Remember this photo?
When I first started auditing Team Oregon classes last fall my mentor hooked me up with this hat. With a bit of persistence, perseverance and a whole lot of patience through the winter months, I managed to make it through the interview process and landed myself into an IP (Instructor Preparation) class. What made this especially difficult for me was that December, January and February are the busiest months at my work. Once the Christmas season is over it is full throttle to ship grass seed into the distribution centers and stores for the upcoming Spring season. I was going into work early, working through my lunch and staying late trying to keep up. I was committed to the #29in29 challenge and did my best keeping up on everyone's blogs, commenting when I could. Then during the weekend and evenings Brandy and I moved a couple of walls to expand a closet in our master bedroom, then put down cork flooring throughout our house.
My interview with Team Oregon came and went, I was accepted into class and before I knew it I was headed up to Portland for a weekend of information overload.
|Aka - "The Range Cards"|
I have literally, short of sleeping with it, packed the Basic Rider Training Range Guide with me since it arrived on my doorstep, reading exercise after exercise after exercise just to prepare for IP.
I had an absolute blast, thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned so much that the knowledge started weeping from my ears. Two instructors teaching, two more instructors "playing" the role of error riders and 11 other fresh, newbie classmates took turns going through the exercises on the range for two days. We took turns riding the range and teaching an exercise so at least the other riders (fellow classmates) were model students. The error riders like "Relentless Ray" however, struck fear into all of us as he barreled all 250cc's of training bike down the range making sure to mess something up for us to coach and correct, but Ray just wouldn't learn and continued to test us over and over and over again. C'mon Ray!
We all passed and graduated to Apprentice Instructors, donning our new official khaki brimmed caps, eager and ready to teach our first class.
|The "official" instructor cap.|
And this past weekend just happened to be my first class. Let me tell you, at least you can somewhat predict what Relentless Ray was going to do in IP, having 12 actual students who have never been on a motorcycle before will really open your eyes and keep you on your toes. As long as I kept telling myself that they were more afraid of me than I was of them I'd make it through the weekend.
Seriously, they were all great students and my fellow instructors were very helpful and supportive. I had a great time, had a lot of fun, learned even more and can't wait for my next class to do it all over again.
Just like students learning to ride, I'm now able to keep my head and eyes up. I have a few more classes to teach before I am signed off as a full instructor.... now to slow, look, roll and press through the next turn.