A victory over the dreaded suitcase in the overhead bin and "iPad guy"

Celebrating our birthday. PLUS: Sustainable plant milks, Shallow Hal Gwyneth's body double, and is posture, in fact, overrated? This is Link Letter 97!

A victory over the dreaded suitcase in the overhead bin and "iPad guy"
many of you loved my traps piece, so here's another photo, feat. vacuum

I’m sharing with permission a story of strength victory that my friend Kelsey, author, co-owner of Defector, and host of Normal Gossip, shared with me from when she was traveling on tour for her podcast with co-host (and fellow LIFTOFF adherent) Alex Sujong Laughlin. I’m including the audio and strongly recommend taking advantage of it, given Kelsey’s status as a talented professional storyteller (and it’s only two-and-change minutes). But there’s also a transcript below, if you insist.

Kelsey McKinney Is Strong On A Plane

Kelsey: Okay, so on our flight from Austin to LA, Alex and I got there kind of late and we didn't want to get on the plane. We were the last ones near the end, not like the very last but near the end of the people to load the plane. The woman getting on the plane in front of me was this little old lady, she had her roller bag, a grocery bag filled with snacks and stuff. She was wearing a full, like, back brace, like one that wraps around your body and laces in the front. I could see it, the people around me could see it, everyone could see it.

So we start getting on the plane. [The lady] is seated in row six, and rows one through five are first class. She gets to the end of first class, and there's a spot in the overhead compartment above first class, which like, I know, I know all this bullshit about "that's reserved for first class,” but it was empty, we were near the end of people boarding so like, whatever, it's fine. And her row was literally right there.

So she turns to the guy sitting in this big cushy seat right in front of her who is playing video games on his iPad. And she's like, "I'm so sorry to disturb you, sir. Could you please help me lift my bag?"

And this man, who is probably in his late 40s, looks at her like she is the scum of the earth. Does not move to get up, adjusts his headphones in his ears so that he can hear better or whatever.

So this woman is just standing there. And it is so deeply uncomfortable, because he clearly heard her. The man in the window seat clearly heard her to the point where like, the man in the window seat is trying to get up out of his chair because he's like, somebody needs to help this little lady and, this guy is being an absolute fucking douchebag.

“And so this guy is starting to try and get up and he's not doing a good job of it. And I was like, "I got it. I will lift this bag."

And the little old lady was like, "it's heavy!" And I was like, “It's fine back up, I will do it.”

And she was like, she was like, “I don't know…”

And I was like, “Listen, I've got it.”

And then I just like lifted it, and it was heavy! It was a heavy bag. But I just lifted it, and put it in the overhead compartment.

And she was like, “Wow, you're strong!”

And I was like, “thank you.”

But I was like, Wow, this is what we trained for this moment where I can absolutely shame these two adult men in first class by lifting this little old lady's bag for her, thank you to the LIFTOFF program.

Thank you Kelsey! Here’s to another year of bravery in the face of, truly, I’m not kidding, one of the greatest threats our planet currently faces: guys in first class burying their heads in their iPads. In conclusion: Strength: it’s the gift we give ourselves that keeps on giving.[^1]

Why are all the lifters running now??
Exploring the seditious and traitorous conspiracy against the iron crown.

@notfolu. Longtime readers of this newsletter have already BEEN knowing about Lana del Rey and her powerlifting hobby


~Liftcord Pick of the Week: A dear Liftcord member recently asked, "is there a channel where we can just post insanely strong humans doing strong things," so please meet Kris Jenkins of Michigan (the college, I take it), who can vertical-jump 34 inches and do a Turkish getup with more weight than I can bench-press:



I wrote this past weekend about how complex late-stage lifting programs were exactly what I didn’t want to; I love me some basics, with a hint of mixing it up and doing what I feel like on the day. But for a peek at what I mean about “late-stage lifting programs,” here is bodybuilding icon Joe Wieder’s four-day program from 1988. Nine movements a day! 30-50 reps of “side bends”! You simply won’t catch me spending my time this way, but best of luck to those who can pull this off.

A nice longread on What is ‘lifestyle?’

Which plant milk is the most sustainable? Terrible showing for the ever popular almond milk; sorry to the teens, but the 90s are here to stay, and soy milk is the GOAT where climate-change is the vibe, as you say. (Soy milk also actually has protein, while almost every other alternative milk is just blurry water.)

@darthlux. I don't want to really talk about this guy but I will by popular request


Is posture overrated? I’m not physiotherapist but it seems like we are headed in a good direction with the related “low back pain,” in that the solution isn’t specific positioning and especially not medication, but just “moving more.” Similarly, the solution the posture-related problems is not sitting a particular way, or like, having a little bug on your back that buzzes reminding you to sit up straight; it’s just “not sitting so much because you probably are gonna sit weird no matter what” (and also, you know, doing your full-body strength training).

This is a tough read: What happened with the woman who played the body double of Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal.

Full body diagnostic scans are not worth it.

How to stop romanticizing the past.


I saw Beau is Afraid and… oh man… I think we did wrong by this movie. I did wrong by this movie. It’s so fucking good. It’s very possible that it’s a situation of “the girls with a very specific type of mental health issue and/or trauma get it, and girls who don’t, just think it’s ‘weird.’” But because no one saw it, I have no sample to draw from. I thought it was the most accurate depiction of the way my brain works that I’ve ever seen.

Photos of “female friendship” in Camden, Maine, 1898.

A mysterious Detroit punk outfit called The Armed is becoming just slightly less mysterious.

In honor of this benighted zoomer TikTok about Lilith Fair that curdled my brain, here is a nice oral history of Lilith Fair.

That’s all for this week! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—

[F1]  If I wrote this sentence for a regular publication, an editor would highlight it and leave a comment in the Google doc that said “? hard to parse”