Tuesday Topics | When the world goes to hell in a handbasket, or why I caved and finally got a Peloton

Remember when I said last month that riding my friend’s Peloton was really nice but that I’ve been trying to convince myself that I am absolutely 100% fine with the no-frill bike that I have? Yeah, turns out I wasn’t very good at convincing. Not even a month later, we pulled the trigger.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that I am a runner and sports enthusiast. 

I’ve played sports all my life, grew up skiing, playing tennis and softball (and probably tried every other sport out there), went on to get a degree in physical education, and then picked up running a few years ago. I was a gym member for many years and took advantage of their equipment and classes. Two years ago, I also fell in love with spinning after joining my friend Tanja for a spin class in SoCal. Sports are in my blood (my Dad’s a retired P.E. teacher and tennis coach) and if I can’t move, I am not happy. This has never been more apparent than during this pandemic. If one thing has kept me sane these last 18 months, it’s been the option to run and exercise.

Here we are in August (almost September), and I honestly expected a bit more from 2021. A new president and administration and the arrival and distribution of vaccines in the spring yielded a lot of hope. Jon and I, both still so very cautious, felt strongly that things were going to look up this summer. Then the delta variant emerged and (too many) people turned out to be conspiracy theorists that didn’t believe in the science of vaccines. Covid cases are surging again, California’s wildfire season started off with a bang and early, and the news from around the world (esp. Afghanistan and the Middle East) are worsening by the day.

Truth is, the news – locally and globally – has been devastating and horrific lately, I haven’t seen my family in almost two years, the Central Valley is blanketed with smoke again, and I don’t know how to deal.

So, what do you do when the world goes to hell in a handbasket?

You say f***k it, and you finally get a Peloton – and for at least a brief moment – that puts the brightest smile on your face (ok, actually for a little longer as I haven’t stopped smiling since that thing arrived).

You must know, I am a numbers nerd, I thrive on data. If you can measure something, I want it measured. I had ‘piecemealed’ together feedback about my workout stats by using a cadence and speed sensor, a heart monitor, and a second app that could calculate “virtual output” from these sensors (as my Sunny bike didn’t provide resistance or output numbers), and I was convinced that following the classes on my iPhone screen (no, not the Plus) was totally fine! Who needs a big screen?

Turns out, I do — apparently. Or, at least I enjoy it a hell of a lot more than I ever thought I would.

And having all the stats accurately and boldly displayed on the huge screen right in front of my face, and being able to compete with others on the leaderboard (something I also thought wouldn’t interest me that much) is THE ultimate geek-stuff.

You can bet that I’ll be taking advantage of ALL metrics and stats and training programs that Peloton has to offer and that I couldn’t take full advantage of as an app rider. 

If I am completely honest with myself, I didn’t have to get a Peloton to motivate myself to work out. I did just fine with my outdoor runs and getting on my Sunny Bike and using the heck out of the Peloton app. But I would be lying if I said that my enthusiasm hasn’t increased a hundredfold since the bike arrived. I feel like not only have I done something to continue to improve my physical health, but my mental health going forward as well.

The decision to buy wasn’t easy for me (I probably thought about this much longer than you’d care to know because I have a hard time spending a lot of money on myself – although I am hoping that Jon will use the bike, too – and the Peloton is not cheap, and admittedly, probably also hyped up), but you can’t argue that it isn’t a beautiful, slick, high-end piece of exercise equipment.

I probably also somehow felt, subconsciously, that I had to prove myself on the Sunny bike first, but I finally got to a point where this investment felt absolutely worth it to me. If I was able to say one thing with certainty, a thing that many people fear when they make a big investment like that, it was that this wasn’t going to become an expensive clothes rack in my house. I knew and know that I am going to use it. And with a little bit (ok, a lot) of nudging from Jon (he’s much better at making decisions than I am), we finally decided to order. Little did we know that the bike would arrive within 72 hours.

When I submitted my annual leave request three weeks ago, I had no clue that I’d be spending a large chunk of my week-long staycation (first leave I’ve taken in 2021) on an actual Peloton bike. I mean, I am not complaining! It’s like it was meant to work out that way.

I truly feel beyond fortunate that we are able to afford it and I don’t take this for granted in the slightest, but I also admit that after everything we’ve all been through, after staying put for 18 months, I felt like I deserved something – anything! (like, the bike that goes nowhere, ha!) – that makes this life a tiny bit more exciting right now.

Moving your body, being able to ride with friends, and feeling connected to a community — isn’t that worth so very much in times like these?

I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics.

  1. This was 100% the right decision and a great investment for you guys. You know you will use it and will love using it! It can be hard to spend money on ourselves. Phil and I struggle with the same thing. But think of how little you’ve spent in the last 2 years now with no travel, very little eating out, etc etc. You’ve more than earned this and it will be great for your and Jon’s health! And anything that makes exercising a little bit (or a lot!) more fun is worth the money!

    I got Phil a garmin watch on prime day and was really surprised that I didn’t have to talk him into buying it. Prior to meeting me, he never ran with a watch. I mean he even trained for a marathon without a running watch! But then since I got pregnant, he’s done all the running so has used my (purple!) running watch and has grown to love the data. Now that I am back to running consistently, I wanted my watch back! So I was glad he was up for getting his own!

