¡TOOL! the worn and faded white letters say, painted on the asphalt park trail a few miles from here. What can it mean? Perhaps some graffiti artist just wanted to encourage her cross-country team-mates as they ran back to the local rich-girl's school. A simple exhortation to speed up, in a single word.
But as I jogged along in a free-association mood the other day a better interpretation came to me. "Tooling" is the act of carving something into shape — machining an object — fashioning it into a better form.
Tooling is thus precisely the purpose of exercise applied to the body. And tooling is the purpose of study applied to the mind. Honing. Sharpening. Progress. Betterment.
So now I have a new mantra to chant as I work on myself: ¡TOOL!