Cisco Garcia. Professional tennis player and lawyer. You always have to try

2 Apr. 2019 | SOLTRA

"Everything that can be done I go, I try and I almost always do."

Cisco Garcia. Professional tennis player and lawyer. You always have to try

2 Apr. 2019 | SOLTRA

Francisco García , Cisco (Cordoba 1982) suffered an accident snowboarding in Austria that damaged his spinal cord. But he has continued his journey in sport and in wheelchair life. His goal now is to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in chair tennis. This month is our protagonist in #somosextraordinarios. We talked to him about his history and his challenges:

From what I understand, you were already playing tennis before the accident. Where does that hobby come from?

My family belonged to a tennis club and since I was a child I have always been with a racket in my hand, although until I was 24 years old I did not start playing continuously (as a child I alternated tennis, pediment, ping pong and especially football). From the age of 24 he played three days a week and participated in local tournaments. I really liked tennis, but snowboarding outweighed that hobby. Let’s say tennis was a hobby and passion snowboarding. In fact, many weeks, because of the blows I was snowboarding on the weekends, I couldn’t play tennis on weekdays because of the pains.

What was it like to switch to chair tennis? What was the hardest part?

There’s a big change, because you go from running fast to the balls, to barely even being able to move from the site, because at first you’re very clumsy with the chair. Handling the chair is not easy, and if you have the racket in your hand, much worse. Let’s just say it was an internal struggle between passion on one side of the track, and frustration on the other side. But I had a lot of fun, and I kept playing. Then I found that the circuit was very professionalized, it was a big and beautiful challenge, and I was very motivated. In chair tennis changes the pattern of play a bit, you have to enter, hit and exit to open the court and be able to reach long balls. I’ve had a hard time assimilating that.

And now you have your eye on the 2020 Tokyo Games. How do you prepare to face this challenge?

I train from Monday to Friday, about three hours: one hour in the gym and two hours on the track. On Saturdays I sometimes go to the gym to do recovery work, but usually on the weekend I try to rest well to recover and face the new week in perfect condition. I play about 15 – 20 tournaments a year.

Another of your passions is traveling. What journey would you highlight from everyone you’ve made?

I’ve always loved traveling. South America is my favorite place, followed by Asia. In fact, one of my biggest concerns after the injury was that I thought I couldn’t continue to travel as before. Luckily I was wrong, and with a bike I use on the trips I can move around almost any terrain. Since the injury I have been in Japan, Costa Rica, Panama, Morocco, Sri Lanka, southern India… sites that are not at all adapted. They have all been very special in different ways, but if I had to choose one it would probably be Japan, because Rachel and I went within 8 months of injuring myself, which is somewhat unthinkable and was the trip that showed me that I could enjoy it very much in a wheelchair.

Planning a new trip?

Of no pleasure. At Christmas I was in the Azores With a friend and we had a great time. Now it’s time to focus on the season and this year I have tournaments in Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia… many places in Europe. While I don’t have much more time for the tournament, after the matches of each day I always take a tour of the cities. I’m very curious and I like to see what each city hides.

Your travel companion is your wife, Rachel. What does it mean for you to have their support to fight for your dreams from the first moment?

She has always been key to everything, both before and after the injury. When we’re together, it looks like the problems don’t exist. He’s the person I’m the best with and who I love to be and travel with the most. The first few months after the injury were the hardest, and from the beginning he was by my side at all times.

If you had in front of you someone with dreams as big as yours who has to overcome a difficulty like yours, what would you say to them?

First I’d congratulate him on having big dreams. Whether big or small, having dreams, having goals, keeps a person alive. Once you have them, you have to fight for them, work hard and know that many difficulties will come and that you cannot come down. And if you fall apart, let it be just a moment and get up fast. Also you should be clear that even if you try very hard, there is a chance of not achieving sleep or goal, it is one of the possibilities when you embark on something big. And you don’t have to dramatize if it’s not achieved, because it’s all given itself and enjoyed doing it. It is very important to know how to enjoy the way, the day to day.

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