People talk about adrenaline a lot and how, in dire situations, it kicks in in unexpected ways and helps you accomplish goals you normally couldn't. You always hear those stories about the old woman who lifted up a car because there was a baby trapped underneath it, or how a cop will keep moving after getting shot because he's in Die Hard. So you already know that adrenaline does fun and amazing things in the pursuit of saving the body when it really needs saving. What they don't tell you is how cool it is. In my case, when adrenaline kicked in, all that happened was everything around me became slower, and I became much, much calmer. I didn't freeze or panic, I just saw the situation with clarity, where I only had to deal with a few, important facts. They were:
1) That car is moving far too quickly to stop before it reaches you;
2) There is not enough time to dive back to the curb, out of harm's way;
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Those were the only things that mattered at the time, so those were the only things I saw with total clarity, and the only things I focused on, just like an action movie badass. And this is me, we're talking about. I am not a cool guy. I don't own a leather jacket; I don't know how to wink; I never know what to do with my hands at parties; and I hyperventilate if I have to pee standing next to someone. I'm not very cool indeed. But when a car was coming right for me, and it was clear that I had to do something, my brain -- for maybe the first time in my life -- ignored all of the things it usually obsesses over (hand placement, if everyone's having a good time, the volume of my voice, how sweaty I am, etc.). There wasn't a whole lot of time between me seeing your car and your car hitting me (on account of how fast you were driving it at me without stopping), but enough for my brain to calm me down and tell my body what we needed to do. I couldn't dive to either side and, on my best day, am not strong enough to punch a moving car out of the way. My body and I had one choice.