. The cute thing about this is he does this manually by dropping something in the water. First of all, he measures the distance. He drops something in the water and has my mom time it.

Claire: As he jogs alongside it.

Joy: As he jogs along to see where it stops. It’s really cute. I’ve been posting videos of him measuring the flow rate. So I will be sure to post some videos this week, even though you’ll be listening to this after I’m there. But I’ll post some videos. You’ll see some good flow rate. It’s the best. It’s simple. This is what life is about. Life is about friends. Life is about sitting in the mountains and watching a creek flow and wonder how fast it’s going. These are the important things that I need to be reminded of, instead of what’s my next step.

Claire: Right, corporate ladders.

Joy: Exactly, exactly.

Claire: I will say, I think that’s the big thing. When we say working for a corporation isn’t always bad, I do think there is really, really, really, really something to be said for having that be true and also removing yourself from the mindset that you need to be constantly moving up, constantly doing more. I posted about this on Instagram 2-ish weeks ago at this point.

Joy: Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.

Claire: Yeah. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And I personally went through something recently that I probably will never talk about on the podcast that really drove that home for me. You know what, I’m faced with a fork in the road, and I could go down the one way and a lot of people would expect me to. There was a time in my life when I would have fully expected to. And that time in my life was not that long ago. And now that I’m actually faced with this fork, I know in my gut that that’s not what I want. But it took me a long time to realize that it was okay for me to not take that road. In my mind, I was like, “But I could do it. I can.” And I’ve realized, listen. Just because I can doesn’t mean I have to. Just because I’m physically capable of taking on more, of doing more, of having more going on in my life doesn’t mean I have to choose that, even though that’s kind of my thing. I’m the go-to. I get stuff done. I’m the one that if you need it done quickly, you come to me. And removing that part from my identity and realizing I can choose to stay with what I have because it’s plenty and I don’t need to constantly be adding to my plate. It just was like this huge lightbulb moment for me. My whole life, I’ve been a big overachiever. I wouldn’t call myself Type A because I’m not very organized necessarily or clean. But I want to be the one who gets it done, and I want to be the one who figures it out, who does more with less. I finally realized – not finally, I’m sure I’m going to have this realization over and over my whole life. But recently have been in a season of realizing I don’t have to do more just because I can do more. I can choose to stay where I am. I can choose even to do less. That doesn’t mean I’m failing. It doesn’t mean I’m “not living up to my potential.” Let’s just get that out of our vocabulary right now.

Joy: I was talking to a life coach five or six months ago. We got free sessions with these life coaches.

Claire: Oh yeah, you had that career coach. You talked about it.

Joy: Yeah, career coach. She was amazing. And I remember telling her about this very thing, what you were just saying, about I just get so caught up in doing more and wanting to be more and wanting to stay ahead of everybody. I thrive on that thought of staying ahead of the rat race. She was like, “What if presence was ahead of the rat race?” I was like, what?

Claire: You’re like, “No, that’s not the answer. Sorry.” 

Joy: But, that makes sense. Okay, I’m going to quote Adam Grant in his book Think Again. Rethinking all of these ideas, the stories that we tell ourselves. Do we ever stop and think, “Why am I telling myself this? Why is this my narrative?” Recently with all the job stuff. I start to go to the thoughts of doubt. No, no. That is not a thought I need to have right now. Think again about the stories that we’re telling ourselves. Just because we can do something and we can add more to our plate doesn’t mean we should. With climbing the corporate ladder, being in that environment, is that going to be good for us? What does status mean? What do we put value on? And for women I think especially it’s always doing more. How much she handles, how does she do it all, oh my gosh, she’s an influencer, and she has five kids, and she runs her… whatever.

Claire: And she has a white couch and it’s clean.

Joy: Yeah, always clean.

Claire: Totally. And I think it’s so easy to default to that.

Joy: Very easy.

Claire: And not only that, but I’m not going to tell you that it does’ feel good to be the person who does figure it out, to be the person who does do more with less.

Joy: Absolutely, absolutely.

Claire: And I think it’s just that mindset shift of realizing I don’t always have to choose that, just because I can or just because I feel like I should or just because I’m worried about letting other people down or just because fill in the blank. Just because I was in the talented and gifted reading group in 4th grade. You know what I mean? That to me has been an epiphany in the last couple of weeks. If you want to take it even further back, we’re talking about these deep-seeded beliefs that are very much rooted in capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy. I recently hosted an interview for a work event that was between a woman who founded this skincare company. She’s a black woman who really struggled to get access to capital. The conversation was really about that, and then we had one of her investors who was a white woman be a part of that conversation about how this is how white investors can really show up for BIPOC entrepreneurs. Here’s how you need to have that mindset shift, etc. And one of the things that we talked about was the idea of if you are a startup entrepreneur having to grow your business really fast is a standard and a mindset that comes from white supremacy. And if you as an entrepreneur can say, “Actually, I don’t care how fast my business grows” or “I do have a plan to grow my business, and guess what? It’s going to take 15 years.” That is a way for you to push back on these establishments that have really dictated the standards that we hold ourselves to whether we want to or not. I think a lot about that with capitalism and thinking, of course this is how I feel because in the society that we live in productivity is the highest standard you can be held to.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: It feels like of good, for me at least, to have that little voice in the back of my head that’s like, “F*** you, the man. I’m not going to apply for that promotion” or whatever the case may be.

Joy: Right. And be selective. Really think about what it is that you want, not what is the society golden egg or whatever.

Claire: Right. And it’s hard because I think it’s a little bit of a catch 22. If you don’t go for it, someone else is just going to go for it. You’re not going to change the system because you decided to lower your personal productivity. But at the same time, each person who chooses to redefine – I hate the phrase “define your own success” or “redefine success” because why do we care so freaking much about success?

Joy: Because we do.

Claire: Why does everything have to be about being successful. “Redefine your own success and then you can still be successful.” 

Joy: You know what it is? It’s all the freaking positive, whatever, the speech people, the power of positive thinking people.

Claire: Yeah, the secret people.

Joy: Totally. I feel like they screwed us over. Screwed us over.

Claire: And I think it’s just in general that we have been taught this our whole lives that success is the thing you’re going for. Here are your goals. You want to be happy, you want to be successful, and you want to be wealthy. And being successful, by the way, includes being happy and healthy. So it all just rolls up to success. And it’s sort of that same thing where for a while we were like “strong is the new skinny.” It’s like, listen. Now you’re just giving me something else I have to be. 

Joy: Like I was just content watching movies on the weekends eating circus peanuts.

Claire: Circus peanuts. It’s just Joy sitting in a pile of peanut shells. 

Joy: No, haven’t you ever had circus peanuts? The candies.

Claire: And you talking about Spanish peanuts?

Joy: No, they’re called circus peanuts.

Claire: Oh. No.

Joy: It’s almost like cotton candy. Anyway, they’re squishy and delicious.

Claire: Oh no. I was thinking you were talking about bar peanuts where it’s a tub of shelled peanuts.

Joy: Well that would be delicious too. That’s what I always used to eat with a Dr Pepper.

Claire: Delicious.

Joy: That’s what happiness and success was, just being relaxed and doing that stuff.

Claire: Just drinking Dr Pepper.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And it’s similar to the thing of like, “Well any body can be beautiful. Any shape or size or age can be beautiful.”

