The story of Chad
Chad Walker George was born in Denver, Colorado on June 12, 1994—a fact he doesn’t love to admit, because he should’ve been born in Gunnison, Colorado, like his dad and grandpa and grandma and great-grandpa before him. Chad would’ve been born there too, if he wasn’t premature and his mom needed to have an emergency flight to the big city for his delivery.
Chad did grow up in Gunnison, however, and had the true native experience. Chad, along with his older sister, parents, and the rest of the tight-knit George clan (including his grandparents, who lived on the same street), spent a significant amount of time in nature—hiking and camping and exploring the valley around them, eating smores around campfires, star-gazing, and utilizing the very-Coloradan knowledge that the mountains are always west. When they weren’t on trails, they’d play countless hours of games as a family; Chad loved board games that utilized strategy and starting playing poker as a very young child. He’s nearly an expert at rummy (though his present-day wife sometimes gives him a run for his money).
Personality-wise, Chad was known for being logical, argumentative, curious, a little messy, analytical, and incredibly smart. He claims that as a preemie baby, the doctor gave him a steroid shot and told his parents, “he’ll be good at math.” And he was. (Still is.) And science, too. Chad was good at academics and enjoyed going to school, especially with a core group of friends—one of which was his best friend since baby-hood.
Like most Gunnison kids, Chad also grew up playing and watching sports. He took swimming lessons, played football, basketball, and probably a season or two of soccer. His grandparents in Denver had season tickets to the Denver Broncos, and Chad was in the crowd at the 1998 playoffs and saw first-hand Jason Elam‘s record-breaking kick.
Most of all, though, Chad loved baseball. The Colorado Rockies formed the year before Chad was born, and the dinosaur mascot Dinger was revealed through a cheesy egg-hatching ceremony just a few months prior to when Chad was born a few miles away. In a way, it was like he and his favorite team were growing up together.
Beyond watching, Chad played baseball. He grew up on a diamond, learning advanced strategy and situations while most were still learning how to catch a ball with two hands, going to the park in the mornings with his dad to work on his grounders. He played through the whole Gunnison system, from tee-ball to coach-pitch to little league to Babe Ruth and later onto the high school’s junior varsity and varsity teams. Chad established himself as a shortstop from early on, and loved every single minute of play, until his final game in May 2012.
After graduating from high school, with National Honor Society honors and several extracurriculars under his belt, (and a high school sweetheart to miss him), Chad went to college in Golden, Colorado at Colorado School of Mines—one of the top (if not the top) engineering schools in the country. He spent his summers back in Gunnison, working first for the county, mowing lawns Monday through Friday, and then securing an intern position at SGM, a western slope engineering firm.
College was filled with insane amounts of studying, incredible stress, and a handful of meaningful relationships that helped make Chad’s experience worth it. In his spare time, Chad and his core group (several friends from Mines and CU Denver and his girlfriend-turned-fiancé (now-wife, thank you)) would often play board games, play poker, go to Rockies games, watch football, cheer as fans at Mines sporting events, snag free food from campus events, go on the free Coors brewery tour, ride the light rail into downtown Denver, and sometimes drink the cheapest hard liquor available. Chad was a TA and worked for campus sporting events, taking tickets. In 2016, Chad graduated from Mines with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and then graduated in 2017 with a master’s in structural engineering.
Post-college, Chad got a job at SGM at their corporate office in Glenwood Springs, Colorado as a structural engineer, specializing in bridges and retaining walls. He moved to New Castle, Colorado with his then-fiancé, and got married several months later in Crested Butte, Colorado. For a while, Chad also worked a few hours a week at the local liquor store, to boost their savings. In 2020 he fulfilled his longtime dream of owning a house, and got a puppy that same year.
In Chad’s spare time, he’s enjoyed brewing beer, cooking, playing in and commissioning several fantasy football leagues, traveling to new places, trying new food, going to breweries, playing video games, drinking coffee, watching TV series, visiting family, exploring Colorado, camping, bartending at home, watching and betting on sports, sipping whiskey, hiking, riding his bike, skiing, lake kayaking, and being a dog-dad.
My story of Chad
My opinions and experiences with Chad are told through the eyes of a decade-long romance that has blossomed and bloomed in countless ways. His story is my story, a beautiful sequence of stepping stones and growing pains; of behind-the-scenes togetherness and tenderness and a choice every day to move forward.
I don’t tend to think of Chad through the lens of Gunnison kid, sports lover, or engineer. It’s more along the lines of teammate, goofball, confidante, sweetheart.
While I find Chad’s story and accomplishments to be quite impressive and fun to tell, I am constantly moved by his qualities that lie beneath the surface.
I love Chad, so, so much.
Every year, since those beginning days at 17, he seems to age like the finest of wines. (I’d say whiskey, because he enjoys it, but whiskey tastes like gasoline to me and Chad is more like a complex red blend). I loved him then—but feel so blessed and lucky to know and experience and love the man he is now.
Over the years, Chad has changed so damn much and it’s likely hard to know that from reading just the facts of his life. His real story, the one I often try to tell, lives beyond the words and into his fabric of his daily interactions. He has a beautiful soul, a brilliant mind, wonderful quirks, and a personality that I adore. Additionally, Chad has evolved in pretty much every way possible, from how he views the world to how he expresses himself, how he dresses to how far he’s traveled, how he communicates to how he partners; he’s opened his mind and it’s a pleasure to see the world through it.
Chad still loves baseball and hiking and knows his way around a poker chip. He can still whip out a sports fact at random, and plays catch anytime I ask. His laugh is the same and so is his nerdy but endearingly cute vibe. His work ethic and talent and trustworthiness are all in-tact. All the reasons I gravitated toward Chad in the first place are there, wonderful as ever.
But at his core, Chad is one of very few people I know who not only embrace change, but also seek it out in ways to continue growing and pursuing a better version of himself. That’s special.
I am so proud (and borderline obsessed?) of this now 27-year-old version of Chad, this one I continue to fall deeper in love with every day and want to brag about to everyone I meet. This version is sweet and sassy and caring and fun and makes marriage a special kind of adventure. This version brings me coffee in bed, bookmarks my blog, cuddles me every night before bed, watches the Bachelor by my side, encourages me to seek out my dreams, communicates his feelings, appreciates a good meme, loves Wally, and gives me every reason in the world to keep going.
I could talk (write) about Chad forever. I probably (definitely) will. But for now, I’ll end with this: my favorite part of the “story of Chad,” beyond my front-row access, is that it’s nowhere close to being finished. He’s just getting started.
Love you always and 5ever, honey. Happy birthday, Chad. <3