CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2) and Crossfit Weighlifting Trainer, served 4 years in the United States Army to include a 1 year deployment to Iraq in aid of Operation Iraqi Freedom I & II. Gerardo was born and raised in San Antonio and shares his life with his wonderful CrossFit wife Linda.
Jesus Christ has always been his true strength and accredits all his success to his Savior. With the CrossFit methodology and personal passion for training he hopes to strengthen and encourage every Athlete that walks through the door.
Why I CrossFit……
I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in my mid teens. (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton. It is an auto immune disorder that affects the points in the spine and the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis. Basically my body is attacking my spine which will ultimately cause fusion of the spine. I spent about 3 years feeling sorry for myself and drinking my pain away. It was extremely difficult to go from an active kid to having a doctor tell you that chances are you will never run again. I guess at the time, the pain was so excruciating that it would get the best of me. Well after feeling sorry for myself led me nowhere, I decided that I wasn’t dead and that I would do whatever it took to try and live a some what normal life. Treatment for this disease is fairly simple, stretch and keep stretching and get in shape. Of course I will be on medication for the rest of my life and thats okay, but I was determined to defy the laws of this disease. I began a slow up hill climb in regaining mobility. One of the major side effect of the disorder is that it robs individuals of mobility, so that is what i focused on first. I was also told that it was important to keep any excess weight off as it would make my situation that more difficult. My twenties were much more happier times. Cutting edge drugs were finally being approved for people with AS and Im so thankful for that. While there is no cure for AS, exercise is probably the most helpful drug.
About 4 years ago, I was introduced to this crazy thing call CrossFit by my close friend Vidal. I recall meeting him for the first time thinking how in the heck did this guy get into such great shape; So naturally I was interested. After a brief conversation, V as we call him invited me over for a CrossFit class. Now initially i was beyond excited because it was something so different and challenging that I had to keep coming for more. There was one problem, I wasn’t sure if a person with AS could handle these types of exercises. Had I asked for my doctors advice the answer would have been ‘not no but heck no! Well like I said earlier, I wasn’t gonna let this disease dictate my life nor was I willing to give up something that just made sense.
Well it has been a little over 5 years since my personal journey with CrossFit began and I couldn’t be more blessed. CrossFit has helped me get in the best shape of my life. It has enhanced my mobility and range of motion allowing me to live that so called normal life with this chronic disease. Now, when I visit my doctor, which by the way has a copy of my MRI is taken away by my overall health. I do live with chronic pain that will never go away, but CrossFit has given me the best fighting chance to live an active and productive life rather than laying in bed feeling sorry for myself while I swallow pain pills. One of my life missions is to share my story of what the Lord has done for me and to introduce people to this lifestyle that I love so dearly. I remember being 17 years old asking God why He let this happen to me and why I couldn’t be like everyone else. He didn’t answer me right away but I do know now.