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TABOO TUESDAY: Therapy and Basketball with All-Star, Kevin Love
Episode 37th June 2022 • Emotionally Fit • Coa x Dr. Emily Anhalt
00:00:00 00:31:51

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Basketball All-Star Kevin Love joins the show to talk about starting therapy after dealing with a very public mental health crisis during the NBA playoffs in 2017. Kevin shares what motivated him to take care of his emotional fitness and sends a shoutout to other athletes who have inspired him. We also explore the stigmas in professional sports and why Kevin believes vulnerability actually creates stronger teams.

Staying emotionally fit takes work and repetition. That's why the Emotionally Fit podcast with psychologist Dr. Emily Anhalt delivers short, actionable Emotional Push-Ups every Monday and Thursday to help you build a better practice of mental health, and surprising, funny, and shocking conversations on Taboo Tuesdays - because the things we’re most hesitant to talk about are also the most normal. Join us to kickstart your emotional fitness. Let's flex those feels and do some reps together!

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Follow Kevin Love on Twitter and Instagram

Learn more about the Kevin Love Fund 


Thank you for listening! Follow Dr. Emily on Twitter, and don’t forget to follow, rate, review and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts! #EmotionallyFit 


The Emotionally Fit podcast is produced by Coa, your gym for mental health. Katie Sunku Wood is the show’s producer from StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab, and featuring music by Milano. Special thanks to the entire Coa crew!



JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:

(01:28) - Kevin shares his emotional journey after suffering a panic attack in 2017 - “I got very lucky. I bonded with my therapist. He allowed me to feel safe, speak freely, and in a lot of ways changed my relationship with myself, my perspective on problems and my life in general.” 


(08:29) - Becoming a globally known mental health advocate as a top athlete - “Withholding compassion, withholding empathy, never helped anybody. It has made me feel not only more involved, maybe that's the wrong terminology for it, but very much more comfortable with who I am.”


(14:50) - Why players who allow themselves to be vulnerable actually create stronger teams - “We're that pay-it-forward team. We're that next-man-up, share-the-wealth, celebrate-each-other, celebrate-the-small-wins type of team. So I think it's made us take a major step forward in developing our culture as a team.”


(19:45) - Kevin on stigmas in the sports world - “I think everybody's going through their own process, and the way that they absorb things or offload things at their own pace, and those are the types of people that I feel for, because in a lot of ways they don't know where to turn.”


(27:07) - Kevin’s secret to stability - “If I'm having a bad day or having a great day or wherever in between, she can feel that. I mean, there's a reason that people that own dogs live longer.”

Transcripts

Kevin Love (:

FWithout therapy I don't know if I'd be sitting here. I was just living vicariously through basketball. My entire identity was there and if I was not performing I was not bringing any value to the world.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Welcome to Taboo Tuesday on the Emotionally Fit podcast. I'm Dr. Emily Anhalt and I've always loved talking about taboo subjects, sex, money, drugs, death, because being a therapist has taught me that the feelings we're most hesitant to talk about are also the most normal. So, join me as we flex our feels by diving into things you might not say out loud, but you're definitely not the only one thinking.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Quick disclaimer that nothing in this podcast should be taken as professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, because while I am a therapist, I'm not your therapist and I'm not my guest's therapist. So, this is intended only to spark interesting conversation. Thanks for tuning in.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Hey there Fit Fans, I am here with a very special guest today, basketball player and mental health advocate, Kevin Love. Kevin Love, over the last decade, has taken the NBA by storm, a unique superstar. His career has been highlighted by five NBA All Star elections, an NBA Championship in 2016, an Olympic Gold Medal, a FIBA World Championship. He's also become an undeniable force beyond sports as he normalizes the conversation around mental health and is really creating an opportunity for a lot of other people to do the same.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

After documenting his experience with depression and anxiety in a powerful personal essay on the Player's Tribune, highly recommend you check that out. Love quickly evolved into this public spokesperson for mental health awareness among athletes, and he's also an investor in Coa that has helped us spread the mission of proactive mental health and emotional fitness far and wide. So, I'm so happy to welcome Kevin here today.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Kevin, it is so wonderful to have you here. How are you doing today?

Kevin Love (:

I'm doing well, Dr. Emily. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Oh, it's just always such a pleasure and I'm really excited to dig into our Taboo Tuesday today, which is exploring mental health struggles and therapy in the world of sports and athletics. You have truly become a spokesperson for this in so many ways and I think it all started back in 2017. You had this profound moment that really shifted things for you. If you're up for it, would you take us back to that moment and tell us a little bit about what was happening for you then?

