On Friday, the New York Times published the latest installment in their “Sunday Routine,” a series that looks at how various people spend their Sundays. This week, the subject was John Foley, the chief executive of Peloton, the company that sells fancy stationary bikes, treadmills, and subscriptions to streaming fitness classes where hot, fit instructors occasionally give you a personal shoutout if it’s your birthday.
Peloton has had a massive year. With so many people forced to stay home because of the pandemic, sales of their stationary bikes have skyrocketed. So how does the CEO of a wildly successful fitness company spend his Sundays? Sadly, I couldn’t tell you, because I couldn’t get past Foley’s first entry in his routine, which was:
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.
Excuse me, what?
At first, I was certain that my synapses had briefly snapped, and I had misread. Surely a wildly wealthy executive does not start his day hunched over a sink, shoveling handfuls of loose sink water into his mouth like a little raccoon instead of simply placing a glass or a water bottle on his bathroom counter? Alas, I read the entry seven more times, and it seems that, yes, that is exactly how a wildly wealthy executive starts his day.
To be clear, I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Foley and his former colleague about the importance of staying well-hydrated. I have a water bottle that I carry around with me all day, which I sip and chug from at regular intervals. But I cannot understand the need to hunch over, or to consume liquid from one’s own palms. That seems like the least efficient way possible to do things. Why 40 sips instead of 30? Or 50? Again, and I cannot stress this question enough: Why not simply get a glass?
Maybe, I thought, crouching over the sink to drink was how our bodies were meant to operate, like how the Squatty Potty inventors said that it’s better for people to poop in a squatting position because that’s how out ancestors did it. Maybe drinking while hunched over would quench my thirst in a way that sipping from my water bottle never had.
Being a serious, enterprising journalist, I had to find out for myself. So, I went into my bathroom and drank 40 sips of water from my hand. For legal reasons, I can’t post pictures of this experience (it’s illegal for such aggressively unflattering photos of me to exist). It was … fine, I guess. I sort of lost count a couple of times, and around sip 20 I started laughing so hard that I choked. Unlike Mr. Foley, I didn’t feel like I was going to throw up afterward, but maybe his hands are bigger than mine and he’s thus drinking much more than me. I did immediately emit two big burps, which I suspect was a result of being hunched over, but I did not feel any more or less hydrated than if I had chugged from a water bottle, and the whole thing certainly seemed to take longer than just filling a glass, drinking it, filling it again, and then drinking that.
In order to figure out how much, exactly, I had drank, I went back into the bathroom, this time with a metal mixing bowl into which I shoveled 40 handfuls of water. Then, I poured the water into glasses for a better visual representation of what I had consumed:
Two and three-quarters glasses. Not a bad start to the day.
Ultimately, how Mr. Foley starts his day is up to him, and if jamming fistfuls of water into his mouth is what he enjoys, that’s great. If he does want to make his mornings a little easier, though, Peloton sells some perfectly nice water bottles.