Rider Story / Kylie Schalz

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Has Peloton helped you work through challenges?

In 2011 I suffered a spinal cord injury during a routine back surgery. I woke up paralyzed from the chest down and the first words I remember hearing from my surgeon were that I would never move, feel or walk again. I never believed these words, but instead pushed hard in physical therapy with my primary goal being to walk again. I fell in love with an adaptive spin bike while at the hospital. It had the power to spin my legs when they could not move in order to train the muscles and nervous system to eventually move again. After several weeks I was moving the pedals on my own and four months later I walked out of the hospital with the use of crutches. I now walk with the use of the cane, living and working in one of the toughest cities in the world, NYC.

Prior to paralysis I was entering my final season as a student-athlete at Oakland University in Michigan. Going from a Division 1 athlete to completely paralyzed can be incredibly defeating. I lost my identity as an athlete and searched for competition. I worked very hard to prove the medical professionals wrong and walk again, but I still found it difficult to find that athletic outlet. When I found Peloton that void was filled. I was finally able to compete on the same playing field as everyone else again. When I am on the bike my disability becomes ability and for 45 minutes I am my old self again. I can compete on the same leaderboard as the rest of the Peloton community and push past the limitations I face off the bike.

In addition to the competition, Peloton provides quite a bit of medical benefits as well. My legs get stronger every ride and the metrics Peloton provides every workout are a direct indication of my progression. Before I rode my first ride with Peloton, I believed that I had plateaued in my recovery. I would never get any stronger or be able to regain anything more. I thought I would walk with a cane for the rest of my life. Since then, I have seen an exponential progression in my Peloton metrics which has been directly reflected in my walking, balance and overall health. I jumped and jogged for the first time in 6 years just a few weeks ago and I only use a cane when walking around the streets of NYC. Peloton has given me a new boost of rehabilitation and shown me that there are no limits and proves that there is no such thing as a “plateau” in this recovery.

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How were you first introduced to Peloton?

My mom, Robin, first told me about the Peloton. She bought the bike and was immediately addicted to it. It was all she could talk about. When I went home she had me try it out. I was skeptical because every cardio I had tried to this point required significant adaptation. My spinal cord injury prevented me from being able to hop on the treadmill without someone there to watch me or jump on a bike without taping my shoes to the pedals. I had yet to find a cardio workout that I could perform at high intensity, safely and on my own. When I hopped on her Peloton bike I was incredibly surprised. This was a piece of cardio equipment that I could do. For one of the first times since paralysis I felt like my old athletic self again. Robin Arzon was spitting out some crazy one-liners of inspiration, I was competing on the leaderboard, pushing past my limitations and suddenly for 45 minutes I forgot that I had a disability. My girlfriend, Alaina, tried a ride after me and was hooked. Our first rides were all that we needed to get one for ourselves.

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What is your favorite part of the workout?

My favorite part of the workout is getting lost in the ride. For 45-60 minutes every day I, move my body and push past limits that so many said I could never overcome, forgetting completely that I have a disability. I look at every ride as an opportunity to turn ‘I can’t’ into ‘I CAN’. And when the music stops and the workout is over I cannot help but have this overwhelming feeling of pride for what I have just accomplished. Every ride I finish is a miracle. Every ride is proof that impossible is nothing. Every pedal stroke is a choice to disable my limits and leave my struggles behind. I was told I would never walk again and now I am conquering massive climbs and high intensity sprints every single day. I was told I would never feel my body again and now I can feel the burn in my quads and hamstrings every day and let me tell you it feels great!

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Who is your favorite instructor and why?

My favorite instructor varies day to day based on how I am feeling. That’s the beauty of Peloton. There are so many different personalities and coaching styles that you have the luxury of fulfilling whatever it is you are looking for on any given day. On days when I am feeling in need of a pick me up or some genuine inspiration I prefer to take Christine’s classes because she provides more inspiration with her mantra #iamicaniwillido than I think she really knows. She reminds me to turn “I can’t” into “I can” every single ride and always manages to make me crack a smile during some of the toughest climbs. On days that I am feeling like a boss I take Robin’s rides to get some serious swagger in my life. I honestly do not understand where she pulls some of her phrases from, but they are incredible. I also really enjoy Steven Little’s #HRTribe. This has been a great learning tool for me in understanding how my body and heart work and how to use them in the most efficient ways. Honestly, it is so difficult to choose. All of the instructors are fantastic at what they do!

