WEGO Health: The First Time I...

>> Saturday, April 28, 2012

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Well, I mean during this challenge. Any normal month, skipping a few days+ is my norm. Anyway, back with a just-under-the-wire post.

I thought I’d make this post on something fun and non-health related; a flashback for you.

The first time I learned to drive a car. Well, I had a few “dry runs” with family members when I was 15-16 years old so I got the basics down but those times were usually in parking lots where no other cars were around. So it was fun but no real test. When it came down to getting serious about learning how to drive, well, that’s where it got interesting.

Driver’s Ed was part of my school’s curriculum, a semester’s worth. And depending on when your birthday fell, one quarter was on safety/drug and alcohol where you sat in a classroom and watched all the horror films and the other quarter was practicing all the necessary skills in the back parking lot before going out on the road.

Oh, and because this was part of the curriculum, the school had their own fleet of fancy cars. Ford LTDs. Ah yeah. Nothing like driving a big brown boat. Demolition derby is all I could think of.


Apparently lots of kids had fall birthdays so the school had to get creative with scheduling to fit everyone in. My birthday is in October, which meant I was one of the first.

So like I said, they had to get creative. Instead of learning/practicing in the back lot before going out on the road, I was put out on the road first. ::deer in headlights::


I think there were three times of going out on the road in the big boat. What I didn’t realize is the big ol’ cars were modified so that the driver’s ed teacher, who sat in the front passenger seat (there were other students in the back seat), had brake pedals. At least, not until I drove.

I knew the basics of driving but there were a couple of things I hadn’t mastered. One was using my right foot for both the gas and brake pedals. At home, our cars were stick, which I never mastered either, so there’s that dang left foot and the school’s cars were all automatic. And the other, was speed control. I drove either way too slow or way too fast. So we went out cruising around, er, I mean practicing. I was so nervous and paranoid about staying in my lane or not getting too close to the car in front of me that I rarely looked at my gauges. Yeah, I was speeding a lot!

I can’t remember if we were on the freeway or just about town but I was apparently speeding. I’m sure my teacher warned me verbally about slowing down but then would slow down too much. I do remember him telling me to stop using my left foot to brake (ugh! I never practiced with an automatic before). Anyway, I was speeding too often and then I began to notice the car doing “funny things.” Remember, he had pedals that I was unaware of.

We’re going around and I’d go to brake but the car would slow down before I even touched the pedal. This happened several times. The teach, finally noticing my perplexed face, said he’s been slowing me down with his brake pedal. Click. The light went on in my head.

Well, I finally “mastered” it, sorta, enough to pass the class and get my license anyway. But I still had issues with speed control for awhile. In fact, there’s another first time I got pulled over story but I’ll save that for another time.

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