The hard history of Marc Alcalá: from the Diamond of Monaco to walking the dog
He gained 10 kilos this winter after a haemorrhage of injuries. But this has not ended and the athlete, who came to run the 1,500 in 3'35 ", today is preparing to return to war. "I've run again without pain," he says at age 24.
12th of July. Just today is the Diamond League of Monaco and Marc Alcalá is walking the dog through the streets of Gava.
The Diamond League of Monaco, the Mecca of the 1,500.
There he ran two years ago and got the best brand of his life: 3'35 "85. He finished and they did not give him anything. Maybe thanks for trying. It was penultimate, but probably at that time there was no one in the world happier than him. And happiness will never be an accident. "I've made the perfect race," he would say later to his father, the man who gave him the poison of athletics, the same man who has been working as a boilermaker most of his life.
What a joy and at that moment it seemed that joy was never going to expire, but we talked about life, which is the closest thing to a Ferris wheel.
Today, Marc Alcalá is 24 years old and of course he remembers that day in Monaco, how would you like to go back to Monaco, go back in time and erase from your head this last year in which he has basted one injury after another as if they were dominoes: pubic osteopathy, fracture in the sacrum, compartment syndrome in both twins ... impossible to say 'nothing happens'. You can not be happy like that.
And unhappiness also has a price. Marc really realized after Christmas. I had gained ten kilos. The scale was like the sentence of a court: 78, weighed 78 kilos. "But since the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona last summer I almost never got to train again."
And almost never was almost never.
"When it was not one thing it was another. And I did not know how to handle myself in this situation because I was an athlete who had never been injured. And I could not imagine what would happen to me, "he explains.
But we are still talking about life. And today we are in Gavá. And it gives the impression that even his own dog, so peaceful he listens to Marc Alcalá. But that dog has also been part of his recovery therapy, of those days in which his owner went to the pool and those afternoons in which he had no body to take a nap: I was not tired enough.
And, although it seems to be a lie, there is nothing more that an athlete misses than to lie down tired. Because that is part of his job as Marca Alcalá feels now, who has been training every day for weeks. "I even double Tuesday, Thursday and a Saturday and there's no problem." In fact, today he got up early to train, and he did well, and at night he will see, along with his father, on television the Diamond of Monaco.
And he will dream again, like in the summer of 2017.
He was then 22 years old and, as in the movies, everything was so fast that he did not even have time to go through the meeting room. He was notified two days in advance that there was a free place to run in Monaco where so many times there was not even room for athletes with 3'32 "in 1,500. "I took the plane ticket quickly," he recalls. "I was lucky that a physio who had worked in the Federation, Beatriz Jiménez, lived there and, although that week she was not there, he had left the keys of his house and his car to the doorman of the farm. "
The goalkeeper handed them to Marc, who at night was going to run with the best in the world at the Louis II stadium. The winner was going to be the Kenyan Elijah Manangoi, with 3'28 ", but for us the really important thing was that a 22-year-old athlete made a personal mark: Marc Alcalá.
The same athlete that two years before, in the European sub-23 Tallinn, had been proclaimed continental champion of the category. I was only 20 years old.We had to fall in love with him and he opened the doors of Nike: the future opened the doors of paradise, we wanted to believe.
We did not know then that one day the winter of 2019 would come hard as a stone, ruled by his injuries, that moved him to an undesirable world. What's more, Marc has proven that "in athletics, if you're not well, people quickly forget about you". But it did not surprise him either, because his father and he often talked about the case of Jordi Torrents. "Since he got injured, it seems he does not exist and he looks like he was an athlete that everybody talked about until then."
But they are the laws of oblivion, sometimes similar to those of life, in which a single telephone call can make miracles "like all those calls made to me by Jorge González Amo, the head of the federation's mediofondo, and at times like this, in which you do not see the end, they are so grateful, because they help you to understand that this is continuing, that this has not ended and that sooner or later you will leave is".
And it's true. Today has come out ahead.
And it shows on the scale, which can not stand those 78 kilos of this last winter "in which it is not about eating too much. No, no, not at all. But it is that when I stop running fat, because I have the ability to get fat and the body does not burn what it consumes. And the only thing he could do was swim. And in the pool is not the habitat of an athlete. "
But luckily that has already happened. And today we talk about an athlete destined to recover lost time: he is only a kilo above his age. And all that allows us to talk about the future, to talk about "the Tokyo Games" and to remember that in those of Rio it was "so close".
But, above all, the important thing is to return. And try again, because Marc Alcalá had designed his life to succeed, to be an elite athlete 24 hours a day, to try with all of the law. In fact, he decided to dedicate himself exclusively to this. "Someday I will prepare the oppositions to police, but I understood that for now that moment could wait."
That's why today we are happy. Because we have turned on the light again. And because we can not think of anything better than turning on the light when entering a dark room. In the background is what I learned this winter "in which I will not happen again What happened to me if I wound up again: I will not leave. I will do more leg work, I will do other things ... I will not limit myself to the pool and the physio. But this time it was a world of injury so unknown to me and, yes, it's true that I saw it in my face and I noticed it in my waist, but ... "
The fact is that this is already past, that now we have to write the good again. Marc Alcalá has run again without pain. And it encourages us to challenge the future. And to think about next July 12 when the Diamond of Monaco returns, which will be one month before the Olympic Games in Tokyo. And then Marc Alcalá will be 25 years old. And he will be too young to stop dreaming through the streets of Gava. He and his dog.