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Rise Up

Wow, 2022 has been off to a crazy start! I spent the first week recovering from the aftermath of having COVID at Christmas, but am happy to report life seems to be getting back to "normal", or the new normal anyways.

As many of you know, I recently graduated college, moved to a new city, and then went home for Christmas. After I moved, I pretty much went home, so the fact I moved away from all my friends and into my own place away from family as well had not fully sunk in.... until I cam back here the first week of 2022.

I did not realize how much I relied on the fact my college friends were as bored as I was when I was at school so they were always willing to hang out and go on new adventures. I also know that once my classes start next week I will make new friends, but until then, life has kind of been a struggle and lonely lately.

In the last few weeks of 2021, I decided that in 2022 I was going to take back my life. I was going to get back the confidence I once had and really want to work on myself this next year. When I got back to Knoxville, there was an ad for Cycle Bar saying that your first class is free. Therefore, I went just to give it a try. I figured it would help me get into a routine of working out if I like it, it would give me something to do to get out of my room, it could help me make new friends, and it is something I have always wanted to try.

After my free class, I was hooked. I got a membership and signed up for another class Wednesday morning (my first class was Monday.) What I did not know is that cycling to the beat of a song while an instructor is encouraging you to push yourself could be so emotional. On Wednesday morning I went into my class trying not to think of the doctors appointment I had later that day. I went in reminding myself that this is how I get control of my life again. For the next 45 minutes, I don't have a chronic illness. For the next 45 minutes, I don't have a doctors appointment later. For the next 45 minutes I am going to push myself to be a better me.

I went in all hyped up. Then about half way through, the instructor turns on "Rise Up" by Andra Day. If you know this song, you know the lyrics alone are super powerful and emotional. Well, I'm listening to the song, pedaling to the music.... when my instructor starts giving us a pep talk. She is talking about how she is proud of all of us for showing up. She is proud of us for pushing ourselves and that for the second half of the class, whatever lies outside those doors waiting for us don't matter. Then she literally says my 2022 goal. "Let's ride with confidence. You are all amazing and beautiful." She kept talking, but I honestly don't know what she said because I was pedaling and in my own head hyping myself up.

"Crohns has nothing on me"

"Psoriasis has nothing on me"

"PCOS has nothing on me"

"I am in control of my life"

"I am confident in my own skin"

"2022 is the year I show up for myself"

"2022 is the year where nothing is going to tear me down"

I didn't know pedaling to one song could make you so emotional. However, I had to sit back in the saddle and slowly go to the next song to catch my breath, because I was almost in tears. Tears because for the first time since I got a diagnosis, I'm in a really good place. For the first time since a diagnosis, I feel like I may actually be able to take back control of my life. I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for all of us.

Happy New Year y'all!

Yours truly,


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