Prevail Racing History
Michael’s launch into ultra-cycling was not planned. It started out as a desperate desire to move from a place of illness to a place of wellness. When he first started cycling, he had never even heard of ultra-cycling and would have considered anyone who wanted to ride a bike for 24+ hours totally insane! He started just to get a little exercise, but it has turned into so much more. Michael’s journey and testimony are quite inspiring, and you will come to understand the name “Prevail” Racing.
In 2006, Michael’s health suddenly changed, and he was first diagnosed with prostatitis. He was treated with strong antibiotics for over a year, but the symptoms continued. In 2007 he saw a specialist and they found a 2 ½” cancerous tumor in his bladder. Within days he went to the operating room to have this tumor removed, and a 2-year fight against this scourge began. The cancer kept coming back, with more tumors being removed every 3 to 6 months. During this time, Michael’s doctor spoke to him about eating better or exercising. Michael had smoked cigarettes for 14 years in his teens and twenties and was told this was the source of the cancer.
After 2 years of surgery every three months, the doctors tried a treatment that worked to stop the bladder cancer, but the troubles were not over. Within months of being free from bladder cancer Michael was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He went back into surgery and the problem was removed. The doctors all still failed to suggest lifestyle changes pertaining to diet and exercise.
The cancer is a small part of the backstory in Michael’s journey. During those years, he faced many other challenges – loss of business, divorce, raising his daughter, etc. Michael’s faith saw him through these challenges, but the catalyst for real change was yet to come.
In December of 2012 Michael was having joint pain in his hands. As a carpenter/builder, being sore and tired was not unusual, but the joint pain was concerning. During the initial doctors visit there were several concerns that came to light. Michael was overweight, had dangerously high cholesterol, various vitamin deficiencies, and an elevated RA factor. The doctors diagnosed him with rheumatoid arthritis. Michael had another challenge to face. RA concerned Michael probably more than the cancer because he works with his hands. The doctors told him to start a low-fat diet and exercise. This is where the first bicycle enters the story.
Michael took this diagnosis to heart and set off to overcome this new challenge. He stopped consuming processed sugar and red meat and started riding a bike for exercise. Over a period of months, the diet progressed to a complete whole food plant-based diet and he was riding the bike further and further. Within 6 months he had lost 50lbs, was off all medications, and had completed his first century ride.
The step into ultra-distance racing evolved naturally from there. Racing requires proper nutrition and training, which fit Michael’s goals to get to a place of health and fitness. The journey has caught the attention of a lot of his friends as they watched the transformation from overweight, unfit, and unhealthy to a place of health and fitness. Michael hopes that his story will motivate others to take their health seriously and make the changes in lifestyle that will get them there. Anyone can be better; anyone can improve their health. It does not matter how old you are, how out of shape you are, it only matters that you make the choice to change and take charge of your health.
When Michael was searching for a name for his racing adventures, he asked friends for suggestions and Prevail was presented. The definition of Prevail is, “prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious.” Michael has had some opposing forces that could have gotten the better of him if not for his desire to “be victorious.” Michael hopes that he can inspire people to make changes in their life that make a difference in their health and overall wellbeing.
Eat well, exercise regularly, strengthen your relationship with God, and live an abundant life! Let’s go ride a bike!!!