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On today’s show, I have my dear friend, amazing gym owner and coach, Todd Nief. Some of you may have referred to him as Todd Knife or Todd Neff, but I am here reassuring you that it’s Todd Nief. We talk about everything from owning a gym, being an introvert, what it was like growing up for Todd, how he is a musician and how that’s applied to his life now as a coach. Me and him just really shoot the shit on this one. Todd and I have a history of having these great in-depth conversations, and I thought it would be fun to hit record on one of them.
I really hope that you enjoy the show. If you do, subscribe to us on iTunes, leave a beautiful review telling me how amazing I am, follow us on Instagram and anywhere else you could find Alpha Hippie. I really appreciate your support. Much love to you guys. Take care.
Enjoy the show and as always, thank you for listening.

About Todd

I own a gym in downtown Chicago called South Loop Strength & Conditioning and coach athletes through a company called Legion Strength & Conditioning.
I also run a podcast called “Todd Nief’s Show” where I talk to people who I find interesting and try to understand their mental models for how they think about the world, and I play in a death metal band called Like Rats. // @southloopsc // // @toddknife


Angelo: Todd Nief.
Todd: Neff.
Angelo: Some people call him Neff. If you are a Neff caller, that’s okay, but it’s really Nief, he won’t correct you unless he really feels like it’s important; most of the time he doesn’t. He is live and in person in my apartment.
Todd: Since I am often called Todd Knife, people think my name is actually pronounced Knife, but it’s not, also false.
Angelo: Okay, so Knife, Neff, it’s Nief, and that’s final.
Todd: Yep.
Angelo: What nationality is that?
Todd: The Nief name comes from the [inaudible 0:01:49] territory which is between Germany and France. I think there are some Niefs who currently live in France, but I am as Irish as a person can be who has a non-Irish last name.
Angelo: How does that happen?
Todd: If you take the generation you have 8 grandparents, 7 of the 8 are completely Irish, and then you live in a patriarchy with messed up name lineages and there you go.
Angelo: What do you think about that stuff, the 23andme?
Todd: What about it?
Angelo: So, I got it for Christmas.
Todd: Okay, just swab your cheek.
Angelo: I’m a little freaked out about it.
Todd: Why?
Angelo: Because…
Todd: Did you swab it or not?
Angelo: No, I didn’t do it. I didn’t even open it up at the place, they sell your DNA. Just in case I ever rob a bank or anything and shit has to go the other way I don’t want to let people get a sample of me. Do you think that that’s weird?
Todd: Yes, that is weird, definitely weird. I think a lot of people have concerns over the fact that they are essentially collecting our genetic information, selling that is part of the business model. I’m personally not really worried about it.
Angelo: Do you think I should do it?
Todd: You can do whatever you want?
Angelo: Did you do it?
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: Okay.
Todd: I did it a long time ago.
Angelo: A bunch of people are like, “oh, it’s great”. I was really nervous.
Todd: I don’t feel like doing it gave me any major insight into anything. It’s interesting; you get some interesting reports, and there are some other services you can use to plant your genome into and see what you have for various snips and the other things. That’s kind of cool [inaudible 00:03:38] oh, you are bad at metabolizing caffeine. It’s like, yeah, obviously, I just feel terrible if I have two cups of coffee- I knew that already.
Angelo: Sure.
Todd: Are you afraid of your data being tracked by Facebook and all that kind of stuff?
Angelo: That’s a great question. I feel like if I put something out on the internet, or do something on the internet, that’s not mine anymore. But this is me deciding if I want to put it out. I think that’s the biggest thing. You put something on Instagram, you put something on social media, you type www dot somewhere, you are putting your shit out there, and that’s how I feel like with this. That’s what I think about if I do anything on the internet. So obviously what I’m putting out there I hope is okay.
Todd: Please, I hope it’s okay.
Angelo: It’s alright. What about you, do you think that that’s weird that Facebook does all that?
Todd: Yes. I certainly think that the business model is toxic as far as okay, essentially the goal is to drive as much engagement as possible on the platform so that we can sell advertisements to people, and then also have this entire network of essentially tracking users’ behavior and figuring out what they do, and selling that data to people in order to advertise.
I think the incentives are totally misaligned, where Facebook’s incentive is essentially to wrap up engagements as much as possible through appealing to lower instincts, so to speak. It’s pretty obvious that outrage and divisiveness, and tribalism are things that increase engagement on social media, and that is good for advertisers, good for the platform, and bad for the people using them. I am certainly opposed to those business models. But I’m not too terribly worried about my own individual behavior being tracked, but I am concerned with the overall implication as far as removing day-keepers so to speak, there’s no trust in media sources, people are just on social media and then they are being driven into whatever various emotional states by the content being shared on there, which I think is through pretty much everyone.
Angelo: I doubt this is how Mark started off this company. At what point if we had to reenact it, do you feel he was like, ‘fuck it, let’s do this?’
Todd: I don’t know if there was ever a point of that. If you listened to interviews with him too I don’t know that he actually thinks that that’s the way it works, you know what I mean? I think anyone who is running a business probably some acceptance of the reality of what they are selling is like, we need to actually take in revenue in order to operate and exist, and to support our mission.
Angelo: Sure.
Todd: I think that he generally believes that by creating an open platform to connect people that that’s a net positive for the world. He is obviously aware of some of the negative things that happened with like election manipulation, and some of the terrorist organization who use social media to fuel hate groups, all that kind of stuff. He obviously knows that that’s happening, but I think that he sees those as an exception, and I think that there is a [inaudible 0:07:16] philosophy in Silicon Valley that is strongly biased towards free speech, a lot of these things see themselves as platforms, and that he believes—I assume that increasing connection across the world through social media is a net benefit, and that there’s always going to be bad actors, and Facebook has to make money in order to exist to support its mission, so that’s fine. I don’t know if there ever was a moment where he was like, ‘fuck them.’
Angelo: But at what point do you think he figured out that that’s how that platform was going to make it? I don’t remember a time in Facebook when there wasn’t ads everywhere.
Todd: Yeah, sure. I think that once you have a user base you have the monetization conversation about, okay, how do we actually do this? I don’t know what the timeline was as far as when they accepted venture capital money and what all that process was like, but you hit that point you are like, alright, do we sell ads? Do we sell some sort of premium service on top of this? Do we sell our data to companies? How do we actually make money now that we have a billion people on our platform? Whatever the number was when they were actually having that conversation.
I have no insight as to why they chose the advertising model, but I don’t think they chose the advertising model with any sort of nefarious intent in mind. All these ads in newspapers, creating these horrible attention sucking business model, not really the ads in newspapers support long form investigative journalism, so why is that not the case on this?
