Meet Carlos Padilla, a five-year member of the Texas Beef Team, whose multifaceted life revolves around a passion for service and fitness. Carlos is a compassionate caseworker, dedicating his time to serve neglected and abused children, providing them with the support and care they deserve. But his commitment to making a difference doesn’t stop there. He’s also a volunteer firefighter with the city of Geronimo – and when he’s not putting out fires, he’s assisting in local fundraising activities for the small rural town about 10 miles east of New Braunfels.
He is also into fitness. Carlos is a solid runner, having finished 19 half-marathons in addition to a number of other distances over the years. However, he has a particular fondness for obstacle course races and fitness races and has completed dozens and dozens of various challenges.
“It all started when a coworker at my first job, when I was just 17, convinced me to participate in a Tough Mudder Obstacle Course Race,” Carlos explains. “I loved the energy, the community, the challenging obstacles, and the terrain of the race – I was instantly hooked! It spoke to a lot of the same areas that the Marine Corp JROTC program I had been participating in also highlighted – things such as teamwork and building confidence.”
All these years later, Carlos is still participating in obstacle course races and is also a Spartan Race Ambassador, serving as a liaison to educate, encourage and motivate others interested in the sport. Just a little over a week ago, Carlos completed a Spartan Trifecta in a single weekend which consisted of racing a 13.1-mile, s 10k, and a 5k trail race with a combined total of 75+ obstacles on the course – and also stood on his feet for the remainder of the days volunteering his time to help others at the venue.
“For myself, I stay motivated in these sports by trying to push myself bit by bit every day, keeping that discipline and commitment to my mind and body,” says Carlos. “I focus on shaping myself into the person I wish to be. I step up to try new things. And, also rely on my small family to remind me that anything is possible with time and passion.”
He also might say “time, passion – and beef”! Carlos always knew beef to be a quality source of protein, so important to building strength by preserving and growing muscle. But, during his tenure on the Beef Team, he’s also learned that beef is a good source of niacin which helps support energy production and metabolism – “a smart choice when training for a 13.1-mile trail race with 30 obstacles along the way.”
Carlos confesses that, as a kid, he ate his steak well done and with ketchup. But today, he’s a medium-rare steak beef guy and Skirt Steak and Ribeye Steak are his two favorite cuts. “In the Hispanic culture we celebrate with big BBQ cookouts for nearly every occasion,” Carlos reminisces fondly. “I could count on there being beef around. Dishes like Carne Asada, Fajitas, and Steak were always being grilled up. I would never say “no” to Carne Asada with Mexican rice, lime, and tortillas.”
“It’s just been so great to be on the Beef Team. I love what the Team represents and how we all cheer each other on with such passion, even if we’ve never previously met. I also respect that we’re all at different levels of athleticism and we’re all striving for healthier living. Go Beef!”
Read on to learn more about this fearless, fun, and community-focused member we are proud to have on the team.
Three Things You Might Not Know: 1) I proposed to my girlfriend this August on a mountain top in Colorado – she said “yes”! 2) I used to be a nightshift state prison officer and have been in prison riots when the Dallas Cowboys would lose a game; 3) The year 2020 was rough for my mental health. I just moved to San Antonio alone after a breakup, I was working in a prison, and became depressed. Thankfully I was able to reach out to coworkers and friends, returned to running and fitness, built a little home gym during the pandemic, and was able to reclaim my sense of purpose. If you are ever feeling like you need help, please reach out to someone you trust. It’s NOT weak to ask for help.
Hobbies: In terms of fitness, I go to the gym or CrossFit five times a week, I love hiking, and also find disc golf and paintball fun. Other hobbies include exploring new breweries and distilleries, going to the gym, maintaining the fire trucks in the station, learning how to cook new food, reading, traveling in-and-out of the state, playing with my dog, antagonizing my fiancé, and camping!
Favorite Type of Race: Obstacle course racing! I love when racers are trying to help each other out to get over or through an obstacle. I usually make conversation with runners while catching my breath and encouraging others to overcome a fear that might come with the approaching obstacle, like fear of heights, claustrophobia, or water. My favorite of the obstacle course races right now are the Spartan Stadion races (held in big sports stadiums). They are quick, clean, full of stairs/bleachers, and high energy from the other racers and event staff/volunteers.
Favorite Beef Team Memories: All the support and hearing the “Go Beef!” cheers the first time I podiumed at a sponsored race. I also have special memories of volunteering for the Healthy Kids Running Series and watching all the children run, have fun, and encourage each other to finish.
Inspired By: I have seen so many elite and competitive runners with so much passion and commitment. The way they just fly through the terrain of the course and the way they just crush the obstacles, its wild and motivating!
Training Groups: For running, I head out with a local New Braunfels running group when I can. For CrossFit and Spartan training, I do group training with Outsiders Anonymous, a great group of athletes. On hikes, I’ll take my dog along (a little mixed-breed named Han Bear) and I’m always impressed how he can rip through the terrain for a small apartment dog.
Race Mantra: “The faster you finish, the faster you can stop.”
If I Could Run with a Celebrity: It would have to be, as cheesy as it sounds, Chuck Norris. I want to see what that 80-year-old beast can do in an obstacle course race!
Pre-Race Food: A Celsius energy drink and a Cliff bar!
Post-race Rewards: I’m down for a cold beer and a steak. And, maybe if I PR, a dish of rocky road ice cream.
Favorite Gear: I love running with my cowboy hat, it really adds that “Texas” factor with the Beef Team jersey.
Running Song: “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Mulan original soundtrack.