Ryan Berman talks to thought leaders from around the globe in business, sports and entertainment to uncover what it means to be courageous in today's world.
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Emma Lovewell – Author of Live Learn Love Well
You can’t hate yourself into change. You must love yourself into greatness. Star Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell’s journey to success began with a simple realization: Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. As of this week, Emma isn’t just the founder of Live Learn Lovewell, an Under Armour athlete, or an all-around wellness expert — she’s also now an author.
In this episode, Ryan and Emma dive into her new book. Conversations run the gamut including her relationship with her family, her fellow Peloton instructors and her fans. Emma also touches on how she honed her storytelling skills through her Peloton classes, which ultimately helped her to become a stronger author. Emma also speaks on why she usually opts for the scarier situation when she has a choice, using these moments to learn and grow instead of remaining stagnant.
Ryan Berman 0:00
This is a show about facing fear, unlocking courage, and taking action.
Speaker 2 (Female) 0:05
Courage isn't necessarily a daunting thing.
Speaker 3 (Male) 0:07
It's going to give you more purpose, it's going to give you more drive.
Speaker 4 (Male) 0:10
It feels like making a courageous decision is going to get you closer to who you aspire to be.
Ryan Berman 0:14
It’s knowledge, plus faith, plus action equals courage.
Emma Lovewell 0:18
Courage is really just like taking a chance on yourself and believing that you can make it happen, that you have the strength to get it done because we have so much self-doubt. Take the chance on yourself that your body and your mind can get you there.
(Intro Music 0:35-0:42)
Ryan Berman 0:43
All right, confession to make. Since the pandemic, I have had multiple trainers coming to my house, and they have been summoned by me at the push of a button. And no, they're not like actually waiting there at my house, but through the screen found on my Peloton. And today, one of those trainers, and to be honest, the one trainer that -- you inspired me, Emma, you got your shit together, you keep me on the straight and narrow, which I think you'd appreciate too -- is the one who I've been riding with. I'd say, probably even five days a week, 40 to 60% of my time, I'm going to my guest. And it's a colossal week for you as your memoir is now out. Congratulations. And I'm joined by Emma Lovewell, how's it going?
Emma Lovewell 1:29
Good. Thank you so much for having me, Ryan.
Ryan Berman 1:32
Thanks for coming on. All right. So look, I figured it's not really fair, especially this week for you because you're going on lots of… I'm sure you're going on the roadshow. And you get put on these podcasts, and maybe you know a little bit about the people, but you probably don't. And this isn't about me, but I don't want this to be an interview, I want this to be a conversation. So, here's the one minute on me. Soccer and lacrosse player, non-gardener, mediocre meditator, I've never won or entered a lip sync contest. I have done the third-floor walk-up in his village, and we're going to talk about that. Boy, those were the fun days. You've toured with the circus, I am one of the only people outside the Ringling Brothers family who has actually named a circus. True story.
Emma Lovewell 2:27
Ryan Berman 2:28
Emma Lovewell 2:30
Well, we can talk about that. You've written a book. You've written a book.
Ryan Berman 2:33
I have written a book, we’ve both written the book.
Emma Lovewell 2:37
There you go.
Ryan Berman 2:40
And then, I was in the room when the team that came up with ‘the most interesting man in the world,’ came up with ‘the most interesting man in the world,’ which, most people don't know, he's a Jewish guy from Long Island. True story.
Emma Lovewell 2:49
Ryan Berman 2:52
I was wondering if you're going to put that in the book, you left that part out, you just left that…
Emma Lovewell 2:54
Well, I didn't want to like… Just in case they were super fans, I didn’t want to ruin his image completely.
Ryan Berman 3:02
And let's see, where should I end, I also spent many weekends in Tompkins Square Park playing basketball over there. And gratefully, never got stabbed, which is a huge accomplishment, if you know what I mean about Tompkins Square Park. So, we do have a lot in common. And I also know that, clearly, I've read the book fully through, it's a great book, it's a cool story. I'm really curious to start for what can of worms for you came out of writing the book? Was there something that like, “Oh, shoot. Well, I haven't thought about that in a long time and I have come a long way since that moment”? Let's start there.
Emma Lovewell 3:48
Oh, yeah. I think writing a book is kind of like going to therapy. I spent a year and a half going back and thinking about all of these stories. Calling my parents and being like, “Hey, how do you remember this?” Having really honest conversations with my dad, my mom. Showing some of the copy to my mom and being like, “Is it okay if I write this,” and seeing the look on her face after she read an excerpt about her divorce, for example, it was cathartic. But yeah, I have come so far. Reminiscing on all the many jobs and terrible apartments I've had living in New York, it's really fun and emotional, for sure.
