My task yesterday was to attack the piece of yard art that has been sitting in front of my shop for about a year and get it running again. It’s an old Jacobsen Truckster, essentially it is a golf cart on steroids with a 4-cylinder Ford motor inside. I have no idea the extent of what I am up against but I am excited to find out.
At 6am, I walk into my gravel driveway and I bravely face my mechanical opposition. I stand there much like Doc Holliday before shooting Johnny Ringo or maybe it was more like Dutch facing the Predator; more realistically, I looked like Indiana Jones when he locked eyes with the cobra in Raiders.
I was equal parts scared, intimidated, and excited. I couldn’t wait to see if I could get this machine back to firing again. Before I could do anything, I had to get on the ground and crawl under the machine. At 41 years old and 250+ pounds, with hips that don’t bend and knees that don’t like to, getting on down on the floor is never pretty; getting down on a gravel floor is almost R-rated.
After making sure that I had just about every tool I own within arm’s reach to minimize the times I had to get up and lay down, I began my descend. It’s a three-part process to get down on the floor:
1. The dammit- this is when I break at the knees and begin the downward motion with as much fluidity as possible but looking as if I have received a gutshot from a sniper who is 200 yards away.
2. The sonofabitch- this is when I stick my arm out to break my fall but I chicken out at the last second because I am afraid that my shoulder is going to pop out of my rotator cuff. I stick my hand out and then turn my head- the way that pre-schoolers do when they slap fight.
3. The mutherfuker- finally, the final and least graceful move of the fat-n-forty floor bomb. This action is based on faith and momentum; nothing can stop it. Once you reach the mutherfucker, there is no turning back- the words have already been spoken and the actions have already been put into place. You will stop only when the laws of physics dictate that you will stop.
Finally, I reach my final destination, which I fought so desperately to find, laying on my back in a bed of gasoline-soaked gravel. Upon getting in place, the rest of the task was pretty simple. A combustible engine needs only a few things to run:
Upon inspection I found that my fuel was bad, my fuel pump was broken, my carburetor was clogged, but my fire and my timing were perfect. I made a few adjustments and I texted Amanda a video to show her that the old machine was firing again. She sent me a text to let me know how proud of me she was….that was all I needed; Amanda was my spark. She got my motor running.
Yesterday was a good day.
As I reflected, I thought about the similarities between my needs as a human and the motor I was trying to get running:
1. I needed fuel- a project that was challenging; something that involved learning, and the possibility of failure with a feeling of satisfaction if accomplished. I needed a task to be driven towards accomplishing.
2. I needed air- the opportunity to move around and get the blood flowing. I am better active as opposed to idle. I didn’t need to kill myself on a relaxing Sunday but I didn’t need to lay down and rust either.
3. I needed a spark- I needed something to make me feel good about myself. I need something to make me feel proud and capable. I needed that text from Amanda that made me feel valuable as a husband and a man.
4. I needed timing- well, God and the universe do a pretty good job at that. I didn’t time the motor any more than I timed the project. The engine was already timed and in harmony- that was something I didn’t have to worry about. I think timing usually takes care of itself if I will let it.
My job is to find the fuel, find the reason, and find the drive. If I am willing to find the fuel, the rest of the components will take care of themselves.
We have a lot of horsepower inside of us. It’s just a matter of surrounding ourselves with the right people who help drive us to find our fuel and initiate that spark in an atmosphere which allows us to combust.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,