Des Linden is a professional runner for Brooks Running. She joins the Singletrack Podcast to talk about a range of topics including her interests in sports psychology, her nascent career as a commentator for NBC in their running broadcasts, and perhaps most notably to this audience - her intentions to transition more significantly from road marathons to trail and ultra running as early as next year.
Finn: All right. Does Linden welcome to the Singletrack Podcast!
Des: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Finn: There's a lot I want to talk about in this conversation, but first, and this honestly may be the first time you've ever been asked this on a podcast, and I should say this - you probably have 100% name recognition, even in the trail and ultra running worlds, but for anyone in the audience that doesn't follow the road running world too closely, could you provide some background on your career? Perhaps, where you're based, what you specialize in, and your notable accolades over the past five to 10 years?
Des: Sure. Happy to do that. And it is kind of funny because trail's a totally different world. So I respect the question. I’m Des Linden, you know, road specialist. Graduated from Arizona State, was a two time all American - once in cross country, once in track. I decided to test my luck at the professional world and, joined the Hansons Brooks team, right outta college and was on the roads for a bit. There I eventually dabbled in the marathon and finally kind of found my place in this sport. Made two US Olympic teams in the marathon and was runner up at the 2011 Boston Marathon by two seconds, which will break your heart. But stuck with it a while longer and was able to get a victory in 2018 at Boston in some epic conditions. So I think those are probably the big highlights.
Finn: That's perfect. Well, I do, ultimately in this conversation, wanna focus on your interests at this present moment in our trail running world. There's a couple questions though that I've always wanted to ask you and correct me if I'm wrong here, but from what I understand, you had intentions to pursue a career in sports performance psychology if this whole running professionally thing didn't work out. So can you talk about that and where those interests were born out of?
Des: Yeah. That is still the backup plant. So hopefully I never really have to tap into it, but I think someday that would be a fun kind of avenue to pursue. But yeah I studied psychology and religious studies in college, which makes me effectively useless in the real world. But I do think there's kind of this intersection there, like how the mind works and why we are the way we are and what makes us tick and what's motivating us and so on and so forth. And, you know, I think everyone in running, like when you get to a certain level is looking for their 1% and for some people it's like supplements or nutrition or, you know, hit the gym a little bit harder, add more mileage. There's all these different things. And I think a thing we totally neglect is between the ears, like that mental side. For me, that 1% I think has kept me in the sport. Like just being a little bit mentally tougher or more aware, of believing in myself and getting through limitations and so on and so forth. So, I just find that space really under-appreciated. And I think when you get it right, like, man, it's a game changer. So, it's always kind of fascinated me and I don't have formal background in it, beyond undergrad, but I've read a lot and I'm always working that side of the sport.
Finn: Well, I know you are a voracious reader and I gotta give a shout out to a fellow runner in our community. Maybe, you know, her, her name's Addie Bracy. She runs for a Nike, but she wrote a book. Specifically tailored to ultra runners called Mental Performance for Ultra Running. It's a great read. We had her on the pod a couple months ago. But I guess I'm curious, based off your answer - and I asked this of anybody when we're talking about like career decisions and stuff - when it comes to sport performance psychology, were you interested in that avenue because you had a knack for it and you were just interested in it or were you searching for answers and improvements primarily as it pertains to running?
Des: It was probably more answers and just figuring things out. I think I kind of stalled in college a little bit and there was a lack of belief in myself and my preparation. And it was like, how do we close that gap? And so, you know, just trying to figure out what was holding me back, not just training, you know, that was part of it, but like, how do I buy into this? And then I was watching other people have success. We were doing the same work and I realized something's missing. So, that kind of sent me down the path, just answering those questions.
Finn: Right on. Well, one last question on the mental performance front, and again, a little bit of context for this question. You've competed and excelled on some of the biggest stages of the world. So with that in mind, how do you think about pressure? Like, is there anxiety there? Is there excitement there? Is it something else? Talk about how you confront that inevitable, I don't know how to put it. it's just something we all deal with. Right. So how do you think about it?
