Spring time and winter time in SoCal, especially here on the coast, has brought fog and lots of it. The morning is always accentuated by fog and a chilly feeling of positive apprehension for the day ahead.
Even if I had just gotten back from my morning run, if there is still a chill in the air I will put my face to the open window and breath deeply. I love the smell of the morning mist. It's vibrancy. It's energy.
But I don't mean to be frivolous, I know fog is just something in the air. But it is tangible and in this world of feelings and judgments, something tangible is rare and special. Nature is tangible and if I spend even a little time in it I feel rejuvenation. And that is a big reason for why I run, it allows me time to get ready for the day to come, it fuels me (mentally &I physically), and it enlightens me.
On a run a while back I was about half way through and as I made my way up the big climb of the run I was ascending into the fog. As I got higher the droplets of mist slowly got thicker and the wind got harsher. I felt like I was climbing a mountain, but I could turn around and know the ocean was right behind me. The climb was cold and wet, but I loved it. It brought me closer to the discomfort I was in. It confined me into my thoughts, good and bad. And allowed me to fully focus on what I needed to do, with my form and nutrition, to best complete my run.
Which is why I think the fog of the hills and the way you ascend into it as the activity becomes harder is a perfect metaphor for what we need to do as what is occurring in our life gets tougher.
For example, last week I had finals and an SAT. Because of that I knew I needed to study hard and do my best throughout the week to do the best on the tests. To do my best I entered the fog and only focused on the task at hand. I shut everything frivolous down. Friends, screen time, staying up late, and eating bad were all cut. By staying focused and healthy I was able to focus on studying well and for optimal relaxation I would run of course and go on my iPad for only a little bit.
I'm calling it "the Fog," but you can call it whatever you want. It's simply the mindset we all must enter when the going gets tough. In our culture fog is associated with discombobulation, confusion, and unclear ideas. But, as I've explained earlier, the fog in and of itself for me has an innate essence of beauty, power, and freshness. The fact that it forms and reforms day after day, but not without it dying inbetween should convey to us the basic idea of impermanence. That the fog covers like a blanket, yet is as light as a feather and then leaves. We try to make sense of natural processes, I do too. But, sometimes it's best to let the stressors float by and evaporate like the fog.
Fog today is two things; a metaphor for focus and an analogy for presence. So go out and climb that mountain, ascend into the fog of focus, and when the going gets tough in life and running, let the discomforts evaporate from your mind by trusting in your experience and preparation. The fog is always waiting for you to refocus and attack the problem, you just need to find the white room of solitude.
Strive for better.