Letter to Maitane Melero and her deceased coach
At 37, at an age that others are in discount time, Maitane has just been a 3,000-meter Spanish champion and is proof of what her coach, Patxi Morentin, said who died on February 16 at age 57 and that he always defended: "Patience is my key word".
Whenever I see Maitane Melero I remember patience. Also of a man who is no longer there and with whom I never spoke: Patxi Morentin. And look that once I received a direct message via Twitter from an athlete from his land: Pamplona.
-You should talk to Patxi Morentin, it will surprise you.
Time passed and I never did it and I will not be able to do it anymore. On February 16, Patxi Morentin lost the battle against cancer and left. He left forever and nobody will ever photograph him again on the Larrabide track or on the return of the Castle. His death was a mistake. It doesn't even comfort us to know that sometimes these things happen in life. He was 57 years old.
Maitane is, exactly, twenty years younger than he was: 37. On February 20 Maitane turned 37 and, almost by inertia, should already be in time of discount in athletics. But on Saturday, in the final of the 3,000-meter Spanish Championship, he started chasing a girl like Celia Antón, whom he takes 14 years. And then he won it. And he chose the right moment to strike with the ability of people who know how to wait for the moment.
And he got excited. And we were excited because it could not be otherwise when he remembered that white-haired man, Patxi Morentin, who is no longer there and that anyone knows what career he will be timing now from the sky. Because there will also be athletes who will continue to advise that, as soon as they finish training, they take a piece of fruit. And I may even have told you what life is like down there, on the return of the Castle, where he was almost always: Patxi Morentin.
And since it is not there, we leave the flesh full of skin when remembering. And he leaves it to Maitane. But her emotion did not prevent Saturday from marking the times.
As Patxi said. As Patxi told him. As he told her during all those years when Maitane's time never came and when she feared patience would start to fail, because we are human, and he refuted her: "Patience is my key word."
And he didn't cheat on her. Apparently, Patxi Morentin could not fool her athletes.
At 35, Maitane Melero went for the first time to the great championship of her life: the Berlin European 2018. At 37 she has not closed the business. She still looks like a 17-year-old girl who stands up to her age and who is going to remind me of that statement that her coach once said in the ‘Diario de Navarra’. A treasure that seems to me that forces us to stand up.
“It is not necessary to crush the body with plans of three days of series a week. I don't consider myself an elite coach. They have to prove that their athlete has a lot of performance. And they give him a lot of cane. If it goes well, perfect; but if it goes wrong and is injured ... Do you know how bad it happens when you are injured? They don't mind burning corridors because others arrive but I can't. Sometimes they have accused me of not crushing the athletes as much as they wanted. But my philosophy is to take care of them. ”
And then it is as if one did not stop seeing Maitane Melero at 37. Not everything that is happening at his age. Not even his picture of Saturday crying as soon as he crossed the finish line in first position. Because then he began to remember the man who is no longer there and that is the same that allows all this to happen: Patxi Morentin. And that man is the same one who always defended that nature is wise: that you don't have to force the moments. That nobody should do it.
DEP, coach, that we still have many things to tell you here and Maitane and all those people you left down here, in Pamplona, on the return of the Castle, who will always miss you, will tell you.