The RaceMob LatinX Heritage Month Special Medley with Gabriel Caetano
At the start of the month, Kevin and Bertrand just had this amazing idea of picking some of the best moments from each interview with our Latine guests. And they figured since Gabriel Caetano, co-producer of the RaceMob Podcast is from Brazil, and therefore Latine too, they could select their favourite moments across the show.
This episode includes:
- Adam Duran;
- The Avalos Siblings;
- Patrick Loera;
- Devin Lopez;
- Nando Gonzales;
- Rebecca Hernandez.
Links For the Show
Podcast TranscriptionThe following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.
[00:00:00] Patrick Loera:
And then I just, I just kept moving. You know, I've used that that was my fuel to get up every mind to keep going. And then when it started to hurt, I would say, you know what? This is nothing compared to what she had to go through.
[00:00:11] Brea Avalos:
He's always been our biggest cheerleader. Like he's always somebody who's like, he's like our coach. He'll like be like encouraging us, pushing us all the time. And it's always in this like, just smiley way. Like, Hey, I think you could do it.
[00:00:29] Nando Gonzales:
But once you start building that community and your accountability buddies, whether it be Coach "B", Becky throughout the years, I had different ones as well. That's what kept me, kept me going, kept me motivated. Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast. This is episode number 72.
[00:00:49] Kevin Chang:
I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd. And I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator, the incomparable Bertrand Newson.
[00:00:59] Gabriel Caetano:
Hello, there RaceMob crew. My name is Gabriel Caetano, my pronouns are they/them, I am from Brazil. And this is why I am here with you in the Latin X Heritage Month.
At the start of the month. Kevin and Bertrand just had this amazing idea of going back to all of our. Latina guests. And picking up some of their best moments from each episode, right. And they figured, you know what, Gabriel you're from Brazil, you arre Latine to. And why don't you? Why don't you take the lead on this one? And they says, yeah. Okay. Sure. And here we are.
What you're going to listen to in this episode is what I think are some of the best moments from all of the episodes across the RaceMob Podcast in which we hosted Latine guests, and I'm going to be talking a little bit about each moment. And why I chose that moment, why that was significant for me.
And I hope that you enjoy this special episode. And the other, like to think Kevin and Coach "B" for being here.
And if you like this episode, please let us know, share it in your social media, leave a comment, leave a rating, leave a review. And also, since I am the audio producer, if there's anything that you like or that you don't about the order quality across the show, please let me know and I'll do my best to improve it.
And here is the first moment that I chose for this special episode.
[00:02:53] Becky Hernandez
[00:02:53] Gabriel Caetano:
So I quite relate with Becky Hernandez in this interview because, struggling with the oppression and the struggling with not being able to get. Up from the couch to do the things that you got to do is a very real struggle for a lot of people.
There's that. And there's also. Dealing with. Big problems that just drag it down and all of that is it just shakes you up in a really bad way. So. That's why I like this.
So that's why I like this interview and especially this section of her conversation, especially when she talks about how you're just supposed to have fun with whatever you're doing. Whatever the you're trying to achieve, fine. But just go out and have fun while you're at it.
[00:04:00] Becky Hernandez - Running From a Bad Place
[00:04:00] Kevin Chang:
I want to get back to this this thought about, you know, not feeling like going outside, feeling like, you know, keeping to the treadmill keeping. Cause I think that a lot of people maybe feel that way of.
In the, my comfort zone, maybe I don't want to step out of my comfort zone and maybe they're stuck in a rut for, for a very long time. I guess, what was it that, that got you out of that comfort zone to, you know, find this new world of, you know, running outdoors or meeting other people, or,
[00:04:30] Becky Hernandez:
I would have to say something, I was going through a divorce, so I was wanting to escape, I guess, you know, feel something different since my, that was something that was just so disruptive in my personal life.
And so I use. I said, okay, well, I need a distraction. I need something to just take my mind off of that. Something that was mine and not, not anything to do with you know, what was going on in my personal life at the time I was you know, I had, my son was two and a half and my daughter was a newborn.
So going through that you know, it, it working divorce. And so that training for a half marathon setting that goal for myself was something like, okay, that's, that's my that's me. I can do that. And. Oh, I got to go outside. And so that pushed me because I wanted to feel something different. I wanted to feel you know, something that was mine and, and nobody could take that away.
So I joined San Jose fit, actually. That's my first, you know, I guess if I go look back, that was my first running group that I joined and that was for a year just to train for the half or half for the season, for the season. And in fact, that's where I met initially meant one of our teammates, Nicole of our now I believe that's Nicole Shahada, Darnell.
She's she connected with two legit earlier this year, and it's funny cause I'm like, you were my running coach back in 2005. So was just small circle. Just show goes to show you how small this community of runners you know, it's a small world but that's how I, I wanted I that got me out there.
