When was the last time you tried something new? While in Seattle for a soccer tournament, I was excited to try the Segway tour with the girls. It seemed easy enough. It never entered my mind that I might not be able to do it. Brynn and I grabbed a cab to get to our appointment on time and were the last ones to arrive. We signed our life away and grabbed a helmet. Lauren was the first to demonstrate inside a tiny room. She made it look so easy!
I heard the same directions she did. I even watched her do it. Then my group went outside to learn how to operate it right next to the traffic zipping by. Again, two people tried it before it was my turn. I understood that I needed to carefully step up on the Segway and that there are no brakes. I thought I understood that leaning forward makes you go forward, and for some reason I thought I heard that tilting back meant brakes.
I stepped on the Segway and immediately started zooming backwards. I leaped off of it still holding the handle. The guide looked at me with eyes wide open and calmly said, “Please do not jump off of it!” How could I not? It wouldn’t stop, and I was headed in to traffic. Heart racing, fear building, I stepped on again. You guessed it, I went backwards and had to jump off, still holding the Segway. One more time. He asked me to “sit” or bend my knees, confirming my presumption that leaning back would stop me.
Somehow I found a way to go forward this time. I then realized that I needed to go forward to not go backward. Remember, there are no brakes. If I had understood that to begin with, I would not have suffered the embarrassment of six girls and several parent onlookers smiling but feeling sorry for me. For a brief moment I wanted to jump off and give it to someone else to ride. Taking my gigantic backpack off certainly helped but so did persevering and working through the fear and the failure. At last, I was on my way for an hour long tour of downtown Seattle. Zipping down sidewalks, zooming up steep hills, and zigzagging through crowds, I thoroughly enjoyed my new experience. I cannot wait to do it again!