Those had been some hard weeks at work: a trade fair, a colleague on holidays, a new release going out among other pressing deadlines, and those nagging tickets coming in from the support desk. Then the ordeals in cycling, the meetings with team management and sponsors, and training camp preparations, all while riding like a man possessed. Not to mention, well, all that actually matters.

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you and one could say the writing was on the wall that something had to give. Or perhaps it was indeed a combined hand of improbable events and my recently reaffirmed vows towards the Gods of Yay had no bearing in the ordeals that ensued. Maybe - likely - a mixture of the two.

Previously I had discussed certain virtuous masochistic tendencies and my appreciation of hardships on the way to not at all megalomaniac goals. But, contrary to previous times where such setbacks were faced with the usual dose of enjoyment (!?), the aftermath of the latest events left me in a desolate and bare state, questioning choices and capabilities that I once had taken as unassailable: a whole new meaning to the idea of a lobster with no shell. Interesting times indeed.

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The phrase, "create something from nothing", was found in many a conversation some time ago, but in the case at hand, there was something, only now it's been burnt down to the ground. And I long to foster it anew, hoping to force back some meaning onto what is otherwise essentially chaos.

To constantly re-create oneself, from decaying states that Entropy (ah, Boltzmann, my friend!) strives to steer towards the Void - perhaps in cycles of varying strength. There's a mythological figure for that.

A bird, no less.


Amplitude Spectrum

Fall in love, rush up a mountain to see the sun rise, lead a start-up as it ventures onto new markets, or command a thriving cycling team on its first year racing the Bundesliga: I've recently rediscovered the thrill of reaching for the highest highs.

But in a sudden turn of events, I found myself grasping for dear life, watching powerless as an infection spread and urgent intervention was required. In those few minutes between hearing the diagnosis, signing the disclaimers for the procedure, and being wheeled off to be sedated, there was a sheer panic unlike any I had ever experienced.

As I convalesced, even while absorbing positive news from my recovering state, questions flooded in: would I ever cycle again? How hard should one fight for what he loves, and when is it wise to let go? Who am I, if I'm stripped of what makes me be?

The non plus ultra experiences set the bar for what is the upper limit ever higher, and push me to try and always reach out further. But events such as the latest, experiencing joy simply from being able to carry out activities otherwise taken for granted, remind me just how important it is to remain aware of the fundamental state which still defines us as human beings: the lowest low.

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In between these extremes, the broad range over which it all unfolds.


Pity and Fear

The recent lack of episodes left me wondering, questioning deeply if I could have been so mistaken or had done so wrong in piercing a hole through my thorax and laying a still beating heart on the table announcing, it's yours for the taking. As I watched its beat grow ever slower, like a paramedic rushing for the defibrillator, I channelled my remaining energy into two other endeavours as is often my wont. And while this energy was well absorbed into work as we faced a perfect storm of trade fairs, missed deadlines and customer issues over the past few weeks, in cycling, this corresponded to - again ignoring warning signs - pushing out too far during our second training camp.

The fear, once of the abstract, is now of the physical. I will only know the full scope after surgery but I'm scared: this godless atheist, with no heavens to pray to, can only hope such fears are unjustified.

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If you're reading this, it means I have now not only been subject to, but also survived, surgical interventions in exactly 20% of the twenty countries I have visited.

A yay! for being alive!