And then when I realized, gosh, San Jose fit has all every, every, from the fast runners to the walkers and all shapes and sizes and I didn't feel alone. I didn't feel like I was going to be singled out. I didn't feel like like it was an imposter. I think that was it. I was fighting imposter syndrome. Like you're not a real runner, you know, you're not so but yeah, so that, that really helped me get out of my comfort zone and run outside.
[00:06:23] Bertrand Newson:
And Becky, was it the half marathon? That was your first distance that you were training for? Were there other races leading up to that in your running journey?
[00:06:34] Becky Hernandez:
So my first ever like I'm going to pay to run was the Mercury News 10 K and 1999. That was my. Yeah. And then after I think only did like maybe a couple of 10 Ks no long distance and nothing beyond that.
10 K was my max. I ran one when I was 18 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I think that was the last mercury news race, like thing. So, you know, that was my last was, I had to do two to 10 Ks and I think I did a 5k and that was it. I didn't race. I didn't run races until 2005, I think when I did my first half.
So there was a few years there where I was just, but I had little kids, so I couldn't see, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't important at that point. I was like, oh, you know, when it comes, when that time comes. And so it did in to that.
[00:07:20] Kevin Chang:
And that's pretty incredible to jump right into a 10 K you didn't, you didn't do the 5k first or the,
[00:07:27] Becky Hernandez:
I didn't know.
I didn't know any better, you know, it's like, I think I'm trying to remember what I wore. I think more like a cotton t-shirt some, like, I don't know. It was probably some like leggings that weren't breathable and some like worn, like aerobic shoes. Like I'm like, I'm ready to run
[00:07:42] Bertrand Newson:
leggings. I mean, I haven't wore leggings, but I totally get you in it.
Everything else. So,
[00:07:47] Becky Hernandez:
yeah. I mean, I didn't know, like what time do I go there? Where do I sign up? Where do I go? You know, the bathrooms. And like, I just, I remember just being kind of in awe scared, but at the same time, like, wow, this is pretty cool. I really liked it.
[00:08:01] Kevin Chang:
Was weight loss, a big focus early on, or was it something that just kind of naturally happened because you were having fun or, I mean, walk us through it.
[00:08:10] Becky Hernandez:
Sure. So like I said, I had a a office mate who was always, you know, try and crazy diets, like Rollie, gonna eat pineapple and bananas. I'm like, well, how's that going to help us?
We're going to start. That's why we're going to lose weight. So, you know, that kind of thing until finally, you know, but her idea of joining a. I, it, it was as much as it was scary. I, I was okay with that because I had been a member of the YMCA during high school. So I was familiar with the Y and I would have to say that the selecting the why was the perfect choice for me.
Because I, I think that was a safe environment. It was a very nurturing environment. And I, it was a small environment, so I wasn't like, you know, I felt like if I were to go into a huge class with, you know, thousands of, you know, 30, 40, 50 people, I think I would have just like, no, this isn't for me.
The classes were small. And I had fun, I think when people ask, like, you know, now, now, okay, so today I am a group exercise instructor. I got certified because I just enjoyed what that journey and what I was able to receive from it and what I gained from it. And I'm like, I want to be able to give that back if just, even if it's one person that I impact.
I mean, because I have so many people that think in my journey but. Having fun. And because people always ask me, well, what should I do? I want to lose weight or I, you know, this is not necessarily, you got to pick something, that's it that you're just going to want to go back to, even if it's hard, even if it's like you're in the middle of the classroom, gasping for air, because it's tough.
But at the end you're smiling, that's it? So it could be, it could be weight, you know, it could be this class. It could be that class, it could be running, it could be walking. It could be, you know, swimming, bicycling. I don't like when people say, well, that exercise or they criticize a workout or type of workout because it's like, everyone's different.
it's, it's picking what works for you. And, and it's the consistency at the end of the day.
[00:09:55] Nando Gonzales
[00:09:55] Gabriel Caetano:
Now I really like this conversation with Nando Gonzalez about his journey to finding strength in community. And not only strength, but enjoyment and happiness and just a whole new approach to running.
And so this interview also has none though talking about pacing and I really urge you to check it out. It's a cool story. It's really cool to hear him talking about what he learned from it and what it means to him. Anyways, without further ado, let's listen to the bit that I selected for you.
[00:10:35] Finding a New Meaning to Running
[00:10:35] Kevin Chang:
Talk to us about Taji. Did you introduce it to Bertrand? Is that how that went or did you guys kind of learn about it?
[00:10:42] Nando Gonzales:
No, it was the other way around your Bertrand was already part of it.
Like I said, gentleman, by the name of Marco had told me about it. Cause I was in the Marines with him. I was connected to him through Facebook. So he just kind of gave me the link, told me about, Hey, check it out. You know, it's for veterans, it's a hundred miles in February, which. Seemed like a huge feat at the time.
