Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am a crying, relieved mess. Anyone who ever wants to ride a scooter... read this!

OK, I've stopped crying. But I had a quick and teary tantrum in a parking lot about half an hour ago. I'm sooooo frustrated!

The Prof and I were out in the parking lot, going through the remedial exercises that he's given me to help me get over my fear of riding (after a fall a little while ago, which I've mentioned). And in a connected parking lot, there were a bunch of men in bright coloured bibs were going through similar exercises. Every time I've gone out to this parking lot, they've been there. But this time, I copied what one of them was doing ... and it turned me into a big crying mess!

Here's why... I thought that I was supposed to be using my butt to turn around corners. Which, to any normal person would probably mean concentrating on your butt, but still using whatever else felt comfortable or instinctual. To me, however, (a rule follower and former ballet dancer), it meant that I should isolate the muscles of my butt and try to use just them, leaving whatever other muscles I could unused.

I am an idiot!

It's as though I've been taking a hot pot off the stove every day and burning my hands, only to discover pot holders months later. It makes that much sense... and not riding correctly was that painful and scary.

So, I had a little cry of frustration with my helmet still on and my nose dripping. But now I'm OK.

The key to riding a scooter, it seems, is resistance. I hadn't had anything for my butt to resist against so the only way I'd been trying to control the scooter was by swaying it with my butt gravity. I'd been sitting on top of a moving chair, trying to direct it with mere hope and butt cheeks. And, I fell.

Today, in a miraculous moment of experimentation in the parking lot, I started using my arms and my feet. I moved with the scooter as though I were the boss of all of it -- not just the seat. And the feeling was so different, so wonderful, such a relief, that I freaked.

Tomorrow, I'm going to take it back out on to the road!

ps. My instructor took photos of me during class. I'll post them once he gets them on to the computer.

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