We normally work as a team in our escape experiences; however, I was on a business trip, and I really wanted to fit in an escape room or two. We’d been to this city a few times and had done most of the rooms in the area, but I was able to find one location that had recently opened up a new room. I decided to do it – I was going to go on a bank heist all by myself. Since the stakes are high when robbing a bank, one normally does not want to attempt to do so alone. Although nervous, I felt like I was up to the task. I let the game master know that she would be my person on the inside – someone to provide feedback on my progress and nudge me in the right direction when I began to go astray.

When I first broke into the bank, I had to confront a very loud alarm. I have sensitive hearing, so this was a particularly urgent task. I felt a slight panic rise because the noise was painful. Having been through this situation several times before, I knew I needed to calm my emotions so I could focus. I took a few seconds to do that, then I saw a note left by an employee with the alarm code. While I felt my nerves get in the way a few times in the beginning, I was able to move through them by focusing on the task at hand and getting into the flow of the game. Before I knew it, I had a bag full of money and had blasted a hole through the vault, escaping into the street with my loot. Not long after, I found out that I had escaped in record time, faster than any group that had attempted to room up to that point.

Several lessons were learned during this experience. The main one is that we shouldn’t shy away from things that scare us. When we push ourselves outside our comfort zone, we can expand it, gain more confidence, and experience personal growth. When going through these types of experiences we gain greater awareness of our emotions and how to manage them in a way that will lead to our success.

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