• Sarah Merrell

Transforming My Riding Through Self-Care

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

When I say my life revolves around motorcycles, it’s no understatement. My weekends are often filled with exhilarating rides and adventures on new roads or meeting new two-wheeled friends. Vacation time is spent at track days, riding schools, rallies, races or two-wheeled travels. Even my work involves motorcycling. But following the holidays I realized (gasp!) that I had put on weight. I also felt sluggish and more stressed than usual at work. I just plain didn’t feel great appearance wise or health wise. So I figured I can either keep feeling like crap or make a change—I decided on change.

I needed a reset.

Luckily one of my marketing clients is Bonvera who’s nutrition brand, Phyzix MD, makes a killer 10-day cleanse. It’s basically supplements formulated to promote the body’s detoxifying processes and also includes a nutrition plan. Each morning I had one of their protein shakes and supplements and was allowed, fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I cut out alcohol, coffee, sugar, processed foods, wheat and dairy.

But that’s not all. I also started to do yoga two or three times a week through a local yoga studio that is fantastic! I love the hot yoga because it’s a great workout and cleanses the body. Plus it enables me to be mindful and breathe. In addition, I started running and working out more.

It was hard! But I’ve found the improved nutrition gave me more energy and I slept better and felt more rested throughout the day. The yoga also helped. Suddenly, my tension melted away and I found I could handle stressful situations much more easily. I now feel a sense of calmness and overall well-being.

It hasn’t just been mental though. Over the 10 days of the cleanse I lost 6.5 pounds. I realized I had been bloated and cutting out wheat and dairy was just what I needed. Within a matter of days my stomach was flatter and my face thinner. I don’t feel lethargic or “punched in the stomach” after meals now. Although the 10-day cleanse ended, I felt so good that I ended up continuing the nutrition plan but added back in the coffee and alcohol (sparingly). I mean, I’m only human!

So What Does This Have To Do With Motorcycling?

Now that I’m feeling healthier both mentally and physically, I’m excited to translate it to my riding. After all, riding is a demanding sport! During the season I often lead group rides and it’s challenging to be responsible for all those riders and ensure their safety while also making sure they have fun and no one gets left behind. I’ve also been working hard at improving my track riding and it’s insanely physical and mental. Riding the twisty, technical mountain roads where I live is no piece of cake either—you have to be focused or you’ll get hurt. I honestly believe that better nutrition, a low stress level and being physically fit is transformative and is one of the best improvements you can make as a rider.

But don’t take it from me.

Check out this MotoGP interview with Marc Marquez:

Marquez, arguably one of the best motorcyclists in the world, discusses the role that health, fitness and nutrition plays in his riding. Like I learned at Yamaha Champions Riding School, if you want to ride like the champs, you have do what the champs do—both on and off the bike.

I found an approach to self-care that works for me, but nutrition and wellness is very personal. My advice? Find what works for YOU. And you may be pleasantly surprised that it transforms your riding for the better.

Here are a few more links about MotoGP riders and fitness and nutrition:

- Man vs Machine: How Does Fitness Effect MotoGP Riders

- Cal Crutchell Discussed the Physical Demands of Life R the Limit

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