 

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How has Peloton changed working out for you?

Working out has always been a passion of mine, but since my injury, I have struggled to find a way to push beyond my limits…until Peloton. I have found my competitive and tenacious self again. I have gone from being told I would never walk again to riding Peloton every day. My confidence has sky rocketed and I have pushed myself in so many other areas of fitness as a result. In November 2016 I climbed 103 flights of stairs to the top of the Willis (previously Sears) Tower in Chicago to raise money for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where I spent several months learning to walk again. I am also training for the Paralympics in cycling and wheelchair racing. I had always found myself saying “I wish I could…” or “someday I will be able to…” but Peloton has torn apart my fear of failure and pushed me to stop wishing and start doing.

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How would you describe the Peloton community?

When we bought the bike we knew we were getting a world-class spin bike with excellent instructors and classes. What we did not know we would also be getting was a second family. The Peloton community is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is such a safe place of positivity, motivation, and inspiration without judgment.

There is nothing better than seeing how this bike has changed so many lives across the world. Peloton means a group of riders racing together and that is exactly what this community embodies.

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Ready for more inspiration? Find our complete list of Rider Stories here.

 

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Ally Love’s Road to finding fitness

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The Backstory

At 9 years I was hit by a car. Life wasn’t always fast pace for me and this was the moment that it all slowed down a lot. As a little girl I would always sneak out of our complex building in Miami and go knock on neighbors’ doors to ask for candy and it wasn’t even Halloween! My mom had a hard time keeping me inside. It wasn’t that I was a very active adolescent it was that I had a deep urge to go places on my own.

One day, while at a family BBQ on my way to an ice cream truck, a car drove out really fast and struck my nine year old body so hard that I flew in the air, landed on the hood of the car and rolled into the grass. I woke up to in the ambulance with an oxygen mask on; that week in the hospital will never be forgotten. I laid in the hospital bed for 7 days with a weight tied to my left leg, keeping my broken femur from healing incorrectly because the hospital didn’t have a plate with screws that could fit such a young girl.

The accident left me with cracked teeth, practically no skin on my upper body and face and a broken femur to which the doctors said I wouldn’t walk for a very long time and the thought of playing sports was out of the picture. However, just as much as I loved being on the go, I loved the thought of being even more determined to prove them wrong.

Finding Fitness

I grew up to be a dancer and was accepted in the Alvin Ailey School where I received my Bachelor in Fine Arts and minor in theology. I worked with companies my senior year like Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in San Francisco, Complexions in New York and Le Grande Ballet in Canada. Dancing led me to perform with Beyonce, PItbull, Wyclef and to land a spot as a Knicks City Dancer for the New York Knicks Basketball team. Eventually I found running and hot yoga and that’s where it all began. I started to pursue other ways to stay healthy and in shape. The clients that I model for are very sports-centric which got me interested to explore even more workouts in the city.

I fell in love with several amazing fitness studios in the city and started running half marathons, and then eventually through my new found fitness lifestyle, I created a platform called the Love Squad to uplift and empower those who are trying to get a workout in, just like me.

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I knew how difficult it was, and is, to juggle life and fitness. Love Squad is a movement that provides information but most importantly provides encouragement to find your inner athlete so you don’t have to separate the two. Fitness and sports is a lifestyle and can be a part of any lifestyle.

It’s the strong will and resilient approach to re-creating yourself everyday through sweat that makes us creators, athletes, and tastemakers. Sports and fitness is just a vessel to which you gather the tools to build the unique life you want, creatively and completely. I approach riding in class like I approach projects within any of my other careers. I want to curate an experience that is unlike anything anyone has ever felt and truly believing that life is better with sweat creates room to do that.

Have a question for Ally Love? Join our live Instagram Q&A with her today at 5 PM ET and ask yours in the comment section of this post


Ready to sweat? Grab a bike in her upcoming class schedule here. 

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What Our Instructors Are Grateful For in 2016

This Thanksgiving, the Peloton family is reflecting on how grateful we are to have a community that knows no limits when it comes to commitment, hard work and kindness. We’re also grateful for the instructors that help put us in motion on the bike, daily. Today, we’re exploring what they’re grateful for in 2016.