Kevin Love (:

Yeah, it was November fifth of 2017. A lot of things were going on in my life and just looking back after having gone to therapy now for several years, just so many things leading up to that point in my personal life and with basketball, having that taken away from me, having an injury, having so much expectation, feeling so vulnerable but not being able to express it. So many pillars fell within my life and with that expectation in that year of us making three straight finals, trying to make a fourth on top of, like I said, friends and family and business and basketball, and just my inner peace and inner dialogue was in such a bad place that it kind of all came to a moment of almost like agoraphobia, public embarrassment and having nowhere to go when I'm having this major mental health moment. I didn't want to have it and feel like I was going to be outed in front of 23,000 plus people on top of whoever is watching us on TV. So, I had to escape, if you will, and ran to our locker room, which was probably 20, 30 yards from the court, remove myself from the lens of everybody in the arena, as well as my teammates, and ended up on the floor of Steve Spiro's office, our Head Athletic Trainer, and had a panic attack.

Kevin Love (:

I had had moments like that to a certain point, but never where it was so public where I felt even my heart rate rushed that much more. I felt like I was having a cardiac type episode. Couldn't get oxygen to my brain, to my lungs, and I think it was heightened by this sense of, "Oh no, now everybody's going to find out I have these problems. People are going to find out I really have mental health issues, and on top of that, ones that I haven't dealt with. How is that going to effect my personal life, my livelihood, the basketball court where I've always gone to and it's been a safe haven and a safe space for me?" I think a lot like we've seen since the pandemic since 2020 started, is that the unknown is what's really scary. Within that time and the several months that followed, I didn't know what was going to happen. I think my anxiety was taken to a place that was unchartered territory and the darkness was something I just could not get away from. It was several months at a time. In a lot of ways it got worse before it got any better.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Yeah, I think that's really common, especially with panic attacks because anxiety can beget anxiety. Once you know how bad it can get, then you worry about it getting that bad again, which makes you more worried and it kind of spins.

Kevin Love (:

And it's funny you say that doctor, because I'm a sweater. In the summertime, if I start sweating, I'm like, "Oh my god, I'm starting to sweat."

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Oh no, you've paired these two things.

Kevin Love (:

And then I get more anxiety and is this perpetually downward spiral within my body that it's telling me fight or flight and I'm like, "Okay, what can I do here?"

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I have a similar sematic tag, but mine is nausea.

Kevin Love (:

Right.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

So anytime I'm nauseous I get anxious and anytime I get anxious I get nauseous, and it gets away from me. So, I know how fast that can go. What I also understand is that this moment while, at the time was probably hugely terrifying, rough to get through, it also, I think it changed your life in a lot of really important ways, and I'm curious what that has looked like for you. What changed after that day?

Kevin Love (:

I think in the initial time that it happened, even within the first few hours, I had gone to the Cleveland Clinic, which I'm so thankful for that, that I had them to turn to, our doctors were there. They sent me to the hospital, ran all the tests, but my landing spot was that I checked out across the board. I kind of had to look at myself in the mirror and say, "Okay, things aren't adding up. Who do I want to be? The only way I'm going to make this work for myself and for those around me and others, because it is effecting them whether I have my blinders on or not, I probably need to try this therapy thing out."

Kevin Love (:

It was almost immediate, probably within 48 or 72 hours, that I worked with my first and actually only therapist. I know that it doesn't always work out that way. It can sometimes be like choosing a major in college where it's, I think, two and a half times, 2.5x, the times that you change your major. I got very lucky. I bonded with my therapist. He allowed me to feel safe, speak freely, in a lot of ways change my relationship with myself and how I see my problems, my perspective on problems, and my life in general. I think the biggest thing for me is, "Okay, why am I feeling this way and how can I pinpoint some things? Does this go back to my grandma passing and never allowing myself to grieve? Is it feeling like a fraud or that I'm going to be outed?" I think it allowed me to gain more techniques to deal with these problems, pinpoint it, and I think that that perspective is everything and understanding problem solving techniques, which everyday I'm having to find out how I'm going to change my relationship with my anxiety and if there is that looming darkness, that I find ways to lessen it. It's not strung out. It's not weeks at a time. It's not months at a time. I'm able to find ways to cope in a very healthy way whereas in the past, it wasn't always the case.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

That's powerful and I feel like you're speaking also to this bridge you've kind of been between the mental health and the sports world, where in the sports world it's just assumed you're going to have a coach. No one thinks that you would ever reach your world class potential completely by yourself, and yet in our emotional lives so many people think they're somehow supposed to do that, and I feel like you've been a voice of, "Hey, I have someone who helps me reach peak physical condition so that I can show up and do my best on the court. Why wouldn't I have someone who helps me be my best emotional self as well?"

