Some of us don’t turn up every Wednesday as “warriors.” We want to, but life gets in the way. Bad things, good things. Things. So we have to muster the drive and the spirit to “bring it.” Last Tuesday, I had a really rough day (that’s kind of an understatement). It was the worse #$%ing day on record and I wasn’t sure how I would welcome Wednesday! But somehow on Wednesday, in an unexpected turn of events, everything changed. And not to (continue to) overdramatize, but what I thought was an insurmountable challenge, was eliminated in an instant, making everything better. I had been through every conceivable emotion in 24 hours and by the time I arrived at class on Wednesday night, I had settled on grateful. I planned to get on my bike and use the hour to count my blessings, and remind myself that it is the warrior in me that can affect great change.
I had completely forgotten that class on this night, would be taught silently.
“Take a half day to be silent, I highly recommend,” read the sign she held above her head as we kicked it into double-time during the first song of the night. This was Laurie Cole’s Rx for the two classes she taught in silence on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Laurie had just had a procedure on her vocal chords that rendered her voiceless, so as she reminded us with another sign, she’d always been there for us, it was now our opportunity to be there for her. She couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate group in which to call to action. This was Soul Warrior.
We all turned up with “things.” There were those of us fueled by gratitude, those fueled by worry, some by pure joy, some by loss, some just by things. Just your average Wednesday. But as a group, we knew what was being asked of us. We read the sign, checked all the bad stuff at the door and we spread only the good stuff evenly about the room, so all of us were left simply fueled. Our fearless, voiceless leader started the music and held up sign after sign encouraging us to take risks and to push beyond our limits. There would be no stern reminders to “check your form,” or “your baggage”, “to tighten your glutes,” “relax your shoulders,” “see if your abs are taut to the touch” or “eliminate the bounce.” The “mouth that roared” was on lockdown! It was all on us. But she taught us well and she knew it. We knew it. Though Laurie did not speak, each of us could hear her voice. We counted in unison, and we were so synchronized in rhythmn and breath, even our spontaneous outbursts seemed perfectly timed! And it was a beautiful and powerful ride. The kind you’d bottle if you could.
I had been looking all day for a way to way to show my gratitude
for my recent blessings, so I was downright elated when Laurie held up another sign that read: “ADD GENEROSITY TO YOUR RIDE,” and then let me know I was up next to ride her bike. Here was my opportunity to pay it forward. As I pedaled and pumped my fists to Moves Like Jagger, I gave back and it felt amazing. And I got as good as I gave, as the last sign reminded us to “GIVE LOVE TO GET LOVE.” Oh, we did.
I was extremely grateful for the tribe I ride with every week and thrilled I could be such a benevolent rider thanks to my fellow warriors and an instructor who, even in silence, has a most powerful voice.
K A T H Y G O R D O N