Joy: Now you just pointed it out. We were doing just fine.

Claire: And why do I have to care so much about being beautiful?

Joy: Yeah. I was doing totally fine.

Claire: Can’t I just live my life in my mom smock, which I’m currently wearing by the way.

Joy: Which is amazing.

Claire: I’m sick of having… I don’t want to have to redefine success. I don’t want to have to redefine beauty. I want to just stop freaking caring about being successful or beautiful all the time and just go live my damn life.

Joy: “I’m exhausted. Where is he?” Sorry, that was a line from Sex & the City.

Claire: I’m tired. 

Joy: I’m exhausted.

Claire: And I just want to live my life and not be constantly freaked out about whether or not I’m being successful or whether or not I’m beautiful or whether or not I’m fill-in-the-blank.

Joy: Because just like diet culture, there’s no ed.

Claire: There’s no end.

Joy: There’s no end to it.

Claire: There’s no end to it, and there’s no way to truly get out of it. So all you can do it just ignore it a little bit I guess. Make decisions that involve it as little as possible because you can’t truly never involve it. It’s just very… if you’re listening to this and you want to just go live in the woods in a bus somewhere with all of us, let’s just go do that. Maybe that’s how we do it. 

J :Yeah, maybe. I think that’d be great.

Claire: As long as there’s a Sephora out there that you can test products on every 90 days just to get a hit.

Joy: [laughing] Just need a hit of my arm filled with products. Which by the way I still don’t test products. It’s so sad.

Claire: I know, I can’t wait until the day that you post that on Instagram. Like, “We have arrived!”

Joy: Just my arm full of tests and colors.

Claire: It’s going to be on your legs.

Joy: So great. Let me just tell you a funny story. It’s not that funny, but I’m going to tell it anyway. So Scott again has been so supportive through all this stuff, and he knows emotions are all over the place. And the day after all of this kind of went down, I woke up and I put so much glitter on my eye balls. My eyelids had tons of pink glitter. I kept just layering it on because I’m like, I don’t got to go to work. I can put as much glitter as I want on my eyes. And then I pulled out my hair chalk, and I started putting pink streaks in my hair with my hair chalk. Scott woke up. I got ready before he woke up. And he woke up, and he was like, “How are you feeling today?” And I was like, “I’m okay.” And he’s like, “You got a lot of pink going on.”

Claire: [laughing] It’s like, “Okay, just checking in.”

Joy: He’s like, “She’s going to crack.”

Claire: You look like a 5-year-old did your makeup.

Joy: Yes, totally. It’s like, “Okay, you got a lot of pink going on.” 

Claire: He’s like, “No sudden movements. Just keep your voice low.”

Joy: Yes. “Everybody stay calm. Don’t even move.” Yeah. 

C; “Joy, you look great. Don’t change a thing. Do you need some circus peanuts? Can I bring you a Dr Pepper?”

Joy: That’s how he was acting. “Okay.” Tip toeing. “How we doing? Got a lot of pink on.” I think today when I got my hair cut, he was convinced I was just going to cut it all off because any decision she makes right now is just from a place of, ahh. Okay. So finishing up, I really want to ask a question to the listeners and you. We talked a little bit about climbing the corporate ladder. I’ve heard from a lot of people this week about culture, environments of work. One of my friends – this is just my friend’s opinion, so making that clear – my friend was like, “You know, I’ve always seen the top of corporate culture, you have to either ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ or you just have to fake it and pretend that you like that environment.” She’s like, “I’ve never seen it be truly health and supportive of people.” I’m like, interesting. I only know my experience. It was just interesting to hear that. I’ve seen this flying around. Adam Grant talks about this all the time as far as how to make work a better place. But I have yet to see someone tell me that in this corporate world the top really embrace that. So if you have that experience, I would love to hear it.

Claire: Where do you work so we can come?

Joy: Yeah, where do you work so we can join you? It’s interesting to me. From all the research that I read and all the articles I’m devouring about work life and how to make a healthy workspace, it all says that you have to be compassionate and caring. The Dare to Lead book by Brené Brown is all about having difficult conversations and making sure that people feel safe and building trust and etc. But no work culture that I’ve seen has been able to do that.

Claire: The company that I work for is dyed-in-the-wool Dare to Lead. It’s great sometimes. Because it also gets really toxic. 

Joy: Oh really?

Claire: Conscious leadership can be turned against you.

Joy: Like toxic positivity.

Claire: Yes, exactly.

Joy: Really? Interesting. Oh, interesting.

Claire: Oh, interesting. Yes. The company that I work for I think has so much potential, really rewards a lot of the things that I think you should reward, is very aware of the things that I think you should be aware of. Overall, for being a very large global multinational corporation, does a pretty good dang job. And it’s also really hard when you have a wide variety of leaders and you don’t want all of your leaders to be the same of course because that would make it worse. But also, it just means that when you do try to have that conscious leadership mentality, it can definitely be used against you by making it seem like –

Joy: Like kind of gaslighty?

Claire: Very gaslighty. And I’ve also seen this at the job where it was so toxic. It was all about everyone’s a leader, even if you’re an entry level coordinator, you should own your stuff and never be afraid to speak up to leadership. It was completely used against you by being like, if you had a problem, no one else – even your manager – was like, “Well, that’s your problem.” I remember when I was having such a hard time with a job, I went to my boss, and I was in her office every day being like, “I am drowning. Help me.” 

Joy: I remember that. And she was like, “Well, this is how it is. Hahahaha.” 

Claire: She literally one day said to me, “I don’t know, Claire. You’re the one who applied for this job.”

Joy: [gasp]

Claire: And I was like, “And now I’m leaving this job. So goodbye.” It very much was used against you. “Well, if you can’t figure it out, that’s your own leadership failing.”

Joy: Oh. Because everyone’s a leader. Instead of being supportive or recognizing the culture as the problem.

Claire: And this isn’t my current job. But no, it was very much like you are supposed to be a leader. And if you can’t figure it out, that’s your own leadership failure. You just aren’t in it enough. You just aren’t dedicated enough. You just aren’t owning it enough.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Instead of leadership taking ownership to try to help.

Claire: Right. Instead of them being like, “Wow, let me…” You know. In my current job, I have a great manager. And my boss’ boss is wonderful. He’s like, “My job 100% is to block for you.” He’s like, “If you have a problem, if you’re trying to get something done and it’s not happening, come to me and I will use the Senior Vice President line in my signature to the fullest advantage. I will email who I need to email. I will call who I need to call.” And that is like, great, thank you. You recognize that your role is to help me get my job done. Yeah, that reflects better on you. If I’m being productive and getting my job done. And the team I work for is so wonderful, and there are also other teams where that conscious leadership totally backfires because it has turned into this very gaslighty thing.

Joy: That’s so unfortunate to hear, but I can see how that would happen. I think what I’ve noticed throughout my professional career, not speaking about any one in particular environment. From what I’ve noticed and from what I’ve heard from people is there’s all these trainings you can do, and you can get trained to how to be a positive work environment, or you can do these little day trainings with a whole staff about how to work better together. But unless you have that really strong foundation from the top, it goes nowhere.

Claire: Nowhere.

Joy: It goes nowhere. If anything, it just makes everyone even more distrustful because they’re like, we’ve done all this training and nothing has changed.

