My Brave Story
Name: Mike Ringsdorf
Diagnosis: Carcinoid Cancer (rare cancer)
Years of Survivorship: 10
Location: Highland Village, Texas
How has running or staying physically active affected your cancer journey?
Originally, I must give myself a demerit as I gave up exercise and had a poor outlook on life. I gained weight and made excuses to avoid exercise and eating healthy. My wife and doctor gave me several lectures. I now exercise daily and my outlook on life has dramatically improved.
I am pretty excited as at age 51, I am in the best shape of my life. By getting in shape, I am a better spouse, brother, son and most importantly dad. My work performance has also excelled.
What advice do you have for people on staying fit throughout their cancer treatment or recovery?
It’s going to be a slow process and that is okay. Do not rush, but get started. Build upon each day to seek slight improvement.
I still remember when I started each recovery. It started with one lap of my floor in the hospital. When I got home, I worked up-to a slow 1 mile walk. Now, I run half marathons and am in training for a full marathon. I always remind myself it is not how you start, but how you finish.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments since being diagnosed with cancer?
I feel like my cancer diagnosis gave me a 2nd chance and I don’t take that lightly. My proudest accomplishment is just being a better person. Before cancer, I had stopped learning and trying new things. Now, I am always seeking ways to improve personally and professionally. I now realize that life is precious and not to take it for granted. Celebrate those little moments, take trips and spend time with family.
How has Gabe's story impacted you or changed the way you view life as a cancer patient/survivor?
Gabe is awesome and she motivates me daily. It is not easy to share so openly and she does it with grace. Her strength has made me more comfortable talking about my situation. It also challenges me to stay with my training program as she is an elite athlete who is fighting to continue her training. If she can do that and more, I should be able to complete my weekend warrior training. Her cause makes me realize that I can do more to help others and I also need to do my part. I am excited for the future and hopefully will be able to meet her one day.
What are you most looking forward to in the near future?
Grandmas Marathon (06/16/18). I ran this event 20 years ago and I want to go back to celebrate life and reflect on the last 20 years. Like everyone, I have had many ups and downs, but I feel like I was given another opportunity at life and I want to cherish that. This time, my two brothers plan to join me and I could not be more excited. When running a Marathon, they say you need two goals. My 1st goal is to beat my brothers and my stretch goal is to qualify for Boston!
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you?
I grew up in a small town in Iowa, married my High School Sweetheart and graduated from Iowa State University. We have now been married for 29 awesome years and live in Texas. Sue is dedicated to her blog www.suebeehomemaker.com! We make a good team. She likes to cook and I like to eat. I am the proud father of two boys as Josh is a Junior at Texas Tech and Zach is a Senior at Marcus High School. My family means everything to me……