My name’s Derek … and I have a lot of reasons to be happy. But I never thought I’d live to see 40.
I call mine the ‘Dark Curtain,’ but it goes by many names: depression, hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, a heavy heart.
Long before antidepressants, Cannabis helped me keep my shit somewhat together.
For as long as I can remember, though, cycling’s been the only way to really escape my head.
The problem was that soon after my rides ended, the bleakness returned.
I plead to the universe: Please, tell me what the fuck is wrong with me, and how I can fix it!
Then, in August 2019, I completely lost my shit and hit my mental health low point.
The breakdown fucked up a lot of things. But it was also a gift, because it showed me that I had to take an active role in managing my depression and maximizing my mental health.
So, that’s what I did. During a painful three-week break from my family, I started seeing a therapist, changed my meds, and began meditating regularly.
Eventually, of the three, I realized that meditation made me feel a lot like I did during a ride: Purposeful. Present. Mindful. The best expression of me.
For me, the connection was life-altering: maintaining mindfulness—consciously flowing from moment to moment, for hours on end—was one of the biggest reasons I felt so goddamn good after a ride.
And more importantly, through meditation, shifting the skill into the real world had become one of the most effective ways to maximize my mental health, and create my best life.
I wondered: ‘How can I help other cyclists do the same, without spending years—or decades—spinning their wheels?’
This is what The PedalMind Project is all about: not-so-subtle reminders that you’re in charge of your happiness, and the infinite ways that mindfulness can help you get there.
But, just like on the bike, climbing your hill—whatever that means for you—is going to make you really fucking uncomfortable at times.
But, just like riding, I believe that honing mindfulness is worth the effort. And my goal is to help other cyclists recognize its power in their own lives, by opening up about my own ongoing mental health journey.
So, if you’re a little weird, a lot into bikes, and ready to give your unhappiness the middle finger, PedalMind is here to support your adventure, however you define it.
The only question is: When will you begin your project?
When you’re ready, we’ll help you move forward, one revolution at a time.
Learn more about The PedalMind Project.