Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 94 - Dr. Kristin Haraldsdottir - WORK HARDER GET LUCKIER

So, it’s funny to look back in hindsight on how everything fits together, right? This happens once you’re an adult. The longer you’re around you can look back at things and be like, “Man, it’s kind of crazy that it’s working out this way.”
Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 94 - Dr. Kristin Haraldsdottir - WORK HARDER GET LUCKIER

KRISTIN: [00:00:00] So, it’s funny to look back in hindsight on how everything fits together, right? This happens once you’re an adult. The longer you’re around you can look back at things and be like, “Man, it’s kind of crazy that it’s working out this way.” And this idea that I’m glad I went through all the hard things I went through.

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JESSE: [00:01:09] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host Jesse Funk. My guest today has her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology much like my guest last week, Aquil. She works at Hydrow where she is the Director of Exercise Research and Innovation. Before that, she was a Division One Rower at Princeton and followed that up coaching at Princeton for three years. She also currently works as an Associate Scientist in the Human Performance Lab at Wisconsin. And if you want another podcast to listen to with a lot of great guests and good information to figure out who you are, why you do what you do, she’s the host of The Humble Podcast. Welcome to the show, Dr. Kristin Haraldsdottir.

KRISTIN: [00:01:52] Thank you. It’s really nice to be here.

JESSE: [00:01:55] Yeah, thanks for joining me. Like I said before we got going, I spoke to Aquil last week. And then you now. I should clarify again, if you didn’t listen to last week’s episode, it’s Hydrow with a W not just the regular hydro because it’s a company name. And I didn’t know that I was going to get to talk to both of you. Often, I only get to talk to one representative. So, I’m always grateful to have very high-quality guests to speak with. So, thanks for joining me.

KRISTIN: [00:02:35] Yeah. No, I’m honored to follow Aquil. He is amazing.

JESSE: [00:02:30] So, do you guys cross paths that much? I mean, I don’t know how large Hydrow is. Aquil seems like a really cool guy. I told him before we got going and maybe even during the show, I’m just like researching him. I was like, he seems like a cool guy to hang out with. But since he’s also a software engineer, I’m like, he may just be stuck behind the screen most of the day when he’s not out shooting promo video or doing his workout. So, I don’t know how much, obviously, right now, probably not so much. But normally, do you guys see each other much?

KRISTIN: [00:03:03] I actually get to hang out with Aquil, a fair amount, which is amazing. Because he is so fun to work with. He and I actually go back to 2004 where we had overlap at the Princeton boathouse when he was on the national team and I was training there as an undergrad. And then we didn’t see each other for over a decade, I guess. And then met up again at Hydrow back in 2019. And so now, in my current role, I do a lot of interacting with the athletes. So, I interact with Aquil in his role as an athlete — as an on-screen athlete who’s doing workouts for the Hydrow members.

And because a big part of what I do is I actually program a lot of what the whole health and fitness content is at Hydrow. So, he and I will chat about his upcoming workouts, and if he is going to be filming things that are part of upcoming training camps. And we always have a back and forth really close between me, the other folks on the fitness team, and the athletes before they head out and film things because we document everything. Every single workout that they go do we have written out, we have load scored. It’s all part of a bigger picture. So, I actually am happy to report that I get to talk to Aquil, a pretty fair amount.

JESSE: [00:04:36] So, I think this begs the question a little bit. Maybe it’s just a matter of I’ve spoken to two of you so it’s a very small sample size. But is everybody at Hydrow a former rower of some sort or?

KRISTIN: [00:04:50] Hydro was founded, of course, by Bruce Smith, who is a former rower, former national team coach, former CEO of CRI, so very firmly from the rowing world. And my direct boss, Matt Lehrer is also from CRI. They worked together there. He’s from the rowing world. I don’t want to throw out a percentage. There is a fair amount of people on staff at Hydrow who have some rowing experience. But there aren’t that many of us, I think, who really committed over half our lives to it professionally, which is the case for me, which is definitely the case for Aquil. You just happen to have talked to two of us.