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Matt Wilpers

“I am most thankful for my family, my friends and my health!”

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Ally Love 

“I am thankful for the love and the support the Peloton community has shown me as a new instructor!”

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Robin Arzon 

“Resilience.”

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Steven Little 

“Thankful for the love and support of my friends, family and the Peloton community.”

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Jess King

“I am thankful for a mother and father that supported my dreams and never once convinced me I couldn’t fly.”

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Hannah Marie Corbin 

“I’m thankful for sweat, protein and rock N’ roll!”

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Jenn Sherman 

“My family and friends, my good health, my great hair, John Foley, Drake, botox, my Pelotribe, that Bruce is still going, almonds, my pedal stroke, anything coconut and naps.”

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Christine D’Ercole

“I’m thankful for sharpening my corners, more greatly defining myself and growing stronger in my self-truth.”

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Cody Rigsby 

“I’m thankful for the friends that make up my chosen family.”

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Jennifer Jacobs

“I am thankful for the opportunity to motivate others who then inspire me to want to better; a better athlete, a better mother, a better friend and a better person.”

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Alex Toussaint 

“I’m thankful for good friends, good family, and waking up every single day healthy.”


Find them on the blog and on the bike. Click here to find all of our instructors’ upcoming classes.

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Rider Story / Abigail Wagle

We’re proud to say that the Peloton community is comprised of riders all with unique stories that include challenges, determination and a lot of inspiration. Home rider Abigail Wagle’s story is no different. After being diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis when she was just six years old, Abigail needed to wear a brace for 23 hours out of the day for 6 1/2 years and has undergone two back surgeries. Even though she’s faced with challenges, Abigail, now 15, doesn’t let them get in her way. She still stays active and continues to build strength (sometimes hitting around 450 output numbers) using the Peloton bike. We’re so honored to have her as part of this community and we’re excited to share her incredible take on staying committed and the power of believing in yourself. 

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Why did you start taking classes with Peloton?

I started taking classes with Peloton because my mom noticed how stressed I was getting before my second spine surgery for scoliosis. We had owned the bike for a while, but I had never really gotten on it. She showed me how to clip in and set everything up and then put me on a 45 minute metrics class with Nicole. I barely finished, but I was hooked. I continued to do on-demand rides and scenic rides to relieve tension and stress. After my surgery, I took classes to build strength and confidence again.

What is your favorite part about taking class?

My favorite part about taking a class is being able to leave all the craziness of the world behind and focus only on the metrics, my body, and the music. School (and life) can get pretty overwhelming at times, but taking a class helps me to focus and ground myself. Not to mention that endorphins always feel great!

How has Peloton helped you feel better in your everyday life?

Peloton has helped me to feel more confident and strong in my everyday life. After I get off the bike I feel like I can take on the world. Doing Peloton classes made me feel inspired enough to compete in the June 2016 Dirty Kanza, a 50-mile gravel grinder bike race.

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Who is your favorite instructor to take and why?

My favorite instructor really depends on what mood I’m in! I like Robin when I’m stressed and I need a pick me up, Nicole when I’m feeling peppy, Christine when I need some inspiration, and Steven when I just want to work on getting stronger.

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We know that you’ve done amazing work by powering through physical challenges with Peloton (so inspiring!), what is your advice to other people working through the same challenges?

When I was six I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis and had to wear a brace 23-hours per day to try and correct the two 40 degree curves in my spine. However, even after six years of bracing, my curves had still progressed to two 60 degree curves. So at age twelve I had my first spine surgery, a new process called spinal tethering (not a fusion), on the thoracic portion of my spine. Afterwards, I didn’t have to wear a brace, which was so amazing! But two years later my doctor was not seeing the results he wanted and decided to also operate on the lumbar spine. My advice to people working through similar challenges is to never give up on yourself. If I had given up on myself after my surgeries, I would have never gotten to where I am now, both mentally and physically. I learned that you need to pick yourself up and keep trying until you find something that works for you.

What keeps you committed?

The instructors, for sure! I love going on a live ride and hearing “awagle in Wichita, I see you!”. Setting goals also helped me to stay committed. This year my goal was to break 450 output on a 45 minute ride. I had to change that goal a bit to 465 because I broke 450 this August!

