Dozens of years have passed, and I still frequent Uni, the facilities of the University of Barcelona, at the southern end of Diagonal.
My father had taken us to see them in 1983, almost in black and white.
Dad often reminds me.
And I thank him, because that black and white adventure had made a deep impression on me: I was barely thirteen years old, and until then I had never set foot on a tartan track.
On that afternoon in 1983, we spent a good time jogging on the grass of the soccer field, as uneven then as it is now, and then we moved on to the synthetic. In the vertigo of the track, my brother Carlos wanted to experiment with speed. He suggested that we run a 400, giving it our all.
I timed him: he marked an exact minute. Then I tried: 1m06s.
The adventure was as painful as it was ecstatic: I still felt the lactic acid running through my body, but I had already decided that I wanted to immerse myself in that world of athletics, that's some of us.
Since then, I have explored that place, the Uni. “Explore” is a correct term: athletics is an exploration into oneself.
I explore it daily, I continue to do so today. I do it in the mornings, after dropping Julia off at school first thing: I drive ten minutes to the Uni and there I work out in the gym, or I jog on the grass on the rugby field, or I explore on the track. , emaciated in recent times. I frequent Uni every morning, except on Wednesdays. That day, if the window opens, I escape at noon. My hard-working companions are waiting for me there, the faithful of the great Jordi Vidal.
The majority of the great Jordi Vidal's pupils are of an age, and yet we maintain the illusion of being a cadet, and we do not lose that illusion even in the darkest years, like this one, in which Joan Corominas has left us. He was lean and sharp and in admirable shape. He was a hurdler until the end. We have been orphaned by his smile, and as best we can, we all support Mercè, his widow, multiple Spanish master's champion in speed and combined events.
Thinking about Joan I think about everything that is coming to Uni, that transformation that is already under study. Where the Uni is today, the new Clínic hospital will go. We don't know exactly in what terms or on what date, but we know that it will happen. And that is why, far-sighted as I am, I am already flirting with the idea that my past, my present and my future will remain forever tied to this place, the Uni grounds, because my bones will end up there one day: I suspect that the Grim reaper will surprise me lying on a bed with views of the southern end of Diagonal.