Ryan Berman 4:31
My cousin and I used to play a game in our apartment called ‘Kitchen or the rest.’
So, he lived in Brooklyn, and he would stay on my couch, and the deal was, if you stay, we're going to play video games, this was a long time ago. Whoever wins gets to decide if they want to clean the kitchen or the rest. You never wanted the kitchen, you never wanted the dishes in the sink. Do you see it that way too?
Emma Lovewell 4:54
No, I had a lot of guy roommates too, and I have this memory too of this one of my roommates, he always left stuff in the sink, dishes in the sink constantly. I tried to be direct, I’m pretty straightforward, and he just kept leaving them. And this is when everybody's on Facebook, I remember one day, I just took a photo of the sink with all the dishes on it and I posted it on his Facebook page. And I didn't say anything, I just posted. And then, he didn't say anything to me. And then, the next day, he posted a picture of a clean sink on my Facebook page. And that was our passive-aggressive way of communicating.
Ryan Berman 5:32
You guys are great communicators. Like, “post.” He got the message, he got the message for sure. All right. So, I felt like my lots of favorite little moments in the book. It was really interesting to learn about your family dynamic. Selfishly, the line that landed with me, and I think this says a lot about me is, “You can't hate yourself into change, you must love yourself into greatness.” And that's so hard to do. When did that ‘aha’ moment happen for you? Or is it something that, like, “I feel like I have to tell myself things like that always almost as reminders because we're human, and we're messy, and things aren't so simple?” How did you come to this conclusion?
Emma Lovewell 6:23
Actually, one of the ways that I started really focusing and emphasizing the thought that I have to like myself, I have to have a good relationship with myself, was going through a breakup in my early 20s. I was dating a guy that didn't like me that much, I probably didn't even like that much in reality. But I remember my roommate at the time was like, “You're upset way more than you're happy with this guy.” I was like, “Man, thank you for telling me that because that's not how a relationship should be. I shouldn't be 60% of the time upset.” And so, I was like, “I'm going to break up with him just because it's not going well.” I still was in love, and obsessed, and had strong feelings, but I was like, “I'm going to break up with him out of respect for myself.” And I remember doing it, and then, just being like, “Wow, I'm going to have so many relationships, they're going to come and go, but I get to live with myself. And I like myself. And that's awesome because this guy kind of sucked and there are going to be other shitty people in my life. But, man, if I can be okay with me, I get to live with myself. And I'm so lucky that I can do that.” And I just remember that being an ‘aha’ moment for me that's like, “Man, if I can always feel that way about myself, then people can come and go constantly.” And I just think that that kind of mentality of just like, ‘you're on your team,’ like, ‘you should be your biggest advocate’ has helped me in so many ways.
Ryan Berman 7:56
So, for my work, I get to do a lot of keynotes. And so, one thing I talk about is how, Jerry Maguire, great movie, right? Do we agree it's a great movie?
Emma Lovewell 8:08
Ryan Berman 8:10
Three great lines, three hero lines in that movie, “Show me the money,” and no issues there. You have [Inaudible 8:16]” Like, I can feel the goosebumps. And, “You complete me.” And I think ‘You complete me’ completely screwed up our generation. I don't believe in ‘you complete me,’ I believe in ‘me complete me.’
Emma Lovewell 8:31
Yes, right. That’s true.
Ryan Berman 8:32
I love my wife, she loves me. But we complement each other. And the more we compromise, the more compromised we are. And that moment of like, “Oh my God, I have to love myself first,” I think there's the amount of self-awareness you have to get to self-care and get to self-love. One of the can of worms from writing my book, that came out of it. Someone said it takes you 40 years to figure out who you are, and the next 40 to be that person. And I'm like, “Oh, man, bam, that's it.” And so thank you for… That line for me when I read it was like, ‘yes.’ You get what you focus on, which I think you said this morning on one of the rides I was on. Here we are. If you focus on love, and then you're going to get love. Speaking of the opposite of love, somebody really stole your badass motorcycle, what an asshole.
Emma Lovewell 9:27
(Laughs) I know. It's heartbreaking.
Ryan Berman 9:30
I'm totally teasing the book, guys, but like…
Emma Lovewell 9:33
Yeah, you feel so…
Ryan Berman 9:39
Emma Lovewell 9:42
Violated. Totally. You're like, “That's mine. You can't just take that.” And then, yea. Every time I hear a motorcycle in the city, I turn my head thinking that it’s going to be… What am I going to do, run after him and throw him off the bike? (Laughs) Be like, “It's mine.”
