Resident Feature

Meet the Pajers

Embracing Life to the Fullest

Justin and Tracy Pajer were brought to Walnut Creek 11 years ago by Justin’s work with Chevron. Prior to that they had lived in and traveled to many different places and still love taking adventures together. They are embracing life to the fullest and pass on this spirit to their two children.

Justin, a Colorado native, and Tracy, who grew up Southern California, met when they were just 20 and 18 years old, respectively. He was a sophomore at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a roommate and fraternity brother to Tracy’s brother Kevin. Tracy met Justin for the first time when she visited the campus on a college tour as a high school senior. Tracy attended the University of Colorado as well, and the two remained just friends for ten years.

Both are proud alumni from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where Justin has an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Economics, and Tracy has bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Dance. Tracy was a varsity cheerleader for the University of Colorado Buffaloes, and then followed her passion east and danced with some of the best in New York City. She lived there during the September 11 attacks. “It was a very scary time, but the New Yorkers bonded together in unity,” says Tracy. After college, Justin moved to San Francisco, working in medical sales, and found his passion with triathlon and the Golden Gate Triathlon Club. He traveled extensively during this time visiting 35 countries. As an aspiring triathlete, he completed the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.

Tracy moved back to the west coast, and in 2005 their paths crossed again. They believe that timing is everything, and finally, the perfect time was right to start a relationship. In 2007, they were married in San Francisco and moved to Austin, Texas for Justin’s MBA program at the University of Austin, Texas.

The Pajers have two children, Claire and William, who are energetic and creative. With Shelter-in-Place, the family spends more time riding bikes together, hanging out at their neighbor’s pool, or snuggling up watching a movie on Friday nights together. While they miss weekend soccer games and gatherings, the Pajer family has a tradition of nightly dance parties in the kitchen to lighten the mood. This past summer, they spent three weeks in Southern California to be closer to Tracy’s mom as she underwent chemotherapy to fight breast cancer. They looked for the silver lining and viewed this challenging time as a beautiful gift of quality time together.

Tracy is self-employed as a Leadership and Life Coach at Tracy Pajer Coaching and a Fellow Coach at BetterUp. She is the Education Coordinator for the Walnut Creek Dream Team, Business Networking International chapter. Justin works for Chevron as the Advisor to the President, based in San Ramon. He has volunteered for three years as a Walnut Creek Soccer Club recreational program coach, teaching himself how to play, teach, and coach the game.

Both Tracy and Justin are fitness enthusiasts. With Shelter-in-Place they have adjusted their workout schedules and create time together from 6-7 am to workout. Justin is an avid road cyclist and would love to attend the Tour de France someday. He also enjoys nighttime biking with a group of Rancho San Miguel swim team dads and looks forward to returning to his CrossFit classes once it’s safe. He can also be found cruising around in his bright Sunburst Orange Jeep, which was his late father’s pride and joy.

Tracy runs the hills in Shell Ridge, feeling solace in our beautiful open space even more since the pandemic. She also enjoys indoor cycling, strength training, and yoga to decompress. She looks forward to returning as a group fitness instructor at the Walnut Creek Crunch Gym to teach her favorite class, Buff Yoga. She volunteered at the Co-chair and Creator of the Walnut Acres Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser, inspiring the students to train, set personal goals, and have fun moving their bodies. Over three years, this event raised $93,000 for the school to improve their physical education program and also pay for teacher assistants.

Two years ago, the Pajer children moved to The Seven Hills School. Claire, 10, is an arts and crafts enthusiast, most recently building a 250 popsicle stick house with a working light inside. She also takes after her parents’ active lifestyle with competitive soccer, the Scrap Yard Dogs Softball team (AAA Champions in 2019), and swimming for Rancho San Miguel Swim Team (RSM).

William, 7, is a Lego fanatic and self-proclaimed master builder. And, like the rest of his family, enjoys being outside as well as quiet time. His favorite activities are mountain biking, baseball, karate, and swimming for RSM. He can be found reading a good book during quieter times, baking, or helping his mom with the vegetable garden.

This active family also loves adventurous vacations, with family trips including a hot air balloon ride over Sedona, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, snowboarding, and skiing in Tahoe and Colorado, and hiking and fishing in Yosemite. For the past five summers, they have enjoyed family vacations to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where they have participated in all of nature’s gifts. Since college, Justin and Tracy have been skiing together and it is now their family sport. Both kids learned to ski when they were just three years old. “After both of our fathers passed,” says Tracy, “We decided not to let the grass grow under our feet and we do our best to walk our talk each and every day.”

But the Pajer family also loves coming home to Northgate. “We love hosting small parties and gathering people together, which we have greatly missed since COVID,” adds Tracy. “We have lucked out with our immediate neighbors and have a social distance happy hour on Thursday evenings with them… We are grateful for such kind and thoughtful neighbors.” As the Pajers moved into their second Northgate home last month, their “forever home,” they are looking forward to making new friends in the neighborhood.

By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991

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