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I'm curious how it has been for you to become this globally known mental health advocate in this industry, that I think can be especially tough when it comes to mental health stigma?

Kevin Love (:

I feel very fortunate and very lucky to have been able to piggy back on those who have come before me. For example, one of the greatest athletes of all time, in Michael Phelps, but also a peer, somebody that I played against dating all the way back to my teen years, somebody who I truly admire and am so thankful for DeMar DeRozan and speaking about his depression and allowing that door to open ever so slightly and understand that it was okay to share my story and be vulnerable not only for myself, but for others.

Kevin Love (:

I think we tend to celebrate as whole, but maybe even more so in sports, those who kind of beat their emotions into submission. I don't ever think, especially now having the perspective that not only is that not healthy, but withholding compassion, withholding empathy, never helps anybody. It's made me feel not only more evolved, maybe that's the wrong terminology for it, but very much more comfortable with who I am and in my own skin because I kind of play my cards and say, "This is what you get." From doing that, I think it's opened up a world and a broader community of people that are in this fight and willing to establish hope.

Kevin Love (:

Unlike yourself, I'm thankful for the relationship that we have because again, if I would have not done that I would have never met you. I would have never met the Coa team. I would have never met the people that are doing such great work. I probably wouldn't have, I'm wearing the hat now, but started my fund and been working with so many people that, again that have done this before and have a similar mindset and are trying to establish resources and therefore more problem solving for the greater good. It can really be a beautiful thing and I think we're just scratching the surface because like you mentioned, there is that taboo and there is that stigma surrounding therapy and mental health in general.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Yeah, big time. I really appreciate your perspective of sharing that there are people who paved the way. We definitely all stand on the shoulder of giants, but I also have seen all of the people who've come to us for support and when we ask them why they decided now, they said, "Well, I saw Kevin Love talking about it and if he can be brave enough to speak about it in front of millions of people, I can be brave enough to say it to myself." There really is a chain reaction and that's been really cool to see.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I'd really like to dig into this thing, specifically about the world of sports. Why do you think it is that the stigmas run so deep in that world?

Kevin Love (:

I think because we're broken down so much in this 24/7/365 type of news cycle and sports has become so much, "What have you done for me lately?" I think expectation and comparison being such a major thief of joy, vulnerability looked at as weakness even more so in sport. Once you show you're vulnerable, it's like who's going to be the king of the jungle? Who's going to take advantage of that? Who's going to go out for blood on any certain night? I think in a way it's unhealthy. We've normalized making fun of the dialogue surrounding emotion and mental health. I'm not saying that's just an athlete thing, but you do see it.

Kevin Love (:

What's been an amazing, from my perspective, and really healthy and cool thing to see is we've taken our licensed mental health professional, which every team now has because of somebody like DeMar and myself and others within the NBA, coming out. It's so cool.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Can you imagine not having a physician available? They would never have done that, so why not someone to help with the emotional side?

Kevin Love (:

On top of that, it's funny when you say, "Oh, it's a performance coach rather than a mental health professional, if you will." When people say, "Oh, I'll try this," it's funny how that changes. Whereas if you just took away the title of the person and say, "Hey, we're just going to work on this today." They would be completely up for it.

Kevin Love (:

We've separated us into two different teams of seven, eight, maybe 10 different players in each group as well as coaches, and we just have open dialogue. Sometimes it can be a PowerPoint. Sometimes it can just be a thought provoking exercise, but we're trying to find how outside of the physical, how are we able to get the best out of our brains in an 82 game season, because it is such a grime. It's wear and tear. It's lack of sleep. It's playing in front of 25,000 people on top of a national TV audience. All that stuff generates major anxiety, I don't care who you are. Unless you have the tools, you're always going to feel that sense of low level threat, some more than others and to varying degrees as well, but those type of exercises have been amazing for our team. This really being the first year that we do it, and seeing this young group of guys. I'm 14 years into the league. I'm 33 years old, but we have guys that are 20 years old, rookie year, to Rajon Rondo who's 16, 17 years in the league and being 36 years old. Everybody's participating. Everybody comes from different backgrounds. Everybody looks different, comes from a different socioeconomic status, single parent homes maybe.

