September 29, 2023


I have long cycled. I have a beautiful, vintage blue Bianchi road bike that I’ve ridden for years. Never one to ride alone, my cycling partner (and the person who first got me into cycling) was my former business partner and mentor, Sam. We’ve cycled many miles together across our city. We’ve discussed all manner of topics, from business, to children, marriage, and scripture. He listened to me bitch, wonder, and celebrate on my bike. He coached my form, and built my endurance – for the bike, and for life. He advised me, listened to me, and sometimes just rode with me. He and our bikes were an anchor for me, keeping my wheels turning, as well as my feet on the ground.

Towards the end of the pandemic, Sam retired from our business, and road cycling. I miss him. He may – or may not – miss me as he galavants around the USA with his lovely wife, Gretta, fully embracing retirement! All of this is to say, when I lost my road cycling buddy at the opening of the pandemic, I lost an important anchor in my life. And I still feel that loss.

Mentors. Close friends. Routines. Family. We all need anchors. Things that tether us to each other, of course. But not just for the sake of tethering each of us to a community (although that is important, but that’s next week’s blog). Anchors tether us to ourselves. These are the people and things that remind us of who we are – strong ties to people, places, and spaces where we are free to be vulnerable, honest, open, and most completely ourselves.

When sabbatical arrived on the heels of the pandemic, I’d already been separated from my closest anchors. And I was playing fast and loose with routines because . . . what even is a routine during a global pandemic? I remember floundering in my counselor’s office when he offered me an observation: You need a routine. And write! Write anything.

Wise words from one who knows me.

We need each other in order to know ourselves. It is true. We are not the sole narrator of our stories. And thank God for that. Because during sabbatical (and even now to some degree) I would narrate a story about failure, inaction, unproductiveness. But it’s my anchors who told me a different story, kept my feet on the ground, and the wheels turning (even if slowly):

“Rest,” she said.
“Write anything,” he declared.
“You’re good at this,” he whispered in my ear.
“Want to come write with me?” she inquired.
“Get on your bike,” she reminded me.

I have long cycled. But never alone, my anchors remind me.