Peloton Didn’t Email Me Back: Riding for Reality

“We hated the gym. We loved it. We escaped to it. We avoided it. We had complicated relationships with our bodies, while at the same time insisting that we loved them unconditionally. We were sure we had better, more important things to do than worry about them, but the slender yoga bodies of moms in Lululemon at school pickup taunted us. Their figures hinted at wheatgrass shots, tennis clubs, and vagina steaming treatments. We found them aspirational. So we sweated on the elliptical and lifted ten-pound weights, inching closer to the bodies we told ourselves we were too evolved to want.” ― Chandler Baker, Whisper Network

To begin, I’ve benefited from incredible fitness professionals. I value their expertise, admire their passion for health and wellness, and covet their commitment to helping others.

I’m a community oriented person. But I’ve been told and understand that any change starts with me. Read above. Chandler Baker sums it up for me. I need to get out of my head and into my heart, especially as it relates to fitness.

I like a challenge and I love a phenomenon. When the pandemic forced my routine to change, I went with the old fitness adage of evolve or repeat. Enter Peloton. I had long bemoaned the expense, the issue of conformity over community, and the questionable role of extremely good looking people offering me inspiration in the form of witty one liners, especially as I pedaled like my life depended on it.

Like all new things, I was scared, intimidated, and clueless. The latter is important. Prior to my Peloton purchase all I knew about the bike was cultish rave reviews via  friends and a poorly received Christmas commercial. It felt like a popular path and I tend to be a road less traveled type of girl. But a pandemic does things to people.

I will absolutely own my privilege in being able to afford a Peloton, especially in the midst of a global health crisis. I am thankful. And if you’re failing to relate, maybe you can identify with this: sometimes we invest in things for sheer potential projections. This became my Peloton pitch and pivot.

On Mother’s Day I emailed Peloton campaigning for myself. I asked if they wanted to feature a journey that goes well beyond the surface, isn’t picture perfect, and won’t be crucified by consumers.  I wasn’t the model mom who was trying to transform for her husband. Nor would I wake up at dawn to document. But I wanted to share with them the realities of many in terms of their physical fitness and mental well being. I wanted them to see my struggle to get twenty minutes to myself, the exhaustion from everything, and the view from my unfinished basement makeshift cycle studio.

I didn’t hear back from Peloton, but I’m holding out hope. Being clueless is good. It makes you do things like pitch yourself to a company that’s worth 4 billion. It also makes you ride for reality. I have a large and wide reaching community and network of support, but this experiment is about me. It’s a ride I’m taking to create a new habit, one that helps me delve into discipline, endeavor to be okay with the uncomfortable, and propel and protect my health.

For a reflective rider like myself, there’s a lot to unearth and the promise of many miles more to go. So here’s to clipping in and pedaling with a purpose. Peloton, whenever you’re ready, I’m here:)