The average housecat sleeps about 15 hours a day. That lifestyle may be enviable, but upon superficial consideration, it does not appear compatible with a CEO’s workload. But John Foley, the co-founder of Peloton, is here to change my mind. Foley’s debut in the New York Times’ Sunday Routine series contains many demented tidbits. Considered together, they invite a serious question: Is Foley human, or is he a feline?
Here is the first red flag.
“SINK DRINK Twenty years ago a colleague told me the key to your day is to hydrate at much as you can, so the first thing I do is drink 40 sips of water from my hand at the upstairs bathroom sink. It’s efficient. I drink until I feel like I’m going to throw up water. Every day.”
Let’s address this item by item. It is absolutely true that we should hydrate ourselves. I am very bad at this; water must contain flavorings or carbonation at a bare minimum in order for me to drink it. This makes me a child, but not a cat. Who the hell drinks water out of their hands in their own home? Foley presumably owns water glasses. Mugs. Even a wine glass would do the trick. And why 40 sips, specifically? Imagine him lapping gently at his palm, counting each forward motion of his tongue, until he thinks he may vomit.
Do you know who else lacks all sense of moderation? Who laps water, and makes themselves feel ill on a near-daily basis? My two cats, Koala and Natasha.
Let’s continue. But I’m skipping his Dunkin’ Donuts habit because it’s boring.
“BATHROOM RUN I work out before leaving the house. The other Sunday I did the new Beyoncé Bootcamp on Tread, which lives in our downstairs bathroom because we didn’t have anywhere else to put it. Jess Sims, the instructor, talked about the Harlem school where she used to be a teacher and principal, gave a shout-out to her librarian. Usually I think about which instructor I haven’t taken in a while — 80 percent of whom live here in the city — rather than which music I want to work out to. It’s kind of like your kids, you can’t love one of them more.”
There’s little I despise more than exercise, so I might not be the right person to interpret this section. But whatever, I’m going to try. Do you know who else loves to run around like a maniac in the bathroom? That’s right. My cats do that. I don’t know why they do that, but they do. Moving on. I’m skipping the part about his kids …
“STUDIO DREAMS When the kids’ programming is done and I have time off, I like to go tour real estate. These days that’s Peloton’s new headquarters on 34th and Ninth Avenue, which will be finished this month. Feels cathartic walking around there, picturing where we’re headed as soon as Covid-19 is over. And I take my time because it’s not a workday and nobody’s there. We started out in a 900-square-foot space — hung up a black tarp to cover the kitchenette and delineate the cycling studio for streaming; tin foil on the windows.”
Think about this guy wandering around a construction site. Who else does that? Cats. Not my cats, because they are too stupid and homicidal to live outside, but street cats. They do it. Not looking good for Foley here.
“SUSHI DATE Oftentimes Jill and I have a couple people over in the late afternoon. We’re in a pod within the kids’ school, which includes one of my best friends from business school, Amar Lalvani. We’ll all order sushi from Amber on Christopher Street, mix Manhattans, put the football on. It’s fun to have on in the background. Nostalgic, right? The sound brings me back to my childhood in Florida. We‘ll get the fire going and break down politics and life. Oh, and Amar is dating my ex-girlfriend, so we talk about girls.”
I don’t even have to try for this one. Do you know who would go apeshit for a little raw fish right now? You’re damn right, it’s my cats. Right now we give them these freeze-dried minnow treats and they make a horrifying crunching sound. If a cat happened to be a billionaire who runs an exercise bike company, maybe they’d upgrade to sushi. The last line aggravates me so we won’t talk about it.
“A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY At 8, we’re kicking friends out, which isn’t difficult since they’ve got kids too. Doing laundry, organizing clothes. Then at 9, when I want people to get ready for bed, I adjust the lighting again — easier to get perfect in the evening. For the first seven or eight years of my son’s life, I sung him “Old Man River.” Now it’s like every third night. Having been born in Houston in 1971, I love ’70s country. Willie Nelson is a big deal in the Foley household, Dwight Yoakam. I want to sing to my daughter — sometimes I try that Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler.” Though Mae really is embarrassed by anything I do at this point.”
Like Mae, I am embarrassed. Anyway, I play bluegrass and country for my cats all the time. They love it. Why wouldn’t Foley?
Verdict: John Foley is probably a cat. From kitten to billionaire, what an incredible story.