FRIDAY FICKS: Let's beat the storm together

Published on Friday, 21 January 2022 10:43
Written by CARL R. FICKS, JR.

"Did you reset the odometer?" I asked.

"Uh ... no ... it doesn't really work that way," he responded.

A few months ago, my car started to shake and shimmy. While admittedly possessing very little mechanical knowledge, I knew enough to take it to the dealer for a service check, as I was still under warranty.

The dealer tested, retested and drilled down, but could not diagnose the problem. A new part was installed without success. GM personnel were called in, and the new part was swapped out, again without success. After an unexpectedly lengthy, and metaphorical, trip down the automotive rabbit hole, the car finally emerged 54 days later with … a new engine.

What? A new engine? Although I have owned several cars in my life, none ever needed one of those. And I had questions.

Despite my mechanical ignorance, I do know that the odometer measures the distance traveled by a vehicle. Deductively, the distance traveled by a new engine is zero, thus a reset … a clean slate … should be in order. Apparently, my syllogistic reasoning had no application in the vehicular repair world, which the dealership service writer politely pointed out to me.

As I rolled out of the dealer's lot in my old(er) car powered by my new engine (courtesy of GM), Chris Stapleton's song "Starting Over" came on the radio. It was exquisite timing … because my car, despite an odometer which said otherwise, was indeed … starting over.

As I rolled out of the dealer's lot, I also realized that 2021 was coming to a rapid close, with a new year on the horizon. A reset. A clean slate.

Stapleton's lyrics resonated: "This might not be an easy time. There's rivers to cross and hills to climb. Some days we might fall apart. And some nights might feel cold and dark.”

These are not the easiest of times, and there may be some obstacles ahead which will be tough to navigate. But a new year offers a refreshingly clean slate … and allows you to reset your odometer. To measure anew the distance you will travel in 2022. To start over.

Stapleton so positively urges us to "beat the storm and be on our way."

Let's go forward together, shall we?

Carl Ficks helps busy professionals and their teams get back in the fitness game to reduce stress and increase productivity. He practiced law in New Britain for many years and is a proud member of the Generale Ameglio Society. He has run and cycled thousands of miles and competed in dozens of races, so when you're ready to get back in the game, email him at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Column on Friday, 21 January 2022 10:43. Updated: Friday, 21 January 2022 10:46.