And it still is, but just knowing everything that was behind it and what they were about, drove me to it and, you know, made me challenge myself and go for it that first year. And I believe this year going on my ninth year now, consecutively
[00:11:11] Kevin Chang:
As a veteran, can you reflect on what the first experience meant to you, what that Taji experience has meant to you?
[00:11:17] Nando Gonzales:
It was just what the organization stood for giving back to the veterans. And at that point, uh, they were partnered with the wounded warrior project, which I had heard of, and I knew they did good things as well.
So I signed up and I believe I got a couple of people to sign up that year. But every year after that, I constantly reached, you know, a wider and wider net, you know, casting out, trying to get more and more people in. And they also gravitated to it because they got referred to it by me, who they know was in the military. So it just that's what brought them in as well.
And then I knew it was gonna be a struggle. I knew it was gonna be hard, but that's kind of the mindset you have going into it is. To challenge yourself and then being in the military, you kind of get used to those, you know, those, those mental roadblocks and having to overcome challenges and, you know, getting over it.
So that kind of drew me to it and went forward. And from that point, you know, I was still in contact with Bertrand, you know, and I'd give them ideas and tips and things that I've thought about, Hey, what if we tweak this or change the wording on this? And that's what that kind of. Transition and to being part of the board came in, you know, cause I was constantly, you know, giving my feedback, not nitpicking or anything, but just like, Hey, let's try this.
Let's word it this way. What do you think about this? And it, you know, he'd reached back out like, Hey, we're thinking of this local type of deal. What tweaks would you make? And I would just constantly give the input. I felt gravitate to the event, you know, I wasn't quote unquote part of it on the back end, but I love the event so much.
I went to contribute as much as I could on the back end to make it better and better every year as well. Even though at that point I was just a participant.
[00:12:37] Bertrand Newson:
And look at, Taji now sold out for 2021, coming off a year, we gave nearly $75,000 to team. RWB our parent charity organization. We're going to top that.
And a lot of that has to do with your support, your vision, your energy, and being a voice for other participants as well.
[00:12:54] Kevin Chang:
Have you met others? During the Taji journey. And like what types of stories do you have from those experiences?
[00:12:59] Nando Gonzales:
I've met anybody that I didn't already know. You know, a lot of the big group comes from the fitness family who I've known from that point.
And then also the people that I've recruited from it. So I wouldn't be able to say that I've met somebody brand new that I didn't already know kind of going into it, but it was a great sense of community. Knowing that you got to go out and get some miles in and someone random is going to see your shirt and kind of just be like, Hey, you're doing it too.
Or, you know, or ask you about it, you know, Hey, what's that shirt, you know, when we go out and do these run local events, you know, we'll, we'll come deep. Well, everybody's gonna wear their Taji shirts, especially if it's coming February and everybody you're running by is asking like, who are you guys with the same shirts on, what is this event?
What is it, you know, can you tell me more about it? So again, that adds to the community as well.
[00:13:38] Kevin Chang:
How about transformational stories? From people that you did know, people that you brought in, any of them stick out
[00:13:45] Nando Gonzales:
A handful of them. I wouldn't say that I brought in on my own, you know, one right off the bat that comes to mind.
Judge Dora, huge transformation, you know, amazing, you know, before and after photos of her just getting out there, getting after it. There was one of your, my dad did it. That was great. You know, get getting my parents involved. My mom did it as well, and they kind of had a little rivalry against each other.
See, who's going to log the most miles, which is great. And apparently this year I got another cousin of mine. Who's getting into his weight loss journey as well. And I told him it's addicting. You know, it's a great event. And it's weird how much you look forward to it. I mean, you almost start feeding and trying to find hours of the day and checking your schedule.
I don't know. I can get another walk-in at this point. I can get a run at this point, found asleep. I could probably get one late night and it just snowballs and just constantly looking for that free time to go out and get some more miles in. So right now, yeah, my, my cousin out in Gillware right. And I was really getting it done. So I was super proud of him.
[00:14:35] Kevin Chang:
Talk to us a little bit about. When did your mindset shift around running in general? Like you've mentioned the first year, it was all about goal. It was all about that half marathon. It was all about reaching that goal. Maybe even the second year it was something similar. Like I'm going to reach this goal, I'm running for a purpose, I'm running to hit something.
At some point. I'm assuming that the mind shift changed where you enjoyed running, that you enjoyed your time out there. That it wasn't so much just about hitting goals, but it was more about. Getting some time to go out and running. When do you think that happened ?
[00:15:09] Nando Gonzales:
Later on when I started running with people. I'm very honest with myself. I will flake on myself every single time. If I'm not meeting somebody out there, I will have great intentions. I'll set the alarm, I'll get the clothes out, I'll get the shoes out, I'll lay everything out. And then I just won't go. Like, I'll, I'll get snooze button and I go back to sleep and I will flake on myself, you know, every day of the week.
But once you start building that community and your accountability buddies, whether it be Coach "B", Becky throughout the years, I had different ones as well. That's what kept me, kept me going, kept me motivated. And like I said, once I seen that weight loss come off, I knew that running is important.