Angelo: Do you think it’s because Facebook knows that you are 35, you do CrossFit? Much more than the Super Bowl commercial, they are best guessing, but Facebook knows intimately all of that.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: I’m not worried about privacy, but I think it’s almost at the point where it’s so—I don’t want to say too powerful, but yeah, maybe too powerful to even combat that and overcome it.
Todd: With anything like that with network effects, you run into these issues of people are only going to spend money for advertising where people are. So you have Facebook and Google can just command such a lion share of digital marketing spent because they’ve sort of capitalized upon that network effect. There is live discussions around it; okay, are these monopoly business something that needs to be broken up or stopped, and all that kind of stuff. I certainly wouldn’t have the sophistication to talk about where the lines are and various anti-trust laws, and anti-monopoly laws.
I think that’s a totally down concern that we have these hyper powerful digital platforms. They are essentially advocating all this content, almost all the advertising on the internet because they are the source for all this content, where all the people are.
Angelo: It’s so crazy to think about, maybe for me, under my nose, like how big Google got so fast. One day there was Yahoo, and one day it was like, fuck you and fuck GIFs.
Todd: GIFs.
Angelo: For GIFs, they got shut down.
Todd: Things out there fighting like us, alter beast.
Angelo: It’s so crazy to think about how much of our lives is between either something on Facebook and Google.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: Insane. It’s insane how large they got, and so fast, I think fast- within a decade.
Todd: Yeah, maybe even less than that. I certainly remember a time when search engines like [inaudible 0:11:16] didn’t work, and you are like, using the internet sucks, I can’t find anything.
Angelo: They didn’t have every answer.
Todd: Yeah, you’d search for something, you’d just look at all the results and be like, this is just dumb, this is not what I want. Then Google just solved that problem, and here we are. It’s incredible.
Angelo: Have you ever read the book Stealing Fire?
Todd: No, what is that? I feel like I know about this but I don’t know what it is?
Angelo: Steven Kotler, he wrote a book called The Rise of Superman, and then he wrote a book Stealing Fire. I forgot who else he wrote it with. It’s about peak states and all these stuff, and they refer a lot of stuff back to Google, and everything that they do to spark creativity and innovation and all these stuff. Then in itself, if they’ve really figured it out that well they deserve to win.
Todd: You end up with these positive feedback loops where you have an innovation in the market that starts to give you a bunch of revenue and market share. Then based upon that you have a bunch of resources that you can start to reinvest so you can hire better people, and then you start to see what the actual problems are that are coming up because you are the one who is starting up the cutting edge on what’s going on. So you can innovate based upon that because you have capital on the people, so you just get all these positive feedback loops going that just put you in a position to grow that quickly.
Angelo: Do you feel like that happens on small levels too?
Todd: Yeah, of course.
Angelo: Like for us?
Todd: Yeah, for sure, definitely. I think that in the CrossFit market so to speak, you certainly have gyms that are “haves” and gyms that are “have not’s”, and the gyms that are haves are able to utilize the fact that they have more people reaching out to better understand their customer. They have people reaching out so they can actually hire more coaches and they can leverage the coaches that they have like the owners tied better to do more stuff, to reinvest in the facility, so you get the positive wheel spinning.
That further separates the haves from the have not’s; the have not’s are struggling to make ends meet and can’t reinvest in anything and don’t have people reaching out, so they don’t really know what’s going on, or what their customers want, or where they are potentially going wrong, since when someone doesn’t sign up, it’s just like, why did that happen? While if you have more people you can say, oh, people aren’t signing up because the classes are too big, alright, how can we fix that?
Angelo: That’s true. That’s awesome. So, it’s 2019, I want to ask you one of those silly questions, not a resolution; right now, if you played this podcast a year from now, what’s one thing that you would want to have or accomplish in your life?
Todd: My life?
Angelo: Yeah.
Todd: My life in 2019?
Angelo: If you had to pick one thing that was going to be the theme, what would it be?
Todd: The theme, that’s a good way to put it. I think one thing that I’ve been working on a lot, that I’ve struggled with, and this is sort of like a business buzzword as far as delegation, but I think I actually have a much better understanding now of what is reasonable to expect of people when you delegate to them and what is not. Giving people something that is a job that they can do, that isn’t something that I either just abdicate to them and just want to say, here we go, do this, good luck, nor is it something that I pass off to them and then end up having to either do it myself because I’m unhappy with how it’s going or micromanaging them and step on their toes and be like, ‘no, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do this’.
I think that that’s a combination of being better at delegating tasks and projects, coupled with better understanding how to teach people stuff. I think it’s probably the main thing that I’m concerned with, and people being employees in this context, it’s one thing to teach a group of people who want to listen how to snap, or how to snatch, it’s one thing to give some sort of lecture or talk on something, like, ‘hey, I’m going to explain how I think this works’. That’s a totally different situation than trying to teach people to perform potentially complex difficult tasks and to make decisions, and certainly you would want them to make decisions. If I can figure out how to do those in 2019, that’s a successful year.
Angelo: How would you know when you did it?
Todd: I think that there is probably a variety of things that if you can pass something on, and someone else can do it as well as you, or potentially better then that’s probably indicative of having some success with that. If you take something simple like coaching, coaching a group CrossFit class, there is a lot of basic check-boxing that needs to happen, starting on time, control of logistics, explain the workout properly, make sure people understand the stimulus, spent a certain amount of time with each client, all that kind of stuff.
But can you be in a position where you are able to teach someone not just to do that, but also to make the complex decision making required when someone has an issue, or is struggling with [inaudible 00:16:50], or always has the same flaw when they snatch, or has a negative emotional reaction to being coached, how do you actually handle all these things that come up? Can you teach someone to be able to do that at a level that is as good as you if not better? Then can that person potentially teach someone else to do that? That would probably be a pretty good threshold for have you actually imparted that knowledge, and have you learned how to teach that effectively?
Angelo: I’ve got to tell you, I love how your brain thinks.
Todd: Why?
Angelo: Because it’s a different direction than mine. I’m willing to bet that people probably get intimidated to that, because it’s probably not their normal line of thinking at first.  But it intrigues me to hear something that I wouldn’t say. Does that make sense?
Todd: What do you mean?
Angelo: Like how you just articulated the coaching the class, I think me and you would get to the same place, but I would never say it that way. I think that’s so interesting about me and you, that we probably appreciate about each other but at the same time we are going to the same place, but the ways we get there are just really different. But we appreciate our difference versus being intimidated or insecure about it, you know what I mean?
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: I was thinking about that when you said that, because I was like, man, that’s exactly how a class would work, but I would never say those word choices. I think it’s interesting about you, and I wonder if while you are delegating that happens to someone else in a non-successful way.
Todd: Probably. This maybe insightful; you mentioned the word intimidation, and I think I do intimidate people and I don’t mean to at all. What about that is intimidating?
