Successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Mike Ray was living the life, traveling the world to share his principles of business success and surrounded by a loving family of six children and his wife, Lynette. However in 2013, life threw Mike for a spin. Here is their story.
While traveling in England to celebrate his eldest daughter’s graduation, Mike had a series of strokes which caused him to lose 25 percent of his brain function and experience full paralysis of his right side.
Lynette shares that Mike has never seen limitations to human ability; that even in the face of this new challenge, Mike always viewed his glass as completely full.
That world-view proved priceless as Mike worked determinedly through many hours, days, weeks and months of therapy. While Mike worked unflaggingly to regain strength, balance and function, the Ray family discovered the National Ability Center – which became a source of resilience and healing for the whole family.
At the National Ability Center, Mike re-learned how to ride a bike using a recumbent tandem cycle on the many paths and roads surrounding the National Ability Center. Eventually, Mike’s coach Alex passed Mike the handle bars so he could begin to steer and develop the muscle memory crucial to being able to later drive a car and ride independently.
Within a month, Mike was riding his own recumbent cycle and training to complete the 18-mile course in the National Ability Center’s 2015 Summit Challenge. But, he didn’t stop pedaling… Mike continued to set goals for himself – and his family, bringing them along with him for a Family Camp on the slopes of Park City that winter, then taking adaptive horseback riding lessons with his youngest daughter.
Ever the teacher, Mike is now showing his family, and all of us at the National Ability Center, the power of positivity, goal setting and deliberate training. After completing his first 5K run and competing in a mini triathlon thanks to an adaptive cycle rented from our fleet, he is currently training with the National Ability Center to nearly triple his distance in the 2016 Summit Challenge. We can’t wait to cheer him on as he conquers the 52-mile course, complete with the grueling climb up Brown’s Canyon on August 27.