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Meet Joe Cerna

Joe came out to the Jacksonville and Boca Raton Spartan races. He became fast friends with Monty Montgomery, a 92-year old WWII veteran who joined the OEW group along the way. Joe was gracious enough to answer these questions for you all:

What is your occupation? I’m a self-employed tattoo artist and have been tattooing for about 10 years. I have a shop in Miami: Exception Ink.

How long have you been an OCA and how did you get involved? I was introduced by Jonathan Lopez, one of OEW’s team members. He invited me to run a Spartan race at the beginning of 2018. Although I was hesitant, Johnny can be very persuasive. I basically “got Lopez’d” and quickly found out the meaning of that phrase.

Most memorable moment? My most memorable moment would be the weekend of April 27, 2019. It's the first event where my youngest son ran the kids race - and fell in love with the sport. It’s also when I met Monty, a 92-year old WWII veteran who can run circles around me. Running, walking and jogging that course while talking and helping others can be very fulfilling.

What’s the next event you’re planning to do with OEW? Unfortunately, I’m going to be having surgery in the next few months. Depending on my recovery and what the doctor says, it probably won’t be until early next year; but I’m hoping for as soon as possible.

Why should people become OCAs for OEW? I think becoming an OCA and being active in the community has given me motivation to get up and get outside. It’s given me motivation to help, not only myself, but something much bigger. For a long time I was sedentary and inactive. Being introduced to this dedicated community has helped me with my own physical state; it has also shown my family the importance of giving back, participation in community activities and camaraderie. As cliché as it might sound, it truly has given me a deeper purpose in life.

Thank you for being a part of the OEW family, Joe! We wish you luck on your surgery and can’t wait to see you back out there.

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