I reached the large hole in the clouds and started spiraling upward, thinking: “This is great. Just a few more minutes, and we’ll be on top and on our way to the contest.” However, as I continued to climb, the hole was getting smaller and smaller until it disappeared altogether, and I found myself in the clouds. Having experienced loss of spatial orientation when my instructor put me through recovery from unusual attitudes, as well as having spun in the vertigo chair at a flight-safety meeting, I was well-aware that I was susceptible to losing spatial awareness. That really scared me. So I established a very shallow bank and kept my eyes riveted to the instruments, making sure that I didn’t increase my bank as I continued to spiral upward through the overcast. I tried to keep a confident bearing and act like this was an everyday occurrence for me so I wouldn’t make my passengers any more uncomfortable than they naturally were, not being able to see anything outside. But, truthfully, I was petrified. Of course, I didn’t report being in IMC.