Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why Women Struggle at Learning a New Sport

The only instruction I received for driving a snowmobile was that it runs like a four-wheeler. I crashed it into a creek the first day. I was also yelled at for not watching the overheating gauge (that I didn't know existed) and overheating the machine. The group spent the day waiting for me to catch up since I didn't dare go fast. 

I now hate snowmobiling. And I understand a big reason why women don't try new sports or dislike it when they do. 

I've seen them on the ski slope, the golf course, biking with boyfriends, brothers, and husbands all being told the thing they're doing is easy and they should just get it. I hear them apologizing for holding everyone else up. Women HATE to cause other people difficulty.

So how do we get passed this initial awkwardness and actually enjoy the sport we're trying to learn?

  1. Ditch the person with you who's the so-called expert at teaching. Being good at a sport doesn't mean you're good at teaching it. If it's something you really want to do, pay for a lesson or find someone at your own skill level to do it with until you feel more comfortable.
  2. Do not feel guilty for holding the group back. I've been with people who were very patient with me and I still hated making them wait. It's okay, everyone has had to learn at some time.
  3. Don't give up. We as adults forget that rarely are we naturally good at something. Just because it's difficult at first doesn't mean it is worthless.
I recently went golfing with a friend who can't golf that well either and we had a blast. No holding anyone up, no feeling guilty, and without the pressure, I actually golfed better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lesson Learned from Dad

One of the most important lessons my dad taught me was that it's okay to get in trouble now and then. And for a girl who started life as the one who reminded the teacher we had a quiz, this was a much-needed lesson.

Dad taught us this by being our getaway driver for ding dong ditching, for giving us the idea to create a wall of sagebrush blocking the local roads, and getting thrown off the go-karts at the Fiesta Family Fun Park.

We were in St. George for a high school rodeo and at night several families went to the go-kart track. My dad and a couple of other dads hit the slick track wearing their wranglers and cowboy hats. After their allotted two minutes the operator flashed the red light for them to stop. The first dad, Randy, stopped. My dad, deciding he hadn't had enough, sped past him. The other dad, Jerry, figured he wasn't done yet either and sped past as well.

Randy decided he wasn't going to be the only fool stopped at the line so he gunned the gas and chased after them. I'm not sure how much longer they went around with the guy yelling at them to stop. The evening culminated in my dad calling the operator Bubba and telling him to relax and Bubba banning all three of them from the slick track.

I learned his lesson well and I got kicked off the go-kart track after smashing a few people into the wall. Some dads are the voice of reason, mine is the voice of crazy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stealing My Catalytic Converter

While attending a church function Sunday night, someone crawled under my car, took out a saw, sliced my exhaust pipe in two places, and stole my catalytic converter.

I was inside, oblivious to this, and only noticed it when I turned the key in my ignition to have the engine roar up and scare the bejeebers out of me. I assumed that something had blown off in the muffler and crawled under, dress and all, to take a look at it. All I could see was a two-foot gap in my exhaust pipe and metal shavings on the ground. Though the evidence was strong, I hesitated to call the police, feeling a little silly.

After a few minutes and confirmation from someone else that I wasn't crazy, I called the police. An officer came out and confirmed, saying while stealing this part isn't uncommon, the fact someone stole it in broad daylight in a crowded parking lot was unusually brazen. He was very glad I called it in.

After some investigation, I learned that these converters filter the exhaust from the engine and contain some precious metals that make it worthwhile to sell as scrap. The most popular models hit are Nissan and Toyota SUVs from the '90s due to the ease of access (meaning I drive I big target and with my lift kit, I might as well of gift wrapped it for them). While we were waiting for the police to come, a white 4-Runner left the parking lot and after hearing her engine, I figured she'd been hit too.

The muffler people said that thieves like to strike anywhere there's a lot of cars parked. A few years ago, they struck the local high school a few times during classes and a couple of car dealerships.

To be safe, park in well lit and frequented areas, don't leave your car for prolonged periods of time, and, if possible, weld your converter to your frame.