Luis Alberto Marco: three years to finish a damn letter
On Sunday he ended the letter that he dared not finish. But after three years, since the age of 29, fighting with injuries, sooner or later that day should arrive. And arrived. And today he explains what he felt.
And, suddenly, a stranger: a frozen Sunday afternoon in Zaragoza, the city where Luis Alberto Marco (1986) lives. A Sunday in which he announced his farewell to athletics through a social network: Twitter. A Sunday when he caught us off guard as the end of good writers. A Sunday in which he finished writing that letter that only needed to be printed. And one Sunday, in short, when he had nothing to celebrate at night. He even hurt his gut and ate a broth with white rice. Meanwhile, people continued to thank him for the services provided through those same networks. Luis Alberto Marco, who was a very good athlete of 800, had just retired forever. An injury that nobody knows how to name has imposed his verdict. Goodbye to an athlete made us dream. Maybe that's why we would have liked to fire him in another way. After all, social networks still have huge limitations. On the last day we could not see or hear him: it was necessary to go through Registration that hug that would have been as beautiful as the one that most: the last hug. But the world is already going so fast ...
I would have said goodbye in another way, but anyway.
It is not what one dreams of in life. But every time I saw it harder to get back on track. In the end, I needed to put an end and I decided to do so. This moment had to come. I had started writing this letter months ago. I never found the moment and, suddenly, yesterday I told my wife and she encouraged me, 'Come on, get on it', I took advantage that the little boy had fallen asleep, I went to the computer and that thought came out that letter . I had to leave now.
So it was like a relief?
It has been hard, but I saw it coming. I had to end this. But it is true that at the moment I gave him to 'send', at the moment I felt that this had already ended and that there was no turning back ..., at that moment so many memories came to mind ... There were so many emotions that tears escaped me. And I didn't know how to retain them ...
What did his wife say?
She was sadder than me. But as soon as we finished we hugged each other and convinced ourselves that he had done what he had to do, that we just had to look for the right moment and, what things, we went to find him on a Sunday afternoon when it was so cold that Nowhere was he at home. In the end, to stop the emotions, we both convinced ourselves that this, which had happened, was another part of life, that tomorrow we would get up early to take the child to the nursery, to go to work and, finally, to do the things that are done in life. In the end, life is like that.
We always say the same thing: "Life is like that."
But it was that my last championship in Spain had been in 2016. Since then I did nothing but put patches and you can not build a life that is worth hitting patches. In the end, it was wanting and not being able and not, it can't be.
Want and not be able then.
I have always had a strong motivation: I was not only an athlete; I was a fan of athletics who at the World Cup in Seville 99 my parents took a credit for the entire championship and I tried not to miss anything in the stands. And not only that, but on the day of the marathon I ran from one place to another and, in the end, to the stadium to see everything, to enjoy everything. But at the same time I was starting to turn years and I was realizing that the athletes I liked here like Redolat, like Roberto Parra ... began to get injured, that I had chosen a sport in which at some point the injuries could make you Life very difficult. And nobody wants that, but ...
Injuries kill us.
But I understand that when the body is squeezed to the fullest it can happen. Look, I can tell you that I was never injured and never was. At most, some sprain from stepping on some stone. But this last time has been impossible, since in 2016 I missed the winter ..., nothing was as before.
No one is invulnerable.
At first, you think, ‘well, this will be an anecdote’ and maybe tomorrow. But then when summer approached, when it was time to run in Huelva to make a minimum for the Amsterdam European, I broke the ischium and then you wonder ‘what's going on here?’ And then it was the twin. And then time began to pass. And there was no way to return as I wanted to return.
Is there always something pending?
That is typical of this sport. It happens to all of us. It matches us all. You always want something else and that doesn't matter what level you have, be you amateur or professional. I have not dropped from 1’45 ”in 800 and I think it was worth it by fitness and training… But sometimes you have no luck or bad luck and you must accept it.
We have no other possibility.
But it is hard. It becomes hard. It became hard. For me, especially in the Europeans of indoor track and see that I got a silver. But in Birmingham I reached the final and, not wanting to believe it, in the end I was fourth with the same time as the third and had to look for the thousandths. And in 2011 then I was in a way to win, but Lewandowski touched me from behind and I fell to the ground. He had never been so good. I had done until 3’40 ”in a 1,500 where I did not lavish in excess… And then when I tried again in 2013 I was no longer the same.
In the end, memories are more important than medals.
But at the moment you don't see it. Even, the world comes to you as it happened to me after the fall in the European of Paris. I had a bad time. I didn't know you could have such a bad time. People tell you ‘nothing happens, life goes on’, but it's hard for you to see it, because it's your income, it's your sponsorships…
It is their livelihood.
Yeah right. I managed to turn athletics into my livelihood. Who was going to tell me? After all, I started athletics by imitating my brother who takes me five years. The day he signed up for the athletic school in Dos Hermanas, I told my father, "I want to sign up, too," and he told me, "They won't catch you because you're too small." But in the end they took me, notice how I started because at home there was no more precedent. My father was an administrative officer.
You leave soon, at age 33.
But even harder is that I really stopped competing at almost 29 and that it was soon, it looks as it looks. And that really took me by surprise. And as much as I was wondering, pero but what is this? ’Or what I was saying,‘ this cannot happen to me ’there was no way to solve it.
He knew how to recycle in real life.
I think so. But it was always clear tomorrow. From a very early age I had a person who advised me on tax matters and that made me see that it was not only about earning money, but also about contributing because scholarships are performance grants that are exempt from Social Security. And, since athletics gave me to live, I became autonomous. And he paid the fee. And I made my quarterly VAT returns. And now it helps, everything helps when the end comes and you see that you did what you should do.
The latter may already be the most valuable part of the interview.
But there is a time when income as an athlete disappears ... I came almost 29 years old and then, or do you convert or what do you do?
Move, especially move. I saw that there was a place to teach in the subject of athletics at the University of San Jorge de Zaragoza, and I signed up and left and, since then, I teach at the University. Then, in a very important clinic here of sports medicine, the opportunity arose to take the sports valuation area ... And, among some things and others, today I have become a worker. And, of course, I am glad to have formed what has allowed all this.
And, from now on, will you get fat?
No. In fact, I have promised myself that no: I will not let it happen. Moreover, I have not run for a while and I stay. I do gym, I swim and I hold back like never before at lunchtime and no, I don't want to see myself get fat. But that will be tomorrow.