Angel Cuellar is an IRONMAN

“Words cannot describe the way I felt when I crossed that finish line and heard the words, ‘Angel you are an IRONMAN.’”

Position: Garrison commander’s executive assistant

Hometown: “Honestly, this is a question I always struggle answering. I was born in McHenry, Ill. I moved around so much as a child, and even more so over the past 19 years as part of the military, that I do not have anywhere I truly call my ‘hometown.’ Home is wherever the Marine Corps sends us.”

Length of federal service and time in current position: “I have 11 years of federal service including time I served as an active duty Marine. December 25 will be 2 years in my current position.  It was a great Christmas present when I received this promotion.”

One of your biggest accomplishments: “Becoming an ironman. Training for months and successful competing in an exhausting event with swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and then running 26.2 miles is quite euphoric. Words cannot describe the way I felt when I crossed that finish line and heard the words, ‘Angel you are an ironman.’”

What do you love most about your job: “Every day is different. Being in a fast-paced office, you have to be ready for things to constantly change. It keeps things interesting.”

The aspect of your job that challenges you most: “What I love most about my job also is the most challenging. Priorities are constantly changing and that affects the schedule for the garrison commander. Managing her time appropriately can be challenging when there are several conflicting events.”

One life-changing moment: “Getting off of a bus 19 years ago and standing on a pair of yellow footprints. That moment is forever etched into my memory as the first steps I took to becoming a U.S. Marine.”

Favorite pastime: “I love to do endurance racing and bodybuilding competitions, so you can often find me out on my bike or in one of the gyms training for an event.”

Describe your personality: “I am adventurous, outgoing and always up for a challenge.”

Who do you admire most? “My mother. She has instilled in me to never give up on my dreams and to continue to fight no matter how impossible things may seem.”

Biggest pet peeve: “I consider myself a pretty organized person, and it drives me crazy when things are not put back where they belong.”

The talent you’d most like to have: “I would love to speak a second language. It’s something I’ve never been able to master.”

The celebrity or historical figure you’d most like to meet and why: “I would love to meet former Navy Seal and motivational speaker David Goggins. He’s really helped to inspire and motivate me; hearing all the struggles and challenges he’s had to overcome at a time in my life that I was experiencing my own setbacks.”

Favorite quote or saying: “‘Remember your why.’ Whether it is my personal or work life, whenever things seem tough and I want to give up, or things aren’t going my way, I just remember why it is I’m doing it in the first place. It brings me back to my focus of what I’m trying to accomplish and why I am doing it. It helps me get back on track to achieving my goals.”

What would surprise people to know about you? “That I was being casted to be on the TV show ‘Survivor’ until I discovered I had heart arrhythmias that required me to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. After that, I was no longer medically cleared to be a contestant.”

If you could do anything, anywhere right now, what would that be? “I would move somewhere warm and tropical with my family where I could open my own endurance sports and fitness center helping others focus on their health, fitness and racing.”

Future plans: “To finally fulfill one of my dreams and compete at the 2020 ITU Worlds Multi-Sports Championship in the Netherlands racing for Team USA as an age-group athlete. It was a goal that had to be put on hold while I faced health issues, and now that I’m returning to racing again, I’m excited to have qualified and secured my spot on Team USA.”