So, Wednesday I had a very unique experience. On the highway heading back from the outdoor range, it was rather windy. I watched the 18-wheeler just ahead of me struggle with the wind, and decided that it might be a good idea to put some distance between us. I gave the Earthf**ker a bit of gas (ahem), and started around the rig, when all of a sudden all holy hell broke loose.
In the sudden rush of acceleration, my dashboard-mounted GPS unit came loose and fell off the dash. I didn't think anything of it, because all of a sudden the truck just out and out died. No power whatsoever. Fortunately I was going straight on the highway at sufficient speed that controlling the truck wasn't too hard, but I had a swaying rig next to me and I was losing power.
Folks, that's never a good place to be.
I'm trying to decide whether I should signal the rig or just wait for him to catch up, when out of the blue the brain put two and two together. Falling GPS + path it took off the dashboard = look at the ignition to find that the GPS had impacted the key and shut the truck off. Reach down, twist the key back into the "on" position, and twist it enough to kick the motor back to life and everything was right in the world.
Didn't even stack traffic up behind me all that much (of course, there wasn't much traffic to begin with).
It's amazing how you react to different situations, it really is. At a previous trip to the range, I managed to pick up a nail in the rear driver's side tire, and I had a hell of a time deciding to s**t or get off the pot - whether to get it plugged or see if it sealed itself (since I could *hear* air leaking out, I found a garage real quick. Yes, I know, I need to get a tire repair kit for the truck, it's on the list). Something that, at worst, would have resulted in needed to toss the spare on had me absolutely flummoxed; yet Wednesday I was on the highway next to a shaking 18-wheeler with no power and the decision process was smooth, fluid, and decisive.
As terrifying as it was at the time, I'm glad it happened. It's good to know how you'll react in a tough situation, and having an impromptu training situation present itself with no warning (like problems crop up in real life) gave me a glimpse into how I perform under pressure. And, I'm happy to report, I didn't f**k everything up and die.
And sometimes, that's all you can ask for...
That is all.