I couldn’t tell what hurt more, my body or my pride. I love biking in the city. I love the feeling of freedom. I love feeling strong and good about myself. Tonight, I felt the opposite, as I tried to avoid hitting a delivery guy on a bike who moved in a way that I was not expecting. Flying down the hill turned into flying onto the pavement of the NYC roads.
I walked into the door of my apartment, and emotionally crashed. My body had pains, and I found myself feeling angry and wounded that I couldn’t avert the crash. I found myself upset that I hadn’t figured out a way to maneuver differently. I found myself acutely aware that my body would most likely feel worse in the morning.
This past weekend, I biked 42 miles over hilly roads, challenging my thighs and butt to push on as they burned with every pump. On that trip, I had a good amount of time to think, as I there were many moments that I had the road to myself. My mind traveled to various thoughts, but one that I found myself sitting with quite a bit, were words spoken by a yoga teacher of mine many years ago. We were in a pose, and she asked us to listen to our body, and look to see if there were any muscles that were unnecessarily tight. I find my jaw is often a place where I am tense with no need; tightening my jaw will in no way help my legs hold me more strongly. When I notice this, it is a time to release my muscles, and let relaxation settle in. The teacher prompted: “what are you holding on to that you can let go of?”
I’ve held that nugget of wisdom with me ever since I’ve heard it. How often in life do I hold on to things that I can let go of?
Today, as I was sitting in a presentation, the leader commented, when we are going more slowly than we want to, it’s more effective to let go of the parachute than to try running harder. Again this resonated. How can I begin to clip the strings of my emotional parachute?
I think about my fall today. Yes, there was physical pain. But was I making the situation worse by piling judgment on top of that? Can I let go of my thoughts that it was my fault? And when I wake up tomorrow, sore and bruised, can I remember that with these moments of discomfort came moments of freedom?
As I Googled various terms looking for ways to minimize any possible pains that are coming my way, I repeatedly saw the phrase: “everybody falls.” Yes, everybody falls. Everybody takes steps backwards. Everybody feels pain and soreness. We are the ones controlling how we take our next steps forward. And I begin to let go of the blame. And I begin to let go of the anger. And I begin to settle into my body. I begin to loosen that parachute.