I love the road and the road loves me! I love cars, roadtrips and everything they represent … nature, time with loved ones, discovery, adventure.

Cars … and all their parts … fascinate me. How each part works with the others to ensure a smooth ride and how when one part is off, the ride is bumpy, scary and definitely not fun. I have had my fair share of rides in both types of cars. Jalopies whose doors are closed with a latch, whose wipers don’t work and whose Air Conditioning is natural and the sound is surround (holes in sides, ceiling and floor). Smooth machines whose suspension makes nonsense of our potholes, doors that are practically hermetically sealed (no sound from outside, airconditioned, air – perfectly filtered).

Today, let’s look at the wheels of the car. Very important, as cars are often referred to as “Wheels” and there are so many cool idioms that are derived from ‘wheels’ (I’ll share a few at the end of this article).

When I look at the wheel, I see 2 key parts – the rim and the rubber tyre.

The rim is the ‘bones’ of the wheel, the part that provides structure. It is also the part that connects the wheel to the rest of the car. Have you ever wondered how turning the steering wheel also turns the wheel? How applying pressure on the accelerator causes the wheels to turn? How stomping on the brakes causes the wheels to stop spinning?  Without going into the mechanics of it all, suffice it to say that the final destination of all those instructions is the hub (the central part of the rim).

The rubber tyre on the other hand is the padding that ensures that when these instructions are carried out, that your ride remains smooth. Imagine driving on a rim? Those who have had the misfortune of a blown or shredded tyre know the sinking feeling of being out of control followed by the rough 10 or so seconds (feels more like four hours) before the car comes to a stop. That rubber makes all the difference!

2 parts of a tyre, both extremely important for a smooth ride, both needing to be in good shape and both needing to fit perfectly together if you are to avoid catastrophe. If we can be so careful about how we put these together in a car, you would think that we would exercise just as much care in our own lives.

Alas! As humans we seem very adept at ignoring the things that will ensure a smooth ride in our lives or safe passage in the bumpy times.

The rim is our character – who we are, what we believe in, our very essence. The tyre is our personality – what we show the world. However, too many times, our personality and our character are out of sync causing undue strain as we struggle to either sell a story that is not ours or to pretend to have ideals that are not our own. So tiring!

It is no wonder mental health issues are on the rise. If we cannot accept who we are and be okay to share this with the world … that bumpy ride starts in the heart as we feel sad, alone and misunderstood. Our head follows and provides justification for our low feelings and before long our body has joined the sadness brigade … over-eating, under-eating, cutting, crazy workouts, no workouts … no balance!

If you’ve ever watched a tyre being separated from the rim for either tyre or rim to be repaired or replaced, you know that it is no easy task. It involves, a lot of force, but it is done! If you are feeling like the tyre and rim in your life are misaligned, it is possible to mend, but you need to be willing to use a little force (some tears, some time, some soul-searching, some shedding of habits), endure a little pain.

Once the 2 are aligned, the road does not get smoother, but the ride does. If you need help aligning your tyre and rim, let me know and if I can help, I will or I can at least point you towards a great wheel doctor.

Wheel Idioms

5th wheel/ 3rd wheel

Cog in the wheel

Asleep at the wheel

Hell on wheels

Shoulder to the wheel

Kick the wheels

Oil the wheels

Put a spoke in your wheel

Spin your wheels

Take the wheel

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

Wheel and deal