by Dana Cavalea December 05, 2017



Well.. as a Coach, I am always looking for inspiration.

Inspiration often times finds me.. even when I am not looking for it.

When I was just getting started with my own personal fitness journey, it was at a Powerhouse Gym in Miller Place, NY.

I was a kid that was a little overweight as a kid (thanks to my grandmothers biscotti cookies).. but always admired how the bodies physique could change with training and exercise..

So as a kid, my mother would go to her jazzercise classes and I would be in the playroom at the gym flipping through Muscle and Fitness Magazines (inspiration)..

But when I was heading into high school, my parents got me a part time membership to Power House Gym.. and this is where I met a very special man..

Ron Hamilton. Personal Trainer.

Ron at the time was probably in his early 60's .. and had a love affair with TRAINING and EXERCISE.. a modern day Jack Lalanne if you will..

I was enamored watching him train as he would get so locked in.. you knew he was mentally in a place that many could never get too..(inspiration).

Over the years Ron and I had become good friends.. myself a student, he a teacher.

When I left town to go work with the Yankees.. we parted ways.. and I always wondered where Old Ron was.. 

I would hear stories of him climbing Mt. Washington.. or traveling across the country via RV.. but we lost touch..


This past weekend, I went to visit my parents on Long Island and was grabbing my signature workout at Planet Fitness.. doing some leg extensions.. and I saw that unforgettable gait and face....

It was Ron.

He saw me.. kicked me immediately off the machine I was on and gave me a big old hug.. (inspiration).

The next words out of his mouth, "Get off the machine and get Functional!.. Body weight, movement, balance.. That is how I have aged well!".

He hasn't aged a bit.. still showing signs of strength, still locked in. Working out in a winter cap and sunglasses so he can lock in and focus.. Challenging his body day in and day out through movement. Kettlebells, stretching, core training, and single leg balance work.

After he told me this, he also disclosed that over the past few years he had broken his neck mountain biking, has had his shoulder reconstructed, knee replaced, and has had 3 battles with cancer-- which he has beat.

Then he hit me with his most powerful words.. "In life, there is no such thing as can't.. only WON'T.. and if you believe you can you will-- and that is how I keep going. That is how I beat cancer. I am not ready to kick the bucket just yet.. I have more to do!"

I write this to you today as I promise to Ron..  I will help spread his words to inspire and motivate others to KEEP matter what their age is or where they are at in life.. JUST KEEP GOING.. 

I hope you found inspiration in this story like I have.. keep going.


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

2 Responses


February 01, 2023

Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


April 17, 2019

I loved reading this story. Why? Because one summer in college I lived on Long Island and went to the same gym. Ron was my trainer, my coach, and my champion. I was a division I basketball player and wanted to take my game to the next level. Ron took me there. He retrained my mind and body. We started with low weights and functional movements. The difference when I got back to school was absolutely noticeable. I went on to play professionally overseas and then joined the military. I’ve served for over a decade and continue to implement things Ron taught me. I didn’t have much money as a college student and so he cut me a break on training costs. He really wanted to see me succeed. While on my 8th military move I found his card and googled his name to see if I could find him. I came across your note and the memories flooded. Thanks so much for sharing. Wherever you are Ron, know you have made a difference. A wonderful teacher, coach and person- thank you.

Leave a comment

Also in The Champions Newsletter

I wanted to share this with you...
I wanted to share this with you...

by Dana Cavalea November 09, 2023 1324 Comments

Read More
What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You?
What Does Your Personal Brand Say About You?

by Dana Cavalea October 13, 2023 879 Comments

Read More
11-Wins To Become a Champion...
11-Wins To Become a Champion...

by Dana Cavalea October 05, 2023 928 Comments

Read More

Want to Know the 7 Surprising Things Ultra-Successful People Do Differently?