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If you could describe a Peloton class in 3 words what would they be?

That’s really hard! But if I had to choose they would be energetic, inspiring, and unique! I’ve taken spin classes at other studios and I’ve never experienced anything quite like a Peloton class.

Ready for more inspiration? Find our complete list of Ride Stories here.

 

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Rider Story / Krissy Blackwood

Home rider Krissy Blackwood has always loved the intense, endorphin-filled workouts on her Peloton bike; although the feeling of the strongly connected community is now a close rival. Before purchasing her bike, Krissy had no idea how much Peloton would change her world, in every way. She anticipated improved health, and ended up with an overall improved life.

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How were you first introduced to Peloton?

I first saw Peloton in an advertisement over a year ago. As someone who is very into fitness and cool new technology, I was immediately drawn to the bike and the whole concept of streaming live rides into my home. I finally bought the bike in January just two hours after learning of my promotion at work. I celebrated with fitness; this changed everything.

How did you feel after your first class?

I got this bike, and while nervous, I hopped onboard looking forward to pushing myself to my limit. My first class was a beginner on demand ride with Robin. I was terrified, but took comfort in being somewhat anonymous being on demand. When I was done, I was in love. Two days later, I started my live rides at 6am every day. I saw the same names on the leaderboard every single day. They were stronger than me and inspired me, yet I didn’t know who they were. I found the Facebook page, and then soon enough, real names were associated with leaderboard names. What happened over the course of the next 6 months and 200 rides was unimaginable.

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What’s your favorite part of the workout?

I adore the sweat. I long to push my body to it’s limits. I love feeling myself get stronger and watching my output grow. I love the thrill of chasing people on the leaderboard. I love watching friends crush personal records.

All aspects of my physical health have improved, from cardio conditioning to physical strength. While my heart pounds on the ride, it is also fully immersed into the friendships that have been formed from this bike. We communicate every day. Every single day we support each other, cheer each other on and push each other to achieve greatness. These relationships have brought so much more to the workouts.

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What keeps you committed?

The instructors, friends and the community. They inspire me in so many ways. They have made me a better athlete, better friend, better person. The endorphin rushes aren’t bad either.

How would you describe this community?

The most wonderful, inspiring, motivating, supportive, compassionate, selfless, people imaginable. Peloton is no longer a piece of fitness equipment for me, it is a lifestyle.  

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How has Peloton improved other aspects of your life?

Within 2 months of receiving the bike my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The friends that I have made from this bike rallied around me and was with me every step of the way from diagnosis to death. The last few weeks of my Mother’s life were when the Peloton spirit broke new boundaries. While caring for her 300 miles away from my bike, these friends made me signs every single day. By 6am, I would have a text and hand made sign to cheer me up and start the day with a smile. Then the signs continued from Team Ohio and so many other riders I am now honored to call friends. As the days went on, the outpouring of love and support continued. I received flowers, food, dedicated rides, changed leaderboard locations, toys for my children…

These friends are so inspirational and powerful that they fueled my workouts off of the bike too. I decided to run each morning, at 6am and trespass with the #TuesdayTribe for a few weeks, streaming the live rides from the trail behind my Mother’s house. I needed my time with a team of champions even if I wasn’t on the leaderboard. I loved hearing the shout outs to my friends and it kept me going. At some point, the instructors learned about this and almost every run, they were calling me out to run faster, or would play a song for me, or just recognize that I was there. This was a game changer. I only bought a bike but I realized I had received so much more now that I was getting so much love and encouragement even when I was off of it.

Before my Mother died, some of the last few phone calls that I made were to Peloton friends. Friends who were experienced doctors, cancer practitioners, and/or who had lost a parent to dreaded cancer and could help me with their experiences. I never got a voicemail. Every call was answered on the spot. I learned so much from them and so incredibly grateful for the wisdom and help they provided.

