Music can move mountains and change the world. At least, it changed mine.
Are there things in your life that you can point your finger at and say: THAT changed my life? Often that doesn't necessarily happen in a positive sense and even the good, radical changes usually have a relatively high price you have to consider whether you are willing to pay or not.
There are a few such things and moments in my life, some good, others less so. My first triathlon, for example: good. My first Ironman: bittersweet. I had achieved something athletically that I had been working towards for several years, but burnt some social bridges in the process, which then hurt me quite a bit at the time. My first Ironman as a professional: instructive. The end of my first relationship: liberating. And so on...
When I look back today - and I mean TODAY - on the last three months, I sometimes wonder if I'm still lying somewhere and dreaming or if all the things I'm experiencing have really happened. From a simple idea to grow my small one-man business into a new, bigger company that operates at a whole new level of professionalism and also has its very own laboratory for performance diagnostics. Those who know me know that these are things that my heart beats for so much that it borders on fanaticism.
It all happened in such a short time that I honestly still haven't quite realised that it's actually real. And if fingers have to be pointed at something that triggered it, then in this particular case it is: a song. Or: a song, heard in a situation that ultimately released everything that thundered through my life like an avalanche.
For some time now, one of my longest friends and I have had a tradition: every now and then, we take a few days just for us, go to the mountains and spend a few days in a house doing the things that young men do. In our case, that was cooking well, listening to music, making music, reading to each other, chopping wood, hiking.
In February this year, it was that time again and we went up there after a long absence. It had changed a bit, the whole thing - we used to travel by train and on foot, now we drove up in our own cars. Back then we were teenagers and in school, today he is the father of a child and I am an entrepreneur. But basically it's still the same. We enjoy the time and amuse ourselves far too much with things like fresh cow patties or herbs grown in the garden.
Up there, my friend showed me that song: "Thinking of a Place" by The War On Drugs.
It was a short stay, but as I drove back to the place where I had been trying in vain to feel at home for a little over three years, I noticed how it was gradually dismantling me with every kilometre. I had "Thinking Of A Place" on endless loop and let it carry me away, but at the same time realised that something was going on inside me that would have consequences.
I realised: for the first time in a good three years, I had felt... whole. Healthy. Healed. And what scared me even more: apparently I had resigned myself to the fact that "okay" was the highest of feelings for me. If I was "okay", I was "content" - because it wasn't going to get any better. And I had obviously forgotten what it could be like to feel "good".
What had led to this?
It was a long and messed up process and I think I'll write about it a time or two in the coming days and weeks. It'll be disgustingly personal and emotional, but hey - this is MY blog and whoever doesn't like it....
When I reached the destination of my ride, I first collapsed. And at the same moment I made up my mind: I had to get out of here, no matter what the cost. And that's what I did.
The final bill is still open, but so far I can say: the moment I began to decide for ME, things began to happen in my life that I had only dreamed of before. And it all went hand in hand with a decision: I would never, ever again settle for "okay".
I should actually write that on my cycling helmet, shouldn't I?