Angelo: My immediate reaction is, motherfucker, this guy is way smarter than me, or thinks more than me, and then I sit back and go, wait a second, I’m not fucking dumb, but that’s my first thing. Then I go, we just think in different directions, and that’s why his direction seems so vast compared to my direction just because we’ll go to B but we’ll take opposite ways to get there.
Todd: So we just go around the globe in opposite directions.
Angelo: Pretty much. At first that’s my immediate reaction, it’s like, holy fuck, I can’t even articulate that. I’d be like, “show up on time. Make sure people have fun. Keep everyone safe, good luck. Play some good music.” Knee-jerk reaction is intimidating. It’s intimidating at first, I go, oh my god, and then I think, man, if I say something it better be really smart.
I could just imagine that, because that’s so honest. But I think it takes people a good sense of yourself to have that knee-jerk reaction, and then be able to be okay with it and move on. I think a lot of people just aren’t, aren’t cool with that, cool with someone saying something different, or saying something that they don’t understand right away, or even asking, hey, what did you mean? It’s almost like, ‘don’t slam me for being stupid, but tell me what the fuck I need.’ I’ve been there, I’ve had ego moments where it’s gone the opposite way. I can only imagine.
Todd: That’s actually really interesting. I don’t know if I’ve really thought about that exact concept. I mean, I know that I can have the tendency to dig deep and overwhelm with different details, or concepts, or paths, or whatever, where it’s like, ‘here’s all the different contingencies you can potentially think of, let’s list them all out. Also this happens here, this, this, and this. Over here we have this, this, and this.’ I enjoy thinking in that way of seeing all those different paths, and the different things that could be happening, I always use the analogy of turning knobs up and down, whereas if you have a bunch of knobs you can be turning you’ve got to pick the right one. But I guess I never really considered that talking about that could make someone react and be like, ‘now I’m sort of on the spot’, to also have speak in that level of complexity.
Angelo: It’s knee-jerk, when you were saying that that’s like my knee-jerk. I appreciate it about our relationship, so I don’t say that so that you change it. I’d be disappointed if you did. Your intellect and my intensity are probably the things that make people nervous, but it’s probably the things that we like about each other.
Todd: Sure.
Angelo: In the same aspect. It’s just very interesting. As a coach, do you use more of that intellect, or do you go more arts—like at this point of your coaching, when you are working with someone, like a more developed athlete, I should say, do you stay that way, or do you go kind of off the rails? Because you are a musician too, so I know you have that part of your brain.
Todd: I think it depends probably on the person. If we are talking like coaching someone in fitness one-on-one, I think I have probably a slightly more calibrated understanding of how much complexity and detail people want in those contexts. So if I’m talking to someone who I think wants details and is curious about it, and has done some research and potentially has ideas or books that they’ve read or whatever, that person I really lay down a flow channel. I’m like, alright, here’s what’s going on; you think this, this, this, I know you’ve read here, here, and here, what actually happens is this, this, and this. Just go for detail like that.
I did that the other day with someone who was asking me questions about back pain. “Is my back weak?” I’m like, “alright, we are going to talk about this, and we are going to talk about how breathing mechanics work, and how weakness and strength is definitely the right way to think about it. Like you are thinking on the wrong there about obstruction, you have to actually understand core activation, different muscular turn, how different positions of joints can cause neurological tensions. Muscles can be short or long and feel tight, just like hammer.
That person wanted that- that was helpful for him, because from then they have information and they want more, and they are trying to make decisions based on that information. If they are confused about it then they are going to do the wrong thing because they are going to do whatever their flow chart says. It’s kind of like, overlay it with mine, and I’ll be like, no, erase yours, here’s mine- do this. But for other people they don’t want it, so then I’ve learned to not do that when I don’t think it’s appropriate.
Angelo: That’s such a strength of yours that I don’t think I’ve even thought of. You have both gears very sound. I think usually, you are either an engineer or yo are an artist. You are very rarely both. I think that’s interesting about you, that you are able to live in both worlds at different times. Do you favor one?
Todd: I don’t know actually. I probably do everything in a somewhat methodical way, so there is probably that element of organization and task focus with almost everything I do.
So if am trying to create something, when I’m trying to write a song or write an article or something like that I will allocate time for it, maybe even make it a fucking summer task, like here’s my time to do this, Evernote documents with ideas and all that kind of stuff, so I will be particular about it. But as far as what I like doing, I like probably doing creative stuff more than I like doing non-creative stuff, if that makes sense.
Angelo: Sure. But the structure gives you creativity.
Todd: Oh, for sure yes.
Angelo: Okay, it’s so interesting. It’s so cool that both of that works for you. You prepare and create the structure so you can play.
Todd: Yeah exactly.
Angelo: That’s awesome.
Todd: I don’t know if things that are unstructured like art—I don’t what the right word is for it. I think that just almost everything I do I turn it into a structure. Even being creative I turn it into a structured time; alright, here’s how this works. I got my time allocated, I got my Evernote document with song ideas or something that I want to steal, alright, cool, we are going to play with that now.
Angelo: How often do you do that, play with music?
Todd: Maybe I’ll be in practice once a week for Like Rats. That kind of keeps me focused as far as I have another practice that I have to come to, because we are finishing writing a record now, so I have to come and I have to have something to work on. So that’s definitely helpful as far as making it more of a priority.
Angelo: How many of you guys write in the group?
Todd: It’s interesting; in Like Rats it’s predominantly my songs. I usually will come with stuff and be like, alright, here’s how this riffs go, this is how this part goes, the transition goes like this, boom, boom, boom, and then we’ll mess with it and practice. We’ll play a few of the parts into each other, and then if something doesn’t feel right some of the other guys will add some ideas to all that and all that kind of stuff. Other people don’t tend to come with an idea or a song for the band, but based upon what I have they will then contribute stuff. Actually the new stuff has more contributions from the other band members than the older stuff, which I think is good.
Angelo: I like that. I think for a lot of people that are in bands, if you look at like the Eagles, why the Eagles stay timeless, it’s because they have Glenn Frey and Don Henley kicking it, you know what I mean? When they were apart I don’t think they would have been able to make that band that great, if there is only one or two people that do it.
Todd: Let it be made known that I do not like to The Eagles.
Angelo: You don’t like The Eagles? No joke.
Todd: Let me be perfectly clear.
Angelo: I’m saying this right now. I think it was on Showtime, there is like a 3-hour documentary, watch the fucking Eagles. They are cool as fuck.
Todd: I probably would watch that.
Angelo: I really liked them after I watched that. I didn’t realize how talented each of them were in the group. That’s when I started digging deeper, but there is a really good documentary about it. There is something about songwriting I’ve always been fascinated by it, like the riff comes first, or the words come first, how these two things meet to make a perfect song, you know, and I love watching documentaries like that where you know what these songs really mean to them and why they are there. I think that just creates something. Do you write the riff or the words first?
