I’ve started a series called “Ascending Athletes”, which features people achieving great things in their lives and/or impacting the lives of others through athletics. I’m featuring athletes of all backgrounds, sports and skill levels. Everyone has a story to tell– whether a recreational or beginner just starting to work out or a hardcore athlete who is competing at an elite level. The goal of the Ascending Athlete series is to capture these stories and inspire others to seek similar challenges and rewards. If you would like to share your story or would like to nominate someone as an Ascending Athlete, please let me know. For more information about Ascend Sports Conditioning, visit our website.
Some people are just natural coaches and leaders. It’s one of those skills that is hard to learn– you either have it or you don’t. Mike Ferragamo is one of those guys who just has it. I know Mike from the high tech scene in the Boston area, having worked with him in a previous job. Wherever I’ve worked, I seemed to have established at least one good friendship that has endured over the years– and one of those has been with Mike. I not only respect Mike professionally for his leadership, but also for what he’s done in the athletic realm. I admire his dedication to sports, particularly running, and his love for inspiring others in the sport, including fundraising for charity. Mike has run in the Boston Marathon a few different times, both as an athlete, as well as a coach for Team in Training. Through his efforts, Mike has helped raise over $2 million dollars for Team and Training and Children’s Hospital in Boston. Consider joining Mike’s team, Miles for Miracles, to not only help raise your own personal fitness, but also raise money for a fantastic cause. Please visit Team in Training’s donation page or the donation page for Children’s Hospital if you’re interested in helping either organization in their fight.
Mike was kind enough to answer a few questions and help explain what makes him an Ascending Athlete:
Why are athletics important to you?
Athletics allow me to constantly challenge myself. I enjoy just getting out for a long run and being able to refelct on things and release any stress. Athletics also allow me to have a good balance of work, family and personal time.
What sports do you participate in?
Primarily running but also play golf and hockey regulary and try to mountain bike when time allows.
What is your major athletic goal(s)and/or events you are participating in for this year?
This year I will have run another 2 marathons (Providence & Baltimore) and countless other races. Because each race is different I always have to prepare for any type of race conditions while also putting in enough training to hit my time goals that I set for myself. I also strive each training season to have all of my runners complete their events. Why have you chosen this goal(s)?
What are some future goal(s) or event(s) you’d like to participate in?
I would like to run an ultra distance and participate in an Ironman at some point. I also think that being part of a team for one of the 24 hr races would be a blast.
What impact has your athletics had on the lives of others?
Ever since running my first marathon with Team in Training I was able to stay involved and over the past 6 years have trained close to a thousand runners who have raised over $2 million dollars for both Team in Training and Children’s Hospital Boston.
Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting
Growing up and up until the summer of 2002 the only running I would have done would have been associated with team sports. I never understood why people just went out to run. I used to see people running the river in the rain and say to myself “can’t you just skip a day or wait until the rain stops”. It is ironic because I will now run through any weather and I am sure people say the same thing about me when I am out there. Another interesting fact about me is that until I ran the Boston Marathon for the first time in 2004 I had never gone out to watch it.
Thanks to Mike for sharing his story and for inspiring others to improve their health & well-being while helping others in the process– he truly is an Ascending Athlete!