Why Am I Doing This . . . ?

My wife often commends or derides me depending on the way you want to look at it for my resilience in executing my fitness goals. To hear her speak of it, one would assume that I am always overzealous to exercise and do not suffer the occasional doubts as to why am I doing this, and if its even worth it. 

I can unequivocally tell you that nothing is further from the truth. Let me provide some backdrop so this story can be more lucid. I gave my wife a Peloton bike for Christmas, and to ensure that my competitive nature did not detract her from using it, I refrained from riding it. 

When she praised the bike and its instructors, and told me I should ride it, I decided to try, but opted for the scenic routes instead. I was getting plenty of exercise strength training three times a week at my local gym, and wanted to limit doing any extra cardio, as it would inhibit my muscle gains. 

Of course, all of this change due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the governor’s mandate that all gyms be closed in an effort to flatten the curve of the virus. I reluctantly returned to the Peloton bike, which up to that moment had been used sparingly.  

The expression “you don’t know, what you don’t know” bore fruit the first time I attempted a ride with one of the instructors. It was humbling to say in the least, and an eyeopener for someone who prided himself on being fit, since I failed miserably in hitting any of the metrics she called out. Her consoling words that the numbers she bellowed out were merely a guide, did not achieve their intent, but actually emboldened me to ride until I had attained some level of competence. 

The backstory now complete, I will recount the events of yesterday to bring you up to speed. I awoke later than usual that morning, and settled on the bike for what would be my seventy-fifth ride. I had ridden for twenty-eight consecutive days, and would capture another milestone, if could muster up any level of enthusiasm to put forth an effort.  

As I scrolled through the various classes I was tempted to pick a low impact ride, but then a voice in my head reminded me, pardon the expletives, (half assed efforts, lead to shitty results), but sometimes things have to be said plainly to drive home a point. 

I found the hardest endurance ride to challenge myself. I recalled what Hannah Frankson (Peloton instructor) always preached, “This may not be the class you wanted, but the class you needed.”  

It was sorely needed, especially as Olivia Amato, challenged me and the others taking that class, to give in our final effort, something that each had never given before. I maintained a cadence of over ninety while out of the saddle, when the best I ever achieved hovered at the low range of eighty. 

Perhaps my wife will take comfort after reading this that I am not always gung-ho to ride her bike, but when those fleeting moments come, one learns more about himself or herself if they forge ahead, and complete the task they dreaded doing. 

Bradley Booth