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Nat tries Peloton for 7 days and is surprised!

My partner is walking away from the camera in a toque, aviator style wool shearling jacket and boots. Our dog Lucy trails behind on her leash giving the camera her patent pending side eye. Her look of derision sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

It’s February! I usually joke February is Latin for “shit” as I don’t usually love winter and, wowsers, is it ever winter now eh? This year though winter isn’t bumming me out. It’s everything else. I had a mild case of COVID 19 over Christmas but the symptoms lasted roughly 4 weeks. It really drained me at a time when the holidays super charge me.

I love food, friends and having a good time. This year though even my most modest plans were canceled. Nothing tasted good. I was tired. BORING. Totally thankful everyone in my household recovered and life is back to normal. But I’ve noticed lately my usual self care and mental health strategies were not enough.

I get to lead people in my paid work. One piece about leadership that has stayed with me since my military days is “don’t tell people what to do, show them”. So I talk about what I do to be well both for staying effective at work AND to enjoy all that other life stuff that work funds.

I do a lot of things to fill my emotional and creative tanks. But lately even my self-care decathlon isn’t enough. I decided I needed to kick things up a notch. A big notch.

So I’ve jumped on my partner’s Peloton. He was awarded it last November for his performance at work. He loves it. We have very different rhythms when it comes to working out but after seeing his joy for 3 months I was starting to think about joining him.

It wasn’t until our friends, who are our neighbours too, shared what they were enjoying about their Peloton that I moved from thinking about it to trying it. Thank you Nina & Al!

The first ride, Ouaf, so humbling. It’s been more than 2 years since I’ve done any cycling of note. I’ve been focusing on walking as the logistics of anything else was really doing my head in. So I picked a 20 minute beginner ride with Ally Love. It was a great class to understand the features of the bike and how the classes are structured.

I cried a lot though while spinning. I didn’t have the fit dialed in quite right and I was so uncomfortable. It was hard to truly be a beginner again. I did find Ally’s instruction helpful and distracting. The class flew by.

The next day I tried a warm up spin with Ben and a beginner whole body strength class with Chase. The whole body strength class reminded me of CXworks so felt familiar and accessible. Chase provided clear instructions and just the right amount of direction.

Day 3 I joined a 20 minute beginner spin class with Tunde. It was challenging without being overwhelming. I really enjoyed her instruction, which balanced technique and encouragement perfectly. I had the bike fit dialed in and I started to feel more at home in the saddle.

Day 4 was a Sunday so I took the time to stack 4 workouts. Stacking allows you to build a workout in advance combining different classes to get to the length you want.

I chose a beginner whole body strength training with Adrian. He has a 10 minute warm up, a 20 minute class, and a 10 minute stretching class. All were challenging and the moves were achieve-able for me. I ended with a 10 minute guided meditation with Aditi focusing on breath.

I was pleasantly surprised that planks were not only available to me but pretty easy. That’s a big change for me and I credit my daily dog walks for my newfound core strength.

Day 5 I stacked Christine’s 5 minute spinning warm up with a 20 minute beginner class followed by a 5 minute cool down. I really like her straightforward delivery.

Day 6 was a repeat of strength training with Adrian. Day 7 a revisit of Tunde’s beginner spin. I’m balancing trying different instructors with keeping some familiarity.

I was SO SKEPTICAL of the entertainment aspect of online classes. I tend to grim, grunt and bare it exercises. The music and the strengths based approach really works for me. No one is more surprised than me!

I’m so thankful my folks gifted us dumbbell sets for Christmas. That I had clipless shoes, cycling shorts, water bottles, yoga mats and belts. It really removed all the barriers for me to get over my embarrassment of not restarting my workouts sooner.

A Peloton bike is a very expensive bit of kit. It’s not something I would have sprung for of my own accord. I’m so surprised how much I enjoy it. I hope you are finding joy in your workouts too!

Nat and Michel are looking happy in snow covered grey toques. They are bundled up for the chilly weather and it’s snowing quite a bit. Behind them is a red brick 2 story house covered in snow.
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