On January 9th of this year I started attending spin classes. Spin is not new to me. I spun 20 years ago. I first started to spin in between my 2nd and 3rd births. I absolutely loved it. I loved it so much that when the gym I was spinning at closed its doors 4 years later I bought one of the bikes. I would spin in the basement when my daughters were sleeping, I ran in the morning or did another form of workout as well but I loved spinning! It made me strong and vibrant.
Then around the time my youngest was 5 years old we were watching a movie with my mother. She had chosen it and loved it, “Home for the Holidays”. A fantastic movie that is about young adults returning home and it is so funny. But one scene in the movie disturbed me. After a family uproar the oldest sister goes to her younger sister’s home who is a mother. The sister who is married with three children is down in the basement on her treadmill sweating out her overwhelming life. She was so intense on the treadmill, overworked and so snappy and miserable. My breath was taken away as that image was me. That scene made me realize that I was missing out on relaxing and being one with my children. I was missing the pleasures of being a mom. Being calm and watching them grow slow. I stopped spinning.
Fast forward to 6 years ago, my youngest was now 13. I began spinning again as well as did (and won) a circuit training challenge. I felt strong again and had some intensity in my body again. I would go to spin classes in the same town my mother lived in. I would go to spin and then spend time with my mother. Sometimes spending 15 minutes with her, sometimes two hours. Within that year my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. So then I was visiting her almost every time I would go to spin 2 or 3 times a week at least. One year to the day of my mother’s diagnoses, she passed. I continued to go to spin. But I would cry after every class. I felt so empty and depleted after every class. And the instructor at the end of every class would say; “Remember somebody out there loves you”. It crushed me. So I stopped spinning, again.
Now four and a half years later, my youngest is 19, and a Tandem Cycle opened in Long Branch a stone’s throw from my home. I was extremely delighted and wanted to give it another shot. I waited until after the holidays and kids were back at college, etc...then I went to spin again. It was so physically hard this time around at 51. I felt like I was climbing a mountain everyday. I was worried every day on my walk to a class that I would be thinking about my mother, family stress of her passing and circumstances beyond my control. I kept my head up and pushed through with each spin. I didn’t talk to too many people at Tandem, because it was personal why I was there. It was my own personal mountain to climb, but I had a silent tribe within them. At first I was afraid that the instructors would ask me something, but they didn’t and they never have, gratefully. I was afraid if they had I would just break down and cry. By the end of my first month I was hooked. Now going 4 to 5 times a week. I would walk out of the door by 6 weeks and look at the sign and think; “Did my mother put this place here for me?”; I’d actually would hear her laugh out loud and giggle; “Of course not”. By the second month I was attending 5 to 6 classes a week. Everyday I would state out loud; “I will move through this; I will not stop spinning again.”
Mourning a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. After my mother passed I have done a lot of healing work on myself and our relationship. She was the only foundation I ever truly had. There are so many phases to grieving a mother. Some circumstances more challenging than others. I was deprived of being with my mother’s belongings; my grandmother’s belongings; my baby pictures, my children’s baby pictures; the items that were personal to my mother; my family home and sanctuary (lake house) and I still am deprived of those things. It was as if she was entirely wiped away from me, my husband and our daughters. It was and has been the most challenging truma of my life and I have had a big heavy load, definitely not the normal load (hopefully you’ll read the book one day).
Closure is peculiar. We can find it in many ways. But the struggle is continuing to find the path to closure and renewal. Continuing to manifest growth and change. My life is in the healing world, every day I help people heal and move through obstacles. My mother would always say during any challenge in my life, “Don’t worry Sister, this will pass, and something will replace it”. I hated when she’d say that, because why can’t it just not be replaced, why can’t things go good forever? Maybe she is right, maybe she is not, but one thing is for sure; I will never stop searching for a way out, for a new path or continue to climb the mountain. The only option is the way forward; movement is the only way out.
By the end of month three of spinning, I felt my soul body connection strong and healthy, in a way I had been missing since my mother’s passing. It is now four months. I am at the point that I need to slow down spin and do something in conjunction with spin; I can feel my body searching for a new growth. This Mother’s Day I feel strong, powerful in my soul body connection. I can feel my mother’s energy rise up within me in great abundance. I will continue to move through this experience of grieving my mother as I don’t think it ever truly ends but spinning brought that intensity back to me. The resistance in spinning is in the climb. Climbing that mountain of mourning with real force and I am delighted with the process that spinning has taken in my life, again as it has served many purposes. It help me stop and be a better mother when I needed to. I helped me spend more time with my mother during her last year of life. And finally it helped me reach out of a traumatic experience.
And Tandem Cycle, Long Branch is the real deal. I have been to many gyms, in fact was a trainer and instructor when I was in my early 20’s. I’ve seen a lot of bullshit thrown around in gyms, yoga studios and health centers. Tandem is exactly what they say they are; “We ride in tandem, We ride together”. You don’t need to know the person next to you. You don’t need to share your life with them. You just ride with them. You can feel their energy, their souls but don’t need to know their stories.
The instructors are out the box fantastic! They all offer you a different ride. For four instructors whose class I attend the most, I have an element associated with each of their ride types. Nelson (Earth Ride) makes me feel so physically strong there is a grounding foundation to his ride like the strength of the earth; AK (Fire Ride) is a bad ass wild woman who I’d love to dance in ritual with; Eric (Water Ride) is the most amazing joy rider - I feel so frickin happy after his class - happy with life... happy with the universe, tons of fluidity in his ride; MaryClare (MC) (Air Ride) is my structured ride with grace and regel, I feel organized and prepared for life after her class. I am blessed they moved next door to me even if it was by chance. I have taken a personal ride with them and they didn’t know it - actually they didn’t need to but I’m so happy they did!
I am so looking forward to my Mother’s Day Ride! I am hoping to feel and sense her spirit with me in strength, love and joy. I was blessed with many years of a Mother who was a Sister and my dearest Friend. She is still on this ride with me, she’s just taken a different form.