For Those Who Can’t

I had a complete emotional breakdown during spin class last week.

Let me start from the beginning.  When school started in August, you know two whole weeks before it had any business starting in my opinion, I joined a gym.  I had no choice.  Spending two months at the pool, 8 hours a day, left the junk in the trunk ready for the garbage dump.  Not to mention all the stress eating I did.  Most of you know, my summer sucked!  I mean it sucked the big one.  My dog died, Jane was burned and the biggest suck of all was that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And that all happened in the course of a week.

After I recovered from the initial shock of it all, I began a routine.  Jane healed, my mother began treatment, and I sat at the pool.  Eating fried foods.  A lot.  My friend, Tara, who sat at the pool with me suggested we go check out this gym close to where we live.  I love the gym.  The facilities are nice and the classes are awesome.  I’ve taken two group classes so far – Yogalates and Spin.  Yogalates was great.  I was the sore the next day but not terribly.  Spin. Forget about it.  What happened during that spin class was unlike anything that has happened to me before.

Let me mention that the spin class is done in the dark.  Completely in the dark.  A red light from a clock hanging on the wall illuminates the room a little but for the most part you are in the dark.  And the music is blaring.   For the first few minutes, I was just trying to get my groove.  It’s been a while since I was on a bike.

Then just like Stella, I found my groove.  It was just me and the bike and the loud music and the darkness.  I have never worked so hard in my life.  About 30 minutes into the 45 minute class, I wanted to give up.  It was hard.  It sucked.  It hurt.  I didn’t want to do it anymore.  I could have sat down on my bike and no one would have been the wiser.  Then this thought creeped into my head, “What would my mother do to be here right now instead of going through chemotherapy?’

That’s when the whining stopped and I started pedaling harder.  The harder I pedaled the faster the thoughts raced through my mind.  We would stand on the bike and do a steady climb and then we would sit and sprint.  It was grueling.  I pushed harder and harder because all I could think about at that moment was cancer.  I hate cancer.  I know we all do. Who enjoys cancer?  But at that moment, I hated cancer more than anyone has hated anything in their entire life.  So, I pedaled harder.

It was then that the tears started.  I couldn’t stop them. The faster I pedaled, the harder I pushed, the more tears came.  I cried for my mother.  I cried for myself.  I cried for everyone that is battling for their life right now and would give anything to be able to take a spin class.  As I pedaled, I put on the armor.  I am going into battle.  I’m battling for those that can’t.  I pedaled for my mother.  I pedaled for Kari-Lee’s mother, for Ashlee and Sydnee’s grandmother, I pedaled for Genevieve’s aunt, for my sister.  I pedaled for my daughters.  I pedaled because I didn’t know what else to do for them.  God forbid they have to deal with this disease.  I put on my armor and battled.

It seems silly now. I don’t know why I thought pedaling that bike as fast and as hard as I could would actually help anyone.  But it helped me.  I have vowed to run every race and to raise as much money as I can so that my daughters don’t have to.

As class wound down, I slowed the bike to a stop and put one foot on the ground.  My knee buckled and I went crashing to the floor much to the amusement of Tara, after she realized I was okay.  It brought me back to reality.  I need to live in the moment as much as I can.  It’s hard as mothers, wives, employees, etc.  We’re always thinking about what needs to be done.  But life is short.  So, I’m ready to battle cancer for those who can’t right now.  I’m ready to enjoy every moment God grants me.  And, to cancer, I say, “FUCK YOU!  I’m coming for you.”