It's the weirdest time of the year, when all the days become a formless sludge and we start to miss getting emails. Navigating the days between Christmas and New Year can be tricky at the best of times, but in 2020 there's an extra layer of WTAF. So I knew I wanted to talk to someone motivating, but not annoying; someone who could nudge us gently into 2021, without making us feel like we weren't already good enough; someone sweet and funny who wasn't smug; someone who, in short, is as sceptical about New Year's resolutions as I am and can instead make us all feel better about who we are right now. That person is Leanne Hainsby.
Anyone who is lucky enough to own a Peloton will already know who Leanne is. Anyone who doesn't know what a Peloton is, well, it's basically a super-duper fixed exercise bike with a video screen that enables you to join live and on-demand classes given by amazing instructors. If you have never been on a Peloton and would rather chew your own feet than go to a spin class PLEASE STAY WITH ME. You don't need to have any prior knowledge to love Leanne Hainsby, I promise.
She is the UK's first female Peloton instructor, a woman whose physical strength is matched only by her emotional authenticity. A former professional dancer for everyone from Katy Perry to Steps, she is kind, supportive, enthusiastic, funny, insightful and empathetic. Her trademark phrase, shouted through the screen to the hundreds of thousands of Peloton riders who join her classes, is 'Yes to you.' Leanne is, quite literally, my favourite person I haven't met yet. And so I wanted to introduce you all to her because she's a total gem.
She joins me to talk about her failure to value herself in past relationships, her failure to be punctual and her failure to see herself beyond her problematic skin (such an interesting conversation). Along the way, we chat about music, cats, mood swings, how to exercise when you really don't feel like it and, yes, there might be a few details about her boyfriend (fellow UK Peloton instructor, Ben Alldis). Please have a listen even if you don't think this episode is for you. I promise you it will put a spring in your step. And if it doesn't, I'll give you your money back...oh now, hold on, this podcast is free so that's not possible. You see? Everyone's a winner!
YES TO YOU!
If you're in the mood for an antidote to all the 'new year, new me' hype, I can entirely objectively (ahem) recommend my new book Failosophy: A Handbook For When Things Go Wrong which explains why I hate New Year's resolutions and which also contains 7 Failure Principles developed from two-and-bit years worth of accumulated podcast wisdom.
This episode is not sponsored, but I did want to flag a new book by Samaritans out on 7th January. How To Listen comes with a preface by Michael Palin and includes helpful tips from trained Samaritans on how to talk about how we are feeling, as well as how to listen to one another in a way that can prevent day-to-day concern or worry from escalating into more complex emotions. You can (pre)order your copy here.
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Naomi Mantin and Chris Sharp. We love hearing from you! To contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Day @elizabday
How To Fail @howtofailpod
Leanne Hainsby @leannehainsby