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Tributes Pour in for Slain Uvalde Teacher Eva Mireles: “CrossFit was a huge part of her life.”

May 30, 2022 by
Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading
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In the wake of the unspeakable tragedy in Uvalde, TX and the killing of 21 people, the local CrossFit community at Shotgun CrossFit has come out to honor the memory of one of their own: 44-year-old Eva Mireles was one of two teachers slain in the attack. She was also an avid CrossFitter, and members of the gym where she spent her time away from the classroom have offered quotes as a tribute to her.

Mandi Reading, the owner of Shotgun CrossFit, said “CrossFit was a huge part of her life” and that Mireles was universally loved for her bright personality and infectiously positive attitude. There will be a hero WOD on June 18 and an official fundraiser for CrossFit members around the world to help celebrate her life.

Mandi Reading, owner of Shotgun CrossFit

Every year we celebrate the gym’s anniversary with a handful of awards for members to highlight and show appreciation of what they add to our CrossFit community. This year, Eva was awarded the “Humble and Hungry” award. 

Those words embody Eva’s approach to CrossFit and life. Eva never was one to bring attention to herself. She showed up with her gorgeous smile and calmly reassured others. When the clock started, Eva put her head down and got to work. Eva lifted others and led by example. She persuaded friends and family to join her in CrossFit, 5K runs on weekends and hikes in nature. 

Eva Mireles was simply beautiful. She gave so much to our CrossFit community and ultimately gave her life for our children.

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Kaela Maldonado

Eva was not only a mother figure to me as I grew up with her daughter, but she was also my best friend. When I lived back home about a year ago, we ran together at 5am, CrossFit together at 530pm, and shared countless memories. My dad and I were a part of their family. Eva and I would text each other every single day about any and everything. I was sometimes even included when her, her husband, and daughter would FaceTime each other. I recently started calling it “Family FaceTime”. She knew more about me than my own parents did and helped me get through so many bumps in the road. She was a hero to me before she had to be a hero for those 19 innocent babies. I will forever miss my best friend, second mom, and running and CrossFit buddy. I love you forever, Eva.

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Karyn Kingsbery

I worked with Eva through the Special Education Department. She was a fantastic teacher and had a heart for serving others. She loved her students, and I, as the director for the department, knew her students were getting the best education possible because she gave them her all. It was this same dedication that Eva brought to CrossFit. She gave it her all. There are some of our CrossFitters that are inspirational to me, the ones I aspire to be like, and Eva was definitely on that list.

Jazmine Partida

Around September of 2021 I became a regular at the 5:30 pm class, having the privilege of WOD’ing with Eva and a few other ladies. She would walk in with her gym bag, wearing biker shorts, a head band and her beautiful smile. 

5/23/22 5:50 pm we started the MURPH prep, Eva wore her weighted vest. I watched her with amazement and admiration, hoping some day I could do the same. When she called time, we complimented her for kicking ass… in the parking lot as we headed to our vehicle she said to me “hora si, a comer!” (Now it’s time to eat.) Our all time favorite topic while stretching: dinner!

Kelley Kimble

Eva was a quiet, positive presence at the 5:30 pm class. Always strong, determined and persistent, yet quick to smile and share a daily greeting. She trained hard and took her work seriously but could laugh at herself just as hard. I keep expecting to see her walk in, headband on, backpack slung over her shoulder, ready to take on the day’s WOD. She is loved and dearly missed.

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Matt Bustamante

I had the privilege of meeting Eva Mireles both professionally and athletically. Professionally, she was always so happy and willing to make students feel at home. The love she gave to every student was amazing! It was something to see. Athletically, I had the privilege to coach her most of my short coaching career. She always gave her all. Eva and I would laugh that we worked hard to make the bad habits we would make over the weekend. Eva had the most beautiful double-unders I’ve ever seen. 

I would always tell her I was so jealous of those and would trade any of the things I could do for those. Eva was just a great person, and so awesome to be around. She will always and forever be a hero to me! Everything we do from now is for you! All of Shotgun loves you! 

Beth Wilson

What can be said about a woman who dedicated her life to children and ended up losing her life protecting those children? She was a fierce competitor. She always came through the doors with a smile on her face. She lifted heavy, ran hard, and jumped high. At the end of the WOD, the same smile was on her face. We were all drawn to her because she was so accepting of everyone no matter your ability at the gym. She was everyone’s cheerleader. We will love and miss her.

