It was the end of March 2020 and I knew things weren’t going to be changing anytime soon. I definitely wouldn’t be going back to my gym, and I knew if I didn’t do something, I was going to turn into a blob on the sofa, sort of like I had after Katrina. I liked my old gym (Orangetheory) because the coaches kept me motivated, and I liked being able to compete (in my own head) with other people in the class.
Several years before, I’d tried a spin class. I hated it with the fire of a thousand suns, so every time someone I knew bought a Peloton, I’d think to myself, “not for me.”
Well, turns out a global pandemic really makes you rethink things. So I thought, “okay, maybe for me.” I reasoned that I could return it if I hated it.
No one was more surprised than me when I didn’t hate it. Not at all. I was hooked immediately. Why?
1. I don’t have to go anywhere to exercise. The closest Orangetheory was at least 20 minutes from my house on the West Bank, so going to an hour-long class really meant two hours out of my day. That meant I only went two or three times a week, max. With the Peloton in my living room, as long as I make myself put on exercise clothes in the morning, I’ll get on the bike. (And since I work from home, putting on exercise clothes every day is no big deal.)
2. The instructors are great. Do you like to be challenged? Then take a class from Alex. Do you like to laugh? Cody. Do you like cursing? Jenn Sherman will toss some f-bombs. Do you want to be inspired? Look no further than Christine. Do you want to feel like you’re going to die at the end of a class? Tunde’s your woman. There’s a coach for any mood you’re in, and they’re just as inspiring as my favorite coaches from Orangetheory (miss you, Rachel!)
3. My leg muscles are awesome. And I can gross my kids out by flexing my calves. Bonus!
4. There are lots of classes on the app. If you want to hop on the bike every day, there are climbs and endurance rides and interval rides and 80s pop rides and 90s hip hop and metal and Coldplay and Britney and even a Big Freedia ride! If you don’t want to get on the bike, there are outdoor walks and runs and strength training and cardio, yoga, pilates, and barre, just to name a few.
5. I am very competitive. One of my favorite things about the Peloton is the leaderboard. I love trying to beat other people during a class. I can also compete against myself if I’ve taken the class before. Plus, you can send high-fives to other people taking a class at the same time as you. Words of affirmation are my love language, and apparently high fives of affirmation count.
6. I don’t hurt anymore. Without the impact of running and lifting heavy weights, my knees stopped hurting. My shoulder pain went away. My achilles’ tendinitis disappeared. Turns out low impact is good for you. Who knew?
7. It puts me to sleep. Aside from the exercise classes, there are hundreds of meditations. Every night I play a sleep meditation and it puts me to sleep better than Benadryl. No more anxious nights with my mind racing. A simple body scan will send those right out of your head and into dreamland.
Look, the Peloton isn’t for everyone. It’s not cheap, that’s for sure, but you can use the Peloton app in conjunction with a less expensive bike. I certainly didn’t think it was for me until I tried it. So maybe you’re looking for a way to exercise when the kids are in bed or during your workday (if you’re lucky enough to work from home) or you don’t want to go outside in August. Clip in, point a fan at your face, and get riding!
Do you already have a Peloton? Then follow me on the app – @pyjammy