The need for speed

How fast do you drive? At present I have a powerful car, which I admit I drive too fast. I like to think I’m pretty careful, I’m not doing 60mph past schools or anything, but if the road is clear, and conditions are good my right foot does tend to get quite heavy.

And I’m really not all that sorry about it. Irresponsible? Occasionally. Human? Undoubtedly. It’s not something I’m proud to admit but there you have it.

Part of the attraction is the thrill. There is a feeling of being alive that can be obtained which is similar to (but not as intense as) riding a rollercoaster, and isn’t that one of the things that defines us? Our drive towards emotion? It’s why people throw themselves down icy mountains on flimsy pieces of moulded glass fibre, or disappear into uncharted territories full of nasty beasties and big scary monsters, it’s all done in the name of emotion and that wonderful adrenalin rush that comes from pushing things to the edge of your control.

God, I sound like some hopped-up loony, driving at 100mph every chance I get. I’m not, honest. I top out about 90…

In all seriousness, being a responsible adult (stop laughing at the back!) means that there is a constant battle when these situations arise. The emotion-driven part of me strives for more, faster, higher, closer to the edge, the rational part of me senses the danger and the safety mechanisms kick in. Partly fear, partly self-preservation, it rails against adrenalin, and endorphin.

I know I’m not alone in this respect, that with middle-age approaching and the tendency for life to start to slow down kicking in, driving a car is sometimes the only place where such vicarious thrills can be saught. Perhaps I should’ve gotten into more outdoor based sports like caneoing which I enjoyed, I’m sure I would get a similar thrill, blasting down a fast flowing river. Man versus nature and all that.

Alas we all live in a society and as such need to obey the rules, which means being sensible, colouring between the lines, and following a set of principles.

Or you could bend the rules a little, occasionally let the urge to be silly take over, and slap bright dabs of your favourite colour wherever you damn well like.

After all, life is about living.

2 comments

  1. Hey this need for speed is hereditary and you don’t get it from dad so there’s a clue.
    PS ‘Colouring in’ is now referred to on a school timetable as ‘photochromatic rendering’ – jargon gone mad!

  2. Photochromatic rendering? Get away! My 4 year old renders the paper asunder from time-to-time and certainly never keeps within the lines. But to him it is definitely “cullurrinnin, Daddy”.

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