Claire: And maybe this is different. The vast majority of companies that I’ve worked for are very, very large companies. I have worked for smaller-ish brands that are owned by very large companies. And the brands that I have worked for have been pretty big in the scheme of the company. For example, right now most of the teams that I work on are less than 20 people. 11,000 people work for my company all over the world, and 150 people work in my group. So within that, each group sets their own culture. But then it doesn’t matter still because if you’re getting conflicting communication or conflicting tones even or whatever from your bi-weekly video message from the CEO, it can really undermine any of the culture that your immediate leadership is trying to do. And vice versa. One of the things that I love about the company that I work for is last year, in the throes of the pandemic – at the end of the day, I work for an event company. We had a really hard year. Our CEO who is based in another country who, again, over 10,000 employees, really regularly would have these live town halls where he was very transparent of, “This is what we’re doing. This is why we’re doing it. Here’s how we’re trying to save costs. Here’s what we’re trying to do. Yeah, we might end up having to lay people off, but we want you to know that here are all the other things that we’re doing.” Very much treated like adults. Very much treated us like we were all in this tougher. Wasn’t trying to sugar coat it whatsoever, And then we have smaller group meetings where they’re playing “Here Comes the Sun,” and they’re like, “It’s going to be great.” We’re like, don’t freaking do this to us. We’re not children. I think it’s so interesting too to see even the best laid intentions, to your point, if all the leaders aren’t on board or even if one leader is like, “This is dumb,” that undermines what everyone else is doing.

Joy: Yes. Yeah, I think it’s interesting to watch how sometimes it’s almost like put on the responsibility of the workers to carry it through.

Claire: Which I think is somewhat fine because you need that buy in.

Joy: Sure, yes. And the default goes back to old style management. It’s almost like people are just incapable of really seeing what works. It’s unfortunate, but maybe that’s why I just need to start my own company.

Claire: Yeah, you just need to be the management advisor. That would be great.

Joy: Right. Yeah, so I would love to hear people’s stories or thoughts about that. Because I’ve yet to find a place that has done it successfully.

Claire: Talk to us about really supportive culture. Talk to us about toxic culture. Talk to us about culture that started off supportive and turned toxic.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah, all of it. You can be anonymous. You can tell us how your company does it. All of the above.

Claire: If you want to – this isn’t an official send us a voice memo question, but feel free to send us a voice memo or send us an email, And yeah, this will be an interesting ongoing conversation.

Joy: For sure. I just want to work for Adam Grant. Is he hiring?

Claire: Right. But do you? Maybe he’s so intense. I don’t know.

Joy: That’s true. Maybe he’s not who he is on the podcast and in his books. He just seems like such a lovely person. Every time he’s on Dax Shepard’s show, I’m just like, “I want to work for Adam Grant.”

Claire: I’m just not sure that I’ve heard anyone on Dax Shepard’s show where it wasn’t like, okay, they’re fun, they’re okay, they’re fun. Dax Shepard brings out the very personable side of people.

Joy: Oh, Adam Grant. So he’s lovely. He’s lovely. Yeah.

Claire: What I’m saying is if you’re judging him based on how he shows up on Dax Shepard’s cast, then –

Joy: Oh, I get it. Because everyone looks so great.

Claire: Because Dax really makes everyone look good.

Joy: Dax is the best, yeah.

Claire: Just go work for Dax.

Joy: That’s a good point. Produce all their podcasts. Anyway, that’s the updates. A lot of stuff going on in our worlds. As always, we are so grateful that you are along for the ride. I’ve been tagged in some memories from Iceland, which made me just so, so sad for the days when we got to travel with our listeners. So maybe that will be in the near future. But in the meantime, you can reach us at or on Instagram @joyandclaire_ and our website is 

Claire: Please subscribe. Leave us a review. Share about us on your social media. The best way to support us is by sharing us and tagging us, even just in an Instagram story. That really does so much for us. So when you’re done listening to this episode, please just take a screenshot of the episode, share it on your Instagram story, tag us. “Great listen this week from @thisisjoyandclaire.” However you want to say. We really appreciate it.

Joy: Five stars.

Claire: Five stars. Five-star GIF. Alright guys, we’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye you guys.

This week we are joined by Gabriela Ulloa, a Cuban-American journalist and mental health advocate who spent the early years of her career working in Joy’s alternate-universe dream job: as the assistant to Amy Astley in NYC. Gaby and Claire discuss life changes, changing career paths, opening up about mental health, imposter syndrome, and age-based self esteem problems that never go away, no matter how old you get.




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 76: Too Young Too Old

Episode Date: May 27, 2021

Transcription Completed: June 8, 2021

Audio Length: 46:28 minutes 

Claire: You are listening to This is Joy and Claire. Today we are joined by Gaby Ulloa who is a Cuban-American journalist and mental health advocate. She’s also the cohost of the upcoming Thoughts May Vary podcast, which is launching in June 2021. That podcast illuminates story of lessons of personal development and mental health. Previously she was the assistant to the editor and chief at Architectural Digest, where she spent two years assisting Amy Astley and writing for the magazine. You can find her words in publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, and more. Gaby, welcome to the podcast. So excited to have you.

Gaby: Hi. Thank you so much for having me here. It’s good to be here.

Claire: So, I just read your boiler plate bio, which is so great to catch everybody up from the basics. But tell us a little bit about who you are and your background.