Des: Yeah. I love it personally. Like I think that's what I liked about the marathon. You're gonna do three months of training and you get one opportunity and then it's not like, oh, let me figure out what I can tweak and then go back in two weeks and do it again. Like it's all on one day. And then you're stuck in your own head for two and a half plus hours just thinking about it and wrestling with it. So I really like it. I think it's this incredible challenge. But I know it's not for everyone. I think the cool thing about pressure is it's usually, it's kind of like this privilege, which is a cliche, like pressure is a privilege, but if you're in a position where pressure is on it's because you've had a really great training and you're like, oh, I need to turn this training into result. Or like there's expectations from outsiders because I've proved myself in the past and now I need to do it again. You're in a spot where you've already kind of proven yourself. So to me, there's just everything to gain and nothing to lose, which a lot of people maybe wouldn't necessarily look at it that way, I suppose.
Finn: Is that appreciation and love of pressure something that you think is just a part of your DNA or was it something that you've come to love and appreciate over the years just with experience?
Des: That's a good question. I mean, my career's so unique because I started kind of in a position where no one knew who I was or cared. So it was like I had to get on people’s radar. So when I did, it was like, oh, this is awesome. Like, they actually care about me. Now let's stay here and let's keep showing that there's consistency and there's room for improvement. So, I guess like maybe it was always there, but there's certainly been this process of like earning it. So I kind of appreciated a little bit.
Finn: Right on. Well, one of the things that I appreciate about you as well, you're multifaceted, like you're not just a pro runner, but, you have a coffee business, which we should also probably talk about at some point, but right in this moment, I wanna talk about your broadcasting career. You've started to do some work with NBC in recent years. Just set the table, can you talk about how that opportunity came about? And I guess just generally, what excites you the most about being involved from that side of running?
Des: Yeah. So it was a very strange thing to come up. But, Josh Cox is my agent. He was putting on the marathon project. He's worked with NBC in the past and would be on the broadcast. And so as he was putting that event on, I was like, oh, I would love to do the commentating for it. That would just be really fun. It was during COVID, so it was like, there's nothing else going on and I love to kind of talk shop. So that was on runner space. And then at the last second, they're like, we'll also put it on NBC. Did that show, it was super fun? And then I think two days later got an email. One of the folks at NBC who does the track and field side of it and was like, hey, you did a decent job. Would you like to do more? I was like, yeah, sure, whatever, throw me some dates and I'll see if it works. And then my next show was I think the New Balance indoor meet, which was like in the primetime slot, like no experience, they're just like, go get him kid. So I went from the marathon to indoor track and just a totally different ballpark, which is crazy, but I think that's, I kind of talk about pressure a little. We talked about it just prior and that's one of the things I really like about it is it's like this whole different way of being involved in the sport. And it’s not like the only way you get better is by reps in practice. Your reps in practice are like live on TV and just ripe for criticism. So it's been an interesting process. It's fun. And then you just go, like, how can I get better? What can I work on? And anytime they offer a show, I'm like, yep, I'm there. Like, I'll do it. So it's, it's this cool just thing I'm learning from all the time.
Finn: I was just gonna ask you about preparation. Do you treat these events as seriously as you treat your marathons? Like, are you up at night researching the athletes and looking at like the fields and whatnot?
Des: Yeah. I mean, I definitely do a fair amount of studying and it's interesting, like the longer it you're in it, you learn kind of the hacks. Like at the beginning I was spending a ton of time on it. And then like, as you get closer to the meet, 40% of the people are dropping out, so they're not even in the field anymore. So it's like, then you have to erase that from your memory. And then, it's like learning who to study, when to study, and how to study and then being organized. Like, it's just all these different skills that you wouldn't expect that you needed. Like even just like how to be organized and how to have your information to pull at the right time. That's part of the preparation. It's not necessarily knowing everything about an athlete, but being like, if this person makes an appearance am I gonna be able to find my notes that I have highlighted quick enough? You know, so it's all these things that you learn on the fly.
Finn: Do you feel, and again, I apologize because I'm not as familiar with the media space in the road and track worlds, but has the athlete experience always been there in the broadcasting booth or do you feel like what you're bringing to the table is something relatively new for a media outlet like NBC?
Des: It's probably a good mix. I mean, Josh Cox has been on there as a distance analyst for a long time. He was in the sport and had a great career. They have Sonya Richards Ross. So yeah, I mean, there's definitely high end high end high caliber athletes. Who've experienced it. And now Kara’s there as well. When I watch shows, I'm trying to pick up things that I can do from a different perspective. I’m always thinking of the things that I bring to the table, or like what I would say there. There's no one right way to do it. And I guess watching it more and even you watch other sports too, like there's some broadcasters in football that are not for me. And they're great. They're really good. They are offering great insight. It's just not my taste. And so it's a very personal thing. And like, you might be doing a really good job, but it's just not a certain person's cup of tea. So that's, it's kind of great that we have a good lineup at NBC of a number of people who offer so much different perspective.
