You can't really experience the full speed and excitement of luging by just watching. And I don't think my assignment had fully sunk in until I got to Lucy Hill in Negaunee and saw the first child whiz past me like a rocket. Then I realized, my perspective was about to change.
I was next.
The instructors and I started with the fundamentals: how to get on the sled, turn and stop.
One of the challenges of shooting a luging special was to give you, the viewer, the best possible shot of the action. So we had an idea. Why not tape, yes, duct tape, a camera to my stomach? I may have been the first luger at Lucy Hill to do so.
The view certainly wasn't flawless, and neither was my run. But I didn TMt think I would be crashing my sled for over an hour.
I learned luging is as much mental as it is physical. You need perfect timing, maneuvering your feet and hands at just the right moment to pull off a successful turn. And support from the kids at the hill helped.
We started slow with turning through cones to get me ready to make a complete left turn. The more I crashed my sled, the more motivated I became. And when I saw a fellow luger master the run, then I knew, I had to do it.
At that point, we decided to remove the camera from my stomach so I could see a little better.
Throughout my several less-than-successful runs, I received detailed advice about how to improve: lift your legs here, lay your hand on the ice, and the final piece of advice from my trainer, who may have been losing faith in me--don't think, just do it.
And would you believe it worked?
After a solid two hours, and an exhausted group of coaches, the turn was a success!
Next stop, the Winter Olympics...only kidding, of course.