Profit on day £345
(A Henderson double, a 33/1 David Maxwell winner and very nearly a 500/1 double)
Some people seek mindfulness. Not me. I’ve always sought its partner, its mirror – absence. Emptiness. Mindlessness. Stop the voices. Including my own.
Silence doesn’t do this. Meditation, or at the least a lack of distraction, is a gateway to either all the other (indifferent) voices I keep trying to keep at bay, or my one strong inner narrator voice, prattling endlessly on and on.
Gambling does it for me. Partly. The day’s slow movement from morning study and early bets, through to the three hours of frantic betting activity – and it’s important to me that it is frantic – for it to work I need to be betting in virtually every race. That’s what provides the flow, no race any more important than any other, with occasional spikes for big races, or for small races with big possible pay-outs. And then, the winding down with tomorrow’s cards, an updated spreadsheet and a review of the day. And then sleep, thinking about the day gone and anticipating tomorrow – but only in terms of betting. This flow, the total concentration is part of it, of course. The process takes over, and at speed, gathers a rhythm that carries me along in its embrace – a glorious dance.
It’s not emptiness as such, but it is an emptiness of all the things that fill the void otherwise and lead to depression, anxiety, rage. Much better to be cursing a bad bet, or a bad beat in a photo, than about some perceived slight, or some keyboard twat on social media or Brexit or the impending world apocalypse, or any of the other thousand things I might wurrett at otherwise, all of which might bloom voices in my mind.
It’s not voiceless as such, but the one voice is ‘gambling guy’ – excitable but mainly calm, hopeful but mainly pragmatic, with skin in the game but sat sideways to it, focused but driven by distraction. Most people looking in from outside would see this bloke as a loser, as a waste of space, as a fat bloke with a laptop staring at the telly. In fact, people I know and love think that way, including my wife sometimes. Me, I like this guy. I prefer him to the alternatives. And that makes me happy.