By Kim Dunbar
Dino Patramanis has never been the biggest guy, but that’s never stopped him from achieving his dreams.
“It’s all about how much passion you have and what’s in your heart,” said Patramanis, owner of CrossFit AC in Auburn.
The 27-year-old Worcester native has a track record of following his own advice: at 17, he left high school to play professional soccer in Italy, earning his GED along the way. After playing in Italy for five years, Patramanis worked as a personal trainer and spent time teaching kids at IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida. It was here that Patramanis discovered CrossFit, a strength and conditioning workout that includes all aspects of fitness like agility, speed and endurance.
“I became addicted,” said Patramanis. “CrossFit is popular because it’s filled with variety. Working out at a regular gym, people do the same thing over and over and they don’t notice any changes in the body. They plateau because the body doesn’t change after it gets used to doing something. It doesn’t challenge you the way CrossFit does.”
Patramanis said CrossFit is for those who have trouble getting motivated at regular gyms because “…it’s a different workout every single day” and scalable to individual abilities.
“You do what you can do,” he said. ”Like anything in life, if you don’t put work in, you won’t get anything out of it. You get what you put in.”
Patramanis, who left the Sunshine State to pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Worcester State, graduated in May 2010 and opened CrossFit AC last February with the help of his dad, Perry, a trainer with more than 36 years of experience, and his best friend, Nick Tomasetta. Patramanis takes pride in knowing CrossFit AC is more of an everyday gym where people come to train, not compete with each other.
“Don’t be intimidated,” he said. “Me, Nick and my dad, we’re here for you. We want you to be happy and get what you want out of it. We take it to heart. It’s more than a job.”
For Patramanis, who sometimes spends 18 hours a day working at the gym, it’s a lifestyle. “If you want a good workout, this is the place to be,” he said. ”I’ve tried all workouts, and I’ll never go back to anything else.”
Even though Patramanis has exceeded his initial goals with CrossFit AC ~ classes and membership have increased so much that he purchased a bigger space in Millbury which will open this winter ~ the trainer is still a student himself.
“I’m always pushing myself to do more,” he said. “I’m struggling and huffing and puffing just like the person next to me. Everyone’s human.”
The rest is passion and heart.
For more information, check out crossfit-ac.com.