I pedaled hard in spin class yesterday.
I'd forgotten my hair tie, so my hair hung loosely and hot over my sweating neck as we pushed our butts off the bike saddle and added resistance, making my legs feel like they were pushing through quickly-drying glue. I tried to keep my breaths going, slow and steady, long and deep, controlled, as we headed for a mountain that we have to imagine in our heads, reaching for a finish line that comes when the instructor tells us.
I thought about how my neck and arms and hair were drenched with sweat, but not with sweat and blood. I thought about how a finish line you can't see is nothing compared to the finish line you can see, or the people you can see coming towards the finish line, people that you love, that you want to celebrate. I thought about the communal feeling of this class that I so appreciate, and what it must be like to finish a 26-mile race with folks from all over the country, whose names and histories you know nothing about, and how it doesn't matter, how that sweat and hard work make you one in the moment.
I thought about all of that as I pedaled, trying to keep in rhythm with the song pounding through the speakers, pounding in my heart, missing a child that I will never meet, the toothy grin and bright eyes shining in my memory from breaking news photos and this never should have happened never ever.
He lives in you,
He lives in me!
He watches over
Everything we see.
Into the water,
Into the truth,
In your reflection,
He lives in you!*
I closed my eyes and pedaled harder.
[A gorgeous song from The Lion King 2. Watch here.]