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Tim Ramirez: Celebrity Trainer, Master of Wellness

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For founder and CEO of Pacifica Wellness Tim Ramirez, success came naturally.

"What I do is more of a destiny...than a want. I never wanted to do anything else," he says. "I have always believed that anyone can do anything as long as they have perseverance. I thought about my future and what I wanted for myself."

Growing up in Southern California, Dr. Ramirez (known to his patients as "Dr. Tim") was never a fan of school, so for him, pursuing a degree didn't seem so tempting.

"I was at a crossroads in high school. I didn't exactly love school. I enjoyed science, math, and surf team in high school," he explains. "I was always an extreme sports guy — I somehow knew as a teenager that it was important to take care of your body and eat the right things." Being a sports junkie, Dr. Ramirez says he was planning to go into professional surfing after his senior year of school.

"I was a bit of both a rebel and a nerd. Several friends started getting college acceptance letters and were asking me where I was going to go to school. I had not applied to any colleges," he says. "No one in my family had gone to a university. It's not that I didn't want to go to college; it's more like I never thought about it."

Ramirez eventually realized that college was something he wanted to do. He would go to college and surf for pleasure instead. Being a fan of math and science, he decided he would pursue something in those areas. He started taking summer classes at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. He attended the community college because he missed the fall deadline for California University applications. He eventually applied to the University of California, Irvine.

"I wrote a killer letter of intent that caught the chancellor's eye, and I was accepted," he boasts. Dr. Ramirez double-majored in biology and philosophy.

He worked at the UCI Medical Center in the mid '90s.

At the center, he realized what his future focus could be.

"I saw patients differently: I saw a tremendous opportunity to take health care and base it on the patients' well-being — the patients' health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle," he recalls. "I wanted more for the people I saw in this clinical setting, and I made the decision to base my career on this philosophy."

Ramirez then went to his academic advisor and told her that medical school wasn't for him. Instead he wanted to still help people, but in a different fashion. He decided to attend chiropractic college in Los Angeles after graduating from UCI.

Dr. Ramirez enrolled at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and graduated in 1999.

"The greatest thing I learned in all of my years of study is the ability to learn," he says of his experience. "I will always be in learning mode. Life is always changing, so I must dedicate a significant part of my time to learning, understanding, and applying that knowledge. "

After taking some time to travel, Dr. Ramirez opened his first wellness center. Pacifica Wellness opened in 1999.

"I was introduced to some players on the PGA who had some back stiffness. I am not sure who was more scared, me or them. I told them my philosophy and what I wanted to do to make them feel better," he recalls of one his first experiences. "My approach and techniques worked superbly. One of the players won that weekend."

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. Surf.

Q. What CD is in your CD player right now or what was the last song you heard?
A. . Timbaland, Shock Value.

Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. NickToons with my daughter.

Q. What is your favorite TV show?
A. Avatar.

Q. Who is your role model?
A. Buddha.

Q. Your favorite ice cream flavor?
A. I like gelato — fresh berry flavor.

Q. What is something most people don't know about you?
A. I love philosophy and am a philosopher at my core.

Soon, by word-of-mouth, Dr. Ramirez received a famed group of clientele from the sports arena.

In 2002, he designed his first "on-site" corporate wellness and fitness center. It is located in Irvine, California, at St. John Knits, and it now employs over 6,500 people.

"I bring a blend of Eastern medicine and philosophy with Western medicine and science. I incorporate a fitness and nutrition program into every treatment protocol. I treat the entire person and address their lifestyle," he says. "I don't believe in having to survive when there is always a choice and an opportunity to thrive."

Dr. Ramirez, now married with a young daughter, has worked with celebrities like Paula Abdul, ChiChi Rodriquez, Jessica Alba, Mark McGwire, Arnold Palmer, and Kobe Bryant...just to name a few.

As for advice for future students who want to follow in his footsteps, he suggests the following: go with your gut.

"If you don't like what you are doing, don't do it," he says. "Be where you are needed. Doing good is worth so much more than getting paid."

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