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Eduardo Merino

André was boiling.

In fact this guy does not know how to be otherwise. Imagine sitting in F1. Even with the car off, we close our eyes and listen to the engine running.

That’s how Andre is.

I have a special relationship with most of my athletes. They allow me to be with them the athlete I always dreamed to be, and I give them the ability to feel that anything is possible. We can say that it is a love of egos, where each one gives his share.

André is a person with very special characteristics. A combination of a scientist’s brain, and the personality of a wild horse. Which gives a somewhat explosive combination.

I compare our relationship with those little balls. He is the ball and I the person who prepares it and shoots it again until it stops jumping. This cycle repeats itself in this last 3 years.

Continuing …

We were 1 week into a major race for him. It was in Serra da Estrela, a distance completely out of his athlete’s features.

But the plan had been outlined since the beginning of the year. This year would be different. All the tests were to be faced with these 2 goals: do not give up (evolution of knowledge, management and adaptation) and run to win.

The second part is easy, because this man does not know how to run without being there in front. In relation to the second premise, it was indeed the great challenge of the year.

A week before the race we met as usual. I was already in race mode, because he no longer looked me in the eyes and even sitting muscles jumped. After that I was never able to talk to him again. Typical. Before the great trials he is half in spiritual retreat.

On the eve of the big day, I see him in a shaken sight. It looked like he’d had 30 coffees, such was the hustle and bustle.

Normally I do not wish good luck to my athletes, because luck is won by them, so I told him to give his best that was enough.

The race begins and André strikes from the start, and the thing even went well until 60km. Then the energies began to fail and hell descended to the star’s mountain.

Some of his opponents had also given up and under normal conditions, he had the condiments there to finish the race. (Ps – in the past I had done it for less …).

But not. It was on that day the first great lesson in resilience. He did not know but would complete one of his great learning lessons of the year. He knew he was going to suffer, he knew it was going to be very difficult, but he had to finish the test.

His pride was put to the test as he saw all those athletes passing him.

He was exhausted, sucked, humble and sad. Seeing him come this way, I felt pride, pity, but an epiphany seized me. Just saying “You see? You did it, you’re the greatest André!”

I knew it was a defining moment of his time. I’m so proud. Even tears came to my eyes!

The people who were accustomed to seeing Andre give up, saw him reach the finish, half-assed, clinging to some sticks.

Many have judged, Andre will never get up again…

The next day I sent him a message saying “wild horse, have you recovered from the walk?” He replied “Boss, quiet, I’ll be national champion!” To which I replied “I know.”

And he did it !!!

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