I have three kids.
My oldest is currently eight years old. On the day he was born, I transformed into a woman I didn’t know I wanted to be. But this woman is a stranger. I have been trying to get to know her but I don’t know how to start up a conversation. “The sun is out today.” “How about them [enter sports team]?” is all I got. She doesn’t enjoy the things the woman who came before her did. She smiles less. Laughs less than that. She always has a purpose for every action she executes. And “her joy” is never one of the purposes. She is uncomfortable in her own company.
I’ve tried new things. New things fell through. Until I tried one last new thing. It was a thing that I had heard about and saw as just another new thing for those people obsessed with fitness and valued themselves and others solely on their appearance. I was peer pressured to “just try it.”
My body issues are on an auto renew annual subscription but for moments of time, when I am logged into my Peloton app, I am free. I don’t think about my kids. I don’t think about anything but being grateful for the time with my body. I am comfortable keeping her company. The instructors have been plucked from a very special tree whose purpose is to produce humans who love other humans. I always walk away with a feeling that there is good in the world – despite what the news said that day. One bit of advice I have been hanging on is from Jess King:
“Don’t look in the mirror! Believe me when I say you are beautiful. BELIEVE YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.”
My experience with Peloton has helped me accept that my value is not in the size of my thighs or my waist but the size of my heart. MY heart. The one that decided to still work this morning so I could wake up and worry about my children who have hearts of their own. I’m not talking that toxic positivity that is readily available on most every other app out there. What I am talking about is genuine and gentle and generous.
For those of you who roll your eyes when you hear the word “Peloton,” I challenge you – peer pressure you – to just try it. It’s not just a bike. You don’t even have to buy the bike. I didn’t. I have a $500 bike and the app that sets me back $14 a month. Competition does not fulfill me. I am a recovering perfectionist and the myriad of metrics available on the Peloton bike may actually discourage me. I am not saying I will NEVER get a Pelton bike but I am saying that I am fully satisfied with the set up I have. I don’t own any Peloton gear or apparel. I currently don’t have any plans to change that.
I feel mentally best after a ride. Twenty minute rides are my sweet spot but I occasionally enjoy a longer ride with a Pelobuddy (and Cody or Emma or Jess King). I feel physically better after a cardio or strength workout. Rad Lopez and JSims challenge me in a love/hate way. I feel seen with the meditations. Thank the universe for Ross Rayburn. I feel at peace with who I have become with the walks. Marcel Dinkins is my spirit woman.
I know it often sounds like Peloton is a cult. But what is a cult, really? Is it a bunch of people being brainwashed into thinking the same thing? If that same thing is that I am worth the air I breathe and that I won because I got the opportunity to wake up this morning, then yeah, I’m in a cult. Join us. And thank me later.
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