April 1, 2024

At Mountain Recreation, we believe that everyone in our community deserves to live a healthy and happy life. How do we work to accomplish this? By upholding our values and leading with courage; that propels personal growth and helps us reach new milestones. With joy; the happiness that derives from fitness. With community; the strength that comes from bringing people together. With learning; the quest to lifelong learning and personal development. And, with excellence; we have been entrusted with your most prized possessions—health, family, and tax dollars—and we are committed to give you our best work.

Ruben Chagoya, a Gypsum Recreation Center member since 2006, embodies these values in his daily life and today we are proud to share a snippet of his story as a member of our community, a husband, and girl-dad of four; Aspen (25), Sydney (23), Basil (20), and Maré (10-months).

From the moment the Gypsum Rec Center opened its doors, Ruben remembers swimming with his daughters and starting his fitness journey. Fast forward eighteen years later, and you can catch him on the fitness floor in the mornings still going strong.

For a parent like Ruben, there could be hundreds of reasons to skip the gym but instead, he chooses to make fitness a family activity—including running the track regularly with his new-born—and let me tell you, we are here for it and the joy that it spreads throughout the Rec Center.

His routine consists of stretching, cardio, strength training, and conditioning—often alongside a stroller that holds his precious daughter. You can also find Ruben enjoying Tumble Tots with his two-year-old grandson; for him, Tumble Tots is a safe place to interact and immerse in a toddler’s world. Additionally, having a 10-month-old daughter has given him a new perspective in topics like postpartum depression. He has shown his support to his wife by purchasing for her 24 sessions with one of our personal trainers, Shila Castillo.

Ruben recognizes that human connection and staying active with a community of driven individuals brings him and his loved one’s joy. For him, joy is very visible and contagious at the Gypsum Rec. He shares that small acts of kindness—like sharing a smile across the fitness floor—vitalize him. He also takes pleasure in engaging with fellow community members by listening to personal narratives while he’s getting a workout in or recovering at the hot tub or steam room.

When asked with which of our values he identifies the most, Ruben said “the community. We are one… united we’ll overcome. What the Rec Center represents is very important, it’s a community that integrates Anglos and Latinos, regardless of age. The community is very important, especially here in a small county where we all know each other”.

Scott Ruff, Superintendent of Recreation Facilities at Mountain Rec, shares that “Ruben has created many relationships at the Gypsum Recreation Center, with both staff and members. He is always happy and has a smile on his face. Ruben is very generous and often donated food or services to Mountain Recreation for our special events. He always finds a way to say yes which is greatly appreciated.”

When asked where his motivation to stay active comes from, Ruben shared that it comes from awakening. His mental and spiritual peace have blossomed from overcoming hardship and striving for a better tomorrow. For Ruben, exercise transcends physical strengthening and serves as a channel for inner harmony:

“My motivation to keep going is inner peace. To have tranquility because it’s the way ideas flow. Exercising and coming continually even if my knee hurts or my foot hurts. I come to the Rec Center because that’s what motivates me in the morning. If you do what you like, like a prayer or meditating, and then you get to the gym, your day becomes more positive. It has a huge influence.”

Ruben’s commitment to showing up daily reminds us that staying active is not just about physical health, but also about nurturing our mental well-being. As a community of wellness, let us embody the courage to persevere, the wisdom to seek true happiness, and to be a part of a community of doers united in action. Let us embrace the boundless possibilities of lifelong learning and personal development as we strive for excellence. For in the pursuit of a healthy and happy existence lies the promise of a life truly lived.

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