But we've never done any sport together - and that's my fault.
Geert is a man of routine - without it he doesn't evolve. Routine in his sport, routine in his work, routine in his music practice... He says he has no talent, and only through routine, constant practise and determination can he develop his abilities to a level that looks like talent.
I'm a man of improvisation - and according to Geert I do have talent. But I don't have the routine. He's been trying to get me out on one of his weekly runs for the last 15 years, but I've always found excuses why it wasn't important or necessary enough for me... or that I just didn't have the time.
Until now. Now I have no excuses. On the contrary, now I have more than enough reasons to want to go running. So we made an appointment, and met up at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on the 5th January, and we ran together around one of his favourite routes in the forest of Amsterdam.
The route is about 10 kilometers, longer than I'm capable of (or used to) running non-stop. But Geert wasn't out to test me, or to show off. We ran slowly, relaxed, no pressure, unstressed... and interspersed the running with short walking breaks. And we talked of running, of his new "barefoot" technique and new running shoes, of his marathon training and experience 15 or so years ago. We talked about my lifestyle changes and physical ambitions, and of the Shapeshifter training that has so miraculously and quickly improved my condition that I'm able to join him on this run.
Our first run together - but not our last. Geert has a lot of intensely fascinating things to say about the way we think and feel and do... and he practises what he preaches in everything he does - including his running, his life, his interaction with others, his work, his music, his discovery-of-self and his "life-themes"...
I plan to feature him in more depth in a later post - discuss running and life more deeply with him. His insights are illuminating, his logic irrefutable, his humor confronting, and his methods persistently effective. You don't just run with Geert...