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The NonProphet Podcast
170 minutes | Jan 21, 2022
# 183 — Steve CV19
One month before the NonProphet crew got COVID our friend Steve was deep in it. After being hospitalized his illness progressed to the point that End Of Life discussions were held with his advocates. He came through an experience that was different than ours and learned some interesting and useful lessons so we decided to talk about it. One of the first topics to arise was that of self-responsibility, which begins with awareness, an accurate assessment of one's current condition, and most importantly in this case, a strong personal desire to live. Medical personnel cannot make you want to survive, that must come from within and if you can't muster the will to live through a few weeks in the hospital (and all that ensues) you might not. We also addressed the fact that it is really difficult to know what to do, and how to behave to remain healthy enough to avoid the hospital. We should have plenty of data and experience after two years of the virus circulating but attempts to collect and clarify the data are seen as efforts to minimize the threat — these are not the same thing. The only deliverable we have been offered after all those months is, "Get vaccinated." Surely this is not the best that the human species can come up with. Data collection and analysis on an individual level is made more difficult by lockdowns. The more isolated we are the more we depend on technology, and the less accustomed to actual face-to-face social interaction we are. This allows whatever information that is permitted on various tech platforms to become authoritative declaration with little possibility for discussion and examination. And so isolated, the recipient of such information is even less able to critically assess it because people with whom they might discuss it aren't in close proximity, or have been washed down their own rabbit holes. We spoke briefly about mandates and concluded that it is difficult to message properly (as policy) to people who aren’t receptive to it. We asked, "how do we tune the listeners to be more open and receptive?" but had no immediate answers although we did realize the difference between tricking people into changing their behavior and making them do so is that the latter causes resistance, while the former may not. Government too often resorts first to "make", i.e. coercion, rather than exploring the more difficult task of incentivizing citizens toward the behavior they believe best. Perhaps lives were saved by these measures but were lives improved? It's a good question to ask.Finally, during the third hour we actually talk about fitness, and how to program one's post-COVID recovery, which was distinctly lacking in the hospital discharge papers — and everywhere else on the internet, except here: https://www.nonprophet.media/journal/covid-recovery
196 minutes | Dec 24, 2021
# 182 — Stacy and RC
We recorded this conversation back in October before London got sick and we were overtaken by events.Stacy and RC Townsend join Blair and Mark to talk about art and photography and life. Stacy and RC Townsend join Blair and Mark to talk about art and photography and life. Stacy is a designer, photographer, and jewelry-maker while RC is currently (f)unemployed. We discuss the importance of mentors, people who believe in you, as well as the value of those who don't — because you need someone to tell you that you can't before saying, "I'll show you." Blair describes how heart is the source of art, and our human tendency to seek validation and then deal with criticism after putting art/heart out to the world.In a random rabbit hole, Mark talks about his first trip to the Himalayas (an experience founded in insecurity while his partner, Jeff Lowe, had a different experience, one founded in absolute confidence). Climbing may appear to be very different from art but at the source our motivations and drivers are human, and therefore similar. We talk about the craft of writing, how difficult it is, and also, on some days, how it flows. And to get over the hesitation about the words being good enough Blair advises, "Just vomit the words and press 'Share'". Shortly thereafter, she assures Mark that there is still time for him to become a romance novelist ... instead, he invents the Romance Zine ... aka the 11-page romance novel. Finally, the conversation turns to Stacy's unusual anti-marketing marketing; her website has been under construction for six years and she has made seven total social media posts yet she enjoys a full plate of work based solely on word of mouth and satisfied clients. This is pretty wild in an era where it seems like folks spend more time marketing than they spend making or creating."Full Send wherever you are." Links to chase in this convo:commonform.cotownsendcollective.comblairspeedcreative.com
123 minutes | Dec 10, 2021
# 181 — London Forever
On November 19th Erin and Michael lost their 13-year old daughter, London, to a rare disease (HLH). It was an intense fight and escalated faster than anyone could cognitively understand. One of our practices is to be open and honest about our process and how we work influences how we live. This is the start of that conversation, of realizing your worst fear and stepping up to confront all that comes with grief, pain, loss, and love.
166 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
# 180 — James
Our conversation with James (NLN) kicks off with the topic of Afghanistan and the US exit therefrom, regarding which he quips, "If you wait until the last minute it only takes a minute." Deeper in we discuss the benefits and problems that come from youthful (and adult) insecurity, and how the threat you are preparing yourself for might not be the one you confront. And speaking of illness, we talk through cancer, treatment compliance, smokers outside the cancer ward, and take a brief look at the Why of longevity. Over the course of the discussion we address the potential benefits of trauma and its ability to fix chronic stress, the failure of Box Breathing to address the stagnant weight of bureaucracy, and the notion that chronic pain makes you a shitty person. Finally, for the sake of positivity we chat about which shape or form the apocalypse will take ... "If the point of manipulating you is for personal advantage that's evil but if the point of manipulating you is for your own good that's called leadership."
