Club Peloton Has It All For The Introverted Thirtysomething
I can not stop talking about Peloton — let’s rewind to see how I got here
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when it felt like everything was out of my control, I was adamant about one rule: I wouldn’t buy any massive pieces of gym equipment.
I know myself. From the Nintendo console that’s been collecting dust under my childhood bed since I was seven to the pair of ice skates that have never seen a rink, I tend to pack away expensive equipment after just a few weeks of tinkering. But as an adult athlete (meaning I had no athletic interests until around 25 when I started running), I knew I’d have to figure out some gym alternative to working out for the long haul during the lockdown.
After a couple of horrible Zoom workouts with my trainer (not on his account, all my issues: limited workout space, horrid camera angles, Lola stepping on my head), he suggested that I invest in a Peloton.
Last summer, many of my friends invested in bikes for outdoor cycling, and I knew that absolutely wasn’t for me. Riding on city streets unnerves me, and once the seasons changed, I knew it would be a wrap. Plus, my dog, Lola hates bikes; she barks at them in a fit of rage. So I knew storing her enemy in my apartment would not work at all.
After a couple of horrible Zoom workouts with my trainer (not on his account, all my issues: limited workout space, horrid camera angles, Lola stepping on my head), he suggested that I invest in a Peloton. He knew how much I loved spin class, which has always been, for me, a dance party on wheels. Even with his endorsement, I had no interest in investing in one of the most expensive pieces of fitness equipment on the market.
It took months to finally commit to the Peloton universe. I thought once the world opened again and I returned to the gym, my flywheel with the hefty price tag would sit in my studio collecting dust. But my trainer, who I call Mr. Mom, tried again. He knew I was struggling with breathing issues thanks to wearing masks with asthma. And he also knows about my germophobia, so even an open gym during the pandemic wouldn’t work. During a come-to-Jesus training session on a struggle Zoom, he finally told me two hard facts: The gym is gross, and spin classes wouldn’t return for a very long time.
At that point, I had already done two steroid treatments for my asthma, and my body felt utterly bloated. My lungs were trying their best, but I knew it was time.
Once my Peloton arrived in late November, the obsession was real. I knew that I was committed to a new fitness routine, and in Twilight speak, I imprinted on my bike on day one. I took a beginner ride with Hannah Frankson, and since then, she’s been virtually beside me for of all my goals, from losing 18 pounds to stirring my confidence as a mixed-race woman. She is the British Tia to my Tamera.
In addition to welcoming trainers, the Peloton community is far and wide. At work (shout out to the Pelomedians!), fellow Peloton users share memes, goals, and Pelo news. We even get together every month for a group ride. The shared interest made me closer to my co-workers I’d only met for a short time in the office before the quarantine. And if I’m honest, being so shy, I’d probably have never bonded as deeply with any of them. For those who want an even larger community, Facebook Groups like Black Girl Magic: The Peloton Edition and Power Zone Pack come with thousands of members and challenge programs. During a time when I’d only co-exist with my dog for days on end, Peloton brought actual human interaction into my life when I needed it most.
As the kids say, we’re now outside. But my Peloton isn’t that expensive paperweight I feared it would become. Six months in, and now I am taking classes with teachers I thought were way too difficult for me, like Alex Touissant’s Ride To Greatness series. I’ve recently added strength training, and I am completely enamored with the calculations and process behind Power Zone. I hang on to Matt Wilpers’ every word as I notice transformations in my body, mental health, and self-confidence.
On a simpler note, I can work out whenever I want. As it pours or heat waves strike on the streets outside, I can sweat without leaving my home. I can power on my Peloton, see Hannah or Matt’s smiling face, dance to some Janet Jackson, throw out some high-fives on the leaderboard, and set out on my own path.