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New Podcast Alert! Brainfire of the Vanities: From #CoolGirl to #CoachSarah

Coach MK and Coach Sarah talk in tangents (#sorrynotsorry!) about The Little Mermaid, pseudointellectualism, Taylor Swift, body positivity, and Coach Sarah’s #coolgirl days in college to highlight one key takeaway: The space between where you are and where you want to be is exciting.

That is, unless you are a twentysomething whose name rhymes with "Pristen" Go check out Mr. Coach Sarah's blog!

Topics Covered

  • Twitter often gets slammed for being a place where only nastiness happens, and there is plenty of that, but there’s also a lot of critical thought and constructive conversation - this is a popular medium for working out, or just expressing, complicated feelings about the casting of a black actress as Ariel in an upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid. To some, it doesn’t feel reparative, it feels like tokenism, and this particular casting choice doesn’t fix what’s been wrong with Disney Princess stories and their lack of representation for decades - it demonstrates that the people behind it never really understood the problem to begin with (

  • Coach MK was STUCK on this after watching Toy Story 4, where she stood in the theater to YELL at the screen multiple times and had TALKS with her daughters after the movie ended. #feministbuzzkill alert!

  • Along similar lines, the way the Internet has reacted to this latest turn of events with Taylor Swift is indicative of the sort of pseudo-intellectual discourse that has been swirling around her for years: it’s easier to look at her and see privilege and immaturity (and congratulate yourself for “seeing through her”) than it is to look at her and see calculated decisions that were often stipulated by her contract. Now that her contract has ended and she’s speaking out, people point to her actions without considering the “why” - and that’s where the critical thinking should happen but doesn’t.

  • Native Tennessean Coach MK is #teamtaylor because she has followed this story for over a decade and coincided with her graduate work. Big Machine's rise totally changed Nashvegas; she barely recognizes it anymore.

  • Sidenote on the pseudo-intellectual takes in our respective pasts: Sarah’s husband’s very self-aware blog posts about the books that gave him a swelled head as a young teen!

  • We like critical thinking around here, particularly when it comes to running and the kinds of demands runners put on their performance. Learning to be curious and excited about what your body CAN do is the first step towards real self-love that isn’t performative. acceptance is observation free from judgment.

  • The things that make Coach Sarah and Coach MK successful, happy runners are also the things that makes them good poker players (no-limit Texas Hold’Em, to be exact - yes, Coach Sarah was the cool girl who beat all the boys in college and took their money every Monday night). They never put pressure on themselves to play a hand they can’t win - what good can that possibly do? That is the OPPOSITE of giving up - that’s being judicious about when to care about outcomes: preserving your longevity by only caring when it matters.

  • By the way, you better believe both MK and Sarah have EVERY INTENTION of PRing the marathon - we are going to be our best and fastest selves in these next five, ten years. The fact that we’re not there YET is COOL and EXCITING - Coach Sarah plans to race a marathon in the fall with no pace numbers on her watch and be curious and excited about whatever outcome falls out of it.

  • Toxic, forced positivity is a thing, and it doesn’t help anyone who is struggling with the way they relate to their bodies and the way they see themselves - we always want to help you find the wins, but we never want to insist that you fake a positivity that you don’t feel - it is ALWAYS okay not to be okay.

  • Vice article: - when we think we HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES OR ELSE, it can take away our ability to be honest (even just with ourselves) when we’re actually struggling - it can inhibit our ability to see that clearly. “keeping up with contingent self-esteem requires constant impression management.”

  • Reference to the ORANGE ( - every training cycle is generating a NEW baseline, ANOTHER chance to hit the reset button and see where you are at! THAT is exciting!

  • Would you have guessed that Coach MK was named Most Tenacious and that Coach Sarah was named Most Conscientious in high school? you think they thought that was a compliment at the time? (They did not).

  • The space between where you are and where you want to be is exciting - how about that for a paradigm shift?

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