My husband brags about his Peloton accomplishments

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Hi Meredith,

I feel like I have sort of a silly problem but want to ask it anyway. I'm a little embarrassed but here goes.

My husband, let's call him Peterson, and I bought a Peloton over Covid and it has been great for us! We both love it and have gotten great use out of it. We've completed hundreds of rides and have each been shouted out by our favorite instructors. Sounds all great, right?

Well my problem is that Peterson has never let me win. He's always bragging around the house about "oh I just hit 60 minutes with Ally Love" or "I burned so many calories in this HIIT ride.” I am shorter than Peterson and just can't keep up.

Meredith, how can I tell Peterson what I truly want (to beat him just once).

– Spinning in place

Letting you win would silly. Because it's not a real win.

I assume the thing you're really upset about is that sometimes Peloton talk with your husband feels competitive, as opposed to fun. So change that, at least on your side.

Instead of focusing on his wins, consider your personal goals and how you're doing with them. If he's saying he hit 60 minutes with some popular instructor, congratulate him and tell him what you hope to do. Which might be less. And that's OK.

I have a friend who runs marathons, and that's great for her. But I'm really excited for myself (and she's excited for me) when I take a small hike. We don't have to be the same.

Also, think about how you and your husband can bond over physical activity that isn't about setting goals at all. What about taking a long walk at a good pace for talking? It's great that the Peloton gave you an outlet for exercise during a difficult time, but your shared appreciation for it doesn’t replace quality time.

There is an "I'm not really upset; this is all just fun" tone to your letter, but … there's also something behind it that makes me think the Peloton gets more focus than you'd like it to at this point. The "he's always bragging" line stuck with me. If I'm right, shift the focus. Ask him about other parts of the day. There are so many different things to celebrate and share.

It's just a bike.

– Meredith

Readers? I know a lot of families got into Pelotons and things like it during the past year. What kind of conversation about it is healthy? Peloton people, I'm sure you'll want to tell me why it's not just a bike.