Thursday, June 28, 2012

On being the helmet: an answer

Last year, I challenged readers to identify the racing driver responsible for the following vivid account of what it feels like to be 'in the zone'.

"When I'm in that groove, I can go on forever. I wish I knew how I got into that state. I don't. I simply find myself in it...

"Then I drive out of that window in my helmet. I look through that window and what I see out of it is the sole and only thing that exists in the whole wide world; everything is happening out there in front of me. My legs and arms and every other part of me are just parts of a whole and doing what they're supposed to be doing automatically, so that I don't have to think consciously about gearing or braking or accelerating; that's all going on without any orders from me. I concentrate, intensely, on everything that's in front of me: be it a car or a corner, there's an invisible line extending from that window in my head to whatever's next. My body is in unison. It doesn't really exist; it's compacted, the whole of me is bunched up tight inside that little area of plexiglass. I'm entirely in my helmet and I think of myself as being the helmet, looking out. Everything, body or car, obeys that module.

"The sensation is not physical...I'm seeing more than I ever have before. My vision is enlarged and the sensation is purely mental."

Sadly, there were no correct suggestions, so I must now reveal that these were the reflective and introspective words of Alan Jones, 1980 F1 World Champion, elicited by Keith Botsford, and published in Driving Ambition.

1 comment:

Pyrope said...

At last! ;-)