One of us escapeletes was speaking at a conference, had some free time, and decided to drop in and do a few escape rooms (much to the chagrin of the other.) This was an interesting experience as it involved breaking into a diner to get some loot hidden by the local mafia. Our brave solo heister (which we’ll make into a word if it isn’t one) felt confident as they went through all the challenges within the diner, watching the clock and taking their time with each challenge, enjoying the experience.

As you can tell from the title of this blog, the experience was not as “chill” as our escapelete believed. They looked up to see 10 minutes on the clock, smiling as it seemed there would soon be an easy exit with one puzzle left. With the final puzzle locked into place, they began to watch what they believed was the exit door, waiting for it to open. Then a painting to their left clicked and slid open to reveal another room! It appeared the entry into the diner aimed to gain access to the jewelry store next door.

A quick look around and the new room had nine locks that needed to be opened. A look at the clock; nine minutes were left before the police arrived. That’s one lock per minute – oh, $#!*! Luckily our escapelete had been in many of these situations before and knew to use that burst of anxiety, turning it into energy to focus and work through the nine locks as quickly as possible. Our escapelete found the loot and exited the building with mere seconds to spare before the police showed up.

For most of us, there have been many times in our lives when we realized that we had much more to do on a seemingly straightforward project (at home or work) or maybe that we thought we had more time, but then we had to rush around to get where we needed to go or do what we needed to do. Escape rooms teach us to harness that anxiety into energy to focus on the task at hand, remain calm, and do what we can in the time we have.


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