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    Apodos: Gaci y todos sus derivados

    Vivo en: Madrid

    Me gusta: correr, la fotografía, los libros

    Color: azul cielo y rojo

    Número: el 11

    Adoro: el buen tiempo, conducir con música, viajar

    Película: El efecto mariposa

    Un vicio: el hockey

    Un libro: Un milagro en equilibrio, Lucía Etxebarría

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Monica Seles – Getting a grip

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa feat Bruno Mars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa5B22KAkEk

Otoño del año pasado en Chicago. No fue en mi típica inmersión en un Barnes & Noble sino en un outlet en mitad de muchos pueblos, en el que entre tienda y tienda de ropa pasamos por una de libros. Ya había comprado varios y la maleta iba justa, pero me resisto a los libros igual de poco que a las camisas. El caso es que caminando entre estanterías vi este libro. Espera, ¿no fue ésta a la tenista a la que apuñalaron? No la reconozco, está bastante cambiada, pero su imagen tendida en una pista de arcilla echándose una mano a la espalda es una de las imágenes de mi infancia. Girada hacia mi padre preguntándole por qué a aquella chica le habían hecho eso igual que le pregunté por qué el árbitro no iba a anular el partido si era evidente que Luis Enrique tenía la camiseta manchada de sangre. Qué mala época le tocó a mi madre para explicarme la vida :). El caso es que como partiendo de la base de que la realidad siempre supera la ficción soy una gran aficionada a las bibliografías, este libro se fue directamente a la cesta. Y no sé si es que estoy teniendo una racha lectora muy buena, o desde luego que se ha colocado en mi Top 3 de libros. Una historia muy humana ante todo, revela esta faceta a través del deporte de élite, tratando de muchas cosas  mucho más allá del apuñalamiento. Yo no sabía que coincidió con un diagnostico de cancer terminal de su padre y entrenador, y que todos estos factores la hicieron caer en un trastorno alimentario mucho menos conocido que la bulimia o la anorexia pero infinitamente más frecuente, el síndrome del atracón. No sabía ni que esto tenía nombre, pero me he visto reflejada en situaciones que describía y las veo en la gente de mi alrededor que no se ha parado a pensar (¿sabeis cuando lo hice yo? Ver estapa 2 del post anterior) y que diariamente se castigan entre el deporte y exceso comiendo. Ha sido maravilloso leer conclusiones a las que yo estaba llegando hace unos meses. Recomendado, os gustará y os servirá.


“I´d practice hitting againts the brick wall of our building over and over again. Ice, rain, snow, wind, no matter what the weather was like, I was out there. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the people who lived on the first floor. Never once in all my years using that wall as a hitting partner did they ever complain. They were either extremely kind or extremely hard of hearing. Either way, I owe them a big thank you.”



“For winning the tournament I  recieved a check for 50000 $. They presented it to me in a jumbo size for publicity photos. I was convinced that I had to take it to the back to cash it, so after the awards ceremony I kept walking around with it  even thought it was nearly as bit as I was.”



“If you dont have games on your side you dont have momentum. If you dont have momentum on your side you have got to dig deep to come up with  some confidence. If you cant find the conficende, fake it. It you can kafe it, it is over.”


“It didn´t seem fair but, because of the complains of the opponents I made the unwise undecision to muffle my noise in the final againts Stefi Graff. Big mistake: it is it is one of the only things I regretted in my life. Obsessing over being as quiet as a mouse thre my game off and I lost the Winbledom final. If there is anything possitive that came out of the nightmare that unfolded in slow motion on center court that day, it is that I experienced a harsh lesson in people pleasing: don´t do it. I have always struggles with that part of my personality. I hate feeling like i have dissapointed someone or done something to upset them. But the danger in being a people pleaser is that you end up never pleasing the the person who matters the most: you.”


“Money and fame were part of my life and it would have been tempting to give into them. But it is hard to get a big head when you still have to the dished at home with my family, clean uo after the dog, book my own court times and pick up my own balls during practice. These are tiny things that sound insignificat but  they hept my ego very small enought to fit trought the door every time I came back hom from a tournament. When you are in the tour, without some around to keep you normal, you are in major danger of becoming a person you wouldn recognize. I a hadn´t had my family with me, I don´t know who I would have become.”



“After the stabbing, there was a problem that no MRI readout could diganose. What if I couldnt make a come back? Tennis had consumed me from the time I was six years old, and I was scared that I didnt have an identity without a recket in my hand. Who was I without tennis?”



“Food became the only way to silence my demons. I began to eat a lot. I´d walk into the kitchen, grab a bag of chips and a bowl of chocolate ice cream, then head to the couch and eat in front of the television. I´m surprised I didn´t wear adeep groove in the hardwood floor between the fridge and the couch. I still don´t know why my anguish found solace in food that summer. Other than my bried peanut butter phase when I was thirhteen, I´d never use food as a cruth before. Maybe I was bored and I kept myself wandering into the kitchen, scaning the cupboards, even though I´d have just eaten and hour before. Maybe I was subconsciously reacting to Parche´s (the derranged that stabbed me) angry comment that “women shouldn´t be as thin as a bone”. If a padded myself myself with extraweight, I´d be protected from being hurt again. Maybe I was scared that my comeback would fail, so by eating myself out of shape I could guarantee I´d never do it. I would never know what started mke into this dark path, but that summer what turned to be a decade-long battle between my mind and my body began.  I wish I could have stopped myself. I wish I´d have paid better attention to what I was doing, acknoweledge the bad habits that were forming, and corrected them before they got out of control. But I didn´t. i was too depressed to think deeply about what I was feeling and  was too lost in my won head to take a step back and see the kind of damage I was inflicting to myself.”