Todd: I don’t write any of the lyrics for Like Rats. The music is always first. To actually elaborate on that, because this is something that I do think about and find interesting, like writing music from top down or bottom up. Bottom up would be just sort of fiddling around and coming up with a riff or something like that and trying to build around that, and top down would be more like I want something that sounds like this; you have this vision of how the song is going to lay out, or what it’s going to sound like, but you don’t necessarily have any of the parts. I’ll do both; sometimes I’ll start at the top and see the whole thing and try to put parts into it, other times you are just fiddling around, you are like, oh, that’s actually pretty good, I should record that.
Angelo: That’s awesome. It’s so interesting. I think that’s one of the most serendipitous moments, like when you see it—what did I watch the other day? Jeff Beck, there was a documentary on him on Showtime.
He’s got very popular for his work with Stevie Wonder, and the drum intro to Superstition he did messing around and Stevie didn’t even know it was him.
Todd: Jeff Beck played that?
Angelo: Yeah. He played the drum, and Stevie walks in, he is like, “that’s amazing.” Jeff’s like, “it’s me.” Then they fit in their guitar riff, that’s what makes the song but based off that, but he just played the drum.
Todd: That’s fascinating. Did he record that drum?
Angelo: He played it. He was with Stevie and they were on break, and he goes in there and he plays the drum, Stevie walks in and then he showed the drummer, and then he created his guitar riff, and that’s what made Superstitious. I think it so crazy how it’s so chaotic that it could go from any direction, and when it’s good you know it’s good, but when it’s shit you know it’s shit. I think that’s so crazy it could start anywhere, but you know when you got it when you got it.
Todd: You sort of have these ideas bubbling up, and they just pop out, then you have to evaluate it after the fact. It’s kind of like, ‘here it is, is that any good? Yes or no.’
Angelo: How long have you been writing or doing music?
Todd: The first band that I was in probably started when I was 15 or 16, talking well over 15 years.
Angelo: And how did you get into that?
Todd: My dad played guitar- he still plays guitar. He was in a cover band as a young man, so there were always guitars around the house. At some point I wanted to play and my dad’s guitar was so hard to play, the strings were super, super thick, the action on the guitar was super high, so for listeners who may not know what that means, it’s how hard it is to push down on the strings. The answer for that guitar was very hard. When you start playing guitar and your fingers just hurt and it’s part of it, but this thing was impossible, and at some point I guess I was serious enough that they got me a smaller guitar that was easier to play. Then based upon that I just started fiddling with it, and my dad taught me at least the basics, but a lot of it was just listening to records that I liked and figuring out how to play the songs; alright, how does that part go?
Angelo: No formal?
Todd: Not really. I’ve taken a few random lessons here and there, but it was mostly self-taught from listening to stuff that I liked and learning how to play it, or just playing with friends. At one point I think I was like lessons are stupid, whatever, I’ll just do it on my own, but I don’t think that was actually a good thing necessarily. I have a lot of weird bad habits, the way I held the pick was all messed up. If I had a guitar teacher they would go like, “yo, don’t do that. Do it the right way, what’s wrong with you?” I’ve had to relearn some things. I was in a band, so I played clarinet and sax in the band. But it’s almost like two separate worlds as far as music is concerned.
I do wish that I had more formal training with guitars, there is probably a lot of stuff that would be valuable to have learned, have something that’s dramatically short with the process, and figuring out how to do things too.
Angelo: Do you still play the horns?
Todd: No, it’s too [inaudible 00:33:36]
Angelo: I was like, man, you played the piano a little bit, you played the guitar, and now the horns you got all coming up.
Todd: [inaudible 00:33:42]
Angelo: That’s it man. Do you use music as adult play?
Todd: What do you mean by adult, adult videos?
Angelo: No, not adult videos. I mean like when we were kids we would just draw, or we would just color, and then as adults we really don’t do that; is that your form of playing? To me playing is doing something without expectation in a transactional sense.
Todd: Sure. I don’t know if I necessarily have whatever expectation with some sort of transaction, but play is probably something that not great with as discussed previously, everything kind of becomes systematic. I certainly think of music almost as a separate world that you can fiddle with. A lot of people like music because of the emotion associated with it or whatever, I don’t fucking care about that at all. To me it’s like, oh, here’s sort of these building blocks that you can mess around with, so I create something that is just sort of inherently interesting towards music.
That’s how I think about it. I don’t know if that counts as play really.
Angelo: Sure. Let me ask you this; if you always had this systematic structured brain?
Todd: Probably.
Angelo: Like, as far as you could remember this is how you roll?
Todd: Yeah, I think so.
Angelo: So interesting.
Todd: What I think is interesting for me, as from realizing that other people weren’t like that, you know what I mean? I certainly knew that people didn’t behave that way, but I think I just thought that they were lazy or wrong, and at some point would be like, ‘oh, wait, I’m the one who’s weird. Okay, cool.’
Angelo: I think the Elon Musk podcast with Joe Rogan, he mentioned something like that; at first he thought everyone thought like him, and then he was blown away when it wasn’t that way.
Todd: For sure.
Angelo: I think when you are a youth and for some reason you get it like that young, I think that’s how you have to look at it. You can’t think it’s different.
Todd: At least for me I certainly ended up with some general teen aches and confusions surrounding that, because you are like, ‘oh, I think the world is like this, but no one else behaves this way. People are doing all the stuff, it doesn’t make any sense. And they say one thing and they do another, and none of it is actually helping them accomplish anything that they should accomplish. What’s going on here? I don’t get it.’ I don’t know at what point I started to understand that I was the one who was the weirdo based upon that, but certainly at some point I was like, ‘oh, I do this but no one else does. Okay, cool, got it.’
Angelo: It’s so interesting. Because you are in a committed relationship, did you just let that play out and she found that out, or is that something you went out and stated?
Todd: You mean like on the first date, like, ‘just so you know’?
Angelo: Just so you know, I’ve been planning this dinner, at 6:47 we are going to get—do you know what I mean?
Todd: Yeah, yeah.
Angelo: Is that something that came out naturally, or is that something that you at your mature age, or more mature age were able to really articulate in a way that presented it probably better than when you were a kid, that you are probably just like, ‘fuck you, you are a weirdo?
Todd: I don’t know honestly. Looking back on a few years ago, I would be probably a little bit [inaudible 00:37:39], this is exactly what happened. I certainly think that probably a combination of a few things; one is learning the standard veneer of social graces at some point, right?
Angelo: Sure.
Todd: At some point I was like, oh, okay, here’s how you do it, here’s how you have small talk and don’t just overwhelm people with some ideas from some book. ‘Oh my god, I don’t want to talk about my theory on this’, and people are, ‘why are you doing that? I think some of it was certainly that. As you get started with any relationship especially as you mature and you learn about yourself, I definitely became aware of  I’m not so good with certain types of things, I can seem cold and distant, but I’m not necessarily actually like that, I just don’t respond to emotions in the same way as other people do.