    1. Thank you, Lisa, you’re so right. Sometimes we have to treat ourselves. And I am so glad that Phil also found enjoyment and benefit in owning a gadget ;)

  2. Yay! I’m so glad that you treated yo’self. I get where you are coming from 100%. It took me a good ten years to buy a treadmill and when it broke last year we replaced it in a heartbeat. On a smaller level, this spring I got a $600 Garmin instead of a $250 one…I don’t “need” it but I sure like it. That’s offset by my $25 a month cell phone, not having cable, yada, yada…the bottom line is that we’re allowed to have nice things.

    1. Thank you. I really liked your last sentence: we’re allowed to have nice things. I sometimes forget that. ;)

  3. Like you, I also expected more from 2021. I’m actually very disappointed that I feel like we’re right back where we were last Fall :(

    Congrats on your new bike purchase! They actually just lowered the price of the bike so I bet you can get a refund (I think its around $400) if you contact customer service since you purchased it recently.

    1. Yeah, 2021 has been really disappointing in a lot of ways. :(

  4. So happy I can finally see and chase you on the leaderboard.
    You have been part of the Pelo-Family for such a long time already, it was about time to get you the real-deal. Not needed but such an amazing bike that goes nowhere!
    Yeah for treating yourself !!! You deserved it!

    1. Girl, you know I am the HAPPIEST :)

  5. I was a person who went to spin classes twice weekly, and I never thought I would want a Peloton. Well, hello pandemic. I love my Peloton so much and I do at least five rides a week; it’s a great complement to running, in my opinion. I also love the app for the stretching and meditation functions. I can tell you for certain I will never go back to spin classes, that’s how much I enjoy my Peloton. I think you made the right decision and I hope one day our schedules will align and we are in a class together!

  6. Also – I think it’s so important to treat yourself and I, too, am having a lot of trouble with the news and the state of the world these days. I can control so few things, but I can enjoy my exercise!

    1. Thank you, Nicole. I am so glad you’re also a Peloton enthusiast and understand the excitement. I think you’re so right that it’s important to treat ourselves sometime… and when we can control so little, we can definitely control our exercise :)

  7. Sounds like you made the right purchase ;-) While I much prefer to be outside when I’m cycling, I was surprised how much I liked the indoor scene last winter (and that was just on my “no bells, no whistles” stationary bike. Enjoy!!

    1. Thanks so much, Kim. I definitely enjoy the outdoors too but it’s nice to have indoor options :)

  8. I have no doubt that I would love the real thing, but the truth is I already have several subscription type services and I just can’t justify the monthly cost of a P bike. I don’t use Peloton for things like Yoga or ST (I’ve tried, I just have others that I prefer) — and I’m pretty darn sure my husband would never touch it (although I wish he would).

    That said, enjoy it!

    1. Oh, I get it, if you already have several subscriptions that you love, you don’t necessarily need another one – haha. I quit my gym membership because of covid and still had to justify replacing it with something else… but as long as we all find something that works for us!

  9. I like the way you put that- “I expected a bit more from 2021.” Yes, absolutely.
    I can see how getting the Peloton would be fun and exciting. God knows we all need more of that. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Jenny. I appreciate it. We can all use a bit more joy these days, that’s for sure!

  10. I am sooooo jealous, hahaha. I think I’m going to have to be happy with my non-Peloton bike, but damn if I don’t want those stats and that shiny bike in my apt! I’d like to not have to prop my laptop on my bed to do the workout! ah, well. Happy for you! You definitely deserve it!

  11. You sound so excited and happy that I’d say it is definitely worth the investment and I am sure you’ll enjoy it for a long time. I can totally understand the struggle with getting yourself something expensive. I can’t do it. Until a certain point were I also usually say F*** it. Enjoy your bike!

  12. Enjoy your bike! I think you did the right thing in testing the no-frills bike and finding that you would 1) use the peloton and 2) enjoy it! I think it also makes a lot of sense given that you are still very much working from home and need to be able to create a break between work & home life. And… as we go into fall and winter with the mess that is still here because of a lack of urgency to get this contained… I feel like it’s definitely going to end up being worth the investment.

  13. I am so happy you got your bike! And it makes me happy that you like it. I can’t believe you got it that fast. Awesome!

  14. San, I am so happy to read this finally. I knew – from IG – that you took the plunge (or, the ride?) and it sounds like it was just the right choice for you. Everyone else is right – you have to treat yourself, even when it is hard. I completely sympathize – I rarely, if ever, treat myself to anything. And when I do, I struggle with guilt. Thank you for reminding me that it’s not a bad thing to find joy in purchasing something for myself. :)

    Also, ps, I am thinking I need to go read your “about” page, because I was reading about your sports, and your degree, and your dad’s jobs, and I thought, “Huh! I never knew that!” I am really curious about how you got from your degree to what seems to be a very different type of job… grad school, I’m assuming?

    Take care, and enjoy the ride!

    1. Thank you so much, Anne. I really appreciate your kinds words, and yes, I am here to remind you (and myself, haha) that it’s okay to treat yourself to something every once in a while (I am also still a work in progress, but getting better!).

      I studied Geography, English and P.E. in College and was set to become a high school teacher. Then life happened and I think I still made the best of my degree…. as I found work as a geographer in an English speaking country and I still pursue and enjoy physical exercise during my spare time. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? :)

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