The tunnel from which Carlos Mayo left
The new Spanish cross champion today is more than that. It is an inspiration for those who do not see the light. Last year by this time he emerged from a 14-month injury to which there was no way to find a diagnosis.
I had a teacher who loved literature that always said that "before writing about joy you have to write about grief." And he said it without any emotional blackmail, because it was only about explaining that word we need so much: desire.
-Grief reinforces joy.
Today I do not know if it is necessary to explain it to Carlos Mayo. He could also explain it to me. He is 24 years old, the medical degree is over and he knows what is the penalty that in his case lasted 14 months, which were more than 400 days with his nights in which he once took that road that passed Through the tunnel of broken dreams. Us It can happen to everyone.
Carlos Mayo could not run.
He had one of those knee injuries without a clear diagnosis that prevented him from running and, when listening, he got goosebumps. He wondered if he would come back and feared that injuries like his had removed athletes from the circulation: he didn't want to be one of them.
Today, at the top of the podium, it seems that never happened. But it happened and that is what gives more value to that brilliant photograph at the top of the podium, to that athlete who dispatched the race with atrocious courage, to the reconstruction of joy, because sometimes joy is also built from the most down.
That is why today Carlos Mayo is a message for all those athletes who are injured, who do not see escape and who internally fear losing that fight against time. The answer could be given by Carlos Mayo: call him, listen to him.
It's the only thing I wanted to tell today: I call it the turns that life takes and in Sergeant from iron, Morgan's song that I listen to while writing this text, they say it differently, "cure me time," which is the same as time granting you the desire you seek.
The weather healed Carlos Mayo and look where we are today: I dare to ask him if he is going to beat Spain's 10-kilometer route en route this Saturday, March 14, in Laredo. However, a year ago at this point I had to ask him when he was moving, again, to the neighborhood of joy: how are you? How is your recovery going?
To any traumatologist who went, Carlos Mayo explained his pain.
He came to think about leaving everything and dedicating himself, like his university classmates, study MIR what it meant to leave athletics, because taking out the specialty involves guards in the hospital and, at least, six nights without sleeping a month. And that was already like signing a declaration of incompatibility.
He also avoided meeting people in his training group, with everything that reminded him of athletics and even reduced communication with his coach to only one day a week: it was not about giving bad news to a man who was having the same time or worse than him.
The coaches are like this: when one of his athletes is injured he is injured with them.
You have to be an athlete to understand it: if you limit an athlete to run you are breaking his life.
And, even if your coach is an experienced guy, he has won more difficult judgments ... And although he reminds you that "these things happen" and that "everything comes out", it is hard for you to believe it.
Carlos Mayo had a hard time believing it right now, that he had reached the absolute category, that he had a magnificent curriculum and that he felt, as in the lyrics of Morgan's song, With broken feet or clouds in the eyes.
His way of letting off steam was to let his hair grow, abandon that toupee, which had always distinguished him, and postpone it for the day he returned to compete. If that day came.
There are many more ways to portray hell but the best portrait may be the day you leave it. It is a letter that has no date stamp, but that arrives or usually arrives. And sometimes he does it without warning. Maybe the day you least expect it.
And in his case it was one day, before going to the prestigious consultation of Dr. Guillen in Madrid, when Carlos Mayo was going to do a 55-minute shoot with slopes, with stairs, hard enough and, for the first time in a long time, It wasn't going to hurt anything.
Since then, he is not afraid: he prefers to be brave.
And he has fulfilled his promise. And he has cut his hair again as he did the athlete who was champion of European Under-23, the same that always cut his hair before each race. And his toupee has reappeared, which was not a whim, but a promise. And in the midst of all this, photographs like yesterday's were found again at the Spanish Cross Championship in Zaragoza: Carlos Mayo, immeasurable and cheered by its people, the best way to explain the turns that life gives or that, in the end, time heals everything. No one dies inside.