Linebacker Ray Lewis has recently taken up a second job aside from his position leading the Ravens' defense.
For one night a week, Lewis has been working out with Baltimore City police officers, putting them through a scaled-down version of one of his typical routines.
Every Tuesday during the season, which is the players' only day off, Lewis and trainer Monte Sanders of Optimum Fitness go to the Baltimore Public Safety Training Facility on West Northern Parkway to lead the cops in their fitness regimen.
And Lewis is loving the experience.
"I don't do it to get them to keep up with me," he said. "I do it to help them. I put them through it. I would do this with my trainer anyway with regular people. It's one of the greatest blessings ever because of the lives we're effecting."
Judging by the heaving chests and sweat-drenched shirts, the officers are really working.
In a large gym where "House of Pain" hangs on a plaque above the entrance, Lewis begins each session with everyone joining hands in prayer, and then puts the students through the ringer.
Countless ladder drills, suicide runs on the basketball court, jump ropes and core-centered exercises are done.
When he's not shouting encouragement – "Bring your arms!" "Who wants it more?" "Mind, body, spirit!" – Lewis joins in.
"Physically is what your body can do, but it's about what you train your mind to do," said Lewis. "You start off on prayer and release all doubts, all worry, all fear. Then, when you do come back, you come back as one. I push them to boost their spirits and minds, and then the body will follow."
This all began when Lewis approached the police and Commissioner Fred Bealefeld looking to hold a clinic focused on getting the officers fit. The event has since blossomed into a weekly stress reliever and great way to break a sweat.
"I talked with the Commissioner about how to make this city better, and I told him, 'You guys should come out to my camp," said Lewis. "'I'll do a private one for you. If you're the ones protecting us, then why not relieve some stress and create a bond with fellowship?'"
In fact, Bealefeld came to one of the sessions in uniform. Last Tuesday, he was in street clothes sprinting, jumping and crunching with his fellow officers.
When asked about his reaction to Lewis' involvement, Bealefeld related it to his line of work.
"It's like anything that is worthwhile doing," Bealefeld said. "It's difficult, but it makes you stronger. If you're not a cop, you don't know about the service, and Ray knows that just as the Ravens need to succeed with something that is bigger than individual parts. It is really about team.
"For us, the success for what we do translates into people being safe. We get in better shape and can do more jumping jacks and lose a few pounds, it's all good. But in the end, we're just trying to make the city safer. We'll take all the help we can get. I don't know a better guy that can help us in this aspect than our guy, Ray. Can anybody argue that Ray Lewis is not the best in his field? If they can, I'd like to see who that is."
In the most recent workout, Lewis paid special attention to Bealefeld, leading him through the drills just as he would any rookie.
At the evening's conclusion, Lewis said he was impressed with the dedication of everyone, especially Bealefeld.
"If you see a man that will put that much effort into working out, you know that's a man that will put the most effort into making our city safe," he said with a big smile. "It doesn't get any better. You can get many rewards in the world, but it's great to reward the people that give so much to our city.
"It's just like the armed forces. We can't thank them enough for what they do, so if we can do something small for the people that are serving our city, why not do it? I have to give to that cause."