The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 60: Increase Your Recovery Rate

In this episode, I’m talking about the concept of recoveries. In particular, I talk about getting yourself out of active thoughts and into a neutral state. This is a helpful practice to use in all aspects of your life and it’s very useful when you go to compete.

I’ve come up with this concept of recovery rate based on the graphs from my Muse meditation device. This device has been helpful to me. It measures your brain wave states as you meditate. It measures calm, neutral and active states. The active state is a thinking state. The neutral state is when you’re not really thinking. The calm state is the “zen zone” of calm.

The device also tracks recoveries. It keeps track of when you go from an active, thinking state to a neutral state. With practice, I’ve noticed that I am now good at recovering. I can go from active to neutral. I’m good at getting myself out of the active mind. 

I encourage you to notice when you’re in that active, thinking state and try to recover back to a neutral state.

We measure recovery rate in exercise (for both humans and horses). This kind of recovery measures mental fitness. How quickly can you get back to a neutral state after you’ve exerted yourself in your active mind?

When competing, you need to be able to find your ideal performance state. It’s not necessarily a total state of calm. You want to be reactive, but not overthinking. Being able to put yourself into a neutral state can be helpful to focus for competition. You can practice this skill in your daily life. 

Anytime your monkey mind takes over, use it as an opportunity to train your mind to get back to a neutral state. 

Meditation is so powerful because you learn to let thoughts float by. You don’t allow yourself to get swept away in your thoughts. You don’t get trapped in your thoughts. You recognize that you can unsubscribe from your thoughts or change what you’re thinking about. 

There are plenty of opportunities to practice mental toughness throughout the day. 

When your thoughts start to sweep you away, you can choose to get back to a neutral state. When you are riding, being able to get into that neutral state will help you ride the stride and stay present. It will help you find your ideal performance state so that you can rely on muscle memory rather than active thoughts in competition. There’s no way you can actively think through a fast run. You need to practice relying on muscle memory. 

It’s a fine line when finding our ideal performance state, but I do think being aware of your active thoughts will help. Practice your recoveries throughout the week and it will increase your ability to do that when it’s time to compete. 

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