By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
At around 6 a.m., when and if the conditions are right, this writer is dragging himself into the gym, hoping to get in a quick run before the workday commences.
That’s where we first met Isai Castano, a friendly, charismatic young gent who’s never afraid to meet a new face and is first in line to shake an unfamiliar hand.
So by the time this reporter lumbers his way into the gym lockerroom to lay down the ragged gym bag, Castano is finishing his grueling workout and preparing to hit the shower, fully awake and in classic Isai pepped-up mode.
Waking up hours before the sun rises may seem a bit too much for some people, but when you get to know Isai, you come to understand certain things about him, one is that waking up early in the morning is just another example of his discipline – a trait forged in him by his parents, he said, and a trait that has brought him success since his childhood and throughout adulthood.
In fact, by the time Castano was 16, he had graduated from high school and enrolled in college. And while at the University of Texas at Brownsville, he received degrees and accreditations in multiple fields such as chemical environmentalism and in business administration.
After working in marketing, he was hired as a director at Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Harlingen. “My job gives me personal satisfaction. When you are working for a production company, you’re just selling, selling, selling. Yeah, you’re making money, but you don’t see the human impact. Here, it’s a different satisfaction. Here, you can see the results,” Castano said. “It’s an amazing experience.”
The 28-year-old is not married, and has no children, and says what little recreational time he has, he enjoys spending it with his girlfriend and at South Padre Island where he enjoys water sports, especially surfing, adding that he learned to ride big waves during his time in Hawaii. In fact, on this day Isai settled for a body board, noting that his surf board was lost during a recent break-in of his Nissan Z.
His other passions include listening to music but his heart always seems to come back to business. “I love business, I really do. I enjoy it as a whole and I enjoy the entire aspect of it. I like the fact that as a team, in business, the individual can be somebody.”
Devote in his faith, Castano credits God for successes and for providing him with the courage and foundation to face past and future challenges.
In the end, Isai is simply a good guy who’s done good.