Ramona's Trainer: Reach out

This is a great time of year to set new goals and strive to be better. Hopefully you read last week’s Ramona’s Trainer Column and did the “8 F’s of Health” and you set some goals for the new year. If not, please visit me on Facebook and read it there.

An old “friend” of mine, Lou Zwick, recently messaged me on Facebook saying Happy New Year! This marks 20 years since I met Lou, president of American Sports Network. Lou spotted me at my very first bodybuilding competition at Symphony Hall when I was just 14 years old.

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Lou Zwick, center, with two bodybuilders

Lou was responsible for getting some of the top professional bodybuilders of the ‘90s their first shot at the big time and for some reason he saw potential in me and saw me doing the same. Lou became my mentor, sponsor and later employer as associate producer for ESPN’s Fitness and Bodybuilding programming.

Lou saw something in me that inspired him to coach me along and give me opportunities and responsibilities that any young teenager would dream of. No one paid him or asked him to help me. I didn’t ask him to sponsor or mentor me.

In fact, when I was hired at his production company I was downright nervous when he told me, “Lee Roy, you’re taking a camera crew and a couple professional bodybuilders to Venice Beach and I want you to do interviews and get people to interact with them for the show.” He always called me Lee Roy for some reason and when I told him that was my middle name he was dumbfounded. Beside the point...

A year later at 18 he tells me to “Pack your bags, you’re headed to St. Maarten to film a competition and do some directing with a crew along the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean.”

This is what mentors do. They take you under their wing, show you the ropes, push you to your limit and make you better. I have had a number of coaches, mentors and teachers over the years who have helped me become the man I am today.

Here is my simple point this week, Ramona: REACH OUT and thank those people who made you who you are. Send them a letter, a special gift or at least make a phone call and tell them thank you for being an inspiration and catalyst.

Now that is only step one.

Step two: BE A MENTOR to someone else. There are so many young people who all they need is someone to come alongside them and show them the ropes, give them a chance and give them an opportunity. You never know how much that gesture might affect who they become and how many other people they may in turn affect in a positive way.

Thanks, Lou!

Your friend, “Lee Roy”

You can always reach me at ramonafitness@yahoo.com and, oh yeah, look for my new website ramonastrainer.com in early 2012.

Peter San Nicolas, owner of Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main St., can be contacted at 760-789-3500 Club or www.ramonafitness.com.

   
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