JESSE: [00:05:35] No, that’s fair. It’s one of the things I’m curious about. I think some ways, it’s maybe a little self-selective, right. I spoke with Jesse Frank from Specialized. He works in the Wind Tunnel Lab. And he runs, and most of the people in the office their bike because it’s Specialized, and they make bikes. And so if he goes somewhere with his running shorts on, everybody looks at him like he’s a maniac.

Because they’re like, “Who’s this runner in our office? We only ride bikes here.” So, I think it’s a little bit of like — I mean a bike company is going to attract people that are cyclists and a rolling company is probably going to attract people with a rowing background. So, I think it’s a little bit like I said self-selecting or self-fulfilling prophecy, depending on how you want to define that. But it’s just a curiosity since, like I said, my sample size is only two. But it seemed like that, you know?

KRISTIN: [00:06:37] Yeah. No, for sure. And I mean, I think Aquil is at the company for obvious reasons, because he is just an incredible rower and brings such incredible experience and his just wonderful personality to the screen. Me, I have this really interesting mix of skills and background that were weirdly perfect for when I was brought into Hydrow in 2019, to the fact that I come from the rowing world, both as an athlete and as a coach. But I also researched rowing.

One of the things that I did while I was in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin is I helped with actually administering the pre and post-season fitness testing on all the D1 athletes, or most of the D1 athletes. And that included VO2 Max tests, heart rate variability, heart rate recovery, all sorts of measurements of not only their fitness, but their recovery, and kind of their sleep and all sorts of things.

And one of the groups that we tested was the women’s rowing team, which is very large at Wisconsin. And so I had all this experience writing papers and analyzing and administering tests on athletes, but also rowers. Which is kind of a niche thing because there just aren’t that many, and there isn’t much funding for rowing.

So, Hydrow was looking for somebody who kind of knew the ins and outs of the physiology of rowing, what is caloric expenditure actually during rowing, how to make really impactful rowing workouts for everyday people. So, I mean, not to get too long-winded, I’m sure I can address these things later. But I came in and I am a rower, but it’s so much more than that. My life has gone in such a way that I have stayed in touch with rowing. But on the research side, more recently, which is also a bit unusual.

JESSE: [00:08:54] This is kind of a sub-note and a very probably small footnote in what you mentioned. But you got me thinking about — I did a video recently about how far do you have to run to burn 1,000 calories. Because people get fixated on those nice, easy numbers. And the math of it kind of works out where, obviously, it depends a little bit on how much you weigh, whether you’re going uphill, like those kinds of things. But as a general rule of thumb, you’re going to burn about 100 calories a mile, like regardless of speed. Is there any nice rule like that in rowing, or is there more variability to how that works?

KRISTIN: [00:09:38] Caloric expenditure is one of my favorite and most frustrating questions because it’s one of these most annoying answers you can probably get is it depends, right, [inaudible 00:09:53] right at the beginning of your question because there’s so much. So, the beauty of rowing is that — Well, one of the most attractive parts of rowing too, I think people, especially right now, when at-home fitness is kind of what a lot of us are being drawn to is you want to be able to get as much for any given amount of time, right. And it’s a whole-body workout, it just is.

That is the nature of rowing. It is basically like a clean motion, right? Your whole body is involved. The flip side of that is that all of the pieces, it takes a little bit of time and practice to get that all of the body movements to go together in the right way. Right?

So, it, your question is for — I could answer your question probably for Aquil’s level that is like that he has — his muscle member memory is just your perfect, right. He will never forget how to row. And so I could tell you, for somebody who’s like that, somebody who has taken the time to really master the motion, yes, you could probably figure out pretty closely what caloric expenditure is exactly for him.

