“You are a seed that has just been stuck into the dirt, alone and scared because you have no idea what is really inside of you; with sun, water, and consistent love you are about to find out.” I wrote this to myself when I was in your place only 371 days ago. We were asked to write a letter to our future selves at the Sacred Cycle kick-off event, about why we were there, and what we wanted to get out of the program. Now, I am writing this letter to you as a celebration of my Sacred Cycle anniversary and to celebrate the beauty of being in the dirt while learning healthy ways to grow.
Let today be a celebration for showing up. You have decided to show up for yourself in a big way, a non-traditional way with Sacred Cycle. The idea of combining mountain biking and healing sexual trauma has piqued your curiosity. This is a sacred curiosity, a precious feeling of hope that things in your life can be better; that they can be different. Now, here you are, at this moment. Breathe it in, even just for a single second. You have done something courageous. It is brave to step into a space of strangers to begin a journey of healing. You might already have a community of people who know what you have endured or maybe you have never shared this painful part of yourself with anyone. You might feel flooded with emotions and wondering if you belong here. Maybe you question if you even deserve to be here. We believe that you belong here. We believe that you deserve to be here.
“Sacred Cycle gave me hope – hope that was a parachute. This hope has held me, guided me, and supported me through the lonely darkness of falling and towards the beautiful possibility of flying.”
When I think back to the beginning of my experience, I remember what it was like to step into Sacred Cycle for the first time. It was raining. I remember the rain because it brought me so much relief. I felt a release of heaviness in my life, permission and inspiration from nature to let go. Mostly, I was relieved it was raining because it meant we would not be riding our bikes. To be honest, my fear of biking was almost a welcome distraction compared to my fear of addressing my trauma. I did not come into Sacred Cycle knowing how to mountain bike, and at first, it was hard for me to overcome that fear. I walked into this as someone who was terrified by the vulnerability it would take to learn to ride within a group of people. That was part of my curiosity, because I knew it would challenge me to grow. It was daring for me, such a big jump, I knew it had to offer me something different. I had been in traditional therapy for years, trying medications, dabbling in mindfulness, and frustrated that nothing seemed to move me towards a path of healing. I was terrified to take risks or to let other people see me struggle. I was intensely wary of all people and felt trapped by a life that was consumed with symptoms of PTSD. I was isolated by the weight of shame and secrecy; perhaps at the peak of loneliness. Sacred Cycle gave me hope – hope that was a parachute. This hope has held me, guided me, and supported me through the lonely darkness of falling and towards the beautiful possibility of flying.
Know that you are not alone. Lean into the Sacred Cycle community because we have your back. Trust that it is worth the time and commitment to repeatedly show up for yourself. It is worth the investment of your energy. It is worth the risk of sharing vulnerability, meeting new people, and expanding your community. It is worth the risk of trying mountain biking for the first time or deepening your love for the sport. This experience can feel like a lot sometimes, and the steps it takes to heal are not easy, but it is worth it. Personally, I have found so much love and joy for mountain biking as a way to express my lifelong journey of healing. Fear has grown into empowerment and my mountain bike has become one of the most important tools to maintain my mental health. As a group, we have become friends with a deep sense of compassion for one another – on and off the trails. We continue to show up for one another. Collectively, we have created something so special it can only be described as sacred.
Sacred Cycle has given me so many reasons to celebrate within the past year, and that includes today. Remember that today, no matter how difficult, is a celebration for showing up and for finding hope. Hope has guts and so do you.
From a fellow survivor and a future friend,