Obstacles are Made to Become Stepping Stones

FEBRUARY Featured Athlete – Jerry Garcia Sport – Ultra Trail Runner

The Grit. Never in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagine myself being where I’m at today.  Twenty years ago If you would’ve asked me where I’d be in 20 years, it would’ve been six feet under the ground or in and out of a cage.  By the grace of God I’m here today living. Ultra trail running is a day in and day out grind! It’s such an unpredictable sport with different terrain, elevation gain and loss.  I fell in love with the challenge of it not only physically, but the mental battles that go on.

When I first started running in 2009 for the inaugural Pasadena Marathon I had maybe twenty miles of training the months leading up to the race. I was a gym monster just trying to keep my bench press max at 300 I felt like I was an athlete and has long as I kept a steady 8:30 – 9 minute pace I’d be okay.  It was such a humbling experience, because I got my butt kicked!

I was cramping from mile 7 and on. I finished and realizing running was tough and I would have to study, train, eat right and have the correct gear.  I stayed on it and eventually got to Boston in 2015 where that is pretty much every one’s dream race but during that time around 2012 I got introduced to a 50K then a 50 mile race, 100K, and eventually a 100 mile race. 

Ultra’s are no joke, it takes a lot of your personal time. – Doing 80 -100 miles a week with 15-20,000 feet of elevation gain, – having a full time work schedule that is demanding with overtime – spending time with my fiance, family and friends

There’s really no room to fart around.  I’m truly blessed to have my fiance, Mayra, in my life. She’s helped me stay on track not only with trail racing goals but with life and work goals as well.  I’ve completed over 40 ultra marathons, 3 -100 Mile races, 1-100K, 8 – 50 mile, 50ks, trail marathon etc.  That’s countless hours of training and away from home, it definitely takes a toll. I’m constantly feeding myself with positive and motivating books, music and staying on top of my recovery.

Due to the heavy climbing and nasty downhill running in trail racing my quads, hips, and hammy’s get banged up.  I was clueless, I remember the first day I met Rich at VFE it was before the start of the New Years Race 1/2 marathon in January of 2016. I was hobbling a little bit but I was still going to race.  I didn’t know any better back then, he took a look at me and I could see it in his eyes that he was concerned for me.  Rich got me on the table and did his best to loosen up my hip and quad to relieve the pain. It definitely helped out, I was able to finish strong. 

I’ve continued seeing Rich either weekly or bi-weekly depending on my training leading up to the race. I’m forever grateful, with the amount of pounding I put myself through, there is no way I’d be healthy right now.  Not only is he helping me recover but he is also a great friend and educates me on my muscles and movement.  He also was part of my Angeles Crest 100 Mile Race crew and helped me win the race in 2017.  I can’t say enough how important the maintenance of ultra trail running is the harder you train and race the harder you got to recover and with that I know I’m in good hands at Vision For Enrichment!

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