Oct 11, 2023: First Extreme Driving Lesson!

SKA Juice Bar – Tbilisi, Georgia – 9:35pm

Man, today was a blast! One highlight after highlight after highlight!

11am: First Extreme Driving Lesson with RIM Academy at the Rustavi International Motorpark

Today, I finally visited the Rustavi International Motorpark and did a slalom lesson! I’d wanted to learn how to drift for a while, and found a course which I thought wasn’t as expensive compared to other extreme driving courses elsewhere. I mean, it’s still pricey, but it’s probably a better deal than I would get elsewhere. I’d wanted to jump immediately into the drifting course, but they said that I should start with either the novice or defensive course. Well, I’m glad that I took those mechanical driving lessons with the regular driving school (40 lari for 45 minutes), because it definitely came in handy for this experience. I was still driving only in Gear 1 and 2, but while rocking back and forth in a slalom course, that speed feels fast.

There wasn’t much paperwork. After paying for the course (1300 gel for 5 lessons of 2 hours each – but 1 hour 20 minutes on the track only each time), I went to the classroom with my instructor (his name is Artem, from Ukraine, one of the co-owners of the academy) and practiced steering on their simulation set-up. After practicing for roughly 20-30 minutes, we went out to the drifting area. For the first four lessons, I’ll just be driving in this open area, but my fifth lesson will be out on the actual circuit! I’m super excited for that.

Driving slalom was fun! More fun that I had been expecting. Driving slalom on the right side was harder because you had to spin the wheel more times, and I think I veer pretty wide of the cones. But, driving slalom on the left was hella cool! I felt like such a boss, dodging the cones left and right, feeling like a pro. I got some videos of my driving, but it never looks as fast as it feels, haha. I’m excited for the next lesson!

1:30pm: An Unexpected Visit to Ponichala Reserve

I was lucky that I could catch bus 345 most of the way to the racetrack. I wish it went the rest of the way! But, I think I prefer heading down south this way to taking a marshrutka. In fact, I’ll always be taking this route, because I’m in love with Ponichala Reserve! After finishing my lesson at 1pm, I caught a Yandex car out to the last bus stop on the 345 route, and walked around in that quiet, peaceful park for over 2 hours. I felt like I had the whole place to myself! The nature there is exactly the type of nature I love. Greenery and lovely trees surrounding a lake. I hung out by the lake and sang to my heart’s content.

5pm: Progress at Hula Hoop!

Eventually, I had to catch the bus back to Saburtalo and get to class at AirHall. This hula hoop session was super fun! I felt like I got into a good flow, and was actually able to transpose the movements done on the right to my left side. Our teacher/my friend Sky showed us some tutting moves on the hoop as well, so it was great to see all the variations in moves we could do. Afterwards, we got a quick dinner at Seoul. It was pretty crowded so we had a bit of a wait for our food but my gimbap arrived ten minutes before pole fit started!

7pm: Progress at Pole!

Amazingly, the gimbap didn’t weigh me down too much. I started out the class feeling kind of weak, like I couldn’t even do the conditioning warm-ups properly. We worked on some splits on the pole, but I didn’t even feel like trying that. But then, our teacher Galiia showed me this move on the pole that I’ve always thought was too difficult for me, that required much more arm strength than I had–and I got it after maybe 1 or 2 tries! I was amazed! And I replicated it another 8 to 10 times. Galiia seemed to be pretty surprised too that I learned that trick so quickly since it was my first time trying it. She even tried to get me to let go of the pole with my legs since it seemed like I was progressing pretty quickly. That was a no go, haha. Super stoked about this new trick! I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. It has me super excited for the next class!

8:30pm: Writing Hour

I ended a very fulfilling and rewarding day with a Cheer Up juice (strawberry, apple and banana) at SKA Juice Bar. I did a short writing block for 15 minutes, getting another 406 words down on (virtual) paper. I definitely need to get back to focusing on my novella, but today marks day 11 of writing every day! I’m just stoked that I’ve managed to keep up the streak, especially since there have been some days when I was pretty tired and didn’t want to deal with it before sleeping. Still, I think this reflects that I should be making it a point to write at the beginning of the day, so that I can feel good and productive about getting it ticked off my list. Then I don’t need to sometimes feel dread when it comes to completing this task.

At the same time, I feel like I can only write the blog post at the end of the day, after completing all my adventures. So, we’re at a stalemate haha.

Good night, world!


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