You're right.

If you think you can, or you think you can’t...you’re right.
— Tracy Palmer, YAS Fitness

Today, it has been something like 17 months since Aaron died. 17 months since my whole world stopped spinning, and it was up to me to dig my shoulder in and push it back into motion.

Until Aaron was sick, my life was perfect. I didn't know it at the time, and had low-grade depression and anxiety my entire perfect life, but it was perfect. My family was healthy. My parents loved one another. I grew up comfortably despite the fact that I looked like a brontosaurus/a more awkward Macauley Culkin for 30% of my life. 

Things like cancer and death and disaster were always things that happened to other people, until they happened to us. 

I did not know, when I was laying with Aaron to soak up every bit of heat from his dead body, that things would be okay. He always said they would be, we wrote it on his prayer card, it was our family motto. But right then, and for many months after, it felt like a foolish thing to say. 

Things are going to be okay, I suppose. But they will never be the same, and neither will I. Life's events are supposed to change you. You are not in control. Hard things happen to everybody, and we do not get to choose the hard thing we are dealt. 

Our Still Kickin workouts are always humbling. I always hated when people said that, because what does it even mean, it sounds like something dumb famous people say when they want to sound folksy. But it reminds me of Aaron's suffering, and Aaron's death, and how, when we were in total freefall, strangers showed up to catch us.

Aaron was beautifully, vibrantly alive.

Until his body stopped cooperating, he played soccer, he ran, he appreciated his health in whatever state it was. And when he couldn't run anymore, I did it for him. He taught me how to love my body. Not for what it looks like (although damnnnnnn you do enough Barre and you're liable to start loving your butt), but for the absolute privilege of being alive and healthy. A few days before he died, our friend Jana and her gym, The Firm, organized a donation-based cycle class. And the room was filled with friends and strangers who showed up for us, who chose to do something hard, to spend their time and energy and money on us. 

I never forgot that feeling, and I get to re-live it every month, when we do the same thing for our Still Kickin Heroes.

Today's class was our first in LA. A sold-out session at the very cool and very challenging YAS Silverlake, taught by a dear friend who exudes love and energy. We rode and yoga'd for a little girl who celebrated her first birthday with a round of chemo, and the room was filled with strangers who showed up for her like other people showed up for us. 

Tracy tossed out that opening quote like it was nothing, and it has stuck inside my brain because 17 months ago, I was so unsure. I wasn't dreaming about writing a book, or starting a non-profit. I couldn't have imagined that a year and a half later, I'd be sitting on a friend's couch in LA, writing a blog post with my sweat still dried to my forehead.

But somewhere along the way, I thought I could. And I was right.

 

 

 

 

Nora McInerny2 Comments