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My dad was a full five bike lengths in front of me, despite the fact that his bike might as well have been made of lead compared to mine, crafted from a lighter alloy. He turned back to search for me in the slowly spreading sea of cyclists. Concern filled his eyes, but he knew better than to admonish me.
We had registered for this 60 mile bike ride in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in May, right after I returned from my first stint at Remuda Ranch, a treatment center for eating disorders. By now, a rainy, chilly, September day, I had shed most of the weight my therapists and dietitians had gently encouraged me to gain.
Malnourished and tired, I hadn’t felt well for three days, but I refused to tell my parents. If they knew I was getting sick there was no way they’d let me ride, and I would rather die than miss a chance to burn 60 miles worth of calories.
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