Ryan's good for your health. It's going to keep you in shape or at least get you in shape or get you going. So I knew at that point that yes, just reach out to somebody, have them hold me accountable. I hold them accountable, work together as a team. And it made running a lot more enjoyable. You know, I'm not out there, there alone trying to entertain myself, listening to music.
You're actually having a personal conversation catching up on the week, talking about whether it be sports and the time just flies by, you know, before you know it, five hours is done. You got your mile, you're running in for the day, half the day goes by and you almost forgot that you ran that morning because we're running so early in the morning.
That's where everything changed. It has been able to run with people in that sense of community and, and hold each other accountable. I really like that. And that's what's best currently was keeping me going as well. You know, if it wasn't for my accountability buddies, I would have zero miles
[00:16:30] Adam Duran
[00:16:30] Gabriel Caetano:
This interview with Adam Duran was really interesting to me in many ways. But the section I wanted to highlight here was. his, , involvement with. , community work. Okay. So you'll probably have noticed by now that I, tend to like best stories revolving around community and, , Family and stuff.
You know, it's, it's just really cool. It's just really interesting. And with Adam's background and everything, like, look, if you haven't had a chance to listen to this one episode, like I urge you to just stop everything you're doing, stop listening to this right now and just like go there and listen to it because it is one of the most interesting. Interviews we've had so far, that's my opinion.
[00:17:25] Community Involvment
[00:17:25] Kevin Chang:
Talk to us about, , some of the projects, , how you continue to stay involved.
[00:17:31] Adam Duran:
I was living in Tracy. I spoke several times to the high schools. Um, I'd go into like assemblies and, uh, how do I get there? I just showed
up. I said, Hey, my name is Andrew. I, at the time I was a deputy, I'm a deputy.
And I just, uh, you know, I have this energy and I want to just tell the students that they can do it too. And I want to just so I, we ended up in job fairs and I can't like, I can't believe I got in. So they let me in and by doula security a certain, you know, make sure I w I was legit. Right.
And, uh, I was just, I guess I would just show up and say, this is me, and this is what I do. And, uh, I just want to try to help the students and like, And I would get a little presentation initially to the personnel, to the administration.
And they said, okay, we want to let you in our school. And then I did that. I actually also worked for the city council of Tracy and on a commission, so on trails and roadways and, and the bus as I began to do that for a couple of years on the commission for the city council, and then also in San Jose for the last 10 years, I'm involved with a program called the Latino role model conference.
It's in East San Jose . High school. Once a year, we have it. We've had up to 500 kids there at one time in assemblies. We take them in, we have judges, we have, um, we have a lot of police officers, we have engineers, we have doctors, we have all these people that look like them that are in jobs where they probably, a lot of them don't have families that are in it.
And so we want to show them that they can do it too.
So we do that once a year. And we've given back for 10 years and we give prizes away like San Jose state, uh, hats and, and people that are from different colleges for Santa Clara university of course, San Jose state and maybe Yale or UCLA. And I know my good buddy, uh, Juan as from UCLA.
So we give, we give them like things for the school t-shirts and hats and stuff like that. And we get prizes away and we have like gift cards. So we do that for the kids. We are here in the community. It's all about the community. It's all about pushing and equipping, uh, mentoring and coaching the next generation.
We want the next generation to do more than what we've done. So that's what I've been involved with the last several years. And I guess in the reentry center, I did that for several years and talking with the former inmates and , and anywhere from a hundred to 150, clients. Former inmates that come in , that were lifers that done 30, 40 years in prison.
Well, and they were told by the parole officer to report because they're from this County, they've come from on a bus. They'd literally sleep outside the reentry center because they'd been in prison for 40 years. They got nowhere to go. Their families are gone. And so they'd get there and yeah. They'd be there all day for like a week straight and medical services and like psychiatric services, general assistance, agentic, GA clothing, we're helping with housing, tattoo removal and all these different things.
So, I, I helped open up that building and I think 2011 or 12, , it's like a beacon in downtown San Jose, , where, , we give people an opportunity to, , a second chance.
[00:20:12] Kevin Chang:
It's incredible. , you say , you're showing up and they're just inviting you in.
But I think the energy that you bring it's palpable. I mean, the excitement as Coach, B said caffeine for the years, you're probably bringing that energy and they're like, Whoa, who is this guy? Yes. Kenny motivate our students. Yes. I mean, he can, he, can he show people down the right path?
Absolutely. And so, , you know, that's kudos to you for having built this life through discipline, through, , calendaring things through routine, through reading and, and, , embracing the mindset and also just enriching your mind on a daily basis. I mean, I think it goes a long, long way to then being able to pay that forward.
You know, showing kids that may look like you have similar backgrounds to you. And be able to show them that there is future for them, you know, that there are different avenues for them to go down. So, I mean, I think it's, it's giant kudos to you, the life that you live and being able to pass it forward to the next generation.
