Ryan Crain: Wisdom From the Well
Photo by Quit Nguyen
When We Take A Hard Look In The Collective Mirror, it may seem that the “state of our state” is a wee bit onthe pudge-riffic side and that much of our notoriety involves waist-to-knees camera angles during news reports about America’s bulging waist lines.
We found the refreshing exception in Ryan Crain, a wellness and fitness expert at Devon Energy in Oklahoma City who was nothing short of inspirational. When he’s not helping other Oklahomans develop major life-enhancing habits, Crain travels throughout the U.S. for Devon, helping the company’s field employees benefit from his fit advice.
Where did you grow up?
Do you still live in Mustang?
I live in downtown OKC and I love it. It takes me three minutes to walk to work.
… but 25 minutes to get to Super Target. How do you get by?
That’s the one thing people who live downtown complain about – we need some grocery stores!
What was your first paying job?
My first job was working for my dad in the oil and gas landman business. I pulled files and made copies. It was pretty monotonous.
What is your actual job title at Devon?
Field-site Fitness Specialist.
“Field Site” makes me think you’re traveling to remote areas.
That’s exactly right. About half the time, I’m out in the field, working on wellness education with our field employees in some very remote locations where we drill in the U.S. What I love about Devon is that the company places a huge emphasis on field employees and invests a lot of time and resources into their well-being, and I love the relationships I’ve been able to build with those employees.
Does Devon make you say that?
What inspired you to pursue this line of work?
When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to become a professional baseball star, I decided I wanted to work in some area of wellness and fitness.
Did you think you’d play baseball professionally when you were younger?
When I was a kid, I did, but I think of the job I have now as a dream job.
Does Devon make you say that?
What would you change about this job?
I’d get rid of the donuts at our field locations!
What lessons did your parents teach by example?
1.) Honesty first; 2.) Be smart with your money; 3.) Modesty and humility.
What advice would you put inside a fortune cookie?
You get one chance at life; leave your legacy.
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope the people I teach will take the things I taught them, look back and say I helped them become a better version of themselves.
What do you wish you were better at saying “no” to?
Chocolate chip cookies – they’re my weakness.
What do you wish you’d started doing long before now?
I wish I had pushed myself harder physically.
What should people learn to do?
The right way to do squats and the right way to eat well.
What are you currently learning to do?
I’ve been diving deeper into my own nutrition and studying it more.
Do you like any particular book on that subject?
There’s a good one called “Primal Body, Primal Mind” by Nora Gedgaudas. It’s excellent.
What philosophies about life do you truly believe?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in hard work over luck.
What’s not all it’s cracked up to be?
Traveling! It sounds great, but there are delayed flights, canceled flights, hours in the airport …
You’d be the perfect person to write a book about making smart choices in airport food courts!
That’s one thing I try to encourage people to do. When I’m going on an extended trip, I really limit myself to the food I prepare beforehand and I take it with me.
What do you take?
If I’m gone for a week, for example, I take 18 hard-boiled eggs, four to six chicken breasts, one or two boxes of protein bars and a pound of almonds.
What are you most grateful for?
My family. They mean the world to me.
How many siblings do you have?
An older sister and two younger brothers.
Where are you most likely to be on a Friday night?
At Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth, watching my younger brother play baseball for TCU.
What bump in the road turned out to be a blessing in your life?
I was working in St. Louis several years ago and loved the city, but I ended up leaving my job there. I moved back to OKC and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made.
What do you recommend to Oklahomans for adopting a better state of being?
Step away from the donuts and adopt a lifestyle of strength training with regular aerobic activity.