And then you’ve got the other end of the spectrum, somebody who’s never sat down on a rowing machine and needs to take the time. So, it’s really, it’s this spectrum, right? But what I can tell you is, once you figure it out, it is just so, so impactful. I’ve never, honestly, the thing you said it’s almost embarrassing — and I maybe shouldn’t admit to this — I had never heard the idea that there’s 100-ish calories per mile. I like that. I’m going to think about that. And — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:11:43] Yeah. It varies, but regardless of variables, maybe it goes up 10, it’s not huge jumps. And it’s the thing we think about where it’s like, you want to think, well, if I’m running the six-minute miles, and you’re running 10-minute miles, I’m clearly burning more calories than you. No. I just happen to be doing them faster. I’m burning more energy to move that distance fast — like I have the ability to do that.

But it doesn’t change the amount of work being done, because we just go back to our physics lessons. It’s the same to cover that mile, roughly speaking. Now, I’m around 170 pounds. If you take somebody twice my size, and they had to move a mile, clearly, they’re doing more work than I am. Because it takes more energy to move a larger body.

But that general rule of thumb still basically applies. Until I did the research for the video, I was like still in that mindset. I was like, clearly going faster can be burning more. Nope. You just go through the math of it and you’re like, “Oh, okay. That’s a good rule of thumb.” And it’s been useful for me because I’ve had to try to cut a little bit of weight lately, as I’m just coming back to running versus triathlon, so you can’t be quite as heavy.

And so while I’m trying to figure out my calories for the week, it’s like, well, how many miles am I running? 40 miles. Okay. That’s 4,000 calories divided over seven days, blah, blah, blah. Like, it’s a really nice rule of thumb. And then obviously, for me, you pay attention to your stomach, too, if you’re too hungry, just eat something. But — [crosstalk]

KRISTIN: [00:13:28] Yeah. When you relate running to rowing it’s also just so important. You mentioned it, right? If you’ve got somebody who’s carrying around extra weight, but they have the same amount of lean mass, it’s going to affect their energy output. It’s going to not give them the same benefit in miles per hour, right. But in rowing, it’s not load-bearing, right, you’re not carrying yourself around.

So, the lean mass matters more. The lean mass will dictate your ability to go a given wattage more than your actual whole weight. Right? So, it’s actually — there’s a lot to say there, but there’s a lot of reasons why doing something load-bearing like that, if you are heavier, if you’re carrying around a little bit extra weight might be a good idea.

JESSE: [00:14:22] Yeah. That kind of makes me think about — as I think about it’s like closer to cycling where there’s kind of advanced simulation calculators online you can put in and say, okay. I can push this many watts and I’m this weight, and this is the frontal area of my body and the wind resistance, and you can put all those variables in.

Like when you adjust weight, and you — say I could do 250 watts, which is reasonable for me in my current fitness, and I dropped 10 pounds, it’s like you don’t gain that much speed. Maybe a little, but like 10 pounds would be a lot of speed in running assuming that it’s healthy weight. That’s something I try to talk about too because there’s such a culture of being too thin in running.

But, in cycling, because you’re on the bike, and you’re largely limited by like — what do I want to say — not rotational inertia, but rotation — like the resistance of the wheels against the ground and that kind of stuff. Like those are larger limiters, and then your frontal area is a larger limiter than your weight is that if you’re bigger, but you can get small, like that is going to be more beneficial than just like losing 10 pounds. So — [crosstalk]

KRISTIN: [00:15:42] Yeah, it’s all about — [crosstalk] Yeah, lean mass and where it is and what your sport actually demands. Yeah, for sure.

JESSE: [00:15:52] So, I want to know a little bit more about you, your kind of story. I know, at least I believe I know, from the podcast, you focused on athlete identity, and I think you went through, what I’ll call like the athlete identity crisis post-retirement. I talked about this with a number of athletes on the show over time. But it seems like you are kind of specialists in it in some ways because of the show. So, can you give me a little more idea about kind of your journey, what led you from rowing to coaching and then on to the show?

KRISTIN: [00:16:30] So, it’s funny to look back in hindsight on how everything fits together, right? This happens once you’re an adult. The longer you’re around you can look back at things and be like, “Man, it’s kind of crazy that it’s working out this way.” And this idea that I’m glad I went through all the hard things I went through definitely applies to me. I’ve been incredibly privileged my whole life, but especially the last almost two decades, which is crazy to say, that’s when I discovered rowing, just about.