Ryan Berman 10:00
Have you thought about recreating the stationary Peloton as the motorcycle and dong a ride that way?
Emma Lovewell 10:06
That'd be great. Yeah just paint it green, and put a brown leather seat on it.
Ryan Berman 10:11
Why is Emma crying? Why is Emma crying in a live ride right now? It’s possible.
Emma Lovewell 10:17
Ryan Berman 10:20
I am a brand guy, I love brand. And your name is so perfect for like to… Did you always have sort of this ‘Live, Learn, Lovewell’?
Emma Lovewell 10:27
I came up with it I think with some friends. I feel like maybe we were like joking about it at first. Maybe in 2015, 2014. I was teaching fitness classes at the time, and I think somebody was like trying to… Instagram was around but new-ish still and like hashtags were a thing. So, I think somebody was trying to like… We were kind of coming up with funny hashtags. And then, it just kind of stuck, and I named it, I have a website called ‘Live, Learn, Lovewell,’ which started out with me documenting me going sugar-free for a month. I was like, “I'm just going to try this thing and I'm going to write about what I'm eating and how I feel.” And then, that turned into now it's a full-blown site with tonnes of recipes, lifestyle tips, shopping guides, a lot of stuff on that website. And it became my slogan, my saying that I say in all my Peloton classes. And now, it's the name of my book. So, it's really just following me everywhere.
Ryan Berman 11:24
Well, I want to talk about the journey because there's been a lot of zigging and zagging. And again, this may come off as cute but, in some ways, I also feel like it's ‘Live, Learn, Luck well.” It is make your own luck, right? It is make your own luck. But the idea that you had done this shoot that just happened to first be Peloton, and again, I don't want to… Get the book. Then the fact that when you finally have the opportunity, you've got some besties, it sort of seems like, that are the best word-of-mouth marketing around, it's Cody and Ally. And you meet you met them in other dance?
Emma Lovewell 12:04
Yeah, in the dance world. So I think, what do they say about luck? It's preparation meets chance, right? So, it’s not just luck, there has to be… It can be like the energy that you're giving off. If you are walking around the street with your eyes on the cement, you're not opening yourself up to opportunity. There also has to be a level of your own energy, your own integrity, when you're walking around, that you're open for opportunity, that you're open to networking, that you're open to meeting people, that you're taking as many classes as you can, that you're interested in what you're doing, you're loving what you're doing. So, it's not like I was sitting in an office and somebody came in and was like, “Here, do you want Peloton?” I was already creating all of these skill sets and interests that created the Peloton opportunity for me, I think, in my head. But Ally and Cody were both dancers. And so, in New York City, the dance world, in any industry, that industry can be very small. You end up running into the same people, you do the same gigs together. So, Ally and I had done gigs together, Cody and I had done many gigs together. And so, then they started working at Peloton. And so, when I came in to audition, I was so happy to see them.
Ryan Berman 13:25
Did you know they were there?
Emma Lovewell 13:28
I knew that they were there, Ally and I were still friends but I hadn't seen Cody in a long time. And we still were friends, but we didn't see each other very often.
Ryan Berman 13:40
And now, we're a summer away from the big five-year anniversary. Congratulations.
Emma Lovewell 133:49
Ryan Berman 13:50
Oh, shoot. August will be six years. What did you do for your fifth? What did you do for your anniversary?
Emma Lovewell 13:56
My Peloton anniversary?
Ryan Berman 13:57
Emma Lovewell 13:58
Well, I taught anniversary ride, and that was basically the celebration is that I worked more. (Laughs)
Ryan Berman 14:08
Congratulations, you worked more. So, it'll be six years in August. Are you still living outside the city, or do you miss the city, or you're not…?
Emma Lovewell 14:19
I miss my city, I do. I moved outside of the city, which has been amazing. I love being in nature. I love leaving the city and just having greenery, and hearing the birds chirp, and everything, but I do miss the energy of the city. Luckily, I still get it because I come to the city to work, so I'm in the city three to five times a week teaching, and then, I schedule dinner plans with my girlfriends. I miss the food in Manhattan, that's for sure. But I think it's a sacrifice, it's a trade-off. You win some, you lose some
Ryan Berman 14:55
Bigger garden, for sure.
Emma Lovewell 14:57
Yeah. For sure.
Ryan Berman 15:00
What’s on the agenda for the garden this spring?
