Chris Gonzalez: I Had No Excuse Anymore

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Chris Gonzalez joined Morgan Stanley in branch operations, and in eight years has worked his way up to Vice President in Wealth Management Investment Resources. As part of the OCIO team, he provides full-discretion asset management for institutions. Two years ago he finished his MBA at Baruch College and then sat for all three parts of the CFA back-to-back. 

“Morgan’s been great, allowing me to take those leaps,” he says.

In high school, Chris was a two-way football diehard, playing wide receiver as well as cornerback. On defense, he shut down opposing receivers in tandem with his twin brother, Nick, who manned the other corner. They enrolled together at Hartwick College, with Chris playing receiver, and matching up against Nick in one-on-ones. “We’re actually fraternal,” he notes fondly. “But people mistake us for identical all the time.”

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After a year at Hartwick, Chris transferred to Western Connecticut State, reverted to corner, and saw some action before persistent hamstring injuries curtailed his playing career. His career on Wall Street beckoned.

In his first D10 NYC in 2018, Chris cleared the 6000-point threshold, and this year he’s back for more.

What prompted you to join The D10 last year?
It was on my radar for several years. I thought, I have to do The D10 before I get too old. When I finished the CFA, I knew I had no excuse anymore: take a stab, and try to get back to my good old days!

It's been great. I feel like I'm so much further ahead than I was last year, with the way my body's reacting to the training. Having to actually compete changes the focus. You kick it up a notch. 

You were a high school 400M runner and an All-American running the 200M open leg in the Sprint Medley Relay. What was it like getting back on the track for The D10?
I kind of underestimated the impact of being 12 years out, not having trained for something like that. It took longer than I expected to get back into the routine of running a lot. This year I’m going to make that gap smaller.

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You said football was your true love. Why?
You gave up your summers, gave up a lot of things you didn't want to give up. I know every sport takes dedication, practice, putting in the work when no one else is, but when I think back on what I miss the most...playing football, we had a special bond that I’ve never experienced on any other team.

Do you feel anything like that same bond with The D10?
The D10 has a lot of that. Last year I didn't know what to expect, going into the day. The group I was put in, I didn't know anybody before the event, but I really got to know the guys. I think we all know the work it takes to get prepared for this. We all have full-time jobs...more
than full time jobs, really, for most of us. We were rooting for one another throughout the day.

How does having a D10 under your belt change your approach?
My first year, I had lofty goals. I set the goals aggressively, because I wanted to push myself a little more. I have the same goals this year. I want to be one of the top competitors. What's changed the most is the amount I want to get in donations, so I’m being more proactive in trying to increase the donation amount.

How are you tackling the strength events?
Before The D10, I had never in my life bench pressed for reps. I saw Adam’s videos about the negative [or eccentric] phases, and I've been integrating some stuff like that. I do plan on doing much more. 

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We’re hoping to see a Head-to-Head Matchup between you and your twin brother, Nick.
We've been training together. He's a pretty athletic kid himself, and we've always had a healthy competitive relationship. I’d like for us to finish first and second….me first, him second.

What does being part of The D10 contribute to your life?
Even though I'm involved in other volunteer stuff outside The D10, a cause like pediatric cancer, catering toward the kids who don't respond to normal treatment, that makes me feel like I'm making a difference. When you know you're raising money, and that it goes straight to the kids, it's a good feeling.

See Chris's aggressive performance goals and help him reach his fundraising target for Memorial Sloan Kettering

Make it interesting for Chris and Nick by placing a donation on their Head-to-Head matchup in the Vertical Jump.