As a driver who hasn’t always perfectly handled the immense pressure of racing in the top NASCAR series, Danica Patrick is in a much better place mentally as of late. On NBC’s NASCAR podcast, Patrick explained how she is achieving peace with all the craziness that goes into being a celebrity athlete.
“I just don’t feel the weight of anything anymore,” She said. “I just don’t feel angry about anything. It’s just gone. There are plenty of things I look back and think, ‘That sucked, but you know what? I’m going to go on.’ And the things that make you the happiest are free. Do I love going on a private jet? Sure. Do I love going to really fancy vacations with boutique hotels where you have your own 3,000 square feet? Do I love being able to treat people well by giving them gifts and buying them things? Yeah, of course. That’s all wonderful stuff, but nothing feels better than the joy of family, love and friends. The stupidest thing, when I watch my two dogs play, I’m so happy. I literally laugh out loud by myself.”
“Have I been screwed out of millions of dollars over the years in different ways and different places? Yep. Have I had heartache? Yep. Have I been disappointed in myself or other people? Yep. There’s been all kinds of that, but that’s life.”
In addition to her much publicized use of Yoga to prepare for races, Danica says that Oprah has been a huge inspiration to the way she approaches things.
Patrick has a lot going on to be happy with outside of racing, but made sure people know that her other ventures (Writing books, opening a vineyard and starting a clothing line) are not an indication that she is near the end as a driver.
“They are not an escape plan, they are not a backup plan, they are purely extensions of things I already do. They really are,” Patrick said. “What I love about racing is the art of it. I love the challenge, the journey. I love the work involved between a group of people to find success. Whether it be through my communication about how the car feels, then you make changes, and it gets better.
“There’s a journey in that. I also love the execution, the mental discipline, the setting someone up. The things it takes to put a whole race together. There’s nothing better than outsmarting someone out there. Those are the things I really enjoy about racing. I’ve never made it a mystery that I’m not into cars.”
About her ride for next year, Patrick didn’t stray from her new Zen outlook, saying:
“Just go with the flow and see what comes up and feels right. In the spiritual laws of success, the two laws that are most important are the law of detachment and of least resistance. They’re similar.”
She sounds a lot calmer when she’s outside of the car.