Agustín Santana, 25.12.2022
An ordinary day in December 2022. I am writing on my terrace when I hear the sound of the wheels of his bicycle and a voice saying…. «ninety kilometres and 1,800 metres of altitude»…… It’s 13:30 and the smile on his face invites you to ask him what else has happened on his way, whether he has met a world champion or an amateur cyclist in his sixties who couldn’t keep up with him.
He leaves his bike at number 20, changes his clothes and goes to the swimming pool cafeteria where Juan de la Cruz is waiting for him ….. Rudi, do you know what it means to wear a cute suit? And he takes a sip of his non-alcoholic beer and smiles, waiting for the explanation of a second meaning for the phrase. Rudi has been learning Spanish because it helps him to learn many more things, to increase his knowledge.
More than two years ago, on 3 April 2020, he got on his bike at his home in Tremelo and rode ninety kilometres. He set off with the security of the flat course, without the mountain climbs he used to overcome when he was in Gran Canaria. And as he paddled along he remembered the hospital bed where in May of the previous year he had been waiting for an answer from the doctors as to whether his life would depend on a wheelchair.
At the age of sixty-three, and with a very serious accident that affected him physically, his daily goal is to keep fit so that he can continue to learn from life. Four hours of cycling or two hours in the gym are his medicine, day in and day out, with a well-deserved rest on Sundays.
He leaves his non-alcoholic beer on the table and tells us that he had met a sixty-year-old world triathlon champion and that they had climbed the Gran Canaria mountain together, but that the champion had fallen behind because he couldn’t keep up with him.
When they stopped for a water break, the champion asked him if he had written about his experience, because his example could help many people.
On 4 April 2020, after learning that the day before Rudi had done ninety kilometres back home, I published on this website the article you can read below. And today, 25 December 2022, the great day of the Nativity for Christians, the celebration of the arrival of the child who has left forever a message of love and peace; also the atheist or agnostic reading of that universal message; on this day of the meeting of millions of families, I want to remember and update that article.
As you can see below, at the end of the article, I accompanied those brief words to Rudi with four songs that today seem to me to be very well chosen.
Piano concerto by J.S. Bach, a Chopin Nocturne performed by a 14 year old girl, the beautiful song Smile by Gergory Porter:
«Smile though your heart aches, through your fears and sorrows, though a tear is near, it’s time to try».
Help by Tina Turner and finally the song HOME performed on Roque Nublo itself.
GOES FOR YOU RUDI. Thanks for your example…………..
Agustín Santana 4 April 2020
Let me start the week by thanking Rudi Baumans, neighbour of BCG and currently living in his homeland, Tremelo Belgium, for his example of self-improvement. Rudi is an amateur cyclist and had a major accident that could have put him in a wheelchair for life. When he is in Gran Canaria he climbs from Maspalomas to San Bartolomé, about forty kilometres of our mountains in total. Yesterday, Sunday the 3rd, in his native Belgium, he cycled ninety kilometres on his bicycle.