Who Is Going To Last Longest, Me Or My Chevy Tahoe – Depends How I Drive Us?

Hi folks,

Great truck that has provided wonderful service for 300,000 miles.

I have to admit, even though it burns lots of gas when I drive it, my old Chevy truck, just like my body, is a remarkable piece of machinery. Just turning 300,000 miles and I am yet to have to put in oil between regular 6,000-mile servicing. The power train is still intact. Had to have work done on the brakes several times, and the steering. It has only left me stuck twice, a failed fuel pump and ignition problems. I do drive it conservatively, having read the manual so I don’t leave it in overdrive when in town or in hilly country, for instance. In fact, I have worked with this machine to optimize function and life span, in return for which it has really served me well, including five great 1,800-mile trips to the Lake Placid Ironman race each July.

My old faithful Chevy Tahoe being loaded for Lake Placid Ironman 2011

During these trips I cook all of the meals for my supporters and myself out of the back of the Tahoe, using another old friend, my 43-year old Coleman stove, and I have a great time. Thank you Chevy!

The real question is whether I’ll outlast my truck. During the twelve years that we have been together, of the two of us I have had the greatest number of mechanical failures (needing surgery). I feel like I am being patched back together on a regular basis whereas my Chevy just keeps on rolling along. The biggest repair to my body involved my aorta, thus this blog, but there have been multiple problems elsewhere (see diagram below). I suspect that I haven’t been driving my body as expertly as I drive my Chevy. 

The author's breakdown diagram.

These setbacks are all behind me now, thanks to modern surgery, my having learned a new trick or two over the years, and the assistance of some good coaches. The problem with my body is that it didn’t come with an instruction manual, which is why I am writing one myself, having been ‘stranded on the sidelines’ many times due to self-inflicted injuries that I would not wish on anyone else. I think one important issue for humans is that they tend to look after their belongings more carefully than they look after themselves. When I say themselves, I mean both their bodies and their minds. I know that I delay going to the doctor but never hesitate to check my truck into the shop for maintenance. I also notice immediately when something ‘doesn’t sound right’ whilst driving, but in the past it took a massage therapist to tell me about a tight muscle ready to rupture. I now check my body every day for signs of potential mechanical failure, in the same way that I listen to my truck.

I suspect that taking your car or your body to the mechanic or doctor, respectively, for routine maintenance is important, but this is not as important as how well you drive them on a daily basis.

-k Your Medical Mind


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.