Four years! I haven’t stood at the start of a long triathlon for four years. Last time in Germany in June 2018. Tomorrow I will stand at the start of the Ironman in Frankfurt. Symbolically again in Germany. De facto, all my long triathlons (respectively two so far) took place in Germany. All the good things come in threes? Hopefully.
Four years. It doesn’t sound like an extremely long time, but so much has happened in the meantime. Four years ago, I raced with the thought in my head that in two months I would leave Europe for more than half a year and embark on an adventure much more intense than one eleven-hour race (sorry, Ironman). A once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Three months later, I was already running through the asphalt and sand of Southeast Asia. Before that happened, I left Prague by hitchhiking. My first city on the world trip was Frankfurt. That symbolism again. Today I am returning to familiar places. Yesterday I ran through the city center, where I ran my first charity kilometers in September 2019. It seems not so long ago, and the heavy rain that fell from the sky yesterday but not back then will not change anything on it. It seems like yesterday, and yet so much has changed.
I remember my first run on the beach on the Thai island of Koh Samui. It’s wonderful when something new starts. In the coming months, I ran 1475 kilometers in the vast majority of the twenty-four countries I visited. I didn’t run only in America, if I don’t count the symbolic four kilometers in Death Valley. Four kilometers. Four years. I ran towards the change and I longed to change myself as well.
I didn’t know where I was going until I got there. Until I got to the end of the world. To beautiful lakes, whose crystal-clear surface was reflected directly into my heart. To the unforgettable sunsets, whose glow managed to take all my sorrow from the past and all my worries about the future away within few seconds. To the jungle, the wilderness of which helped to heal my wounded heart. To the edge of the endless ocean, which lit up my face, leaving me smiling from ear to ear. To the majestic volcanoes, which can decide on the existence and non-existence in a matter of seconds. To the forests consisting of ancient and wise trees, whose memory dates to the very beginning of our age. To people, new and familiar, pure and beautiful, who showed me the right way in life and filled me with desire to live it in the most purposeful way. To the people who will forever remain my greatest inspiration. I ran to the very end of the world, where everything gets lost in the distance, where there is nothing but purity and wildness of everyday life swaying on the ocean waves. To an ocean, whose sound is the most melodic ballad I have ever heard.
There, while looking into the distance, I realized that there is no such thing as the end of the world, that there is no such thing as the end of something. Every end is just a new beginning. A beginning of something even more beautiful, better and more perfect. It all helped me to realize that from now on, I am the only one who decides about my life. About every breath I take. About every move I make. About the way I will go. Every single day and every word I say. I turned around and set off on my journey back home. On the last day of my journey, I realized that my journey was not ending at all. My journey was just about to begin. On the last day of my journey, I realized how lucky I was live my life.
A fabulous 10 months. Months made of the most beautiful dream. Months without pain, months with complete and perfect peace of mind. Months in humility. Months that showed me how is the life elsewhere and how well we live back at home. The months that taught me not to rush and not to stress. That was then. The world has changed incredibly and only four years have passed. Nothing is like before. I’m rushing and stressing again, even though I’m trying to fight it. I’m learning every day. The whole life is a learning, a never-ending journey.
I am here. It’s been four years since I last stood at the start of a long triathlon. It was in Germany in June 2018. Tomorrow I will stand at the start of the Ironman in Frankfurt. It’s going to be epic; I can feel it. I hope I haven’t forgotten it yet, after all, it’s only been four years.
Wish me luck!