Palm Springs man to compete in West Coast Classic bodybuilding show

Before he became a bodybuilder, John “Juan” Gonzales was in a self-described deep depression. The death of his partner in 2019 left the 78-year-old Palm Springs resident looking for purpose in his life.

He met with a therapist, who offered advice. One suggestion was exercise. The idea was to harness focus on something positive that would help bolster Gonzales’s spirit and return his ambition and a sense of direction.

Now, about 2 1/2 years later, Gonzales completely transformed his body, and his life, dropping around 60 pounds in the process. At 175 pounds, Gonzales will be among those taking part Saturday in the massive West Coast Classic bodybuilding competition that is expected to draw thousands to Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage.

“It’s like I’ve been given a new outlook on life,” Gonzales said. “This journey has been life-changing.”

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