Who Would Have Thought?

When I turned 39 in January 2017, I was determined to make my 39th year a healthy one. I wanted to improve my cardio health, as that’s always been my weakness. My goal for that year was to run a race…not any specific race, just a race. This goal was set as I nursed a foot injury, believing it couldn’t possibly take another 6 months to heal (that’s how long I’d been waiting for it to improve). I’ve always been pretty healthy. I eat pretty well, I sleep pretty well, and I’m a yoga teacher with a regular practice that blends a variety of styles. I Iike to bike, I love to hike, and basically, I love to do anything outside. As 2017 pressed on, and my foot wasn’t healing, I felt disappointed. After working for months with an orthopedic doctor, I really wasn’t seeing any noticeable changes. I was able to run short distances, but even a short race felt out of reach. In September 2017, I began working with an acupuncturist; with her help, I finally felt relief. The swelling in my foot went almost completely away revealing a deformed middle toe. During the last few months of 2017 I started noticing ads for Peloton. I’ve never been to a spin class nor was I into cycling; I always thought, why ride in a gym when I could ride outside, but the idea of riding on the roads where I live scared me to death. I would ride on trails, but it never felt athletic, it was relaxing, but not particularly engaging. What interested me the most about the ads (again, I really knew nothing of the bike itself) was how sweaty the woman looked, yet, she was still smiling when she got off the bike…I recognize this is what Peloton marketing was probably going for, and it worked. I wanted what that woman appeared to have. I wanted to work hard and feel good while I was doing it. Trying to run through an injury was not about wellness, it was about ego. What I realized about myself once I was able to let go of the attachment I had to running a race was, really, I wanted to work hard, feel good doing it, and be well. So as I entered January 2018, I worked on letting go of my disappoint that I never ran a race in my 39th year. Instead, I turned my energy towards turning 40, and what that meant for me. In my mind, I picture 40 to be so grown up…like a “real” adult. I don’t usually feel old enough to be a “real” adult. I still remember attending my parents’ 40th birthday party; I was about 13 at the time. I remember my dad giving my mom a mug with a dinosaur on it that read “Colossal Old Fossil,” she is 8 days older than he is. I’m not ready to be a Colossal Old Fossil. I want to feel young and healthy as long as physically possible. So, after loads of research, and gratitude for all of the people who reviewed Peloton and said, “Totally worth the money,” I bought one. Best birthday gift EVER. The bike was delivered February 2nd, and I’ve used it every day since. I bought the bike for fitness, not realizing how much more it had to offer. I didn’t expect to have such amazing teachers…teacher’s who are fun, offer guidance and encouragement, and set it all to fabulous playlists. I didn’t expect to be able to take scenic rides through so many amazing places, including, Acadia National Park (where I used to ride regularly when I lived in Maine). I didn’t expect to be part of such a fabulous social media community, where the positivity is contagious (even when people ask which classes to avoid, people offer the names of their favorite instructors instead). Where people go beyond Peloton-related questions and include questions and stories about life in general. I didn’t expect to feel so motivated by watching my progress on the leader board, I also didn’t expect to turn rides into friendly (or not so friendly) competitions with my husband…each of us motivated by the other. I didn’t realize we could turn this into a family affair by having all of us work out together during Beyond the Ride arm workouts. I didn’t know I could connect with friends, and make new ones, who inspire me to work harder and be my best. I didn’t realize how motivated I would feel each time I earn a new personal record. Today is my 50th ride. I’m 42 days in, and I have 72 total workouts, and I don’t remember the last time I felt this good. What I’ve learned about myself in the last several weeks is I thrive on positivity, physical activity and community (and on a healthy dose of competition, with myself and others ;)). Although these things were on my radar before, it’s through my recent actions and interactions that I see their value more clearly. This new way of living is how I’m living my yoga. Since I started this Peloton journey, I have felt more connected with my body, mind, breath

and spirit than I ever have. I’m no longer considering this journey something for my 40th year, instead I’m looking at this as a way of life. Something to help me live stronger, healthier, happier and longer. So, as I share my journey, consider your own life: what supports you in being the best version of yourself? What helps you free your spirit? I never would have thought my Peloton would be what frees mine. See you on the Leader Board! #ride2shine


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Free Spirit Therapeutics

Kelly Pearson, MS, c-IAYT           

Wellness Coaching ~ Yoga Therapy ~ Yoga