In November of 2021, Ricardo Hamer completed a objective that each physique athlete hopes to realize – he earned his IFBB Professional League card. He stood onstage on the Ben Weider Naturals Professional/AM as a Masters males’s physique competitor with no doubts that his identify was going to be known as that day.
And even with all that confidence, the second it occurred nonetheless stays surreal for the Military Nationwide Guard member.
“At first, I used to be disillusioned when my identify was known as,” Hamer admitted. “I used to be doing a church shout and dance coming off the stage.”
The achievement was one worthy of celebration for the person who described himself as a “chubby child” rising up. When he was at school in North Carolina, he possible didn’t see himself as a physique athlete, however he did wish to be part of the Nationwide Guard after listening to from a pal all the advantages that got here with service. Nonetheless, that ambition was shot down fairly rapidly after assembly with a recruiter.
“He requested me a couple of questions, and one among them was, ‘Have you ever ever damaged your arm?’ I used to be like, ‘Sure,’ and he stopped the interview proper there,” Hamer shared. It turned out that because of having damaged his arm previously, the recruiter felt he wouldn’t make by means of the Navy Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) as a way to be accepted.
“He simply despatched me on my approach.”
Hamer didn’t hand over hope, and hope got here by means of for him after he went again residence to Georgia. There was a letter there for him from the Georgia Nationwide Guard, providing him one other alternative to hitch.
“He got here by my home, he confirmed me all the roles that have been obtainable, and I joined. It was a simple factor for me this time,” he stated. “I had all the time needed to be in some type of civil service, whether or not it was navy, police division, fireplace division, one thing like that. I needed to guard and serve. It was all the time interesting to be part of one thing larger. That’s all the time been part of me.”
Grasp Seargeant Ricardo Hamer has been satisfying that want to serve for 22 years as part of the Nationwide Guard. Over the course of his two-plus many years in service, he’s taken on intense challenges. One spotlight that stood out for him is his deployment to Afghanistan in 2017. He was truly assigned to work with NATO, which meant having to work with individuals from a number of completely different international locations. He was positioned in a supervisor position whereas he was on the market, having to maintain monitor and coordinate with hundreds of individuals.
“It didn’t matter in case you have been navy, what nation you have been from, in case you have been a contractor or a authorities worker, I managed all of these individuals,” he stated proudly. “I used to be in command of figuring out the place they have been, what they have been doing, conserving monitor of experiences, and figuring out essentially the most correct numbers potential,”
Whereas many individuals would’ve been overwhelmed, Hamer noticed the blessing that got here from it. His rapid supervisor was from Bulgaria, he joined forces with servicemembers from the U.S. Air Pressure, Navy and Marines in addition to servicemembers from Italy, Romania, Netherlands, and Australia. Hamer conservatively estimated that he needed to coordinate the efforts of round 60,000 individuals throughout all nations and companies supplied.
“I might obtain experiences that I didn’t perceive. So, I needed to get translators to assist me perceive them,” he recalled. Whereas the job he was despatched to do included varied challenges, Hamer was empowered by what he was in a position to accomplish whereas in Afghanistan.
“It helped me with my communication expertise, it empowered me to be extra affected person and understanding, and it gave me a broader outlook on individuals’s views from completely different international locations,” he stated. “Although we weren’t the identical, all of us had a typical trait that united us.”
One individual that he labored with was from the Netherlands, who favored that Hamer was into health. He wasn’t into bodybuilding at a excessive degree but, but it surely was visually apparent that he had been coaching for some time.
“Each time he had an opportunity to spotlight that I used to be into well being and health, he did, and he inspired me to assist others out. I believed that was superb.”
Hamer had already been doing that lengthy earlier than that. He was licensed private coach who had labored with a bunch of shoppers of all athletic skills, former New York Giants defensive finish Osi Umenyiora. Hamer helped him put together for the NFL Mix in 2003.
“Mainly, he couldn’t get his 40 time low sufficient, and I confirmed him a couple of completely different methods that helped him shave a few tenths off his time,” he stated. “I imagine displaying him learn how to run it like a monitor star as a substitute of a linebacker helped.”
He additionally makes it a degree to unfold highly effective and significant messages on his Instagram web page, the place he recurrently posts reside movies sharing encouragement and good vibes. Health has performed rather a lot for Hamer as nicely, who stated that he nonetheless sees himself because the “fats child.”
“It helps me preserve from going again to my outdated methods,” he stated. Whereas he referenced these outdated methods, he revealed that he nonetheless was in a position to earn the President’s Bodily Health award yearly that he examined for it, which he took nice satisfaction in. Yearly in elementary college that he introduced one residence, it could shock his mom.
“She was like, ‘I don’t how you retain getting these, however I’m pleased with you,” Hamer stated when describing his mom’s reactions. He was additionally a wrestler and monitor athlete in highschool. So, health has all the time been part of him. It is going to possible stay part of him going ahead now that he’s an IFBB Professional League Males’s Physique competitor. He’s trying to make his professional debut on the 2022 DC Professional. That may assist him get his ft moist earlier than he has to make one other journey abroad to serve his nation, which he’s nonetheless lively in doing.
“I’m leaping in an ocean stuffed with sharks on that stage,” he acknowledged. Contemplating the work and challenges he’s confronted up thus far, don’t depend him out on making a splash in his professional debut.
Comply with Ricardo on Instagram @rockyobodyfitness