Or sometimes I can come across as harsh, but I don’t always mean that, I’m just concerned with doing things right etc. I think that some of those things were probably discussed actually, and some of them just came out based upon—Like Teresa has hilarious stories of our text message conversations where she is trying to engage in some sort of normal flirting type of situation and I’m just like, not…
Angelo: Shutdown.
Todd: Not participating in the way that I should have been.
Angelo: For a girl. Do you feel like out of the wide array of emotions there is one in particular that you struggle with the most right now?  
Todd: Struggle with in terms of it causes me emotional problems?
Angelo: I don’t know about causing you emotional problems, but here’s a good example; for me, the biggest emotion that I am wrapping my head around is compassion right now.
Todd: So you want to be compassionate but having a hard time with it?
Angelo: Not that I’m having a hard time with it, but I’ve never even wanted to appreciate it in the true context of the word, especially with myself.
I’m almost a little tone-deaf to it at times.
Todd: So you are tone-deaf to compassion, like someone being compassionate towards you, or?
Angelo: More me being compassionate to me.
Todd: Okay.
Angelo: Also that has led me down in moments where I don’t give a fuck about your excuse, but in reality that’s someone’s story. I’ve played that card a bunch of times. That’s something right now that I’m working on, it’s this idea of compassion and what it looks like to let yourself, and others off the hook. That was a concept that I never had. Is there something like that for you?
Todd: Probably the exact same thing. Because I think for me I’m just so easily frustrated all the time, and I have a hard time not being frustrated with things that I think are stupid or lazy, or inconsistent, or hypocritical, or whatever. I think there’s certainly some value in that sometimes to have a little bit of an edge or an intolerance with things that you don’t think are good enough. That’s potentially positive, but I certainly don’t think that it’s always helpful to be like that either. If maybe some combination of compassion and/or empathy to be able to, like you said, understand this is why this is happening, and here is why this person is actually having, here’s what they are thinking, and this is why they didn’t do what you wanted, and if you do it this way, and if you phrased it this way instead they will, that would be probably beneficial use of that.
Angelo: I struggle with the idea of what’s the difference between compassion at times and just letting people off the hook.
Todd: Oh, so for you it’s more like, if I’m not direct or firmer with you then you are off the hook, interesting.
Angelo: Yeah.
Todd: I don’t really have that experience, but I think that I’m not necessarily great with stupid stuff, where it’s like having to check on something with someone, it just drives me crazy. It’s like, you said you were going to do this, it’s not done, what’s going on? Not being compassionate in that situation, I think it causes me stress than it’s worth because it’s not something that’s worth getting upset over. I can either be overly firm with someone, or not follow up with them because I’m mad and neither of those are helping.
Angelo: It’s so interesting. It’s like what will matter in 5 years and at the same time you’ve got to take care of what’s happening in front of you simultaneously.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: Being a human is not easy.
Todd: We made it really hard on ourselves.
Angelo: I think that’s the best way to say it. I think at one time this shit was really simple; we’d just eat, slept, and fucked, and now…
Todd: We are all kinds of tribal relations.
Angelo: That is true.
Todd: All these correlations for me all the time; people are getting ostracized, someone was trying to take over a power, it’s complicated.
Angelo: It’s just incredible. Do you study a lot of history?
Todd: Probably not. I think it’s interesting. On my list of priorities it’s probably not at the top, and if I had unlimited capacity I’d be like, yes, awesome. I don’t do too much reading that and stuff.
Angelo: I’m probably more fit to watch a documentary, I really enjoy that. There’s certain things that visually I could take in, but if something is like a story and painting a picture, I see it better sometimes than just reading historical facts or the way it was. For me to see it that way is just a little bit better for me. Like we said before, certain things in audible are great, like certain things work certain ways, I love the documentaries by far.
Todd: So like Gladiator.
Angelo: 300. For me the biggest fascination would be Roman Empire stuff. I just think it’s so interesting that….
Todd: Because you are Italian?
Angelo: Partly, but also so much has not changed. When you really think about us as people, what happened, the instances, even certain pieces of technology are just the same.
To me, as far as we’ve gone it’s as far as we’ve not gone. It’s just so interesting to me. I think how amazing that 2,000 years ago some guy was sitting there fucking thinking of certain things like this, and how they could really work without a quarter of the tools we have. We have so many fucking tools and people still don’t do amazing shit.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: That’s like a crazy paradigm to think about, like, do we have so much that we are spoilt and now we don’t do cool shit?
Todd: The human condition is probably even basically the same for most of our existence. Just like us being anxious as hell about our social status the entire time, and constantly freaking out, but making ever increasingly crazy technology throughout that whole process.
Angelo: In hopes of almost coping with that.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: It’s so crazy to think about it, that’s why we are there, how can we not make ourselves feel fucked up right now? I don’t want to do, I’m like a fall, I’m looking sober, I’m going to talk to somebody so I don’t need to talk to myself. Really, it’s just incredible what’s been happening. I forgot what I read once: it’s just good to have things that you are curious about because if they are not directly correlated into your work they could spark a lot of creativity in other areas. You could go watch a chef cook a meal, and that could equal something else in a whole nother area for you. I just think taking in information in that way of something that’s artistic and great, or maybe historic you could just learn and apply it in a different way.
Todd: I definitely do a lot of stuff like that when I read or experience things outside of my normal field, so to speak. I also think that, and this is probably slightly arrogant, but you are probably in a somewhat similar situation where you don’t need to go to another seminar or on running [inaudible 00:47:10] for people. There is diminishing returns on that type of thing, not that I couldn’t be better at it, but the learning from that doesn’t necessarily come from studying the field that you are in all the time. Like you said, insights can come from other areas or in ancillary fields or all that kind of stuff.
Angelo: I agree. You know what it is too, I think so many times in this oversaturation of information age that we’ve just become obsessed with getting information and not doing much with it. Like if you really think about from a program design perspective, we could probably talk about 3-5 books that basically, just read these books and then go do it for 10 years and you’ll get an idea of what the fuck’s happening.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: It’s almost like some people have such innate insecurity about them that they are never ready to get off the tit. That’s how I feel. For me for programming, now it’s like, I look at certain things and I still study it, but it’s definitely been of just trying out now that I shaped it in the last 4 years.
Todd: I think you are right, and that a lot of people they think that they are going to finally learn something that’s going to push them off the edge into being able to do the thing that they want to do, whether that’s in design, or start a business or whatever, and past a certain point, the most valuable thing you can do is have real life experience. Then if you are also learning in conjunction with that then you get to bounce those two things off each other. It’s like, okay, I learned this concept now I can try it in real life, did it work? Yes or no? When people are just endlessly consuming information they don’t have reference experiences to work with, it’s just like…           
Angelo: Jeopardy.
Todd: They don’t know what’s happening.
