What's Good?

Wellness theater, the apple-picking apocalypse, a new bike, and a lot of stories about Adidas

Happy Friday. What's good?

I bought a bike yesterday, and I won't lie — I am rushing through the writing and editing of this newsletter so that I can go for my first ride. Apologies in advance for the typos and half-formed ideas.

I'd told myself that, as I usually write some sort of introductory verbiage to the Friday newsletter, that I should say something about the passing of Matthew Perry. And maybe I'm rushing through things to get out on the bike, but also to get away from … this. When I woke up to the news on Sunday morning, I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. I don't think I've ever watched an episode of *Friends*, truth be told, even though I've heard it described this week as The Gen-X sitcom. Isaiah, on the other hand, watched it in syndication, and he said it was better than *Seinfeld* — I mean, he was, like 9 at the time, so he's forgiven. But Perry's death hit me not because Isaiah was fond of the show; he was linked to Perry in that other, horrible way: addiction. A friend of Isaiah's commented on an old HEWN newsletter this past week too, saying they'd just heard that he'd died. "He was just trying to figure out how to love himself," they wrote. Same goes for Perry, from what I gather, who wanted to be remembered, not as Chandler Bing, but as someone who helped other people. Isaiah too could be fiercely supportive of others; but, as that commenter noted, he couldn't figure out how to love himself.

Me, I'm figuring out how to love myself, in the wake of, well, everything, and that's going to involve a bike ride today. I haven't owned a bike in almost 30 years, and while I've been riding the Citibikes, I haven't been on anything as nice and (potentially) fast as my new one. Like, ever. I'm figuring out how to love myself and how to be in my body and in my brain and not be afraid of falling or failing. Running does that. Lifting weights does that. Cycling will too, I hope, although having this expensive piece of machinery moving with me is something else I have to figure out.

Anyway. The news.

The week in sports: “How a Blind Runner Trains for the New York City Marathon. The NYT was very much on the Adidas beat this week, with at least three stories on the brand. The first: a lengthy investigation of the shoe-maker's relationship with Kanye West. Yikes. But one doesn't want to be tooooo negative, right? So you get a piece like "The Stratospheric Rise of Lionel Messi’s Pink Jersey." But you don't want to be toooo positive, so you ask "Is a $500 Marathon Shoe You Can Race In Only Once Worth It?" Elsewhere in terrible people: what a toxic legacy. Elsewhere in problematic decision-making: “UTMB Gone Astray.” “Kenyan Runners Set the World’s Pace, Chased by a Doping Crisis.” (Bringing things full circle: I look forward to watching Evans Chebet race and maybe repeat his win of the NYC Marathon on Sunday. In his Adidas.)

Stories about cooking and eating: "How to Do the Dishes." If it’s not an Adidas story, it’s a Swift story: "'She Eats, She Pays, She Gets the F– Out.' Servers, bartenders, and owners explain what happens when Taylor Swift visits their NYC restaurants." "I Love Candy. But Does It Make Me Happy?" (Does that matter?) "Long Misunderstood, Baked Beans Are Busting Loose," The Wall Street Journal tells us, with a stapled drawing of beans on toast. "How Snack Cakes Sold a New Generation on an Old Concept." "The Apple-Picking Apocalypse of Upstate New York.” "Lose Yourself in Eminem’s New Mom's Spaghetti Pasta Sauce." "Is It Time to Give Candy Corn the Respect It Deserves?" (No?) "The curious history of gummi worms." Just when you thought banana pudding couldn’t get any better: "Magnolia Bakery has weed edibles now. But you can’t buy them in New York."

The wellness hustle: "Is This Poop-Testing Company Full of ___?" asks Rina Raphael, with regards to her latest in Bloomberg: "Is This Microbiome Startup Selling a Wellness Fantasy?" “Wellness theater” is a very good phrase, by the way. "The Star of Half Baked Harvest Inspires Loyalty — and Controversy." "Capitalism Has Plans for Menopause." Capitalism has plans for all of us, eh? "Bariatric Surgery at 16." Virginia Sole Smith on (among other things) Ozempic for kids. "What Is My Biological Age? I Took These Tests to Find Out." (Don't bother.)

I'll be running the Dash to the Finish 5K on Saturday, and I'll be handing out water at Mile 25 at the NYC Marathon on Sunday. Cheering you on, even if you aren't running or racing.