Nuno Costa, 41, is no stranger to facing his fears. For years, he struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. He's been sober since 2007 and credits CrossFit — the "functional fitness" phenomenon — for helping give his life new purpose. As one of the only openly gay male CrossFit athletes competing in the top levels of the sport, Nuno has long been an inspiration to LGBTQ athletes. And he's also really good at it — Nuno is one of the few athletes who has competed in nine out of the 11 past CrossFit Games, as either an individual or team competitor, every year since they started in 2012.
In addition to his achievements as a competitor, Nuno also works as a CrossFit coach, travels the world teaching seminars, and runs a successful health and wellness business that helps people achieve their fitness goals with individualized planning devised in consultation with Nuno himself.
Despite surmounting great challenges to achieve this success, however, Nuno admits that there's another fear he's put off facing until more recently — fatherhood. "It's always been in the back of my mind," Nuno said. As a single man, he found himself quickly steering the conversation towards the topic of children while dating. "I wanted to know, are you interested in having kids?" Nuno laughed. "I don't want to waste my time!"
Eventually, Nuno realized that he didn't need that "perfect someone" to come along in order to start his family. "I got sick of waiting," he said. Though the prospect of becoming a dad on his own was intimidating, he realized he owed it to himself — and his clients — to move forward. "A big part of what I do as a coach is inspire people to redefine what's possible in their lives," Nuno said. "I have to practice what I preach."
Another fear holding him back was the finances involved with pursuing fatherhood solo. He was interested in surrogacy, but the price tag, which can stretch upwards of $150,000 for many gay men, was daunting. When his mother passed away several years ago, Nuno inherited a house in Portugal, where he is originally from. He used the money to buy a couple of properties in San Diego, California, where he now lives and works. Ultimately, these investments paid off, providing him with the money he'd need to cover a surrogacy journey.
In the summer of 2017, he signed with Surrogacy Alternatives, a local agency based in San Diego, to start the process — and with his baby due on February 15th, he hasn't looked back since. Over the last nine months, Nuno has kept the pregnancy close to his chest, telling only close friends and family. But this past month, he announced his news by way of an Instagram post to his broader community.
"I have always wanted a family and known I would do it some day. In my 20s when I was coming to terms with my sexuality, not knowing whether I could ever have my own 'family' was one of the hardest things for me to accept," he wrote. "Yes I am doing this as a single gay parent, but I know I have tons of support not only here in San Diego but from friends and family all over the world."
With his impending fatherhood, Nuno decided to take the year off from competing in CrossFit this year — one of the few years he will have sat out the Games since they began. He's also taken the time to repair an old injury in his shoulder, a tear in his labrum. Missing out on competition this year will be tough for the athlete, he admits. "I love competing," Nuno said. "It's what fuels me, and gives me purpose."
He said he is not retiring from competitive CrossFit, but whether or not he plans to compete in 2021 is still up in the air. Whether on the competition floor, in business, or as a new dad, however, you can expect to see Nuno chasing down his fears and living life to the fullest.
Nuno Costa Coaching (NCC) on Instagram: “Life as I know it is about to change real soon. I may seem confident here, but the reality is that I’m super nervous yet really excited.…”