Angelo: Yeah. What would you say inspires you to keep growing?
Todd: I don’t even think of it that way. I’ve always had a desire to learn and take in information, and try it, and see what happens, and create stuff. Inspiration is irrelevant, it’s like this is just a weird behavior pattern, you can trace back a long time.
Angelo: Sure.
Todd: Like, alright, I’m going to start reading all these books that were referenced in these band’s album that I like, and I’m going to listen to every band that they thanked in their thank list, and this philosophy book referenced this philosophy book, I’ll read this one. It’s just always been like a desire to collect information and trace the root of things, but then simultaneously to create stuff too.
Starting bands in high school and making weird political magazines that we distributed throughout our high school, all that kind of stuff has always been a thing. I don’t even think that inspiration is part of it, it’s like a weird behavior pattern, it’s like, ah, it’s what we do.
Angelo: Something that I thought of when you were saying that and almost referenced to what we said earlier is, I am very much about inspiration. I get inspired to peel back layers, and you peel back layers and you could add this. I get inspired to peel back layers of learning new things and going deeper, and stuff like that. Why do you think you do it, or it just something you do?
Todd: I guess when you break it down like that, what I probably like doing is making mental models of things and seeing if they work and trying to add to them. So by peeling back layers you are just like, oh, okay, what’s going on here? Why is that like that? That didn’t work, why this person put in this exercise and to improve this, it didn’t happen, what’s going on? Oh, this band ripped off this band, where did they get it from? Why them?. There is an element of curiosity and enjoyment of trying to make those connections that I think drives me, and whether I’m inspired or not I just do that.
Angelo: I like that.
Todd: Sometimes I am inspired to do that type of thing. At some point I find something interesting and put it on the list of stuff that I need to look at, and then I just make time and look at it.
Angelo: So interesting, your brain. I think it’s really fascinating. If anyone’s listening, I think the one thing that I hope people understand is, at the end of this, me and you are going to the same place; you call it uncovering, I call it inspiring, and I think that’s the key for people to just get, you may be going to a certain place, don’t be mad or unhappy with your method.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: If I try to do how you do it, and you try to do how I do, we’ll be fucking miserable.
Todd: Yeah, for sure.
Angelo: I think a lot of times people look at people that maybe “successful” or at a higher hierarchy than them, or even how they do things, and it’s not the same as these other people, and then they think their way sucks, which is fucking false.
Todd: Yeah. There’s probably, like you were saying before about a balance between stuff where understanding why people do certain things in a certain way can be helpful, and some of those people are just completely on the wrong track certainly not aware of where they are going and what other people are doing, you think you might just be spinning your wheels, so to speak. But that doesn’t mean just mimic exactly what someone else is doing either, because you also don’t why that someone else is doing that. We see that all the time in marketing too, where someone is just copying someone else’s marketing campaign. You don’t have the same product or the same market here, don’t do that, why are you doing that?
Angelo: That certainly too like fucking marketing, especially in our industry. I go back and forth, and I love your opinion on this. There is cheesy marketing, and then there is what you would call good marketing; spitting out a good product, putting out information about that. I’ve seen businesses where their foundation of their service and product is good, and they say that they use the cheesy marketing just to get people’s attention, and then they give them the good stuff. Personally for me, I can’t do that.
Todd: You can’t be a cheese man?
Angelo: I can’t pretend. I can’t do it. For some reason in my heart it’s like being out of integrity. I just wanted your thoughts on it, because in this fitness game, if you are a better marketer you fucking win.
Todd: Yeah, clients can’t differentiate.
Angelo: They don’t know the difference.
Todd: If you are talking about the difference between giving people what they want versus what they need, the line as far as trade-off there is different for everyone.
People have totally different areas where they are comfortable saying, okay, this is what you need, and this is what I really think you should be having as far as like a program, or coaching, or exercise, social whatever, but what you want is this, what you want is 6-pack abs, or whatever, okay, we are on, especially when you are comfortable so you are drawing the line as to what you’ll get to, that is what they want but not necessarily what they need.
I think everyone who is in business at some level is making that trade-off, especially in the area where you are an “expert”, your level of knowledge surrounding the type of thing that the people need to be doing is going to be totally different than the problem the client is trying to solve. Because clients are going to come to you because they want to solve a problem, and if you don’t speak to them in terms of the problems that they are trying to solve they are just not going to come to you.
Back to your point though about the cheesiness, I think that there is different levels, I think you can be authentic but still speak to clients in terms of trying to actually solve their problems. To use our industry as an example as far as going to a CrossFit gym, I think it’s totally authentic to speak about, listen, you may feel that you have plateaued in your fitness and you are looking for something more and you’d like to challenge yourself, and you maybe had a background playing sports growing up, or do particularly well in an intellectually demanding job. So you thrive in long-term progression and goals that are difficult to reach, and you are missing something as far as what your physical fitness program is providing for you.
If you want to do something challenging and difficult that will be fulfilling for you and may potentially make you look good and live longer in the process here’s the thing. That’s authentic, and that potentially speaks to a problem that a client maybe trying to solve. But I think that when you are talking about cheesiness, a lot of the issues I have with that stuff is, I think a lot of it caters to people who are desperate. It’s like 6-weeks to a new you, or whatever. That’s not appealing to someone’s higher order, like goals or whatever. You hate yourself and you are desperate, which that’s not necessarily the client who I want to serve. I don’t necessarily think there is a problem with serving that client.
Those people do need something, and some percentage of them may actually decide to continue on with a more long-term focused program. But a lot of people are desperate, and a lot of people want a fast-track shortcut. If you don’t want to offer those things then you just have to offer a solution to a problem that the clients know that they have, but doesn’t necessarily cater to that demographic, again desperate or trying to fast track.
Angelo: If there was anything, I would have a problem with the cheat like that. I look at it as people preying on weak people.
Todd: Which I think it can be, sure.
Angelo: I look at fitness and CrossFit, and all these stuff in such a pure sense that when it’s not done that way I get mad. I get upset. From just an integrity perspective, I couldn’t do that, and I see a lot of people in our industry do that. I get it why they do it, because they just want to make fucking money, but at what expense?
Todd: Or even, you are in a situation where your business is not doing particularly well, and you have no real game plan or a path to move forward, and then you realize there is a significant portion of the population who will actually pay me money so I can operate my gym if I offer them this thing. Okay, great, let’s do it. We were talking earlier about Zuckerberg and Facebook, where if you find something that works and you think you are on a higher goal or mission then it’s relatively easy to justify the fact that you are doing something to make money to support the mission that you are on.
I think everyone is doing that at some point. Is the programming for the group versus South Loop Strength & Conditioning 100% best practices for all the individuals in the class? Absolutely not. But if it was, the number of complaints and cancelations that we would get would just be, we wouldn’t have a business. How comfortable I’m I with giving people more fun “conditioning” than they should be doing?
