52.6 miles


Because she woke with a big, deep breath in her lungs. Because it was 70 degrees and counting. Because it was Sunday. Because she was free to do what she pleased. Because the cinnamon bread had girded her. Because it was time. Because this is what the bike was for. Because the house suggested departure. Because she had slept well. Because the deadlines were minimal. Because the fitness class has prepared her. Because the memory of the lover was loosening its grip. Because she loved the smell of sunscreen. Because the day was that much longer. Because every climb was followed by coasting. Because happiness was a malleable thing. Because she was not lost. Because there was one pair of clean socks left. Because the bananas had ripened overnight. Because it was just for her. Because of the echo of good news. Because of February and gratitude. Because she had worked so hard. Because she was willing and able. Because nothing could stop her.

At the top, she marveled at her legs, how reliably they had carried her, how steadily they kept their pace, how surely they carried out their purpose. And she knew she would never doubt herself again.