Gaby: Yeah. So, like you said in my bio, I’m Cuban-American. Both my parents are Cuban immigrants. I always really start with that because I feel like it’s such a large part of my identity. I grew up in Miami, which there I didn’t even think about the fact that I was Cuban or that I was Latin because it was everywhere around me. It was really when I went off to school to college in George Washington in D.C. I was like, “Oh wow, my Latin identity is so deeply ingrained into who I am.” Yes, I always lead with that. I’m very proud to be Latina and to be a part of that community. I’m also a journalist. I think you mentioned I started my career at Architectural Digest. It’s funny when I say I started my career, that’s when I started my career post-college. But working has always been something that I’ve done since I was very young. My mom never let my sisters and I have summers off. We were always working at summer camp or volunteering or doing something. And throughout college, I was taking summer internships every summer and I was working in the fashion space and in the magazine space. I always knew I wanted to work in magazines. That was always the goal for me. Once I graduated from school in 2018, I moved directly to New York and basically started freelancing and applying to everywhere that I could find. That’s when a couple months later I ended up getting the job at Architectural Digest to assist Amy Astley. I really fell into design by accident. Because for me, the goal was Condé Nast. For those who don’t know, Condé Nast is a big publishing house that owns all the magazines that I’m sure you read, from Vogue, Teen Vogue, to Glamor, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest. So that’s where I wanted to be. That’s sort of the big place to be. I basically was going to take any job that I could get. I’m definitely that mentality of I’m here to learn, I’m here to work, just throw me in and I’ll do it. When I was interviewing for jobs, I was interviewing for a bunch of closet positions. For people that don’t know, it literally is what it sounds. You’re in a closet, whether it’s a beauty closet or a fashion closet, just organizing whatever is in said closet. And I was like, yep, this is my way in. Around that time, the job to be Amy’s assistant came up, and Amy Astley – if you are not aware, she founded Teen Vogue, is a Condé Nast veteran, and she’d been at AD at the time for about 3.5 years. And I was like, you know, I don’t know anything about design. I feel like I just found my footing in fashion, but let me try this because I want to work for her. It was all about her. I wanted to learn from her. What a great opportunity to be able, at 22 years old, to learn directly from someone like that. So yeah, that’s how I got my start at AD. While I was there, I was assisting her, which was obviously a full-time job. And luckily, because she’s such a wonderful boss and really enjoys mentoring her assistants, she really made sure to have me know that she wanted me to grow. So right off the bat, she was like, “What are your interests? What do you want to do aside from being my assistant?” I told her that writing is what I wanted to do, so those opportunities then slowly began presenting themselves. Throughout those two years of assisting her, I was also writing for the publication, both for the site and for the actual print magazine, which was such a great experience. And then fast forward. October 2020, we’re in the thick of the pandemic. I decided it was time to go, and I ended up resigning and I’ve been freelance ever since. Throughout that whole process, I’ll just squeeze in, I started Should We Talk About It, which is a mental health IG TV show. That I started in May 2020. So, I was still working at AD. Like everybody else, mental health was kind of at the forefront of my mind throughout the pandemic. It’s been something that’s always been deeply important to me, but it wasn’t really until I started writing in that space. I had basically written as a favor pretty much to a friend of mind that has a blog that covers mental health. I wrote for them. I had gotten the call to do it right before the pandemic hit, but it wasn’t published until – I think it came out in March 2020, right in the beginning. That was sort of my “ah ha” career moment of this is the conversation I need to be having. I always searched for intersections in what I do, especially in the style and design fashion space. Those things can sometimes just feel really trivial. And so, I always tried to connect it, whether it’s fashion and politics or design and culture and how they all influence each other and mental health and beauty and so on. That was really when it clicked for me that this is the conversation I need to be having. And from there, everything all sort of snowballed, and that’s where the podcast was later born. But yeah, once I clicked that this is the path that I need to go on, the position to leave fell into place. That’s sort of how I’ve been freelancing for the magazines that I’ve been freelancing for now. While I still freelance for AD, a lot of the other new work that I’m doing with places like Byrdie, it’s a lot more focused on mental health and lifestyle and wellness. I could ramble about it forever.

Claire: So, as you were describing that, I was just imaging a Devil Wears Prada scene of walking in and being like, you actually have to have an interest in fashion. But I am interested in architecture.

Gaby: Yeah. I mean, it’s so funny. Whenever I talk about Condé Nast, that’s the first question I always get is how Devil Wears Prada is it. I mean, honestly, as a whole it’s pretty accurate. I got lucky. I won’t lie. But I did get very, very lucky in that my boss was I think one of the only editor in chiefs at the time there – she’s really one of a kind, and truly is such an incredible person and a great boss and really, really loves to mentor her assistants. So, I just got lucky in that.

Claire: That you did not get paired up with Meryl Streep.

Gaby: Right. But did have to interact with the other editor in chiefs, the big one that we all know. Beginning with my boss. It’s funny, all the assistants, we all just became friends with each other. Because you get it. We’re on a team here.

Claire: So, when did you relocate during the pandemic. Because I know that you spent a lot of 2020 living back at home in Miami throughout the pandemic, but did you start out March 2020 in New York City?

Gaby: Yes. So, I’d been living in New York for about 1.5 years at that time – no, about 2 years at that point. I was just in my new apartment that I was so happy to be in. I felt like I was moving in New York every – every time my lease came up, I left. And I finally felt like, okay, this is the place I’m going to spend a couple of years. And then the pandemic hit. I’d been in that space for about 6 months. Just like everybody else, thought I’d be home for about 2 weeks. I think the only reason I was going to go back too is my mom, my sister, and I were supposed to take a trip. We were going to be in London. Because every year, my vacations were planned around my boss’ vacation time. So, every year for her daughter’s spring break, they would all go as a family away for two weeks. So that was my big chunk of time off. So, I had taken two weeks off. Literally, March 14th was my first day off, and the world shut down March 13th. I was planning to go to London. Mom was like, you know what, London’s not happening. Why don’t you just come home for a little since you already took the time off? And she was like, I have a feeling this is going to get wild. Why don’t you – mother’s intuition. Why don’t you just come home. I’m like, okay, sure. So, because I’m me and I’m very organized and clean, I cleaned my whole apartment. I cleaned out my trash. I took out everything from my fridge. That’s just what I do when I travel. And thank God. But thought I’d be gone for two weeks. They’d told us March 30th to be back in the office. And it was really surreal thinking about it too because when we got the “go ahead” to go home, we were all sitting in a tiny conference room watching a video conference. They had brought a doctor in to speak to all the Condé Nast executives, and they were live streaming. It’s like my boss was in that room with all the other execs and editor in chiefs. And all of us worker bees were in one tiny little conference office listening to this. We were like, oh, maybe we should not be on top of each other right now. We all took the subway to get to work that day. 

Claire: We’ve talked about this so many times. We’re all going to have that story of here was the last thing that I did before the pandemic started that I didn’t realize was super gross at the time.

Gaby: I know. I think about getting on the subway every day and touching the poles. And even then, I wouldn’t even touch it with my hand. I would wrap my elbow around it. But still, you cough into your hand. You touch your face. 

Claire: Someone next to you, just breathing their air.

Gaby: Even just existing next to me is too much these days.

Claire: Just respirating, not into it. I know. I was in Southern California for a 90,000-person trade show that the company I work for had to cancel the night before it started. But I was across the street from Disney Land. We were like, aw, it’s cancelled. Can we go to Disney Land? Looking back, ew. 

Gaby: Ew. And the privilege that I was existing. I was reading back some of my messages with a friend of mine the other day, talking about my trip to London getting cancelled. And I remember I said to them, “Mom’s just being difficult. It’s fine. We’re going to end up going. It’s fine.” 

Claire: It’s not ideal, right. This is going to blow over.

Gaby: Like March 1st, around there. And my office was just disgusting too because fashion month had just happened. Everybody had to come back from – they were in Paris, and then they all went to Italy, and they all came back to New York. Everyone was sick. I was sick when I came home. So, to answer your question, March 13th flew back to Miami luckily. Thought I’d be there for two weeks, was there for almost 10 months. And then I moved to LA. 

Claire: So how long have you been in LA?

Gaby: I’ve been in LA since January.

Claire: When you had that realization that working for Condé Nast maybe isn’t the goal that you want to pursue anymore, you want to do your own thing, you really want to be talking about mental health, you had started this IG TV series. Talk a little bit about that and how that evolved into what you’re working on now.

Gaby: Definitely. So, I think I mentioned earlier, mental health has always been something that has been very, very important to me. I always felt growing up so deeply misunderstood, especially when I would talk about how I was feeling. I really just felt really alone in that. I couldn’t talk about it with people. And if I would talk about it, people would just think I was crazy. I always felt very misunderstood in that space. I think I mentioned, when I was able to write for my friend’s blog, they asked me to write about my personal mental health experience. I wrote about my experience at something called the Hoffman Process. Which is basically this week-long therapy retreat, which is the best way that I can say it. You basically go no phone, no books, no distractions whatsoever, and for a full 7 days you are just unpacking every single pattern that you have. Essentially rooting it back to your childhood. Did this come from mom or dad? Where did this come from? Unpacking it, then rewiring your brand sort of. A lot of guided meditations. Honesty it was the best thing I ever did. 

