Something that a lot of people don’t know about me is I am a HUGE Formula One fan. Every Sunday you can find me parked in front of whatever screen I can stream the race on no matter if I’m at home, brunch, or even at a horse show. And because of that, I like to tie my love for podcasts with my love for F1 so that I have something engaging to listen to during the week rather than strictly music. My go-to is by far is the Pitstop with Jake & Fab for how relatable and fun they are (stream here!).
Recently, they released a two-part episode with Michael Italiano, Mclaren driver Daniel Riccardo’s performance coach. And my goodness, I was not expecting to have a fun podcast with three guys talking about F1 to relate so heavily to riding.
While the first bit I’m touching on came in the second part of the episode, it was really impactful and I wanted to speak on it first. Michael spoke about how after a race that Daniel may come away from with unfortunate results or not performing to his own expectations, he has a 24-hour rule. 24 hours to do whatever you want, sulk, not speak to anybody, etc, but after those 24 hours are up, you accept the result and reframe your thought for the next race. Dwelling takes focus away from the next opportunity to improve and if your focus is not 100%, you’re already behind other people. As somebody who very easily gets sucked into a negative mindset when I have a really poor ride, this concept is a really great way to make a shift to being more positive while still giving myself time to process my disappointment. The go-to for me is to deep dive into my video from the rides so I can evaluate where things went wrong and buy myself a comforting dinner to munch while watching a movie to decompress.
The time that the 24-hour rule doesn’t apply in racing is on a Saturday qualifying, and in my case, it doesn’t apply to the day-to-day or the early days of a show week. The next ride is always an opportunity to improve on what didn’t go your way the first time. You have to put your ego aside and be accountable for the things you might not realize aren’t working after multiple tries. Michael is a believer in the idea of you making your own luck and through my search for a new perspective, this rang really true to me. If you put in the work, try your hardest every single ride, and do everything in your power to be the best you can be, “luck” will come.
Emotions run extremely high in our sport, especially because of how frustrating it can be to have a teammate that can’t talk to you. Micheal touched on this in how as a competitor, it is very hard to control your emotions, and the second that you lose control of them, you begin to spiral into a dark place. He also believes that your biggest growth comes from your darkest times. It is no secret that I struggle with riding Phim. He is a tough horse and more times than I would like to admit, he’s had me crying in my car after rides. We hit rock bottom this winter when we first went to Wellington and couldn’t have a single ride without issues. To say I was in a dark place would be an understatement. But, because of the struggles, I realized that jumping wasn’t for Phim anymore and he made a discipline switch that has now made us a way happier pair than the jumping did. We are growing and changing in new ways every day that would not have come without us hitting that rock bottom point.
A quote right from the end of the pod stuck with me the most out of the entire episode and really summed up everything for me, “Nobody buys tickets to a flat rollercoaster… Hang on, sit tight, and look forward.”. Life is like a rollercoaster, there are ups, downs, twists, and turns and so are horses. I was struggling to pull myself into a new mindset when it came to riding because of the seemingly endless stream of issues and this pod honestly caught me by surprise with how insightful it was. Never did I think that top-tier motorsport like Formula One could relate so heavily to little old me and my horses.
Huge shoutout to the Pitstop boys for having Michael on and sharing about what he does for Daniel. If you’re also interested in F1 or want to hear the much better version of what Michael has to share, listen for yourself here.
Until Next Time,