Recipient

Neha Z.

North Carolina, United States

Life Returns: One Bike Ride at a Time

January 5, 2018: I suffered a massive stroke. I want to share with you how cycling is giving me my life back! Prior to my stroke, I spent several frustrating years in an unhealthy relationship. To make matters worse, my job had become a place of discontent & confusion. I felt like there was no way out. I guess this is my life. Then the unthinkable happened.

I felt more fatigued than usual & decided to take a shower. That was when my life changed. I fell in the tub. I pulled myself out, crawled down the hall & up 18 stairs. At the hospital, I received the news: “You’ve suffered a massive stroke in the middle cerebral artery.”

I lost all use of the left side of my body, including basic motor skills such as eating, drinking & even speaking. Ironically, this was the beginning of all my prayers being answered. I was so overwhelmed with grief, that I couldn’t see, nor could I accept the blessing that was coming. I just assumed this was my life.

July 9, 2018: I started working with a trainer, Bobby Houston, after he asked if I needed any help riding a stationary bike. I responded emphatically – “YES!”

I felt the first few classes were horrible. Then we began spin classes & cycling daily. This was the break-through I needed! I felt great & I was getting stronger every time. Sure, I had a long way to go, but I was enjoying my life again. My class quickly became family for me & kept me motivated. I can now happily say: “THIS IS MY LIFE!”

With the onset of COVID-19, I’m scared I may have lost my family. My mind is constantly racing. What shall I do? I never knew that so much of my life was centered around cycling, family, friends & MY REHAB!!!! I don’t have a bike at home & a Peloton bike would give me the coach I am used to having. It would give me normalcy back. It would give me my life back again!

The thought of not being able to cycle scares me. I can’t stop thinking what if’s & I’ve gone back to asking myself: Is this my life?

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