Claire: It sounds so intense. 

Gaby: It was a lot. It’s a lot because you’re jam-packing years of work basically into 7 days. It’s very intense. I always say I think everyone should go to Hoffman. I think everyone should do it. You learn so much about yourself. You leave there with such compassion for your parents and for yourself and so much forgiveness as well. But that said, there are a couple people in my life that have been like, oh, you think so-and-so should go? I’m like honestly no. Because they’ve never gone to therapy and they’ve never done work on themselves, and I think it would be toxic talk.

Claire: Right. Like, you don’t go to the Olympics if you have never been on a jog.

Gaby: Right. So, I definitely recommend it for people who are already – even if you haven’t gone to therapy, if you’re already aware that there’s something that you want to improve, then I think it’s for you. It’s just for those people that feel like they’re being forced into something that they –

Claire: Totally. If you’re not even open to that awareness.

Gaby: Exactly. So, I had done Hoffman right when I graduated from college in 2018. I went to New York to start working 2 weeks later. It set me up for success, honesty. I think nothing would have happened the way that it did if I hadn’t done Hoffman. So, when I wrote for this blog, I wrote about my experience. Of course, some of my friends knew that I had gone. And this was almost 2 years after I’d done Hoffman at this point. But most people just had no idea. And I was really nervous to talk about my experience. At this point, the people following me online were primarily people who knew me on a personal level. So that made me even more nervous to open up because I’m like these people can attach a name to a story. They know what I’m talking about. But it was so cathartic to write that article. And to publish that article was a whole other level. And then after that, just hearing – that would have been enough for me to say, this is what I want to be talking about. Because I feel like as a writer, we’re always searching for that excitement. It’s so funny. I talk to a lot of writers, and everyone always says once you start getting paid for writing, it’s no longer fun. I’ve always just tried to search for that spark again. I finally felt it again. Then on top of that, getting messages from people in my life that I knew and that I didn’t know just saying, either A, thank you for talking about this. Not a lot of people we know are. Or B, I went through something similar. Thanks for making me feel not so alone. I was like, okay, wait. No one’s talking about this, and on top of that I had felt such an intense stigma when I had returned from Hoffman. When I started opening up about it, the narrative was, “Gaby cracked, and her mom sent her to a mental hospital.” That was the narrative. Instead of being like, I actually went to go work on myself and this was a really cool experience. That’s something that now in 2021, no one would say, at least out loud.

Claire: Right. The stigma that was – and I think it is still there, especially among different types of groups when it comes to talking about therapy and especially intensive therapy.

Gaby: Absolutely. Especially in the Latin community. I feel like in all minority communities, and I can only speak for the Latin community, but it exists. It exists in the way that our parents were raised and in the way that they raise us. I always say that I’m very lucky that my mom is very open about these things. But a lot of people aren’t. So yeah, basically once I had written for – so to answer your question about Should We Talk About It – once the article came out in March 2020, I knew that something had to shift. I just wanted to find my footing and find my voice. I feel like my purpose on this planet is to tell stories and to help elevate other people’s stories, as well as my own. I was like, okay, I’m doing this with writing. What’s another way that I could do this? Okay, I could interview people and just record it. I’m the type of person that doesn’t just jump. I dip my toe in the pond before I jump all the way in. People are like, “Just do a podcast.” No, sorry, I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to upload it to Instagram. So, I started uploading these interviews that I was having with people in my life that I knew were in the same industry as me and particularly more influencer-type people. Because in my opinion, I had been seeing a lot of things just from the expert perspective, which of course is deeply important. And whenever people come to me with specific questions or things, I always remind them I’m a peer turned to an expert. I always direct people in the direction of an expert. But at the same time, I think that it’s so digestible and so humanizing to hear stories from “normal people,” especially these people who have made a career off of being on social media and have these facades up and to sort of break that wall down, ask them questions that they might not be asked or at least answer publicly. Really lets their viewers see them in a different light and a very helpful light, I think. So, I just started having those conversations on my personal Instagram. I just saw that there was something there. People were asking for more, and I was enjoying it more and more. And then I created its own page. It was all very new to me. It just sort of grew very organically. And yeah, I’ve sort of been searching for what the next iteration of Should We Talk About It would be. I always knew it was going to be the beginning, and I was laying the foundation for something bigger. But I just didn’t know what that was. I think that’s something that I wish I would hear more entrepreneurs talk about, especially because I am so young. Sometimes I don’t tell people how old I am because I don’t want them to think I’m not as smart as I actually am or not as capable or resourceful or whatever it is. Then I remind myself, no, embrace what you’ve been able to accomplish at – I turned 25 last week. So, embrace it. But yeah, I always knew I was laying the foundation with Should We Talk About It. Everything sort of happened organically. I’m allowing it to take that organic route. And now with this podcast, I think it’s time to bring in a different perspective. So, my cohost, she is a mental health expert and has worked in the mental health space for ten years. So, it’s interesting to have the peer and expert perspective. It’s still that same sort of conversational attitude of, if we’re here to destigmatize and normalize and ask you to talk about your mental health, we know that we need to share our vulnerabilities and our stories first, and that’s what we’re really trying to do with the podcast. 

Claire: I was going to say, with you being 25 and landing that dream job pretty early and moving to New York City and having this sort of glamorous, from the outside seemingly glamorous, get-whatever-you-want trajectory, it is always so important to hear the other side of that. And I’m doing all this work on myself. And things haven’t been easy. And we never talked about this growing up. And my community is not accepting of this conversation around mental health and having both-and. That, yes, you can be successful. You can get what you want. You can land that assistant job. You can start from scratch on a new project, whatever the case may be, while still having these really hard things that you’re working on and having these insecurities. We talk about this quite a lot. Joy is a mental health therapist. She’s been in the field for decades. We have that similar dynamic of, I just am sort of here as the voice of I don’t really like my feelings. I would prefer to not dive into them. I don’t want to dig stuff up from my childhood. If it is buried, let it stay buried. I am functioning just fine. But then you do have those moments where you realize, okay, what you were talking about of having that first piece published where people started really coming out of the woodwork and identifying with it. It’s that moment of connection of, I thought I was the only one. I think it’s so awesome when you’re having those conversations around mental health is that, at least how I’ve experienced it, it goes both ways. You know that you’re creating that feeling of validation and connection for someone else, but it also helps you to feel like, I also feel like I’m not alone. It’s great to be able to do that in service to a community. But it also can be so encouraging for yourself too to realize, okay, this is something that is really going to get m somewhere. I have experienced this talking about postpartum depression where you kind of have this feeling of I feel like I owe it to other people to be the person who they can think, “If they can talk about it, then I can start talking about it.” 

