Bike, Fixing, pain


“Fix your form, fix your life.”

Olivia, Peloton instructor

Yes, Olivia. In sparkle shoes.

I scoffed at that hunk of metal with pedals in the garage until one day I really, really needed to get out of my head and fix the downward spiral of my body. I was unpleasantly surprised that her 20-minute beginner class almost killed me. Then I realized that is the whole point, to push past the recovery-everything hurts-walking is fine year so far. I wanted to end on a much higher note in 2022.

For those that know me, I take on a new physical challenge every time my age adds a zero: yoga in my 30’s, running at 40, 5-mile-a-day walking in my 50’s. Until, midway, there was cancer and a hip. The 60’s have been a stutter-step pardon the pun of trying to get back to something without pain. Pain makes me a ‘no’ person. Pain makes me cranky. Pain — chronic — takes the stuffing out of my soul.

And then I hopped on this bike.

Interesting when a prosthetic joint lands on a hard, pencil-thin seat. Really, Peloton? I solved this problem by grabbing a hank of bubble wrap and swaddling the cruelly designed perch. While I am now wide open to hilarity it works. I fixed it.

2022 has been a year of feeling helpless on a large and small scale; politics, Ukraine, education, abortion, voting, my loss of taste and smell alongside clothing moths, cholesterol, sleep. I dig deep to remember that baby steps accomplish a lot and that the year had a lot of successes and joys, too: published pieces, an engaged son, everyone healthy, good books, loyal friends, clean scans, to name just a few.

For 2023 I will work on daily success, putting on my shoes and pedaling one minute at a time the best I can. And for the holiday season, finding fixes in what I can do vs. what I cannot. Do I really need to put out ALL the decorations or make ALL the cookies?

I can’t say that I walk nimbly from the garage to my shower after the 20-minute, now 30-minute sessions on the torture bike but Olivia assures me that “just showing up, you are awesome!”

And who doesn’t need to be told we are awesome?

Show up, do your best, remember the HoHoHo in the season. Put on your sparkle shoes and send out the year.

You are AWESOME.

Cheers, friends.