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?