As my Mother’s health continued to decline, we cancelled our upcoming vacations knowing that we would be away from work traveling to my Mother’s frequently. I cancelled all but one day; my birthday. I wanted to reserve one day to be happy and I knew I wanted it to be in the Peloton studio – My happy place. I asked my very first Peloton friend, if she would be interested in joining me for my birthday in the studio. We then determined we could make it a milestone ride for both of us. Then before we know it, 35 people travel in to have a mega milestone birthday party with me. Over a dozen different milestones were celebrated together in one big, in person, Peloton and joined by so many others at home! And not just was it an amazing ride, they also brought gifts, cake, champagne, pictures, but most importantly, brought bounds of love, hugs, laughs and pure selfless joy. They did this for me and many of them I had never met in person. This bike brings out limitless relationships.

My mother’s illness started 4 months ago. She passed away 2 weeks ago. One dear rider traveled to the services to give me a huge hug on behalf of our group. A ride was dedicated to my Mother where so many changed their locations to #InLovingMemoryofMargaret and Jennifer Jacobs filled my heart with love. I ran and cried my heart out streaming it live from my phone and could feel the Peloton spirit even off of the leaderboard. I really could not imagine going through this without my new network of friends, amazing instructors and cathartic workouts.

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Why would you suggest Peloton to someone?

It is a game changer. At a minimum, it will dramatically improve your health. But, it can also improve your life. The Peloton community has made me a better person physically, mentally and emotionally. Put forth the investment and the returns are immeasurable. Open your mind, body and soul and you will not be disappointed, I promise.

Inspired? Find more Peloton Rider Stories here.

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Rider Story / Mike King

As a home rider since the very early days, Mike King put faith in Peloton knowing that it would be something that had the potential to change his life. Today, he’s reaping the benefits from the goals he continues to set for himself every time he clips in for any of his, on-average, 250 annual rides. We’re honored to have Mike as part of our community from the start and excited to celebrate his story below.

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How were you first introduced to Peloton?

I had been living in downtown Seattle close to my regular spin studio and had been riding several times a week. We decided to move out of downtown when our daughter was born two years ago. At that point, I started looking for a replacement spin studio and found the recently funded Peloton page on Kickstarter. I was instantly sold on the metrics, leaderboard, on-demand classes and the fact that it fit seamlessly into my busy lifestyle.

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How did you feel after your first class?

I felt great. It truly replaced the in-studio experience and in many ways, it was better! I enjoy tracking the numbers and the ability to export the metrics from all my rides is very important to me. This was something I couldn’t get from an in-studio class.

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What’s your favorite part of the workout?

The start! I try to warm up before the ride and hit the start at full speed. It is the only chance I have to get my name at the top of the leaderboard. For the rest of the ride, I try to stay in the top 10% of everyone else on the ride. Many times I’ll be in an all-out sprint at the end of the ride just so I can rank 23rd out of 230 riders.

What keeps you committed?

This last fiscal year I posted a calendar next to my bike and wrote two goals at the top: “250 Rides” and “Top 10% Rank”. As soon as I completed a ride, I would write down the number of miles I rode, calories burned, and my rank among all the other riders. The calendar was a daily reminder of my goal and I was able to chalk up 250 rides last year.

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How has Peloton changed your lifestyle?

It has become a regular part of my routine. When work gets busy the best thing for me to do is to hop on my bike and ride. I love the fact that I can take a class at 4:00 am PST and have a coach in New York City calling me out on the live stream. Peloton keeps me motivated and has become a big part of my daily life.

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Scar Well: Facing Injury & Recovery with Nicole Meline

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Eight weeks ago I crashed hard. Days before Ironman France, on my last ride before packing up the bike, a girl darted into the bike lane in NYC’s Riverside Park—I swerved, braked, went over the handlebars and my right shoulder took the full impact of the pavement. Torn ligaments, AC shoulder separation grade 3, road rash and a bone-deep technicolor bruise on my hip.

Just like that.

I was at my strongest, most fit, tapered and hungry to race harder than ever, and in an instant, broken. Unable to lift my arm. Body shaking with a cocktail of adrenaline, rage, confusion, and increasing pain. I didn’t at first realize the extent of the injury. Hadn’t yet felt the lifted edge of the clavicle bone. Hoped that with enough ice and rest and anti-inflammatories, I could somehow race in a week. When Urgent Care rerouted me to the ER, hope dimmed, pain amplified. Within an hour my arm was frozen into a right angle across my chest and my hip swelled into a gnarly sunset. I spent Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend with an unlucky, beat-up crew at St. Luke’s Hospital ER, realizing this summer was going to look very different than I had imagined.

