Thursday, January 16, 2020

One Month Peloversary

Today is my our one month Peloversary! Is that a thing? We've had our Peloton bike for one month today and so far it's been... surprising. I started to say great, but that's not quite right. Surprising is much more accurate. I thought, in light of that, that I'd share a bit about my experience so far. If you have one of these things or have questions about the bike, please let me know.

First ride: This was brutal. To say I didn't make it far would be an understatement. I seriously underestimated how difficult this thing would actually be. Cycling/spinning is much, much harder than it looks. All those people who make it look easy are probably in good shape and regularly work out. If you are not in good shape and don't regularly work out, this thing will crush you. It will crush your body and your will.

I got off the bike after that ride wondering what the hell I had done. I wanted to get a damn treadmill, not a Peloton bike. Matt talked me into it and when I argued about the cost, said he would ride too (liar!), so we got this thing and here I was wondering if I would ever ride it again after that. At that moment, I thought I might have just paid a fortune for the worlds biggest paperweight. 

I went back: After I got over the emotional struggle of failing so spectacularly at my first ride, I pulled up my big girl panties and went back to the bike. The first few weeks were sporadic, with me not being able to develop any sort of schedule. I couldn't seem to be motivated to ride with regularity, but I think the most important thing to say here would be that I did keep going back, even if not terribly consistently. I missed one whole week, but went right back and did three days in a row. The next week, I rode one day, but I keep going back and I'm working on forming a routine. This week, I've done another three days in a row. Right now, I'm feeling like that routine might be riding during weekdays and taking the weekends off, but I don't know quite yet. I'm still working it out. 

I actually want to ride: This was the strangest part for me. I realized today, quite suddenly, that I actually wanted to get on the bike. I wanted to get on the bike in the middle of the day, but I had to work. I had no trouble finding the motivation to go in there, strap on my cycling shoes, and clip in. And today, I did a longer ride than any I've done so far. To want to exercise, to crave it, that's a completely foreign feeling for me. I like how I feel afterward. I like how I feel the next day. I guess what I'm trying to say is... I like it. 

A pain in the ass: This is not figurative. When you start riding this thing your ass will hurt. Not a little bit, it will hurt a lot. I couldn't even sit on this seat for five straight minutes when I started. It was excruciating. I got a gel cover for the seat and it honestly didn't help all that much. It still hurt. My sits-bones just weren't able to withstand this thing. So, I did something I haven't really seen anyone else admit to. I sat on a pillow. There's a guest bed in the same room with my bike, so I got one of the pillows and used it to make riding the bike less painful. 

Then something strange happened. I dropped the pillow one day last week and rather than clipping out to get it, I just figured I'd give it a shot without it. And, you know, I was able to sit on the seat without suffering. It still hurt, but not so much that I couldn't just deal with it. I could sit for ten straight minutes (that's about my average ride right now, don't judge me) without pain. Today, I was able to sit on it for about 15 minutes without too much pain. 

The shoes & clipping in: Shockingly, the shoes fit perfectly. They take a little putting together, but they're pretty comfortable. My biggest objection to the shoes is that they cost $125 per pair. We bought two pairs, which makes these officially the most expensive shoes we've ever purchased. It's especially expensive when you take into account that you can't wear them anywhere but on the bike. 

The clipping thing proved to be a little challenging for me. I never have trouble clipping in, it's clipping out that's a challenge. It's not the easiest. Those pedals hold onto the shoes for dear life. You have to have a little bit of leg strength to clip out and I won't lie, the first time I rode I couldn't clip out on the right foot. I took the shoe off, got off the bike, and disconnected the shoe from the pedal (not easy!). I've gotten it down, but man!

Yoga, Strength, & Meditation: This is something I really like about the bike. There are programs that aren't bike programs. You can do yoga, meditation, and strength training. So far, I've done yoga and meditation, in addition to cycling, of course. I still prefer to do yoga through other programs, but this is a nice feature. 

Classes & Scenic Rides: So far, my preference is scenic rides, by far. It allows me to ride somewhere I'll probably never go without leaving my house. It's lovely and allows me to ride at my own pace. But, there are also both live and recorded classes, and a feature that just allows you to ride without anyone directing you or any sort of scenery. I've done three recorded classes, but no live classes because I'm not that brave quite yet. 

The cost: This was the biggest hang up for me. This thing is very expensive. After the accessories (shoes, heart rate monitor, water bottles all x2, and the mat for under the bike) it cost us about $2,850. It's an investment, for sure. On top of that, we pay $41 per month for the subscription. This is not a cheap piece of equipment, but I think it's completely worth it. 

Let me tell you, that is not easy for me to admit. I fought against getting this thing for a long time because I thought it was just an exercise bike. I thought it was just like every other exercise bike on the market with a fancy screen. I was wrong. It's more than that. The whole package is worth every single penny. The motivation to actually exercise for the first time in my life, it's worth it. 

Overall impression: I love it and am looking forward to many more rides. My goal is to get in better shape, better conditioning, and I think this bike can do that. It already is. In just one month of fairly inconsistent rides, I'm already improving. I can do more than I could when I got the bike one month ago and that alone makes it worth it. I'm getting better and stronger, and when I work out I feel better emotionally which is a huge deal for me. I just feel better overall. If you're considering buying one of these things... do it!

4 comments:

  1. So get this. In our old house we had an exercise bike in our guest room (not a fancy one like this, of course), and the seat was absolute agony on my crotch, so then we bought a gel pad, and it was STILL agony, so then I grabbed an extra pillow from the bed and USED A PILLOW ON MY SEAT. I thought I was the only one who had ever done that, and it's tripping me out that you went through this exact sequence of events.

    (We ended up donating the bike to the school I work at, btw).

    My favorite quote: "If you are not in good shape and don't regularly work out, this thing will crush you. It will crush your body and your will. Don't forget your spirit and your soul. ;)

    So glad it's working out for you! I agree--if the Peloton is motivating you to work out on even a semi-regularly basis, it's worth every penny. You can't put a price on your health.

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    1. It is hilarious to me how much we seem to have in common. I googled ways to make my ass hurt less and came up with two options, gel seats and ridiculous cycling shorts (which I may still get). No one was saying they were sitting on a pillow, but I still did it because I wanted to ride but I couldn't deal with the pain. Maybe it's some kind of shameful secret, but there's no shame in my game. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

      I am so interested to hear more about rowing. Is it hard? Like, would you say a beginner who isn't in good shape could do it? Is it mostly an arms work out? Full body? Do you feel disoriented after rowing or wearing the VR headset? Tell me more!

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    2. Rowing is hard and not hard at the same time. It's a zero impact exercise, meaning it doesn't jack up your knees or ankles or anything like that, so it's perfect for people with knee problems, or for people who are just generally out of shape. But the process of rowing is WORK (the first time Clint rowed, he lasted only five minutes). It works out the whole body (legs, arms, abdomen, biceps, etc), not just the arms. I actually feel it more in my legs. It all depends on how much you put into it though. You can row slowly and more lightly in the beginning and last a long time. The VR system immediately doubled--then tripled--Clint's workout, because you lose yourself in the environment and no longer focus on tiring muscles. And no, we don't feel disoriented at all wearing the headset or after rowing, but I know you have some vertigo issues, so I'm not sure if it would effect you. We LOVE it. I actually started drafting a blog post about it and I'll be posting it sometime this week.

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  2. P.S. I feel all the things you said, but about my new rowing machine! We have a VR system that allows us to row through Antartica and Babylon and so on. So amazing.

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