A goal, a plan and a logo
Of decisions, paths to be chosen and lots and lots of insecurities. Also, there are some emotions.
Did you know that has been scientifically proven that people who talk a lot, actually don't have much to say? Did you also know that I just made that up?
But there could be some truth in it. I don't normally struggle to talk and talk about things that excite me and make people around me wish for kingdom come in the process. Yet I struggle when it's about something really and actually important to me.
What a moment it was, that early evening in late July 2018, when after some 10:45 hours I crossed the finishline of the Ironman Switzerland in Zurich. My girlfriend Tanja took this amazing picture of it. Relief, joy, pride, the desire to just go sprawling on the spot... I can hardly what went on inside me without getting pathetic or extensive. Or both. But first things first.
In Autumn 2017, I ended my involvement with the band "Koenix" with a heavy, heavy heart. For three years and with a lot of joy I had been doing there, well, THIS:
The guys are, of course, still playing. Do give them a listen!
It was one of these things about reason that got me to the decision to focus more on my work, my actual work as a coach and trainer. I wanted to spend more time with my athletes again, be there at the pool or at the race course. And I wanted to know whether I still liked to do this sport myself.
So there was actually just one thing to do for me: Ironman. And it had to be the one in Zurich, because that's where it all began. So I started to train for it...
If you expect me now to tell you all the details about how I was swimming, riding my bike and running in the months to follow, I have to disappoint you. First of all because I sincerely believe that this isn't really interesting for anyone. Second, because I think that what I actually did do is adequately described with those three terms. And third, because that wasn't really the case...
Even though I was really motivated to get back into the whole racing business, I was facing two major problems. One of them being a veritable, fully grown depression that somehow had gotten hold of me. I am not going to talk much more of this now. There is either a lot to be said on this subject or it's just as well left at that. I was pretty miserable in various shades of messed up. That's enough for now.
The second one proved to be just as serious. I had become some sort of Schrödinger's triathlete. (It's no catastrophy if you aren't familiar with the thought experiment of Schrödinger's Cat. If you can name all the Kardashians instead, that doesn't make you a bad person either but perhaps you should review your consume of digital media).
As long as I didn't start training, everything was possible. I was capable to finish the ironman as well as to fail historically. However, IF I trained... well. Then one of them became more likely one day or another. In the end I did what I also would have told my athletes in the same situation: I just listened to my guts and did what I could and what felt okay-ish.
In the end, this got me a finish in Zurich and the certainty: YES. I still liked this sport. I still loved it, even. Yet somehow, this sought-after feeling of a new beginning didn't really introduce itself...
About one month later, something else happened that didn't really surprise me yet managed to shake me to the core notwithstanding, with a magnitude I would need quite some time to grasp. After 45 years on stage, the Band Runrig gave their final farewell on August 17th and 18th in Stirling, Scotland. After such a long time of scandal-free rock music, this was a well-earned retirement, sure, yet I myself had a really hard time coping with it. Because: This band had been writing the soundtrack of my life for the past years. It came into my life in the very moment I began preparing for my first Ironman. I listened to them during turbo training sessions. I listened to them before the start. I listened to them before every single race I partook in the following years. It was their song "Maymorning" that let me realize that the end of my very first yet psychologically abusive relationship had been an absolute stroke of luck. Gonna wipe the slate clean, follow my dreams... It was "Clash of the Ash" that helped me remember that sport was about more than winning. And it was "The Story" which in 2016 took me apart in a way that made me quit my own musical career only one year later to focus again on the things that had accompanied me during all those years and never left me alone. And all this was supposed to be over now?
The short version of this is that actually, it ISN'T over. At least not for me. The music is still there and after finishing another Ironman in Zurich in 2019, I could see with my own eyes in a cinema in Essen, Germany, that also the musicians themselves were still alive and not all was lost. And that's when I finally could start looking forward. In Autumn 2019, this got me to the decision that is more or less responsible for this new website, this blog and, all in all, my everyday life: I AM not done. Not with triathlon, not with high performance sport. I never really finished this chapter and now it's time to to just that. It will take a while, but to me, things are clear: I want to - I WILL - race an Ironman again as a pro.
With Runrig. Somehow. It helps a bit that every other pro is shining a logo these days that should represent them. I can do that, too, so I thought. Here it is:
Yes, the quote has been shamelessly copied. From various sources, I don't do half-assed. Very prominently, it is Runrig's song "Proterra" and it's chorus. Over land and sea, I'll come fighting for you. Over land and sea, a dawn is breaking before us. It's a new beginning for me. Meanwhile it shall remember me on a regular basis that sport is not just about winning.
Well. 2019 will soon be over and I am looking forward to 2020 for various reasons.
What I won't do here, however, are any new year's resolutions. So far, they never worked out. But, in case you're interested, you will have the possibility to get some pictures and thoughts around my sport and so accompany me on my way. I'm looking forward to that, too.