Preeminent rockcrawling spotter, Chris Poblano, on Episode 57


Can you say driven? The pre-eminent spotter of the rockcrawling world, Chris Poblano joins us on Conversations with Big Rich. Chris talks about the differences of spotting for different rockcrawlers over the last two decades – Tony K., Brent Bradshaw, Olivia Messer, and currently Jesse Haines. It’s a good listen.

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5:17 – I wanted to be Magnum P.I.

9:46 – Mom picked us up from school with the boat attached.

13:54 – Big-O revoked my lifetime alignment warranty

22:44 – Carnage for the Con 2001

25:17 – Tony launched that cone

29:29 – First disabled sports run

33:25 – The Bradshaw years

41:56 – Matt Messer approached me about spotting his daughter, what an honor

46:02 – There’s only a couple of drivers like Jesse

48:03 – every competitor should judge, just another component of competition

49:50 – The physical therapy practice

51:35 – I do Crossfit so I can eat what I want

54:37 – Sanding your hands

59:38 – My future is in Tennessee

1:05:23 – what makes a great spotter?


[00:01:20.220] – Big Rich Klein

On today’s episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have Chris Poblano. Chris is one of the preeminent spotters in the sport of rock crawling. He’s been around well, the sport at least as long as I have. I believe Chris either judged or was at our first event for CalRocs back in 2001. But we’ll get into all that. And Chris, it’s great for you to come out and spend some time with us and talk with us about your history.

[00:01:57.040] – Chris Poblano

I’m glad to be here and glad to have the opportunity.

[00:02:00.810] – Big Rich Klein

So let’s just jump right in and let us know where you grew up and were born and your early years’ influences.

[00:02:11.870] – Chris Poblano

I was born in Sacramento, California, and I basically grew up in Cameron Park, Cameron Park is a little town in between Sacramento and Placerville. My dad built the house there in nineteen seventy-three and I was there until nineteen ninety-one, so I spent the majority of my years in Cameron Park.

[00:02:36.540] – Big Rich Klein

Interesting, I didn’t realize that that you were basically a Cameron Park native. What yeah, what road did you grow right down the road from you in Placerville?


Yep. What road did you grow up on in Cameron Park? Kimberly Road, Kimberly, OK, I know that road, I did a lot of landscaping in that area back in the must have been the 80s. Yeah, I had a landscaping company anyway. What grade school did you go to when you’re in Cameron Park? I was in Cameron Park, I spent my first grade through third grade at a private school in Placerville called El Dorado Junior Academy.

[00:03:17.950] – Chris Poblano

Right. And then I transferred from there to a private school in Sacramento, Sacramento Union Academy. And I spent grades four through 11 there. And then the new principal and myself did not get along in my junior year. And I left there and finished at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills.

[00:03:40.580] – Big Rich Klein

OK, excellent. Let’s talk about your early days, those times the Academy, did they have. Was it academic then or did they have sports?

[00:03:52.330] – Chris Poblano

There was sports, but it is not like public school sports back then, especially, I mean, now they’ve gotten more into. Football and basketball and those type of things where you compete against other schools, back when I was there, it was the big thing was competing against the alumni. The alumni came back for a special time of Thanksgiving and they came back another time in the spring. And your big games were competing against the alumni. Otherwise, you just played against.


You know, other classes and stuff. OK, and what sports did you. Did you like the best? I preferred football, volleyball, and track that makes a lot of sense.


And I know that you are a physical therapist, I know there’s a degree for that or like a doctor of or something. What is that that you that you have now? My degree is actually a physical therapist, assistant, and, yeah, it’s a degree that you have to go to an accredited school for, and then you have to pass your state boards. And then every two years you have to do enough continuing education to renew your license every two years.


At what point did you decide that that’s what you wanted to do? Actually, I was about three years into college when I decided what I want to do. I first initially went into college for criminal justice. Magnum P.I. was a big thing when I was a kid. And who doesn’t want to drive around a Ferrari and hang out with chicks and search for dudes and fly around in the helicopter.


So Magnum P.I. was an influence. Awesome.


Yeah. Magnum P.I. was it. And then I went into college for. For criminal justice, I was going to be a private investigator and I decided that probably wasn’t reality. And then I went into nursing. And nursing, I just felt, was more schooling than I wanted to do because I wanted to be a nurse anesthetist which administers the anesthesia and that was more school. And I wanted to do and my brother was in the physical therapy field and a good friend of ours was in the physical therapy field.


So I switched over to the physical therapy field.  READ MORE


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