Gaby: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think it’s so important to talk about, too. I’m the last person to ever be like, “Woe is me. Look at all my problems.” I’m the first person to check my privilege and understand that I had a leg up in certain situations. And it’s funny, whenever I hear people talk about when they go to where they are in their jobs and connections and this and that, it always comes from the dad’s side. For me, that was my mom. Both my parents and their families came here from Cuba with absolutely nothing, had to build what they had. My mom has worked her ass off to get to where she is and to make sure my sister and I have lived comfortable lives. I’m not shy to say my mom is the one that put me through private school and pay for my college. Because of her support, I was able to move to New York every summer and have unpaid internships. Which is also absurd, and that’s a whole separate conversation of the barrier to entry in these types of companies is ridiculous and starting salary at somewhere like Condé Nast is completely unlivable, and that just disqualifies an entire population of people. But by the same token, I think because I’ve had all of this lucky experiences, I feel like I do not give myself enough credit. That was something that I really learned at Hoffman was everything is truly relative, and that’s what I always try to talk about on my platform and Should We Talk About It. Everything is relative. To someone like me who I feel like I had a “pretty good” childhood. To be sitting in a room with people at Hoffman whose parents were addicts and abused them and passed way or whatever it was, these tragic stories that people had. No one in that room looked at me and was like, “Calm down, sweetie. Relax.” You know. Because everyone understands that I haven’t lived that experience. I’ve only lived my own experience. So, to me, this could feel like the end of the world. But to the person next to me, they gloss over it. I always try and emphasize, yes, understand how you got to where you are and check yourself when necessary. At the same time, I am going to stand up and say, no. I’m very smart, and I work my ass off. Yes, my mom helped me be able to have those unpaid internships. She didn’t know anyone in the industry that I was going into. Every single connection that I made was through a network that I built because I hustled and I stalked them on LinkedIn, and I kept in touch with all my old bosses. I worked my butt off, and I was a damn good assistant. And that’s why I have the connections that I have. I still work a ton and maintain those connections. I’m learning to give myself credit where credit is due because I think I allowed that privilege to then cancel out and negate everything else that I’ve worked for, if that makes sense. So, when I talk about mental health, I try and emphasize that too of like, everything is relative. You’re allowed to feel your feelings.

Claire: Yeah, we talk a lot about comparative suffering too. Of course, there’s always going to be someone out there that has it worse than you. Perception is reality. And where I feel like that phrase can feel a little belittling because it makes it seem like you’re just perceiving this. No, perception is reality. What I’m perceiving that I’m experiencing is what I’m experiencing. That’s my reality. And that perspective is important, yes. It’s always important to recognize other people have it harder. Things could be worse. But that doesn’t mean that what you’re going through is easy or that things aren’t hard. I think that that’s such an important perspective for us all to be reminded of. Especially women who I think really are so hard on ourselves to try to always push through that thing, not complain, not be the squeaky wheel, not be the one to speak up and say I’m having a hard time. Because you don’t want to be seen as being ungrateful or you don’t want to be seen as complaining or you don’t want to be seen as seeking attention, whatever that b.s. is. I think that what you’re describing around, hey, I know I’ve had it easier that some people, but things haven’t always been easy. And also, that doesn’t mean that it’s been a bed of roses this entire time. It doesn’t have to be either-or. It doesn’t have to be, oh my life’s been really hard and I’ve come up from the ashes. And it also doesn’t have to be, I’ve had a silver spoon this whole time. You know, everybody’s lives are a mix of those experiences. I think that it’s been really interesting to hear from your experience as somebody who – you know, I’m 33, Joy is 43. Most of our listeners are more in their 30’s and 40’s, kind of more of this like… what are we called now? Geriatric Millennials? I think that was the most recent headline. And the fact that I’m getting my social media news from LinkedIn probably tells you something about my life. And Joy I think is technically Gen X. It’s just interesting to hear that this conversation is still so relevant. Right now, especially. We’ve had this TikTok thing where we can’t part our hair on the sides anymore. It can feel very separate, this big distinction between the Gen Z. They’re just fighting tight the Millennials about all the things that we have to cancel or whatever. But to hear, no, we’re all still really going through this similar process. Not to turn this into an age thing, but it is still interesting to hear your perspective as someone who has gone through this past year really from a completely different lens than, like I have a family and was working from home. Joy is a therapist. She was still going into the office. For you to be somebody who your day-to-day life was really put on hold. You had to move back in with your mom, and now to have that big shift. But to hear the thought process and that mindset and awareness is still universal, it’s great to know that those conversations are still happening and continuing to happen at earlier and earlier ages.

Gaby: Absolutely. It’s so funny. First of all, I was born in ’96, which technically is in between Millennial and Gen Z, so I do not know how to identify. I feel like I pull from both, and that’s when I pick and choose and I get picky.

Claire: Zillennial, is that the thing? I don’t know, these are hashtags I get from LinkedIn, so don’t talk to me about being cool and knowing what’s up. 

Gaby: I love a LinkedIn influencer. I love it. Guys, don’t sleep on LinkedIn. It’s really great.

Claire: It’s pretty cool.

Gaby: But yeah, I don’t really know where to fall, but it is exciting for me to see the conversation just happening at least, in terms of mental health. Before, everything was just so stigmatized. And while these stigmas still exist, it’s why I am doing what I’m doing because they’re not gone. I think now what we’re facing aside from just stigma is everyone’s capitalizing on mental health. And that’s what we see now is brands just slapping a super tokenizing statement on a hoodie and selling it for $130. That’s not helping literally anyone. Or people not having trauma-informed people on their teams or licensed therapists on their team and they’re sending out deeply triggering messages to people. Or just posting sharable infographics that help no one and could actually be really triggering to someone. That’s something that my cohost Meadow and I always talk about. She’s not licensed, but she is trained. One of the companies that she works for, they have a hotline that the do. So, Meadow runs a hotline for them. So, she’s at least trauma-informed in that way. She still always points people in the direction of therapists and licensed professionals I should say. And now, we see, because people are talking about it, big businesses – they just see a dollar sign now. My friends and I always joke, “Self-care isn’t a face mask.” Even though the act of putting on the face mask can be your way of taking care of yourself that day. Your skin routine, you identify it as self-care. The actual $40 face mask is not healing your trauma from your childhood. Let’s not ignore it. Let’s actually unpack it and then maybe use that time to take a deep breath after you’ve done all the work and unpacked it.

Claire: So, you’re in LA now. When did you know that you were ready to leave Miami? Was it just kind of when the pandemic started slowing down? Did something push you to LA?

Gaby: So, I actually always wanted to come out here. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always seen myself out here. I have family out here. My older half-brother – complex family tree over here – he has lived here for I think the past 20 years. So, I grew up being able to visit him. Something about LA always just called to me. When I was graduating from college, I actually wanted to move out here but knew that it wasn’t realistic for the career path I wanted to take. I knew New York had to be step one. It’s funny, my mentor at the time told me, getting a job in what you want to do in New York is one obstacle. Getting a job in what you want to do in LA is two. Don’t do it. That just stuck in my brain. I knew I wanted to come here. I just honestly thought it would happen in my 30’s. I thought it would happen when I was “established enough” and climbed up the Condé Nast ladder enough and I’d be able to go out on my own and do my own thing and be here. But the decision I think to leave AD and the decision to leave New York were hand in hand. Because once I made that choice and I made the choice that I didn’t want to get another full-time role at a magazine from Condé Nast, I was like, okay, there’s no point in me going back. I’ve also never been someone who’s really glamorized New York or romanticized it. I was like, I’m here to work. I love the hustle. I love the energy. I love that everybody there is working so hard, just as you are, and you all understand each other on this weird level because everyone’s stressed out all the time. But I was like, I’m living in a tiny apartment. I’m being paid no money. Everything is really expensive, and I’m really anxious every day on the subway. I’d rather not. So going back to Miami was sort of the reset that I needed. It really hit me how much I’d missed just space. Once I resigned, I was like, okay, my lease is up. I’m going to move everything out. When the time is right, once I’ve made enough money from freelancing in the beginning and saved enough – because that was another great thing and privilege that I had was I got to be home during the pandemic. I wasn’t spending any money. So, I saved all of that and was able to come out here and just start a new life I feel like.