“Sometimes when life comes at you, it comes at you full throttle. It comes at you with vengeance to see just how much you can take. After many years of being tested, I can now take misfortunes and turn them around into opportunities for growth. I can look at something bad and think, What is this trying to teach me? How am I supposed to grow from this really awful situation? But in the winter of 1994 all I felt was overwhelming fustration and sadness.”


“I had a million justifications: I was tired, I was sore, my dad was dying, I was lonely. And every night after a hard day of training I´d cosume thousands of empty calories without tasting any single one. This uncosciencious eating was destroying all of my progress. I worked so hard in the gym but I´d mess it all up in one binge. My dad was getting worse and I didn´t know how to handle my emotions. They were too painful to control, so I ate more. I´d go to bed feeling numb and with a stomach stretched to capacity, and I´d wake up the morning furious with myself and with a wicked food hangover, thinking “Now I jave to work out even harder to make up fast for last night. I´d angrily put my gym clothes on and storm out the front door. I´d train harder to compensate, the go home and do it all over again. It was madness.”

Seles antes despues


“Tennis is more a game of the mind than a game of the body. You can have the best serve, the strongest fundamentals, a lethal dropshot, but if you head doesn´t believe it , your body will follow suit and obey the command to loose. Momentum is everything in a game, in a set, in a match.”


“The Olympics opening ceremory was one of the most beatifoul events of my entire career. Tha athletes had to arrive at the stadium at 2 in the afternoon and dint get back until two in the morning. Massive amounts of energy everywhere. Lindsay and I couldnt stop smiling as we waved our little flags high in the air. Television cameras swept back and forth as we walked around the track and all the athletes turned into ten years olds after a sugar rush. Waving like crazy, making funny faces, footing and hollering, it was great. I finally understood the meaning of being high on life. I wish there was a way to bottle that magic”


“And the most important thing I learned was that what you put into your mouth is more critical to weight loss than how much exercise you do. Working out hard didn give me a free pass to eat everything in sight, but that is exacly what I did. I worked out in extemes and I ate in extremes. Nothing was in balance and my body showed it”


“After losing the first set, I tried to banish the negative thoughts from my head. I didnt want to give up before the match was over. The thoughts stayed anyway: You are getting too old, she is faster that you are. Come on, do you really think you can win another Gran Slam? I couldnt get them out of my head. I couldnt access the focus, and my confidence was shot. I lost and the last chance I´d probably ever have to make a run in Winbledown was over. The crowd gave us a stading ovation. I packed my bag and hurried off the court, forious that I´d sabotaged myself again.”


“Lisa gave me a pep talk before I headed out. I wasnt going to drwon my fustration in pasta. At dinner I followed her instructions. Benjamin looked at me like I was crazy when I ordered steamed fish with a side of spinach. I was so temped to shre fis fried calamari, but the anger over losing in the quarterfinals was still fresh in my mind. If getting back into Gran Slam final winning form meant starving my selft, the screw it. That is what I would do. But my resolved only lasted until dessert. I ordered cheesecake, had half of Benjamin´s gelato and ate more that my fair share of the sugar cookies that were placed between us. I went to bed feeling guilty, angrey and disappointed.”


“I spent most of my thirtieth birthday challenging myself to do something new: I was going to just relax. I threw myself into a hammock to read and nap. I wasnt going to feel guilty about relaxing. I was just going to be. The first hour was trying. I got antsy and thought about going on a hike. Or a swim. No, Monica, you are staying right here.”


“By the end of the year I´d lost twenty pound without trying. Well, I did try, but my efforts were so different from those I´d made before. There were a big few changes in my thinkg, which affected some deep-seated behaviors I´d struggled with for years. First, I refused to say i was on a diet. Being “on” implies that I would one day go “off” it. I also banished the absolutes. instead,  lived in the liberating and calming grey area of moderation. I stopped classificaying foods as “allowed” or “forbidden”. After all, what´s more tempting than something forbidden? If I wanted of piece of cake, I´d ask whoever I was with if they wanted to share it. It wasn´t easy, I had to work at slowing down during my meals, but it was empowering to begin to eat consciouly. Taking the time to taste my food was nothing sort of revelatory, but the more I did it the easier it became. The first time I tried implementing conscious eating was at a pizza parlor. Ok, here we go. In the past I´d get anxious and start eating like I was in a food contest. Ok, this is not a race. This is not the last pizza I will ever see for the rest of my life. By the time I finished a slice I wasn´t hungry anymore. I´d just experienced firsthand the meaning of quality over quantity and I was learning to question the valie I placed on excess.”


“I have lived in such extremes – seven hours workouts followed by five thousand binges – that i wanted a change. I wanted less. Just the word less sounds soothing when it rolls off the tongue. I started carrying the concept with me everywhere, viewing the word less as conected to the word lesson. Every time I made a choice that emphasized the less is more theory, I gave myself a little symbolic pat on the back. I was learning how to live my life fully by choosing less. At the groucery store I filled my cart with lees. I passed over the fat-free items for wholegrain options. Fat-free, carb-free, sugar-free? No, thanks. I wanted to stay as far as possible from processed foods as possible. The less theory affected my workouts too. Even on days when my food felt good I didn´t go to the gym or hit the beach for a run. Instead, I walked, not a furious pace or with the intention of getting somewhere, but just to walk. It felt good to move my body without feeling like I was inflicting a punishment on it.”