I think that's incredible.
[00:21:07] Adam Duran:
I just want to say that, I'm reading this book, called the greatest secret , it's based on it's same Rhonda Byrne, who did the secret back in 2006 , but this last one was called the greatest secret and it's not just kind of Blab it and grab it. You just think it, and it's going to be common. It comes with work. You've got to put it to work. That that's something that no one can give you. And I gotta say we're when I, I got two years to get the job.
Um, I never gave up on the job. It took me two years of just calling all the time. Believe me. Um, they all knew me at personnel and they were okay, Adam, it was still in a hiring freeze, but they would kind of almost get rid of me up. Can you call back in six weeks? I put on my calendar of six weeks later to the day I'd call back.
And if they told me three months, three months to the day 90 days, I'd be calling back. So I never gave up on it, just like it didn't with Boston. And then when I finally got the job, I started to set a plan and then after many years I, um, cause I kind of didn't think I could do it. I was just happy to have a job, to be honest with you.
One job. And I did that for many years, after many, many years, I said, you know what, I'm gonna put in for Sergeant I put in for Sergeant, um, studied, um, and I didn't get it. And then I get competitive. I said, Oh no, Oh, this is not going to happen. I stayed for two years. When I didn't get it. And I thought, okay, it was because the math, I wasn't good at math.
So what I did is I, I hired three different tutors, uh, one the Khan Academy, two my neighbor and three, one of the guys that work with me. I had three different tutors to make sure that I will never fail again. Not that test. That's never gonna happen again. So two years of studying, I got it. And then after four years, uh, I put in for again for another promotion, I didn't get it.
And I said, Oh no. Oh, this isn't it. Okay. I studied for a year. Solid. In fact, I put off. All my marathons and half marathons. I did no races. I in fact, I didn't read any other books, but the material I had, um, uh, court cases and stuff like that, I studied for one entire year. And that next time I got it, um, my point being is it doesn't come.
No one gives it to you. You actually have to work at it. But if you work at it, I can guarantee you one thing, one, you're going to feel better about yourself. And two, you they're going to get it or come Whitey close to getting it, or you're going to go above it, but you will be proud of yourself. It's going to build your confidence and your self-esteem and then your associations will change.
And then your life will change. And I guarantee you that, and you're going to come back and say, Adam, you were right. Cause I'm a hundred percent. Right. I know that to be a fact.
[00:23:29] Kevin Chang:
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[00:23:41] Patrick Loera
[00:23:41] Gabriel Caetano:
Patrick found the motivation he needed to go out and run from surviving. Essentially from surviving himself, surviving his own body. And from surviving grief. And we'll have to talk about like this great stories of, you know, uh, I went and decided that I was going to be run there and I won a lot of races and stuff.
And that's fine. They are fine. But sometimes we also come from this place of, you know, I got to either do something about my life about my health. Or I'll die. And that is an important aspect of human experience too.
So without further ado, let's listen to the highlights that are brought to you today
[00:24:36] Patrick Loera:
And in 2018, I was having chronic headaches back pain. I was having leg issues and I love basketball, but I couldn't play basketball anymore because things are starting to hurt. You know, these little things I couldn't get up in the morning without, with some really bad backs. So I went to the doctor one day because I was having some chronic headaches and he said, they're going to have to make some choices here.
You know, you are obese. Now at this point I was, what about 255 And he said, you're going to have to make some choices because it's just going to get worse with us here.
And I mean, for a five, seven Mexican dude who loves tortillas and beer and, you know, everything and fried foods, you know, I, it was difficult to make some changes. But I committed, you know, so that day I went home and I said, you know what?
I need to step up my game. So I stopped drinking alcohol. Boom. That was the first thing. First thing gone and then moved on from there. It took me a couple of days before I decided to go out for a run just to get my head clear and, and body kind of thinking it was in shape. And I still remember that first run.
It was, it was me the night before preparing all my clothes as if I was going out for a race, got my iPod set up, you know, a nice little actual track playlist. And then I set out that the next morning, you know, I thought I was going to get up at 6:00 AM and go for a run. It ended up being nine. And I finally dragged myself out and ran down the street.
I made it to the end of the block and I was gassed.
[00:26:12] Kevin Chang:
there. Yeah. We've all been there.
[00:26:14] Bertrand Newson:
All been there.
[00:26:15] Kevin Chang:
I mean, the important thing is that you started, right? Yeah.
[00:26:17] Patrick Loera:
Yeah. Yeah. So I started out and I walked back home and, and that day my legs were sore. The next day I was sore and it's kind
of funny, you know, comparing it to today. But I went out the next day, again, eight out of this time, I wanted to try to run two blocks, but it was still that block. So I said, okay, this week, I'm just going to run up and down the street.
That's it. Two weeks later I finally made it, you know, I'm down the block and around the block. And it really took me about, I don't know, about three weeks probably to run a full mile without stopping. You know, my, my back was kind of hurting. My legs had started to hurt a little bit more and ice was my best friend.