This is my first major injury and the longest recovery I have navigated. Pain shifted from an 8 to a 5 to a 2, and back to a 3 each day. More range of motion, tons of optimism, then plateau, then less, then more, then less again.

Weeks without downward dog.

Without rocking out with my worldwide tribe of Peloton cyclists.

Without the meditative bliss of running or swimming.

Without any hard-core, explosive, rhythm-resetting movement.

With a constant dull or burning pain that has its own mantra: your body is broken.

Here’s what I am learning:

Deep healing is slow. But most important stuff is. I believe in slow food, slow love, slow friendship, slow wine, slow base training, slow change. Slow is how something becomes systemic, full-bodied, complex, deeply rooted. I stopped using anti-inflammatory drugs as soon as I could handle it because inflammation is part of healing and pain is part of monitoring healing. (Actually, I swapped them out for a twice-daily ginger-turmeric-lemon-pineapple-honey cocktail and food to give my body the tools is needs to efficiently process, rather than dull the register of inflammation.) We like to treat and doll-up surfaces. We want the life hack, the quick-fix. We’ll settle for the 60% recovery as long as we get to look and kind-of feel like nothing gets us down, or at least not for long. But deep down, I want the unmatched satisfaction of the long haul and the slow burn. One of our Peloton tribe passed along this gem: Patience IS a form of action. Yes. So learn how to sit in the pain. Do whatever version of meditation you’re capable of— a mantra, a whiney, crooked prayer, a banging Bob Dylan song, as close to nothing as possible—and breathe. From that pain. To that pain. Notice what brokenness stirs in you. Realize what you’re afraid of. Invite help and love. Open up to the ways brokenness allows us to become more connected.

Strength Train. There’s a chance I will not be physically stronger on the other side of this recovery. This joint has been radically compromised. I believe in the body’s miraculous ability to heal beyond imagination and prediction, to possibly heal stronger— but it doesn’t always. So it’s a good thing we’re a helluva lot more than bodies. And that physical, relational, vocational strength comes from a strength of soul that can only grow in response to seasons of darkness and pain. Also: strength train! What an opportunity to do some funky mobility work. The first couple weeks all I could do was one-armed Warrior asanas and some really simple Pilates moves. So I did them really slowly and really well. The next couple weeks I could get on the bike with my arm in a sling and pedal in the saddle. So I did, adding in moderate intervals and long, steady climbs, working on muscle endurance in a new way (watch out for some new seated 20min rides modeled on this training!). I worked through Peloton’s Beyond the Ride low-impact lower body workouts, squatting, lunging, stretching. The body is amazingly interconnected. I never realized how the shoulder absorbs movement from so many other parts of the body, or how much of the body will shut down to protect one compromised joint. Or how working muscles around an injured area increases blood flow and minimizes scar tissue. Maximize the opportunity to work in unusual ways.

Feed your body as though it is a miraculous, divine organism that has perfect intelligence. Because it is. Give it a rich toolbox of nutrients.

I am ecstatic to be back on the bike and blown away by this community’s love and support. But I hope I won’t be able to return to normal. I hope this injury scars me with gratitude, attention, generosity. Because nothing is a given. Everything is gift. Injury can mean we’re not so much broken, as broken in. All-in to this moment, whatever its mix of ease or resistance. Dancing hard.

Excited to get back on the bike with Nicole? Check out her upcoming schedule here. 

Jumping back into your own routine? Check out Nicole’s Scar Well Playlist here.

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Journey to 100 / Talking Milestones and Motivation with Jennifer Jacobs

As one of our newest instructors, Jennifer Jacobs has been a strong addition to the community since day one. From building her classes to bonding with riders, get the inside scoop on how Jennifer has grown and solidified herself as one of Peloton’s finest as she nears her 100th ride mark.

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1.) 100 rides is such a big milestone – Is there anything you’ve learned over your past 100 rides?

