Sometimes the superlatives just come up short. No poetry or prose can do justice. Words are inadequate. Instead you need raw numbers.
And, with Karsten Warholm, one in particular: 45.94.
Five months on from the Tokyo Olympics, his winning time still feels faintly farcical.
It was more than three-quarters of a second faster than anyone had run in 400m hurdles history.
It is getting on for a second better than Kevin Young’s landmark world record, set in 1992 and unbeaten for 29 years after.
It was a performance of seismic proportions. But when you have wobbled the world on its axis, you have to re-find your balance.
“I watch it every time I have a bad day and need some motivation to go to practice,” Warholm tells Sport Today on BBC World Service.
“It gives me goosebumps every time.”
The Norwegian is wary of watching too often. Such is the gravity of his world record, it could hold him back, just as easily as propel him forward. He knows chasing his tail gets him nowhere.
Coach Leif Olav Alnes has jokingly told Warholm that it is still a long way from 45.94 down to zero seconds. But, even at only 25, Warholm knows he needs other yardsticks to judge himself by now.
“I need to find a new approach in the way I see my races,” he says.
“In Tokyo, I came as close to perfection as I could given my level that day – 45.94 is a whole other level. It was a very big moment that is very hard to copy.
“I need to see progression in things other than just improving my time. If I can be stable at a higher level than I have been before… maybe I can run 46.50 in my first race this year and keep that level. Who knows?
“But it is something I need to get used to because 45.94 is not the sort of thing you can do every Diamond League race. It is going to be tough.”
As reigning world and Olympic champion, as well as world record holder, Warholm has no more mountains to conquer in the 400m hurdles. Euphoria can quickly be replaced by emptiness.
“As an athlete, this stuff just happens and then you are on to the next thing,” he says.
“You get the medal, you are on cloud nine, you go home, you celebrate, then some Diamond Leagues and more training.
“It is probably good for training and development, but it is also really sad because you are not able to fully enjoy these moments.
“When I am by myself I try to think about all the work I have put in, everything I have got, and I try to be very grateful, because there were 40 guys going to the Olympics trying to win gold and I was able to do it.
“But I also try to be greedy to go back and win more medals in the future.”
The next major stop for Warholm is Eugene, Oregon for July’s World Championships.
The United States is the home country of his closest rival, Rai Benjamin. And Oregon is the home state of Benjamin’s shoe sponsor, Nike.
All of which could be awkward given Warholm’s view on the super-springy foam manufactured by Nike and used by Benjamin in his Tokyo spikes.
After his Olympic win, Warholm was blunt in his assessment of the technology, saying it acts like a “trampoline” and diminishes credibility.
He is more diplomatic now, but his stance is the same.
“I would maybe say so, yes,” he replies when asked if his own slimline Puma spikes, designed in conjunction with the Mercedes Formula 1 team in Northamptonshire, are more within the spirit of footwear rules.
“I think it is probably – it will be the last time somebody wins the Olympics in a shoe that thin.
“I really like the shoe that we made for Tokyo, and I think it is very credible.”
Eugene will be Warholm’s bid for a third successive world title after successes in London in 2017 and Doha in 2019.
“In Doha, Abderrahman Samba was the favourite and the crowd cheered for him – now we are going to the US and people will cheer for Rai,” Warholm added.
“But I will bring my mum and dad, and hopefully they will cheer for me and I will hear them.
“There is no guarantee. Rai is a great athlete and is going to give me a very good competition. It is not going to come cheap.”
But, where Warholm’s involved, it will come quick. Maybe not 45.94 quick, but, invariably, quick enough.