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 109 with Mike Smith

By Mario Fraioli |

“When I look at an athlete, the way I see an athlete, how they see themselves, how they feel about themselves, where they are in their lives, that’s going to show up on the track way more than the training, right? The training is only going to be in line with the athlete when those other places are in check. You can maybe fake it and get by for a little while but ultimately those things are going to reveal themselves more than the workouts, and the mile(age), whatever, any of that stuff. So, how people are feeling is, to me, the first part that you have to tackle as an athlete, then you can nerd out on workouts. But to get that order wrong, I think, you’re going to be dumbfounded at the lack of results.”

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Mike Smith is the director of cross-country and track and field at Northern Arizona University, where his men’s cross team country team won three-straight national titles from 2016 through 2018, and last fall, they finished runner-up to BYU; his women’s squad qualified for nationals last fall for the first time since 2008, finishing 14th. Prior to his time at NAU, Mike coached at Georgetown, and in his coaching career he’s guided numerous athletes to all-conference honors, All-American awards, and national titles. He also coaches a handful of pros and still leads the Team Run Flagstaff group workouts on Tuesday nights in town.

I’ve been following Mike’s career since the mid-1990s when we were both running as high schoolers in small-town Central Massachusetts. This is a conversation about the path Mike’s followed to get where he is today, and who and what have influenced him along the way. It’s also a conversation about his approach to coaching, running, competition, and life that I personally took a lot away from and I know you will too.

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