My grandpa believed in filling up his gas tank when it hit the one-quarter mark. “It doesn’t cost any more to drive on a full tank,” he’d say. Since he lived in a farm town with miles to drive, his logic made a lot of sense. I mostly listened, until I found myself with the low-fuel light on, two kids in the backseat, on a 95-degree-day, several miles from the nearest gas station.
To extend my gas mileage, I tried turning off air conditioner. Soon my back was sticky with sweat from both panic and heat. The kids started to droop a little. “Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap,” I muttered as I hit another red light. I just needed to make it through three more lights and one mile. I was pretty sure I’d make it, but didn’t relish the idea of getting stranded crossing the bridge right before the gas station. I barely made it in time.
My body might run out of gas one day, too. Taking care of my health is like filling up at the quarter-tank mark. It seems preemptive but will save me hassle in the long run. I don’t want to kick myself like I did as I coasted into the gas station—Why did I cut it so close?! It doesn’t cost any more to drive on a full tank.