A different kind of therapy

I rode my bike this morning.  I fucking hate my bike.*  The plan was to ride 40 miles with this training group my dad’s a part of, all through neighborhoods and on roads where I’ve ridden before.  They (Dad and Doug) told me it would be easy.  They were, as usual, full of crap.

The part about the course being familiar was true enough, but that didn’t make it easy.  It really only meant I knew when we were approaching the biggest hills and scariest intersections, and could build my dread and resentment accordingly.  And it was more like several, smaller familiar courses lumped together – it wasn’t 40 miles, it was 45.  (My goal is to be at 55 by May.  I have time.)  And my riding partner Amanda wasn’t there to gossip with me and distract me from the pain in my legs.  And I fell behind and got lost a few times, even though I knew I wasn’t facing any hills or roads I hadn’t handled before, which was, to say the least, demoralizing.  And, obviously, I was already having a bad week.

During our sessions, my therapist likes to try to get me to have these mini psychotic breaks in her office, since we’re in a safe environment.  It’s the bioenergetic thing.  She wants me to punch the couch, or stamp my feet, or yell, “I hate this!”  I usually just giggle and tell her how silly that would feel since, at that moment, I don’t really feel like hitting or stamping or yelling anything. 

No no, apparently, I’d much rather have my breakdowns in public.

So today, on my bike, I cried.  I yelled.  I cursed.  I completely ignored a more experienced rider when she came up behind me and tried to give me advice.  I yelled, “I hate this!”  I called Doug an asshole – twice, he claims, though I don’t remember either time.  What I do remember is thinking about getting off my bike and throwing it off an overpass, or falling down on purpose – anything so that I wouldn’t have to ride anymore.**

I always marvel at those therapy patients who have to psych themselves up while sitting in the waiting room.  Like they know what they’re about to do is going to be very uncomfortable – painful, even – but that maybe it will benefit them in the end.  I, on the other hand, love going to therapy, because I love talking about myself.  But my bike seems to elicit the bioenergetic responses that I’m too composed to give while in my therapist’s office.  So maybe that’s why, even though I know it’s going to be very uncomfortable – painful, even – I keep agreeing to go on these stupid rides.  Maybe it will benefit me in the end, and not just physically.

When we got to about the 30-mile mark, I decided I’d had enough.  I felt like my gears weren’t catching tightly enough, although I later admitted that the problem was probably only about 20% mechanical, 80% human.  (“Always blame the bike,” one of my dad’s friends insisted.)  So Doug told the group that he and I were going to cut out the last loop and head back to the cars, turning the 45 miles into 35.

“Wait.  You’re cutting it short?” one woman asked.  “Can I come with you?”

By the time we got to the intersection where we were to part ways, six of the eight riders in our relatively-beginning-level group had decided to come with us.  So maybe I hadn’t been the only one suffering out there; maybe I’d just been the only one suffering openly, the only one getting the therapeutic benefits of yelling.

On our way home, Doug and I stopped to get chocolate milkshakes.  And after my shower, I put on a t-shirt with a picture of a bike on it, to remind myself that, even though cycling hurts and often makes me miserable, you know, I’ll be back.

*Actually, it’s more of a love-hate.  But today, just hate.

**Yes, these destroy-the-bike thoughts are typical when I’m tired and frustrated on a ride.  No, I would never actually destroy the bike.  Because then what would I do Wednesday mornings?

This entry was posted in family, perspective, present, therapy. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A different kind of therapy

  1. Nicole says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I use to go backpacking and hiking under extreme conditions and hated my life the whole time…..oh the things we do for love. p.s. i love my feathers too….that didn’t get to me it was something else, not the Pocahontas jokes 🙂 I’m a tough cookie…years with brothers and crappy boyfriends helped.

  2. Amanda says:

    Awe, I wish you would have come with me to get shellac’d 😦 did you ride in the same group as last time with the same people?

    • Marie says:

      Same leaders. Not really the same people. But a lot more hills, and I was hurting. And already all pissy. It would’ve been so much better if you were there so we could ride abreast and get yelled at 😉

      No shellac. But let me know how you like it/how long it actually lasts. And are you coming with me & Carrie next weekend?

  3. Dawn says:

    I think it’s pretty kick ass that you can ride for 35 miles! Thanks again for tonight! Xo

  4. Kira says:

    I fall apart the most in the shower… but water has always been really therapeutic for me. I give you mad props for cycling that far and for knowing you will be back. I feel good if I just go and walk for an hour a day! Maybe if I had a bike I would cycle… but it’s a pretty important item to have in order to cycle.

    I myself tend to like therapy to. (I’m sure it’s that whole “talking about myself” part that I find appealing as well) Although I stubbornly refused to go when I had my miscarriage. It’s great that it sounds like you have numerous outlets for working through your emotions.

  5. slcurwin says:

    We all like talking about ourselves, lol, that’s why we have blogs. 😉

    And I had to go back for a chocolate shake again the other day. We’re feeding off each other here it seems. Keep up the theraputic yelling, you KNOW I’m a big fan of it!

  6. Pingback: Tantrum Mode | Bakery Closed Until Further Notice

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