31 December, 2017

Moments In Between: 25 Hours of Light and Darkness

There's a saying in motorsports: "fast is slow; slow is fast." And while it's questionable advice for the actual technique of driving, it's still relevant for the driver's mindset. Actions that feel fast tend to be reactive — something happened and you were fast enough to catch it and respond. Like if you trip while walking and you catch yourself — it certainly takes a bunch of skill and experience to avoid a spill, but tripping and recovering still slowed you down.

By contrast, a feeling of slowness tends to accompany actions that don't even require a reaction. Maybe you predicted the problem and avoided it entirely — you saw that raised edge in the pavement and you adjusted your stride to walk right past it. When a driver has a feeling of slowness during the race, it often means that they're actually moving fast. They are relaxed and in control of the situation. Their actions are precise and proportionate. Deliberate.

But the specific memories that we retain about an event tend to center around the fast moments, and the slow periods tend to be compressed and forgotten. We anchor on the things that were exciting, and everything else fades away.