I’d been overweight for almost a decade. There’s a lot of things that suck about being overweight, but the worst part for me was that it had started to feel normal. I’d started to accept that it was just the new, default me.
I’d tried everything to lose the weight - Keto. Paleo. No carbs. Fasting. But I could never get any momentum going. Until my good friend and coworker Tommy came around and got my health engine started.
One of the joys of living in San Francisco is being surrounded by some of the best and most interesting people in the world.
There was a fancy gym right by my employer’s office. This particular gym, while in a convenient location, was swanky, expensive, and extremely intimidating.
If it had been up to only me, I’d never have gone. Thankfully instead my friend & coworker Tommy kept bothering me in the best way possible:
“The gym’s around the corner - when are we going together?”
“That gym has your name on it - let’s go with a guest pass”
“So… I hear you’re looking for a gym, I have one I could absolutely recommend to you!”
He did this so many times that I felt some mixture of guilt & honor - and eventually signed up!
I don’t remember how but somehow I stumbled into a biking class. I’d literally never taken a spin class before but oh my god - it was amazing.
My body started to crave going to class. The adrenaline of pedaling in sync with 30 other people was topped only by the rush of having finished, and basking in the afterglow of a successful workout.
I finally fell in love with feeling healthy. The weight started to come off, and I felt my life changing dramatically.
And then Covid hit, and every gym in America closed.
I’ve never had to overcome an addiction but I can imagine what it must feel like to finally break free. That’s what it felt like with my exercise & health routine.
After almost 10 years of effort and various attempts I’d finally found something that was working and then BAM in a day it was gone.
What do you do in that moment?
There was part of me that felt overwhelmed & wanted to give up. The world was going to hell, emotions were high, and it would have been super easy to make the excuse of giving up on the “health stuff” until Covid was over.
But this was too important. I’d made too much progress to just give up now. There had to be another way.
The first thing I did was a brainstorm - what are my options to keep the momentum going?
I could have run. Running is outdoors, free, and I’d done it plenty before. But I always dreaded running. It never gave me the joy that a bike ride did. I thought about swimming too but I’m not much of a swimmer and I’d still have to find someone with a pool big enough to do laps.
So eventually, with no other real options available, I had this wild idea - what if I bought a Peloton and just took it wherever I happened to go?
I can hear you starting to ask questions: how would you carry it? Would it fit in your car? Weren’t Pelotons super backordered?
(When you’re determined to reach a goal you don’t let such logistical details of reality get in the way!)
It turned out my aforementioned friend Tommy had a used Peloton he was looking to sell. I gratefully took it off his hands.
And whether it would fit in my car was a problem to be figured out. Originally I thought it was fit in the trunk, but upon trying to put it in I realize it… didn’t. So we did the next best thing, and figured out how to plop it in the back seat of the car:
We used the Peloton in our San Francisco apartment for about a month, but I could only take working from home in our 400 square foot apartment for so long, so (like many others) we decided to hop around the country like so many others had started doing.
Our first new place to stay was my parents’ home in Los Angeles. This would be the first time we drove the Peloton any sort of distance. We had a moving van to put our stuff in storage but obviously the Peloton was coming with us so it got its new spot in the back of the car.
My favorite part of that drive was pulling up to gas stations. When you go inside to buy snacks or use the bathroom you usually think “hey, I should probably lock the car.”
Not this time - what were any bad guys gonna do? Steal the 130 pound Peloton out of the back seat of our car? It would be the most awkward burglary of all time. Amusing to the point of comedy, so much so that I almost wish we’d seen someone try it.
You also have those moments where, you know, you’re driving some long distance trip and you have something stored behind your car. Maybe it’s a trailer or something else you’re carrying. But there’s those moments where you look in the rearview of your car and you’re like “oh my gosh I totally forgot I was carrying that thing behind me.”
That happened to me with the Peloton. On more than one occasion I’d look in the mirror and be like “oh yeah that’s right we’re carrying a Peloton in the back seat of our car. Makes sense” and just keep going on.
Our first stop was Los Angeles. I grew up there and my parents still live in the same house. Did I ask if I could bring a Peloton into their house before I drove it 6 hours down the California coast to LA? Of course not - those are details you can figure out upon arrival.
Thankfully we found a place for the Peloton in my sister’s old room, which serves as a kind of storage place today. This is where I hit my 100th ride!
It worked so well in LA that my mom and dad even created their own accounts and started riding.
Eventually it was time to go, and we loaded up the Peloton per the usual:
Next up was an Airbnb in San Diego.
Thankfully this was a vacation since I had time off from work. So we had plenty of time to relax and Peloton.
It was no small feat getting the Peloton into our Airbnb. Getting it out of the car is hard enough, but then we had to wheel it through the garage, down the sidewalk, up a ton of stairs, etc.
Just remember this as a sign of how important maintaining this routine was. I was never going to give up. Being healthy feels too amazing, and makes the rest of life too enjoyable to give up on just because of Covid.
Whether it’s friends & family who’ve died, or being unable to see people, or too many Zoom calls, or just the sheer, simple pleasure of hanging out with friends: we’ve all lost something because of Covid. And so I told myself - if Covid takes all of these other things away from us then so be it, but it will not steal this new glorious habit of mine.
San Diego was wonderful.
We also made multiple trips to Utah to various apartments. Every single time we had to disassemble the Peloton, carry it to the car (often up stairs), get in the car (that’s the hardest part in the entire process), drive to the new location, and then do each of those steps in reverse.
After arriving at a new destination, inevitably at night after driving for 6-12 hours, the debate always becomes: do we bring in the Peloton tonight and get it over with? Or do we just go to bed and worry about it tomorrow?
9 times out of 10 we did it the the night of arrival.
We lived in Austin for a few years so we wanted to go back and visit our friends. Our Airbnb didn’t work out so we took the Peloton into our hotel room. Was that a pain to do? Yes. Did it feel a little weird wheeling it past the front desk? You betcha. But was I going to let Covid stop me from exercising? Never.
I’m as excited as anyone for Covid to be over. I’ve missed friends and family, coworkers, everything. We’ve had no significant health issues in my family and yet speaking for myself the cost has still been very real.
Thankfully my Peloton was able to help continue my successful health routine. The Peloton ended up in 10+ apartments, homes, and hotels (we didn’t take pictures of each place). And now it rests in our new apartment where we’ll be for the next few months.
I’d worked so hard and wasn’t about to give up. And so with every gym in America suddenly closed, I did the only thing I could think of: I took the Peloton with me.
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