Well, like in your specific case, how do you like to see races and what are you trying to convey to the audience when you're in the broadcasting booth?
Yeah. I think the biggest thing, you know, the analysts can bring is having been in the situation before. It gets a little tougher, like indoor track, 800 meters. I have to take some gambles and be like, this is probably what it's like, but you know, if you're doing a 3000 meter indoor championship, I can tell you what those are like, what it's like to try to qualify for a team, to make the move, if you're gonna try to win or is third enough or second enough? So just having been in a lot of those situations before, that's what I can offer - I’ve been there. I know what they're thinking. I know what they're feeling. I know what the pressure's like. And just conveying that to someone who is seeing it from the outside.
Yeah. You talked about what you don't like to see from some NFL broadcasters out there. Is there anything without necessarily implicating anybody, is there anything repetitive or stale in the way we commentate running events that you'd like to see change?
Oh, I think it's the whole thing, you know, we just get kind of locked in routine. Like even the production meetings that we have - t’s same old, same old, like who's the three people you start to watch? How are the graphics gonna look? It’s all like punched into the same format. And we do the same thing every week, which, you know, you get better at it through repetition, but it does start to feel like d- does the Brussels Diamond League feel any different than, you know, Rome or, you know, Zurich? And they all start to kind of feel the same as the season goes along. So, I think if you could mix it up and have each show feel a little bit different, not just like by competitors and events, but literally by the show, that would be really interesting. And it might catch an audience's attention a little bit more. But track and field is crazy because there's just so much going on and you have to try to get the field events in. And that always comes in during the distance events because where there's the time is. And so I don't know, from a production standpoint, how you create a show that's very different and get all the elements in that you need. And then one of the biggest problems in most of these races is the fact that you're dependent on the feed. That's coming from the international feed, the world feed. So you're not in control of what cameras are showing, what and when and where, you just get like four minutes of the 3000 meters, then they're gonna cut to pole vault. They give you a 15 second heads up when they’re gonna switch and then you just go with it. So, there's a lot of problems in making it fresh and interesting. So I guess being really good at the format we have is good for now.
This is a pretty big picture question, but for example, I've heard Chris Chavez and Kyle Merber at Citius Mag talk about this a bit. Do you have any opinions on how we can make running more interesting to a general audience, like getting beyond the hardcore fans that already tune in?
Yeah. I think a lot of it is taking advantage advantage of the longer events because there's just this long form storytelling. You can dig into the characters and what they're about off the course. You can talk about the ups and downs of the process and all of these things you have. If it's a marathon, you have maybe a two and a half hour show, so you can slow down and really tell the pieces of it and watch it unfold. In track and field, it's so hard because you know, with 1500 meters, you have 4 minutes and 10 seconds. And you wanna put a human interest piece in there, but you don't wanna take away from the actual sport and like the competition. So I think it becomes like, can you get the same people in a circuit week after week after week? So then you get the long form. Like now you can tell a story and it builds each week, but then it's like, there's DNFs and there's last second drops. And so track and field gets tricky to tell those stories and get to know the personalities, because there's really great personalities in the sport. I think world championships is a great opportunity to do that. You have the rounds, you have the heats and it's just more touch points with the audience.
I understand that you are also an avid F1 fan as well. And you know, talking about that, Netflix series is all the rage these days, even in our own sport. Is there any lessons that we can take from what they've done in their sport to be applied here to the running world?
Yeah, we could definitely get more money. Like if you give every athlete, you know, a couple million dollar contract and they're taking summer break in Monaco and on their yacht, I think we'd be super cool. I think it's the same type of thing though. Like they have the series, we know the schedule. We know who the drivers are. Like, you get to know those guys and it happens over, you know, eight, 10 months or whatever. Sso that's just a better way to like follow the stories. I don't know. I think there might be something like with the teams because then you have the same. The coach is always the coach and the team is always the team. So maybe the athletes kind of rotated in and out, but there's some consistency to tell that story. So I think that might be a way to make it work.
