How Race Car Driver Sheena Monk Is Using Wellness to Prepare for Her Next Big Race
After a scary crash in 2018, the professional driver is focusing on training and nutrition.
Who I am: Sheena Monk (@theelegantenigma), 30
Where I live: Newtown, PA
What I do: I am the driver of the #7 J.G. Wentworth, F.C. Kerbeck Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO with Dream Racing. I am also the founder of Sloos, an app that saves you money while helping you uncover local gems.
What role healthy living plays in my life: Fitness has played a large role in my recovery since a racing accident in September 2018 left me with nine fractures and a host of other injuries. Not only has exercise rapidly accelerated my ability to get back to a normal life (along with physical therapy), but I believe the physical and mental strength I had at the time of the accident saved me in the first place. Now, my body is subjected to tremendous heat, forces, and exertion when driving a race car, so in order to remain competitive, the majority of the work is done away from the race track. I try to integrate a difficult, yet enjoyable workout into my life at least four days per week.
Health memberships (and what they cost):
- Newtown Athletic Club — $97 per month
- MPR Endurance MMA — $75 per private training session
- Blue Apron — $119 per week
- Full Tilt Racing go-kart team — $275 per day
- Prancing Peacock Yoga Studio — $18 per class or $85 per private session
8 a.m. — Starting the week with a quick check of my emails to make sure nothing pressing came in overnight. I’m a little short on time and don’t love eating breakfast, but I often have a chocolate protein drink. I also know I’ll be drinking a ton of water this week, which will keep me hydrated and feeling satisfied. I won’t bore you with all the times I get in my H2O, but just know it’s going to be a lot.
9:30 a.m. — Since my accident, I have occasional, light physical therapy session to help retrain some of my motions. It’s a good way for me to get my muscles moving in a natural, safe way leading up to a race.
11 a.m. — Time for training at MPR Endurance MMA. This morning’s workout consists of moderate cardio followed by circuit training to build strength, coordination, balance, and focus. Non-stop for 60 minutes, but I’m a little sore since I had a private session yesterday as well.
12:30 p.m. — I hop on a call regarding possible future participation in a charity that is aiming to raise money for veterans and looking for race car driver involvement.
1 p.m. — I like to break up my day by cooking when time allows, so I use Blue Apron to avoid grocery shopping and for the simplicity. On the menu today is a chicken and vegetable farro meal.
2 p.m. — Back to emails and computer work. I’m sending feedback on the work performed by the Sloos’ developers in Europe until dinner.
7 p.m. — Time for another Blue Apron! Dinner is Indian spiced chicken sandwiches with apples and raisins. Later, I treat myself to a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
Daily total: $75
9 a.m. — Training at MPR Endurance MMA was focused on stretching and recovery since I had two relatively intense sessions on Sunday and Monday.
10:30 a.m. — There’s a chocolate protein drink waiting for me in the car to help me refuel after training.
11:30 a.m. — Lunch today is a half-sized portion of Korean style beef and rice that I made over the weekend from — you guessed it — Blue Apron.
1:30 p.m. — I’ve got a conference call with a potential internet marketing company for Sloos.
2:30 p.m. — We’ve got a photo shoot at Neff Associates for an upcoming Sloos campaign. I like to be hands-on through the creative work because it streamlines the process rather than going back and forth with changes.
6 p.m. — I grab dinner at Buddakan because it was within walking distance of Neff. I picked at the Szechaun pork dumplings, Kobe beef satay, Korean beef fried rice, Dan Dan noodles, and finished with a few bites of their “Dip Sum” doughnuts.
8:30 p.m. — Once I get home, I open my laptop and work until bed.
Daily total: $170
9 a.m. — A hellish day of training at MPR Endurance MMA! Sixty minutes of non-stop working to stress my lungs and make me suffer with the heat — a very crucial element of being in the car. Rows, bursts on the bike, hitting the punching bag, slamming the ropes, all while wearing my usual compression pants and t-shirt with a sauna suit (think pants and long-sleeved top made of a shower curtain) with a hoodie and sweatpants over top.
11 a.m. — I heat up the leftover chicken and vegetable farro for lunch, and try to relax for a bit.
1 p.m. — Back at Neff Associates to finish the photo shoot, but I spend most of my time there working on my computer and peeking in from time to time.
1:30 p.m. — I snack on two dark chocolate Kit Kat minis because they were on the desk and I could not resist!
4:30 p.m. — I leave Philly for Englishtown, New Jersey to hit go-kart practice at Full Tilt Racing.
6 p.m. — A gas-powered racing go-kart capable of about 70 miles per hour is extremely physically demanding, so this is yet another tool to keep myself in proper conditioning when I am not able to be in the Super Trofeo. I drive until 8:30 p.m. in the rain without a proper rain suit because why let a little water stop you?
10 p.m. — I hate to eat this late but I was exhausted and the number of “healthy” options right now are limited. I pick up a Skinnylicious Factory Chopped Salad and a Skinnylicious Tuscan Chicken from the Cheesecake Factory and eat at home.
Daily total: $381.45
9 a.m. — I start my go-to chocolate protein shake. I’m working from home with the developers today, designing and programming new features for future updates.
1:30 p.m. — Pause for a conference call for a media opportunity.
3:30 p.m. — A late lunch today because I’ve been so busy with work. I finish last night’s leftovers from the Cheesecake Factory.
4 p.m. — Working to finalize the Sloos advertising campaign designs and approvals with Neff Associates.
5:30 p.m. — I’m on the phone with the Sloos brand designer to discuss her progress on some outstanding items. We’ve been friends for over 10 years, so we decide to meet in person tomorrow over lunch at her house to discuss.
7:30 p.m. — Tonight’s Blue Apron dinner is a sesame chicken stir fry. These meals are pretty easy to whip up and are nutritious.
8:30 p.m. — I take a much-needed 1-hour break to watch an episode of Chernobyl and fold laundry. I don’t watch much TV, but this was a rare one that caught my eye.
10 p.m. — Back to work until 2:30 a.m.! I have to complete a few things for the developers in Europe to make sure they aren’t held up when they get to the office around 4 a.m. EST.
Daily total: $0
8:30 a.m. — It was certainly a late night and I’m somewhat tired. I only drink half of my chocolate protein shake this morning.
9 a.m. — I’ve got moderate training with many driving “simulation” exercises, as well as focus/reaction drills because my race is this weekend.
10:30 a.m. — Video call with the development team in Europe for a weekly progress update.
11:30 a.m. — I picked up a salad from a local eatery so I don’t miss lunch while I meet with the branding designer.
1:30 p.m. — I drive to see my dad briefly because it is his birthday!
3 p.m. — Back to the branding designer’s house to finish the deliverables we are sending out for print on Monday morning.
6 p.m. — I always work and work out over the weekend, but with a little less intensity. I like to wind down the week with something relaxing like a class at the Prancing Peacock Yoga Studio but I was fortunate enough today to have a private session on their outdoor yoga deck! Namaste.
7:30 p.m. — Finish the week with some chicken and veggies on the grill at home.
Daily total: $171
Money spent: $916.45
Workouts completed: 5
Liters of water consumed: 12.75
Hours spent training: 7.5