No ride is ever the same – Each one is different. Each day we have different goals, different reasons to be on the bike. Maybe it’s to reach a PR that day, maybe we want to get a good sweat on and feel challenged or have someone push us further. Maybe we had a bad day.  Maybe we had a good day. Maybe we just want to have some fun on the bike. No matter what our reasons, we never ride alone. We are always part of something; part of a peloton. And what I’ve learned over my past 100 rides is that Peloton is always there for each rider no matter what. Whether it’s to push them or just support them, Peloton is more than just a bike. It’s a community that I’m not only fortunate to be a part of but something that I also have the honor and privilege of being a guide on each rider’s journey. To have the ability to reach out, motivate, inspire and encourage so many riders every day both in studio, virtually and even on demand is such a gift and I am grateful for that.

2.) Any advice for riders out there looking to reach their next milestone ride?

Just be proud of yourself every single time you clip in and get on the bike. I think every ride should be celebrated. Whether it’s someone’s very first ride, their 50th, 100th or even beyond.

3.) You’ve been a fitness professional and personal trainer for 10+ years, in your experience do you recommend a type of ride over others especially when working towards a certain fitness goals?

No matter what your fitness goals, I think it’s always good to take a variety of ride types. It will challenge you and help keep you motivated so that’s why I don’t stick to just one ride type. I like to mix it up myself! My 45 min Metrics Rides are a mix of intervals, climbs, endurance and speed work. However, if you are looking to specifically improve in one of those areas I believe it’s best to focus on that area alone to see improvement. That’s why I’m so excited to offer specialized rides for those riders who are looking to work on something specific such as my HIIT series, Need for Speed, Endurance and Climb rides. If you are just looking for a bit of fun that day you can always try one of my 80’s rides! But don’t be fooled – they will still leave you breathless!

4.) In general, what’s the best piece of advice you can give to riders to stay motivated while working toward their goals?

Realize that nobody is perfect, and that there is perfection within imperfection. It’s when we expect perfection that we are the most hard on ourselves and it’s when we accept imperfection that I think we surprise ourselves most. Take one step and one ride at a time.  There will always be ups and downs but never lose sight of your goals. Always stay focused and always remain strong!

Make sure to clip in with Jennifer as she takes her 100th ride this upcoming Monday, June 20th at 5:30 PM. 

Want to ride with Jennifer? Click here to view her upcoming schedule.

Connect with Jennifer at her Official Peloton Facebook page.

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Changing the Chatter with Christine D’Ercole

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Getting yourself in the right headspace will help you get the most out of your classes. Staying connected and focused during the challenging sections has everything to do with how you talk to yourself. The instructor is cueing efforts that are making you think they are crazy and impossible and are seriously considering getting off the bike or switching to another class. You’re hungover, cranky, stressed and you’re about jump off. Wait a second. Breathe and work towards changing the chatter in your head that pulled you from your goal. As soon as you catch yourself aware that the downward spiral has begun, you have an opportunity to turn it around. Below, check out ten ways that you’re able to quickly change the chatter in your head when this happens during your ride.

1. Tell yourself “breathe”. Actually repeat the word ‘breathe’ while taking deep belly breaths. 10 times. Sync up your breath to a count of pedal strokes that encourages continued deep breathing. Filling the body and brain with oxygen is a powerful tool for resetting how you feel.

2. Close your eyes. Give yourself permission to disconnect from the visual information- the lights, colors, numbers; just listen as you pedal.

3. Listen deeply. Keying into the rhythm, melodies and the instructor’s voice.

4. Observe the body’s physiological responses to the efforts.

5. Ask yourself if you are actually working harder than is necessary or harder than the instructor is cueing and pull back to the appropriate effort level.

6. If the leaderboard is messing with your head and taunting you, either swipe it out of sight or focus on staying with a certain set of riders whose abilities closely match yours. Use the leaderboard wisely.

7. When the Instructor cues what seems to be an impossible effort, instead of panicking, ask yourself, “What if I could?”

8. Make your own go-to mantra to repeat.

9. Take your handle bar towels and soak them in cold water with a couple drops of lavender. Roll them into small bundles. Keep several of them in the fridge or freezer until class time and use for an invigorating sensory moment.

10. When you think, “I can’t”, change that chatter to, “I AM. I CAN. I WILL. I DO”!

Want to grab a bike with Christine? Book here now.

