I was embarrassed to get a Peloton. It’s saved me.

So—a confession: Two weeks ago a Peloton arrived at the Pearlman household.

And I was embarrassed.

I was embarrassed because a Peloton is stupid expensive. I was embarrassed because a Peloton is a major luxury when so many people are struggling. I was embarrassed because I live in Orange County, and the thing feels very Orange County.

So, yeah. I was embarrassed.

The thing is, I’ve also been miserable. Thanks to COVID, I no longer have my Saturday morning pickup basketball games; also no longer have a gym membership, which I used five-to-six nights per week. I was feeling … sluggish and meh and out of sorts. So, after I dropped the “Maybe we should get a Peloton …” statement one afternoon, the wife kindly ordered it.

And, well, I fucking love it.

I really do.

Do I love spin? Eh, it’s fine. Do I love biking? Eh, it’s fine. What I love about the ol’ Peloton—oddly, weirdly—is the positivity. The energy. I sign on, I snap in, I start a class led by, oh, Kendall Toole or Alex Toussaint and I just … feel it. In this isolated world of same faces, masked faces, Peloton has mastered the illusion/reality of making people feel as if they matter. When I’m on the bike, I don’t want to let myself down—but I really don’t want to let the instructors down. Which is, intellectually, weird, because they know not I exist.

I don’t know how else to explain it. But even as my feet ache and my shoulders throb, Peloton has given me some oomph.

At a time when it’s necessary.