Today I’m so pissed. On a normal morning of a day like today, I would have just gotten back from my bike ride.
Now I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to bike again, nevermind if I will want to.
Biking was such an important daily habit for me, a coping mechanism during the pandemic. And by now, I’d have biked at least 650 miles this year.
Instead I’m sitting here in a hospital bed, my only experience with the outdoors when someone opens the back door for me to get fresh air. My view static – never moving, never changing. Just the color of the sliver of sky that I see a reminder of the passing of time.
Biking is a symbol of independence & escape for me. When I was a kid, my household was often not calm or peaceful. I suspect my mom’s evening walks were probably an important escape for her, even if I had no idea at the time. When she was “too slow,” I would grab my bike instead, a cute pink number with a white seat and basket. I’d churn it up the hills so I could race & coast down, wind in my hair. I felt like I was flying. And I was free of cares. I think that’s what I was trying to recreate through biking during the pandemic.
And to a large degree, I succeeded.
Grabbing my bike whenever I wished, I could ride for miles. Miles & miles farther than I could walk. Miles & miles further than I thought I could ride. I thought I could outrun my stress, my fears & pandemic anger.
Now, I’m stuck. Immobilized. Dependent on my husband to wheel me anywhere. Stuck in the house.
Sometimes I listen to my biking playlist and so I can close my eyes & pretend I’m outside on my bike. Except I know I’m in my hospital bed. Breathing the same indoor air. And when I open my eyes, I’m so sad.