Motorcycle Riding for Stress : Better than Booze!

What do motorcycles have to do with alcoholism and recovery? You might immediately think of boozing, beer-slugging biker gangs from the old movies, or rowdy biker antics at Daytona Beach or Sturgis. But motorcycling is really about stress management, and living a full life.
motorcycling and recovery from alcohol addiction
Motorcyclist considering alcohol prohibition: gallon
for gallon, the gas is more fun than alcohol!

When alcohol prohibition ended in the US in 1933, society had learned a lesson about trying to ban a behavior : people have needs, and will always strive to fulfill their own needs. There were many other lessons... some of which apparently were not learned very well. But some of the supporters of prohibition certainly had the right idea : you don't need alcohol to have fun in your life. This photo of a motorcyclist shows a truth - he has more fun with a gallon of gas in his motorcycle than he would with a gallon of booze!

Drinking for the Wrong Reasons

If you are drinking because you don't know any other ways to have equivalent fun in your life, then perhaps you need to learn about other ways to have fun? If you must drink in order to handle the stress of a social situation, perhaps you could learn a few things about managing such stressful situations without alcohol?

Rehab is Education, and Training

Rehab and substance abuse treatment involves a good deal of "training" and "educating". If you never learned how to manage the stress of every day life, you may find yourself overwhelmed. And you may use drugs or alcohol to help manage. But was that the best choice? For many, it is not a good choice. How about you?

Managing Stress without Abusing

How you manage your life and the stresses of daily living is really up to you. We all need help sometimes, but not all of us are ready to manage because we simply didn't learn how. Motorcyclists often proclaim the joys of riding. They say they feel free, and able to breath. Many say they cannot live without riding. This is just one example of how individuals manage a stressful life: by finding something that brings them joy, something that delivers stress relief within acceptable lines of cost and risk. Something that keeps them engaged in living a full life, and helps them balance what happens TO them, as they live.

alcohol prohibition ended in 1933
Alcohol prohibition ended in 1933. We survived.

Never Ride Angry

My dad taught me as a young man to ride, and told me I would appreciate it later. He also warned me : never ride angry. When you need to, take a walk and think through your problems. Don't stop walking until you find a way to accept your condition, and have ideas for how to move forward. Then, after you've calmed down and come to some understanding with your pain, go for a long ride.

Exercise is the Great Therapy

Motorcycling is not for everyone. Dad was right -- exercise is the best first-step to managing stress. Even walking is enough "exercise" to work out the immediate problem and start the process of moving on. For me, riding is a way to feel the freedoms and to breath openly, which helps me ground myself and start over.

Community Helping Others

This image should not bee seen as a prohibitionist trying to get everyone to stop drinking the evil alcohol. It's really a guy who found a way, who is trying to share that awareness with others who are fearful of losing their alcohol during prohibition. It serves as an example of how each of us can find interesting, engaging, community-minded and sometimes thrilling (with reasonable limits, please!) activities that do not include the alcohol or drugs we try to avoid.

by AddictionAwareness on Dec. 10, 2014, 1:14 p.m.


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