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Skiing analogies needed for driving lessons

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
No Laughing! Here are the facts. I was raised in NYC, where public transportation connects to everything. Basically witnessed some sort of car accident just about every day , and was hit by a car 20 years ago. And I was brought up listening to "dead girlfriend songs", Last Kiss, Teen Angel. etc.
Although I'm a nice person, when WALKING, I can't tolerate people tailgaitng me or walking in clusters in front of me. Sidewalk Rage. At the top of a slope, I'm sometimes afraid to "pull out into traffic".
And I now live in the Boston area. You know what they say about the drivers, here. My husband is an amazing driver, and can safely handle any sorts of conditions. But he is totally intolerant of people who do not drive well. However, he is understandably tired of doing all the driving on 3-6 hour trips.
Often, in ski classes, the instructor will give an analogy about driving. I stare blankly. But I am a right brain learner, so now I need the analogies reversed.
Learning to ski has made me bolder about many things. But it may be easy to chicken out of this one. That's why I'm putting it in writng. help!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #2 of 19

a brilliant and helpful analogy eludes me. i would say, regarding your tentativeness, you might consider experimenting with something like self-hypnosis, or SOME exercise that allows you to begin to address and undo the nervousness and reluctance to "let go," into driving as well as skiing. sounds like you've got a fairly ingrained inner voice that perhaps has taken your (valuable) concern for safety and taken it to a different place, leaving you a little "constricted."
as in skiing, where one big step in improvement is finally getting to the point where you commit to the DOWNhill, letting your skis run, getting "off the brakes," so to speak, so in driving you will find tentativeness possibly less than ideal. in MY driving, which has included a little VERY low-level competition, assertiveness, if not aggression, is beneficial. you want to be ACTIVE rather than too passive. you want to go at the road (or slope) rather than letting it come at you. this involves accumulating mileage.
i have to say, this comes from a person who LOVES to drive and always has.
as you won't start skiing on blacks before you've got greens then blues under your belt, you'll also want to find user-friendly thoroughfares (open highways, etc.) to put your driving in motion. as in, it probably wouldn't be a great idea to begin battling manhattan traffic or san francisco hills (and one-way streets) to start out.
i would end by repeating what i said about addressing the frightened and nervous part of you. don't FIGHT it, just know it's going on and KNOW that it CAN be changed. it WILL over time and with your desire to DO IT.
take the time to do it right. consider a driving school at some point where you really DO get to experiment with different kinds of driving situations. a RACING/PERFORMANCE school/class might sound crazy but you'd be surprised at how THAT kind of motoring helps on the freeway and on congested city streets.
ease into it. try not to punish yourself for bad days.
and, not to worry you, but just as there are skiers who might need to re-test to get a skiing license(were there such a thing), there are MILLIONS of people on the road who SHOULD NOT BE, EVER. but they're there so YOU have to be aware of that fact.
driving is dangerous.
so can vigorous lovemaking be, if one's aorta is at risk. (that is meant for the sake of relativity, of course.)
skiing is dangerous.
all of the above CAN be sublime, as well.

last, learn to drive because it might save someone's life oneday.

oh. and watch plenty of speedvision.
post #3 of 19
I would agree with the class suggestion (as in skiing!). Those high performance schools often have more basic classes and there's no substitute for really learning from a good instructor/course.

For winter driving, go to a parking lot that's been plowed but is covered with snow and start fooling around! Go with someone (your husband?) who likes to do this sort of thing and have him show you how to skid and spin the car around. Go straight and slam on the brakes. See what happens! It shouldn't be hard to find someone who likes doing this. Most adventurous males love to do it, and if you go to the under 21 male category the percentage is probably like 95% who enjoy this!
If your over 30 and you like this sort of thing you definitely lament the loss of the rear wheel drive car. There's nothing like a rear wheel drive car for doing "doughnuts" in that snowy parking lot! The bigger the car the better. Alas, those days are gone and doughnuts in reverse just aren't the same thing.

How does that relate to skiing? Well it's just like those little kids you see trailing the instructor like ducks. Most don't just "follow" but play around zig zaging back and forth, or jumping up and down. By doing this they're learning a lot without even knowing it. Kids in general learn quickly because they like to play around and do stuff most adults are reluctant to do. Every time they play around they learn.

So *Do 'Doughnuts' in a snowy parking lot* (!!)

As for analogies, I guess the only one I can think of right now is:

*Look Ahead*

Just like in skiing you need to look ahead and not just in that zone of 20 feet in front of you. Also you're aware of things to the side, trail mergers etc. With a car you want to look ahead, check the rear view mirror and the side mirrors. The "constant movement" of your body in a ski turn is analogous to the constant movement of your eyes so you know what's around you.

Oh yeah, also "Take a lesson"

And "Breathe"
(You don't want to pass out at the wheel!)
post #4 of 19
This one is tough to verbalize, but, I'll try. When driving on a slippery road where you may skid.......... say, approaching a curve, visualize the direction that the mass (the vehicle) will take if it does loose traction........ then, set up the line that that is the LEAST hazardous prior to entering the curve.

