As a child, my mother told us that we could do anything we wanted to do if we made up our mind and tried hard enough. I have believed that my entire life until recently. It turns out that Mom was wrong. I can tell you for a fact that I am NOT capable of doing some things despite my best efforts.
We have lived on 14 acres for over ten years, and I decided it was time that I learn to drive my husband’s ZTR (zero turn) mower. Since we have so much property to mow, we own two mowers. I have been quite content to do my share of the mowing on my John Deere tractor. I have my tunes and my noise cancelling headphones. I have a hat and sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. I keep my favorite can of weed killer in my drink holder in case I run across a thistle. (I gave up on trying to keep a drink in the drink holder years ago as it just ends up covered in grass.) I mow on my green tractor; Gene mows with the ZTR. Life is good and as it should be.
Occasionally, I need to move Gene’s mower, so he calmly gave me repeated lessons on how to start the ZTR, where to step to get on and off of it, and move it in and out of the shop. This man has patience, let me tell you. After almost mastering these skills (I say almost, because it really depends on whether I was actually paying attention as he reminded me of the steps), I took a spin up and down the driveway going at least half a mile an hour, weaving occasionally (okay, weaving a lot!). Seriously, you could walk faster than I was going. So finally, I thought I would try actually mowing with the ZTR on a flat section of lawn next to the drive way. How hard could it be?
It turns out that I’m uncoordinated and simply can’t get the mechanics or concept of no brakes! As the mower picks up speed, and I freak out because I can’t find the break, I just keep pushing forward to try to stop the darn thing. As it turns out, when you push forward, you go faster. In my mind, if I push my hands out in front of me, it is the international sign for STOP! In the five minutes Gene had his back turned, I took out a fence post, ran over a bed of mulch, drove through the woods (not on purpose) and now it looks like a drunk mowed the yard.
So Mom, you were wrong. And honey, sorry about the fence post.