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Ravens' Ray Lewis had dramatic impact on ex-Gilman star

Ray LewisFootballBaltimore RavensFitnessCrossFit, Inc.The Ohio State University

Stan White Jr. showed up for a different type of workout on the hills of Oregon Ridge Park in June of 2000 with trainer Kurtis Shultz.

White, then a rising junior football player at Gilman, was stunned to find who would be his workout partner — Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Shultz trained both Lewis and White and the two formed a quick bond about six months before the Ravens routed the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV and Lewis was named the game's MVP.

White, a linebacker for the Greyhounds, couldn't believe his good luck, considering Lewis was his favorite player. The Cockeysville native has owned a Lewis jersey since middle school.

"You are just struck with the level of passion he has for everything," said White, who now lives in Canton. "I was in awe. This is an offseason, and we were running the hills that day. I wasn't excited to do it, but he was. He was very passionate about going his absolute hardest up that hill."

Lewis actually kidded White Jr. about the pace he ran up the hill. The probable future Hall of Fame member and eventual two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year poked fun at White, who was lighter and supposedly quicker than Lewis.

"He probably beat me two thirds of the time up the hill," White said, 'You can't let me beat you, you can't let me beat you,' White laughed while recounting Lewis' motivational taunts. "He had like 50 pounds on me. He let me know every time he beat me, and told me that I should be beating him because of the size difference."

White, now 29, worked out with Lewis about a dozen times that summer.

Those experiences had a dramatic impact on White, who went on to star as a fullback at Ohio State University, where he won a National Championship in 2002.

"My junior year at Gilman was my breakout season," said White, who owns Outsiders CrossFit gym in Sparks that opened in December. "I ended up getting 20 something college athletic scholarship offers after that season. (Working out with Lewis) was definitely one of those special moments you will always remember. It has gained importance as I look back over the years."

White's father, Stan White Sr., a former standout Baltimore Colts linebacker and current Ravens WBAL radio broadcaster, said the time his son spent with Lewis transformed the youngster's life.

"It led him to become a better football player and student," said White Sr., who also played for the Detroit Lions and the USFL's Chicago Blitz and Arizona Wranglers. "He saw the work ethic of Ray Lewis and what it took to be successful in football and life. It was work, work, work and never let up. He hit the weight room harder and started studying harder."

White Jr. said he thanked Lewis when he saw him at training camp a few months after Ohio State beat Lewis' alma mater, the University of Miami, in the national championship game.

"I had that moment after my freshman year," White said. "I went to a Ravens practice at (M&T Bank) Stadium. He brought me over and wanted to see my championship ring. He gave me a hug and said he was proud of me."

These days, White is focused on his business, which requires his attention 12 to 14 hours a day.

White left a job as an investment banking analyst to open the gym he co-owns it with his wife, Jessica.

CrossFit training is a mix of weight lifting, gymnastics and conditioning work.

"What made me think about Ray recently is, I have started training people myself," White said. "The first place I went back to before my business opened was that hill at Oregon Ridge. I got a group of my friends together and just started training people last summer."

Although the younger White's professional football career — he was an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals for five months in 2007 — pales in comparison to his dad's and Lewis,' he feels he's on the right track with his new enterprise.

White Sr., who used to co-own four gyms, cautioned his son about going into the fitness business.

"When you go open a gym from scratch, it's a big decision to make," he said. "But one thing he learned in life is that you are a lot more successful in things you like doing rather than what you have do."

White Jr. said he quickly won his 63-year-old father over as a new gym owner.

"He was hesitant at first for me to get into that industry," White Jr. said. "What really sold him? I taught him what CrossFit is and how it's different. It has impacted his life. He can now do sprints, which he couldn't do for several years."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Ray LewisFootballBaltimore RavensFitnessCrossFit, Inc.The Ohio State University
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