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The first week of September is its own kind of New Years Day. On the East Coast, if you're lucky, the weather starts feeling like it has a secret it wants to tell. The air's sucked dry. Wind picks up. Central Park and the Farmers' Markets are still in full bloom, flush with morning glories, sunflowers, the juiciest heirloom tomatoes and figs almost bursting through papery-thin skin. Somehow a morning glory seed got mixed up in my rogue fire escape vegetable garden and it must be growing a foot a day, twisting around every metal line it can reach, popping off iridescent purple fireworks from dawn to noon. Another month of sun-soaking, fewest possible layers between skin and sand, grass, soil, sky. 

But the soft closing of summer. After a stressed run to the post office before it closed Saturday, I found myself standing across the street from the Urgent Care on Broadway, where I ended up right after crashing my bike exactly 14 weeks earlier, on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. I sat down on a park bench to try to come to terms. I let my body remember the feeling of pain that was deeper than any I'd felt, radiating from my shoulder and hip. The way my body was tightening around these joints, the whole right side shutting down. Trying to stop shivering for the x-ray. The knot pulled tight between my heart and my stomach when the doctor walked in and said "ruptured ligaments." Ruptured. Ligaments—plural. And then directions to the ER. Career, racing dreams, training plans, possibly ruptured too.

I'm not 100% yet. But every morning I can roll over on my right side or reach to shut off the alarm with something that feels more like post-workout soreness than a hot stab is a reminder of how far I've come. The body wants to heal. Still a small, dull flame of pain. But 8 push-ups this morning. Real ones. Working my way all the way down to the floor. More of a downward dog each week. Most importantly, bear hugs.

And the bike. I missed my Peloton something fierce. Thank you for riding harder and harder, and with more heart these last few weeks. If you're just getting back to the bike after a summer of training outside, here are some of my recent favorite rides. Catch them On-Demand!

7/16 – Warrior Hour

8/1 – Rockstar Ride

8/16 – Summer of '69 Ride

8/17 – 20min Seated Intervals

8/17 – 5:30 Metrics

8/16 - Victory PR Ride

8/23 – Orchestral Rave

8/23 – 20min Beginner

8.26 – 12:45 Metrics

So much to come this season. Let's sweat our way into full attention, overflowing gratitude, this fall. Still healing. Still messy. More curious about the ways we can be knit (back) together. All in. 

Nicole MelineComment