This is not a Peloton commercial. I swear. This is also not a story of weight loss. Mainly because I haven’t lost weight.. I gained and am still carrying the COVID NINETEEN. This is a story about finding an inner strength and determination I didn’t know was in me.
For my 40th birthday, last November, I splurged and purchased the Peloton. My back wasn’t allowing me to run like I wanted to and I needed to find something I would like. I used to teach spin and loved it. For the same reason I prefer water aerobics, no one can see what you are doing under the water or what the resistance on bike is. There are no mirrors. I also preferred individual sports in my early years. I didn’t want to be part of a team I could let down. When I played rec softball it was easier to be on the team that always lost, because there was no pressure. It was a good laugh. When I would go the gym, I wouldn’t do group classes, or would try once and be too embarrassed to continue. Or I tried boot camps and hated it. I was always comparing myself in an unhealthy way to others in the group or even the instructors. I didn’t look like that. I couldn’t do that. I was putting myself down, more than the work out was pumping me up (and costing me a lot of $$ in the process). Even with the awesome endorphins I was releasing, I was consistently in the mode of self-protection. If I don’t try hard, I will always have a way to save face. Seems like the story of my life. If I don’t put myself out there, I can always say “well, I didn’t really put much effort into it”, or “things just organically happen” (or don’t). Then I got this bike. I started slow. My usual ‘MO’, setting easily obtainable goals. Taking a scenic ride. Taking an on-demand class. Never looking at the leader board. Another class, then another. All on-demand. I was pushing myself harder than anyone ever pushed me. I was panting, sweating, red-faced, looking like a crazy person on a bike. I never would have allowed myself to look like that at the gym or boot camp. Heck no! I was wearing a sports bra, letting it all hang out. Cause why not. I was alone. No one could see me. Then I was passing my own “personal record”, then another, then another. I was killing it! While feeling amazing! Now not every teacher is my cup of tea, that is why there are so many, different strokes for different folks. But they all seem to have a positive energy, providing encouragement that they want “you to do you”. Personally, I find myself liking the instructors who play 80s music (and have an accent).
I started looking at the leader board. THAT started to drive me. I wanted to be up front! I wanted to end each ride in the Top 20%. WHAT?? Who is the person getting competitive? More competitive with myself (because again no one can see me). I set a goal to be up front and I wanted to get there every ride. I found this self-confidence. When no one was looking (PS no one was ever looking, not at the gym, not at boot camp, we are too worried about ourselves) but when I 100% knew no one was looking, I could just go balls to the wall. And I was succeeding. I was going beyond any limit I had set on myself. I was just pushing and pushing, even when I thought I couldn’t do anymore, I did! This experience and shift in mindset allowed me even consider that there was more for me outside of my job. If I really set myself a personal goal – a goal a younger me never thought possible – maybe I could hit it. Or even surpass it. I truly believe the self empowerment I experience on this bike is what made me even consider leaving the safety of my job and try to push myself to do something. Happy Friday Eve!
PS. My commentary on the workout itself… best sweat I have ever worked up! 20 minutes I am dripping more than I do after running a half marathon. And the calories… fugetta about it….I still haven’t done a live class. Although one time I will want the teacher to read my user name 🙂 Maybe at ride 500. Find me at raeraeg15.
PPS. Full disclosure, I do own a few stocks in Peloton. I am firm believer in investing in the products and services you use. My one and only financial tip.