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  • Writer's pictureThe Useless Runner

El Profe

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Pragmatism [noun] ~ /ˈpræɡ.mə.tɪ.zəm/

"The quality of dealing with a problem in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist, rather than following fixed theories, ideas, or rules."

This is a story about an amazing human being.

El Profe (The Coach or 'professor' if you are looking for a literal translation) is someone I wish I had gotten in touch with sooner.

I met Ezequiel probably 10 years ago. I honestly do not remember when. I was already living abroad and all I can really remember about him is that he was into football and was studying physical education and sports.

Back then I was not heavily into sports, other than maybe cycling, but did not really have any interests in races or anything of that sort.

For the brief years I knew Ezequiel back then, we never really spoke much. I had probably seen him a few times occasionally, when I visited home, and you could say we did not have many things in common. If my memory serves me right, he was starting his studies. Back then the age gap was apparent, we were [much ... much....] younger.

~ Fast forward 10 years ~

There is not much I remember other than I had Ezequiel on my social media. I clearly remember seeing how he evolved from that young guy playing football and studying sports, to a professional practitioner in his field, always studying, always learning, and always using an honest lens to understand human physiology, the mechanics of exercise, food for performance and sports.

When I started to train more seriously and got into triathlon, I did not have a lot of structure into strength training. I focused on swimming, cycling and running, period. There were a lot of things I did not know back then, and still don't know today, that I wish I knew and had studied about.

Seeing Ezequiel's posts on his social media and his approach to training caught my eye. He talks a lot about having a 'conscious movement' method to his approach (Spanish: Consciencia Corporal). This way of training is very holistic and focuses mainly on natural body movements and adds different techniques to release pressure points (Myofascial Release -MFR-), gain more flexibility, strengthen your core and muscle groups, using a set of pillars as the basis of the method, as well as a lot of focus on breathing. I can tell you now with 100% certainty: Breathing is a HUGE part of this process.

After my first Ironman 70.3 Race, I realized how shattered my body was during the half marathon. My body was in a lot of pain, and my back, core and legs were suffering like never before. I was happy I finished the race, but something did not feel right with my body strength. I had trained 11 months for that race, and I realized that I really needed to do something about it. It was not just swim, bike, run.

I contacted Ezequiel to have a professional assessment of my current condition and to simply ask for CORE exercises to strengthen my body. I was very naive about a lot of things that were required to fully understand how our body works, how our breathing is such a powerful tool, and how simple natural movements can help you push further than ever before. But be careful! ...... simple does not mean EASY. It is hard .... it is fucking hard.

Ezequiel is a very direct guy, but also very respectful. He said it to me straight: "I can simply give you core exercises, and you will be on your way, nothing wrong with that. Or I can work with you on how to apply a full set of tools and techniques which can improve your performance and reduce injury". It was after having a long conversation with him that I realized how passionate he is about what he does, and how proud he is about the work he puts day in and day out with his athletes. It sounds cliche and all, but he really is one with nature and his surrounding environment.

~ This was the first time I heard the term 'Conscious Movement' ~

I gave it some thought and decided to give it a go, to try this approach and try to understand what this method was all about, and how it could be adjusted to my training. We started working together in August 2020, and after a whole bunch of tests and benchmarking to determine many baselines in my physical condition, we set out to work and train, every day.

Over 90% of the things I have learned training with Ezequiel I did not know. And there is one fundamental thing I truly enjoy about working with him: His pragmatism.

This guy does not bullshit you into the things HE believes can help you.

He does not feel more important than the rest.

He is humble.

He investigates, he reads, he studies.

He does not try to sell you anything.

He does not promise you easy results.

He explains how important discipline and good habits are.

He tells you is going to be fucking uncomfortable, and that you must put in the work and sweat.

He is not polarized.

He does not say "Do this because I tell you".

He does not judge your beliefs, but he tells you his professional opinion.

He works with you and with what works FOR you.

He listens, he adapts, he evolves.

Most importantly: He practices everything he preaches.

He is the first one on the running trail at the break of dawn, and the first one to jump into the cold water of a waterfall. The first one to do breathing exercises, and ice therapy for recovery.

El Profe, as young as he is, has given me a lot of tools I can use on my day to day. These tools translate into my life as well. I have had a couple of bad weeks where training seems like an impossible quest, and life just gets in the way, and applying some of his techniques do help. Always minor changes help, and not trying to do everything at once. This I have learned from him.

We have been working together now for almost 6 months, and I have been able to make more progress in this time than I ever did for my half ironman 70.3 in 11 months.

As life goes on there are ups and downs. Currently there is a lot of uncertainty with races and there is not a lot going on. This has taught me that not always you need to live and train for the next race. This is something I have not done for a very long time. Just having that feeling of freedom to train, to get better, and to have marginal gains which will help me in the long run. To train with consciousness.

Thank you PROFE!. Sincerely.

Thanks for reading.

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