There is a line somewhere for me, but I’m certainly willing to make that trade-off a little bit so the people actually come and show up.
Angelo: It’s worked out. That’s the thing; if people found out what good fitness for them look like, they would hate exercise.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: It’s the best way to say it. They only way you would breathe heavy is on an assault bike or roller; your life would be pretty boring.
Todd: It’s like, guess what, don’t go rollers and walking [inaudible 1:00:31] again.
Angelo: Here we go, side planks, side planks all around. Let’s do this. That would be the fucking prescription, which is like, what the fuck? It’s so crazy to even say it. I’ve been thinking about this and I’m going to put this out there, and I want to figure this out; I am thinking about, and I think it has to be in the summer for it to work out well; taking a 30-day break from organized fitness. The reason I say in the summer is because I want to allow myself to play, like ride a bike or do things physical, I’m not going to be completely against that. But just this idea of organized fitness, I feel like Saturday it will be 10 years I’ve done CrossFit. I was thinking about why I started CrossFit and what that relationship was and what I like it to be now. I think I even fall in this trap of an unhealthy relationship with exercise where, if I eat pizza, tomorrow morning I have to go work out; it’s a have-to.
Todd: To pay off your debt or whatever?
Angelo: Right. Or I worked out all week, this is Saturday night, I get to eat shit, whatever paradigm there is. I want to look at exercise in a place where it’s a healthy relationship. Think about this; if you told me you had a hard day in order for you to deal with that, di-stressing the hard day you went and shot heroine, I’d be like, “you are an asshole. You are terrible.” But if you were like, “yeah, I went to the gym, I did hour-long class, I did 40 minutes of the resistance work because that class wasn’t enough, I feel great now”, I’d be like, “oh, you are just really healthy.” That’s the thing that I want to just understand about me, and also too it’s helping me understand more about people and their relationship with all this, there is a crazy brain to it. I’ll give it up for 30 days, and I want to see where my relationship is; is this a celebration of what I could do physically, or is this a punishment?
Todd: For a lot of people it’s weird and dark. It’s like, ‘I hate myself a lot, and this is the way I can punish the bad person who I am.’ That’s weird.
Angelo: For real.
Todd: Please don’t use my facility to act out your weird self-hatred fantasies.
Angelo: No, it’s true. When you think about a lot of people who have gotten in CrossFit are ex-addicts, but they are really not ex-addicts. They are addicts of CrossFit.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: It’s not like you’ve beat your addiction; you’ve masked it with one that’s better than you drinking, or more socially accessible than you drinking and driving your car. So many people are like that.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: I think CrossFit in a way, not in a bad way, it’s just the bi-product of CrossFit, almost like that Facebook shit, it is perfect for people that are addictive. It is an addictive person’s dream; you get more, you get harder, you get it measured. It’s just perfect. I’ve been really thinking about that. For me as someone that exercises and someone that had lost weight in a certain relationship with exercise and definitely a certain relationship with food, what would that look like; would I go eat tow hamburgers if I didn’t think I could go workout tomorrow? What would that change in me? That’s what I want to find out.
Todd: The other aspect to that too is that for a lot of people exercise is the habit on which the other healthy habits rest. So if they don’t exercise their sleep, and their diet, and their stress management and everything else just goes out the window, but if they are in the gym then they have guilt because they are just training, so they shouldn’t do whatever.
Angelo: It’s so interesting because that is true. When people work out, ‘I’m back on it’, everything is on or everything is off. You’ve got people who took off a week for the holidays and everything falls off, and then everything is back on. For me to just try to put myself in positions where I just get more understanding of me, because I think the more understanding of me I have, the more understanding I have of everyone in some capacity.
Because then it just helps you be more objective, helps you understand what someone may or may not be going through. Also too, for us as teachers, our job is just to be a minimum, but definitely at least one step ahead of the people we are working with, and I would just want to try keep making sure that I’m one step ahead.
Todd: That would give you more perspective on different relationships to fitness, rather than just, ‘here’s my program’. That’s not the reality for a lot of people, that’s not how we do it.
Angelo: No doubt. It represents so much more. I think what’s crazy is, almost people are tone-deaf to that more. They don’t really get it. It’s what I’ve been thinking about; 30 days of no formal exercise. I don’t think I’ve taken more than maybe a week, maybe 7-10 days in 10 years, honestly.
Todd: You got the unswirl 30.
Angelo: Oh my god, could you just imagine me, 180 pounds just walking around like a stick figure? No.
Todd: Trying to do a twink.
Angelo: That’s it, just my legs get all frail. A little frail body, I look like the [inaudible 1:06:21]. Obviously the way I filter things is different, do you do things different to put you in uncomfortable situations to learn about yourself?
Todd: I think probably, but I don’t know if I do that as deliberately as I used to. I think I used to value that more, like I’m going to see how I react to this situation. You mentioned you are fasting, right?
Angelo: Yep.
Todd: Angelo is at the tail end of a 3-day fast.
Angelo: I’m actually there. Technically at this moment right now I am 72 hours.
Todd: There we go. Part of that for you is, I’m just going to see if I can do this. I think I used to do more stuff like that to just see if I could do it, or to test myself, or try to learn about how I will react in a stressful situation. But I honestly don’t feel like I’ve had that thought process in a long time. There may be value in trying to understand what would be a situation I would learn about myself. Because I think it’s too easy for me to get caught up in tasks and doing things as opposed to being in a situation which I would learn about either myself or learn about others through what I’m going through.
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is related to—that concept with socializing, I don’t tend to value it, I don’t tend to prioritize it, but when I do it I enjoy it, and I think that it’s important. Okay, how do I recognize that this is something that’s important and create time for it? Like travel, I don’t love traveling and people are like, “I love traveling.” I don’t, I’m not kidding. There is a lot of value in being somewhat different and being away from your daily routine, and potentially have to figure stuff out, and worry about a new place or a new culture. So I might actually create time and prioritize that even though it’s not something that I want to do. I probably do think about it in those terms.
Angelo: For me it’s a way to build confidence and almost create a safe place to fail these little challenges. If I ate a fucking Twinkie this morning nobody gives a shit.
Todd: There is a Twinkie wrapper over here.
Angelo: Oh Jesus, no way. Thinking about that almost in a way you create this place where you could just experience things in a really safe way, where it’s not completely falling off the rails, maybe that sort of culture.
Todd: So you sort of sandbox these little challenges.
Angelo: Yeah, I put myself in these situations where if I pass it great, I will learn something and there is an achievement, but if I don’t at the same time it doesn’t define me, and doesn’t really affect other people at the same time.
Todd: I think for me, I also really like the process of not being good at something and having to figure it out, which I think a lot of people don’t like that. It’s almost like I inherently enjoy that. Would it be challenging for me to not do that? Would that be a good challenge to not be trying to work hard at improving something, or developing a new skill?
