I’ve loved racing since I got my first taste at eleven years old at a run down indoor kart track. I was TERRIBLE, but it didn’t matter, and that was part of the reason I was hooked! The challenge of learning something new, improving and becoming a better competitor.
But there was one thing about racing that I loved above all else – the singular focus on what was directly in front of you, what was precisely under your control.
My karting mantras:
- Look up, look up, look up.
- Look where you want to go.
It was my version of meditation.
It was a way to block out all other stresses and worries in my life.
They all would literally fall away, my brain too consumed with the task at hand to worry about anything not pertaining to that very moment, that apex, that correction, that feeling.
When it all went away during university, I found it difficult to de-stress, and I went so all-in on my schoolwork that I made myself sick from the pressure I put on myself. My outlet then morphed into exercise and that was how I let off some steam, but it wasn’t until much later that I found another meditative practice that has helped me almost as much as racing.
Can you guess what it is?
Yoga, of course!
I have a really hard time sitting and meditating on a regular basis. I force myself to practice and I do it every morning, but in yoga while moving and breathing I find my zen much more effortlessly. I get to that singular focus again and I’m reminded of what a calm and focused mind can feel like.
I am calm while I am moving.
My focus is tied to my mobility.
Maybe the transition from racing to yoga is not such a stretch (no pun intended).
I suppose, no matter the vehicle, I have always found value in getting out of my head and into my body, if only for 30 minutes a day. But how interesting to discover the link between movement and meditation! For a racer chick like me, it makes perfect sense!