I was in stretching at that point and just kept going, just kept moving on. And for me that was the beginning of running right there. And I thought, I feel good. You know, I'm a month in two months in and I feel good so far, so good. You know, let's just keep going.
That's when things kind of changed for me. My aunt Alaina had passed away in April from cancer.
She lost the fight and she had been struggling with it for, for years up to that point. And she didn't smoke. You know, she was a wonderful woman, you know, as healthy as can be at one point, but she caught cancer. Somehow it was lung cancer and it just finally took control.
So in April of of 2018, we lost her. And then about a month later, I lost my grandma. And so just two really big hits in my life. And, and I had just started running. So running for me became that, that outlet, that way to kind of soothe my nerves and to get over some of these things that, you know, like anger, for instance, I had this just this, you know,building rage inside of me.
And I don't know if it was from stuff, from not drinking anymore or from not having, you know, comfort food. We'll say. But it was just this ongoing rage that I couldn't get out without running. So then I became addicted, I guess you could say.
Cause whenever I start to feel this, you know, sort of urge, particularly after driving home from the bay area traffic, I would jump in, you know, on rent it, just go down the block, you know, and try to run it out.
And I did and I got home and I was calm. I was, I felt great. And it also helped me deal with a lot of that, that loss, you know, the grieving that I had going on in me. And that's when I decided to use that as, as my why.
My aunt Elaina was, was big in the church and she would send me daily, daily prayers every day.
And I, and I saved all of those prayers. So I held onto them whenever, you know I highlighted them in my, in my Bible as well. And I started using those. And, and reading those every time I'd go out for a run.
And then I just, I just kept moving. You know, I've used that that was my fuel to get up every mind to keep going. And then when it started to hurt, I would say, you know what? This is nothing compared to what she had to go through.
She's in heaven right now. She's looking down at me and she's probably yelling at me saying, go, you can do it. You know, you have the ability to run, so run and, and get it out.
And one of the things that she always would tell me was just be happy. She was one of the first women in my life that showed me unconditional love, just to be happy. You know, didn't need anything else in life or, you know, just be happy.
And so that's what I did. And when I ran, it made me happy then. And so I fought through the pain. I fought through the, you know, the struggling of all these different issues and kept moving on.
[00:29:44] Devin Lopez
[00:29:44] Gabriel Caetano:
Devin Lopez is so knowledgeable. You really know this stuff . And he's a, an example of the people out there who really know how to do their thing, who have the experience who have the knowledge who have not only the practice, but they have like the technical, knowledge to back it up.
So let's listen to Devin Lopez telling us how he got involved with sport. The start of what would eventually become him being an Olympian.
This interview his grades. He also talks a lot about his shortcomings. And, I mean, it's, it's golden. Go check it out.
[00:30:33] Kevin Chang:
Devin. Tell the audience a little bit about your background, how you found fitness.
[00:30:38] Devin Lopez:
My fitness journey, I'd say started pretty far back. I was always into athletics growing up, so I think since like elementary school time, I've been doing things like soccer and baseball, playing football as I got older.
So that's kind of what definitely, I think nudged me towards this field, in this career path, probably wasn't until like high school time that I actually participated in doing some coaching, helping like youth groups and stuff like that with wrestling and football, and then the camp. So we would hold how my high school in Los Gatos.
So after that, I eventually started working at a gym, doing some front desk duties, and that's kind of what ultimately like kind of hooked me in there as I was working there, I eventually became a trainer, started teaching CrossFit classes and working with PT clients there.
When I was back in probably like 2009, at least when the PT journey started and the group fitness classes started at that point ever since then, it's kind of been a history, but my specialties and kind of where I've put a lot of focuses a little more into like strength, sports. obviously I coached CrossFit by do a lot of work with powerlifters and Olympic lifters, but also train, you know, just your everyday person as well.
I mean, I have clients that are, you know, working for Apple or working for their own, uh, their own house, cleaning business and stuff like that. So kind of spans know across a wide spectrum. So I've had all these opportunity to work with a lot of different people and, you know, see a lot of different issues and hopefully work on fixing a lot of these different things that come with it.
I have a lot of runners as well. So we just have some experience with running and, and as someone who has never been a great runner myself, I have tried to put some time to learn a little bit so I can improve my own running abilities as best as I can think, probably losing some way would probably be the most helpful thing right now, but
You get a little bit more size when you're doing the strength stuff so it's that give and take.
But, but yeah, and then that shell, that's kinda my background. I've always been someone to continuing education and continuing to try to learn along the way. I just got certified in nutrition as well through precision nutrition, but yeah, that probably sums it up.
[00:32:44] Kevin Chang:
Yeah, . So, I mean, I guess when you were in high school and you started realizing that you had a knack for helping people, coaching people, how has that kind of progression into becoming a coach?
