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James Ramsey

Veteran, Fitness & Tattoo Model, Brand Ambassador

30 miles southeast of Portland Oregon is the small logging town of Estacada, where you can find veteran and tattoo model, James Ramsey. At a young age James had a dream of enlisting in the army and later served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and U.S Army.  Shortly after returning he had an unfortunate turn and lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.  At that point James accepted a new reality.  A reality that would inspire and not only change his life but the life of many others around the world.  It was with the influence of his grandfather and mentor that pulled him up and pushed him forward installing a memorable mantra – “It’s not about being the best – it’s being the best version of you!”

Did you have any mentors that helped shape the strong, determined person you are today?

My Grandparents have always been huge role models for me. They put in alot of hard work to make a better life for our family and future generations.

My grandfather started a business from nothing. He has always been the hardest working person I know. Regardless of age and or being sick, he didn’t believe in slacking off or time away from work. Even in his days before he passed, he worked his ass off. He didn’t ask for help from anyone because he believed in an old fashion ideology of working hard and getting it done on his own. I’ve brought that into my own life especially with all the hardships I have endured thoughout my life. I always think in the back of my mind… what would my grandpa say?

We are all inspired by what you have overcome over the years and the strength you have found from your past motorcycle accident. Tell us about how you’ve overcome past obstacles, push forward and stay active.

I realize that having this disability means that everything is going against me as in I’m going uphill. I have to work harder than everyone else just to keep up. However, I just do it, no questions asked. I don’t have an excuse or a reason to just give up.

With your increased popularity and inspiration to others, how do you lead and teach through personal example. Talk to us about your current strength training program.

Training programs consist of various options. Soflete, an all access strength training program, has the idea in mind that it’s training for performance and not just to be the hugest dude in the room. The idea is to leave your ego elsewhere and be honest with yourself. It’s not about being the best – it’s being the best version of you! As clique as that sounds.

Crafted by former special operations – Each team includes regimented training schedules, video and instruction for each exercise, and the ability to track your progress. You can head to to sign up for any of the training programs as they are specifically tailored for whatever goal you have in mind.

What does your diet look like and on a typical day what do you like to eat?

Food is a plenty 🙂 I go to bed early and wake up early. I don’t smoke, do drugs, and have an occasional drink every so often. I have always been this way, putting my health first. Food is fuel so you are defiantly what you eat. Clean unprocessed foods are key. Major factor in the building blocks.  Lots of red meat, yams, greens, rice, potatoes, whole foods. My diet isn’t really all over the board. I try to eat the same things and stay consistent. Training is a SOFLETE training cycle. Progressive overload, focused around explosive strength and stamina. I lift weights 3-4 days a week, as well as Jujitsu, 3-4 days a week give or take.  I started Jujitsu because I was looking for another way to compliment my active lifestyle. Its fun and different and change can really help you progress.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

“Its a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which is (his) body is capable.” – Socrates

What I pull out of this quote is quite obvious. Some people get complacent and don’t realize just how strong they really are. Some people don’t know the ability their body might have. And to remain complacent like that means they won’t ever know.

We remember the first time you started modeling with Heidi Lavon in Portland Oregon many moons ago.  What was going through your head as you stepped in front of the camera for the first time? Do you have any advice for first time tattooed male models getting started in the industry?

I was nervous, but I had already had this major shoot set up in LA with Michael Stokes so luckily I was given the opportunity to work with Houseink and Heidi so I could have some sort of idea what I was up against when I flew to LA. Nobody is ever truly prepared for that kind of thing though especially if they were so new to it.

What one of your tattoos is the most powerful for you and why?

The Tattoo I have that is most powerful for me is my entire back piece. Its a Hannya and it signifies wisdom, suffering, anger and so on. I think I’ve endured quite a bit of suffering in my life for different reasons. It felt right choosing it to adorn my back. Its kinda of like a constant reminder for me to stay level headed. To remember that regardless of what has happened to me, that I will overcome whatever is in front of me.

What are your goals for the rest of the year, and for the future? What do you want to achieve?

My goals are to be more consistent than I already am in my fitness and training and expand more of what Heidi Lavon and I have been doing. Lots of really cool stuff in the works! Our brand new house should be done and ready for us to move into in the next month so that’s the next big awesome thing for us!

Life is crazy! Feeling so blessed!

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