RUSH — For Rod Rodriguez, breaking through barriers runs in the family. Rodriguez's father was the first Hispanic person to win the Rocky Mountain 1961 race and was inducted into the Colorado Motor Sports Hall of Fame.
"I just thought that was the coolest thing ever," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has developed an impressive resume over the course of his years. He's a veteran after having spent time in the Marines, and moved on to be the first athletic trainer hired by UCCS, then became a longtime athletic trainer with USA Wrestling, and now works as a firearm safety instructor while collecting and restoring old race cars.
"Well, we stay busy," said Rodriguez referring to himself and his wife Andrea.
After living in Colorado Springs, the two have now moved out east to Eldritch County with their two dogs and nine cats. There, they let their cats roam the fields and produce a garden full of home-grown vegetables.
After showing me various trophies and awards of his, Rodriguez spoke about his journey throughout life.
"Being Hispanic, I wanted to be on top," he said.
His father helped inspire him to believe in his potential and, "that we were just like everybody else. We could be better, we could do everything as well. and I didn't want to put that, to say oh I can't do this. No, we can do it. We can".
He has some advice for the Hispanic youth that might be watching
"Learn from history. Don't put it aside... Follow your dream, be the best you can be. And don't be afraid to ask, 'what can I do to be better?".
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