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An essential element of my reinvention has been a physical component of exercise. On Tuesdays I take a spinning class and and torture my body for a cardiac intense 45-minutes. We did circuits Tuesday, an acronym for three sequences of terrain that challenge the body. The instructor designs these “Circuits”, equal in duration, to move us to near breakdown. During the third circuit she continued to encourage us saying, “This is what we’re working for! Ride strong and fearless.”

The ride strong and fearless resonated with me on more than a physical level. I needed a plan for the reinvention and the awareness that like any plan, success would turn on my ability to work the plan. An addendum is needed. Ride strong and fearless is an excellent addition. Tepid responses to the challenges of change produce tepid results. And, there is a difference between fearless and reckless, one would suffice. To some, reinvention might appear reckless in concept, akin to chasing pipe dreams. Reckless is simply an impulse with no consideration for consequences. Ride strong and fearless carries an underpinning of confidence and commitment. Strong and fearless embody more than the simple declarative meanings associated with the words. Commitment is the basis.

On this our national birthday, it is entirely appropriate to also consider ride strong and fearless as an aphorism for today. Purity of ideology betrays the wisdom of working a plan. The noise over who is the most pure in ideology on the right or left is a straight-jacketing of thought that will never solve problems. If working my plan is a necessity for me to achieve my goals, then most assuredly working the plan is more than necessary for the ship of state to realize its goals.

Connections are essential in literature and the ability to plumb the depths of our thoughts requires the use of those connections to breathe life into our ideas. The same is true for a ship of state. Connections are the basis for this country, connections that reinforce our commitment to life, liberty. and the pursuit of happiness.