When a Peloton Ride Made Me Cry: Emotional Releases and Why They Are a Must
By Jacqueline Guevara | Jan 27, 2021
Ok, I know what you’re thinking… I promise I’m not trying to get you to buy a Peloton nor is this a review of the bike. I just happen to be a Latina therapist who has one and gets most of my exercise from it. As a therapist, I encourage overall wellness, including physical exercise to help during one’s mental health journey. During 2020, the need for mental health services and wellness improvement skyrocketed. Not only was I booked in my private practice, but my colleagues were barely keeping their heads above water with the number of referrals they were receiving while still seeing already established clients.
As mental health professionals, we are built from our own experiences and trained to deal with some of the most difficult situations. But yeah… can’t say I took a “How to Provide Mental Health Services during a Pandemic 101” course in my social work program. As change agents and healers, our clients look to us for a safe space to heal, grow and matter. What I heard and experienced myself was a surge of overwhelming and immense pain, not only from dealing with a pandemic but from the horrors and devastation of social injustices thrown in our faces on a daily…George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Andres Guardado, and many more.
Time after time I would listen to colleagues, clients, family, and friends describe how scared and broken they felt because the person that was hurt or killed, looked just like them. I did the best I could and showed up for those that needed me, especially within my professionalrelationships. One evening after various private practice appointments, I found myself exhausted BUT… wanted to get a workout in. I decided to take a 20 minute Latin Ride by Robin Arzon and you couldn’t tell me anything! I was riding, singing and dancing. I was letting it allout! Then came a moment in the ride where Robin said, “it’s about our legacy, let’s make our ancestors proud”. I heard that and I was no longer singing or dancing, I was crying….filled with rage…I began to scream. Now you probably thought I lost it but the truth is….I needed this release.
I had been in therapist mode way too long and on high alert in all areas of my life. I hadn’t had a moment to just be. When it was all said and done, I felt liberated by my cathartic experience. I felt empowered and had a renewed sense of purpose as well as a powerful reminder of who I do all this for.
I challenge mental health stigma and fight against social injustice for my family, my friends, my community, for those who are no longer with us. And to live up to what my ancestors passed on to me. That, I hold in my veins and being, the trauma and strength of my ancestors….that I fight and process and rest because at one point they couldn’t.
This is why we need emotional releases. We can get so caught up in surviving or living that we forget the importance of crying, screaming, sitting with and processing heavy emotions and healing pain the brain and body are holding…..a moment to just be; no judgment, no problem solving, no analyzing, no toxic positivity…just sitting in stillness and the present. This is how you use rest as resistance, this is how you acknowledge and tend to you and what you are feeling. You appreciate it all, the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad, the happy. You remind yourself that you are human and you matter and that all you feel is valid. You will always be the expert of you! So, pay attention and listen closely to what you need to be okay. And if you are NOT okay, that is fine! What do you need to help you thrive while not being okay?
It’s important to do what you need to! Be sure to have these emotional releases, hit the reset button, and replenish your depleted energy and spirit. So repeat after me, “I will listen to me and do what I need”. Now hop on that Peloton, go for a run, talk to that friend, scream into the wind… whatever it takes to let it all out! Just know I see you, I hear you and am in awe of your purpose. Believe in you, because I sure as heck do.
About Dr. Jacqueline Guevara
Dr. Jacqueline Guevara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia and proud daughter of immigrant parents from El Salvador and Guatemala. Born and raised in Washington DC, she has always had a tremendous passion for serving her community and fighting against mental health stigma in marginalized communities. Dr. Guevara’s 10 year social work experience includes community mental health, child welfare, and school social work. She currently owns a private practice and specializes in trauma, substance use, and acculturative stress. She is also an adjunct professor teaching for Bachelor and Master level Social Work programs. When she isn’t seeing clients or teaching classes, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, riding her Peloton, and gaining additional therapeutic and healing tools to best serve those she works with.
Get in contact with Dr. Jacqueline Guevara: https://www.cliniciansofcolor.org/clinicians/dr-jacqueline-guevara-lcsw/