When I started researching mountaineering to impress my future wife, I read about the 10 Essentials. And I remember telling her I’d been reading up on them, and she was so excited. Jennifer and her family are always prepared. Prepared for what? I don’t know. But I do know they’re always prepared. Before they, and now we, go on adventure, they order gear and test it. When Jennifer got a new car, she put an emergency bag in the back with tennis shoes, pants, heavy coats, gloves, a hat, etc. 

I watched her do this and I thought it was a good idea. I had an emergency medical kit in my car—a chotzkie from HBO to market Nurse Jackie—for disasters. But I liked the idea of having an emergency kit in my car, so I followed suit. I took an old Osprey pack (my favorite, which broke on Huron Peak) and loaded it with warm weather gear, tennis shoes, and other sunderies.  

Not long ago, I took this emergency kit out of my car when I went for a car wash. I forgot to put it back in my car. Today, I wish I’d had it. When I came out of yoga, I had a flat tire. The thing you need to know about yoga at Hot Asana is that it’s not just a casual stretch class. It’s full-tilt aerobic exercise. When I first went, I thought it was harder than football two-a-days. I’ve since gotten used to the 100-degree classes with 40 people in them. And I’m not one who leisurely exercises; I throw everything I’ve got at a class. I do lots of handstand holds and pushups. Usually I stay after to experiment, but today I couldn’t—I even told the teacher, “I can’t work on handstands, my arms are shot.” 

So I walk out into the parking lot in Addidas slides, sopping wet shorts and shirt, and a lightweight fleece only to find a flat tire. Not just flat, dead flat. I debated calling a tow or some other service to solve the problem, but somehow I couldn’t square it. I was lucky in that it was warming outside, maybe 45 degrees, so I could manage. I had a Clif Bar in my consul, water, and I tuned my phone to NPR and went to work.  

I wasn’t and am not mad about the ordeal other than that I’d left my emergency kit in the garage in front of my parking space. It did me absolutely not good. I had the right idea; I failed its execution. The reason I wasn’t and am not angry about the situation—on the contrary, I’m grateful—is because it could have been so much worse. I could have had a flat last night in the arctic temperatures when we went to an art show at MARK Arts. I could have been in a bad parking spot. I could go on and on. I changed the tire easily, and went about my day. I got super lucky. 

I’ve put my emergency kit back in my car already. And if you haven’t, I recommend build a kit and put it in your car too. Especially with this unpredictable Kansas weather. 

Here’s a photo mid-change. 

Here’s a photo mid-change. 

Parker McConachieComment