Sunday, April 4, 2010

Q and A Friday on a Sunday

Due to Friday's Autism Awareness Month entry Q and A Friday will be answered today.

Today's question was asked over Xbox Live by a person who simply refused to send it in a comment on this page. I tried, for hours, to remember it yesterday to no avail. At first he couldn't remember it either, but we worked through it and here it is:

Why couldn't you watch your radio/webcast interview?

I don't think I put this on here, but I was able to watch about 5 seconds of the KBIA interview. I saw Paul Pepper and heard him say, "Good morning, it is Monday, March 29th and today we will be talking about autism." After that the camera panned over to me and I couldn't have hit the "X" button on the web browser fast enough!

So why did I have this sudden reaction? For one thing, I was afraid to hear my voice. Like many people I hate to hear my own voice (this is different from politicians as they are in love with their voice!). If I hear my voice I begin to think, "Whoa! I sound like that?" I think I know what I sound like, but when I hear myself it sounds totally different. I wish you could see how long it takes me to get up the nerve to use a microphone at a race track as I can here myself over the PA there.

To here my own voice is to start my mind down the path of wondering just how bad I sound. This same principal applies to video, if not more so. I always forget what I look like and when I say I can't remember other people I should also say I don't remember myself (eye contact with myself can sometimes have the same effect as I have with other people!). So when I see myself I become very judgmental on my movements. If I move a bit funny, if my posture is off, if my hair looks funny, and if my shirt isn't perfect will all lead be to become critical of myself. It's important to note that I won't exactly be critical of what I see, but rather critical of myself in the future.

If I start to question every movement I have I won't have any movements to make. I have practiced for years to try and look as natural as possible and to hide the fact that I am severely uncomfortable. If I'm exposed to the fact that I may not be hiding it well then all my practice and internals programs will be questioned and I will over think every movement and the end result will be that social situations become harder which makes me more uncomfortable and the whole system crashes.

Case in point, in two weeks I will be at Infinion Raceway in California for the first round on the SKUSA Pro Tour. This will be my first race since the SuperNats held last November. There were many photos of me, and one German journalist said if I flagged like I do in Germany they would, "make a statue out of me". Statues aside, we had a situation of 3 karts that ignored my black flag. I got a little testy and made my way out onto the racing surface to get my point across. I thought I simply had a serious look on my face, but as this photo at this link proves (
) I had a REALLY serious look. I didn't know I looked like that, and that won't change my flagging habits any, but if I were to see myself like that outside of the racing environment all my demeanors would be put into question. (Want to see the video of me waving that black? See it at and watch at about the 4:45-5:03 into the video)

Seeing myself flag from afar doesn't do anything, and I think seeing myself at the race track won't change anything because that's my ultimate "alias". To see myself anywhere else could cause me to question everything I do and I don't want to do that so I won't watch the KBIA video and will probably never watch/hear any interview I ever do. I like where I am now and don't want to second guess every minute movement I do.

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