The first two episodes of “Missing Richard Simmons” are now available (listen to them here), and they’re straight-up riveting. It’s an eye-opening, poignant look at an enigmatic, fascinating man.
I’m featured, briefly, in both episodes, but believe me, I’d be saying this even if I wasn’t involved. Richard Simmons is a very important person to me, and he is very much still my friend (even if I hadn’t been able to connect with him for the past three years). And even though the first two episodes of the podcast haven’t revealed much new information for me, the style and storytelling has me hooked.
“Missing Richard Simmons” is an investigation into why Richard ghosted the world three years ago. It is compassionate, engaging look at Richard’s history as a fitness icon and celebrity, coupled with a deep dive into the very personal ways he’s helped thousands of individuals on a one-on-one basis. (My history with Richard will be shared in Episode 4.)
The podcast’s creator and narrator, Dan Taberski, through interviews with dozens of Richard’s friends and colleagues, has gotten to the root of who Richard is, and why he’s so beloved by so many people. Listening to the episodes brought me to tears. Hearing Dan talk with my 95-year old friend Gerry, who has known Richard for 40 years, had me weeping.
I’m so thrilled that “Missing Richard Simmons” has found an audience. It is, as I write this, the #1 podcast on iTunes (!!!), and every day is bringing more press coverage. I’m excited because this is the sort of attention Richard deserves. His absence from the public eye has mostly yielded terribly unflattering tabloid stories, but “Missing Richard Simmons” focuses on the staggering amounts of good that Richard has done. Those of us that know Richard can celebrate that his legacy is being honored by this podcast, and newcomers and casual fans can learn that there is so much more to Richard than just being the guy that screams on talk shows or dances in workout videos.
I listened to the 2nd episode bright and early on Wednesday… and was bummed I had to wait a whole week before I could listen to more. Hurry up, Wednesday – I want to listen to Episode 3!
Find, at the bottom of this post, links to more posts about my relationship with Richard Simmons.
MOVING ON… My first two stair races of the year are this weekend, and I’m scared shitless. On Saturday, I’ll be racing up a 31-story building in Minneapolis as many times as I can in one hour, and then, on Sunday, I’ll be racing up 94 stories in the Hancock building in Chicago. More about the races here.
It’s going be an exhausting weekend, and while competing in stair races is nothing new – I’ve done 40 of them – this will be the first time I’ve competed in these two particular events, and the fear of the unknown is contributing to my nerves.
I’ve also been sick this week. Some sort of stomach bug that has prevented me from keeping anything down over the past 36 hours. I’m feeling better now that I did 24 hours ago, and am playing it safe by limiting myself to protein shakes, bananas, and Pepto-Bismol. I really want to feel better by Saturday morning, though, for obvious reasons.
Mostly, though, I’m nervous because it’s been five months since I last raced in a skyscraper. I competed in two stair races in December, but both were in stadiums (Angel Stadium and the LA Coliseum), and those are different.
My race schedule is starting late this year. I skipped races in January and early February to focus on more events between now and April. By this time in 2016, I had already completed grueling events in Seattle, Portland, and Denver – a race that my sister did with me.
It’s not like I’ve forgotten how to climb stairs. I know I’m capable of doing my best and giving it my all – and those are my only goals this weekend. Plus, I just remind myself that nerves are a good thing. It means that I care. It means that these races are important to me. And that’s the truth! These races provide me the opportunity to push myself in ways that were unfathomable just a few years back. They provide highs that I don’t get anywhere else.
Plus, I’ve been working hard to prepare. I had my final training session the other morning, when I climbed a 46-story stairwell four times. I wore my elevation training mask, set to 9,000 feet, which made it especially difficult. Check out the selfie collage I made during that workout!
I’ve climbed that 46-story stairwell 13 times since the new year began, and a 51-story stairwell 12 times. Plus, I’ve done outdoor stair workouts, used my Max Trainer a ton, and done a plethora of other things to stay active and fit.
So even though I’m scared for this weekend’s races, I’m ready. I’m more than ready. I’m gonna show up and kick some booty!
Keep it up, David!
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MORE OF MY POSTS ABOUT ME AND RICHARD SIMMONS:
- How I met Richard and how he helped me lost 160 pounds
- Filming his music video for “Hairdo”
- Appearing in his infomercial for “Project Hope”
- My first post about Richard’s disappearance
- Why I kept going to Slimmons after Richard stopped teaching
- My reaction to some outrageous theories involving witchcraft and black magic
- Attending the final class at Slimmons before it closed for good