In November of 2021, Ricardo Hamer achieved 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 referred to 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 referred to 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 probably didn’t see himself as a physique athlete, however he did need to be part of the Nationwide Guard after listening to from a good friend all the advantages that got here with service. Nevertheless, that ambition was shot down fairly rapidly after assembly with a recruiter.
“He requested me just a few questions, and one in all 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 as a consequence of having damaged his arm previously, the recruiter felt he wouldn’t make by the Navy Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to be able to be accepted.
“He simply despatched me on my means.”
Hamer didn’t hand over hope, and hope got here by 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 had been obtainable, and I joined. It was a straightforward factor for me this time,” he mentioned. “I had at all times needed to be in some type of civil service, whether or not it was army, police division, fireplace division, one thing like that. I needed to guard and serve. It was at all times interesting to be part of one thing larger. That’s at all times been part of me.”
Grasp Seargeant Ricardo Hamer has been satisfying that need 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 really assigned to work with NATO, which meant having to work with individuals from a number of completely different nations. He was positioned in a supervisor function whereas he was on the market, having to maintain monitor and coordinate with 1000’s of individuals.
“It didn’t matter in case you had been army, what nation you had been from, in case you had been a contractor or a authorities worker, I managed all of these individuals,” he mentioned proudly. “I used to be in command of realizing the place they had been, what they had been doing, retaining monitor of stories, and realizing probably the most correct numbers doable,”
Whereas many individuals would’ve been overwhelmed, Hamer noticed the blessing that got here from it. His instant supervisor was from Bulgaria, he joined forces with servicemembers from the U.S. Air Power, 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 providers offered.
“I might obtain stories 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 capable of accomplish whereas in Afghanistan.
“It helped me with my communication abilities, it empowered me to be extra affected person and understanding, and it gave me a broader outlook on individuals’s views from completely different nations,” he mentioned. “Despite the fact that we weren’t the identical, all of us had a typical trait that united us.”
One person who he labored with was from the Netherlands, who preferred that Hamer was into health. He wasn’t into bodybuilding at a excessive degree but, nevertheless it was visually apparent that he had been coaching for some time.
“Each time he had an opportunity to focus on 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 talents, former New York Giants defensive finish Osi Umenyiora. Hamer helped him put together for the NFL Mix in 2003.
“Principally, he couldn’t get his 40 time low sufficient, and I confirmed him just a few completely different strategies that helped him shave a few tenths off his time,” he mentioned. “I imagine displaying him tips on 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 often posts dwell movies sharing encouragement and good vibes. Health has carried out quite a bit for Hamer as properly, who mentioned that he nonetheless sees himself because the “fats child.”
“It helps me hold from going again to my previous methods,” he mentioned. Whereas he referenced these previous methods, he revealed that he nonetheless was capable of earn the President’s Bodily Health award yearly that he examined for it, which he took nice pleasure in. Yearly in elementary college that he introduced one residence, it will shock his mom.
“She was like, ‘I don’t how you retain getting these, however I’m pleased with you,” Hamer mentioned when describing his mom’s reactions. He was additionally a wrestler and monitor athlete in highschool. So, health has at all times been part of him. It should probably 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 can 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 so far, don’t depend him out on making a splash in his professional debut.
Observe Ricardo on Instagram @rockyobodyfitness