A few weeks ago, in Montreal, my traveling companion (quasi) surprised me with a two-hour, guided tour of my favorite city, by scooter.
If you know me in real life, you would be rightfully laughing hysterically that someone who knows me well would consider this. First of all, I am risk-averse in my personal life. Ropes courses freak me out. Second of all, I am terrified of the combination of two wheels and motors. There is no shame in being wildly-uncoordinated. I own it.
As I donned my pink helmet and escorted the scooter around the block, I was terrified. By the end of the two hours, I was elated. Partly because I did not get run over, mostly because I was thinking that if I practiced in my personal life an ounce of what I preached in my professional life, I would have jumped on that scooter and crushed the entire 120 minutes.
Lesson One: Momentum Matters
When you go slowly on a scooter, you are likely to fall over. You cannot turn as swiftly. Every change in direction is more difficult when you are going slowly. The faster I went, the easier I could correct course when I made a mistake. The slower you go, the less agile you are to respond to your own mistakes.
Lesson Two: Listen More, Eat Less DIRT
Somewhere in the lesson of scootering I did not absorb how to get off the scooter. I did not realize I missed this important part until I actually had to dismount the lovely thing. In public. I swung my leg off the back of the scooter as if it were a bicycle. And it came crashing down on me. Because it was a scooter, not a bicycle. I was totally humiliated. My white jeans were terribly filthy because, of course, I fell over in a dirt parking lot. As the guide pulled the scooter off from on top of me, he reminded me that my way to get off the scooter was not the way he taught me. The less you listen, the more dirt you'll eat.
Lesson Three: Some Things Aren't Meant To be Fixed
The quaint two-hour jaunt on the scooter I had anticipated quickly turned into riding this thing on the highway. Well, it felt like a highway, and in my defense, cars and trucks and buses were going very, very fast. I was scared. As I pulled into the destination, which was on another island, I was acutely aware that I would need to get off the island, with the scooter, using that same "highway." I kinda hate to give up. In my personal life, I am a never-ever-give-up type of gal. In my personal life, everything can be fixed. As a CFO, I promote rapid failure. The "on to the the next one," pull-off-the-bandaid type of failure. I channeled my inner CFO and declared that I was terrified, I wanted no more highway. I did not like it. It scared me. The guide said that with more practice, I would be fine. Nope, I said. This is not working. We should do something that works now. Some things should not be fixed.
If you ever want to go scootering in Montreal, visit these guys. They are the best.