It really did change my life up until, when I was a pretty typical athletic kid; played soccer, was terrible at basketball, was very bad at a lot of things. But one thing I had going for me was that I wouldn’t stop trying, and really cared about doing really well. And so rowing is a sport that rewards you for just putting your head down and grinding. And so when I discovered it, when I was 16, I was able to just put blinders on. And the harder I worked, the more I was rewarded.

And that ended up — I got an opportunity to go to Princeton and row there, which was incredible. And again, I look back and that completely changed the trajectory of my life, as everything does. But really, for me, I can’t help but realize that that was a huge, huge thing for me. My four years at Princeton rowing, in 2006, we won the NCAA championships and we were dubbed one of the greatest eights in history.

And I rowed with, I want to say five, if not four Olympic medalists in that boat, who would go on to win Olympic medals, although Andy Moran had already won a silver medal, I believe. And I was this sophomore sitting up in 7C, which is right behind the stroke seat, the leader kind of of the boat and then the coxswain in front of her. Her name is Caroline Lind, and she is a two-time gold medalist at the Olympics.

And I learned — I thought I knew about work ethic going in. And in that year, I learned more than I ever could in any other year I imagine. I was surrounded by this group of women who just — we identified a goal, and we identified what it would take to get there. And we measured our success off of ourselves because we were pretty sure that we were faster than anybody else if we worked together. And it’s so funny the life lessons you learn in sport can go either way, right? So, for all the positives I learned in that year and all four years coming off of a win like that, when half of that boat graduates and you go back and it’s a rebuilding year.

All the life lessons you learn along the way and all the mistakes you make on a personal level in dealing with that I’ve taken with me. It took probably — so I graduated in 2008. And I had really focused those four years on — I loved rowing. I loved performing. I loved training. I’ve always loved the process more than the outcome. And I mean, not that the outcome doesn’t matter to me, but the process is really something that I hold on to for dear life.

And coming out of — graduating from Princeton, I didn’t know who I was without it. And I knew that. So, I was an Icelandic citizen. I did not have American citizenship, so trying out for the national team wasn’t an option for me. It’ll shock no one that Iceland doesn’t have a rowing national team, so I didn’t go that route either. So, I didn’t know and it was 2008, which was a bad financial year, right. So, I did what I knew. I became a personal trainer in New York City at Equinox and living in New York City, making entry-level personal training dollars is not glamorous, right?

And so for that year I would show up at 05:00 AM and do the early shift where you’re walking around in a blue shirt, and people ask you questions, and you clean things. And I would end my day at 11:00 PM doing the same thing and hope to train some people during the day. And then that led to — I very gratefully accepted an offer to come interview for the assistant coaching position back with Laurie Dauphine at Princeton for the women’s rowing program.

And I ended up coaching there for three years. And a lot of the, I’m going to say the mistakes, but the oversights I had during my undergrad I was so laser-focused on my own performance, I never saw the bigger picture of anything, really.

And so I really committed in those three years back coaching, to look at the team as a whole and understand what could I do to really contribute to this team from the bottom up. because I was the second assistant. I was the bottom — the least — I was the lowest coach, if you will. And so I was working with the novices, I was working with freshmen, I was in the spring — I wasn’t up with the varsity eights, which was an absolute pleasure for me because it was new.

And I was looking at the team as a whole, I was understanding what’s happening in the back of the [inaudible 00:22:45], rather than at the front. And just watching trends and watching like what makes the athletes happy because happy athletes tend to perform pretty well. And watching the trends of injuries and what happens and just like looking at the team as a whole, and I started to realize in my third year that I knew so little. I knew so little about what works and what doesn’t, or when something works, why? Or when someone’s really fast and doesn’t get injured, why? We want more of that, less of the anxiety, and less of the injuries.

