Tenth of the world to load a pig truck
Sometimes, you need to read stories like this one from marathoner Dani Mateo, capable of going from glory to loading a pig truck. But, above all, it reminds us that there is something infinitely more important than success: family.
"My family loves me, not the tenth of the world."
-It was the tenth in the World Cup marathon.
-Yes, it was what I was for and what my coach transmitted to me.
-And he did.
-And I did, yes.
And today afternoon Dani Mateo going to load a pig truck each weighing 120 kilos. Because that's the company he has with his brother, those are the ships where Dani spends his days off: the things of free time. His girlfriend, who is a teacher, started working. He could not go a day on vacation to the beach.
-But in preparation for the World Cup I was concentrated in Lanzarote and validated -he replies-, a country man to more power, those who say things as they are. He doesn't run away from praise but praise doesn't weaken him either because then it wouldn't be him. He would forget that phrase of his coach Enrique Pascual that he likes so much: "Things happen today but tomorrow we get up again."
The thing is that something very important has happened and now it occurs to me to ask him if tomorrow he would ride in a Metro car in Madrid, someone would recognize him. “I don't know, but if I get on a bus in Soria, everyone recognizes me. My photo comes out in an advertising campaign in the bus shelters, and people stop me, and hug me, and say, 'How happy you made us' or' How hard you are 'and I try to explain that' no, Sir, I'm not hard, it's just my job. ' And, in any case, I try to make you understand that the hard thing is a Sunday when I have a three-hour run and at minute 10 I want to stop how tired I am, because on Saturday I made 30 or 35 kilometers between morning and afternoon. But the difference is that I do not stop and that is the hardness. But no competition. After all, the competition ... That is not so hard anymore. ”
-But most people are like this: you admire one for what you get. We can't change people.
-But I don't run to be admired. If you admire me, it's fine, street support is always fine, but ... do you know what happens?
- What happens?
- That I spend 95% of the time with my people, with my family, and that loves me, not the tenth of the world, or in other words, they can live without in the tenth of the world but they can't live without me or me without them.
-I get it.
-Because it is like that and luck, our luck, is that this has become a family project. My brother works for me in our company, my parents travel as much as they can with me, My girlfriend lives like an athlete My friends, instead of going to train them, they take the bicycle, the raincoat and say ... "We are going to help Dani" and I don't know if I explain myself. I don't know if you understand what I mean. But I intend to tell you that in the end one is with who you are and that is why I give more value to all this than to the final position because, whatever happens in the race, what we live in day to day will never change. Can not change.
It is the month of October in Soria. An autumn afternoon and every day it gets dark earlier. Summer is gone and the cold raises its voice. Dani Mateo has gained weight and no longer looks that squalid figure that ended that morning at the World Cup in Doha. "I don't even want to look at it, but of the 66 kilos I easily competed with, I will now be at 72." And he doesn't worry because "in any case I obey my coach's orders, almost a medical prescription."
Upon returning from the Doha World Cup, Dani told Enrique:
-I have to take care of myself on these days off. Other times I have not done it and I have gained a lot of weight.
But then the coach replied:
-No way, Dani, ‘you calm, you gain weight, make life, rest, take the weight that we will then convert into energy, do not fear for that.
And it made him see something obvious: that you can't be so thin all year; that it is as bad for the body as it is for the head and that that time, when one is so low on defenses, must be reserved for very selective moments. So "be happy and fat, Dani, get fat, don't be afraid."
And today, at eleven o'clock in the morning, at breakfast, Dani has taken a Coke and some torreznos as if he were a normal citizen. And you have to take advantage of these moments. And you have to savor them to crush the rest of the year in which that idea will come back that Dani repeats to his manager, Miguel Ángel Mustaza, 'fuck Miguel, is that I spend all day lying down'. And Mustard then answers him :
- If you are lying down it is because you cannot stand, because training sometimes leaves you without energy for the rest of the day.
However, today is not so. Two weeks have passed since the Doha World Cup and Dani Mateo is already thinking. "What has changed in me?" He asks. “Maybe, nothing has changed but things that seemed very difficult to me before, now I see them easy. Therefore, I think it is not a matter of talent, but of the head, of thinking that I can do this and that I am going to do it. And then you see the body do it And you ask yourself why it seemed so difficult before. But i guess All the answers are in time. ”
Actually, this is the x-ray of a man at the best moment of his life. "It's true," he accepts, the one who nailed the World Cup the best he could give of himself. The same one who did not lose a second in thinking, "and if I have no luck?" Perhaps because his coach had convinced him:
-If you want to win you will always do better than If you just settle for doing it right.
His coach is Enrique Pascual, an old dinosaur that was Olympic and world champion in the nineties with Fermín Cacho and Abel Anton. Even so, he didn't lose a piece of passion for this, as Daño Mateo explains.
-I told him ‘don't come, Enrique, don't come that it's too early’ but he always showed up and He justified that he passed by. But is that there is no other equal - says the athlete, who refers to those mornings in which he was going to train the treadmill that between the two, with the help of the City of Soria, put in the indoor pool of the Fuente del King to simulate the humidity conditions of Doha.
And there was always the coach like all those days when he pulled him by bicycle, including the one in which Dani Mateo tripped over a wheel. He fell to the ground and injured himself. But it rose like lightning in search of the glory that a few weeks later the Doha World Cup would find that morning. An award that today, in the silence of autumn, is explained with this happy phrase of his that has cost him to get the 30 years he is:
-Now, in Soria I can't even go outside.