I have heard this said in a lot of level one and two classes but the first time it was said (that I can remember) was in the 60's by Jackie Stewart after a Formula 1 event.
"Look where you want to go, never look at what you don't want to hit"......

The best insurance policy that you can buy is the research that you do regarding the crash testing on the vehicle that you buy.

There are old pilots and bold pilots but, no old bold pilots.

There are two kinds of (retractable gear) pilots. Those who have landed with the gear up and those who are gonna. We all crash sooner or later it's only a matter of when.

Can you post regarding your intended destinations so the Bears can avoid.....

Just kidding and happy trails.
post #5 of 19

You're supposed to use a biiiggg parking lot! Also, you were a young male at the time? This and c-a-r spells TROUBLE ! Those of us who didn't end up wrapped around the tree in the parking lot did that down the street!

Lisamarie is not in the same category, plus she'll be accompanied (hopefully) by someone responsible. We never had that advantage.
Besides, she'll have a few months before the snow falls to warm up.
Lisamarie- as Mark has just demonstrated you need to pick your "doughnut" companion carefully! The hubby perhaps?

Hey Yuki! I know my "doughnut" suggestion might be pretty bad but quoting Jackie Stewart on controlled skids through the turn? I hope Lisamarie's going to learn with a real junker! By the time she gets through with our suggestions there'll be nothing left of the car. (Actually lisamarie,a rear wheel drive junker will be great for doughnuts!)
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ryan, astute observation about how my tentativeness in skiing can get me into trouble while driving. Since you actually do amateur racing, and since we are supposedly the same person, my self hypnosis exercise will be to "become" Ryan. Love the driving/skiing/lovemaking=danger but sublime analogy.
Bob Barnes, brilliant and informative as always. Being an eastern skier, the analogy of not slamming on the breaks on the ice is one that I can relate to.
Tog! Ya had to remind him about those darn donuts! Since I haven't been hanging out with any males, under the age of 21, I guess Mark will get to relive his adolescence next winter.
Yuki; What you said reminds of the time this year in a ski lesson at Sugarloaf. We were up on Tote Road, and each of us had to lead the class through 6 turns. I knew that everyone else was terrified, and there were many "road blocks, yard sales, ice, boarder sit downs, etc., that I had to really choose a decent line.

Hey, everyone! Me, Not take lessons? Are you kidding! Just hope I don't start talking about technique all the time!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #7 of 19
Along with those donuts, if you have a large expanse of snow covered parking lot, it is good to try normal triving situations, just pushing the car a bit harder, to get it to break loose. Like get it moving in a straight line, and make a big, long turn, just a bit too fast for the conditions. Get an idea of how the car handles when it skids. It's not too dissimilar from the way skis act when they skid. Also try throwing the wheel too quickly, or pretending your pulling out onto a street, and hitting the accelerator a bit too hard, and making the back end break loose.

The other day, I was turning left, out the local Home Depot. It had just finished raining (only rained for about 5 minutes) for the first time in a week or two. You go across 2 lanes, then through a median, and have 2 lanes going left. Just as I was coming into the left-traveling lanes, the back end of my Blazer came out from under me. All of my playing around on snow made it very easy and almost instinctual to recover from it without slamming my wheels into the curb. And rather than it being a scary situation, it ends up being fun, and putting a smile on my face. Other people might have panicked and really f*ed up.
post #8 of 19
Of course all those practice donuts, wheel spins, skids, etc. will have to wait until the snow flys again (brings a tear to my eye).

In the meantime how about some "dry land training"? When you're going to the mountains this summer insist on doing some of the driving. I find I know the road much better from driving them (even better by cycling them) repeatedly and it makes the winter drives easier. Of course one can argue that being too familiar with the road can lull you into not expecting the unexpected. Kind of like being familiar with the rises, falls and blind spots in a ski run...
post #9 of 19
So Mark K1MCM = Hubby? Well, I see by his "handle" he's moved on from the big block Chevy to command his own starship!
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yep! Just renewed his amateur radio license. {He's actually "communicating" as I type}. But I also have to deal with the radio antenna thats on the car!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #11 of 19

Too funny. thanks for the laughs.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Glad you like our Tracy/Hepburn routine.

Tog, he was SO thrilled by the Starship analogy, that he stayed up all night figuring out the mystery of the Klingon forehead.....And....
By George he's got it!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some of you may see the humor in this.

So, I come home, and there's a message for Mark on our answering machine, some guy with at thick Italian accent "Hello, this is Vitale, I'm replying to your call about giving your wife driving lessons."

Will I have to call him "Maestro"?
Will he make me drive with my knees together?

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #14 of 19
I've only been driving for 2 years, but I drive better than 95% of the drivers out there.........
post #15 of 19
Miles - very funny! I hope that person reads it and gets it!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Miles! ROFL!!
post #17 of 19
Nah! He wouldnt read this. Would mean he really cared about helping someone out. Easier for him to come off all superior.
Lm, heres a skiing analogy. Bumps happen. Be ready.
post #18 of 19
Lisa/Mark - great straight-man routine!

Milesb - Excuse me while I clean the spit off my monitor!

post #19 of 19

at least it wasn't milk through the nose...
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