Emma Lovewell 15:04
All right. So, I just planted my snow peas, I planted some spinach seeds. I'm focusing on amending the soil to get it right. I've been composting for the last year, so we're using compost. There's still a chance of frost, so I have to make sure that I'm not planting things that are going to die in… The northeast, we could have a snowstorm any day, you never really know.
Ryan Berman 15:31
This is why I now live in California. All right, so just last month, there was a serious article in CNN. We're not getting political, we're talking about gardening. The article was like front page, though, of CNN, and it said, “Pottering in your garden just two hours a week could help boost your mood,” which of course, you know, “While the communal gardening that's proliferating in communities and schools provide social benefits that can alleviate stress, and help combat isolation, and even dementia, according to studies.” It also said, “154-pound person burns an average of 330 calories per hour through gardening. Such activity is similar to the same person would burn dancing or golf.” Huge love for gardening. Are you okay with sharing your gardening habits with the rest of us?
Emma Lovewell 16:29
I love that that's a big article on CNN. Gardening is not new at all, but yeah. Have you heard of the Blue Zones, the areas in the world where people live the longest? There were some study done, there's five different areas. And they did research in those areas where people are 110, 120 years old. And the commonalities are one of the things is growing your own food, and having something to do, like going to water a garden. Elderly people waking up and going to tend to flower gardens, vegetable gardens, that improves your longevity of life and your quality of life. I think also growing up or living with your grandchildren is also one of the things. I think eating mostly grains, vegetables, and meat. It's not vegan, but mostly grains and vegetables. Can't remember all of the things, but yes, gardening in my mind, like, what a great hobby. And also, it's so good for you. And you are nurturing something, so you're emotionally invested, as well as physically invested in this thing. So, you learn this from my book, but I grew up being sort of ashamed of gardening because it was something that my parents did for food. And I thought it was kind of like, “Why do we have to do this? Why can we just go to the grocery store, like, this is so lame.” And then, as I got older, I was just like, “Wow, this is a luxury.” And it depends on the type. If you're farming or gardening, if you have a gardener, there's a lot of different levels of gardening. So now, I definitely have a more bougie style of gardening than I grew up with. It was a little bit more for sustenance as a kid, but now, as an adult, it's definitely like a pastime of mine.
Ryan Berman 18:25
There's like a few moments in the book where you feel a little Emma Lovewell. And I think coming home from school pissed off, and your mom's like, “Go meditate, just go meditate please, and then it'll pass.” And you'd be like, “Oh, just give me a hug.” And then, if you follow the process, it's fine. Obviously, this is The Courageous Podcast, the first time I think we see the word ‘courage’ and in the book is the courage to say yes with kimchi, I believe it is that section, right? And I just love that. And even, like I said, I'm a mediocre meditator, I try to meditate every day for 10 minutes, 15 minutes in the morning, and ritualize it. But the piece of feedback and advice your mom gives or you give your mom of not just touching your thumbs but visualizing the numbers has been helping me so much. And so, I hope you'll hear it from many other people, but it's making an impact. And my mind just wants to race on all the things I'm trying to do with my life and all the things I want to accomplish. So, just let your mom know it really is a good tool. I'm sure you know this already. You should know it's a good tool that's working.
Emma Lovewell 19:44
Right. I’m honestly kind of a mediocre meditator too. I really come and go with it. I get into it, and then I'll go like months where I don't. And then, I'm like, “Why am I so agitated?” And I'm like, “Oh yeah.” But it's a tool that it always exists, you could always come back to it.
Ryan Berman 20:03
Yeah. And so, I'm like, okay, thumbs, visualize. To me, the numbers are clouds. I don't know if you said that or not, I could see the numbers as clouds.
Emma Lovewell 20:11
Well, I say, my mom has a quote of like, “Treat your thoughts like clouds passing by, don't get too attached to any one of them.” So, I kind of picture the numbers as they're like a bullseye target a little bit.
Ryan Berman 20:25
My silly brain was probably thinking about 16 things that said, “Imagine the numbers as clouds.” So like now, like, the one is like this nice…
Emma Lovewell 20:33
Geat. That sounds nice.
Ryan Berman 20:35
Yeah, it was nice, totally works. There could be a lot worse things. And, in the spirit of not leaving dad out as a storyteller, as a writer, I really appreciated his take on storytelling. I moved to California to write movies, not live one. I never meant for any of this to happen. And so, you're constantly studying story. And so, just my head was nodding through all of his storytelling tips; act one, act two, act three. There’s a beginning, a middle of it and an end. Even if the story is 30 seconds, those elements are in there. Do you now go seek, like when you're about to go take us on a journey of a ride, are you constantly thinking about, “Okay, beginning, middle, end. Here's my story”?
