Have You Checked Your Equipment Lately?

Have You Checked Your Equipment Lately?

“Six to eight weeks….and you are going to have to be diligent about wearing it ALL the time, except for when sleeping.”  The orthopedic surgeon’s words sounded like they were coming from out of a long tunnel as I stood there thinking about all the things that were going to change in my life for the next month or two.

Almost two weeks prior, an accident that lasted only a few seconds changed so much instantly.  I was camping with my family and we had taken our horses with us.  My ten year old son was dying for me to take him on his first trail ride.  I saddled up his horse and mine and off we went.  Both animals were behaving beautifully.  Then my son asked if we could run the horses.  “Sure, honey…lets get up here a bit first.”  We started to lope and my horse began to buck.  I was doing well…..until the equipment failure.  The strap that holds the saddle to the horse, snapped into three pieces and I went flying through the air, flipped over and landed on my upper back.  I could only watch as my son’s horse charged after my hose as they ran back to camp and out of sight.  Fortunately, my son bailed off to come back to me and ended up with nothing more than a slight scrape to his knee.  It was different for me, however.
Fast forward to the surgeon’s office where I was being told how I was going to care for the 15% compression fracture of my T12 vertebrae.  No riding, no running, no lifting, no yard work – nothing fun as far as I was concerned!  The worst part is that in just 6 weeks, I was supposed to be married….on horseback!!!   The brace I was being sentenced to would hold my back straight all day so that the fracture could heal on its own – in about 6 to 8 weeks.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I may as well be put in a jail cell as be told I can’t be my active self who “does it all.”

I am slowly adjusting to my limitations and will most likely be able to go through the wedding without the brace.  Why do I retell my story here?  Well, it reminds me of how we need to always check our equipment and make sure it is in excellent condition, working properly and will be reliable when we need it to be most.  The leather on my billet strap was old and brittle.  Sometimes our hard drives, flash-drives, network cables, printer parts, cameras, etc, all wear out or break when we need them most.  The best way to prevent this is to take the time to do a once over on your equipment.  Do your virus scans, update the firmware and software for your operating systems and programs.  Check your cables to make sure they aren’t crimped, or splitting.  Use dusting sprays on your machines to keep them clean.  Call in a technician to do a once over on your equipment, if you don’t have it reguarly cared for.

My point here is that most of us are in a lull right now and this is the perfect time to make sure our equipment is going to be there for us when we most need it and not have a failure that will cost us weeks of productivity, like what happened to me.



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