Claire: With these new projects that you’re working on, being in LA, does that really feel like the location is going to help you get that off the ground? Does it just feel serendipitous that all of these new beginnings are coming together, or do you feel like LA is where I need to be for X, Y, Z reasons?

Gaby: I think all of the above. I think just in terms of the landscape, I think LA has always been my speed that way. You have the mountains, but you also have the ocean. You have space. I have a car here. A car brings me so much safety. Just knowing that I have my own space to get from Point A to Point B just makes me feel a lot calmer. But in terms of career, since I’ve moved here so many things have been put into motion so much quicker. I think that has to do with the type of place LA is, and I think it also has to do with my networking style where I definitely find people that I want to connect with and go for it and shoot my shot and do all those things. I talk to a lot of people who are graduating from school and are trying to get their first job, and that’s always what I tell them. LinkedIn, network. Instagram, network is the best thing to do. What I love about the energy here is that it really allows you to create your own path and pave your own road, and nobody looks at you funny when you’re doing it. You don’t have to explain it a hundred times. You tell them, “I’m a freelance writer who talks about mental health and wants to help people in that world, and I’m still figuring out if I want to start a company” and this, this, and that. “Oh great, good for you.” No one’s like, “What’s your return on that?” They trust that you can figure it out and you can pave your own road because that’s kind of what everyone else is doing too. So, it really has inspired me to work harder and to also believe in myself in a way that I didn’t because a lot of my friends here that are around my age or even younger are so successful at what they do at such a young age, it really reminds me that I can get things done very young. And that’s okay. Just because I haven’t reached a certain milestone in terms of years that I don’t know well enough to know what I’m doing and to make the right decisions now.

Claire: And honestly, not to be like, I’m so much older and wiser than you. But I’m in my 30’s. Joy’s in her 40’s. Age-based self-doubt never goes away. It just changes. You go directly from “I’m too young to do this” to “I’m too old to not have started this already.” There’s no in between. And maybe there’s some of you out there who are like, “That’s not true. I woke up one morning and was like, I have arrived at the age where I can achieve.” But I think really, you go straight from “I’m too young. No one’s going to take me seriously” to “I’m too old to know what’s going on and no one’s going to take me seriously.”

Gaby: I was talking about it with a friend of mine who’s 22, and she was telling me – she is so successful, period. And then being so successful at 22 is a whole other thing. She always tells me, “I never tell people my age because they don’t take me seriously.” I’m like, that’s so funny because before, I used to love that people knew that I was 24 when I was still 24. Because the reaction was, “Oh my God, you’re only 24 and you’ve done so much.” It was that reaction. And now that I’m 25 – and I’ve literally been 25 for about a week – what’s hit me is this feeling of –

Claire: You’re not so young anymore.

Gaby: Is it exciting? Am I still young? Do I qualify at that? Or am I just in this weird in between? I was talking about it the other day with a friend. Do you remember being in high school and being s sophomore in high school? No one cares about you when you’re a sophomore. You’re the irrelevant age. That’s how I feel right now.

Claire: That’s so funny. Maybe when you eventually get older and you become like Iris Apfel status where you’re just so iconic. When do you go from just being middle aged to being icon age? That’s the age I want to be. 

Gaby: Just doing whatever you want, and no one can say anything.

Claire: Yeah. Which maybe that’s every age and we just need to stop worrying about it.

Gaby: I think what it is, especially as women, we’re just told so many things all the time. We’re always told to calm down and relax and that we have to juggle 400 things at once and be moms and have natural birth and then also have a full-time job, obviously things that you can speak to but I cannot, but hope to one day. But yeah, I think that we need to step into our light more at any age. I talk to my guy friends.

Claire: This does not affect them at all.

Gaby: No. A friend of mine has been trying to negotiate a new role for himself at this company for about a year. He always sends me his emails to proofread, which is hilarious, and I love and I’m grateful that I’m that friend. But his emails are so wildly assertive that I get heartburn reading them. I would never send this. He’s like, “Gaby, you need to stand up for yourself.” I’m like, you never had someone knock you down 400 pegs and tell you to calm down and that you don’t deserve to be in a room. I was appalled at his emails. And he sent them and is getting that promotion.

Claire: And is getting it. Yes. One thousand percent. I have been talking about this with some coworkers. They’re like, “Do I go for this promotion? What do I do?” I’m like, “Listen. The men that I know would never think for two seconds – oh well…” I feel like there was a statistic that came out about this where women wait until they’re 90% qualified for a job listing before applying. Men will do it after like 30%. They read the first three, and they’re like, “Bachelor’s degree, 2-5 years’ experience.” You’re like, “But you’re an engineer. This is for design.” They’re like, “I don’t care. 2-5 years of experience.” Women don’t think that way, and we just need to.

Gaby: We have to. My sister is 28, and she’s in a role that she’s been told a million times she’s too young for. She told me when she was applying, she was so nervous about it. I was like, “You’re going to get the job. You’re going to get it. You’re so absurdly qualified that this is a no brainer.” Her mentor told her, “You just have to start acting like a man.” Start thinking like a man. Because no guy in your position would think, “Am I qualified enough? Are people going to take me seriously?” They just wouldn’t. It would never cross their mind because they never have heard those things before. So, they’re not conditioned to think anything else. 

Claire: Exactly. There’s no voice in the back of their head because they’ve never had that… and they’ve never heard… have you seen Mean Girls?

Gaby: yes.

Claire: Okay, thank God. I didn’t want to assume. You know when they’re standing in front of the mirror and she’s like, “I used to think there’s only fat and skinny, but now I know there’s all these things that can be wrong with you.” That’s sort of how I sometimes feel and definitely felt when I was younger when I would hear people say, “Oh yeah, and then I overcame this self-doubt about X, Y, Z.” I was like, oh my God, we’re supposed to be doubting that? Okay, I guess I’ll start self-doubting that then. Then on the flip side, you see someone out there. And we talk about this a lot when it comes to body image things. When you see someone walking around with their stretch marks, with their belly hanging out, with their pale skin, with their unibrow, whatever the case may be, and they are not walking around being like, “I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway.” They just don’t even mention it. It just doesn’t even register. And you’re like, oh. Do I have permission to not care about this? Then I guess if that person’s not even noticing it about themselves, then I guess I’m going to stop worrying about it on myself too. I feel like it’s the same way with those imposter syndrome, self-doubt feelings. If you see someone else out there who’s just going for it, it gives you permission to be like, if they’re not worried about coming across as being too outspoken in a meeting or if they’re not worried about coming across as being attention seeking by going for the promotion, then maybe that means I don’t have to worry about that either. 