Emma Lovewell 21:22
I think it's become subconscious now. So, it's not at the front of my mind, but in the back of my mind. And this is all trial and error too. I think I started teaching fitness classes, and I would just talk, and I was like, “God, that did not land well,” if I said something. And I started realizing what works and what doesn't without being trained to tell stories, really. But that's definitely one of them, it’s like, you need to have a beginning, middle, and an end. You need to wrap it up. It needs to be concise. You need to have a point you want people to walk away remembering something that you said, or remembering how they felt about that story. So, what emotion is the story portraying? And I think it's helped me in so many ways being able to do that. Obviously, writing a book, but teaching Peloton classes and being able to tell a story in between thirty-second intervals and being able to get my message across in these classes.
Ryan Berman 22:21
I'm sure you've already been… I’m hoping I don’t get a totally canned response to this, but I'm setting myself up for it. So, what's the hope? What do you want people to take away from the book?
Emma Lovewell 22:37
Well, it's two things. I want people thinking about themselves. I want them looking at their own life with grace and optimism and thinking, “I can make small changes, I can live a good life, I can be happy, I don't have to be hard on myself.” And then, secondly, a selfish part is just me being able to share a little bit more of myself away from just fitness. You see me on the bike, you see me on the mat teaching fitness classes, and you might have one opinion about me or assumptions about me. And this is a way that I get to share another side of me, like, I get to talk about gardening for like 10 pages. And I have a whole chapter about my cat. I just think that it's sort of selfishly being able to show a different side of myself. But within that, that also goes to point one which is hopefully my stories encourage other people to look at themselves in a loving way.
Ryan Berman 23:40
I do believe that the word ‘selfish’ gets a really bad rap in like… I think it's like, if you're not taking care of yourself first… On the planes, they tell you to put the mask on yourself first for a reason. And I do think that that's part of it, is like, “Wow, I should be really proud of me.” And I constantly talk to myself, I don't have you constantly talk to yourself.
Emma Lovewell 24:05
Of course. Totally.
Ryan Berman 24:07
All right, let's play a quick game. So, this is called ‘Rapid Fire.’ We're going to split it into two sections because I imagine we got lots of Peloton people listening. So first, the first section, you can never answer ‘yourself’ even if that's the truth. I'll come back to it later. Okay, well, let's get to know your fellow Peloton riders, your instructors, who's the funniest?
Emma Lovewell 24:36
Emma Lovewell 24:38
Okay. If there was a marathon, who would win the marathon?
Emma Lovewell 24:42
Like a running marathon?
Ryan Berman 24:43
Emma Lovewell 24:46
Becks Gentry. She literally went to the Olympic trials. No question.
Ryan Berman 24:49
Okay, that's an easy one.
Emma Lovewell 24:50
She runs like a five-minute 22nd mile, or something.
Ryan Berman 24:53
Oh, that's like my half-mile time. Okay, who's the most intense?
Emma Lovewell 24:59
Robin. Robin Orzon.
Ryan Berman 25:02
I can see that. I know this is…
Emma Lovewell 25:04
In the best way. She's like our leader, she gets us fired up. She's like your team captain that you want before a game. She's like, “Let's go.”
Ryan Berman 25:13
Yes, she’s the fired-up. “Let's go, hands in.” This will be hard for you; best dancer.
Emma Lovewell 25:22
Ryan Berman 25:22
You should see, this is why I'm like you can't answer ‘yourself.’ You can see the asterix outside…
Emma Lovewell 25:29
You know who's an amazing dancer is Leanne Hayneby from London. She has been a backup dancer for all of these artists and performed on huge stadiums and stages, and she's phenomenal.
Ryan Berman 25:42
Best cook or chef.
Emma Lovewell 25:48
Who is a good cook? Listen, I love my own cooking but I cannot say myself, so I won’t. You know who’s pretty good? Rebecca Kennedy. She has some great recipes, actually.
Ryan Berman 26:00
Who would be the best roommate?
Emma Lovewell 26:05
Well, it really depends what you're looking for in a roommate, but…
Ryan Berman 26:08
Okay. You're on the road sharing a hotel room.
Emma Lovewell 26:13
Well, I'll say one thing for cleanliness, and I know. and all my instructors know I'm messy. This is like confession, my locker is one… There's probably like five really messy ones and mine’s definitely one of them. But Alex, who's our newest row instructor, somebody was like, “Emma, you need to come see this.” And they opened his locker just so I could see it. He doesn't know this. And he installed extra shelves in there with power tools so that he can hang his extra shoes. He installed an extra shelf. His T-shirts are all folded so nicely one on top of each other. It's the cleanest locker I've ever seen. So, if you're looking for cleanliness, I'd say Alex.