Kevin Love (:

It's amazing to see what everyone has been subject to, where they're at in their life and their life experiences, but we all come to this common place and are able to have really, really healthy dialogue and actually has made us a lot closer as a team. So that is very, very cool to see us do that and I believe it's only going to continue to grow.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

That's so cool. Can you speak to a little bit of how learning to be more vulnerable with each other has benefited you also as a team, as professionals? Because I think people think that maybe this is all "soft skills," but I actually think it really translates to helping you do what you're ultimately there to do.

Kevin Love (:

100%. And to your point, I think it's that common goal. We want to win. We want to compete for a championship. We want to compete at the highest level. Maybe for some people it's self esteem, maybe for others it's learning a quicker version of adaptation, whether it be the locker room, relationships, on the court, being a better professional. I think those things are sometimes lost in the process, but as a professional you can learn the hard way. Sometimes you can skip steps, but taking things as they come and being better prepared between the ears is something that I wish I would have had earlier on. It's probably why I have gray hair honestly, sitting here today. But I'm thankful for those moments because I get to impart some of that onto the younger group. I think it's really allowed us to be a more cohesive unit and we've talked about it all year.

Kevin Love (:

I look at the Phoenix Suns, I look at the Miami Heat, I look at us, we're that pay it forward team. We're that next man up, share the wealth, celebrate each other, celebrate the small wins type of team, so I think it's made us take a major step forward in developing our culture as a team and our environment has been really an amazing thing to be around. Outside of our 2015/16 team where we won the championship, this in itself has been my happiest year, the most joy I've had being a part of the team and this is, for me, I used to be a focal point, part of a big three, multiple time all-star, so on and so forth, but I had to take a step back and came off the bench this year for the greater good of the team. And had we not done all of that, been so together on and off the floor, I don't know if I would have been all the way in, 10 toes all the way in, or I would have said ... They told me to jump, I'd say, "How high?" That type of a mindset probably wouldn't have been possible if we weren't all on the same page.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

That is cool to hear you say that you have a new kind of joy. I think we forget that there is just something very profound and beautiful about just investing in ourselves in that way. To that end, how have you seen your work in therapy and your work on yourself in this way improve or contribute to the rest of your life? Your relationships, your hobbies, your social life, whatever it might be?

Kevin Love (:

Yeah, without therapy I don't know if I'd be sitting here. It started off as not knowing what I was walking into and kind of a last resort where I thought I was going to be just sitting on a couch and it was going to be some reactionary thing and I'd go bi-weekly and it might just be a bandaid. But now it's become such a building block and a center piece in my life where everything kind of centers around therapy. Everything within my life is life building and in my relationships, how I view those and understanding that, in some cases, money isn't the biggest thing. Time and time well spent and a life well lived is my north star. It truly is.

Kevin Love (:

I thank my therapist for allowing me to see things in a different life while still being myself, but also helping me within every broad stroke facet of my life. It can be problems, it can be happy moments in life, those little joys, it could be missing my grandma, it could me being away from my brother and my godson and my sister. Within my family, within my friend group, my teammates, my work life, it just seems like everything, the joy within that, has become that much better and I think some of that comes with age as well, but perspective and understanding and communication and tools, being a better listener, empathy, all of that I think is an accumulation of where I'm at today and understanding, obviously, nobody's perfect. I'm certainly not. I'm a very flawed individual, but accepting those, trying to better those, and if not for yourself, do it for others.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Well said. I also feel like everything good in my life is somehow tied to therapy, because really therapy's this microcosm. It's this place where you get to experiment and understand who you are in your relationship to yourself and your relationship with everyone. It really is kind of a hub of the wheel in a way. So, I really relate to that.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I've seen a lot of the really positive reactions you've gotten for being outspoken, but I'm curious, do you ever get negative reactions? Are there still people who lead with stigma or who you don't feel like you're getting the best reaction from?

