Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chicago Tales: Riding a Segway Can Be a Religious Experience

You can see that Mike, the tour guide, is pretty comfortable on his Segway ... he could ride it backwards while pointing out Chicago sights ... and while keeping an eye on his uncertain flock of tourists.

Most of the Happy Catholic family on tour, in front of Buckingham Fountain.

Me? Of course, I was there too ...


As for the "religious experience" part of this all. Taking this tour was my idea. I was so excited about riding a Segway.

Until I got to the tour office. And saw one.

And then saw the training video. Each mistake in which seemed to end in a broken arm. (On a computer model, but that was enough for me.)

Now logically I knew that the point of this video was to scare some sense into the 16-year-old boy who was part of our group. However, when did logic trump emotion of someone who is in mortal terror of falling over ... or running down a tourist ... or crashing under the wheels of a car?

Right. Never!

Once we were in the park for training, I was timidly on my Segway, practicing rolling forward (pressure on toes) and backward (pressure on heels). Internally (and perhaps externally as well) I was experiencing a bit of a freak-out. How was I going to do this for two hours?
A two hour tour,
A two hour tour ...
Luckily, right before we left, I had read this post by Jane about her guardian angel. More importantly, I then also read this post also by Jane and also about her guardian angel.

Go ahead ... or you can read them later. But do read them.

Those posts made me suddenly aware that I'd been taking my guardian angel for granted. G. and I have had some joking, friendly times but for some time I'd kind of forgotten that whole part of the angel-person relationship.

I used those posts to send me back into more awareness and building of a friendly give-and-take.

Which made it perfect for my Segway freak-out. Because suddenly I was getting a soothing stream of reminders just when I needed it. Things like, "Don't forget to bend your knees slightly." (Hey, that did make it so much easier).

Or, to share a bit more, a passing along of how proud God was of me for going out on a limb and trying something so risky, but so potentially fun ... that it was a "stretching" moment that I shouldn't turn away from.

Could I have been generating these things myself? Well, naturally, I could.

But somehow these snippets of conversation were of a nature that I'd come to recognize as being my constant companion, G. It made the trip twice as fun ... and infinitely more peaceful!

How did it end up?

I loved it!

Missed my Segway when we were back on foot, "Like chumps!" as Tom joked.

And was so happy to have stepped out and gotten all the new experiences I had from this situation ... on many levels.

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