Saturday Spotlight:Name: Juan Pablo Huertas (aka Juan or JP)
Marital Status: Happily Married
Kids: Isabella whos body is almost 5yo but her mind is at least 20!
Occupation: President-CEO of Macrotech
Hobbies: Spend as much time with family as possible, Cooking, listen to TED Talks and Business/PMA Audio/Video, Train Martial Arts, Running and OCR
Hometown: Buga (small city near Cali in Colombia, not Columbia
Current Town: Wheatley Heights,
NYCollege: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Electronic Engineer)
Favorite Race: Spartan Races, mostly 10 and 25K, 5Ks seem too short for all the prepping
Frequent Running Spots: Streets around town, Cold Spring Harbor, Sunken Meadow, Belmont Park and Selden Hills of Course!!
Personal Message:I’d like to start off by thanking Lou LaFleur for welcoming me to such an amazing group, and for selecting me to be Warrior of the Week. I’ll share some of my personal life and how I came across all of you awesome Hillbillys!
My story starts with my first podium sometime on 1978, I was the first sperm to get to the egg! Born in March 1st of 1979, I came to light my parents darkness as they have lost my brother, who I never met because he passed away at 2yo, a couple years before me in a car accident (around 1977). My sister Ana came to be almost 4 years later and I love her with all my heart, she is a great sibling! Let’s fast forward a few years so this remains a Saturday post, not a boring book!
I met Natalia when I was 23 and she was 19, she is an angel and didn’t take me long to realize it, we have been married for 18 years now!
My daughter Isabella came to be almost 5 years ago, so far the best experience of my life, I mean being a father. We waited a few years to have Isabella because we wanted to build my business first, we thought that a good financial foundation would give us an advantage, waiting has its pros and cons, I have more wisdom to raise her up with but less youth… there’s always a price for everything.
Sometime in summer 2017, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Obese at 275lbs and almost 40% body fat, I decided to change my life, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because I’m the type of person who don’t quit so whatever I decide, I make happen so I wasn’t going to set a goal that I wasn’t going to achieve, it took me sometime but I finally did it and started my weight loss journey towards the end of 2017 (sep-oct). I tried to “run” to the gym located at .66 miles from the house I was living at the time in West Babylon and my feet hurt, my knees hurt, my lower back was killing me and my ego was devastated, and yet, it took me about half an hour to cover that distance, a lot of pain, some tears but I got to the gym, did some light upper body exercises and ego didn’t let me call wife to pick me up, i went back home walking.
My daughter was vegetarian since birth, my wife and I were consuming very little meat and we as a family started eating full plant based avoiding animal products completely, this was a major plus in my weight loss journey and improving my health tremendously. A few days into my journey, my business partner made a beautiful mistake to suggest me “Spartan Race” as an event for me to train for and help me get in shape, I saw a promo video on their website and I was sold! I signed up for 3 races without knowing how was I going to finish them, Tuxedo, Palmerton and Killington, all of them trail running with thousands of feet of elevation, at the time I didn’t know what “thousands of feet of elevation” meant and I learned the hard way!
I ended up finishing almost 20 events that year, never ever trained so hard or so serious for a podium and the closest I got to it was being 11th over hundreds of competitors, it felt good but missed being Top 10 for less than a minute!
Sometime in 2018 and early 2019 I broke my shoulder and had it fixed on July 11th of 2019, almost a year ago, rotator cuff repair done.
I got introduce to this group not too long before my surgery by none other than the beautiful Jennifer Rowley Heymach, I love how she promotes this group with such love and passion, she wouldn’t do it so well if she got paid for it, I’m sure you know what I mean, she does it from her heart because she believes in all of you and what this team stands for!
I have run the hills a few times, I have met you and ran a couple races like Rob’s Run and the Port Washington Run (forgot the name). I have met some of you personally and others virtually here on social media, I am thankful for all of you! I’m blessed to learn from you and share my life here for you all to know that anyone can change their life if the desire is bad enough, it takes to make a decision and be consistent with the effort to achieve the goal.To start closing stories down, I lost 100lbs and went down to 18% body fat in early 2019, unfortunately because of my emotional eating, my surgery/recovery and this pandemic, I have gained some weight back and raised the body fat percentage… working now towards going back down to 175-180lbs and this time aiming for 14% body fat. I need to work harder because my goal is an Spartan Ultra Race next year and God willing a Full Ironman finisher experience. I have never ran more than 16miles, let alone the craziness of a triathlon, however, I will do it and all of you will be a big part of it, this idea is bigger than anything I have ever done sports wise so I need the team!
Last but not least, I truly am the friend for you that I would like to have for myself. To enter my heart is easy and so is to exit it, respect, honesty and integrity are not negotiable, I’m willing to laugh as long as we are all laughing together, I don’t care if you are black, white, a color in between, brown, yellow, rainbow or anything, I don’t care about your sexual preference neither your political view or your religion, I can be your friend as long as we respect each other and as long as we agree to disagree, we don’t have to agree on everything to be friends but we both love running and sports so why not enjoy it together and be supporting friends?Sorry for the long post… thanks for getting to this point. See you on the up and downs of life. (Selden)