Roller coasters, road trips and power meters

It's been one incredible journey, both literally and figuratively.

I have gone, or maybe am still going, through some very intense ups-and-downs during these early months of 2011 - many of which have somehow made it to the blog or twitter/facebook updates over the last few weeks. Many former assumptions have been reworked from scratch; established ideas have been thoroughly questioned, some new future plans have been laid out, and, altogether, a lot has been learned about myself - and those around me. Facing my own weaknesses and confronting myself with the possibility of failure makes for an outright scary ride. But still a most rewarding one: "Life is made up of experiences, and the more experiences you have, the more you live" (Gordon Shrum).

The journey is not only abstract, thought. Movement is an integral part of my being whole, and road trips are a quintessential definition of that. In January, I drove halfway across the country to visit my cousins in Herten with my sister in tow (450km), then picked Carol up in Frankfurt (250km) and drove her to Ulm (300km), and from there went on to visit Jason, a former colleague from the Institute (150km). We took a hike through the hills of Upper Bavaria, before I drove back home (250km) - with a tad over 1400km in the extended Dreikönigs weekend. And last week, another trip was in store, picking Carol in Ulm and driving to Grenoble (1800km round-trip) where we met Kazik and Marnes for a weekend in the French Alps - including riding up a certain famous Tour climb enjoying the pleasant springtime weather and the company of friends to cheer me up during the effort.

Finally, and in spite of the whole turmoil, or maybe precisely drawing motivation from it, my early season training sessions have been quite encouraging . The addition of an integrated power meter gave a whole new dimension to quantifying, analysing, and planning workouts - and plain simply reminding me to ride harder. The resulting endorphins afterwards are just an added bonus...
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Good things come for those that make them happen. Sometimes, though, one must wait for that - and patience is, indeed, a most virtuous trait in those times. As the saying goes, it all boils down to "manter a mente quieta, a espinha ereta, e o coração tranqüilo" - keeping the mind quiet, the spine erect, and the heart in peace.