June 2 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Survival of the fittest

Amanda Eller’s background in physical fitness probably saved her life this month. The 35-year-old yoga instructor and physical therapist got lost while hiking in a Hawaiian jungle and spent 17 days alone in the wilderness with no food, phone or basic hiking gear. She fell off a 20-foot cliff during the ordeal, fracturing her leg and tearing the meniscus in her knee. Just to make things really interesting, she also lost her shoes in a flash flood and was stalked by dangerous wild boars.

News coverage includes pieces from the New York Times and People magazine. Eller credits her background in physical therapy with helping her care for her injuries while her yoga training kept her centered and positive. Her story reminds us of another incredible survival feat when a Colorado runner battled and killed a mountain lion on a trail run earlier this year.
This video chronicles Amanda’s elation when she was finally discovered by a helicopter rescue team:

Minute 2: Is breakfast really that important?

Your mom, your high school coach and every fitness publication on the planet told you for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As big fans of spinach omelets, banana pancakes and lots of caffeine, we tend to agree. A study released last month revealed that if you skip breakfast every day, you’re not just missing tasty food, but you will also have an 87% higher risk of cardiovascular-related death.  Yowza. While that spooky number was enough to scare folks out of bed, it greatly exaggerates the risk. This article explains why: “Skipping Breakfast Probably Won’t Kill You.” To hedge our bets and seize the day on a full stomach, we like these 12 High-Protein Breakfasts Under 300 Calories.

Minute 3: Podcast recommendations

We’ve been nerding out hard this year to an excellent Podcast series from NPR called How I Built This. Whether you are looking for some amusement during a long run/ride/hike or daydreaming about converting your passion for fitness into your life’s work, there are two episodes in particular that we strongly recommend. The first is an interview with John Foley, the founder of Peloton, the wildly successful bike training program that is now valued at $4 billion. Foley describes a very long journey to overnight success. We also like the episode featuring SoulCycle’s founders. It took many revolutions of passion and creativity to turn a century-old exercise into a brand new cult. If you’ve ever asked yourself why you aren’t working hard at something you love, you may find some answers streaming through your AirPods.

Minute 4: Just don’t do it while under contract

As passionate supporters of women’s sports, we applauded the provocative Nike ad campaign “Dream Crazier” featuring Serena Williams and other Nike-sponsored athletes. Unfortunately, it appears that Nike doesn’t always live up to its own hype. The New York Times just published an opinion piece from Nike track athlete Alysia Montano, a U.S. national champion 800-meter runner. She points out that shoe contracts provide the main source of income for many track and field athletes, but that they are based on maintaining top results in competition. What happens if a woman hits pause on her training to have a baby? Of course Nike pays her while she begins to raise her child, right?

Sadly, that’s not usually the case. After Montano’s piece ran, other top Nike athletes like Allyson Felix and Kara Goucher described the excruciating decisions they were forced to make between caring for their children and earning a living. In Goucher’s case, her doctor told her that she could not train intensely and nurse her newborn. She had to choose one. A fitness instructor and mom from Colorado responded with an excellent essay for the Washington Post describing how most working mothers faced their own Sophie’s Choice dilemmas, albeit out of the Twittersphere.

Minute 5: Quick intervals

  • Most of the mud has finally dried on the mountain bike trails of North America. If you are looking to give yourself a tasty two-wheeled treat in celebration of summer, there are lots of folks willing to share recommendations and test ride results. We like these three lists from respected reviewers: The Best Mountain Bikes of 2019 (So Far) from Bicycling magazine, The Best Mountain Bikes of 2019 from Outside magazine, and The 10 Best Mountain Bikes of 2019 from Outdoor Gear Lab. (Brace yourself for some of the price tags.)
  • So maybe your budget (or credit card limit) doesn’t allow for an $8,000 upgrade to your garage quiver. We just published a list of Our 8 Favorite Running Socks that may help save toenails while saving money. For more of a splurge, check out our 12 Favorite Fitness Trackers.
  • While on the topic of healthy indulgences, we were intrigued by a new gear guide from Runner’s World: 11 Summer Sandals That Won’t Ruin Your Feet. We are convinced that a nasty case of plantar fasciitis was caused by wearing flip flops all day every day a few summers back. Our amateur diagnosis was backed up by a couple of real sports podiatrists in this article who also point out lots of other risks associated with wearing flimsy shoes all summer.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Content Warning: This piece of inspiration has absolutely nothing to do with sports, working out or healthy eating. Even so, we couldn’t NOT share it. The video features a blind autistic boy who enters America’s Got Talent despite severe verbal communication challenges. If you watch this video and your eyes don’t moisten just a little, please hit pause on your workout regime and seek emotional counseling pronto.

We’re glad to see you’re interested in our content. Check out the Six Minute Mile home page or subscribe.

Get faster, get stronger, get inspired.