As classics superstar Tom Boonen edges toward retirement, he’s looking to put his long experience in bike racing to good use. However, he’s not considering a coaching role but rather a new academic career.
According to a story in Het Nieuwsblad, the university of Ghent has offered Boonen a position as a professor of philosophy after his days with Etixx-Quickstep come to an end. Boonen has already put together a rough set of courses that delve into philosophy from an athletic perspective.
Should Boonen decide to retire in the next season or two, he may be teaching the following classes, listed here with overall orientation based on the Belgian’s notes and experiences.
The emptiness of the Soul (TB 101)
“In Roubaix you can be feeling great one minute and then all of a sudden be totally empty.”
The Plasticity of Time (TB 102)
“I’ll be 36 this year, after the season. It’s not an age where you think you’re going to go on for 10 years.”
The predictable ennui of modern existence (TB 103)
“Sometimes you just have to have the balls to try something, The easiest way to get beaten is to be predictable. Everybody’s predictable these days.”
Essential Buddhist thought and wisdom (TB 104)
“Sometimes you need to be able to lose the race to win it.”
The myth of Sisyphus through the lens of sport (TB 105)
“Quitting is the easiest way,”
The bankruptcy of 21st century linguistics (TB 106)
“At the end of those two weeks before Flanders…they can’t write anymore because everything’s been said and done.”
What is Enough? Philosophies of Fulfillment (TB 107)
“I will be on my good level again. I just hope it’s enough; it’s been enough for a while, so I hope it’s still enough.”
Eastern thought. The Power of Letting Go (TB108)
“You have to keep the momentum going and let the bike find its way. I keep my hands really loose.”