Author Archives: Theodora Blanchfield

OK, So I’m Obsessed with Peloton

Ahhhh, Friday. I have class on Thursday, so I have one marker of what day of the week it is. I typically study through the weekend, so I give myself Friday afternoon to take some time for self-care. Right now that means writing here! And I wanted to do a little Peloton review—of both the bike and the app.

I’ve written a lot here about the heavy emotions I’ve felt during the pandemic, but I want to write more about how I’m managing them (outside of processing them with my saint of a therapist.)

WORKOUTS! My OG coping skill, before all the ones I learned in therapy.

Y’all, I caved. I bought a Peloton. (If you are thinking of it, this code gets you $100 off: 8P95DZ)

An Aquarius at heart, I am reluctant to join most bandwagons, at least at first. Everyone loving something is a good reason for me to not.

But then there was a global pandemic that locked me in my house, and a chunk of change that appeared back in my bank account after my canceled school trip to Japan.

I’d been kind of thinking of buying the bike even before this, though. I’d noticed that my legs still had muscle memory for running but my cardio just wasn’t there, and I wanted another source of cardio. WELL I GOT IT NOW.

And I’m so glad I did. During these days when virtual connection is all we’ve got, it’s PERFECT. I love high-fiving randoms on the leaderboard, I love the ability to ride with friends. (Charlie and I did a ride “together” the other day and even video chatted at the end! It blows my mind I can work out “together” with a friend 5,000 miles away.)

Fun fact: I first tried Peloton years and years ago before they even opened. I have always loved the bikes and have always said they ride like butter, and this has not changed. (Fun fact #2: they aggressively tried to recruit me at one point to run their social media but they were still tiny and I was afraid to take a risk on a smaller startup than DailyBurn. Oops.)

But!! Even if you don’t have the Peloton bike, if you have another spin bike at home, you can still just get a digital subscription (and they are doing a free 90 days right now!) and watch on a phone or tablet. I did this when I was in treatment.

Some of my fave instructors: Robin, Ally, Hannah, Cody (omg he’s so adorable).

My username is theodorable211 if you want to follow me!

And speaking of the app, I’ve been doing a virtual run club with my friends!! At the beginning of the week, we pick about four running workouts—typically a 20-minute fun run, a 30-minute fun run, some kind of 30-minute intervals and a 45-minute longer run for the weekend. My running motivation has been low for a while, so knowing that my friends are doing this workout—and that we’ll talk about it afterwards!—is excellent motivation for me. Some fave running instructors: Robin (I just love anything she does, really), Becs (cutest English accent), Rebecca, Matty. AND I can feel my running getting easier—both because I’m doing it more and because I’m pushing my cardio more on the bike.

I said this the other day on my IG, but for so long my workout mindset has been: I can’t. I’m not in good shape, etc. Which is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of COURSE your workout is going to suck if you think that way. But having my workout already picked out gives me less time to think and get in my head. I feel like I’m getting stronger and have moved into an “I can” mindset, and it feels good.

A lot of people are picking up new hobbies right now, but running feels new to me right now—I’m excited about it all over again—and that feels really good. It is so good to have as an outlet right now.

pandemic chic: I’m running in this buff, keeping it down until I see people and then putting it up

As long as I’m waxing poetic over Peloton and their app: they also have great strength, foam rolling and yoga classes. For yoga, I adore Kristin McGee. I’ve known her since way back in the day (she used to have a blog!) and she is just the sweetest, and she’s a very smart yoga teacher.

Speaking of yoga, I honestly don’t have more free workouts to share right now that I’ve done (but here’s a good list), except for my fave yoga teacher, Danielle Zuccarelli. I love her for her New Yorker-in-California vibe. If you follow her on IG (linked at her name), she does free IG Live classes sometimes.

What about you? How have you been coping? What kind of workouts are you doing right now?

Whatever You’re Feeling Is OK

Yesterday, I saw someone on Facebook post a photo of himself and the caption simply read “depressed.”

“You have no reason to be depressed,” someone wrote in the comments.


Why is this not OK?

  • Feeling depressed—whether it’s situational or clinical—is a real and valid feeling ALWAYS
  • Depression doesn’t discriminate. You can have everything and be depressed; you can have nothing and be depressed.
  • We are living through an unprecedented global crisis that requires isolation, which goes against how humans are wired, for connection. We are grieving losses big and small—from canceled events to loved ones.
  • Denying feelings only makes them come out stronger and leads to *more* depression or anxiety down the line.

Pandemic aside, you can have “no real reason” to be depressed and your brain is just being an asshole. It’s like a gray raincloud is following you at all times. Like there’s a devil on your shoulder saying all sorts of nasty things to you, telling you how much you suck, how hopeless things are.

Pandemic not aside, this has killed more than 100,000 worldwide. We don’t know how or when this is going to end. Our lives as we knew them on a daily basis were changed abruptly last month. Of course this would affect anyone’s mental health.

(I’m going to pause here for perspective: I know my privilege in being able to stay/work at home right now, and I bow down to both the essential workers + healthcare workers who don’t have this option.)

I’ve been alone since this started. Guess what? Depression thrives in isolation. I haven’t had a hug in more than a month. I never imagined what it would feel like to go so long without human touch or how much you could miss it. Being alone means more time with my thoughts, and when the greater world feels so hopeless, it’s easy for me to start spiraling that my own life is hopeless, too.

…and this is OK. Because it’s OK to not be OK. (And conversely, if you are overall doing well emotionally right now, that doesn’t mean that you are a callous human being, it means that you’ve been tending to your needs.)

There are days throughout all of this when I’m doing totally OK and can go in and out of remembering what’s happening until I have to put my mask on to take my dog out. There’s days when I am very much not OK and, to be perfectly honest, resort back to unhealthy and destructive coping mechanisms. My therapist says that is beyond normal—and admits that even she has found herself resorting to her own maladaptive coping mechanisms.

And honestly, today was one of the days where I just was feeling like this is never going to end, and I started spiraling to hopelessness in my own life. It’s so cliche, but tell someone how you feel. Don’t keep this bottled up inside or think you shouldn’t be feeling this way. Whatever you’re feeling is real. I’m working on getting better at validating my own feelings, but I have a friend that I feel 200 percent safe with, and I shared with her what I’m feeling, and she gave me space to feel it.

I want to find a way to end this neatly, but I don’t think that exists right now. We’re all just doing the best we can, and I need to remind myself (and maybe you need this reminder too) that this too shall pass, as my mom used to say.

How are you really feeling right now? And what’s been a bright spot for you throughout all of this?

My bright spots are my sweet little dog (evergreen) and workouts. I’m going hard on the workouts, so I think I might post about them soon.