This writer really hates to exercise, but she loves how it makes her feel afterwards. The trick to getting it done? Finding a workout that feels more like a dance party-cum-therapy session than exercise.
I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but it’s 6am on a cold winter morning and I am really looking forward to the gym. I mask up (it’s still mandatory in New York), clutch my water bottle, and make sure my headphones are charged before strolling downstairs towards the piece of equipment that has honestly changed my life.
I give everything a sanitising wipe because COVID, adjust the seat and screen height, log in and before you know it, I’m immersed in a playlist designed to make me feel strong, fearless, and fierce. After two years of using the Peloton bike almost every day, I can proudly say I am a member of the cult and worship at the altar of Cody Rigsby.
He’s my sassy imaginary best friend, my therapist when I’m feeling shit, the King of Quarantine, and who the New York Times recently described as “like a piece of Disney fan art.” I certainly can’t argue with that.
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But for someone who really dislikes working out, this self-described “opinionated homosexual” is the key to me actually enjoying and even looking forward to it. Why? Because while every class is challenging, sweat-inducing, and exhausting, Cody commenting on Britney Spears’ trashy ex, or how Kevin is the hottest Backstreet Boy “but A.J. is the most talented… Fight me!” is worked so seamlessly into talk of cadence (your speed) and resistance (the hill incline), you’re easily distracted by the fact that you’re absolutely breathless.
“Ok,” he begins the next segment of the workout, “we’re about to go from buying me dinner and we’ll see if you can get it to full-on you ‘bout to get it. Resistance 45 to 60, cadence 60 to 70. Rise up,” as the heavy bass of W.A.P. kicks in.
“I want you to get busted and breathless,” he says.
You really want to make Cody proud, too, because ultimately, he’s your biggest cheerleader. It’s not about making you feel like crap, it’s all about empowerment.
“What is the heaviest 30-second effort you can give me? Not my best, not someone else’s best, your best. So, I want you to see a resistance number that challenges you, that scares you, that makes you feel like you might not make it, but as 2020 has proved, you’re gonna make it… 10 more seconds, yes you can.” And you believe him.
When it’s all over, and you’re struggling to breathe and sweat is dripping, you reach the class finale with a minute-long cooldown and feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. You feel strong, fit, and fearless, just like he hoped you would.
“You showed up, you made it,” says Cody. “Shake your tits. Proud of you.”
Same time tomorrow? You betcha.
Peloton is coming to Australia in the second half of 2021.