And so I thought, I have to go figure this out somewhere, like I have to learn more about this. I have the most respect for my bosses and former coaches, but I needed to go figure it out for myself, try a new approach. So, I looked for grad programs that would teach me something about physiology about what works and what doesn’t in sport. What’s healthy, what has a long-term healthy impact, because I knew that the way I didn’t wasn’t right. I knew that you shouldn’t graduate from one of the best academic institutions in the world after winning NCAAs and feel like you’re not able to do anything. So, I knew that, right?

So, I ended up going to the University of Wisconsin. I accepted a position as the grad assistant there for their women’s rowing program, and signed up for a two-year non-thesis master’s, and quickly realized that I really, really liked learning this stuff, and that the non-thesis master’s wasn’t going to cut it for me. So, two years and a grad assistantship turned into six years, a master’s and a Ph.D. and no grad assistantship.

I shifted completely academic, and was so lucky I met Dr. Drew Watson, who’s one of the head sports medicine physicians for the Badger Athletics Program, so Wisconsin’s D1 athletics. And I got to start — he was just starting the pre and post-season fitness testing that year. I think it was 2013. And I had that work ethic, I knew I loved the process, I love the grind. And I said I will show up to whatever you need me to. And so I did.

I showed up for 10 to 20 hours a week doing VO2 Max tests on top of the things I was doing in other places to get paid. And I got to start collecting data, analyzing data, and then writing about it, and then getting to publish it.

And then actually like starting to — it was just the most thrilling thing I’ve ever done was to be able to actually — It’s the same thing as rolling, it’s the same idea that you have as an athlete, the thing we love as athletes is the process that ends in something, even if it’s thousands of hours away, even if it’s years away, just this idea that you can put your head down. And if you do the work, there is a reward. And you just have to trust that your hard work will get you there.

And so after I graduated, you could hear this, I do talk about this on the podcast, but I’ll keep it very brief. I got a pretty “impressive” postdoc at Yale, in nuclear cardiology, and I went out there packed [inaudible 00:26:39] bags. And I realized immediately I had gotten myself into a situation again that was bad. And it was a step backwards. It was chasing something impressive that wasn’t good for me. And so after 14 weeks, I walked in and I quit, which is not usually advisable if you’re looking for — It was a three to five-year commitment that I ended 14 weeks and — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:27:08] Not the best thing for career advancement.

KRISTIN: [00:27:10] No. No, not really. But for life advancement, yes, it was for me, in that case. So, anyway, a year after that, I ended up at Hydrow. And it’s just been yet again, getting to translate my life experience and all of that hard work into bringing rowing to not elite athletes, in this case, now it’s to the rest of the world. And like getting all these things that sport have taught me, that exercise has given me figuring out — Hydrow’s truly trying to figure out how to give that to everyone else. And so I feel ridiculously lucky to get to sit where I am right now and tell you that story.

JESSE: [00:28:02] So much like Aquil, maybe it’s just on my mind because I’m reading it. So, next week, I’m talking to a gentleman by the name of Fergus Connolly. And he wrote this book that I’m reading I want to talk to him about called The Happiness Handbook for High Achievers.

And so you made me think about that because you’re talking about, as I mentioned, not a great career move, but maybe a good life move. And where you were, as an undergrad just being like laser focus. Horse blinders are on, you can’t see anything besides what’s right. And there’s this focus, but then I find myself this way, I think Aquil touched on it and you touched on it. I don’t know how many guests talk about it.

But it seems like as we get older and I don’t know that it’s a matter of, if you’re old, then you see it. Or just you’ve been through enough motions, and you kind of reach a place where you’re like, this isn’t what I want. But it seems like a lot of people go through this kind of laser-focused, work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone attitude, and then eventually reach,

I won’t call it a breaking point, but some kind of point of inflection where they’re like, “Am I happy? What now? Like, whatever that is, and something switches. So, I guess I’d like to ask you, do you think if you could talk to your undergrad self, could you convince her to do anything different? Is it important to convince her to do anything different? Are we now it’s like sitting here [inaudible 00:29:46] on a pedestal like we know all of the things. But really, it’s a matter of, she has to go through that to get where you are. Is there any other way?