I saw in a recent Runner's World article that you you've gone on record saying that you want to have three more good races in your career on the road scene. So maybe the answer's already there, but can you talk a bit about what stage you're at in your career right now, as it applies to marathon?
Yeah. I'm hanging in the hanging on phase. I think I'm kind of coming around. Last fall was just really rough. I came off the 50 K world record, then just had some inefficiencies in my stride and was really struggling training. So that was tough. And then wound down from Boston. Did Boston last fall, did Boston again in the spring and felt like with four weeks to go to the spring Boston, all of a sudden things started clicking a little bit more smoothly. Like I felt like my former self. I had four weeks to really kind of dig in there. It just wasn't enough time, but I ran respectable and everything and was 13th and sub two 30. And then I think the big mistake would've been to be like, okay, I have momentum now. Like let's push, let's find another race. Let's go like get that reward. Right. But I took some time off because I think that's the appropriate thing to do if you're trying to think long term. And I think that's paid off. Like, I feel like the workouts I've had heading into New York this fall feel like really smooth and I'm in a really good spot. Like with those inefficiencies, they've kind of ironed out. So now I think I'm looking at 2024. I have that circled with the trials. If we have a trials, wherever they may be that year, and then working backwards, like what are these races I’m gonna do to make sure that that last 2024 race is like, when you highlight and circle and go, you want that to be a winner?
Finn: Yeah. Well, if we backtrack just a little bit like to 2020, when you went for and got the 50K world record, were we just fortunate to see you do that performance because of the pandemic? Like if it weren't for the pandemic, would you have just kind of sped forward with your typical road cycles?
Des: Most likely, yeah. I mean, I think it would've been interesting. I think we would've stayed on the road, stayed in the marathon, but maybe like, instead of circling 2024, maybe it would've been 2022. And then let's just pivot to the longer stuff because it's like, you don't wanna get to the ultra trail stuff and be like, well, now I have nothing left. I'm just like parlaying this and just like out there, like I wanna get there and like still have some legs under me and still have the engine and feel like, hopefully I'm competitive.
Finn: If I racked my brain, I think Billy Yang did a video of you. It was like one of your final workouts for that effort, which was so badass and inspired the hell outta me. But can you talk about like how that effort felt and maybe like what your immediate reactions were and whether it hooked you or you were like, there's a reason why I'm not doing that right now. And, uh, I'll see in a few years?
Des: So the workout he filmed was a 26.2 mile day. It was supposed to be 26, but they were not gonna let me get in the car without doing the 0.2. And there was a workout within it of three by five miles. And for me it was like this I've never done a long run over 20, unless it was for a marathon race. But you know, I was late in that workout, running. I wanna say I was in the 5:35-5:40 ranges per mile. And it kind of made me go like, I wonder how much longer I could do this. Like, when would the wheels fall off? So I do think it kind of made me excited about it. And as far as the 50K race went, it was the same sort of thing. You have to respect the distance because I haven't gone that far before. But you get in the late miles and you're like, I wonder if I could have pressed a little bit harder. I wonder if I respected the distance a little bit too much and it was hard late, but there was still some sense of like, I think I could go faster at this. So I think that sort of thing is hanging around in my head. Like how much faster can I go? And then like what distance is right for me, you know, I think there's a lot longer stuff in my future.
Finn: This next question is a little bit philosophical, but I'm curious. And to preface - it’s already happens to some extent on the road scene. Like I see athletes naturally phase up from like the 5K to the 10K to the half marathon marathon. But generally, how do you think about transitions in your career? Like when you think about potentially making the jump from the marathon scene to the trail world, is that something that you're meeting with internal resistance or are you excited and motivated? How do you think about that?
