Sunday (Stunt) Driver
March 18, 2014
Sometimes it’s easy to get into a routine - dare I say “a rut”? We go about our day-to-day lives and develop patterns. We have timetables and schedules. We generally stick to what we know and by and large don’t often try something different. This applies to the weight loss journey as well as life.
Life took an unexpected turn this weekend when I was well and truly out of my comfort zone. It had absolutely nothing to do with food but made me look at things with a different perspective, including my journey here with WLR.
Lovely Husband told me to keep Sunday free. All I knew was that we were going to end up somewhere in the Herefordshire countryside, and as it was a beautiful warm and sunny day I was looking forward to the drive no matter what. As the sat-nav indicated that we were twenty minutes away from our destination I spotted the first sign giving me a clue to what the afternoon had in store. “Experience Stunt Drive UK”. Husband coughed and I looked horrified.
Some of you will know that I passed my driving test rather later in life than a good many people. I had my first lessons at the age of 17 and whilst I was completely confident about my abilities to control my car, it became apparent that the other cars (and drivers) on the road made me nervous. Very nervous.
It was all too terrifying, so I spent years relying on walking;
public transport and latterly on LH who loves being behind the wheel.
Some years ago I realised that passing my driving test was the only thing in my life I had “given up on” and so set myself a deadline for getting the all-important piece of paper (and accompanying photocard) and I did it. I was now legally allowed to be “let loose” on the roads and although it was never ‘a pleasure’, it did become less of ‘a chore’.
Some of you also know that LH works within the automotive industry. It brings him into contact with some very interesting (and exceptionally talented people) including Stunt Drive UK. It seems that an idea grew in his head and seemed to fit perfectly with my own philosophy of breaking boundaries;
pushing yourself that little bit further; and exploring new possibilities.
This was a very daunting New Possibility indeed. But I can’t just “talk the talk”… if I know what goes in with the “headspace” of moving away from a comfort zone or a “default” pattern of behaving. I need to “walk the walk” and do it myself.
So… the sun was shining; the cars were gleaming; the instructors were calm and confident and showed us what we would be doing during our afternoon behind the wheel – and I have to say they were truly awesome in the proper sense of the word. I was awe-struck at the way they handled the cars; the way they threw them around but remained in complete control and the enthusiasm they instilled in those of us who were just about to give it a go.
It was a really strange experience. After taking so long to learn the “rules of the road”, I was now being encouraged to try something different. Completely safe and legal (on private land with duel-control cars and ultimate professionals sitting alongside me) but it was difficult for me to think and behave in a completely new way. I mean, when was the last time you got the engine to 6000 revs with a full right, flung your foot off the throttle and yanked the handbrake as hard as physically possible (whilst making sure the rev counter stays at 6k) in less than three seconds...
It was terrifying. It was also exhilarating and breath taking. It took a couple of practices and a little while for me to get the four simple steps in the right order (and within the miniscule amount of time needed) but the clear guidance from my instructor (with explanations of what we were going to do, the process of getting from the start to the finish and what the result would be) made it very “do-able”.
It involved me having to get my head around something completely different from what I would usually do.
It required me to believe that the person who was guiding me knew absolutely what they were doing. It involved me trusting the wisdom and experience of my instructor (which was pretty easy given that the Professionals (men and women) have an impressive pedigree including history-making World Rally Championship performances; Guinness World Records* under their belts; can boast having taught Formula One Drivers a thing or two about what is possible in a car… and have provided “close protection” driving tuition to the men in black who are charged with protecting Royalty and Superstars).
It also made me realise that moving out of my comfort zone can be hugely rewarding.
I challenged myself to think and behave differently. I put my trust in the wisdom of the experts and took it step by step, little by little and…I did it.
Who knew that I could do “doughnuts? Who on earth would have thought that I could master a high-speed handbrake turn? And, if ever I am the subject of a kidnap attempt in my little gold Peugeot, I know that I can do a rapid one-eighty spin and head off in the opposite direction without missing a beat. People close to me would find it as difficult to believe as I do. But it is true. Taking a leap of faith; having the courage to try something different; trusting people who know what they’re doing and know how to share their wisdom with care and enthusiasm, that was all it took. Step by step, little by little. The result? Guess who managed to drive a beautiful old mini on just TWO wheels.
So if you’re having a difficult time, if you’re feeling daunted or doubting your abilities, why not try something like taking small steps out of your comfort zone, away from “what you know”, and
try something new which gives you a taste of “what you can achieve”.
(And if you fancy taking slightly bigger steps - I can think of no better way than getting behind the wheel with professionals giving yourself one heck of an adrenalin rush). I don’t condone “drive it like you stole it” on a day-to-day basis but as in terms of challenging yourself and seeing things just that bit differently… it’s darned hard to beat.
So, whatever you have planned for today, why not try thinking a little differently; trying something new and taking small steps out of your comfort zone. The results could be amazing.
With a Hug
*PS: The world record is for the tightest parallel park One my instructions was responsible for getting a mini into a space with a mere three centimetres each end (I bet you’ve just done the “measuring with your fingers” thing like I did). Trust me, three centimetres is nothing, if you want a bit of inspiration about “possibilities” check this out - it shouldn’t be possible but it is…..