The same sort of sky that would have sent me inside before. When I scared more easily. When I was less sure of myself. When a drop of rain was enough to keep me indoors all day. But not Sunday. Not those sprinkles. I kept going, pumping my bike up hills and down them and around corners and it felt good and freeing.
And then, the sky opened and within seconds, I was drenched. As if I had jumped, fully clothed, into a swimming pool. My black running pants were even clingier than in their natural state, and my blue t-shirt was a dark shade of navy. My shoes were soaked, my hair was hanging and my eyes were stinging from a mix of sweat and rain. But I kept riding and it felt good and genuine and like I was a part of the very thread of our being. About a mile from home, my wet breaks stopped working properly and the puddles on the street got deeper. And so, I kept my head down – to shield my eyes from the downpour and to watch the street more carefully for pot holes and places that could send me off my bike and into an injured mess.
I got home and turned on the news. There was a tornado in Missouri, not far from where I had been riding. It probably spawned from the same clouds I was riding under. Probably. And for the first time in my life, news like that didn’t freak me out or send me into a worried state of panic. Instead, I felt stronger and alive and just a little bit hard core.
Like I had survived something bigger than myself. Like I had been a part of something that was intentionally orchestrated to make me stronger.