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Fly Feature: Ro!


“We truly all do better when we all do better.”  Ro is one of the most inspirational people you will meet. His smile and energy are contagious.  The minute he enters Fly Feet, you can’t help but feel an instant sense of friendship and happiness.  He puts his best foot forward in every single class he takes.  Ro’s passion for his family, music, and travel are so motivating.  Ro is someone who you want in your corner, and we are so grateful he has joined the Fly Feet community!

We’re pretty positive that you’re the only FFR member that signed up for an unlimited membership before even taking a class. Tell us how you found Fly Feet and what your impression was after taking your first class.

My wife took a FlyFeet class once around the time the gym first opened. I’d been complaining and whining for years about the fact that I was super-chubby, and nowhere near the weight that I know I need to get to if I want to live longer than a hamster. Running and weight training are the only ways for me to get where I need to be, so she told me to put up or shut up, and signed me up as a birthday present!

You’re quite the athlete! Give us all the details on your athletic background! Don’t be humble here either ☺.

I’m a former college basketball player, and played for the real U of M (The University of Michigan) from 1999-2003. For people planning to go look up my stats, save yourself a trip – I was a walk-on, so there’s not much to see there! But I was selected by my teammates and coaches as a team captain my last two years. I try to stay active still, but nothing compares to the fitness of being a college athlete for me.

This year you will be celebrating your first Father’s Day. Tell us more about your family and what you love most about being a dad to the cutest baby EVER.

Ahhhhhh, the life of a father! Getting spit up on, peed on…etc. (kid could really project in his younger days), and then having your ears blasted by the sound of an exhausted kid fighting sleep…and my kid was pretty easy in comparison to most! Admittedly, I hated the first months. Love him to death, but just was out of my element with babies. But from 4 months to where he is now (10 months) has been awesome! Great kid, best smile and giggle ever, and a natural mohawk like most people, including his baldilocks dad, can only dream about - what’s not to love! At 39, I’m an old man, and definitely an old dad, but I’m happy I waited for the right time to make this move.

You’re an avid traveler. Tell us about your favorite place you’ve been and if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My favorite trip was to the Republic of Cyprus, over in the eastern Mediterranean. A close friend of mine back in Ann Arbor was Cypriot, so I went over and stayed with her for a month. I had the sickest little European crew, hit the beach daily, and we had that perfect combo of “she likes to cook, and he loves to eat!” She was fearless, and would scramble to get up super early to the lemon tree down the block to pick a few to make my favorite lemon bars. Literally a dream vacation! I think it would be cool to travel through Southeast Asia next. Maybe hitting Thailand and Vietnam. I’d really love to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan, but it might be a few years until that’s the smartest move. 

Your smile is contagious. What are the top three things that bring you the most happiness in your day-to-day life right now?

People, music, and double-walled stainless steel water bottles! Those three make my life such an awesome one to live. I’ve always understood that even the longest life is super short in relation to history, so I really enjoy the little aspects of life. I love meeting and interacting with people, and have been lucky to have so many amazing one come into my life (including literally everyone I’ve been coached by, or sweated next to, at FlyFeet)! Also, this big man runs hot, so the fact that I can fill a bottle with ice on Monday morning, and keep emptying and refilling frosty cool drinks from that same ice through Tuesday night…man, that’s progress!

You’re a big music fan. What songs or artists would be at the top of your playlist?

This one is tough! I listen to so much music, it’s crazy. I literally sleep, eat, shower, and work to music. The wife loves music, but does not love how much I listen to. We just saw Hozier for the second time here, and are about to go see Gary Clark Jr. for the 4th time later this summer. I’ll preface this by saying that I have about 7 playlists that I’ve curated on Spotify in rotation right now, and the smallest one has around 400 songs. There are so many artists in my life right now, so I’ll just list some of the younger/newer ones that are my current favorites. Otherwise, I’d be going back to Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Beethoven, and that crew:

    • Tank and the Bangas

    • Anderson Paak

    • Chance the Rapper

    • J. Cole

    • Johnnyswim

    • Kaleo

    • James Arthur

    • Pre-Ignorant-Comments Kanye

    • Labrinth

    • Daniel Caesar

    • Alessia Cara 

Tell us about what you do currently in your career. Who has or currently inspires you to be so successful and positive each and every day?

I’m an in-house corporate Attorney for Thrivent Financial. My mom and sisters are my original inspiration. I love to have fun, but they made sure that I mixed some academic rigor in with it. I’m the baby of the family, and am a mix between my sister Tumi (the super awesome, but more straight-laced Investment Banker and Lawyer) and Lola (the equally fantastic, but suuuuuper laid back and chill healthcare consultant with Booz and Co.). I also have been lucky to have always had strong women and men in my life as the parents of my friends, coaches of mine, teachers, and mentors. My Dad was never a steady presence in my life, so it was these people that helped me become who I am. That’s why I’ve always given back to everyone around me. We truly all do better when we all do better. 

What piece of advice would you share with someone who is thinking about sigining up for their first class at Fly Feet?

FlyFeet can be intimidating. I haven’t been a true runner since 2005, but here I am, charging up and down that treadmill with my body. My advice though, is that these classes are literally for anyone and everyone. All of the coaches are supportive in helping you reach your goal; what’s even better, is that all of the teammates in class with you are also supportive. I won’t lie and say that the work is easy. Pre-season conditioning was the last time that I was as sore as I was during week one of FlyFeet, but the encouragement to fight through was unreal! It’s tough getting up at the butt-crack of dawn to go to class, but I’ve never walked out wishing that I wouldn’t have come. Give it a shot. If you’re willing to invest in them, they’ll heavily invest in you.