So here’s an interesting thought. as part of the always on, always connected quantified self we can now measure terror. As I sit in my bulkhead seat of this RyanAir flight to Berlin, climbing out from the takeoff, I can watch in real time as my heart rate rises well above 100BPM, despite my deploying a barrage of tricks and diversion tactics to remain calm.
My rate spikes as the plane banks, my head studiously down, ignoring the fact that I’m in a pressurised tube hurtling through the sky in a display of what my brain feels to be Brute Force Over Ignorance.
And this state of mild panic actually me coping well. I can think straight enough to write. I don’t yet have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Clearly I’ve got better at flying.
Not great though. An elevated heart rate and nervous shuffling around at the airport for 15 minutes while waiting for my travelling companion registered as a full 15 minutes of exercise. As we settle into the flight my resting heart rate is now in the high 90s, low 100s
And for the next hour and however many terrifying minutes are left in this flight I can know, with data to back it up, that I do not fly well. Of course, I knew that before, but now it’s quantified.