[00:32:56] Devin Lopez:
I did go to West Valley. I was pursuing, um, sports medicine at West Valley college. I will say I didn't end up finishing my college degree. , but I pursued a lot of, classes in the field for sports medicine. My goal is to be more of like an athletic trainer and work with athletes kind of more on the sports medicine side and helping them, you know, heal up and rehab and things like that.
But I think as I started to work, with athletes and being an athlete myself, I wanted to work a little more in that side of making people stronger and more fit and performance wise. So not to say that the education journey stopped, you know, at that point. So I've definitely continued to, you know, work on getting more credentials.
And then I'm usually always reading the least one or two books at a time to, you know, continue to work on getting better in that respect to make sure that there is no deficit of knowledge.
[00:33:43] The Avalos Siblings
[00:33:43] Gabriel Caetano:
Now this interview with the Avalose siblings was just such a party. They are these extremely fun and upbeat folks, and I really enjoyed it.
The parts that I enjoyed the most is them talking about how they uplift each other and they keep pulling each other up. Not letting anyone fall behind, as much as they can at least. And that is freely. That is really cool. That was really fun. There was a great talk. That One of my favorite bits on this conversation and well, let's have it.
[00:34:23] Anthony Avalos:
So I ran there in Stockholm Sweden in 2016 And then I I ran a two 59 23 which was right on the dot from my what I was going for so that was my first marathon was in Stockholm.
[00:34:38] Kevin Chang:
The marathon you qualified for Boston, is that right?
[00:34:40] Anthony Avalos:
[00:34:41] Kevin Chang:
So you were training for both the distance and also the time.
[00:34:45] Anthony Avalos:
Being in Europe. I like, I always have a trouble with, with Ray and Bree because I'm working now in kilometers. Cause everybody here works in Columbus per hour or kilometers per minute.
So then I knew that based on my kilometer per minute time that I would end up at, I think it was four 59, 22, and then I landed. I landed at two 59, 23, I, then I had a five minute 30 plus seconds that barrier to get into Boston's office. We were pretty sure after that race and Ray was the first one I talked to you that I think you got into Boston and then it was like, Oh, wow.
That was a big part.
[00:35:21] Kevin Chang:
Do you think you already had the speed? And you're just like looking to add on the distance and the endurance.
[00:35:27] Anthony Avalos:
I think I have the, not necessarily the speed, but I think I have the capacity. Even my soccer career, I was a runner playing soccer. One of my biggest skillsets. It was, of course you can say technique or pass or whatever, but I had a large running capacity when I was playing soccer.
So I was playing center, midfield, running all over, up and back and these kinds of things. So I think that
translated to. Even though that first marathon, my training wasn't as deep as it went to the next marathon. I think that natural capacity was there. Of course I did train, I did train enough to get it two 59.
I think a lot of that was just a natural capacity base that we have in our family. That was a cool moment to get into Boston. And then it was like, okay, Ray's going to Boston. I'm going to Boston. Bri, are you good?
[00:36:20] Kevin Chang:
That's some pressure
[00:36:25] Bertrand Newson:
resource marathon of all cities, San
[00:36:28] Brea Avalos:
Francisco. I think Anthony qualified when I was still in college, I want to say, or like maybe I just graduated or something, but I knew he was training. So there was this pressure. And I remember my last semester of college, they both were like, Anthony was soon to be qualifying.
Like he was on the track and I was like, okay, well now it's like, I'm not going to be the only sibling left out. Like this Apolis game gang has got to stick together. So, so I did this one half marathon because I went to Boise state. And I just signed up, me and my friends signed up for this half marathon.
I was like, okay, if I could really do this, like run a really good time in this half marathon, I'm going to for sure. Sign up for like a Boston qualifying marathon. And then, so I ran the half marathon I did really well. And then, and then, so I was like, all right, this is it. Like, that was really fun. This is I'm going to do it.
[00:37:19] Bertrand Newson:
What was your time break?
[00:37:21] Brea Avalos:
I don't remember my time in that half marathon. Only
[00:37:23] Bertrand Newson:
[00:37:25] Brea Avalos:
Apparently it was the, I forgot what I wish I could look it up right now to tell you what the, this half marathon is called, but it's famous. So someone look it up at some point, but it's like one of the hardest half marathons in like one of them in like the United States, because it's a strip Hill.
There's this pill in Boise called the Gulch and it's just like straight up. And so it was like, it's like one of the hardest half marathons, like dub one of the hardest ones in the world. So it definitely are in the nation. So it definitely wasn't for time, but definitely plays pretty well. And then I signed up for San Francisco.
I don't know why thought San Francisco would be the best place to qualify. I think it was the only. Merit Boston qualifying marathon, close enough to the cutoff to actually like actually sign up. So I was like, okay, it's going to be San Francisco. And then I was training quite a bit. Like basically post-college that whole summer.
