Thursday, July 11, 2013

Learning to Drive a Stick (for the 3rd time)

I had been "taught" how to drive a stick shift twice before. Once by my then boyfriend and another time by a good girl friend of mine. Both times didn't go so well. I didn't enjoy it and I'm sure it was because I didn't feel very successful at it. Learning to drive a stick is something I really want to do because I want to be able to drive one in the event that I need to. 

My old Starbucks co-worker Michelle is an incredibly kind person. Michelle was the one who finally taught me how to make good cappuccino foam (a difficult skill for a barista to get right). She was a very encouraging and patient teacher. The perfect candidate to attempt to teach me again, how to drive a stick. 

She told me that I could learn in her tiny white truck. We finally picked a day to get me behind the wheel. Each time I sit in a car with a stick I feel like I am starting all over from scratch. But this time I wanted it to be more than an attempt, but rather a success. With Michelle as my teacher I was confident that could happen this time. 

She was very soft and gentle with me explaining everything as I went along. We started off in a small parking lot where she lives at New Tribes Bible Institute. However, I quickly suggested we go to Ella Sharp Park where there would be both parking lots and only lightly traveled roads for me to practice on. 

Once we got there I didn't waste any time in the parking lot. Michelle had me out of the roads of the park right away. I got very used to transitioning between low gears. She had me try stopping and starting on a hill. With her good instruction I got the hang of it pretty quickly! 

Throughout the many laps of Ella Sharp we talked and talked and pretty soon I didn't think a whole lot about shifting at all. It came time that we needed to venture out for some gas and as I rounded my last lap Michelle proposed I should drive there. I had the idea in my head but wouldn't dare vocalize it. Since she did I knew I should give it a try. 

This only meant me driving on two main roads, but it meant I would be driving at real speeds with the possibility of more cars being around!! Anywho, I did great and I had a blast. I would  have driven around that park 500 times, it felt wonderful to actually be successful at this. 

I don't have any immediate need for this knowledge but I just want to know I could drive one if I had to. I went farther in this lesson that I never had before. In previous lessons I never left the parking lot and left the experience feeling defeated. I hope to drive around with Michelle at least a couple more times to get more practice behind the wheel. So now when I'm in an emergency and the only available car is a stick, I'll be ready!