Ryan Berman 27:00
Okay. Now we're going to move into rapid fire for you. This is all you. Favorite meal?
Emma Lovewell 27:09
Ramen. Japanese ramen.
Ryan Berman 27:10
Best ramen in the city?
Emma Lovewell 27:12
Maybe Minka in the East Village. Do you ever go to that place?
Ryan Berman 27:15
No, but I’m definitely going to go now.
Emma Lovewell 27:18
It's pretty good.
Ryan Berman 27:21
Best lip-syncing song to perform to.
Emma Lovewell 27:23
Emotions by Mariah Carey. (Laughs)
Ryan Berman 27:27
It's good to know. I don't think you're going to see me do that anytime soon. Worst time slot to run a live class.
Emma Lovewell 27:35
Oh, yeah. Saturday like 3:00 P. M. Terrible.
Ryan Berman 27:39
Emma Lovewell 27:45
You know why. I don't know. 7:00 A.M is great. 7:00 P.M is great.
Ryan Berman 27:47
But I guess I'm wondering, is it directly connected to “I can see there's 7 billion people riding with me versus 11”? Or is it more like, “I don't want to do that ride because it's the middle of the day”?
Emma Lovewell 28:01
Both. Saturday, I would love to be off and like doing my own thing. Also, you know when you have a flight in the afternoon, and the whole day you're thinking about the flight, that's what it's like to teach at three or 4:00 P.M. You're just thinking about how you have to do that the entire day. (Laughs)
Ryan Berman 28:21
Yeah, I like the metaphor, by the way, that's a good one. Okay. So, best time slot and best day? If you had the perfect…
Emma Lovewell 28:29
Yeah, I love… Okay, I'm actually not a morning person even though I have worked on it. So naturally, I'd say noon on a Thursday is great.
Ryan Berman 28:43
I will admit that I appreciated you confessing, I think, one of the biggest confessions in the book that you made. Can I go there?
Emma Lovewell 28:51
Ryan Berman 28:51
Is you're like, “I don't like running. I am not a runner, I have to force myself to go do that.” You're an instructor, so I'm sure you feel like… Is there guilt with that?
Emma Lovewell 29:06
Oh, totally. I still do it because I know it's good for me. And I'd also want to know that if there is like a zombie apocalypse, and I need to just run, I can still do that. So, every two weeks, I'll do a quick little run just to make sure I still got it. But yes, I grew up playing soccer and lacrosse like you. And so, I was pretty fast in my day. I don't know if I'm still fast, but, at one point, I was the fastest person on both of those teams. So, I love to sprint. You throw a ball, I will run after it so hard. I am not an endurance person, I think the longest I've run is probably six miles.
Ryan Berman 29:48
Yeah. I've done a half marathon, and I just had to surrender.
Emma Lovewell 29:53
Oh, that’s great. That’s amazing.
Ryan Berman 29:54
All of the stuff in my head, I'm like, “Surrender it now.” Just like, “Be slow, don't judge me. You can do this, here we go.” And that process worked for me, but there's no part of me that feels I'm a runner. I’m a used-to-be athlete, I'm not even an athlete anymore. All right. So, another line that I loved from the book was, “Forgiveness is freedom.” And why is it so hard for us to forgive ourselves? This might seem like a tangent, but I'm very curious. Have you seen the movie ‘The Whale?’
Emma Lovewell 30:32
No, no, I haven't. It's on my list, though. I need to see it.
Ryan Berman 30:36
So, I had just seen the movie, and I was reading your book, and ‘forgiveness is freedom’ is what came to the surface. If you’re reading everything, a lot of people didn't love the whale. I just thought there's a moment where this little girl just wants her dad. And I was very curious if you had seen it. And, again, read the book and it will make sense, listener, on why it felt like you might enjoy that story in that book. How's everybody getting along these days? I'm curious to…
Emma Lovewell 31:17
It comes and goes. So, my brother has kids, they’re, my niece and nephews. They're amazing, I love them. I think once my brother and sister-in-law had kids, that kind of brought my parents to be a little bit more friendly in speaking terms because they're both these new grandparents, so they're like, “Look, we got these kids.” And then, I think after that, they just… They’re currently not really speaking, I think they tolerate each other. It's like these life moments that kind of bring us… Graduations, it's like, “Okay, we're all fine.” And then, these things creep back, these resentments, and past frustrations, and hurt, and trauma come back. But they're both happy independently, they really are. It's sometimes hard to think that they were even together because they both are so different now, and they live such different lives.