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Sarah Ortega

I could say so much about Eva, her smile, her drive, her strength. But I would like to remember all the good times we had at CrossFit. Talking about Taco Tuesday, skipping the WOD to run to Ruby’s Lounge instead and drinking margaritas. She is a soul that will be missed greatly, but she will never be forgotten.

Kalyn Wilson

For me, Eva was reliable and a constant in my afternoons. I could always rely on the anticipation of seeing her at the 5:30 class every afternoon. She always showed up quietly, worked out hard, and passed on smiles and encouragement mid WODs. No matter what else happened in my day, I could count on those simple things from Eva. I imagine she was the same as a teacher, mom, wife, and friend. Always showing up. Always present. Always giving it her all. I will miss that reliable constant in my afternoons now greatly.

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Jody Reagor

I joined CrossFit three months ago. To say I was nervous to walk through the doors is an understatement. I was immediately wowed by the strength of this group. Not just the physical strength but the strength of friendship. They constantly encouraged each other and welcomed me with open arms. I quickly joined and became a regular at the 5:30 pm class with Eva. She would come in with her hair up and her bangs brushing her forehead but when that headband went on I knew she meant business.  Even though she was very focused on her workout, she would encourage me with a “C’mon Jody, let’s go”, when she would see me struggling. I am in awe of all the people at CrossFit, but none more than Eva. She was a beast!

On Monday, May 23rd, we were doing our last Murph prep workout. The last time I saw Eva, she looked like a warrior.  She was sprinting for the barn wearing her weighted vest trying to beat the clock. She made it in time with us all yelling encouragement to her. When she finished, we told her she was a badass and that she was our hero. Little did we know, less than 24 hours later she would be gone. 

I wish I had more time to know her better, but our last words to her have never been more true, she was a badass, warrior hero!

Ross Wilson

Eva had the best smile. Best dubs. Loved the barbell. When I was leaving she would be showing up. I’d always tell her “Go home! No one has seen you yet” Eva would either feign walking back to her car or sarcastically roll her eyes and say “Thanks”. Best attitude ever. 

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Chris Olivarez

Eva was greatly known in our community as a hard working person in anything she did whether it would be teaching, running, hiking and in the Crossfit community. Ruben and Eva were a large part of their daughter’s athletic passion of sports (soccer). Eva was and is loved by many of the members of our CrossFit community. She is a beautiful soul and will be sadly missed greatly. 

Denise Vanderlick

Not sure if the appropriateness behind this but said with all the love and best intentions,  everyone really did think she had the best gym hair. She looked just as amazing after the WOD as she did before. The best part is that she didn’t have to try, she was just a beautiful person in every aspect. 

Photo Courtesy of Mandi Reading

Christina Stroff

I met Eva in 2007 working at Benson Elementary. I probably got to know her better as a fellow CrossFitter. Whether in the classroom or at the gym or at a competition, Eva was so kind-hearted. She had an adventurous spirit. She was dedicated in the classroom and in the gym and I know she was a dedicated mother and wife. The last conversation we had was a countdown until summer. I know she is smiling down from her eternal summer break hiking, going for a run, and working (probably in some pretty cute headband).

Bailey Blackman

15 years I was blessed to know Eva. A world without her is simply unimaginable. I will never forget her. A Hero.

Carlos Gonzales

I would always tell her “new shoe alert”! Eva was a beast on the floor.

Josh Torres

Now that the world knows about this hero, I’d like to share the Eva that my wife and I will always remember. 

A wife, mother, CrossFitter, hiker, runner, and a teacher.  Best sangria maker ever! Beautiful as always, never aged (she never told us the secret), funny, always down for a good time, jokester, and always wearing a smile. 

Having the opportunity to relocate anywhere on the southern border, my wife and I declined to do so many times because of people like Eva and her family.  Eva and Ruben were one of the first couples we met when we arrived in Uvalde. Very genuine, friendly, and welcoming people.  We immediately found out that Uvalde was filled with many people like them. 

A faithful member to her 5:30 Shotgun CF class, she would often tell me: 

  • “We’re getting too old for this!” 
  • “Ya Josh… we’re part of the Senior/Masters division.”
  • “Como nos gusta la mala vida!”
  • “Common Josh… Chingale!”
  • “I’ll start my diet next Monday”

Although our afternoon CF classes will never be the same, I can assure you that Eva will always be remembered.  Her persistence, hard work, grit, and positive attitude will always live on.

Rest In Peace Eva! Enjoy your runs and WOD’s in the streets of gold with the big man upstairs.

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