The Peloton Experience

Don’t have three grand for a exercise bike?

Yeah, neither do I.

But I did have $150, which I used to secure the rather plain exercise bike you see above, and it provides the same results minus the bells and whistles. We are, after all, talking about pedaling in place.

I bought the exercise bike because my knees are shot and riding the exercise bike is far less painful than running or other exercises I prefer to do until I get my knees fixed. Pain, mentally concentrating as it is, drove me to this particular place and it is what it is, which is that exercise is good anyway you can get it. Or so they tell me.

And how you get it, based on what the TV tells me, is seismically important. As is what it says, or purports to say, about the direction that a particular element of upwardly mobile society should take. Which is fancy talk for it should be exciting and forward leaning and fun and a good step above the plebeian hoi-polloi.

And, as the TV say, that’s where I should be.

Because… and I don’t think this will come as a shock to anyone, pedaling on a stationary bike is a dull business, my friends. And the rather utilitarian aspect of the above “bike” issues in spades its “uncoolness”. It’s one of those things one wouldn’t want to be caught dead on.

Evidently, I’m missing out. So, what to do?

The answer then, as the ads for Peloton, NordicTrack, and Mirror.co will tell you, is to be part of a vibrant supportive online community of exercise go-getters. The enticing ads, as all of them do, show young, physically fit, energetic types joyfully sweating it out in orgiastic glory with the loving support of their husbands, wives, kids, significant others, etc. None are older, fatter, poorer-as the homes in which these ads take place are quite stylish-and expensive. Which means most of us, like the guy who bought the utilitarian model pictured above, probably aren’t the target audience.

But what does it say about the target audience? That we all want to be young, vibrant, and physically fit, whether we are or only wish to be. All you need is yourself and expensive gear which mitigates the following questions:

Go outside? In this weather? A gym? With real people?

Apparently that’s not so good. And one can see why. Outside you have to deal with varying types of weather, heavy vehicles driven by people more attentive to their phones than the road, who very well might run you down, and the fact that the farther you travel, the longer it takes you to get back. Gyms are rarely packed with good-looking physically fit types and exercise does not enhance the body odor experience. Plus, you have to get there and back, and shower with strangers or stink up the car. Bad.

So why bother when you can experience it in your very own home. And if you blow it off, who will know? And who doesn’t want to exercise in front of a mirror? Narcissus would be so proud. An added plus is you get to show it off when your friends come over, assuming you have friends come over.

©2020 David William Pearce

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