Gimnastas contra la ansiedad: el precio de una clasificación olímpica

Para los gimnastas, participar en los Juegos Olímpicos es lo mejor que les puede suceder en su carrera. Ganar una medalla de oro sería la guinda del pastel, pero estar representando a su país, es el objetivo que se trazan todo. Para conseguirlo, es meterse de lleno es un estado en la que la ansiedad, depresión e impotencia se apoderan de su mente.

Ray Zapata, uno de los talentos de la gimnasia en España, vivió durante el 2020 los efectos nocivos de querer ser perfeccionista. Entrenó, preparó, acondicionó su cuerpo y armó una rutina lo suficientemente sólida para ganarse el derecho a competir en los torneos que soñó, pero el destino se lo negó.

En 2017 se sometió a una operación en el tendón de Aquiles que lo sacó por siete meses del gimnasio. Luego, en 2018, no consiguió el resultado que esperaba en el Mundial de Doha y al año siguiente su equipo lo relegó a la reserva.

El mundo se le vino encima al gimnasta. Con el exigente sistema de clasificación que tienen los gimnastas, tener una mala racha se paga con ver desde casa las competencias más importantes. Cuando en marzo de 2020 una bronquitis no lo dejó participar en una de las pruebas para la Copa del Mundo, Zapata tocó fondo.

Clima del miemo gimnasia
Gimnastas del mundo denuncian los abusos que reciben. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT

“He tenido meses de dormir no más de 2-3 horas por noche”, aseguró al diario El País. “La cabeza es un mundo y aunque tú no quieras, empieza a dar vueltas y puedes entrar en un bucle bastante malo”.

Ansiedad, el peor enemigo de los gimnastas

Con un problema más grande que ejecutar su rutina a la perfección, el atleta entendió que tenía un problema. Se puso bajo control de un psicólogo, que le hizo entender que la mente debía entrenarla incluso más que a su cuerpo.

Ni siquiera los consejos de un profesional frenaron el aluvión de pensamientos en su mente. Todo era un circulo vicioso imposible de cortar.

“No salía nada. Durante ese período dormía 2-3 horas por noche. Mi cabeza solo estaba pensando en un objetivo: en cómo mejorar cada día, en qué hacer para mejorar…. Qué cambiar, qué salía rentable: si meter más dificultad en los ejercicios o meter menos”, afirmó el español. “Tú haces un trabajo que es de una calidad increíble y das un paso pequeño y ya no te gusta porque no es perfecto. ¡Pero la perfección no existe!”.

En la actualidad, uno de los gimnastas españoles clasificados a Tokio 2020 siente mejoría, pero no en su totalidad.  Ahora ve los videos de sus peores momentos y se compadece de la tortura a la que se sometió.

“Hoy veo los vídeos de esos ejercicios y digo: ¿y de verdad te quejabas? La preocupación y la cabeza te hacen volverte un poco loco. Estaba metido en un bucle. Y nada importaba”, continuó el deportista.

Tras varias sesiones en el psicólogo, aprendió a controlar más su mente. No del todo, porque todavía su cabeza lo traiciona cuando decide descansar, pero lejos de aquella versión en la que perdió toda la tranquilidad.

“Hay días que consigo dormir mis horas normales, otros que mi cabeza está en plan: ‘vamos a ver qué puedo hacer’. Pero ya lo vivo de una manera más tranquila, pensando en que todo el trabajo hecho va a salir sí o sí”, cerró.

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