Clipped in

I woke up this morning with a lump in my throat. Sadness hung all around me. When I got to work I saw the date. January 13th. Two years ago I had the same lump in my throat all day. I had the same sadness. I went to bed two years ago and dreamt of my aunt and losing here. I woke up on January 14th, and I cried the entire way to work. I could feel her leaving. Not long after I got to work, I got the news. My aunt had just passed away.

It’s been two years. Most days I smile when I miss her, but today I just want to cry.

*********

I went to my first spin class tonight. It’s way out of my comfort zone. Group classes, high intensity, and uncharted territory freaks me out. I know I lack physical strength. I knew class would be a challenge.

I joined the J&A Racing Team for class. We had the studio to ourselves. Before I knew it, I was in the front row about to tackle something completely new. I couldn’t hide. Two minutes into class I knew I was in over my head.

*********

When I was sixteen I broke both my legs: left tibia and right femur. I had surgery. Two titanium rods and eight screws were placed in my body. As a result my legs will always be off balance. The aren’t equally proportioned. It’s never been an issue.

**********

The more I spun, the more aware of my imbalances I become. My legs felt like they were working against each other. I couldn’t find an even rotation. My right foot kept unclipping. I couldn’t clip back in. I became more and more aware of myself, my body, and my imbalances.

I felt incapable.

The instructor saw it. He quietly told me to quit thinking.

It worked for a minute. When I stopped thinking about my inability, my weakness, my disabilities, things flowed smoother. But when I quit thinking, I felt.

Today I am struggling to feel anything but sadness, anything but the loss of my aunt.

*********

Two years ago I cried on my way to work. Today I cried on my way home. After spin class, I couldn’t stop the tears. It cracked me wide open. My shoulders trembled. I choked on my own breath.

I felt incapable. I felt weak. I was mad at my legs and this stupid injury. I was mad at the world because it really makes no sense that my aunt is gone. I miss her. I want her back.

I just want her back.

********

In fourteen days, these same emotions sit waiting for me. It’s not fair my father in law is gone too. I want him back too. I just want them back.

*********

Tonight as I spun with my feet stuck (and sometimes unstuck) to my pedals, I just couldn’t get away. I couldn’t run away. I couldn’t hide. I wanted to unclip (intentionally) and to run out of the room. I want to leave all the feelings of weakness on my bike seat.

I didn’t run. I didn’t hide. And when I walked out of class and gave the instructor a broken smile, he said “you didn’t give up.”

For the next two weeks, I think I need to clip in. I need to keep pedaling. It’s hard. I feel incapable of carrying these feelings. I feel so broken on the inside today. But I’ll keep spinning. And I’ll return to that class and all these feelings until I conquer them.

Perhaps today was the perfect day to stop running.

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I miss her!

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