115 minutes | Oct 31, 2021
179 — We Got The VID
Some might consider this episode bombastic and cancel-worthy but we believe it to be informative with moments of hilarity. Erin and Blair join Michael and Mark to discuss their experiences with COVID-19, aka "The Wuhan COOF", which all of us had, shared, and — shockingly — survived. We chat about the variety of symptoms each experienced, non-standard treatments undertaken while under its influence, and talk over some ideas about how to return to physical activity and training, as well as, of course, the foods we craved and which TV shows and movies got us through. #campcovid
141 minutes | Oct 14, 2021
# 178 — Broken Joe
Joe Holmes cements the title of "most frequent guest" on the podcast. He stopped by on his way home from Europe where he was directing a junior development cycling team through races in Belgium, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, as well as directing the national junior squad at the World Championships. Along the way he piloted the team car with a US Ambassador on board, drank fine wine, crashed a bike, took his first helicopter ride, and helped some racers bring home a little hardware.
135 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
# 177 — Slim Fast with Burkey
Burkey returns for his sixth episode burdened with a little case of "empathy fatigue", i.e. when you exhaust your capacity to tolerate minor inconveniences. We had no useful advice or sympathy for him but did briefly discuss which affects us more, the virus itself or fear of it, and how one goes about vetting information should s/he refuse to take it at face value. After highlighting the difference between asking for permission and asking for information, which is an important distinction and one we are rarely able to self-monitor, Burkey accurately described 2020 by declaring, "it's about power, they need to do it willingly." A discussion about the NXIVM cult leads to comparisons with the federal government ... I mean, why wouldn't it? Because, when someone else — someone in a leadership position, elected, self-appointed or otherwise — tells you what is information and what is misinformation, well, then you don't have to bother thinking for yourself. Wait, this podcast MUST be disinformation because we are encouraging you to think for yourself. When the conversation finally turns to diet, Michael declares that it has nothing to do with science, that it is unknown and unknowable ... as mysterious as religion or the universe itself and yet, people "know enough to be ashamed" (of their behavior) but clearly don't care because, "they still drink SlimFast™." Rabbit holes in this episode include Australia, the War on Drugs, marketing and shitty incentives, decision-fatigue, censorship, and raw milk.
82 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
# 176 — Another Perspective
Michael joins Erin and Elodie Guegan to discuss their perspective on athletic training for females and their own journeys through the process of discovering, pursuing, and ultimately growing from their participation in sport.
85 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
# 175 — Endurance is Love
Nine months before we published the NonProphet Endurance Manual Michael and Mark sat down with George Briones to discuss which aspects of endurance are important, how to present them coherently, and how to tune the language of fitness to communicate about this particular characteristic. The conversation wasn't intended to be a podcast but instead a forum to explore ideas and refer back to while writing the manual. This was recorded in March 2020 but/and remains relevant because the lessons are timeless and universal. So now it's a podcast episode.
112 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
# 174 — Quit, Don't Quit
A few weeks back, Michael sat down with Tyr, Nichole, and Trevor from Black Rifle Coffee to discuss the valuable lessons surrounding the public’s reaction to Olympic athlete Simone Biles' voluntary withdrawal from the women’s individual gymnastics event. The importance of this — however trivial it seems — sparks something deeper, something primal and ancient to human nature, which is why the reaction was worth discussing. “Quit or Don’t Quit” is a fundamental question marking an intersection that each of us will have to acknowledge, and yet there are few honest conversations about it.
178 minutes | Aug 8, 2021
# 173 — Rob and Mitchell
Rob is prior-military, now working in the civilian sector, and his son, Mitchell has just been commissioned as an officer after graduating from Army ROTC. Our conversation rambles over many topics, starting with, "What should I be reading?", and touching on language, fitness, tools and appropriate use of them, and Rob's experience of joining the infantry after graduate school in the post-Cold War era, among other things. It was fun to chat with an intelligent, inquisitive, and thoughtful 22 year-old who has chosen the path of service instead of a corporate career in the private sector.
60 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
# 172 — Scholarship
Michael and Mark speak about the upcoming NonProphet Symposium, the importance of environment (again), skills as tools, tools themselves, scholarship requirements and applications to attend the Symposium as our guest. The topic of diet and specifically a "primal diet" rears its head, but they don't ever really talk about fitness.
