(Editor’s note: The sixth in a series of CDN stories to show that there are indeed certain things that last forever.)
Who would have thought that the man who tore her heart into pieces, would be instrumental in putting it back together in whole?
Cyclist Chyrel Gomez never would have guessed.
Gomez hopped from one relationship to another until she found “the man” she thought would be for keeps.
They met online and he followed her on twitter.
“To be honest I was the one who asked him out first. When we met I realized we had a lot of things and a lot of people in common,” she said.
For starters, they went to the same school, had the same teachers, and practically shared the same circle of friends.
They both loved the outdoors, traveling, watching movies together and writing.
“We were both students of creative writing. Mao to (so that’s it), people with the same interest met and decided to be together,” Chyrel said.
But though she loved the outdoors, Chyrel never learned to ride a bicycle until she was 25 years old as she suffered from asthma growing up.
Besides it was then considered a “boy sport.”
“I learned cycling because of him. Part of the reason I wanted to also learn cycling was to help strengthen our shaky relationship at that time,” said Chyrel in Cebuano, explaining that her boyfriend was “obsessed” with cycling.
“You know you do things for love to keep things together, to stay together,” Chyrel said.
At that time, Chyrel was working for a business process outsourcing (BPO) company and hardly had time to engage in outdoor activities.
But she wanted to support his activities in order to save their relationship.
“I wanted to learn cycling to keep up with him. Para di na anang ’nganong mangita man kag lain kung unsa imong buhaton, buhaton man sad nako’ ing-ana nga feeling (So that I could tell him, why look for another when I can also do what you’re doing. That kind of feeling) Whatever you do, I can do it as well and maybe even better,” she said.
And so before long, Chyrel learned how to ride a bike, taught by her boyfriend who accompanied her when she went to buy her first bicycle.
But their newly shared interest in cycling was not enough to stop the wheels of fortune from turning against Chyrel.
A “third party” led to a painful breakup. Chyrel also left her job.
“I had a career, I had a love life but it was all gone at the same time,” she said.
But her “breaking point” turned out to be a blessing.
Heart broken and deeply wounded, Chyrel started to channel her frustration into cycling.
“I wanted to be better kay ganahan ko magbalik pami (I wanted to be better because I wanted us to get back together),” she said.
“I was determined for him to say, ‘Okay I made a wrong decision to leave this girl, she’s good after all,” she said.
Through cycling, Chyrel wanted to better understand him; but instead, she ended up knowing herself better.
And what she thought was just a hobby to please the guy she loved, became her one “true love.”
“After two years na ko ka realize nga wala nako’y love for him (I realized after two years that I no longer loved him) We decided to let go and we became friends. I am not resentful even though a third party was the reason for the breakup because he taught me a lot of things,” Chyrel narrated.
“He broke my heart but at the same time he helped me get over it,” she added.
And today, she has moved on, conquering new things and even winning races as she goes around the country to join them.
“Siya man gud ang nagtudlo nako og bike (It was he who taught me how to bike), And then through cycling, I learned to love myself,” the full- fledged cyclist said.
Chyrel is well aware of the risks and dangers of her new found passion, but still she encourages other women to take up the sport.
“Ingon baya si Charles Bukowski ‘Find what you love and let it kill you. So I found what I love and I let it kill me,” the creative writer/cyclist said joking while quoting the famous American poet and novelist.