Kevin Love (:

I do. In some cases I just think it's ignorance and I don't mean that in a very venomous, negative connotation kind of way. I think it's just them going through it in their life or their experience, in a lot of cases how they're feeling. They point the finger, but really they should be pointing it back at themselves, that need to do the work. You had a great quote the other day, or it was a tweet, and I screenshotted it. It was amazing, talking about others and really they should be looking back at themselves because it's truly how they feel about them. It's not about you. I think so many times we try to offload hurt and we do that a lot on social media, too. You see it all the time. The most times I see it is on social media, mostly within direct messages because I like to go on there, whether it's somebody that's reaching out to me that's trying to get in contact or somebody saying, "Hey, I'm truly struggling. Can you just give me a good word?" I'm like, "Okay boom, boom, boom. I'm just going to knock out five or 10 of these."

Kevin Love (:

I think a lot of people, they're excited that you responded as well as with a good word because a lot of people will, again, hide behind that screen or hide behind their device and send some venomous thing out thinking that's going to make them feel better. They try to offload their hurt in that way.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Hurt people hurt people.

Kevin Love (:

Correct, so I think that's where I see it a lot, but comparing emotions, comparing grief, and offloading grief and how you're feeling, I just don't think is healthy. But again, I think everybody's going through their process and the way that they absorb things or offload things at their own pace. Those are the type of people that I feel for because in a lot of ways they don't know where to turn. They don't know the resources. They don't know the tools. So, I'm empathetic towards that and I think those are the people that we need to touch and put our arms around maybe even more.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Yep, 100%. I think when people lash out like that it's because they haven't been given what they needed when they felt tender and vulnerable, and so it's really uncomfortable to watch someone else be that way. So, I appreciate that you meet that with kindness. I think that can plant a seed for a really different relationship to that part of themself.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I'm curious, you've gone through this journey the hard way, as we all have to do in one way or the other, but if you could say something to your younger self, what would you say? What would you say to young Kevin who's figuring out the world?

Kevin Love (:

I always say that nothing haunts us like the things we don't say. That was certainly true for me and is something I've had to try and, I guess conquer is the wrong word, but I've really had to work on and I know my fiancee Kate is the same way, words of affirmation and expressing love at a level that somebody very close to me needs it, including my own personal self talk, which is the most important. It's probably why I can't get to that point yet and something I've continued to work on with my therapist that I wish I would have had the presence of mind and understanding to know that nothing does haunt us like the things we don't say and living in the shadows and compartmentalizing everything is not the life where you're going to find pure joy and those clouds are going to part and you're just going to feel like a sense of belonging and euphoria and just overall gratitude.

Kevin Love (:

I didn't have that. Everything was just so short lived. I was either living in the past and darkness or anxiety of the future and I wasn't able to find any ... Two of the hardest things in life: staying present and finding balance. Those were two things that I had very little of because I was just living vicariously through basketball. My entire identity was there and if I was not performing I was not bringing any value to the world at all. It was accumulation of a lot of things.

Kevin Love (:

I feel for teenagers, especially within that 15 to 16, 17, 18 year old, just high school type of experience, especially now with social media, that these conversations are even more important to have because that was the sweet spot for me when I really started to feel things and where I would have told younger Kevin to just lay it all on the line and, "You'll be accepted by the people that matter and that have your back." Again, those are still the relationships, those people that I can turn to, are the reason I'm alive today. Those people I can turn to are the ones that no matter what, 100%, always had my back. That's what I wish I would have learned early on, but hopefully one person, many people, whoever it may be, or however many it may be, will take something from that and understand that once you play all your cards it's like, "Hey, you can't use me against me."

Kevin Love (:

I always say it's like 8 Mile when Eminem's up there and he just goes, "All right, what am I going to say in my last rap?"

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I love that part.

Kevin Love (:

It's like, "I live in a trailer with my mom and this and that," and then he gets up there and is like, "Oh man, I can't say anything about that person." He just laid it all out there. Their scar tissue is their badge of honor. I get to just go up there and be 100% unapologetically myself. I'm still not there yet, but again, I think that like in basketball, the joy is within the process and is within not the final destination, but everything leading up to it.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I love that. The way I think about what we wish we'd said to our younger self is, I sometimes think about it like, if there's something you wish your younger self had done, that's your older self telling you to do it now.

Kevin Love (:

Yeah.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

You've managed to channel older Kevin, coming back and being like, "Okay but really just lay it all on the line now. It's not too late."

