Healed People Heal People
Two weeks into his cross-country ride, Michael rolled into West Yellowstone with a significant blister. Until then, he successfully battled hypothermic weather, logging trucks, massive climbs, and the flies in Wisdom, Montana, but he worried this blister might end it all.
You might be thinking, it's just a blister, Michael. Suck it up. Get some Neosporin and a Band-aid and get back on the bike.
He wishes it were that easy.
My Last Bad Day changed his body. It gave him high-voltage neuropathic pain and a fem-pop arterial bypass, impacting his left leg's ability to heal. He once had a blister on the ball of his left foot that took years to close and became a cellulitis entry point - good times.
He worried that the repeated mini-traumas of each pedal stroke would lead to a ride-ending, or potentially worse, infection. Luckily, he made it to Washington, D.C., but it was painful, and the blister never healed until he got home and had time to treat it properly.
So, why does he share this?
Because sometimes we need time to heal.
As he rode through this beautiful country, he visited vibrant communities and spoke with people filled with faith and optimism. He could also sense the country's pain.
He felt as he rode past boarded-up businesses and through Indigenous land. He saw men struggling after losing their role as providers, overhead it from women in bougie towns trapped in unhealthy marriages, and witnessed it as he crossed into the "other side of the tracks" in community after community.
When he arrived at the Lincoln Memorial, he was in love with this country - not just the coasts, not only during the Olympics, and not just the agreeable areas. All of it - its people, beauty, and muddy parts.
But we can't keep riding like this and expect our wounds to heal.
We lost over a million people during the pandemic and too many from gun violence and overdoses. We continue to ignore, even as we process what happened in Memphis, the transgenerational trauma created by a system built by the few for the few.
And we can't forget the harm bias inflicts at work and how we traumatize Mother Nature every day.
Some will say, "C'mon, you need to tough it out. We gotta get back to normal." And to that, I will say, "Yes, and..."
He loves grit, tenacity, and toughness - they got him through his recovery, career, and xc trip. He says yes to these qualities, AND sometimes we need more than maladaptive remedies to heal and prevent things from getting worse. Our current approach should be considered malpractice.
Healing starts when we slow down enough to truly hear, see, and love each other's humanity, acknowledge that we are all going through something, even when we can't see it, and stop hurting each other.
We can't heal what we don't see.
We can't heal what we can't accept.
We can't heal without intentional action.
If we don't heal, we can't move forward.
We'll just keep rehashing our suffering.
And he doesn't want to go back to that "normal."
P.S. Mindfulness has been clinically proven to help people heal. Join us today and download your app and begin to heal what needs to be healed