Sunday, February 23, 2014

*** Skid Pan ***

*** May 1997 ***

In 1997 I was given the opportunity to attend the California Department of Education training course to become a state certified instructor.  Simply being accepted for the course is an honor in itself ... the fact that I completed the course makes me a part of a unique group ... I am one of a handful of California State Certified School Bus Driver Instructors.

One of the skills we worked on was handling a vehicle while in a skid ... to do this we were allowed to drive recently retired CHP cruisers on the skid pan.

The skid pan is a driving course made of polished concrete with water flowing over the surface.  The goal is to compete at least one lap without losing control ... but that wasn't good enough for me.  I wanted to see how many laps I could complete.

This was not a pass / fail exercise ... except to me.

I pushed the pace.  We were required to keep the cruiser in first gear, and were asked to keep our speed under 20 mph ... I wanted to complete my laps at 20 ... I wanted to challenge myself ... I spun out ... several times.

Others gave up.

After a short time I was one of three from the class that wanted to keep driving ... and I finally did it.  I made one lap with no spin out ... then two ... eventually up to five laps at 20 mph with no loss of control.

Then we changed directions and the process started all over again.

It was frustrating to a degree ... frustrating to not have the level of control I am used to.  I was amazed how changing a couple elements can make something so ordinary like driving an incredible challenge.

But I met the challenge.  It took some effort and patience, but I eventually achieved my goal ... and had fun in the process.



It has been far too long since I have given any actual updates.

I've started many updates ... I've had stories to tell ... fun, happy, affirming moments that I wanted to talk about ... but couldn't.  The words ... the thoughts ... the emotions  just were not there.  It's a road I've traveled before ...

I spun out in the curves.

It seemed not to matter how hard I tried there was simply no traction ... and the few times I started to make progress I would lose control again.

I've made the turn ... finally I am heading forward again.  I know there are more curves ahead that I must deal with ... I know I may spin out again ... but I am moving forward now.

Along the way I managed to reach a few minor milestones ... 

I had my 6 month anniversary on HRT at the end of November.  At the time I didn't realize it ... I was dealing with too many issues so it was not the moment of pause and reflection it may have been.

This is really not a huge issue, other than it shows me how distracted ... how out of sync that I was for a while.

I don't know whether I am completely back in sync or not.  I know I am better than I was, and that is enough to be grateful for.  Will I celebrate 1 year on HRT?  I don't know ... it seems like it is just a part of my life now ... 

I have been living full time for 6 months ... I've actually been presenting on the feminine side of androgynous for over 10 months, but the coming out and and letting my feminine side truly show was when considered myself truly full time.

I am amazed how easily it has been to take this step ... how quickly I have fallen in love with being me.  Being accepted and supported by my coworkers ... friends ... family has just been a bonus.  Living as me, no longer hiding, feeling free is the true reward.

I've managed to rehab my sore achilles tendon in about half the time as my previous injury.  The noticeable difference started when I began walking barefoot ... especially outside.  I don't keep my shoes on all day ... in fact I take them off whenever I can, but I just haven't walked around barefooted for any length of time in years.

At some point I guess I decided to stop sitting on my butt and feeling sorry for myself and start being a bit more proactive in my rehab.  I don't know exactly why, or even when I made this choice ... yep ... that sounds stupid, but it is just another indicator how much I was on auto-pilot during this time.  I am just grateful my navigation system was set in the right direction rather than causing me to backtrack.

I do not know what waits for me just beyond the horizon.  I do know with my beautiful Pam, my son Timmy, and all the other friends, family and coworkers supporting me that I can make it.