Sunday, September 26, 2010

Faith and flat tires

I've received a temporary breather from the tech issues with my laptop. I did some uninstalls/reinstalls, checked for viruses (it was clean) and anything else I could think of that might be affecting its performance. I also gave it a pep talk. Whatever I did seems to have worked.

As I was working on my laptop and watching Notre Dame lose its football game, I kept remembering the time I got a flat tire on my wheelchair at a shopping outlet about 2 miles away from my car . I was carrying a kit which I won at a wheelchair tennis tournament. it must have been old because when I went to use it nothing in the package worked. Just as I was trying to wrap my brain around a way to get back to my car and/or get my tire fixed, I heard another hissing sound and realized that the second tire was going flat.

Sitting there on the rims, I noticed a security guard nearby and hailed him down. He asked me if I had spare tires or wheels in my car and I realized that I had my tennis wheels with me. He was kind enough to go to my car, get the second set of tires and bring them to me so I could replace the flat ones.

That wasn't the first time I got a flat tire. Ironically my first flat tire happened when I was being strapped into an accessible bus at a wheelchair tennis tournament. Luckily I was on the way back from the matches. My friend stared at me as the hissing sound began. I was such a newbie that I didn't even know what it was. She told me it was the valve and when the bus dropped us off, we spent a good 40 minutes putting a new tube onto the chair. Although we were late to the banquet, we had everything we needed right at hand.

I've had a number of other flat tires. After a while I learned what I needed to carry with me but I also realized that no matter how prepared I was, getting a flat tire fixed involves a little faith.

First there's the "a ha" moment when you realize you're not going anywhere. The air that you assumed would be in that tire, that you depend upon so you can roll just whooshes out and your next reaction is "uh oh".

This is where faith comes in. Hopefully you're prepared. Even then, you can't always plan for every contingency. It doesn't do any good blaming yourself if you accidentally ran over glass or blaming other people like bus drivers who don't know how to strap a wheelchair in.

The faith part has a lot to do with being open to all possibilities. Sometimes you have to ask for help. Other times you tinker long enough with it and you're good to go. I've learned that you can't go wrong as long as you refuse to sit too long on the flat tire.

That's probably the only reason any of us should blame ourselves.

You just got to have faith.


Meredith Gould said...

Wonderful -- after I got over the initial panic of wondering if the Beast Transporter had gotten a flat.

Ruth said...

The Beast is flat free. He's got that kind of 'tude :)