Athletic Lab is made up of a diverse group of goal-oriented and hard-working individuals. That’s why we take a moment each month to highlight one (or more) of our members in our member of the month feature. For the month of April, we’ve chosen Jeff Souza. Jeff is one of the original members of the Athletic Lab Track Club (formerly HPC Elite). You can check out our previous members of the month here.
Born in Brazil, Jeff Souza first met Mike Young in 2008 at a USA Track and Field Level One course at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He became one of Mike’s first athletes to train in the newly formed Athletic Lab HPC Elite group. “I’m proud to be his oldest member,” Jeff says of this experience. When asked what his favorite exercise or training activity is, Jeff gave an answer indicative of the type of mindset it takes to be a top-level competitor of any sport. “There is no favorite training activity when you love and respect all of the events I need to master,” he said. He does, however, enjoy sleeping to which he states is the most important activity. He added, “All exercises are welcome on my plan, there is no challenge I can’t manage to learn and do my best.” As for his least favorite part of training? It’s controlling the food cravings he has in the afternoon.
Jeff has done 30 decathlons in the past 10 years and finished all of them. Of this, he says that the excitement of the challenge alone is not all that he enjoys, but also “the joy of completing it.” Of the many accomplishments in Jeff’s career, he is especially proud of the six American records he has broken and winning seven out of nine World Championships. It doesn’t stop there, however, as last year he completed 12 events and the pentathlon events in two and a half days. Where Jeff seems to be the proudest is rarely missing any training or practice sessions. He says of 2016, “I completed at least 98% of my practice sessions.”
This type of training surely paid off, as he was chosen the best Masters athlete for the combined events both in the United States, and the World, and best of the USA M40 age group. We asked Jeff what competition stands out the most to him, to which he replied, “The Korea World Masters Championship in 2017 where I won the event with an American Record.” With such a decorated career, we wanted to know what motivates Jeff to keep going.
“Being a role model for many kids as well as elite athletes, but ultimately the joy! I enjoy my moments of peace, when I practice, competing in different places and meeting amazing individuals that are proof that age is just a state of mind. How many times do we get the chance to smile with joy? So, my motivation comes from within and I am inspired by those who are proof of what we are all capable of.”
Jeff Souza is certainly an inspiration and we are proud to be a part of his journey as an elite athlete in the sport of track and field.