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Three Days at the Fair #3DATF

Updated: Nov 9, 2019

This is Coach MK's Link-riddled FIERY INTRO to the Happy Birthday, Dear Susan episode of Fitness Protection: The Podcast, now available on your favorite podcast player. We (meaning Coach MK) originally conceived this as shownotes, but the notes and links quickly got out of shownotes are now the blog. You're welcome!

We are testing this new podcast format for FPP- speaking about relevant events and tying them to our running in the intro to give context to our discussion- did you like it? If it had been 10 minutes or 5 minutes long, would you have enjoyed it more? PLEASE TELL US! You are our first listeners, so you will always matter MOST.

Three Days at the Fair #3DATF Sussex County Ultramarathon

How have I been? Down in a hole. A BOTTOMLESS REDDIT HOLE!!! I binged Stranger Things Season 3 because #winonaforever and was like REDDIT TELL ME WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Then, Courtney Love’s 55th Birthday happened, and with nothing on my calendar until this podcast about Susan’s 50th birthday, there was nothing to stop me from a DEEP THOUGHT DIVE about the importance of 1991-1994, when Edward Scissorhands was EVERYTHING and Winona and Johnny and Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain dominated all headlines.

Sorry, Coach Sarah, you’re gonna have to sit back and let me talk AT YOU for a minute, since you were what, 5 years old in 1991? I was 13-14, and Susan was 22.

I don’t think you can overestimate the cultural impact of Courtney Love, and how much she, as well as the collective response to her, shaped a generation of women and our relationship to ambition.

*Sarah has no idea what I'm talking about*

You don’t look convinced, so let’s drive this home - can you think of another ambitious, EVIL calculating woman who emerged on the national stage around the same time period? Whose ambition was used to invalidate her accomplishments as well as her marriage? EVERYONE was talking about her marriage. We still do. Haha, check the shownotes over on the blog for my thoughts because I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS when you say her name out loud even once (SKIP DOWN TO FOOTNOTES FOR MORE!).

We hope you enjoy the story of how a bunch of NASTY WOMEN convened to dominate a one-mile loop on an absolutely gorgeous fairground for 24 hours during Three Days At the Fair.


You don't have to align with a force to be shaped or affected by it. Whether we acknowledge it or not, I truly believe that my generation looked at how the media and our parents talked about Hillary Clinton: with caution as well as confusion.

We were told to be ambitious, to DO THINGS, to reach for the SKY! ,,,but make sure people LIKE you or you'll be like Hillary Clinton. At the same time, there just weren't many famous female role models we could look to. Ambition was the 'right' answer but it was also the stick a woman could be beaten with- she leaves? she cares more about her career than her marriage! she stays? CALCULATING BITCH can't get to the White House any other way! She cares more about POWER than VOWS!!! So, we're supposed to have ambition, but what are we supposed to DO with it? We still don't know, culturally, how to combine family with ambition, how to feel about two ambitious careers in a household that also contains children.

I, Coach MK, always felt like I should carry my ambition like my tits- obvious enough no one has to look for it, at the same time not calling attention to it. It's harder than it sounds, because the range of 'acceptable' differs from person to person, so basically it makes me subject to the opinions and perceptions of others. Hillary's ambition was too obvious- she stayed with a cheating man because AMBITION. She valued the white house more than love. What kind of an example was she setting by staying????

At the same time, how was she supposed to leave? Had anyone else (or any other woman) gone up against him and won? Would leaving REALLY have prompted support or reduced scrutiny for her? I'm not convinced. She refused to apologize for her anger, for her frustration, for being a human in a messy situation she didn't necessarily create (why she stayed or didn't go is none of our business). With zero media training, she was thrust into the spotlight by her husband's advisors hoping she could take the heat off of him in a moment of crisis (click any link in this section to read more). Mission accomplished- that heat transferred to her and stuck. She refused to perform contrition and we hated her for it. You know who DID perform contrition for decades? Monica Lewinsky. Is she off the hook yet?

Now, I'm not saying Hillary was perfect or above reproach. That said, I've been in countless situations where no matter what I do, I lose. So, her position in this losing game is familiar.

Courtney Love was different. She acknowledged every rule she was breaking. She owned up to her drug use, her relapse, her parenting mistakes, the damage she did to her kid. She refused to apologize for mistakes she felt she'd already atoned for. She owned her messiness and the trauma from which it stemmed. And if you see interviews from 2016 onward, you see a different woman- the mourning widow whose life has never been the same since her messy, drug-user husband committed suicide.

Aligning with either woman above, even showing a modicum of empathy or support for either woman for even a singular event twenty years ago, is dangerous and polarizing. Critical thinking isn't encouraged; we just avoid touchy subjects because there is no winning. I realize how dangerous this is- there are LEGIT reasons for not liking and not supporting either woman in question. That doesn't mean all of the criticism, media attention or backlash they've received has been fair.

Which is why Winona matters. She wasn't messy. She wasn't complicated. She had a bad day. She played by the rules and we still abandoned her. We are told not to seek rewards and to accept punishment like adults...which means our mistakes are held against us. Mistakes have grave consequences we don't disucss. We worry about rising anxiety and perfectionism in teens...and we blame social media without ever looking inward or outward- the whys are pretty obvious, it's beyond what the kids are facing at home.

All I want is a world where my daughters can make mistakes, learn from them, fail, and rise with the support of people around them. I will never stop looking for what is required to make a second act happen....for my kids as well as my runners. For my generation, it will be a matter of whether or not we can truly own our ambitions in every corner of our lives so our kids know what to do with theirs.


Ok HELL YES Taylor Swift. I WILL DIE ON THIS HILL YOU GUYS. Business is nasty, and NDAs mean public information about private negotiations flows in one direction only. The only person talking is the person who can, or a conspirator whose less-famous name will never come up- and they know their version cannot be countered. That's not a setup for truth-telling.

1. This garbage. She was suspended in the air, standing on a malfunctioning stage, AND WAS SUPPOSED TO HIDE HER EMOTIONS?????????

3. I think the tilted stage in "Look What You Made Me Do" points directly to that incident. The rest was manufactured.

4. This happened amidst drama that her label, with all of her masters, was being sold to Apple.

5. Scott had been trying to sell the label for years. YEARS. Talent development isn't cheap. Taylor was arguably the only cash-flow positive artist they had who successfully crossed over into the larger, lucrative pop world. (Remember The Band Perry? They play clubs instead of stadiums now.)

6. When money (or ego) is tight, micro-management abounds. And artists start moving contested functions in-house. These changes have widespread implications beyond the control of an artist.

Yes, all the links above are from one website/industry blog. A blog that has watched Big Machine's rise, and documented the career of its biggest ticket (which, to be clear, is and has always been, Taylor) as well as its horrifying mismanagement. If Taylor can't stop it, what are the implications for smaller acts, acts that are just starting out? This is why Taylor matters you guys. She isn't little by any means, but that doesn't mean she isn't controlled in ways she resents.

I'm not saying Taylor is perfect. I AM questioning the narrative that she would intentionally go from 'brilliant businesswoman' behind the scenes to 'petty child who starts fights' in the headlines because...record sales? Does that even make sense? I think she was trying to communicate something no one wanted to hear, something she contractually could not say. IT WASN'T THE FIRST TIME. (And this site doesn't even like her!)

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