I don’t know how well you are at doing things for the first time. I, for one, am terrible. I am all fidgety, antsy and usually don’t function very well. I can call up so many events where I just feel out control and inactive just because it’s my first time doing it. Or maybe I haven’t done that particular activity in a long time. For instance, I use to live in DC and at first I could not navigate very well through the city. There were plenty of times for everything while I was there: I took the wrong Metro. I got lost so many times searching for places. I walked at a slow pace, in comparison to the Washingtonians.
During those first weeks of living in DC, I found it very complex to take the Metro. There are different station color lines, different ways of direction, different street exits. Overall, I was walking with a map in my hand to avoid getting lost. I always second guessed myself, and didn’t think I will arrive to my destination until I actually saw it before my eyes.
During the whole experience I was aroused and alert to all the things around me. Due to the complexity of the activity, and having to travel by Metro I was performing poorly. My zone of optimal level did not kick in until about four weeks. Until it became automatic and I was able to maneuver myself through the city smoothly. In the beginning, I was not familiar with riding the Metro, or with walking those streets. However, after some practice it was no longer new for me. I was in the Zone. The funny thing in all this is, I was in DC for the weekend, and I was taking the Metro. Many times I noticed that I was not in my optimal zone because I hadn’t been on the Metro in so long. Even then I had high arousal but since the activity was not simple my performance was not at its best. Fortunately , I did not get lost, but I was not in the zone.
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