This blog is bound to be one of my first favorites, because this blog is coming from one of my dear old friends, Gary Ramos. I met Gary back when I attended college for a year in 2013-14. He was easily one of the most easygoing, friendly people to get along with. Now, 6 years later, I have the pleasure of writing this awesome article about him and what he does. So let's get started!
Gary Ramos is from one of our most renown cities in the Midwest. Chicago, IL. He's huge in to sports. Actually, how I met Gary was in the school's basketball gym at college. On the mound; he's a baseball guy. I've yet to see his skills in this area, but I know he's good at it. Why do I say, "I know he's good at it?" In another respect, I know for sure he has a mean jumper on the basketball court. He's shifty with a nice handle, and could really catch you off guard with his unique athletic abilities. He would always catch open gym sessions in college, and he would definitely keep up with the guys, and was even a better player than some of the guys on the actual Division III basketball team. In fact, the only reason he didn't play for the basketball team, was because he loved baseball so much. With Gary's innate focus and competitive spirit, I'm sure he was no slouch on the diamond.
That first time I met Gary, his energy gave me life right away. He always has this big smile and laughter that would captivate a crowd of people. It had this way of bringing people together no matter what or where you're from. He was friend's with everyone. Everyone was moved by his positive energy no matter the situation. There were times I when I was definitely down. Being out on my own exploring the city, but Gary was one of those people who was honest with me: about women, life, faith. Even if it wasn't what I necessarily wanted to hear at times, it's a luxury to have someone who supports you, is always positive, and can tell you the truth without making you want to burn everything down to the ground. I think he had that type of relationship with more than just me, but a lot of people on that campus. So this transitions us to the now, and what I really want people to know about Gary Ramos, and what he's about. So let's get this show on the road!
After This Chicago native left the University in 2015, he headed back home to what he knew best. He wasn't playing baseball at a competitive level anymore, so he needed to find something that would nurture that part in him that wanted to help others and make them feel great about themselves. Ramos always took a liking to fitness, because of sports, but now he's seen it in a new light. One day, he walks into a local gym of Chicago, eager to make an impact on his life and someone else's, walks up to the manager of the place, and places a bet on himself. "Look man, I want to be a trainer! Just give me a chance, and I promise to show you what I got!" This guy saw something in Gary Ramos. Probably what we all saw in him in school. A guy eager to put a smile on someone else's face. "When can you start?" And Gary was hired on the spot!
Now taking fitness and his health to the next level of commitment, he took initiative in learning and honing his skills to proficiency. And he wouldn't allow anything to stand in his way. He began learning all types of new skills along the way. Working at a Lululemon, he owned the educating of entrepreneurship from the peers he worked with. He took online coaching classes to learn how to be a better teacher. He says he's learned and taken some things from my older brother as well. Chauncee Hollingsworth, the founder of a Minneapolis based basketball training business. Also working at a community center to be closer to the people helped him connect better with them. He clearly had a plan to succeed no matter what. One of the things he says is, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Now we agree, you make adjustments in your plans along the way, because "it's life". Let's be honest here, absolutely nothing goes according to plan. But if your plan is as simple as "succeed". Then you have already won.
This level of commitment requires a strict level of discipline. So what are some things Gary's most disciplined about in his everyday life? Well, it definitely has to be his diet, right? I think we all can agree that "fitness diets" are completely boring, and this fitness trainer agrees. He enjoys wholesome eating and having the right foods in his diet. Chicken and broccoli is one of his go to meals. But he has done away with the complete weekly meal plan, and prefers his meals freshly made on a daily basis usually. This adds an element of fun, because you can theoretically mix and match ingredients and don't have to have that slate of known expectations when you want to grab something to make you feel good about eating. Gary mixes and matches with things like rice, chicken, some really cool pesto sauce, green beans, broccoli and even incorporates a veggie of the month schedule. So no matter what, he's ready for anything that comes his way; from a cheeseburger when he wants it, and even the corona-virus which has caused much instability in health routines for people across America. All of these routines n'things are quintessential, but are not the sole happiness of Gary's life right now.
Weekly this "gym rat" would see this woman who would always be using the stair masters at the gym. "Why is she always on that thing?" He said, "That's the only thing she would use." He would come across her for minute reasons like losing his keys at the gym. The workout room is like home to him so this made so much sense to me. One day he sparked up a conversation with her congratulating her on her workout efforts. One thing led to another, and the rest is history. This opens up Gary Ramos take on what love means.
I love to include this part, because everyone has their own take on what love means. And I think it takes a certain someone to make you feel special. And I think he has finally found that. "The little things. Love is a choice. More than a feeling. When the romance fades... It’s raw out there and imperfect. Choose to practice open and vulnerability. Open line of communication. Be intentionally about openness. Message behind the words you hear versus what she hears. Conveying words of frustration versus reality. Learning each other’s [love]languages and unwritten rules. Throwing socks on the floor when you come in the door. Cracking jokes versus romance. I communicate love with jokes but she is not the same. You should be disagreeing and seeing different perspectives."
Within all of this, Gary still loves his city. It may be tough times right now, but he and I are in an agreement that Chicago has a bunch of people willing to band together to make a change. His church is doing so much for the community right now providing food and water to the citizens of the community. His ultimate goal is to see the city have a '1-Stop' community center where children have a platform to express themselves with things like showcases of talent, and of course, his very own minor league baseball team. "We’re not here to pick fights and sides, but we will try to connect to better the community." - Gary Ramos
Gary signed up to play some baseball in the summer. It was a great time with all of the quarantine chaos to get out and enjoy the healthy breezes of the Windy City. I guess even this old dog can learn some new tricks on the mound. As he feels everyone should be teachable every day of life learning new things. Once again, old friend, I agree. For each day brings about new challenges and new weather. No matter the weather, stand strong. You're up to bat!