Distance Til Empty

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Alex and I were on our way home from Colorado.

We were in our new Mazda which has one of those cool features where the vehicle actually tells you how many miles you can go before your run out of gas.

Because I despise driving exceptionally long distances in a straight line, we found ourselves on a really long, really dark highway at 4am with 72 miles left in the tank.

I started keeping an eye out for a place to fill up.

62 miles til empty.

52 miles til empty.

42 miles til empty.

32 miles til empty.

22 miles til empty.

“Alex! Wake Up! Find the nearest gas station on your phone!”


“The nearest gas station is in 30 miles……….”


I immediately go into full efficiency mode. 6th gear. Speed up on the downhill to gain momentum to let off the gas on the uphill. We did 10 miles AFTER the car said we had zero left.

And we made it.
The distance ’til empty meter was wrong. It failed to account for my understanding of physics, and my will to succeed.
Your “distance til empty” meter is wrong too. Ignore it.


When you’re hot. When you’re tired. When you feel like your tank is empty and you can’t do another burpee, you got at least 10 miles left…
The Navy Seals call it the 40% Rule. Check it out here.