“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” (Mario Andretti)
Ah, the illusion of holding onto that control—the safety, comfort, peacefulness of knowing you are steering your ship properly, no icebergs ahead, just smooth sailing. But the waters are unpredictable, and it’s often difficult to see what lies beneath the surface. Besides, who really wants safety, or comfort, or peace? These are beautiful concepts—for the dead. To live is to be unsure, uncomfortable, on edge, a mania fueling the machine and forcing it ahead faster.
The above quote might make it sound like control is an illusion, but that’s not the point. He’s saying control comes at a cost—and the cost is going slow, drifting through life, accomplishing little in a long stretch of time. We do have control over this. We have control over how hard and fast we drive, how hard and fast we play, how hard and fast we live.
Step on the accelerator, bury the needle and push it through the floor. See what happens. See the blur of lines, colors morphing into streaks that flash before your eyes, the warp speed and hyperdrive of cinema, turning the environment into a blur of beautiful lights streaking before us, pulling us into the future.
What’s stopping you? The fear of not being able to see clearly? What’s the purpose of perfectly clear vision, when we all know the future can’t be predicted with 100% accuracy anyways? The thrill of the blur is precisely what drives those who embrace being a bit out of control—riding that edge, the cusp of insanity, always walking the line and oscillating back and forth between “too much” and “just enough”. I like sticking my toe over that line, dipping it into the water, seeing how cold it is, or smolderingly hot. That line of sanity is what separates the great from the also-rans of the world. No great hero, inventor, or warrior ever stayed safely on the side of the line demarcated “Under control, going plenty slow”.
No. Speed, passion, explosiveness is what compelled those heroes, inventors and warriors. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” (Albert Einstein) And great spirits put the pedal through the floorboard, hanging on for dear life as they watch the mediocre minds around them fade into streaks of the past. The world is filled with averageness. It has to be, by definition. Which means, if that accelerator isn’t pushed all the way down, well, you can imagine where you’re going to fall on the spectrum.
“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.” (Gary Ryan Blair)
And how do we tackle the extra mile? By speeding up—by pushing harder—by turning on the rocket boosters, scorching the earth with a trail of flames, and leaving “control” behind us to die in our wake. Strap on that five-point harness, it’s time to romp over the landscape full-tilt. If we crash, baby, then we crash; chances are, nine times out of ten, you will get up and walk away unscathed. And if we happen to collect a few scars along the way, well then, we’ll just have to remember the wise words of Lance Murdoch on The Simpsons: “Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world.”
So grab your daredevil helmet, get in the car, and cut loose the throttle. Leave a patch of smoking rubber behind you as you careen down the path of the uncontrollable, the unseeable, the not-yet-determined. Hold onto the wheel tight, and fight to control it as best you can, knowing that, ultimately, your destiny lies ahead, down the path before you—if only you get there fast enough.
-David A. Johnston
David Johnston is the founder and lead trainer of TEAM Warrior Within. You can also listen to him weekely on the GEARD Up podcast. ( GEARDUp.com ) David works with clients ranging from the everyday person just trying to lose weight and get healthy, local and national bodybuilding and physique competitors, to IFBB professional athletes.
David lives and breathes all things related to physique transformation, and has devoted nearly half of his life to passionately studying and educating himself to be the absolute best at what he does. His intensity in the gym is matched only by the passion he gives to his clients.