127 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
# 171 — Julia Gumpert and Blair Speed
Julia Gumpert, who appeared on Ep. 122 joins Mark and Blair Speed (Ep. 154) to discuss all things to do with endurance and love. To break the ice Julia talks about living in the south and seeking self-image in the external, specifically ancestry, her history and connection with land, and the stubbornness required to work it. She and Blair discuss the unique strength of women, love at first sight, marriage, being a military spouse, the languages of love, miscarriage and walking with grief. Together they explore their relationships with death, surviving, enduring, endurance as an expression of love, and that love is a hard thing we must constantly work to keep alive and vibrant. Two declarations stand out, "You can’t truly endure something until you know why you do it and where you’re going,” and perhaps more interesting, "When you stop trying to control everything then you can experience everything." The lesson of letting go is orbiting NonProphet lately and sooner or later someone is going to hear and heed it. Social media handles for folks related to this episode: @juliagumpert@blairspeed@gbriones_3@_nonprophet_@gritandteeth@wfmft (on VERO)
112 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
# 170 — Boston and Greyson Gilbert
Owner/Operator of Honeybeard protein, Boston and his brother Greyson Gilbert drove through SLC after completing a run event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They sit down with Michael and Erin to recount the harrowing story of losing their father—an F16 fighter pilot—to a conflict in Iraq where he paid the ultimate price protecting a downed helicopter from a botched SOF mission. They share their experience of healing from a seemingly unending tragedy, and the lessons that effort, and hardship provide when a father figure isn’t there to instill them.
177 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
# 169 — SF Derek
Mark and Michael sit down with Derek to discuss risk, backcountry skiing, cortisol response, IEDs, getting blown up overseas, how great V-hull, sloped armor faces are, combat-related PTSD, counseling, and the utility of discussion and EMDR to treat and assimilate the aftermath of acute traumatic events, as well as the power of small group, honest, open conversation, expressing vulnerability, and the self-awareness required to remain (relatively) safe in high-risk situations. Eventually they discuss National Guard involvement during protests at Lafayette Park in Washington DC and what might be learned from that and similar events if civil, open discussion were possible in this era. Towards the end they talk over the practice of physical training — as a vehicle to tune one's psychology and emotion — and agree that doing so appears fix everything.
69 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
# 168 — America Now
Michael and Mark review some recent events, discuss how our reliance on technology has placed unelected people (and algorithms) into positions of "leadership". As in, your vote doesn't matter because the fifth column is filtering what you see and shaping what you think you know in order to steer your behavior in a direction favorable to them. If they can get you to spend hard-earned money they can surely get you to misplace your political affiliation. As tempting as that topic was discussion shifted to over- or under-population, the relationship of population to climate change, and how easily we substitute socially acceptable causes and cofactors for the delicate and difficult-to-confront (potentially) real causes of certain problems. On a more positive note, Mark waxes eloquent and positive about Mike Rowe and his push to support the necessary and technical skills and jobs that once formed (and should still) the bulwark of our nation. In the closing minutes the new direction for the NonProphet business model is discussed, featuring an early offer for podcast listeners only to "get in on the ground level", or is it the top level ... whatever, the marketing department will figure it out.
211 minutes | May 27, 2021
# 167 — Zack Snyder
I could write words to tempt you to listen to the words we shared but why not just click the “Play” button? Honor the words and the work. Or read the “Why” of it here. Process > Product
30 minutes | May 21, 2021
# 166 — Thirty Minutes To Nowhere
We had thirty minutes so we made some noise about labor, real estate, investment, and COVID. To call it conversation would be a stretch but it was all we had at the time.
94 minutes | May 6, 2021
# 165 — Mistakes
Michael and Mark begin this conversation with a joke on the topic of mistakes, and wind towards a serious conclusion 90 minutes later. It may be said that, the most beautiful forms of creation are mistakes ... or can be, but also might not be, and the underlying lessons that may be learned are often hidden by the symptom or example the mistake itself produced.
113 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
# 164 — Burkey and Thurk
Michael and Mark are joined by returning guests, Burkey and Thurk. The wide-ranging conversation starts by visiting topics of disease, parenting, comedy and misunderstanding, and how some comedians can get away with saying almost anything. They address the focus on "negative" news in the media, how it shapes our perception of reality — and ripens us for targeted advertising, and that begged the question of whether the future will be better or not. Burkey made the distinction that government is people, not an amorphous blob designed to evade responsibility, and if the world is sometimes heartbreaking, one of the reasons is that people are making heartbreaking decisions about policy that affect the world, and the people in it. And that lead to a discussion of mandatory vs. ranked choice voting. The conversation eventually turns to language, its limitations, and our misuse or too-casual use of it, which can lead to misunderstanding.
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