- The Spaniard, who was part of the golden generation of the 1,500-meter test, has redirected his life without losing the link with the sport
- He explains that he had to go to the psychologist and psychiatrist after a withdrawal “which always comes faster than it seems”
For more than a decade, Andres Diaz He was one of the most recognized faces of Spanish sport. The Coruña was part of a golden generation in the queen test of Spanish athletics, the 1,500 meters, distance in which holds the current European indoor record and in which he won an indoor world bronze, in addition to being fifth in the 1999 Seville World Cup and seventh in Sydney Games 2000. More than 15 years after his retirement in 2003, already reconciled with his new life, he acts as personal trainer in his hometown between anonymity and legend. “Europe’s record for what?” She laughs at a conversation with a client. “A friend had asked her who her personal trainer was and when she told her my name, she replied that I still held the European record and she couldn’t be more surprised.” It is just an anecdote of those who have known how to recycle and find new goals.
Sports life inevitably has an end. Before or after. In a forced or natural way. “And it arrives faster than it seems,” he warns. He was not prepared for it. “I went to the psychologist and the psychiatrist”. He is not ashamed to admit it. “Why? I was already used to working with them in my sports career and it seems to me a very important part of performance. My family did not see me well and they recommended that I go to both of them, and between the two of them I managed to get out of depression, “he confesses. “I knew it was going to be hard but I didn’t imagine how much. You are totally lost ”. Suddenly, he was 35 years old and he was home again, a A Coruña that he had left many years ago to train with the elite of high performance in Madrid. Without studies, without his life planned every second, without goals, without professional experience. All his generation companions were already settled in their jobs. He had to start from scratch. “The system lets you down,” he complains, “you’re alone.”
The important thing was to “reorganize the sphere of motivations.” Without knowing it, sports life had also given him the tools to get out of the pothole. “I knew how to control anxiety, stay focused, visualize goals …”, he lists. So the first thing was to finish what I had put aside for athletics, INEF. “All the staff made it easier for me to integrate into the academic environment,” he thanks. And while he was studying, he started working as a personal trainer. A bit out of obligation too. “I didn’t have a listed day at the age of 35”. He did it without publicity, because he wanted clients to come because of his work, not who he was. A decade later, his day to day continues within the walls of a room, with clients who want to get in shape or simply maintain a sporting activity, away from the spotlight, sometimes recognized, “although less and less”, he says with a laugh, because the truth is that he feels grateful for the love that the city has always returned to him.
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The memories no longer hurt him: “At first, yes, they don’t let you advance. Now I am happy to have been able to experience all that. ” The competition bug, for now, has not reappeared. “As a retiree I only participated in two races. And it was tough. Because my legs were back, but my head was not. I went out for all … and I had a bad time. So I told myself no competition. Just training for pleasure ”. But it was not so easy, it was also difficult for him to forget the clock and “enjoy the fact of running.” At 51 years old, he is not tempted by the master competition, but the day is beginning to see him again with the tacos. “The same for the 55-year-old category and up … although when I turn 55 I will surely say that for 60”, he jokes. His return to the slopes is closer as a coach because he has begun to collaborate with a promising mid-range athlete from A Coruña, Elian Numa López, called to be his successor, with whom he works bodybuilding. “The first advice that I have given you is that you do not even think about leaving your studies,” he warns.
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