KRISTIN: [00:28:58] So, your question is one that I have debated both in my own mind and with others. I can’t even tell you how many times because I am now committing much of my time to figuring out how to make it better for former me, because I’m pretty confident, Jesse, that if I teleported myself back to 2006-2007, and said, “Hey, chill out.” Or, “Hey, try to focus on your econ homework a little bit more.” I’d be like, “I’m busy. I’m taking this very seriously.”

I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. And I think that there are things that I do wish that — I actually do think that there are some things that would have helped me. And they are things like, I don’t know if this sounds hokey to you, but it’s mindfulness training. It’s actually just learning to stop and breathe. All these things that could actually chill me out without like, talking to me about it. But teaching me mechanisms to increase my parasympathetic tone, rather than just being sympathetic all the time. I’m one of the lucky ones who, I was depressed in college, and I am able to look back now and see that I was able to — I’ve been able to find ways to build on where I was.

But back to your question. I think for people like me — I don’t think I’m unusual. I think for people like me, there are ways to offer support that isn’t — like, I wouldn’t have accepted support, but ways to at the end of — Now, it’s 2021, this isn’t — In 2008, there wasn’t a Calm app, right? There wasn’t a mindfulness podcast all over the place. That kind of stuff, I think should be promoted in athletic programs. Because we are actively publishing research that shows that not only does mindfulness training or more sleep, better sleep, more rest and recovery, not only does it improve athlete quality of life, and all sorts of metrics about well-being, but it also improves performance.

So, if you had told me, if you had tricked me, and told me that listen to this five minute mindfulness every night before you go to sleep or first thing in the morning, it’s going to make you five seconds faster. I would have been like, “Well, that seems like a good idea.” You know what I mean? And I bet you I would have felt a lot — I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if it would have changed anything, but I can’t help but think it might have.

JESSE: [00:33:26] Well, I mean, it’s the indeterminable question, right? You can’t answer it because it happened the way it happened, and you can’t change it. But it’s one of those things where I think it kind of helps give clarity to where you are now rightly or wrongly. So, it’s more of a probing question. But you mentioned, like being depressed as an undergraduate and a lot of people would, on the outside looking in, go, “Well, I mean, you’re a Division One Rower at Princeton, like so many people would love to go to Princeton and don’t get the opportunity. And how could you possibly be depressed?” And that’s one of the things that like —

I hope you’ll have the chance to listen to my conversation with him, but coming back to the book that Fergus wrote The Happiness Handbook for High Achievers. I mean, he basically starts the book off saying that. You think on the outside looking at these people, Olympians and you’ve spoken to a number of them that they’re these super joyful, happy beings that everything’s going right for them.

When really a lot of them are struggling with identity like you went — you’ve talked to so many of them about struggling with self-worth, with finding joy. And there are a lot of things that drive people to be the best. I think one of the things that drove me and early on in this show, I had a theory about it. But one of the things that drove me was like a sense of inadequacy where it’s like, I need to be better. And I will work as hard as I need to be to, to be worth it. Where it’s like your internal self-worth is just not high enough. And you’re like, if I can just achieve enough, I’ll be worth something. And everybody — different people have different demons.

So, I don’t know that that’s the thing that drives every single person. But I almost find like, it’s fewer and far between that it’s a sense of pure joy is the main driver for people. I love it when I do find those people because I have spoken to them. But I think it’s harder to find somebody that’s purely “I’m going to work as hard as I can just because this is the thing that gives me the most joy.” I think all these other factors come in like having that identity of like, “I’m a rower. This is who I am. I am a rower at Princeton. What else could I be?” And that’s where your self-worth comes from. And then when it’s stripped away from you, don’t know what to do. I think that’s a very common experience.

