“Fish,” he said, “I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
I fractured my ankle in October. I had an unrelated surgery in May. I did not ride. I did not run. I did not exercise at all during that time. Today, I managed an even run for three miles, and because I made it to three, I went to three and a half. My pace is off, but running is my Fish.
I read a stupid meme on Facebook recently that said, “The ability to go the extra mile lies between your ears.” While Facebook is stupid, and memes are also stupid, this one statement is true. The ability to go the extra mile is always between your ears, in everything. The only reason people do not achieve their goals is lack of clarity.
It is easy to lose clarity. And what do I mean by clarity? Lucidity, understanding, freedom from ambiguity. The problem with clarity is that there is nowhere to hide; the truth is laid naked. And fog is so seductive.
This applies to everything. We apply layers and layers of fog to hide our insecurities, to suppress our fears, to mask our addictions and to feed our complacency. We choose to avoid clarity because it is easy and it is comfy. We stay in unhappy marriages because it is easier than getting out. We sit on the sofa at night instead of confronting the Fish on the pavement. We make excuses. Sometimes we cling to fog to stubbornly refuse to give up things that are bad for us – overeating, over-drinking, bad relationships, go-nowhere jobs. Change is difficult and the uncertainty of what lies on the other side of change intimidates most people, probably everyone at some point in time. Sometimes fog comes from the deception of others, too. But fog cannot hide the truth forever and wallowing in fog is nothing more than time wasted.
Clarity is essential to happiness.
So, Fish, I have lots between my ears and I am strong willed. Each mile and each mile after that, the track is clear.