Register for Beast of the Brazos: Saturday, September 7th

Robert Gonzales Jr.

I was born to Robert and Lupe Gonzales in Waco, Texas, on July 24, 1975. I graduated from Midway High in 1994 and joined the US Navy. I sustained a back injury that led to an early retirement.  

In 2016, I saw some wounded warriors riding from San Antonio to Arlington, which propelled me into bike riding. My back and knee injuries kept me from that for many years. This March, I decided this was the year to ride my bike regularly, and I have lost over 70 pounds. I am training for the Texas Challenge and will also do the California Challenge. Both rides bring awareness that 22 veterans commit suicide each day.  

In September 2023, I had a cancer scare and had to have a double mastectomy to remove my breast tissue. It was benign. But that surgery caused me to get sepsis and a rare bacterial infection that almost killed me. I realized how precious life is and that God gave me a second chance because of this near-death experience, and I became closer to Him.   

The message I would like to share with others as I train for the IRONMAN is to show others, especially veterans who struggle with depression, that by trusting God and challenging your mind, you can do hard things by setting goals you reach. Thank you for this opportunity, Greater Waco Sports Commission, and all the supporters.

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