The speed at which my dad’s legs were flying seemed to defy any human ability I ever thought possible. I could see the intensity and concentration building in his face as I watched him try to win the race that only existed in his head. I smiled to myself thinking, “Dad, this is only a spin class! Who are you trying to beat?” As I listened to the infectious beats of the loud music playing around me my heart raced as I too pushed myself to peddle faster and faster.
The first spin class I ever went to with my dad will always be a cherished memory for me. Not only because I got to witness one of the most competitive bikers up close, but I also got to see, as an adult, the love my dad truly felt for me.
When we arrived to the spin class earlier that day, my dad eagerly took me around to meet all of his many gym buddies. I was taken back by the light that seemed to shine threw him as he proudly introduced me as his daughter. It reminded me so much of the way Robbie looked the first time he held Emilie in his arms after she was born. I knew my dad loved me, but this was the first time as an adult I realized how much I truly meant to him and that he was glad I was his daughter.
Spinning has since turned into a true love of mine and Robbie as well. It is something we love to do together. After my dad passed away in September, it became a real challenge for me to want to go back. Everything about exercising reminded me of my dad and it was just too painful to get back into it. By December I had finally began to consistently spin again. But, after the shooting at Emilie’s school, my drive for exercise hit an all time low. The motivation to workout seemed impossible to find.
Last week, Robbie encouraged me to finally go back to the gym and back to my old spinning class. I agreed, but due to a series of unexpected delays, we arrived too late to get into the last spin class of the morning. Refusing to give up Robbie came up with the idea of just having our own spin class together as soon as the last class was over. I knew working out without music wouldn’t have the same effect, but I nodded my head, trying to feel the same determination as my sweet husband. But inside I was desperately trying to hold in all the emotion I could already feel trying to spill out from inside of me. We waited a short while for the class to finish and after the last person had filed out of the room we finally began our ride.
I tried to hold it all in. I did. But after only a few short minutes into our workout, I bursted into tears. I looked over at Robbie and could see the tears that had already been silently streaming down his own face. I laid my head down on the handle bars and openly sobbed.
It wasn’t until she walked right passed me that I had realized the instructor of the last class had come back into the room. I sat up and quickly tried to compose myself, keeping my eyes on the floor. Without a word she walked up to the front of the classroom and opened the door where the sound system was kept. She spun her finger around her ipod till she found what she was looking for. Moments later music filled the room. We watched her collect the rest of her belonging and slowly walk toward us. She told us that she would be working at the front desk if we needed anything else and she left.
The music that played for me that day helped me get through a great workout. The compassion that was shown strengthened much more. It strengthened my heart.