Lieback’s Lounge | Post-Mastectomy Moto Meditation

Lieback's Lounge | Ron Lieback Motorcycle Column

Lieback’s Lounge | Motorcycle Commentary

As she nods off and on, I sit here trying to relax the mind. I had already attempted to finish one of four books I’m currently reading, and tried some music via earphones.

But I found myself only reading words as I thumbed through Spotify selections, the diversity of music matching the mishmash of thoughts in my brain—John Coltrane to Dimmu Borgir to Jimi Hendrix to Chopin to Lycia, among others.

Focus is impossible.

Only 12 hours has passed since my wife’s surgery as I write this. She had braved a double mastectomy due BRCA1 gene mutation, and a more than an 80 percent chance of cancer within the not-so far future.

Lieback's Lounge | Ron Lieback Motorcycle Column

We didn’t want our son Enzo to end up like Pam, who, at 10 years old, lost her mom to that six-letter word. I was 110 percent supportive, just as Pam’s been for every decision I had ever made, from solo motorcycle trips across America to starting ContentMender to teaching Enzo how to crank a throttle before he was two.

With nurses coming in what seemed like every 15 minutes, I can’t fall asleep.

I live by a simple Tony Robbins mantra: “Where focus goes, energy flows.” My focus is obviously all on the wife, but a nurse reminds me that Pam’s in good hands, and I also need rest.

The nurse is correct; I need pure energy for the following day so I could not only be strong for Pam, but for Enzo, who is staying in a nearby hotel with some family.

Switching focus, I close my eyes and focus on the one thing that has always slowed my mind when insomnia surfaces—mentally reliving moments of relaxing motorcycle rides.

The images could be clipping 180 mph aboard an Aprilia RSV4 on Circuit of the Americas back straight, muscling a BMW R 1200 GS on some tight trail with sharp rocks pinging my tires, or piloting my Ducati Multistrada on some of my favorite B roads.

This is moto meditation at its best, and I recommend it for anyone who finds themselves in situations where the mind needs to slow and refocus on more positive energy.

My moto meditation begins with a closing the eyes and simple “block” breathing exercises—inhale for five seconds, hold for five, exhale for five, and hold again for five. Repeat.

This puts your body into a more relaxed state; simultaneously, you envision your favorite motorcycling scene, and, as you continue the breathing exercise, start with the vision and mentally move down your body.

Feel the helmet on your head, and the vents pushing air on your scalp. Smell the air. Is it crisp and cold fall air, or hot and humid stale air?

Feel the windblast on your neck and chest as your hands work the clutch, throttle, brake lever and provide steering input based on lean angle needed. Picture yourself trail braking or lightly scrubbing off speed in the dirt.

Feel your knees clutching the tank, and focus attention down to your feet working the gears and rear brake.

Some people snarl at the thought of meditation, but it has always worked for me—especially after I began calming myself with moto meditation.

A double mastectomy is no joke for the one under the knife, and neither is the anxiety for that patient’s loved ones. Thankfully moto meditation is no joke, either. It provides a better solution than any drug, whether that drug came from the pharmacy or the black market.