Podcast | Episode 141: Best of 2020

By Mario Fraioli |

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This week’s episode of the podcast—the last one for 2020—is a “best of” compilation of highlights from 12 of the most impactful conversations I’ve had over the past 12 months. To provide a little context: I put out 47 episodes of the podcast in 2020—totaling almost 100 hours of conversation—and picking out soundbites from only a dozen of them to highlight here was really freaking hard. I literally have notebooks full of stuff that I’ve learned from every single guest and I simply cannot express enough gratitude for all that they’ve shared with me and, in turn, all of you.

In this episode you’ll hear from six women and six men whose stories, experiences, wisdom, and insight really stood out to me. They are, in order of episode release date: Fernando Cabada, Laura Schmitt, Nate Jenkins, Mike Smith, Mary Cain, Karen Boen, Faith E. Briggs, Mike Rouse, Brenda Martinez, Kilian Jornet, Diljeet Taylor, and Knox Robinson. These weren’t necessarily the most downloaded episodes but I promise you each of these guests will move you in some way by either teaching you something new, providing an important insight, or getting you to reflect upon and perhaps even re-examine some aspect of your own life.

If you’re a devoted fan of the podcast, it’s my hope that this second annual “best of” episode serves as a bit of a refresher or maybe a reminder to revisit an old episode or two. For those of you who are newer listeners to the show, welcome. Use this episode as a nudge to check out some of the conversations you may have missed while also letting it serve as a primer for what’s to come in 2021.

Whether you tune in to every episode of the podcast or only listen every once in a while, I just want to say: thank you. I’m tremendously grateful for your interest and support. I’m a little over three years into this podcast journey and the impact it’s had on my life and many of you who listen regularly is immeasurable. I’m so glad to have all of you along for the ride and sharing in these experiences with me.

There is no sponsor for this week’s show but if you’d like to support my work directly, you can become a member on Patreon at themorningshakeout.com/support, where, for as little as a buck a week you can help keep the morning shakeout sustainable and also gain access to some exclusive content like The Weekly Rundown, my Patreon only podcast that I co-host with my friend Billy Yang, the occasional “emergency pod,” and other perks that pop up from time to time. A big thank you to all of you who are already members—your support means so much to me and I cannot thank you enough for it.

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Podcast: Episode 139 with Knox Robinson

By Mario Fraioli |

“I started to wonder decades later if running for me was the first time that I had ever had facts ascribed to my name. And I wonder if being lied about and called racial epithets from a young age and to know from age 4 or 5 that I’m living in a society that speaks of you in a way that you know is not accurate and you know is not who yourself to be. And so for an entire lifetime of people lying to you and lying about you, saying you did something that you didn’t do, saying that you were someplace that you weren’t, somebody saying or assuming you would do something or had done something that had never even entered your mind. I think running, and getting times, for the first time, for me, as a teenager, was the first time that I ever had experience with facts, you know what I mean? You can’t lie about your time. You can’t lie about your race. It’s there in the newspaper, in the results section, and I think that that experience was so intoxicating to me, that like, you could call me whatever you want, and you could say all these racist stereotypes about black people you want, but you can’t never say that Knox Robinson didn’t run 9:41 on a Tuesday night.”

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Knox Robinson is a returning guest to the show. He first appeared back on Episode 12, which was recorded Boston Marathon weekend in 2018. He was also the first person I interviewed for the morning shakeout’s Going Long series almost four years ago.

In addition to being a friend of mine, Knox is a writer, coach, and athlete who is now based in Los Angeles. Prior to that he spent years in New York City, where he co-founded the Black Roses NYC running crew. Knox ran collegiately at Wake Forest before stepping away from the sport for the better part of a decade to work in the music industry. He managed the careers of various artists, and also served as the editor-in-chief of the Fader, a magazine dedicated to covering hip hop and indie music, style and culture.

We recorded this conversation back in late July but I’ve held onto for a couple of reasons: 1. Knox was a guest on a lot of other podcasts this past summer and I didn’t want this one to get lost in the shuffle; and 2. This was at times, quite frankly, an uncomfortable exchange as we discussed difficult topics like running while black, race in America, the role of the media in all of that, and more. But I’m sharing it here today in its entirety because it had a profound impact on me and I hope it will do the same for you. We got into Knox’s roots and his background as a runner and a storyteller, his writing practice and what it looks like, and the idea of running as a sort of leveling agent. We also discussed his recent move to LA and what he hopes to achieve there, setting up a high altitude retreat in the mountains of Mexico, and a lot more.

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