The first thing to know is that the bucket leaks. That’s the first truth. Pour yourself into it. Give it everything you’ve got. It won’t stay long. Evaporation is an issue. Sure. But there’s a leak, and the older you get the faster it leaks. It’s worth asking whether it makes sense to stop and patch the bucket or just to keep filling it, quick as you can.
I have no answers, but here’s how this seems to work.
The bucket accepts a number of ingredients.
- Hard work, as fitness.
- Fine tuning, as skill.
- Calm clarity, as wisdom, as grit, as a faith and willingness in the process of it all.
These things you put into the bucket, and if you’re diligent it slowly fills. In moments you are able to draw from the bucket, but only upon things that you’ve put in and which remain there through careful management of leaks and a willingness to put in more than you take out.
In non-metaphorical terms, my fitness isn’t quite there, but it’s coming along. That contributes to a lack of sharpness in my bike handling, which is also not too bad. Every ride now holds some frustration and some progress. I am learning new things (riding flat pedals) and getting fitter by the ride after a series of setbacks. I am currently riding with a positive mindset and a gratitude for both the successes (subjective) and failures (also subjective).
The bucket of truth is just what it sounds like, and if you’re willing to look inside you can know yourself in the rawest and simplest terms. This need not be self-critical, nor self-aggrandizing. Not everything is a contest, least of all the truth.
The bucket of truth is you. That was probably obvious.
The Cycling Independent depends on the generosity of our subscribers and on Shimano North America who must not have read most of what I’ve written here before cheerfully signing on and encouraging us to maintain our direction and independence. Bless ’em.