Flying with the Scirocco wind: My journey from Manila to Motril

Hello, everyone! I am Matteo Crisostomo, a decathlete from Metro Manila in the Philippines but for the next few months I will be residing in a small city in Granada, Spain known as Motril. The main reason I flew to Motril was to join Scirocco TF in order to become a stronger decathlete.

Scirocco TF introduces Matteo Crisostomo (PHL)

Controlling my fate

Jose Matteo Crisostomo, Scirocco TF
Matteo Crisostomo at Scirocco TF

I have always been the type of person to put myself out there in order to make my dreams a reality. Afraid of failure, yes. But more afraid of the idea of not giving it a shot. That is what led me to pack my bags and make the trip to the south of Spain and train with Alessandro and the rest of Scirocco TF.

Ever since I was young it was my dream to compete on the biggest stage, against the top athletes in the world. It did not matter what sport, I just wanted to be amongst the world’s best. I just so happened to stumble upon athletics back in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. This sport has given me an immense amount of opportunities, experiences, and life long friendships.

Despite everything this sport has taught and given me, I felt I still had so much more in me. Hence, over the past two years of the pandemic I continued to find ways of improving as a decathlete. However, I found myself running into a wall multiple times, and plateauing more than I would have liked.

This is when I started looking for solutions. I tirelessly searched for track and field camps around the world, but I just couldn’t seem to get lucky. Then one day, back in May, while I was not even looking for camps, the stars aligned. On my Instagram discover page was the most recent post of Scirocco TF.

Creating the blueprint

“Train in Spain” it read and immediately it caught my attention. That same day I sent them an email inquiring about their services. Alessandro was very quick to reply, and after exchanging a few emails, we decided to schedule a video call.

During the call I shared my background in the sport, and Alessandro gave me an insight of what training and day to day life would be like if I decided to make the trip.

Additionally, as a sprint and hurdles specialist, Alessandro let me know immediately that he already contacted other coaches who specialize in jumps and throws. This was when I knew I was going to be in good hands. An elite level coach was already finding ways to help me improve in all my disciplines even if I had yet to commit to joining his team.

Executing the plan

The planning for this started in the first week of May, and I had my first training session with the team last October 3. So to say I was excited was an understatement, but to say I did not have a few butterflies in my stomach was a lie. Alessandro sensed this immediately, and told me “No need to show me you know how to run, I know you do. Just run and show me some swagger.”

Matteo Crisostomo Scirocco TF
Matteo Crisostomo in action at Scirocco TF

This might have been one of the best training tips I have ever received. Flying across the world to train with some of the best athletes in Europe was a bold move, but I did not come here to show them I could run, jump and throw. I came here to learn from them so I could run faster, jump higher, and throw farther. So since then it’s been all about observing, asking, absorbing, and applying.

A few sessions in and I can not say I am faster than when I arrived, but I can certainly say I am a better athlete. Training alongside Elisa and Hassane under Alessandro and Jani, has shown me what it means to train at an elite level. The constant communication with all of them has helped me understand my body better, and has taught me how to be more efficient with my movements. While this is a continual process these things have been translating little by little into becoming a better athlete, and I know will translate into my performances on the track in the near future. 

With all I have experienced so far, I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to be here. 11,866 kilometers away from home but for some strange reason I feel like I am right where I need to be. Knowing I have the love and support of my family and friends back in Manila, and I am surrounded by the right group of people here in Motril, going after my dreams is so much easier.

Lots of love for the people in my corner. And while my dreams may seem crazy, there is no such thing as a dream too big when you know others are dreaming with you. As we say in Scirocco TF, the future is bright, and the best is yet to come.

Till the next,
Matteo Crisostomo

1 thought on “Flying with the Scirocco wind: My journey from Manila to Motril”

  1. Welcome aboard Matteo!

    Life is a journey that takes many directions, but you always decide your itinerant path.

    Shine your best attitude, find out your deeper motivation, dream on your biggest goal and never forget to have fun.

    Coach Gianpaolo

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