Who is the Dark Horse

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  If you missed last week’s post Racing with the Dark Horse, be sure to check it out.}

QuoteWhen I first met the Dark Horse, he led me through a ride that had me digging deep to reach speeds that I didn’t know I could ride at.  He was one of the most courteous, professional and talented riders I had ever met.  He supported me and pushed me to reach further and ride harder.

There is so much more to the Dark Horse.

The Dark Horse, otherwise known as Mario Cordova, is a very talented and accomplished triathlete, runner and cyclist. He actively competes in events in the San Diego area, and has a long list of podium finishes under his belt.  He is dedicated to a vigorous training regiment and continuously pushes himself to work hard. He is always striving to be faster and stronger.  His work ethic is relentless, and his attitude is bursting with positivity.

As impressive as his individual accomplishments are, his commitment and involvement in his local athletic communities is equally (or more) impressive.  Despite the challenge of balancing his training sessions with work and home life is, Dark Horse never ceases to find time to support local athletes of all abilities.  He is continuously there to support fellow athletes through whatever challenges they face.Nutrition

For his fellow athletes, he takes time out of his busy schedule to share and discuss nutritional advice, providing samples from his own personal recipes.  He shares tips about what equipment to buy.  He supports local businesses and shares positive experiences so other athletes know where to go and have good experiences as well.  He shares the events that he will attend, and is there to advise on what events would work for you.  He is always there with an inspiring quote to get you motivated.

In addition to his personal training sessions, he is a regular participant in group rides and track runs.  He is completely immersed in the community.  He competes as an individual, and as a team.  He crosses the finish line hand in hand with his fellow athletes.

Running Support
Helping a fellow athlete during an event.

I recall riding the Great Western Loop (known as the GWL) with Dark Horse and another rider who was just getting into cycling.  She wasn’t sure about joining us, but Dark Horse insisted.  It was simply more important to him to encourage someone else on their athletic journey than it was for him to finish the GWL faster than last time.  He rode with both of us the entire loop, keeping us together and ensuring that everyone was doing well.  The GWL is a challenging loop full of climbing through desert like conditions.  A rider who chooses to take this route on will find themselves steadily climbing for the first half of the ride, followed by a series of steep ascents and winding descents on the second half.  Near the end of the ride, there is a really steep section known as ‘the wall’.  Of course, the Dark Horse was there to ensure that our newbie riding friend was full of confidence to take on this daunting stretch.  He also made sure that she celebrated her accomplishment with a photo to remember it by.  He is simply someone who always makes you feel like you can!

Teaching Kid 2
Teaching a child with Down Syndrome to ride.

His encouragement reaches far into the running, cycling and triathlete communities.  He is always out there coaching someone.  He guides groups of children through their first running event.  He invites beginners out to the track and ensures that they have a positive experience and want to come back.  He will ride a bike with anyone, and make them feel like they can and will conquer any challenge that they want to take on.  The Dark Horse is an impressive athlete who sincerely cares about others and their success.  He is currently fundraising for children with Down Syndrome (you can join him with your support).

I could go on and on and on.  I highly encourage you to check out the Dark Horse for yourself.  I guarantee that you will be inspired!

Not only does the Dark Horse get out there and do it, he takes everyone along for the ride!

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