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Rider Story / Nick Marchesani

Home rider, Nick Marchesani, is using the Peloton bike to tell a very important story. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis sixteen years ago Nick has learned the power of believing that you’re truly able to accomplish anything you set out to do. Coming from a very active past to eventually finding himself overweight and not being able to walk at one point, Nick needed an outlet. After seeing an ad for Peloton, his wife Colleen suggested that he give a shot. By immersing himself in the classes, eating healthy and, most importantly, staying positive Nick has found himself as one of the healthiest people he knows now. Nick’s next goal is to be able to run a 5k again and he continues to use the Peloton bike to build the endurance he needs to get him there. He says, “when I’m on the bike, I’m in another zone, I picture myself running again”.

He credits the Peloton community for his drive to overcome obstacles and uses his perseverance to ‘write his own book’ with each chapter being more courageous than the last. “I want to re-write the book on MS and Peloton is a part of that. Nothing is going to stop me, not even MS.” We got the chance to talk to Nick to learn more about the power behind his drive. Let his story inspire you below.

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When were you diagnosed? How did it happen?

I was diagnosed in 2000. For about 3 years I would wake up sick in the morning, I would experience double vision among other symptoms. A lot of doctors misdiagnosed me which was really frustrating. One day while at work I said to my supervisor, “I need to go to the doctor” because I couldn’t take it anymore. I got in my car, with double vision, and I drove around until I could find a doctor who would see me. I eventually ended up at the ER. After they examined me they wanted me to go home but since I still had double vision I refused to leave until they figured out what was going on. They eventually admitted me, and three days later the neurologist very cautiously told me that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I was actually thankful because for three years I went through life where people thought I was crazy. I found myself at a point where I was overweight and wasn’t able to walk. I had to make a commitment to myself to get stronger.

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What was your first ride like and who did you take?

My first ride was with Jess King. I was determined and I wanted to do the best that I could. I remember pushing myself with resistance. I kept thinking, “MS, you can’t smoke me”. I was doing the best I could and I felt really good. I felt like I was in another world – like I was back in high school again, as if I had no limits. Once I got off the bike, I was even more determined to do it again.

How would you describe the Peloton community?

The Peloton community to me is so positive and addictive, in a great way. It makes me feel like I’m with a group of positive people who want to accomplish the same things. People want to move, people want to enjoy and experience life to the fullest. I am that person and I’m able to closely relate to people with the same mindset. I don’t get that experience anywhere else. Getting to know people from all over the country and talking with people with the same goals makes me feel really good. I don’t think about my problems, or MS when I’m engaged in a highly positive community that continually encourages me to ask, “what am I going to do to beat the rules?”, “what am I going to make myself a better person?”. With the positivity and support from the Peloton community, you can do anything in your life that you want to imagine.

How has Peloton improved your life?

It’s improved my life mentally because there are times when you get into your own little world, things become mundane and second nature but once I start a ride or logging into the community, I feel that I have more power and more decisiveness over how powerful I can become. I know I can be powerful and strong with Peloton – physically and mentally. The instructors believe that you can always do the best that you can, so they give me that motivation. For example, when Robin motivates you, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do on the bike. It’s amazing.

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What keeps you going?

The desire to beat anything that gets in the way of me doing things and knowing that I can overcome. MS brought me to a point where I thought my life was over. The first thing I thought of when I got diagnosed was that I was going to live my life in a wheelchair. I said to myself, “You know what. I’m not going to be like that. I’m going to live my life to the fullest. I’m going keep moving and grooving.” I’m going to live my life to the fullest because I only have one.

My life is my desires. My life is the chapters in my book. When I was born, that was Chapter 1. Chapter 27 was when I got diagnosed with MS. From then on I started developing. I’ve had setbacks and struggles through Chapters 39, 40, 41 but I’m on chapter 44 right now, on a Peloton bike after 16 years of MS. I’m doing much more than what a lot of people do at age 44, clinically healthy. The way that I am in my life, with my attitude, nothing will stop me. Peloton is going to make me stronger. I’m not going to let anyone stop me.

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What’s your best piece of advice?

I just love life and I want others to do the same. I want them to live life to the fullest because you only have one and I want others to believe that they can do anything that they want. We have to live life the best possible way we know how.

Find more of Nick’s story by clicking here. 

Want to ride as boldly as Nick? Book your bike now. 

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