When we stopped going to the gym in March of 2020, I decided to buy a bike. It wasn’t fancy-I saw it at Bed Bath & Beyond and noticed it was the last one. I was just starting to settle in to that feeling of hibernation, and preservation. Hunkering down. Looking at that bike, I knew it was some kind of answer.
I used it aimlessly for about a week, until I heard about the Peleton app. I heard that with the app, you have access to all Peloton classes, and you could take them live even, without an actual Peloton. Technology helps us do things we could not previously do.
I was hooked immediately. I took all the “Intro” and “Welcome” and “Beginner” classes. I played around with the strength and stretching classes, as well as the hundreds of cycling options. I was a sucker for the badges. Yes, badges. I needed all the stinking badges!
Trust the process. ~Dennis Morton
Several months went by, and I was on my bike every day. I passed 100 rides and they sent me a Century t-shirt! Movement inside my house became more important than ever. Daily encouragement from the Peloton instructors became necessary. Jenn was my age, and someone I swear I met once. Dennis, also mid 40s, I could have run it to at a show (his taste and knowledge of music mirrors mine). And Sam Yo never ceases to inspire me.
The instructors filmed in their own homes for a few weeks. All of us cycling separately, but feeling so together-that was a very very good thing to have during a pandemic.
Around month seven on my bike, I started stacking rides. I would complete a warm-up and cool-down ride before and after my main workout. It occured to me that if I could do that every day, and add one more on weekends, I could reach 500 rides in 52 weeks. This goal became wildly important to me. I went to bed at night excited to wake up at 5am and hop on my bike.
Fix your wig and get your life together! ~Cody Rigsby
Having an extremely challenging (but achievable) goal pushed me like never before! I knew what I could influence and leverage every day were the amount of times I took a class. I needed to take at least 3 rides a day, every day, increasing to 4 rides a day on holidays and weekends. My 3 week Christmas break was a little bit grueling, but also completely invigorating. (On days that were stacked high, or on “rest” days, I stacked multiple warm up or short rides. Balance is still important, even when pursuing challenging goals.)
It doesn’t matter where you are on the leaderboard. What matters is that you are on the leaderboard. ~Christine D’ercole
I really felt like the instructors were part of my team. Their encouragement, humor, and music helped keep my spirits up and my goal clear. The virtual high-fives offered and received from other riders around the world were surprisingly effective and added a layer of authenticity.
I made daily tallies on a calendar next to my bike, and kept earning monthly badges. One thing I loved about the calendar I was keeping was that it indicated where I should be each day. Every day after I documented my classes, I could easily see that I was winning. If I fell behind one day, I could see how I needed to spread out one more class across several days of that week. I kept track of where I was, compared to where I should be. It was easy, and fun!
On the last day of the 52nd week, I earned the 500.
Simultaneously, I began reading a book called The 4 Disciplines of Execution. This book models how to effectively execute a plan focusing on small factors that lead to success in any organization. I didn’t know I was implementing the disciplines, but I was successful in reaching 500 rides because these are the steps I took:
- Focus on a Wildly Important Goal (WIG). Reach 500 rides in 52 weeks.
- Act on lead measures; what you can control that will give you results. Take at least 3 rides a day, every day, increasing to 4 rides a day on holidays and weekends.
- Keep a compelling scoreboard. Daily tallies on calendar next to bike.
- Create a cadence of accountability. Periodic badges and virtual high-fives on app.
My accountability on Peloton was all virtual, but the cadence never slowed. In this way, The 4 Disciplines of Execution proved effective and technology helped me to achieve something I never could have done on my own. I’m CSHARP75. Ride with me!
How you do anything is how you do everything. ~Emma Lovewell