[un]PHASED: How tough conversations are inspiring two athletes to be peacemakers over the airwaves.
We were blessed this week to get to listen-in on a conversation between Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold, Owner of Gold Enterprises, LLC, and her colleague, Dr. Lisa Ingarfield of Tri to Defi Coaching and Consulting and Shift Sports. Drs. Gold and Ingarfield are co-hosts of their new podcast, [un]PHASED.
Keep reading to learn more about how these two amazing ladies have taken Michelle Obama's suggestion to "take the anger, the disappointment and turn it into something useful, perhaps even something hopeful."
Confrontational. Aggressive. Angry. Difficult. Whenever there is a tough subject, people may shy away from the topic. But sometimes it’s necessary to be peacemakers rather than peacekeepers by engaging in dialogue about tough topics. Timely issues, messy discussions, and complex answers -- the [un]PHASED podcast is an unabashed deep dive into the complicated nature of who’s in and who’s out in endurance sports and beyond.
SPG: So, Lisa -- how did we get there?! We’re launching a podcast in just a few days. I can hardly believe it. This was just a flurry of emails originally.
LI: Yes, it was a flurry. I remember asking you and worrying you would not have time. Then I think you responded in about 20 seconds with a big YES! Which, I am deeply grateful for. I think our shared background in higher education helped meld our connection, and our willingness to explore the explicit and implicit ways exclusion manifests in our worlds. The discussion of privilege and marginalization is limited in endurance sport - it is happening, but is not widespread - and this is what drives us to keep bringing up the issue. We want for folx to think about it as regularly as we do.
SPG: I think we might even be obsessed with it, which is a great thing. It’s our superpower -- we see diversity and inequities all around us on a regular basis. What is one of the topics that is a “must” for this first season of the podcast?
LI: That is a tough question to answer. I think the intersection of our identities and how those intersections shape not only how people see us but how they treat us and how we move through the world. White people, and folx with other privileged identities, seem to miss the relevance of these intersections, hoping instead, that we can compartmentalize our experiences. I think in endurance sport, the prevailing belief is that racism or sexism happens “out there” as though those forces don’t affect the world of sport or those participating in sport. The boundaries between our identities and our lives are porous, and I think folx struggle with this concept.
LI: What do you wish White folx and otherwise privileged folx will get out of our conversations?
SPG: No pun intended, but I hope White folx and privileged folx in general will grow some muscles. Ha! Scholars on these topics talk about stamina -- growing a muscle is usually uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for folks to get used to talking about tough topics if we are really serious and hopeful about creating change.
LI: Michelle Obama in one of her podcasts suggested we “take the anger, the disappointment and turn it into something useful, perhaps even something hopeful.” It feels like this is what we are trying to do with our discussions, don’t you think? (She also said “we’ve just got to keep having those conversations. Once we start the conversation there is no telling where it will go.”)
SPG: I probably bullied you into listening to that podcast -- among the many that we love! Of course, I won’t disagree with Mrs. Obama. I truly believe she’s on to something -- many folks are angry, disappointed, tired, and even exasperated. We have to do something with that energy. Just like I’d take a bike ride or a run to channel some negative energy in my daily life, I feel like this podcast will probably be an outlet for many folx, including us. Let’s just call it an eye-opening, positive, rant. Words that usually don’t go together.
LI: One of our goals for the podcast is to spark thought and reflection on tough issues (or issues people have not yet considered) and relate them to endurance sport. Why do you think it is important for folx to educate themselves on diversity, equity, and inclusion before jumping into solutions? I will say, I think jumping straight to fix something you don’t fully understand is a bedrock of white supremacist thinking. Do you agree?
SPG: Great point. Come to think of it, my medical doctor doesn’t walk in the door writing prescriptions without first taking some vitals, asking some questions, and having a discussion about the symptoms. I think the same thing should happen with the ills of society. Discussion alone won’t fix things, but it surely is the foundation of the prescription. White folx seem to enjoy the feeling of “fixing” something, but the examination is the part that’s uncomfortable, frightening, and usually avoided.
SPG: Lisa, we have put so much energy into the concept of the podcast...I’m treating the platform as one of our usual discussions that we just decided to record and share with the world. Let’s see how many folks are ready to go the distance with us. It’s go time!
LI: I am excited to be on this journey with you. I think we will also continue to grow through our conversations as much as we hope our audience will. We have a lot of shared perspectives and yet, our experiences are often divergent. I don’t know what I don’t know, and I think white people can benefit from a bit more humility in this area. Both of us are learners and explorers at heart. We want to share our excitement for learning and progressive social change with the world.
Click the image to learn more about Dr. Gold and Dr. Ingerfield's new podcast [un]Phased, debuting September 1, 2020.