I’m shaking my head as I think about it. This bike. This bike that I never wanted. Actually, I gave a firm “no” when we talked about getting it, and yet somehow, it ended up at my house. If you know Jeff then that probably isn’t a surprise to you. When he has his mind on something, there isn’t a lot that will change that. It started about the summer of 2018. He was excited to bring me to the shiny Peloton studio at the Mall in hopes that I would fall in the love with this machine. Well, much to his crushed spirit, I did not fall in the love. Quite the opposite, there was an extremely long list of very practical reasons why I would not support it, not the least of which consisted of the fact that Jeff runs. Yup, you read that right. He’s a runner. Goes for runs, like on the road. Doesn’t bike. Has never biked or cycled. He signs up for the BAA Distance Medley every year. Even ran the Boston Marathon in 2012, and yet, he tried to convince me to get an indoor stationary bike. Not just any bike, a Peloton. I quickly shot it down and included my list of reasons; the price, the subscription, the cult like followers, the discomfort I have riding a bike, my concerns for my back problems, the fact that I do small group fitness classes and he runs, and the most obvious “wouldn’t a treadmill be more practical”. And yet, in November of 2018 the Peloton showed up at my house.

Jeff and I don’t often argue. In fact, we don’t often have conflicts or even disagree on much. We are so in sync with so many things that when something comes up that isn’t in sync, it’s like the whole world falls out of orbit. The Peloton was on one of those times.

Once it was at the house and after at least a month of refusing to go near it, in an act of good faith, I tried it again. No surprise, I still didn’t like it. I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It likely also had something to do with the fact that I hate cardio. Like HATE cardio. The thought of running makes my body hurt and it’s a joke at my kettlebell classes that if I sweat, I’ve clearly worked too hard. Anyway, you get the picture.

So, fast forward to the summer of 2019. Jeff ends up in the hospital. And not for a quick little check up. For an unknown (at that time) tumor on his brain. A medulloblastoma to be exact. And what resulted was weeks in the hospital followed by inpatient rehab, followed by daily proton radiation therapy for five weeks, followed by six rounds of inpatient chemo spanning six months. My ability to continue my only stress reliever, my small group work out classes, quickly became a thing of the past as I worked to support my husband, navigate the world of health care, work, and care for my then almost two year old and try to keep him on a schedule as best as possible. Oh yeah, we also needed food, sometimes I’d try to clean the house, and my dog fell seriously ill during this whole time period and needed a ton of appointments and medications (more on that in a different post).

I don’t do well when I don’t have time to exercise. I’m not a die hard about it, but the small group classes I’m a part of have been such a part of my self care, and my physical and mental wellness that I was beginning to suffer without them. I also needed an outlet. Not daily, but during the course of all we were going through I found my anxiety so high at times it was difficult to sleep and I needed a place to release it.

And there was the Peloton. I reluctantly got back on it. I don’t even remember when exactly it was, but I remember going from a hate-hate relationship with it, to a necessity relationship. All I could think about initially was here I was with the Peloton, the stupid Peloton Jeff wanted, the Peloton Jeff used. What if something happened and Jeff didn’t come home and I was left with the Peloton that I never wanted in the first place? But there I was, the one now using it and possibly even grateful that it was there. Oh the irony!

Out of necessity grew some comfort and even regularity as at some point I kept riding. Not every day or anything, but usually a couple of times a week. I even began to enjoy the rides and workouts, and expanded my involvement by taking advantage of the endless amounts of other classes they have. At some point I even started to notice my “streaks” and I eventually found an instructor that fit me. Thank God for @CodyRigsby and #theboocrew who motivate me to ride and put in time for myself.

As we’ve continued to find our new normal post treatment and with the constraints of the Pandemic, the Peloton has been there. I wouldn’t say I have a love-love relationship with it yet, but I’ve moved onto a strong like, at least for now. And, if I’m honest, I have to say that I was pretty proud to hit the first big milestone of 100 rides. Pretty fitting given that it occurred about the same time of year as the year anniversary of my relationship with the Peloton. So, in spite of everything that we have and continue to go through, here’s to my next 100 rides.