I am rarely inspired by television commercials. For example, as great as the ads are, I have never switched to Geico.
But a spot on TV lately has made me want to shed my slovenly ways and reach the unreachable.
In the advertisement it is 5 AM and I am a young, fit, attractive woman. A gentle voice is encouraging me to get closer to something that has always been there, to be more than I am, to be at once peaceful and unstoppable.
The ad is not encouraging me to become a woman. The ad is encouraging me to buy an exercise bike.
This is your house. This is you waking up. This is you tiptoeing past your family while they are still asleep. This is you locking into your pedals and attacking the hill. Crushing the flats. Climbing your way through the pack. Breaking the boundaries. This is you changing your life. This is you making your day better for you and your family here in your home.
This is what you woke up for. This is your exercise bike.
Except for waking up and riding the bike it all sounds pretty good, right?
Despite my identification with the ads, I have no illusions on what it will take to become disillusioned. Changing how I live through a big expensive exercise bike parked in my living room is a daunting task, one for which I must prepare and commit thoroughly.
It won’t be easy.
First I have to work out. If I am going to wake up early in the morning as a young, fit, attractive woman ready to pedal up the face of El Capitan I can’t be looking like an old, fat slob. And believe me there are no yoga pants or sports bras in the world that will make me look attractive.
Fortunately, there are equally inspiring ads featuring young, fit and attractive men. Which is good because gender surgery is not really a lifestyle change I have in mind.
But even when I trim up and look better, I still won’t be ready to become more than I am. If I really want to live the dream, I must create an inspiring place for my motionless cycle. I need a high rise apartment in New York City or a brownstone in Alexandria or a country home in the woods. A place with large picture windows and expansive views where I can perform on my bike as if it were an immovable grand piano.
A place where neighbors and voyeurs with binoculars can easily see me.
And I will probably have to keep the house clean, because my new exercise bike comes with a large display and internet connectivity and a camera through which I can connect to spin classes with rabid instructors and other equally fit and attractive bike riders so we can all watch each other grind the flats and push each other through the ranks and go beyond our personal limits. I wouldn’t want my online cycle class to see that the dishes haven’t been done behind me.
And then there is all the stuff I have to get. A lot of stuff. Like a cardiac monitor to track my accelerating heart rate and gym shorts with extra padding and a pair of specialized bike shoes that lock into the pedals so that I can never stop cycling. Ever.
To be safe I should probably get a medical alert button to wear around my neck in case I fall off the bike and can’t get up or unlock the shoes. And maybe an AED for the wall. And a will.
And I will definitely need cleaning supplies. Because in my new life as a stay-at-home spin cyclist, I will sweat a lot. I will need lots of towels and wipes and a rubber floor mat and a powerful fan and air fresheners and bleach. And maybe a men’s locker room.
It also occurs to me that I might need a better job with lots of hours and long commutes so that I can justify placing a two thousand dollar bike in my new home. It is, after all, a life style. So I should probably get some younger kids too. Ones I can tip toe past when I exercise the new me at 5 in the morning. Ones that will be happy to see me after I get off my bike all stinky and drenched in sweat.
I don’t know. Now that I am finally prepared to change my life, it all seems like a lot of work. Maybe I can just drive to the gym a few times a week and work out at home on a stationary barcalounger parked in front of a large screen TV.
After all, that’s how I became inspired in the first place.