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Abandon All Hope: Peloton’s Newest Member Is Usain Bolt

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Usain Bolt is the fastest man ever, period, full stop. He is so fast that, surrounded by other Olympians midstride, grimacing, all striving for the gold, his premature victory celebrations have since become ranked. And so, with Peloton’s announcement of Bolt and other elite athletes joining its team for a summer of drop-in workouts, we’re confident that you can kiss your leaderboard position goodbye.

Some backstory: Peloton, along with iFit and other at-home fitness companies, emphasizes individual accomplishment. “Be your best you,” they all seem to say. But where Peloton remains distinct from its competitors is its overall leaderboard, which allows people from around the world or just down the street to go head-to-head in every workout and see how they stack up. You are a beautiful, special butterfly with your own fitness goals, but you’re also a brutally naked number in every workout. Which makes Peloton’s addition of a post-Olympics-and-bored Bolt, who will be joining random bike workouts this summer without warning, all the more terrifying.

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With any kind of announcement like this, companies include anodyne quotes from athletes. But given Bolt’s accomplishments, his words take on a terrifying significance to your top-of-the-pack rankings. “I work out when I want,” he says. Translation: He will drop from the sky like some large predatory bird and blow away your mortal scores. This will happen without provocation or mercy; he is death incarnate, striking without warning or emotion. Bolt adds, “Working out with other people is really motivating!” Translation: He is going to pick you off like a swordfish cutting through a school of baitfish, pink water and disembodied eyeballs floating in his wake. You are chum.

Your piddly redlined efforts are no match for the sheer genetic gifting and peak conditioning of a multi-world-record holder and Olympic gold medalist. But they are equally futile against any of the other eight elite athletes Peloton announced on the same day, which include Allyson Felix, Andre De Grasse, Angelique Kerber, twins Becky and Ellie Downie, John John Florence, Kathleen Baker, and Scout Bassett. All are noteworthy in their own right. Champions in their respective sports (surfing, tennis, and swimming, among others), all will also be dropping in to Peloton classes, including bike to treadmill, this summer in an effort to humiliate you and knock your pandemic-strong ego down to Olympus-foothills levels.

But at least you’ll enjoy these athletes’ favorite tunes while it’s happening. They’ll also be offering training advice, which may help you in your own fitness goals but will not bring you closer to competing with them in the saddle.

As Bolt hops on the bike with a casualness reserved for ordering apps, you and your metrics will be dwarfed by numbers once thought theoretical. Your wattage with drop, your cadence will slump, and Bolt, from his home in Jamaica or at various luxurious locations around the world, will flash his million-watt smile, blissfully unaware. This summer, you, my friend, are toast.

Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
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