Gaby: Exactly. I believe it was Ashely Graham. You know, Ashely Graham, the super model? Gosh, I want to say it was her. I know I was listening to her, but I hope that she said this and I’m not just making this up in my head. But I’m pretty sure I remember an interview of hers where she was talking about not enjoying when people call her a plus size model because she’s like, “I’m just a model. You’re pointing it out. I’m just a model. I’m a super model. I do the same thing the girl next to me is doing.” It’s exactly what you said of pointing out the “flaw,” but then we’re like, “I didn’t even notice. Let me add that to my list of insecurities. Thank you so much,” because the world hasn’t already done enough.

Claire: Yeah. Like the new conversation lately where it’s like, don’t call me “she-EO,” don’t call me a “mom-preneur.” Call me the owner and founder of this business. Call me entrepreneur. Call me the founder. Call me a CEO. I’m not a female founder. I’m a founder. Don’t call me the whatever X, Y, Z. Don’t qualify it. Don’t take me out of default. I read something recently that I loved that was like, if we could get away from centering men, then it would be the National Basketball Association and the Men’s National Basketball Association. It would the National Hockey League and the Men’s National Hockey League. Instead of the WNBA, the WNHL. If you didn’t make it so that it was the default we all understood to be the men’s league and then you also had the women’s version. What if we all understood the default to be the women’s version and then you had the men’s version. If reading this or thinking about this made you uncomfortable or blew your mind, think about why that may be. It’s so automatic for you to center men in that experience that it feels like writing with your opposite hand to think about the women’s version being the default. The thought experiments are endless.

Gaby: Yes, definitely. And then thinking about it, too, I grew up with a mom who is an entrepreneur. She was the only woman in every room that she was in. It’s very, very interesting to watch the way that she runs her company and watch what an emphasis she places on hiring other women. But also, just the reputation that she has in Miami. She’s a shark. She can be a bitch. It’s this narrative that you wouldn’t say about a man. You’d be like, he’s a beast. He’s such a baller, good for him. You would never ever deem anything else, but she feels as though she has to put on this persona because if not, she’s not taken seriously. Which is just so unfortunate.

Claire: Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see generationally how that changes, if it changes. I think there’s still so much resistance. And I also think it does come down to the women in those positions kind of owning it and saying I don’t want to be a “she-EO” or whatever the case may be. But for a lot of women, that makes it feel more comfortable. I am able to be more comfortable with my success if it’s a little bit qualified.

Gaby: Yeah, definitely.

Claire: Because that’s the role that I filled. On the flip side, why not emphasize that you’re a woman in that role? Why not lead with that? I think that’s valid too if that’s what feels true to you. But yeah, I think it will be really interesting to see how that changes. And then of course we’re going to have the whole fallout from the pandemic with so many women leaving the workforce. That’s it’s whole other podcast episode.

Gaby: Gosh, yes. I’m actually very curious to see the numbers after we’re able to really study this from a different perspective, about how many men who were unfortunately laid off ended up staying stay-at-home dads, versus women.

Claire: Right, versus women who had to leave their jobs –

Gaby: To take care of their children, so that their kid could literally continue an education.

Claire: Yeah. My husband’s a nurse. He was working on a COVID unit. I was working from home. I work in marketing. We were lucky enough to have an au pair who had moved into our house in January 2020. And that was just an amazing freak situation we found ourselves with. If we had not had that, I would have had to quit my job to watch the kids.

Gaby: Right, because what else are you supposed to do?

Claire: Right. He’s not working from home. He’s going to the hospital every day. He’s taking extra shifts. He’s working overtime. He’s working in other hospitals. And I’m here trying to be on meeting with my, half the time, one year old. It’s just, yeah. It’ll be really interesting to see in the coming years how things weave themselves back together. 

Gaby: And then you’re also in a position where your husband did actually save lives.

Claire: I mean, ours is a little bit of an extreme. He was on the frontlines doing the thing. But even if for whatever reason, I feel like women are the default for so many things.

Gaby: Absolutely.

Claire: So, I want to be respectful of your time. I know we’re coming up here on an hour. I want to hear a little bit more about your podcast that’s in development. If you want to talk a little bit more about what you’re excited about around that podcast. I know you’ve talked a little bit about your cohost, Meadow, which I love that her name is Meadow. That’s so LA. I don’t even know if she lives in LA, but I’m projecting that on her.

Gaby: San Diego, but yes.

Claire: California. What are you guys kicking off with?

Gaby: Yeah. So, we haven’t announced the actual date yet because you never know when things will be happening. But mid-June 2021 is what we’re going with as of right now. We’re both really excited about it. I’m just excited to continue to have these conversations on a regular basis. Honestly selfishly it’s so fun to get to hear other people’s experiences and meet all these incredible women and people in general. I always said that with Should We Talk About It, I just respected every single person that came on the show so much, and I’m going to feel the same with anyone who comes on the podcast. I’m going to have such a deep respect for them because they’re opening up in a way that they’re not used to, and that’s very different for them. Anyone who is taking time out of their day to talk about themselves in a different light, I’m just appreciative of. I’m very excited about that, and I’m very excited to learn from Meadow as well and become more well-versed in actually providing helpful solutions. I think that’s the number one thing that I’m always trying to do is, yeah, it’s nice to have conversations and to humanize us. And while I do think highlighting that invisible thing that connects us all that’s our mental health is deeply important, it’s also – you know, we were talking a lot about privilege in today’s conversation. That is always sort of at the forefront. Allowing mental health to become way more accessible. It’s heartbreaking that taking care of mental health is still a privilege. And while it shouldn’t be, it still is. I can’t say that me getting to go to therapy at noon on a Wednesday is common. When a single mom taking care of her kids and having to put food on the table and still going to work, a smoke break might literally be her self-care. It might be her form of taking care of her mental health. So that’s what I’m excited about with the podcast. Continuing the conversation, and continuing to hopefully provide helpful resources to people, and to continue to destigmatize this narrative and encourage people to take care of their minds. Because their mental health really does trickle into every other aspect to our lives. How are we going to be good parents, how are we going to be good partners, how are we going to perform well at work if up here mentally we’re not clicked in, we’re not doing great? So, I always just try to remind people in my personal life and now at the podcast that we’ve got to tap into that first because it trickles down into everything.

Claire: And where can people find you and eventually your podcast?

Gaby: So, people can find me on Instagram. I’m @gabyuloa_, and you can find the podcast at @thoughtsmayvarypod. It will also be linked in my bio on my personal page, should you be confused.

Claire: Awesome. And we will add your personal Instagram to the show notes. And then when your podcast is ready, let our listeners know about it. Our listeners know that if you have any questions ever about seeking out mental health, please just email us as Joy, as you all know, is a licensed mental health therapist. She is happy to help you find or navigate that system. We have a highlight on our Instagram called “Therapy,” which just highlights some very, very basics if you are looking for a new therapist, how to get started, how to look at different pricing options, how to find low-cost options if you don’t have insurance. So, check that out. Always email us. We are always more than happy to help. If you have ever emailed us in the past and we haven’t gotten back to you, as we say all the time, please feel free to reach back out. Gaby, I’m really excited to hear that you guys are starting this podcast, entering this space, and going to be encouraging people, and spreading stories of different mental health experiences. I think that’s so important. I’m really grateful that you took the time today to be on the show. Thank you so much.

Gaby: Thank you so much for having me. This was great.

Claire: And listeners, you can find us at @joyandclaire_ on Instagram. Email us at We will talk to you next week.