A few years ago, my friend Lauren introduced me to Peloton. It has become a healthy obsession, as has its community.
Preparing recently for a Peloton session, I had an epiphany: hours spent on a bike that goes nowhere can prepare you for managing the demands of communicating during coronavirus.
A feature of Peloton is power zone training, which builds endurance over time. It is centered around riding for a prolonged period at a sustained level of intensity, which builds mental and physical endurance.
The pandemic is a marathon. Since it is likely to last, one thing communicators will need is the ability to endure challenges, cope with working remotely, home-schooling our kids and adapting to a new reality.
We will need physical and mental endurance to muscle through massive changes and isolation. We will need to endure the intellectual challenges of helping our companies communicate to stay ahead of the evolving situation.
As always, PR pros are helping C-suites communicate internally and externally. Now, though, communicators are emphasizing empathy and humanity in our messaging to employees and customers. People are worried about their health and that of their family, their jobs and the future.
With all this, it’s okay to not be okay, as my rabbi says. Take time to feel the grief. Seek support. Talk with a trusted friend or therapist. Hop on your version of a Peloton bike and cycle to help manage your emotions and feel alive.
Community and Team
Through this crisis, many have gained a deeper understanding of the value of community and the power of being part of a team. For a Peloton regular, one’s professional team and exercise community have become virtual; however, my Peloton community started as exclusively virtual.
This was so until I bridged the digital divide and converted these online friendships into real, in-person relationships with Peloton enthusiasts around the world. As this crisis unfolds, Peloton friends connect daily via WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom video chats.
Being part of a virtual Peloton community is similar to what’s going on at work. Cross-functional teams at companies navigating the crisis are virtual. Nevertheless, the connections many of us are making as we work side by side, albeit virtually, are real. The bonds will be long lasting.
Grit and Determination
So, as we set out each day knowing the pandemic won’t end soon, stay focused on the long game. Each day presents unforeseen challenges that require grit to persevere. We will need to be determined and pull from our deepest reserves to continue providing communications counsel, which we have trained to be able to offer.
We will get through this crisis. Together, as a community, with humanity, grit and determination. And, yes, with a lot of endurance.
As Peloton aptly puts it, together we will ride far.