Ryan Berman 32:15
Yeah. I was curious to hear, like, because you can see where one story is like, “Well, we're together.” Then it's your relationship with your dad, it's your relationship with your mom. And, by the way, they tolerate each other, tolerate has to be on the podium for worst words in the dictionary. It's like, “Oh, well, we tolerate each other,” versus, “Well, we like each other.” You don't have to love each other, “We like each other.” So, I was curious if there was a relationship there. Since this is The Courageous Podcast, you're about to embark on this next journey there and we get to learn a little bit more about you. Is there something that like… There's this famous proverb that fear and courage are brothers, or fear and courage are kin. It's actually a Japanese proverb. So, as you kind of think about the next three years of your life, where's the fear for you? What are you afraid of?
Emma Lovewell 33:14
Well, I will say that even within this book tour, there is a lot of fear there. I'm having some book events in New York, LA, at some venues that are huge to me, and I'm like, “We could do like a 50-person little thing, or we could do like a 2000-person thing,” and I'm going with the bigger one, and it's scaring the crap out of me. But I'm like, I acknowledge the fear, do it anyway. I say it all the time, I'm going to do something that I'm totally uncomfortable with. I'm going to do more public speaking, I have been doing more public speaking. I'm going to continue to do that because I think it's an important skill, and I want to get better at it. I think just continuously putting myself out there and reaching a little bit further than I want, but because I think that that's really where the greatest opportunities come from, and the biggest amount of growth comes from. So, whether that's television, whether that's another book, I don't know, but I'm just putting it out there that, if it scares you a little bit, it's good.
Ryan Berman 34:19
Oh, I always say scaring is caring. Like, tough love is a way, if it scares you, it means that you’re…
Emma Lovewell 34:32
It's the same with sports, and activities, and adrenaline. It's like if I go snowboarding or surfing, and it's like a little too steep or a little scary, I'm like, that's where you learn the most. If you're just always playing it safe, you kind of stay in the same place. And so, yeah.
Ryan Berman 34:50
So, are you having like the broken record dream where there's like a 2000-person auditorium and 11 people show up?
Emma Lovewell 34:56
Yeah, totally. I haven't had that specific dream, but that is a dream that I have. Or, you know, an anxiety dream that I have is my high school graduation and I'm late. Like I'm watching everybody else graduate, but I'm running or something and I'm not making it. But yeah, I anticipate those dreams should be arriving any moment now.
Ryan Berman 35:16
Yeah, great. I'm so happy that now you will attribute this dream to me. Really setting a great impression.
Emma Lovewell 35:25
Honestly, If 11 people are having a good time, that's great. I’m happy.
Ryan Berman 35:30
I really enjoyed the book. I really did. I'm not here to pander you. I'm taking notes and I'm like, “Yeah, ‘forgiveness is freedom’ is real.” I guess, why is that so hard for us? We hold on to so much shit. I just saw this video going around Instagram. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, it's like a professor and he's holding a glass of water. And he's like, “How much does the water weigh?” And his kids are guessing, “8 ounces, 12 ounces.” He's like, “Yeah, but if I hold the water for an hour, my arm gets tired.” He's like, “This has mental health. This is what we're doing to ourselves.” So, why is it so hard for us like to just forgive and let it fade away?
Emma Lovewell 36:19
I was talking to my co-workers about this the other day, just about how mental health, and also, social media activity. We get negative comments every once in a while. And then, you get 100, 99 amazing comments, you get one negative comment and that's the one that you're thinking about. And is some there is some element of fear, and you're protecting yourself. It's your freeze, flight, response that you're like, “How do I protect myself from danger?” And so, I think remembering that harmful comment is like you're trying to maybe protect yourself. In my brain, that's kind of makes sense because we do, we just really latch on to it, we hold on to it. And we just think about that constantly, even though there's so many other nice things to think about. I think it's just like practicing, training myself to acknowledge that, okay, that was hurtful. I did read it, it was there. But also, it's not true. Let's look at the facts here. This one thing they're saying, this person does not know anything about me. I wouldn't even want their feedback if I met them. I wouldn't ask them for feedback so why am I listening to what they have to say? Where then I have all these amazing comments and people who have real-life… Who actually know me. And I'm like, “Those are the people I want feedback from, who are my actual friends and family who love me, why I should be listening to them.” So, I think, similarly, it's just when we hold on to that negativity, I think we think we're protecting ourselves, but we're actually, in the long run, hurting ourselves. We're holding that water for way too long. And it's just acknowledging it first, I think, and knowing that it's not going to be perfect, you're not going to be like perfectly able to forgive somebody immediately. It's going to take time, and hard conversations, and a lot of awareness and in practice.
