My New Year’s resolution actually began about six months ago. I couldn’t go to the gym due to the pandemic and feared I was headed towards the dreaded “quarantine 15” weight gain. So, I panicked and bought one of those Peloton bikes that everyone made fun of a couple years ago.
You probably remember the commercial: A model/actress type is gifted a Peloton by her boyfriend and she furrowed her brow in a “what’re ya trying to say, bucko?” kind of way. Dutifully she rose at 6 a.m. each day to endure this bike-to-nowhere reminder of how inadequate she was while her jerk of a boyfriend slept in. But desperate times call for desperate measures even if it meant purchasing the most derided, bourgeois-yuppie product of the year.
Am I ever glad I did! This thing has been a lifesaver. I’m fairly convinced that without it I’d never again have the gumption to wear anything but sweatpants. Now it’s embarrassing, really. I’m so engulfed in a virtual spin class program with virtual high fives and hyper-detailed output statistics that I’ve become a Peloton evangelical seeking fellow enthusiasts to talk to about it (@timmydaddy, #PelotonATL if you want to hit the follow).
Kristen and I are settling in on our favorite instructors. Cody Rigsby is a former professional dancer and the unofficial #1 Britney Spears fan of all time. A 30-minute ride with him is like a visit to a theme park of random thoughts. I’m paraphrasing here but this week he professed, “Yeah that’s right – I’m playing Kelly Clarkson for a second time. 98% of you moms out there love you some Kelly Clarkson – it’s a fact! You’re driving around the cul-de-sac, that minivan is boppin’…”
Then there’s Jess King who is some sort of Supernatural Shaman of an instructor. Riding with her is like going to the gym, the movies and the therapist all at once. She’s irreverent and unapologetic, motivational and powerful. When she tells me that Dua Lipa is awesome I believe her and when she instructs me to breathe through my gills, I do it. I just freakin’ do it!
If I’m in need of a motivational speech I might dial up an Ally Love ride where she’ll ask me “can I get you to turn up your resistance by 10 points – yes or yes?” Or if I want to take a stab at a PR (personal record) I go to the London studio for a ride with Ben Alldis. He always lays out a program I flow well with even if I have to endure dorky lines like “this next track is such a bang-ahh.” I gasp for air and sweat buckets while he remains the pressed and proper Brit but it’s all about the P in PR, right? Christine D’Ercole will serve up a New Wave ride song selection that tells me we must be about the same age. She reminisces and often cries towards the end of the ride. It’s emotional stuff people.
I’ve even convinced my kids to start riding. We didn’t have a basketball season this year so I’m itching to coach them in something although they usually kick me out of the room at the first whisper of advice. Peloton could probably make a killing if they hired a handful of younger, Tik-Tok-esque personalities as trainers. Split screen the instructor with a reel of curated internet clips and it’s a whole new market. Maybe Cody Rigsby has a precocious sibling or Jess King could bring along a charismatic teenager from her home planet. Just brainstorming here Peloton…but if you use my idea, I want the title of Ambassador and a few free headbands, okay?
Tim Sullivan grew up in a large family in the Northeast and now lives with his small family in Oakhurst. He can be reached at email@example.com.