I was like training. I did qualify at San Francisco marathon. And then the last couple miles, my first marathon, I have this like vivid memory, like cause San Francisco marathon is really cool. Cause it starts at like 5:00 AM Bertrand. I think he ran it that year. You stayed at your hotel as well, too. So do you just like wake up at like 3:30 AM and like you're just crack a Dawn and it starts at 5:00 AM is like the first wave.
And then you just go and then it's beautiful because San Francisco you've never seen it so quiet. You've never seen San Francisco as quiet as it was that like, if you don't run San Francisco marathon, so. I was losing steam around like mile 18. And then I, all of a sudden saw two of my friends pop up, like as sidelines.
And I was like, okay, this has given me energy. Let's go. And then mile 20, it's like, it feels like you're at war because there are grown men crying, like almost done.
Your ears are starting to ring, like what is going on? Well, like, I don't know, going to the bathroom on themselves. It's like, and then I just remember I'm like, and that was like the first mile 20, even to this day, even when my times are getting faster and faster mile 20 to 26, I don't care who you are.
That is like all mental. That is it. And so I was like running and then I think it was like close to the end, like mile 24 or something. I just see Ray, all of a sudden I hear great. Let's go great. And I don't even know if he was allowed to do this, but he just hopped into the race, ran me like close to the finish.
And then I finished and I qualified.
[00:39:55] Kevin Chang:
[00:39:57] Bertrand Newson:
Love that family support. They're getting out of this course. Bring her in to the finish line.
[00:40:02] Anthony Avalos:
Bottom line is Ray force this to
[00:40:10] Brea Avalos:
He's always been our biggest cheerleader. Like he's always somebody who's like, he's like our coach. He'll like be like encouraging us, pushing us all the time. And it's always in this like, just smiley way. Like, Hey, I think you could do it.
[00:40:27] Bertrand Newson:
So qualified, you know, that you're in for the most part and race day itself, or actually leading up to traveling out family, the anticipation I'm going to the expo together.
That expo photo was fantastic.
[00:40:40] Ray Avalos:
It was awesome. I'll let you guys tell your little things too, but I'll just start this one off we're there. We're like, Oh, I'm like, Whoa, this is my brother, and sister. My brother is coming from Norway. You know, we haven't seen him for a while, so we're just there. It's awesome. We feel like weather's perfect.
So you can really enjoy Boston. The whole family came. My parents, my wife, I had one kid at the time. So Cobia, my daughter and my mother in law was there. My sister in law. I think my aunt was there as my aunt Michelle. Yeah. It was a family affair. So it was a good time. There was this good vibes. Everything was awesome.
Matching T-shirts We were going to get to budget, but, you know, we had a ticket one step further with the team, Avalon custom gear.
[00:41:30] Bertrand Newson:
[00:41:30] Anthony Avalos:
do it. Yeah. I mean, it was awesome being there. It was like, it really special because it was like we put in the work to get qualified and then everybody in the work in training, leading up to that. So just being there was more of a celebration. So it was like the race and everything we did.
Of course, we're going to go the give it all in the race, but it was more of a celebration and the runs and Ray said this before, but Boston is one straight line to the finish and the whole way is packed with people. And it's just like this awesome thing where we're starting in different places in different ways, but we just all know we're running the same places.
And then we're just like trying our best and do, and the thing together until you get to mile 20, then it's every man for him. So. I thought it was really special. The family that was there, my wife was there. You can't recreate that experience.
That was something we, we could, we could try to do again. We have something called coming up in Chicago that we tried to do this year, but we're gonna defer to do it next year.
We both, we all qualified for Chicago. So we're going to try to give that a go. But yeah, the Boston experience was unlike any other.
[00:42:40] Brea Avalos:
Yeah, Boston. Oh, Boston is still my favorite marathon and I've run it once after all three of us ran it as well. But that first time, like with all of us being there and the entire family being there too, it was awesome.
And especially like, I just remember the night before the marathon the competition between us was insane and there were like family members picking sides on who is like, it was mostly Anthony and Ray. Cause they're in the same, you know, like age group, uh, Like men bracket. And so they were just like, who's gonna win.
Who's gonna win. And I was just like, and I'm like, I'm going to my cell phone here. Um, but it was, it was a really, really cool experience. And I think afterwards too, um, we all took pictures. Where's the, like the commons area. And I think the biggest memory I have is taking those photos afterwards together.
And just like really like knowing that like we all accomplished it together and it was sick. Cause that course is not easy. And Boston just in general, no matter what course I've ever run, Boston is just like something special because like every, the course is just lined with a crowd of 10 people.
And like, it just keeps on going and going and you just see so many different, like you see the university and like you see just every, every type of people that live in, in Boston come out and it's just like amazing.
You could never not feel energy on that course, because there are just so many people and the crowd giving you so much energy. And so it just like pushes you forward.
[00:44:13] Kevin Chang:
Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast. Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcasts and leave us a review until next time. Keep on moving.