Des: No, I'm pretty fired up for it. I mean, I didn't spend a ton of time on the track in my career. I did some in college. And then I wanna say I did a season as a pro on the track, and then I wanted to make a trials and it wasn't gonna happen on the track. So it was like, well, the marathon's like wide open. And I got my qualifier pretty easily and just like really took to the training. And I was like, oh, this is like, I'm made for this. I'm built for this. So I kind of skipped a lot of the track side of my professional career. Because I'm like, there's no reason for me to. Like struggling in something that I might be okay at, but I'm never gonna be like an upper tier person. And you know, I've been solid at the marathon for a long time. But I think the games really changed lately. Like the times are just getting faster and, you know, my natural progression is to get slower as you age. And so I don't wanna wait too long and be like, well, let me run till I'm 45 on the roads. And then when I'm totally outta gas, I'll just extend to the next thing. It's like, I wanna jump. And I might even be a little bit behind now. Like I wanna make that jump. When I can be competitive and really test myself, and there's gonna be just this crazy learning curve with trail. Like if that's the route I go, you know, it's not like I don't expect to be like, I'm gonna knock heads with the front right away. I think that there's just so much to learn about it. But you know, maybe that takes a year or two or three, and then there's still a little bit left in the legs to be competitive. So, it is a timing thing where I would like to go and have a chance to, make a splash.
Finn: Just generally, I'm always fascinated by these types of transitions. Like one of the most notable examples in our sport to date is when Magda Boulet made the transition from the roads to the trails and she ended up having just a phenomenal career here as well. But I'm always wondering, like, what percentage of this is driven by like a love of the game versus like its business. And in your case, is your sponsor primary sponsor Brooks, are they equally as excited about, this move to trails and ultras?
Des: I think so yeah. I mean, I think that they're pretty much behind me. I think they're investing in a big way in trails right now. And you know, whether that includes me or not, they'll be fine either way. Because they have some great athletes already. But they're just super supportive of me in general. And we've been kicking the idea around for a bit, and I've always talked about UTMB. Like, I just think that's the most fascinating race. And I don't know if I'll do UTMB or if it's gonna be like CCC or CCC, you know, there's all these different options, but they were like, well, let's get you out. Let's get you out there so you can see it so you can be around it. That'll help make your decision easier or not. So they’re certainly behind whatever I decide to do next.
Finn: Well, I know that you were in Chamonix last month. Talk about your experience there and what it was like, who you ran with, memorable moments, conversations - anywhere you wanna take that.
Des: Yeah. So we have a 13 year old pup who's on his last legs. And so my husband was like, I'll stay here. I'll take care of the pup. And I've been trying to not talk about it too loudly because it was fucking awesome. Like I don't wanna break his heart because he would've loved to have been there. So I'm like, It was just all right, dude. But it was amazing. Like just obviously you get to a place like that and you're like just inspired by how beautiful it is and the level of energy in the downtown. And, you know, even if there wasn't an event going on, it's like everyone's outdoors doing stuff - it’s so easy to be inspired. And then I got in on Monday at like 10:00 AM. The hotel said my room wasn’t ready yet, so my photographer Andy Cochrane said let’s go for a run around here. We’ll do a 25K loop with Ruth Croft. So I'm like with the best of the best. And they just freaking hammered me. Like they're running so easy, but it just took forever. And it was so eye opening. I was like, oh, I'm terrible at this. Like, this was a horrible idea. You know, like it was like a four hour run or something for 25 K. I was just like whooped afterwards. And then the next day we went up with another group of people, the Brooks runners, and just did a quick three mile run and it was another big ordeal where we're just taking gondolas and running and hiking. But then I started to get my legs under me and I was like, okay, like, this is interesting. It was just like trial by fire early. And then as the week went on, I was like, no, I'm super intrigued. Like I watched the races, we got out in a couple spots on the course. And I think the mindset kind of shifted where I was like, maybe. I would have to move. Like I was strategizing, like, what would I do if I were running this, where would I go? Where would I train? Like, how would I push the course? And so like, that's the mindset I left with and I was talking to my agent and I was like, if I can get in OCC next year, a hundred percent, like I I'm gonna do it.But that's the problem is if I run a spring marathon, then I gotta figure out a qualifier. So it gets really tight. We'll see what happens. I left going, like, let's figure out how we can do this, which I think was an exciting place to be after that first day.
Finn: Hearing that OCC is potentially on your radar for 2023 is some of the most exciting news I think we'll have heard in the trail running world to date. There is this totally wacky, in my opinion, not well put together running stone system that UTMB has created. It's like a bunch of hoops you have to jump through racing wise to get to OCC, but I wonder what could happen. Another question I have for you there, like when you were on these runs with like Ruth Croft, for example, were you noticing where your natural strengths and weaknesses were on the trails? Like I have to imagine aerobically, you must have felt pretty solid on the climbs.
