January Athlete of the Month: George Valdez

State your Name and/or Nickname please:
George A. Valdez

Words to live by?
‘Pain is weakness leaving the body’ – USMC
‘The only easy day was yesterday’ – Navy SEALs
‘No Worries’ – local saying in Hawaii
‘It is what it is’ – local saying in Hawaii

What is your fitness background?
Due to a head injury when I was wee bit of a lad, all full contact sports were prohibited. But, all was not lost as I ran track and cross country in HS. Once I got to college, the workouts became sporadic. I think at one time I even took a weight lifting class in undergrad. Subsequently, all that changed pretty quickly while I went through pharmacy school. Learning about diabetes, erectile dysfunction and other disease states got me back to running and taking my health even more serious. Like they say, “Practice what you preach.”

To this day, we still have a membership to a local gym. It’s only real use is to practice my swimming, as I get ready for the Texas Tri Series. Before that, the gym scene was very boring. Run, do some weight lifting, go home and a few days later back to the same old workout routine. My cousin would post updates on Facebook about something called, “WOD”; looked intense. We needed a new challenge. So, my wife and I did some research and, voilà! Hence began our journey to the dark…I mean CrossFit… side.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
In February, it will be one year!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin?
My wife and I went to Maui in July of 2012 on holiday. Before getting to Maui, we did a little research into crossfit gyms in the area. I know what you may be thinking…”You were in bloody Maui and exercising”? In any event, we found a local gym called Lahaina CrossFit and completed several traveling WODs. The coach and locals were very hospitable. They even gave me a nickname…”Texas”. Aside from everyone having a perfect tan, what I remembered most was how the coach commended me on my deadlift technique. And that is what is my favorite part about CrossFit Austin: the consistent attention to detail performed by all the CFA coaches. They make it their priority to recognize bad form and immediately correct to prevent serious injuries later down the road.

The atmosphere at CrossFit Austin is pretty amazing too! Our “locals” are always motivating, high fiving each other and that experience is certainly second to none.

What are your training goals?
The 2013 year is going to be huge for me. I’m running a half and full marathon in January and February. I’m running the Capital 10K with my pharmacy team. I’m becoming a Spartan (HA-OOH!). I’m going on a solo mission for the ‘Murph’. Hopefully, I’ll be finishing the year with the completion of the Texas Tri series

Favorite sport or activity?
When I’m not dispensing medication, teaching about beta-blockers, or doing bear crawls, I really enjoy camping. It’s probably the only time my cell phone stays in my truck the duration of time we are camping.

Recent adventure you’re planning?
A friend of mine is a US Army Major. We hopefully plan on taking a little trip to Washington DC to run the Army 10-miler next October.

Tell us something we don’t know about you…
Hmmm? Well, I’m sort of a comic connoisseur. No, let me be honest…comic nerd. I actually have a tattoo of Captain America’s Shield on my right shoulder. I enjoyed reading comics but stopped because it got a little expensive. Plus, the extra money pays for CrossFit. (FYI…Stan Lee will be at the Austin Comic Con next November.)

Longhorns or Aggies?
Really? There is only ONE Texas school in the Lone Star State. Texas Fight!

You were one of the top spreaders of holiday “cheer” at our recent holiday party… If you had to pick a favorite holiday/theme party, what would it be and why?
I would have to say a robot themed party. Never been to one so that in itself would be a good reason to have one. Plus, I could already here someone saying, ‘I’m a sophisticated CrossFit robot sent back in time to make you do bear crawls’.

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words…
I have read some amazing stories regarding Navy SEALs. I can recall one moment that stood out from the book, “The Warrior Elite”: One of the instructors describes the infamous ‘hell week’ as “just a SPEED BUMP in BUDs.” I was totally blown away by that simple mentality. So, that is how I approach life’s little or big challenges. You feel it. You forget about it. You keep going forward.

I want to thank all the coaches at CrossFit Austin for selecting me as Athlete of the Month. We have so many other athletes that fit this role. I am truly honored for this recognition. One last thing…BEAR CRAWL!!!