Allow me to introduce you to… the Airdyne bike.
Or as I like to call it: the doom-cycle.
The product description says it all:
“Wind resistance is exponential, so the harder you pedal, the higher the resistance becomes.”
In other words: riding this bike never, ever becomes “easy.”
The stronger you get, the harder you can pedal. The harder you pedal, the harder it becomes to keep pedaling. Infinite torture. Forever and ever.
The point of this bike is to push yourself until you melt onto the floor in a puddle of goo.
And the end of each ride, you can check to see how many calories you have burned — basically, how much energetic power you have generated.
My trainer is an evil sprite from the seventh circle of Hell, so he loves to make me ride this bike and measure my output every week.
My personal best, so far, is 119 calories in 3 minutes.
On my last couples of rides, I’ve been hovering right around that same number. I have yet to exceed it.
“I am struggling with this bike so much,” I confessed at a recent workout, flopping onto the floor after a tough ride. “I am really having trouble pushing myself to beat 119.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Well,” I said. “Because, um… it’s really hard…”
“Hard is not a reason.”
He got me.
That phrase — “Hard is not a reason” — kept echoing in my mind for the rest of the day.
I found myself thinking, “Is that the kind of person I want to be? The kind of person who shies away from difficulty and intense effort… even when it only lasts for 3 minutes? The kind of person who refuses to reach for her full potential… because it’s too “hard”?
Dear Airdyne bike:
Yes, you are hard.
Yes, I kind of hate you.
But man, it’s going to feel so good to conquer you. To hit 120… then 121… then 122.
It’s wonderful when things are easy, graceful, elegant, and unfold without effort. I’m into that. For sure.
But “hard” can be just as good. “Hard” is definitely not a reason to complain, slack, or quit. (If you do, what does that say about you?)
Airdyne bike: be warned.
I am coming for you.