I had to mindfully embody Resiliency in Action during this experience. Was it natural, not so much. Easy, easier that I’ve been practicing and building resiliency.
Had this been me before, it would have been more miserable for myself and everyone around me. You can build resiliency skills so when life happens you can bounce back.
Here’s the Flat Tire scenario:
Bill and I were driving back to Texas from our visit with family in Colorado. Bill wanted to drive the whole way in one day – about 12-13 hours w/out stops or gas. I wasn’t too keen but agreed if we felt OK after lunch we’d give it a go.
Getting gas after a few hours, we noticed the front passenger tire looked a little low. Hmm, was that due to elevation change or a slow leak? Not so bad, we can keep driving. After lunch, we saw signs for Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It’s a park we both wanted to visit but it’s way out of the way, as in 7.5 hours from home. We spontaneously decided yeah, let’s go – we’re tired and can spend the night there. Let’s be spontaneous and have some fun. There’s a resiliency skill.
We decide to sight see the canyon before dinner and darkness. We stop to get out and take pictures and notice now the tire is looking awfully low now. Darn. I bet someone at the RV park has a compressor and we can pump it up. Another resiliency skill – thinking positively.
Bill looks around the dusty desolate RV park to see if anyone is around or out in their sites, no luck. We’re at this sketchy RV park since the state park was full. I call the phone number of the place, a guy answers who’s not on site and won’t be until tomorrow morning. He suggests we drive into town to a Walmart about 10 miles.
We find the Walmart 17 miles and it has an air and vacuum station. Whoo hoo! Let’s get some air and see how the tire does overnight. Bill hops out and I hear the air going then a loud pop and hiss. Bill looking flummoxed, hops is saying, “Call AAA. We’ve got a flat.”
“What? What happened? I ask – he shows the valve stem – the entire thing came out and instant flat. How does that even happen?
Grr – I spew all kinds of bad words. This darn tire is now starting to become a real pain. I’m tired and hot and now super grumpy. Bill goes into Walmart to see if they have an automotive section. I use my phone app to file a AAA claim and the automated bot assures me they will be there soon with a tow truck – 1.5 hours at 10:30pm. That’s not soon enough.
I call AAA and inquire if there’s someone closer that can repair a flat. Nope, not where you are, try the spare tire. I still need someone to help get the spare off, I don’t think I have a jack and a we need a tire repair. Augh, maybe the tow truck person can help. I tear up, this stinks, I’m tired and just want to sleep, not wait in a blankety blank Walmart parking lot. A flat tire in Canyon Texas wasn’t on the plan. We’re supposed to be having a spontaneous fun time. Wah Wah. I have a small pity party while waiting for Bill and AAA.
I’m pull myself together. OK resiliency coach – get a grip and walk your talk. What can you do? What are the facts? Let’s problem solve this and see what we can do. Bill returns with news that tomorrow they can sell us a new tire. OK, that’s not so bad. We can boondock in the parking lot. Not ideal but OK. Thinking more resilient I am!
We hop into problem solving mode, can we find the jack, get the tire off and spare put on ourselves?
Emptying out the storage bin yields a tire iron and lug wrench. No jack. The spare of course needs a wrench I don’t have. We’re at Walmart – how fortunate that is we can buy what we need! Someone’s looking out for us, I think resiliently.
How did a flat tire reflect resiliency?
1.A problem during a driving vacation didn’t ruin the vacation.
a.It was a temporary problem
2.Chose to hike and had fun even though we knew we had to replace a tire.
a.Alter plans and look for the fun
3.Took control of the situation
4.Looked for solutions to the problem
5.Reviewed our resources
a.Had resources to purchase additional resources – have credit card will go.
6.Worked together as a team
a.Versus arguing, fault finding, yelling, cursing – my old go to’s.
7.Asked for help
8.Found humor in the situation
a.A smiley face in the ketchup
9.Looked for hidden blessings
a.It was cool and breezy
b.We were in a safe place with lights
c.Bill was able to get the old tire and spare off and put the new one on.
d.We had options where we slept
f.We had food and water & air conditioning
How does the tire fiasco end? We crossed the hot sticky parking lot at 9pm into Walmart to purchase new heavy-duty bottle jack, portable air compressor (that was on my RV to get list), wrenches and some water. Don’t want to be stranded in West Texas without enough water.
Bill was a hero and gets the old tire off, put on the old spare (as in 21 yrs. old -yikes) and filled it with the new air compressor. We return to the RV site and crash, Bill in his clothes at 11:30pm.
In the morning I realize I never even set the parking break, phew got lucky there. We decide that we want to do the canyon hike we planned as we’re up early and then we’ll go back to Amarillo to Discount Tire. The hike in the canyon was beautiful minus the man-eating mosquitoes and flies near the river. Certainly, made for a quick 3-mile hike - no dilly dallying.
The nearest Discount Tire 20 miles away turns into 40 miles in the wrong direction but closer than the next town of Lubbock. After what was supposed to be 2.5 hour wait for the tires it ends up being over 4.5 hours at the -thankfully air-conditioned comfortable Discount Tire. It’s 4:30pm and we embark on the 7.5 hour trip home with two new tires and all valve stems checked. We make it home around midnight safe and sound. Thankful and grateful to be home in our bed.
Looking at the list of resilient reflection characteristics above, which one might you want to try? Is there one that you want to build and grow?
I know you can build more resiliency!
If you would like support to build your resiliency or other skills, please reach out and contact me. I love supporting my clients to get up and bounce back and live boldly. I have space for two clients.
Click here to reach out to me or set up a 30min discovery call.
Peace, and blessings,
Teresa – Grateful for the many blessings and resiliency practice
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, ACC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
Author of Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me to Breathe Again &
The First Days Widow Journey
My coaching practice has a couple of openings at this time.
If you're interested in getting on the calendar before the increased rates take effect for all clients, now is the time.
There is one in July to secure the lower pre raised rates for you my readers & subscribers.
This offer expires August 1, 2021.
If you'd like to take advantage of the prior lower rates, please scheudle a discovery session before August 2021
Click here to see my coaching services
Click here to book a conversation