Des: Yeah, I mean, I was noticing most of my weaknesses. But where I left though was feeling like I could just really rip these uphills. I think I would be really good at that. But then I that was sort of driven by the idea of my weakness being the downhills and where to put my feet and like finding the right line and just being fearless going down the hill. But also, we were doing a lot of switch backs, and there's this level of agility on the switch backs where it's like, oh, like my hips don't do that. So you know that's kind of like in the whole strategy thing going on in my mind, I'm like, well, I know I can run up these things like nobody's business. Like I still feel really strong doing that. So I was kind of working through all that.
Finn: You mentioned the opportunity to meet and run with Ruth Croft. Did you get any other cool networking opportunities in that week in Chamonix?
Des: I ran with the whole Brooks team, which was really fun. I got to spend some time with the photographer, Luke Webster. He was really good kid. And I'm sure I bumped into other people out there, but those were kind of highlights, you know?
Finn: You mentioned OCC could be on the radar for next year. Are there any other races in our sport hat you've just been thinking about either over the years or recently that you'd wanna do at some point in your career?
Des: Yeah. I'm I mean that weekend was kind of interesting because that spring prior after the kind of rough Boston marathon buildup before the four weeks where I felt good, I texted my agent and I was like UTMB, like one of these races, maybe OCC or Comrades. And we were having like trouble with the qualifying and we're like, I don't know if we could do it. So maybe let's do Comrades this year. And then I had four good weeks and I was like, wait, like pump the brakes. So comrades is definitely bucket list. And then Western states, everyone talks about that and I might be decent at that. So it seems like one that I should test the waters in at least. But yeah, all of that's like timing, qualifying and so on and so forth. So we'll see again if I'm even any good at this trail running thing.
Finn: How about in terms of inspirations in our sport - are there any people that you enjoy following on social media or just chatting with either past the present?
Des: I mean, it it's such a cool space. What's so fun is I just feel like everyone's really like welcoming and yeah, like we can't wait for you to come over here and let's like have a beer after our run. So just like anybody that you kind of bump into in the trail scene. It seems like, like I'm gonna follow you and then see who you're following. So it was really cool to meet Ruth Craft and Courtney Dauwalter is obviously someone that I would love to meet, but I know all about her and she’s just so inspiring. Sally McRae an with us for the 50K and is just super nice person. So it was like, you meet these people and then they tell you about their friends and you're like, well, we gotta run someday. So it’ll be a fun thing to kind of get into these events and meet more people and just follow them.
Finn: Looking out a bit into the future - at what point in your career are you fully invested in trail and ultras? Like you're just exclusively racing these types of events?
Des: That's a good question. I don't know if it'll be like ever like exclusive. You know, I think it's like one of those things where I talked about not really spending much time on the track in my career, but I always got back to touch on the track because I think it helps, you know, with the other stuff. Something that was really interesting coming back was like my long runs after running on the trail for a week, I came back to the roads and ran 18 miles and I felt like so smooth. It went by so fast. It felt like the shortest run of my life. And it just felt like I wasn't paying attention the whole time, like where to put my foot. So I think there's an interesting compliment. And I do think at some point you have to like commit in a big way, but I think it would be a mistake to not come back and touch on it every now and then. So I think there'll still be roads in the mix.
Finn: You mentioned earlier when you were talking about OCC, that your mind immediately went to what you have to change in your life to make preparation for this race successful, like where you gotta live and stuff like that. Can you talk generally about how you might see your lifestyle and your training and just your general approach to running evolving when you become more invested in trail running?
Des: Yeah, that's such a tricky question. And I’m going to have to find out if I'm good at it. Because f I'm not good at it, I'm not gonna invest a ton of time in it. But I think it's like one of these things, like on the roads, I'm like, man, it's so hard to commit to these big chunks of time. Like I gotta go to Phoenix in the winter and be away from the family and so on and so forth to get ready for this. So a part of me is like, I'm ready to stop doing that, but I don't necessarily think that's like the full story. I need to be excited about the next big thing to be able to do that. And so I think trail will allow me to do that. I really wanna be all in because I do wanna find out if I'm good and then if I am good, like I wanna be good. So then it's easier, much easier to commit. It'll be a little bit of like learning and finding out if I am fully in and then it kind of opens up the world of going to really cool places that have great training areas and exploring there, which we'll have to see if the husband's supportive, but he's a skier, so he'll be fine.