Throughout his life, Mike always knew that sports were going to be a big part of his life. While his goal was to play D3 baseball and possibly football in college, his passion for sports training and competition extended to ice hockey and track as well. It was during his team’s ice hockey championship game his junior year of high school, that his knee starting giving him issues but his commitment to the game, the team and the season kept him playing until the end. A knee dislocation, ligament repair surgery, an inability to bear weight on it for two-months and 10 months of physical therapy pretty much eliminated his chances of playing baseball in college.
Mike realized his dreams had to shift as he accepted his new reality. His time being a physical therapy client inspired him to study athletic training so he could help athletes prevent and rehabilitate from injuries. As a son of two doctors he figured he would then pursue medicine and study orthopedic surgery. During his sophomore year of college, his whole perspective on life shifted, however, as he now mourned the loss of his younger brother.
The thing that truly helped Mike overcome this tragic loss was rediscovering his love and passion for surfing. Since Mike was a young child, the ocean was his happiest place. After Mike had returned from a surf trip after his sophomore year at Miami he made it his goal to combine his knowledge and skills as an athletic trainer and passion for surfing into a career after he graduated rather than become a surgeon.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Mike was able to follow his passion working for a surf company that runs trips in all different parts of the world. Mike spent 3 months in South Africa working as surf instructor and athletic trainer helping anyone on the trip with injuries they suffered and creating training programs to improve their surfing. After returning, Mike then went to Costa Rica where he would spend the next 7 months developing his skills as a surf instructor. He worked with people of all ages and found it extremely rewarding teaching others and sharing his love of surfing and the ocean with others. He loved seeing the joy on a child’s face as they caught their first wave, the accomplishment of an adult working hard to overcome a fear of the ocean, and helping a more experienced surfer improve on their goals.
After working in a non-conventional setting, he realized he wanted to go deeper into exercise programming and so decided to go on to get a masters degree in exercise physiology. He had seen the importance of the strength coaches and athletic trainers working together and realized that the best ones had a background in both fields. His knowledge of surfing helps him work with current older clients because surfing is meditative and you have to be in tune with yourself as well as connect and adapt to the outside world.
Mike’s mission is helping others to return from injury faster and be able to continue doing activity much longer in life. He wants to make sure to provide a thorough and holistic program to help people recover fully, stronger and be able to be back at full capacity without injury or worry of injury.
Mike now works at Cruz Country Fitness and Physical Therapy as an Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach. He is also a lifeguard and swim instructor. He is also currently pursuing his Master’s of Education in Exercise Physiology with a focus in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Miami. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Athletic Training and a minor in Psychology also from UM. He is also a licensed Athletic Trainer in Florida.