Making Martial Arts Latino Champions in Asheville
Not long ago, Chef John Atwater asked me to go with him to the farmers market to look for hot peppers, and produce for the salsas they make at Mamacita’s Taqueria, and Taco Temple.
Well, that was a few years ago. I remember that when we arrived at the Asheville’s Farmers Market, almost right away, I felt transported to México. The smell of tomatoes, hot peppers, cilantro, watermelons and the sight of Vanessa, a Mexican grandmother surrounded by 4 or 5 kids, made me feel like I had travelled in time.
As soon as we said hi to her, the bushes behind Vanessa moved, and out of these plants we discovered a tough looking Mexican guy, with a friendly smile.Hi there! How can I help you guys?That was Adolfo Cruz, Vanessa’s son.
John and Adolfo chatted about hot peppers for a while, and I ended up making a blog about Vanessa’s Produce because I thought it could be part of the story I was working on at the time.
At one point during our visit Adolfo asked me, are you the guy from the food videos? And that was the way I met Adolfo, a former Golden Gloves Champion in the state of North Carolina, yes a local Latino champion, and the father of some of the children surrounding Vanessa.
It has been almost 3 years since I met these guys, and the kids are making waves now. In fact, we might be witnessing future Latino champions in Asheville.
It seems like it was yesterday, that they were doing kid things, running around and driving their grandmother and dad crazy. Today, after chatting with them for a while, it is clear to me they enjoy what they are doing at the gym, and they are beginning to dream big.
To see this makes me happy, because personally, I have seen many kids spending a lot of time on video games and oftentimes developing health issues because of the lack of physical activity.
Personally, I believe Sebastian and Ritchie are lucky to have a dad that is making the time to be with them at the gym, and to support their dream. It is also great to see a local Latino family creating healthy habits, and daring to dream big. Yes, I believe goals are born as dreams, but with perseverance the sky’s the limit.
I hope they achieve their goals and that in the near future they can be role models for more Latino champions in Asheville. The kids mentioned Charles Oliveira a Latino Champion from Brazil as their role model, and I think it is great for any kid to have role models, and for Latino kids to see someone like them.
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