The Champ


A Go-Getter: an aggressively enterprising person.

Over the weekend the world lost one of its classic go-getters. After 82 years of go-getting, the man many knew as “The Champ” has moved on. To others, he was a passionate, good hearted, driven, focused and diligent man. To me, he was a client, mentor, father figure and friend.

I first met George about 5 years ago as a client in my gym and it didn’t take long to tell he was cut from a different cloth. His mission was clear: compete every day. Be a go-getter and get better- every single day. He was tenacious in spirit but was also fun loving and generous with time and knowledge. A man who knew what he wanted and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

We always had a special connection. We got one another and appreciated what each had to offer. I pushed him and he worked hard. Every session he took seriously, there was no going through the motions, no days off. Almost until the end there was no easing up with advancing age, even after such “minor setbacks” like strokes or seizures. He always wanted to push the envelope, to see what he was capable of. If anything, ever the fierce competitor, I had to reign him in a little bit. He was certainly a special client and person. In a nice little coincidence he shares a birthday with another special person in my life, my wife, a nice even 50 years to the day. In more ways than one, we had a nice connection.

He always had a big smile and a firm handshake for me every time I saw him.

He was always so excited to hear about my life and family. “That’s just great!” he would say after telling him of just about anything we did as a family.

He always thanked me for my time and giving him a good workout. I always thanked him for just being George. Never did a session go by that I didn’t learn something from him.

He always wanted the best for me and constantly pushed me to think critically, pursue my passions and dream big.

He always wanted to share his wisdom with young go-getters, which I was one of his favorites.

He always saved newspaper clippings that he thought I might find interesting and sent them to me in the mail.

He always looked for ways to get better at everything he did.

George McGaffigan:
An good old fashioned guy. A dedicated and loving husband. A critical thinker. An avid 49er fan. A runner. A coach. A go-getter.

I would say “rest in peace, George” but I know you’ve already got those shoes laced up tight ready to run some laps on that big track in the sky.

Thanks for everything Champ, keep running like an animal…


(The shirt I loved that he gave me)


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