It happened. After spending weeks participating in a cycling lesson – often at dawn – with an instructor who was too smart for 6 o'clock in waaaay – I did it: I cried on my spinning wheel.
From the moment tears fell, I knew that I had become one of them. One of the women I slowly withdrew from parties when talking about spin-class. The women who described Spin with so much color and flair would have thought they had described a religious experience after a few big fights by Kool-Aid. What a bunch of crap I mumbled under my breath.
And yet I was here, sobbing on the bike.
A powerful pump-up song played and threw me in that feels and, oh yes, everything got worse as I was going through the worst, most soul-divisive separation of my life. Luckily, I was so far back that nobody could see my face.
Actually, my therapist recommended exercises to deal with the breakup. She believed that training would distract my thoughts, and the movement would convince my brain that I was actually moving. Besides, there was no harm in doing anything but crying and drowning my worries in Wine and Ben & Jerry's Ice (#noregrets). I had to start somewhere with the healing process, so I decided to walk after our session.
It was not easy ̵
1; I could barely get up, let alone jog
But somehow I managed to wipe away my masculine tears, find a Spotify playlist with the least amount of love songs, and hit the cobblestone] As with every run, the first few minutes were tough. I wanted to stop crying. Every part of my body screamed for me to turn around and crawl into bed. But the more I ran, the less I thought about him. For a while, I even thought I was fine.
When I wanted to pursue this newly discovered climax, I felt like a divine intervention as I spied an unlimited monthly membership in a new spin-studio that opened up the street. The price was astronomical, but I considered it a necessary investment to heal my broken heart.
I will never forget this first-class class – I felt insecure and out of place as I tried to figure out how to adjust my bike. There I was, a chubby girl in a sea of skinny, beautiful girls, all of whom had expensive Lululemons – mine were the bargains in Walmart. Even their perfect ponytails seemed to bounce just right (if there is such a thing) while mine were just hit me in the face.
The class was already in full swing when I finally set myself up and my shoes were stuck in the shoe grips.
I looked up and saw the teacher in front. "Do you believe in yourself?" She asked when I started kicking. She spoke as if she were appearing as a motivating speaker in the moonlight.
I looked around the room as people shouted, "Yes!" What had I agreed to?
But when she asked again with even more conviction, I felt weirdly compelled to go along. "… Yeah!"
"Forget all others This class is for You ! To create work and love yourself Are you with me ?!"
"Individual ladies 'give me something!'
OK, the last part did not happen. But this first class was transformative. I felt strong, full of energy and even a bit like myself – an impossible concept during a heartbreak.
From this first class, the spin class became my refuge.
I clung to the path . Pray, Love's Liz Gilbert clung to pasta and meditation during her divorce. Like clockwork, I got up every day at 5:45 in the morning and was on my bike at 6:15 to feel good again. The instructors got to know me by name, I felt more energetic all day, and as the weeks went by, I hurt a little less, until I started to smile or laugh myself.
Gone were the days when I hid my tears at work, feeling hopeless and using every resistance in my body to avoid calling him. Even the girls I once intimidated in the class became a support system for me. Weeks went by until I cried on my bike on that fateful day. I'm talking about big, fat tears – the kind you get when you look at the last scene of The Notebook.
This moment went like this:
They are strong.
I kept pedaling.
You are beautiful.
Go over this hill!
You are worthy of love.
My heart is knocking loud in my chest. My legs twisted until I felt like I was flying away from old Sarah – the one who had barely come through her first grade eleven weeks ago. The one who woke up felt terrible, just to go to bed felt the same way. The one who never thought she would find love again, much less learn to love herself.
I had surpassed everything when I became part of a community, and the version of myself always hoped I was: someone who is strong. happy and above all able to be alone and thrive.
Sarah is a writer, editor and cat mother. Wine lovers, rom-coms, and anything to take care of themselves, they are inspired by mindfulness and help others feel in their lives through meditation, self-love, and, of course, self-care. Learn more at sarahkester.com.