My name is Ian Cruz. I work in finance at a venture capital firm by day and moonlight as a volunteer head coach at Dreamland Boxing, a non-profit boxing organization in San Jose, California and also provide support for Downtown Yoga Shala, a yoga studio in San Jose, CA.
In my past life, I was a competitive boxer competing for both Dreamland and UCLA Boxing. Boxing taught me much more than just how to fight – it reconditioned my mind and my attitude and instilled an ethic of discipline and self-respect into my life. After hanging up my gloves, I’ve continued to volunteer at the gym after work, coaching nights at Dreamland. I also train for obstacle course races, half-marathons, marathons, and ultramarathons and am an Athlete Ambassador for Depression2Extinction, the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon (Big Sur Marathon Foundation).
I was only a few years removed from boxing at UCLA, and I could tell that my health was failing me. The first thing people notice is weight gain, and while there was plenty of that, I also just didn’t feel as good. I was commuting 2+ hours/day and working until 11PM or later 6 days a week and any spare time was spent studying for the CPA exam. I seemingly couldn’t focus and felt lethargic most of the time.
I’m hardly alone in this story. It seems to be a common theme that people have a hard time balancing a career (particularly a sedentary office job) and their health. I dedicated myself to getting back into boxing shape in 2015, which then turned into an eye-opening journey of understanding the wonderful intricacies of the human body – how it recovers, heals, and optimally functions from proper nutrition and lifestyle. My early approach was mostly a “mind over matter” attitude, with me ignoring many of my body’s signals to achieve some short-term goal, before setting another one. I learned that these short-term performance or vanity goals (i.e. an upcoming race, that “summer bod”, etc.) are powerful, yet short-lived. Now, my focus is on how different lifestyle components (fitness, nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress, recovery, etc.) complement each other and fit into the broader scope of overall well-being, which I’ve found to be more powerful and meaningful.
After writing several peers via email and social media on various health topics, I decided to share much of this information in a more organized manner in this blog. Thanks for reading!
About Coach Ian:
Dreamland Boxing (2004 – Present, Competitor and Coach)
Downtown Yoga Shala (2009-Present, Accountant)
UCLA Boxing (2011-2012 President)
US National Collegiate Boxing Team (2012)
Depression2Extinction (Athlete Ambassador)
Big Sur Marathon Foundation (Athlete Ambassador)
San Francisco Half Marathon (Athlete Ambassador)
Former Amateur Boxer
USA Boxing Coach and Official
Professional Boxing Second (Inactive)
OCR, Marathon, and Ultramarathon runner