facing down ego



~2 min read


349 words

For the past several months, I’ve been using the Peloton quite a bit. I was fortunate. I lived in an apartment building that had one included in the rent and I took advantage. When we started looking at buying a home, I told my wife the very first thing I would buy would be a Peloton. That’s exactly what I did (and good thing I did because it arrived the week after we moved in!) and I haven’t missed a day since.

Even better than all of the great workouts, however, has been the steady progress I’ve seen. As a quick measure, when I got back on the bike earlier this year, I was able to sustain a 21-22 mph for 30 minutes. More recently, I’m up around 24 mph. It seems every few weeks I’m able to set a PR.

In short: the Peloton’s fun and I feel great about the progress I’ve made. Or, I did. This week my friend joined Peloton and in his second ride he beat my PR!

Immediately, my lizard brain kicked in and started firing. Had I been wasting my time? Should I even try? What’s the point? In short: I was catastrophizing.

I allowed myself to continue for a moment before shifting my perspective. So what I wasn’t the best? Isn’t that always the case? There’s always room for improvement and I’d not been proud of being the best. I’d been proud of

Wasn’t it my progress that I had been proud of? Couldn’t I use the fact that my friend was a peer already as fuel to push myself to continue to grow?

Reflecting on the experience I’m surprised at how quickly my ego reared its head and demanded I attend to its needs. At the same time, I’m rather pleased that I was able to face down my ego and end its tantrum by reframing the situation. Doing so, I took a potentially devastating sequence of thoughts that may have derailed a practice I’ve cultivated over months into fuel to propel me into the next leg of the journey.

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!