KRISTIN: [00:36:15] Yeah, it’s funny that you talk about joy and fun. And this is going to make me sound, I think, maybe a little robotic. But somebody was talking to me the other day about what makes a workout fun. And I was like, “Oh, like, getting a really good workout that’s fun, and getting really sweaty and like feeling exhausted afterwards.” And they were like, “No, no. I don’t think that’s fu– Like, I think you’re misunder–”

They were like, “You’re misunderstanding me. I’m talking about the stories you want to hear. And it was so funny because I think that after some self-reflection, and I have this feeling — It seems like maybe you’re similar to this, or at least a lot of people are is that for process driven people, people who get a lot of satisfaction from hard work, the line between fun and fulfillment is very weird. It’s like, I can’t tell you really what I think is fun because other emotions make me feel like I’m having fun that aren’t directly tied to, I think, what you would think fun is.

JESSE: [00:37:34] Yeah. Well, it’s like — I’m sure I’m going to misquote this. But it’s something about there’s like type one fun, there’s type two fun. The type one is like, I’m having fun right now. Like we’re at a party, and we’re laughing and enjoying ourselves. And then the type two fun is where you’re not having fun right now. But when you look back on it later, then you’re like, that was fun. And I think that’s the thing that high-performing athletes and very self-driven people have and value is that idea because I know.

I mean, I spent — Gosh, I spent eight years trying to become a pro triathlete and I’m coming back to just running now. And I don’t know how many races I would get to the end, and I’m suffering through the run, regardless of the distance of the race. And I’d be like, why am I doing this? Like, that’s the thought that’s going on in my head. But I look back at some of those races and one, in particular, in Santa Cruz, where I didn’t eat enough and I think I was going to collapse if I had gone too much farther. My vision was literally turning black and closing in on me.

And I look back and I’m like, “Well, that was fun.” Like, soon after, I was like, I didn’t know I could go that far like. I got a sense of satisfaction from — I had like, 60 year old guys passing me on the run because I was so out of it. But I made it to the finish line. And it’s like, in reality, that was probably a pretty dangerous place to be physically.

But because of that type two fun and then that desire to push yourself farther I’m like, that was great. And it’s this bizarre line like you said between fun and fulfillment, and then that self-worth through achievement, and it was — Yeah, I think that that plays a big role in it. There are some people that are just like, I want to party and have fun right now. And then maybe people like us are like, I want to suffer right now. And then when I look back on it, I’ll be fulfilled and be happy at that moment.

KRISTIN: [00:39:51] Yeah. And I think when the ability to do that gets taken away, so if you’re not able to participate in your sport, you’re not able to train for whatever reason, whether it’s an injury, whether it’s COVID, whether it’s retirement, whatever it is. When that gets taken away, your definition of fun is taken away, like the thing that gives you fulfillment and joy, it’s complicated.

JESSE: [00:40:19] Yeah. Yeah. Kris, as we’re running down on time, there’s a question I’m asking everybody this year. I have a question I ask all my guests for a particular season, so this is my season three question. I’d like to ask you, how do you stay motivated after failing to reach a goal?

KRISTIN: [00:40:40] I find a new one. Yeah, I don’t spend just about any time focusing on failures. I have failed at so many things so many times that I’m not going to say it doesn’t bother me, but it doesn’t faze me anymore. It’s part of the process. I’m pretty proud of my failures at this point. And so I immediately look at what went wrong and then I find the next thing.

JESSE: [00:41:09] That’s a good deal. Kristin, where can people find you? Can they check you out at Hydrow? Do you have social media, any of that stuff going on? Obviously, the podcasts if we check out all that backlog?

KRISTIN: [00:41:21] Yes, you can absolutely. The Humble Podcast is hopefully going to make a return at some point. Not in the near future, but in the future. You can find me on Instagram. I’m really the worst at social media. But you can find me there if you can spell K and then my last name Haraldsdottir, you can find me there.

JESSE: [00:41:43] Look for the episode title to spell that and you’ll be fine.

KRISTIN: [00:41:46] Yes. Yeah.

JESSE: [00:41:48] All right. Kristin, thanks for hanging out with me today.

KRISTIN: [00:41:51] Thank you so much. This was really fun. Thanks, Jesse.

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