Where do I begin?
I haven't even known you for a whole year and yet you've already changed my life. And continue to. Every single day.
Last summer, I treated myself to a new pair of gym shoes. Who would have thought that shortly thereafter I'd quit my gym membership and trade those in for cycling shoes. The sneakers are yellow and gray. I guess it was a sign.
It took a lot of coercing to get me to that first class. I can't lie, those first few rides were tough. It was a struggle to stay on that bike, to get those hand weights up in the air. I hated myself for not being strong enough to get through the class with the ease and grace that the riders around me exuded. It would have been very easy to say "forget it" and walk away. Thank God I didn't. I love a challenge.
Once every few weeks turned into once a week, once a week turned into twice a week, and I now ride three times a week. I actually wish I could go more. On days that I don't ride, I miss it.
I used to sit in the back corner of the class. I didn't want to be noticed, or worse, an instructor to turn up the resistance on my bike. I felt safe back there. By chance, I ended up in the second row a few months into riding and couldn't believe how different the experience was. I felt a part of the group, and I loved it. I haven't sat in the back since. Now I sit right in front.
I used to struggle with the one pound hand weights. I now use the two pounds and can do the whole song without putting my arms down.
I used to think I would never get the choreography down. It's still a challenge sometimes, but I have mastered the tap backs and the push ups. In fact, one of my favorite parts about taking Ben T.'s class is when he says, "Tap back, push up, don't f*** it up!" Because I know I won't!
I used to only ride in the evenings. Now I gladly wake up at 5 in the morning for class. It's an amazing way to start my day.
You have no idea how happy I was to receive the Rooster shirt from you. I wanted one so badly and worked hard for it. It is my badge of honor and I wear it all the time. I have the note you wrote me hanging above my vanity. It is a reminder that if I set my mind to something, I can do it.
I've shared the experience with people I love, like my sister and my dear friends. They have all come to love it too, just like I knew they would.
So you see, this isn't just a love letter, it's also a thank you note. Thank you for so many things. For allowing me to prove to myself that I CAN do it. That I am a renegade, a warrior, a rockstar. Thank you for the continued encouragement, coming in the form of sweet tweets, shout outs during class, and so much more. I cannot put into words how unbelievably satisfying it is to hear an instructor yell, "YES, TEDDI!" during a sprint. I never thought I'd see the day. Thank you for reminding me to believe in myself, and thank you for believing in me too.
I have said it before and I will surely say it many times again: you have TRULY changed my life. And I love you. All of you.
Determination. Inspiration. Celebration. DONE.
Love, love, love,