That night, as I was driving home on Highway 36 in the left lane, a long string of thoughts had me thinking about how I should make sure the first-aid kit in my car was fully stocked. As I was thinking about this, an old Volvo two cars ahead suddenly put on its brakes and started veering towards the concrete divider. The car directly in front of me, a black Nissan, jammed on his breaks, and almost immediately the air in front of me was filled with smoke and the smell of burning rubber. From there, time slowed down. I started putting on the brakes and looked ahead. There was a gap in the concrete divider used for emergency vehicle turn-a-rounds, and it looked like the Volvo was aiming for it. As I punched the brakes, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I would rear-end the car in front of me, and that would likely in turn send him into the Volvo, either making it accelerate into the end of the concrete divider, or pushing it too far through the gap and into oncoming highway traffic.
I glanced to my right mirror and saw a car coming up fast in the other lane – I couldn’t avoid the car ahead of me by swerving fully into the right lane, as I would then side-swipe the other car. The car ahead had started swerving ever so slightly to the left. I released the brakes, and time seemed to slow even more. I headed for the space between the car ahead of me and the car coming up in the other lane, which by this time was beside me. It quite literally felt like driving through the eye of a needle, mere inches to spare on either side.
As I slipped through the narrow gap I got back fully into my lane and checked my mirror. Both the Volvo and the Nissan were still. I pulled over, grabbed my phone, got out, and ran to the back of my car and grabbed the first-aid kit. Because I had just been thinking about it when the accident occurred, I knew exactly where it was buried beneath all my gear. This was not lost on me. As I ran down the highway towards the two vehicles, I thought “Huh…first on the scene.”
I was coming up on the Nissan as the driver got out. “You okay?” I asked. He said he was, and a quick once over told me he looked and sounded okay too. I approached the Volvo, which had managed to barely avoid hitting the end of the divider; the passenger side door was mere feet from it. I bent down to look in. Inside were two young women, obviously shaken. “Anybody hurt?” I asked. “No, we’re alright, thank you.” It turned out that the car had some kind of alignment issues which decided to act up. The car started to suddenly swerve a little, she panicked, slammed on the brakes, swerved even more, and here we are. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and the two cars only traded a little paint. Had it gone down even a little differently, it would have been much, much worse.
It continues to amaze me what the human mind is capable of doing – especially a trained mind. Through this one experience, I am reminded of the many capacities we can develop; the ability to receive messages, heightened awareness, lightning fast assessment and response time, controlling your adrenal system so you can focus on helping others…the list goes on. What has your training in To Shin Do given you?
By Ian Sanderson, Instructor, Boulder Quest Center
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