Angelo: No. I think that’s how you test yourself. The same way I don’t eat for three days, you go try to learn something as way to test your cognitive abilities or creativity. That could be your way of doing it.
Todd: Because I think I just do that all the time. I’m like, oh, okay, I’m going to learn how to write this type of computer program, or learn how the energy metabolism works, or a physics book.
Angelo: Sure. That’s it.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: So interesting.
Todd: I feel like I like that so much for maybe value, purposely not doing that.
Angelo: Could be, like subtraction and seeing what happens.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: For you right now, if you had to close your eyes and think of how you wanted your life in a decade from now, can you do that?
Todd: Do I have to close my eyes?
Angelo: No. Is there anything that’s deeply rooted in you right now in your life that you feel like you could even conceive or even know that that’s where you want to be?
Todd: Yeah. I feel a decade is such a long time that being specific with the actual what I’m doing probably won’t be accurate. If we go back 10 years, similar to you I started doing CrossFit right around 10 years ago, a little over. At that point did I have any conception that that would be my profession? Absolutely not. I think the details of what I will be doing, who knows? We talked about the things that really find valuable are a lot of taking in information and trying to create models of how the world works and then impart them upon people, where I’m like, ‘listen, I figured this out, here’s how it works, you should know this too,’ but being more tactical about that. I think that that would probably be a key aspect of what I would be doing regardless of what that actually looks like from a day-to-day perspective.
Angelo: That’s awesome. I love thinking about that stuff, because you are right; you can’t think of the house, it’s only the wears, the minor details aren’t there, and that’s almost exiting for me to think about.
Todd: Sure.
Angelo: This is interesting stuff.
Todd: You mean a vision board.
Angelo: I do, 5 years.
Todd: That’s 5 years.
Angelo: 2024. That’s my little life. The biggest thing for me is; I think so much of my youth was wrapped around, what are you going to be when you grow up? What are you going to do, are you going to be successful? That kind of thing. Whenever I make goals now, I don’t do anything that has to do with work, unless it’s how I feel about my work. But if it’s the gym, big picture, I try not to play in that world, because to me it almost contains me. You just said what you said, this could apply to a million things, and that leaves you open to them all, versus this is where I’m going to be, and that kind of shit.
Todd: I like those more tangible goals on smaller scales. I don’t like them on big picture personally. Doing quarterly objectives and key results for the gym I think are super valuable.
Angelo: No doubt.
Todd: Where you are like, do you want me to work with this revenue this quarterly? Or do you want at least one or two coaches making these much per year? Do you want this improvement and conversion rate? Yeah, for sure. Awesome, let’s do that in three month increments. I don’t like shooting that out too far. I think they just gave you enough leeway to iterate and figure out when you should actually do it.
Angelo: You said you don’t like to travel, can you see yourself living here?
Todd: Yeah, I have no major qualms for Chicago. I like it here.
Angelo: I do too.
Todd: I have stuff that I do here.
Angelo: Obviously you do, of course. Very cool. Let me ask you a question, I let every guest do this, so you get a chance, you get to define alpha hippie.
It’s kind of funny too because you had me on your show, did I even have the podcast yet?
Todd: You were talking about maybe doing it.
Angelo: Yeah, this was like when I was just a t-shirt. So you get to define it.
Todd: Did we talk about the story when I interviewed you? This is the definition of alpha hippie; Angelo and I were at the CrossFit Games, walking through the crowds and Angelo is a very large stoic looking person with arms folded across his body, looking around a slight smile on his face, this guy he sees Angelo he’s like, “Hey man, I like your chest”, because Angelo has this huge upper body. It wasn’t clear if he was ridiculing you, or was just wasted and was stuped on how big you were and was like, “dude, I also want to be big.” You just looked at him and you were just like, “thank you my man.”
Angelo: I didn’t even know what to say to him.
Todd: I would say that that right there is the definition of the alpha hippie.
Angelo: That’s perfect. I have to say this; the games now, I feel like people get way less drunk.
Todd: Yeah, I wonder if that’s related to the change in venue. What do you think?
Angelo: I remember in California people get fucked.
Todd: People are blacked out.
Angelo: Wasted.
Todd: Just like blacked out, rolling around.
Angelo: Maybe it’s because they have to move more. Because remember how before we’d go there, you in the soccer stadium all day, and then you went to the tennis stadium, and that was your day. I think now people are moving more, so they don’t get stuck.
Todd: The colosseum doesn’t feel like a spot where you should be so drunk you can’t walk.
Angelo: That felt like everyone was drunk there, compared to this one now. I wonder if that’s how unconsciously they worked on, I don’t how that worked, because I don’t think people are drinking less. But I definitely see less. You saw loud drunks.
Todd: Anecdotally I agree with you in that there were large groups of people who were very clearly blacked the fuck out at 2:00pm, and I don’t believe I saw that last year.
Angelo: No way, and if they were they weren’t as loud.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: Definitely nice. I think it’s because people are moving around more that they don’t just get with a group and get shit faced.
Todd: Yeah.
Angelo: That’s awesome. Where could people find Todd Nief?
Todd: Nief. The stuff I do on the web has three homes. The gym South Loop Strength & Conditioning in Chicago is served through , online coaching is with, and then my own podcast featuring Angelo Sisco approximately one year ago is at t-o-d-d-n-i-e-f.c-o-m. Actually if you spell it wrong I did register a few of the incorrect spellings as well, so you will be redirected.
Angelo: Of course you will, you are like, ‘oh god, someone’s going to fuck this up, before you fuck this I’ll just change it’. That’s awesome. Last question; if you had one word to be remembered by, what would it be?
Todd: I feel like I listened to some of your podcasts to make sure I was prepared for these questions.      
Angelo: I never tell anybody, but I hope that people just figure it out.
Todd: I didn’t actually prepare for this question.
Angelo: It’s good. I think it’s best when it first thing that comes to your mind.
Todd: This is tricky because you are going to make some sort of joke when I dodge the question, which is my first impulse, but let’s not do that. I can’t come up with a specific word for it, but what I’m concerned with is having some sort of insight into how better I understand the world. What’s the word for that one?
Angelo: Understand the world better, insight, understand the world…
Todd: We could say insightful, but the connotation on that is off.
Angelo: Is that wisdom?
Todd: Sure.
Angelo: I would say that’s wisdom, because insightful I think is too low level.
Todd: It’s like, ‘well, that’s an insightful comment.’
Angelo: But I think wisdom is feeling it more in a deeper level.
Todd: Wisdom is, you’ve restructured how someone perceives something, either emotionally or elevate their understanding of it. Let’s go with that.
Angelo: It’s a beautiful word. Thank you for coming here in traffic to do the show live.
Todd: Happy to be here.
Angelo: I appreciate about that.
1:21:05 End of show.

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