Then life happened. The burbs, a kid, a long commute. My bike got dusty in the basement waiting to be friends again.
Then I got “incurable” cancer. Every day became a feat of survival. I started a rigid chemotherapy protocol that slowly made my body alien and weak. I looked at my bike longingly, but I didn’t even have the strength to pull it off the rack, much less ride it.
Today, a year after I was supposed to start dying when I stopped chemotherapy, I’m a thriving, walking miracle. With baby steps, I’m rebuilding my body with exercise. At first, it was 10 minutes a day, then 15, now 30, soon 60.
On family vacation this summer, I hopped back on my bike for the first time since I was sick. Riding around our Lake Erie campsite, I laughed with my bike like I used to. Reconnecting with that old, dear friend who never lets me down.
Up, down, up, down the pedals went. I might as well have been Lance Armstrong powering through the Tour de France. My legs feeling the push and pull, my back holding me strong, my hands remembering which brake was slow and which could send me over the handlebars. My body tucked in perfect alignment for speed. My heart singing. My face feeling the fresh breeze.