Ricardo Gonzalez was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lived there until age 12.

After Bogotá, his family moved frequently, and he spent each of the next six years in different schools (including a military academy in Miami Beach) before graduating from a public high school in Spain.  The time spent accommodating to new environments taught him how to interact within different cultural and social environments.

From this diverse cultural upbringing, Ricardo found that sports were the universal language that filled educational and cultural gaps between people from different countries. He learned to play soccer from a British teacher while at a U.S. owned bilingual school in Bogotá.  He learned that the value of skills is relative to time and circumstance.  With modest high-school basketball skills from Miami, he found himself being recruited by teams when he arrived in Spain.  Conversely, when he came to the USA in 1971, he was a walk-on to his college soccer team.  Both countries have since vastly improved the level of play in these sport that were once not mainstream.

He has at one time or other competed in swimming, cycling, cross-country running, triathlon, sailing, soccer, handball, basketball, windsurfing, enduro motorcycling and cross-country mountain biking.  Ricardo personifies athleticism and in particular, the mixing of sports as in triathlon.  But in spite of his athletic skills, it was a scholastic scholarship that enabled him to attend the University of Santa Clara in California, where he majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Those were the days in Silicon Valley when jobs were plentiful and icon companies respected their employees.  Ricardo worked in various capacities for several companies including National Semiconductor (chip designer), Hughes (LAN product engineer), Cisco

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(manufacturing engineer) and lastly, at Hewlett-Packard (as a Development Engineer in the Network Server Division).  When traveling abroad, he found that his love for photography worked just as well as sports in forming connections with other cultures. When in the early nineties he began to see a shift in the focus of large corporations toward a sole emphasis on their profit, no longer on the best interests of their employees who created their profits,  Ricardo decided to change careers.

When his teenage nieces from Spain arrived in California with very rudimentary English skills, he greatly enjoyed the hours spent tutoring them in all subjects.  That’s when he found out how much he enjoyed teaching.  He worked as a one-on-one tutor to high-school students and eventually enrolled in San Jose State University in California and received his teaching credential.  This led to three very rewarding years teaching Spanish at Branham High School in San Jose.

Ricardo’s interest in Triathlon started when he saw the infamous 1982 finish of Julie Moss at the Hawaii Ironman World Championship, where totally exhausted and crawling, she was passed at the finish line.  The next most inspiring “crawl” was by Sian Welch and Wendy Ingram for fourth place during the 1997 Ironman.  It was then, at age 47 that he decided to be a triathlete.  He put away the windsurfer and started his training for this curious sport that requires swimming, biking and running all during the same race.  Common to all endurance sports is the willingness of competitors to share their knowledge and inspire other men and women to get involved in their sport.

As an amateur participant, Ricardo has been part of Team U.S.A. at the Long Course World Championships (Ironman distance) on two occasions, in Denmark and in France.  Nine years after taking up the sport and countless hours of training finally paid off when he qualified and raced in the Ironman World Championship held in Kona, Hawaii.   He has also qualified and raced on two occasions in the Half Ironman World Championship.  Three years ago he switched to the Xterra series, where after swimming, the cycling is done on a mountain-bike followed by running on trails.  With dedication and perseverance he qualified for the Xterra World Championship held in Maui this October.

Ricardo continues to teach/tutor, train and race, but this March he found a new lover.  She weighs 6000 lbs and is 27 feet long, with a beautiful tall mast and white sails.  Her Spanish name is “Querida”, which depending on context means lover, loved one, or desired.  His competitive nature has already driven him to entry level races.

Life with Jessica.com is pleased to share his multi cultural love of all sports. He is a wealth of inspiration and humor, offering a powerful message of reaching your potential.  Ricardo uses sports as a metaphor for life. So whether or not you share Ricardo’s love of sports, his message is universal.  Or as Ricardo believes, through the universal language and love of sports one can come to both understand life and to learn how to live a better life…What more could a reader ask for?  Tune in for his upcoming topics on getting into the zone, letting go, the mental, emotional and physical game (of sports and life).

Ricardo’s Guest Contributions Can Be Found Below