When I'm learning something new it is really important to me to just turn off the ego. The part of me that doesn't want to be embarrassed, especially when I don't know something that I assume is "obvious." Because that, my friends, is the sort of attitude you do not want to bring when learning how to ride--or how about anywhere in life. Shut your mouth and open your ears, then ask questions, ask more questions, ask all the questions even if you've already asked them before.
So when Trevor started teaching me on the TTR 125 that summer, I told him that I was going to have zero ego. I wanted to make sure that I knew what the hell I was doing because I've found that we are the most scared when we don't know what we are facing. There are no stupid questions when you're coming from a place of sincerity and curiosity: I was sincerely hoping I wasn't going to fall on my ass and I was curious how this whole clutch thing was going to work.
Having been outfitted in Shawna's motocross gear I felt confident that if I did end up in the dirt at least I'd still have my skin intact. As I sat on the bike my mind kept repeating the gears as my foot flexed trying to establish some sort of muscle memory--I'm nothing if not prepared. Getting the bike actually started was a process in and of itself and by the time I was actually ready to ride I felt like my heart was going to fall out of my ass and I definitely couldn't remember if 1st was above or below neutral. But sometimes you gotta trust that everything is going to be ok. If I was going to fall the only people who were going to see was a pasture of cows and Trevor. The stakes were all in my head and no one was forcing me to learn how to ride. I chose to learn and you only learn by failing. No ego, remember?
That evening was a blur riding back and forth down that country road, going slow to turn around, getting comfortable with speed, listening for when I needed to shift. By the end of that first lesson I found out I was even a natural with the clutch... I better not let that go to my head.