Raise your hand if you’ve never met a renowned marine biologist who enjoys mixed martial arts, glass blowing, and juggling barefoot in a fish store. OK, hands down — you’re about to. We’ll tell you how he met Penn Jillette, how he got healthy, and why he has an octopus on his head.
When Richard Ross decides to learn a new subject or skill, he dives into the deep end. A passion for juggling became a 15-year career as a performer. When he fell for glassblowing, Ross trained up so he could create his own glassware and sculptures. As a child, he tended home aquarium tanks with his father. When he rediscovered the hobby years later, it evolved into his current role as a biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco where he tends to the Philippine coral reef display within a 212,000-gallon tank, the deepest in the world.
Until last year, Ross’s stick-to-itiveness fell short when it came to changing his diet and exercise so he could lose the weight he’d been putting on steadily for years. He chalked his weight gain up to a natural byproduct of aging. He tried a few diets, would lose the weight, and then swiftly gain it back. “I didn’t look well anymore. I looked generally unhealthy.” More »
Between April 15 2015 and July 15 2015 I lost 54 pounds
I wasn’t sick (that I know of), didn’t have high blood pressure or anything like that, but I was buying into the idea that I was older, that my body was going downhill and that was just the way things were. Looking at the before and after picture, I am amazed at how unhealthy I looked, how fat I was, and I can’t believe I had convinced myself that everything was fine. Now, my mood is level and good, my knees never hurt, moving is pleasure and I can get my chest to my knees. I went from a 38 jean size to a 32 (which I can now remove without unbuttoning), I wear medium shirts instead of XL, and I am going to have to go from a medium large wet suit to a medium. Turns out, I don’t have a big frame and I’m not big boned – those were among the untruths I had told myself so I could mentally cope with the extra weight. More amazing, I can tie my shoes without contortion, my rings slide off my fingers and I don’t like the feel of baggy clothes. I can now slow dance close up with my wife and my daughter can carry me around. I am looking forward to being in vacation photos instead of hiding behind the camera.
Penn and Michael helped me by supporting me and hooking me up with Ray Cronise. It feels like I have a second life to live. Instead of waiting to slide into worse and worse health, I am now going to martial arts because I enjoy it, not with the ulterior motive to lose weight (which never worked anyway). Thanks so much you guys, it is all different and wonderful.
If you are interested in what I did, read this article about me check out this podcast
and this read this book by Penn Jillette