Kevin Love (:

I think to something I touched on earlier, it's hopefully made me a better teammate, a better communicator. It's made me a better significant other, friend, but I'm hoping that it'll make me, for teaching moments, a better coach for my kids or just a better father for my kids or friend or shoulder to lean on, whatever it may be. I do think that that is the case and it will help me within that time in their life, establishing tools or a line of communication and whatever I wanted to say to my younger self, in a way I get to.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

That's true.

Kevin Love (:

That's what I smile about and look forward to because I think, and this is another thing, that time within ... It's like having something to look forward to is a major sense of happiness. It's like that advent calendar, like each day I get to get that little boom, hit a joy. I get to work on all this stuff, so it's that time leading up to it that has so much joy within it. So, I think just don't skip the steps. Enjoy the process and just leave it all out there.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I love it. Well, I have two more things for you. The first one is, the last time we did a talk together I asked you what your self care non-negotiables are, and if memory serves me, I think you said nature, exercise, and gratitude. Curious if since then, is there anything you would add to that list?

Kevin Love (:

Always nature, for sure. Gratitude, yes. That's always a process for me because I think you can make it as simple or as absolutely honed in direct and specific as you want, and then exercise. I always feel like it kills two birds with one stone for me. Not only does it release endorphins and just radiates goodness all the way around, but it also effects my sport, which is my first love. Those three are my holy trinity, but what's been getting me so much joy lately is I think everybody feels this way about their puppy or about their dog, but my little 35 pound , vizla she gives so much love. We could be gone for 10 minutes and we come back and she's a very special dog, a very special puppy, and I feel like they have this really keen sense of understanding/knowing what you're going through. I don't know if it's them smelling it or just knowing their person or being so in tune with them, but if I'm having a bad day or having a great day or wherever in between, she can feel that and I swear she gives ... There's a reason that people who own dogs live longer. I truly feel like she's extended my life in the longterm and it's funny to say it, but I'm super thankful for my dog and I think that's ... If I had the four horsemen, if I added that to the list-

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

That's a good ad.

Kevin Love (:

Yeah.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I like it. There's tons of research that shows that pets are good for mental health, but you know what else I was thinking, is dogs lay it all on the line. A dog is going to love you clearly, openly, unembarrassedly, no matter what in every moment. So, I imagine that also feels pretty good.

Kevin Love (:

It feels very good and they don't care if you put a ball through a hoop. They don't care how much money you make, the problems you've had. They just want to love you and love you, like you said, no matter what.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Love it. Well Kevin, as always, our conversations fly by, but what we like to end on with Taboo Tuesdays is we're going to pull up a list of taboo questions that are about lots of different taboo topics and I want you to read through the questions, pick whichever one you want to answer, read it out loud and answer it.

Kevin Love (:

You know what? The first one to me, it says ... The question is, "What is the most attractive trait in a partner?" For me, I think it's kindness. The first thing that really attracted me to my fiancee Kate was, and still is, is just how kind of a person she is. She's Canadian, so I think that is the advantage there, but just how kind she treated people and I see it everyday at the arena. No matter who you are, where you work, she understands that everybody has a part to play in this. Everybody gets to establish and write a verse. So I think if you approach things and start from a place of kindness, and at the very least, meet people halfway, I truly believe that is the greatest quality in a partner, and really within people in general. It's actually made me a little bit of a softer and kinder person, especially when it's being asked of me away from the floor. Like I mentioned earlier, a better listener, more empathetic, just from having a mind frame of just beginning everything with kindness.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

I love it. Well, you heard it here first folks. If you want to live your life alongside mental health advocate and NBA superstar, lead with kindness. With that I'm going to say thank you one more time, Kevin, for being here. It's always such a joy and I'll look forward to seeing you soon.

Kevin Love (:

All right, Dr. Emily. Thank you so much.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Thanks for listening to Emotionally Fit hosted by me, Dr. Emily Anhalt. New Taboo Tuesdays drop every other week. How did today's taboo subject land with you? Tweet your experience with the hashtag emotionally fit and follow me @dremilyanhalt.

Dr. Emily Anhalt (:

Please rate, review, follow, and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts. This podcast is produced by Coa, your gym for mental health where you can live therapist led classes online. From group sessions to therapist match making, Coa will help you build your emotional fitness routine. Head to joincoa.com, that's join C-O-A .com to learn more and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at JoinCoa. From Studio Pod Media in San Francisco, our Producer is Katie Sunku Wood. Music is by Milano. Special thanks to the entire Coa crew.

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