It’s been another fun-filled week, Brandonians.
I woke to a text from my dad saying he needed me. The night before, I’d noticed the battery light come on my Jeep, but it was driving fine, so I didn’t think anything much of it a the time. I got in the Jeep and headed for dad’s house, but only made it a couple of miles before the battery light came on again. Soon after, pretty much every other warning light came on, and I knew my alternator was shot. I got a boost from some very nice Spokane Valley Police officers, who followed me home to make sure I made it there safely. Then I put a charger on the battery, got on my bike, and rode the 10 miles to dad’s house.
Now, 10 miles isn’t a big deal for me these days. However, it was 100 degrees here on Wednesday and yesterday. Also, it’s a nearly 500′ elevation gain from my house to my dad’s, and most of that is on one mile hill. I made it about halfway up the mile and a half, 14% grade Carnahan hill under pedal power. Then the heat and distance got the best of me and I had to push. I walked up the last three quarters of a mile panting and hating every step. Finally, I got up to the top and finished the last half mile or so to dad’s house by pedaling.
After staying with dad for the afternoon and helping out, I rode back. This was a lot easier and took me fifteen fewer minutes than the ride up. This was good, because I was late for rehearsal. I had to get a ride from Josh up to Andy’s house, and then I just stayed there. Sleep eluded me most of the night, and in the morning, Andy drove me home.
I had to finish my work for Space Porn, but I needed an hour or two of sleep first, so I went back to bed until 11:00. Then I got up, busted out a couple of SP articles in a couple of hours and then drove my Jeep—battery fully charged, but no alternator to keep it going—the five miles to my dad’s shop. I set about fixing the alternator around 3:00 pm.
I’m not a mechanic, but my dad is. He taught me a lot, but his health these days makes it impossible for him to work or even come out to the shop to supervise me. I’ve probably replaced two alternators in my life before this one, and I had him by my side both times. Also, those were on small rear-wheel drive pickup trucks where everything is easy to reach and fix. My Jeep is a 4×4, but it’s default is front-wheel drive. This means the engine sits side to side instead of front to back.
I had to remove quite a few pieces before I could finally get to the alternator. I worked slowly and methodically from around 3:00 to 8:00. I’m actually quite proud of getting it done in that amount of time by myself. When I got home, however, I was spent. So that was my “activity” for the day.
I got up early today and finished my work by around 1:30, then relaxed for a bit before hitting the gym. Tonight, rather than hitting the town, as I’d normally be itching to do, I’m hanging out at dad’s house to give my step-mom a break for the evening.
I know I’ve said this before, but seeing my dad in the condition he’s in right now has definitely helped me to stay disciplined regarding fitness. Not sure what tomorrow’s going to have in store, because the weather’s supposed to be stormy all weekend. I’d love to take Jake for a hike or go on another walk, but I think I may be gym bound tomorrow, too. Even though I burned through nearly twice as many calories riding on Wednesday as I would have at the gym, I still want to maintain my running plan (2.5 miles three times a week), and I’ve only run twice this week.
I think I’ll also take this opportunity to work on mindfulness this weekend. A little yoga, a little meditation, and maybe a little writing… that sounds great, actually.
Whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope that you’re taking care of yourself. Whether your going out and exploring, enjoying the outdoors, or hitting the gym this weekend, make sure you take some time to recharge. Remember, Mantra Monday’s coming up soon. Have a great weekend everyone!