Ryan Berman 38:24
Well [Inaudible 38:24] forgive myself, start with me. We're back to the top. It's like forgiveness is freedom, it’s like, “Okay, I'm a perfectionist, there is no perfect ten. Why am I driving myself mad on this experiment called life?” Although, I will say, those anonymous comments that come in, how often now… It might as well you're walking by somebody on the street, and they think they know you because they ride with you. And now, they know even more about you because of the book. How often is that happening? Like, “Emma, what's up”?
Emma Lovewell 39:01
Yeah. I do get recognised quite a bit depending on the environment I'm in. Airports; for sure. Cities; for sure. But yeah, opening up myself like this to have people really know me, they already think they know me, and then, reading my book, well, they'll they'll know me even more. It's a risk. High risk-high reward, I think.
Ryan Berman 39:25
Yeah. Again, to me, if you're risk averse, you’re courage averse. Same conversation, same mentality. All right. Take us home. When it comes to courage, let's say you're on your bike and you've got like 7,000 people in the ride. It's a courage ride. And we're 13 minutes and on a 30 minute right here. We still got a ways to go, but here's a moment. There's a little moment where there's a nugget of truth coming, what do you tell us?
Emma Lovewell 40:01
Well, those moments are very organic because I'm tapping into what I'm experiencing, I'm tapping into the music that I'm listening to, the movement that I'm doing, what does it feel like for me because I'm riding with you. I'm personally on that hill. I'm personally in that challenge. So, I kind of say what I would want to hear in that moment. And I think, when it comes to courage, is really just like taking a chance on yourself and believing that you can make it happen, that you have the strength, the willpower to get it done because we have so much self-doubt. But it's really just take the chance on yourself that your body and your mind can get you there. Like, you have the tools that you need already to get you through the hardest part. And the difficulty, the discomfort doesn't last forever, it's short. So, just push through and know that there's another side.
Ryan Berman 40:59
When you say that, are you talking about the ride, or life, or both?
Emma Lovewell 41:03
All of that, all of it. It's so applicable in so many ways. And I say that in class, like, what you do in here, you can do out there. You can get through this 13-minute hill, you can get through a challenging conversation, or a challenging moment at work, or a loss, or health scares. There's so many things that we all go through that are challenging. Nobody has a completely easy life no matter what you may think from the outside.
Ryan Berman 41:35
Final question for me, and then, I'll give you your life back. When you think back on the last almost six years, are you like, “Holy, what a ride?” That’s not written down as an intentional pun but, can you believe all of it just the way Peloton has been a rocket ship, and the fact that you get to play a role in all of this?
Emma Lovewell 42:02
No, it's really hard to believe and I do reflect on that quite often because it's astonishing, I would have never known. When you ask a kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There are jobs that don't exist. There are things, there are types of people and activities that don't exist yet. So, I would have never been able to say, “I want to be a Peloton instructor,” when I was a kid. That just never existed. But I thin, what I did was I just continued to follow my passions. I love movement. I love dance. I love sports. I love music. And I just followed my interests and how I enjoyed spending my time. But yeah, thinking back the amount of times I worried about being able to pay my next bill, or worried about my family or myself, and just to know that I am where I am. I spent so many years stressing too.
Ryan Berman 42:58
That's New York for you. It's awesome. It's awesome to see you on the other side. I think there's three types of people in the world; people you gain energy from, people that drain your energy, and people that it's a maintain on energy and I don't think that's a great place to be either, frankly, that it’s just even. And for the last three to four years, riding with you, you give me energy. A lot of your Peloton partners also give me energy. But I want to thank you. Thanks for l opening up yourself to let us see who you really are. And have an awesome month. Enjoy the tour. And maybe come back when you're going to write book number two or whatever.
Emma Lovewell 43:43
Thank you so much, Yeah.
Ryan Berman 43:45
Come back on the pod and let us know how it's all going.
Emma Lovewell 43:47
Love it. Thank you so much for having me. It's a great conversation and great getting to chat with you and learn more about you too.
Ryan Berman 43:52
We'll knuckleball round when you come to New York next.
Emma Lovewell 43:55
Okay, sounds good. (Laughs)
Ryan Berman 43:59
Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Courageous Podcast. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to rate and review us on Apple podcasts so more people can find us. See you again next week.
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