January 15, 2008

From Jeff (bl deg l@g mail. c om)

Re: Why we feel “slow motion” during crisis (Dec. 11): A number of years ago, I was at this facility, in the boiler room. I was testing the pipe and boilers there. I am a pipefitter by trade. In between the pumps and pipes there are vibration dampeners. I was watching one and watched it malfunction. It sent water toward the wall and it pealed the wall. In a second, I realize that if could peal the skin off a human just as quick.

Time became very slow motion for me. My brain was thinking and reacting much quicker then normal. I was very aware of that. However, my body, because it is very physical, took time to respond to my commands to make it run toward the emergency cut off switch. It was as if I was running in very slow motion, but I knew I was running very fast and that my brain was working at a very accelerated rate. I remember tripping. I couldn’t move my feet and legs near as fast as what I normally could. It was almost as if I was suspended in time for a little bit. I was very conscious of how gravity was reacting with me. I knew that it seem like it was taking forever for me to fall. I also was very aware that I would be able to recover from the trip and not fall.

In the back of my mind, I think that those people who volunteered didn’t have the physical speed of their body to be able to read the watches and numbers that were on them.


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