How the Miles Began

Me and my roommates riding on the Ralston Creek Trail

When I came to this house, I was right in the middle of a mental and emotional breakdown. I had some practices that I picked up from the Acceptance Commitment Therapy for my anxiety, but I was in a place where I was totally isolated and suffering. Over time, following my practices and sharing the company of caring people, namely my awesome roommates, I was able to relax and envision possibilities.

It was thanks to my roommates that I opened up to the experience of cycling. I was really closed off. But I followed their lead as Spring arrived and they started taking bikes out on the Denver area bike trails. And with that, the whole city opened up to me, and cycling gradually became a really enriching activity for me.

The first long ride I did with my roommates, from Denver to Golden on the Clear Creek Trail

I gradually expanded my sense of what is possible. This is very central and resonant to me for the experience of climbing out of the life we create when we hold ourselves hostage to anxiety. There’s a tendency to live a very small life. We don’t give ourselves permission to enter into new things. We find reasons to turn back instead of going farther.

My first goal was to ride from the house to Golden on the Clear Creek Trail. My roommate, Mandi, had mentioned that the trail went all the way to Golden. I immediately declared that we needed to ride to Golden. So we planned the trip and we did it. We ended up getting rained on the whole way back, and we were all freezing cold by the time we got back to the house. But we did it!

A view of the Colorado River off of US-128 just outside of Moab, Utah

Today, I just returned from my first vacation as an adult, having rode a total of 130 miles around Moab, the Grand Canyon, and the Coconino National Forest. I continue to expand what I consider possible. And I am tremendously grateful for my wonderful roommates who hold this nurturing space for me!

Published by Miles of Mindfulness

My name is Mike Bragg. I'm a Denver-based cycling enthusiast and a big advocate of mindfulness. I enjoy the outdoors, and I use mindfulness practices to help myself be more present with my adventures. I like to read challenging material, and I have a keen interest in ancient history and natural sciences.

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