That Time My Peloton Helped Me Get My S**t Together
Not to toot my own horn—but to any brands I fall in love with—I’m really the best spokesperson you could ever want. When I connect to a product (even TV show, movie or band), everyone in my inner circle (and beyond) knows my obsession, respects my loyalty—and feels compelled to help me spread the gospel.
For example, I’ve been creatively enamored by Steven Tyler and Aerosmith since I was 15 years old. I’ve seen so many Aerosmith concerts that I’ve truly lost count, I’ve interviewed Steven, embarrassed myself in front of Steven and I bow down to him for fueling some of the biggest “a-ha” moments and creative breakthroughs of my life. Any time Steven Tyler/Aerosmith is on TV—I get flooded with texts, calls and Facebook posts making sure I’m aware (it’s super rare that I’m not). The thing I love the most is I usually hear from people of my past that I’m not in close contact with. They reach out because my devotion, enthusiasm and passion for Aerosmith stuck with them and made an impression.
But, a little over a year ago, I became eternally loyal to something new. It’s a brand and a product, yes—but also a lifestyle and a movement. It’s changed me from the inside out and I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. I give it full credit for a creative revolution I began last year that also improved my focus and gave me a level of productivity in my life, but mainly my career, that I don’t recall ever experiencing before.
Enter my PELOTON . . . . .!!!!!!!!!!!
(And no, I’m not getting paid one cent to say any of this nor is that the goal here)
Here’s the deal . . . every so often, things are put on my radar, get stuck in my head and from deep within the recesses of my heart and soul. . .I KNOW it’s something that I must pursue. It’s why I moved to New York City four days after graduating college and never looked back. It’s why I KNEW this one particular online dating site would bring me my husband. It’s why I never get bangs and got rid of my Instant Pot. . . but I digress. . .
You see, I’ve “donated” thousands of dollars to gyms over the years with no return and no results. I’ve promised myself that thrice weekly yoga would be easy to stick with if I blocked off the time on my calendar. How hard would it be to go to spinning classes every morning at 7am if the studio was across the street from my house? Sure, sometimes those decrees stuck—but usually they were temporary. I’d find every excuse—too tired, too sore, too stressed . . .I hated the teacher or the music or the difficulty level. I’d panic that no one helped me set up my bike or the class was cliquey or the “regulars” too “cult like” in their obsession.
By the way? Those were my premotherhood excuses. Enter motherhood and it was a barrage of excuses around breastfeeding, extreme exhaustion and lack of child care . . . and even when my daughter was well beyond the boob and I HAD child care, well, I needed that window to “work” and “write” and “focus.” Why would I ever spend that precious time working out?
Problem was, the work I was producing? Well, it was utter shit. I wasn’t giving myself ANY time, ANY energy and ZERO self-care—I wasn’t “focused” so I wasn’t “working”—literally, physically and mentally. I was burnt out and resentful with no outlet to place my aggression and anxiety—and no space to build back up my passion, creativity and focus. That lack of “me time” made me show up frazzled for my life and work—making my chance at creating my life’s work nil . . .
So, I saw the Peloton commercial and had a calming moment of enlightenment and gratitude. I knew it was the answer—and outlet—that I was so desperately searching for. A spinning bike from the comfort of my own home? With classes I could take whenever I wanted? If I was up at 5am, I could ride? In need of a mid-day, brain break, I could ride? Sleepless at midnight, I could ride?
I was in. There was a gravitational force I couldn’t deny.
Except, it actually took a year to pull the trigger. Was I really going to make this big investment—and use it—or was I financing a very expensive clothing rack? My husband, always supportive but the king of the reality check, was dubious that my devotion would be fleeting. Yet, I took the plunge. I was ready to not only commit to the bike and the $100 a month payments . . . but also to myself.
I was worth it.
Roughly 14 months and OVER 200 rides later, I can confidently say that I’ve never EVER been so relieved that I trusted my gut and listened to what I needed.
My bike has become my safe space. The instructors my motivational speakers. No one can take my bike time away from me . . . time that I give myself, something (especially as a working mom) that’s NOT easy to carve out. But, by fighting through every excuse in my head to assure that I get on the damn bike almost every day—something crazy has happened.
It’s become increasingly tougher to make excuses in other parts of my life—namely my career.
In a way, the bike’s given me a renewed sense of purpose. I start my day by tackling challenges, getting past fears and slaying the what-ifs while on the bike . . . it’s practice for whatever the rest of the day has in store. I’m mentally, physically and even spiritually ready to nab a new assignment and receive the things that I put out to the universe.
I started my career putting in late nights and what I perceived as so much unrequited blood, sweat, tears and passion. I never felt heard or appreciated. Well of course not. It’s not rocket science but though my passion was there, clearly my direction and purpose was lacking. Maybe it wasn’t obvious to me but it was painfully obvious to everyone else, especially those I reported to or wanted to be working with. Feeling “lost” prevented me from ever really knowing what I was working towards. It also prevented me from learning to play “the game” without being a completely entitled and unenlightened asshole. I never confidently stepped away from my comfort zone, I never stepped back to evaluate my behavior, I never tended to my needs or really thought about how terribly I was coming across to others. How could I expect fellow (and future) colleagues to trust and respect me when I didn’t trust or respect myself?
Now, I’m not saying that you need a Peloton to find your purpose and make your career dreams come alive. But you must carve out time for yourself every day—even if it’s five minutes—and be consistent and dedicated to that time. Where you spend that time and how you use it is up to you. But, here’s the deal . . .use it to set up challenges and dares for yourself. See yourself accomplishing your biggest goals—and then multiply it by five. Ask yourself what’s holding you back and then visualize yourself smashing it to pieces. Feel yourself getting breathless over the possibilities. View this space as a haven that no one can interrupt or take away.
The Peloton is where I take the first steps to crushing my goals (big, small, fun, overwhelming—all of them) and tap into potential I didn’t know I had in me. I start to my day on the bike to ride away the ugly energy and self doubt so no one else can even catch a whiff.
Sure, it would have been nice to have figured this out years ago but it’s about living life in the now, right? So think about it and tell me—what does the time/bubble/haven that you give yourself every day look like? Where/how are you focusing and setting your own intentions?