Bicycling: Under the Darkness of Depression a Cyclist Pursues Zen by Bike Feb 14, 2018

Photo by Brian Vernor

“Do you have a spiritual practice?”

Of the many questions I expected a psychiatrist might ask me, I hadn’t expected that one.

I was in his office seeking help for my depression, anxiety, and irritability. For more than a year I’d been struggling with some of my personal relationships, but most especially with my wife Shana and our young sons, who are 8 and 5. I could go from calm to explosive almost as quickly as a firecracker. My boys thought me angry, sometimes mean. Shana and I had been distant for months; I couldn’t recall the last time we’d kissed.”

Continue reading this article at Bicycling Magazine.

  • Mark Rothschild

    Ms. Winters of,”Lovely Bicycle”, has taken,leave of her Blog and gone to a,”Knitting”, Blog as her new passion…”Double Zen”, it seems.Glad to see you found your Center…Cheers!

  • Keith Gibson

    Great article

  • Zac Stanley

    I think this is a tricky one – I struggle with aforementioned anxiety and D. Have a full time job, two kids and a fantastic spouse. Sometimes I feel like cycling feeds the OCD component of my personality and creates a feedback loop that only worsens my bad feels. This happens when it feels routine and required. Downieville weekends with no commitments but riding, eating and drinking are a necessary thing. 4 hours on the road on a normal weekend sometimes only makes it worse for me – constantly worrying while out riding about what I’m not doing i.e. being home for my kids, fixing the house, spending money on another part I don’t need that should be going into a college fund etc.

    • Yeah, it often times takes complete detachment to really let your mind go. Or Psilocybin.

  • Daniel Powell

    Such a solid read! I’ve been scheming and dreaming about an 88 Temples ride for 4 years.

  • Samuel Jackson

    Interesting article, but the author seems to miss or gloss over one of the key takeaways of buddhism.

    He says “I was much too depressed and disappointed to dream of a life in which I would be free of suffering. Hell, as a cyclist, it seemed the very opposite of the thing I’d worked so hard to accept, to embrace—suffering itself.” And concludes by saying “Nirvana continues to elude me. Suffering will continue to be a part of my life.”

    The buddhist concept of Nirvana is a state without suffering, but not without pain. Pain is an inevitable part of life, but suffering is our own response to it. As a cyclist pain is implicit, but suffering is optional. That’s not to say that in reality a state of nirvana is attainable (I sure haven’t found it), but drawing a line between pain and suffering is a critical distinction to make in discussing these ideals.

    • Thanks for sharing. I know nothing about Buddhism, but found this article a very interesting read.

  • Eric Blair

    I’m a bit concerned with how the author seems to cavalierly treat Buddhism as a kind of occasion rather than as a way of life. Other than that, I was very moved by the article. I sometimes wonder if the feeling of elation that you feel from riding – and which he mentions several times – is too fleeting to be therapeutic. But if it’s the only positive feeling that you have that day, perhaps it doesn’t matter how long it endures. Good stuff.