I was leaving the main drag of Elm Grove and headed to an on ramp to get on 1-70 on my way to dialysis. It’s a 4 lane street and I was in the left lane to turn onto the on ramp. I was about a car length behind a pickup truck in the right lane when he signaled a turn and started slowing down bringing my front bumper about even with his rear bumper. I was going about 30-35 MPH (50-60 Kph).

Suddenly a car filled my lane. It was already there by the time I perceived it. If I had taken  a millisecond to process what was happening I would have plowed right into it but my instinct seized control and I cranked the wheel hard left then as I was now heading straight to the curb had to crank it hard  right to not crash into that.

It  all happened so fast I didn’t even get scared or excited until I was at dialysis 5 minutes later, then it sunk in what had happened.  I realized why the car pulled out. I was screened from the driver’s view by the truck so s/he never saw me. Since they saw him slowing down and signalling a turn s/he thought it was safe to pull out.

How did that instinct come to the surface and save me?  From soccer (futbol).

I took up soccer at age 45 and played until I was 54 and my liver failed hence no more stamina. I wasn’t the greatest  ball handler but I had quick accurate feet from decades of dancing so I could play passable defense. As a matter of fact at a pickup game once with high school and college players they started calling me The Wall because no one was getting by me

When I coached defense to my kids I emphasized the 4 Ps – Pressure,  Position , Posture, and Patience.

Pressure means to get on the ball handler quickly. Position means where you are in relation to the ball handler.  Turn 45 degrees to his shoulders so he can’t pass between your legs, you should know which is his strong foot so be on that side putting the ball on his weak foot,  and knowing his burst speed give him enough of a cushion so you can have time to pivot in the direction he moves  if he tries to get by you. Posture is  knees bent and 60% of your weight  on your rear leg so you can pivot on it to  follow the direction he moves.  Patience means don’t stab at the ball because as soon as you shift your weight he will be around you in the opposite direction. Wait for him to make a mistake and maintain your cushion

So as you wait for him ignore his foot movements they can be a feint, ignore his head movements and watch the hips, hip movement is a commitment to a direction.

This happens so fast you don’t have time to analyze and decide — you have to hone your reactions to react immediately without taking the time it takes for a sensory impression to travel to the brain and back to your muscles  — you basically connect from eyes  directly to the muscles.

I know that isn’t scientific but it is the mediation I  used to jack up my reaction time.

This happens many times in a game  so through repetition it starts to become ingrained. Which is why when the car pulled in front of me the reaction just kicked in  and saved me from a major car collision.

Thank you soccer.

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