When I think about consistency and dedication, Manny Valladares is the first person that comes to mind. He is one of the OG veterans of RipFit, and continues to challenge himself on a daily basis. No matter how hard or difficult the WOD is he will just crack a joke and proceed to demolish the workout. He is a proud father and a loving husband to his true partner Ellen Valladares, whether it’s inside or outside the gym. Manny is who I strive to be like in the future. Someone who never gives up, shows great compassion and dedication to the things he cares about.
-Coach Mike Copeland

Tell us about yourself?
I am 56 years old and VP of Engineering at Aldora Aluminum and Glass Products. My wife an I have two sons 22 and 20, and are virtual empty nesters except for two dogs, a cat and the occasional Weston duck that decides to nest in our backyard. Ellen, my wife is also a member and that makes it fun that we can both do burpees in 100-degree heat together.

What made you start Crossfit?
I was a long-time member of a local gym and decided that I needed a change.  All my friends said that CrossFit was only for young people and not suitable for the over 40 crowd. That did it.

What have you learned since joining Freakin CrossFit?
I have really learned to expand my limits. Mike, Val and John do an amazing job at pushing us to try a little harder. Coach Mike’s programming has been great. My cardio is almost as good as when I played soccer in college and my functional strength has never been better. I appreciate that the workouts can be scaled for each participant and that there is always room for improvement. Even our fittest and strongest members are always pushing for better.

What is your proudest CrossFit moment?
Marc Lender and I participated in the Open for the first time this year. Even though we were in the over 50 bracket and did the scaled workouts, the work was brutal and a lot of fun…in hindsight. We did well.

What’s your favorite exercise movement?
I would say currently the deadlift. Coach Mike has been putting a lot of time into teaching us proper technique and I have improved my PR substantially. I absolutely hate lunges.

What are your CrossFit goals?
Mainly to stay consistent and to improve on my finishing place in the next Open.

What does your nutrition look like? Has it changed since starting CrossFit?
It can certainly be better. I have not been as consistent as I should be, and it makes a big difference when I can stay disciplined. Unfortunately, our RipFit happy hours don’t help but they are so much fun!

What is one tip you would give someone who is thinking about starting CrossFit or just started?
To be patient, build a base, and to try to push a little bit more each workout.

When you’re not CrossFitting, what is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy traveling, reading and learning new things.

Anything else that you would like to add:
We are fortunate to have some great people as members. We have a close group that attend the 5:40 class and we have become friends in and out of the gym. Everyone supports everyone.