Beyond the Badge

Fitness is more than hobby for Officer Small

Officer Small standing in front of two prison cell doors.
CHCF Correctional Officer Small takes physical fitness seriously, taking top spots in two bodybuilding competitions.

For nine-year CDCR Correctional Officer Ronnie Small, balancing work and life means taking care of his physical and mental health.

Small is a correctional officer at California Health Care Facility and has worked in the Psychiatric Inpatient Program for the last two years.

In June, Small put his body to the test by competing in the National Physique Committee Junior Bodybuilding Nationals in Tennessee. He took fourth place.

He then moved on to the committee’s USA Bodybuilding Championship in Las Vegas, ranking sixth overall.

Despite working full time, he trains for competitions by carving time out of his busy schedule.

“When you believe in something you want to achieve, you have to sacrifice,” said Small.

If he can’t make it to the gym, he improvises by working out at home whether it’s in the early morning or late at night.

While weight lifting and exercise are tough, the most difficult part of training is watching what he eats.

“Diet is a huge factor,” Small said. “It is probably the most difficult part of training, especially when being held over for another eight-hour shift.”

When he’s in competition training mode, he eats six meals per day, each one specifically prepared to help him achieve his goals.

He will eat four meals within 3 hours while working in the morning. If he is mandated to work another eight hours, he is sometimes out of options and drinks water.

“I cannot just go to the snack bar and order a burger,” said Small.

He credits his success to a supportive family. When he’s working out, his mother watches the two children.

Small has a softball-playing daughter who travels for her competitions while his son plays recreational soccer. Their busy schedules keep Small on the go.

He plans to take a short break from competitions so he can enjoy time with his children and their sports activities.

Submitted by CHCF

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