Douro Deja Vu

Late March. Somewhere over the Pyrenees. The eleventh flight of the year already, on a machine named after Erlangen.

In spite of this having been my third training camp installment in this still young season, my training volume to date is likely the smallest since attaining my current category. Work commitments, health concerns, and abysmal weather kept epic outings and frequent interval sessions at bay. Instead, I'm now happy to simply work out a sweat on the indoor trainer during early morning sessions, or follow wheels of my loyal training partners as we fight the elements on the roads south of Munich - or, just now, the wet shores of the Douro river. I still hope to convert the vast amount of overtime clocked into miles under more inviting skies, and draw encouragement from the fact that, even with all the woes and interruptions from yesteryear, the season still ended successfully - perhaps even stronger due to the freshness off the forced break.

- - -

If life does begins at Forty, the Thirties are providing for a most interesting, roaring prelude, shaking up the concepts of career and work-life-balance, relationships, luxuries, or sporting goals. Not the manager, but not quite an employee either. No longer racing the Bundesliga, but still unwilling to drop the towel. Not exactly committed, yet neither absolutely single. Far from riches, and while insisting it is not splurging, rewarding myself more often, say, with a new suit... or four.

American essayist Flannery O'Connor once posed that "(n)othing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life".

I gazed over the snow-covered mountains overlooking dry plateaus in the distance and, devising a traversal crossing of the range, established just how little applicability I could find in the writer's statement above.

- - -

As if those twenty years hadn't been busy enough.