Dedicated Cyclist Story of Extraordinary Human Spirit
Dedicated Cyclist Tony McConaghy- 4 Weeks of Inspiration
This is the story of a dedicated cyclist who inspired so many who witnessed his plight.
It is not every day that we have a chance to see a truly extraordinary example of the human spirit. I mean a person that has been tested to the max and who has prevailed in the direst of circumstances. When that person comes into your life you cannot help but be changed by knowing them.
Tony McConaghy suffered debilitating physical pain from scoliosis that had plagued him since birth. By the time he was 50 he could no longer continue living without arresting the condition. This required extensive surgery to have rods put in to reinforce his spine. Hiking mountains and cycling hundreds of miles were Tony’s chosen lifestyle. His entire identity hinged on being extremely active. The day came when the pain was too great for him to overcome. Here is a man of tremendous will and determination.
Tony had barely begun to recuperate from the back surgery when he was diagnosed with cancer and given a 50% chance of survival. After months of radiation treatments, Tony’s strong faith in God pulled him through. His children, employees, and extended family of friends all witnessed Tony’s courageous fight for life. It has been said that we define whom we truly are when faced with adversity.
Dedicated Cyclist to Ride Again
Against the odds, he surprised his doctor and was released to start exercising again. He was out of the woods–this time. However, he knew that after 9 malignant lymphomas that manifested, there was no guarantee that cancer would not return.
This Dedicated Cyclist Spent 4 Weeks at my live-in fitness residence.
The doctor told Tony that he would need minor surgery to remove his chemotherapy ports that were still in his chest. That would mean stitches and recovery. His main priority would be regaining lost muscle and cardio. He knew that if he was to build his immunity against cancer returning, there were workouts to be done. The port removal would have to be done later. With chemo ports still in place, he racked his bike and drove from his home in Albuquerque to my residential fitness retreat here in the Southern Nevada. For one month Tony fueled himself on faith, determination, and the will to build up his body and immune system. His goal was two-fold: first to regain his robust physical fitness for the activities he so enjoys, and secondly to be strong enough to survive if his cancer returned. See his video testimonial showing these monumental efforts.
He was a dedicated cyclist. He was a centurion.
Tony was told by his physicians that the only reason he survived 9 malignant tumors was that he was a dedicated cyclist. He was a centurion. Naturally, he couldn’t wait to get back into the saddle again. Tony loaded up his favorite road bike and drove straight through to the Las Vegas Valley where he arrived at my fitness residence.
At my house, you will find a garage stocked with over 20 well-maintained bicycles. Not one of them is a road bike. The reason being that fitness is the goal, not competition. Focus on fitness first and the competitive rides will be easier. My bikes are single speed beach cruisers and 26” mountain bikes. The stability and safety offered by both these bikes along with muscle activation make this an ideal choice.
Tony agreed with the training logic and quickly began to see improvements. Soon he ordered his own mountain bike for training rides at home. His road bike was enjoyed only after accomplishing so many rides on my bikes. He was convinced of the benefit and reported his best road times ever. Weekly calls reported personal bests in all his efforts from rides to pull-ups and push-ups.
A year and a half later, cancer returned. Tony was a fearless warrior. Living at the Mayo Clinic for 2 months, he underwent extensive stem cell treatments. He was released from treatment in time to spend the 2013 Christmas holiday with his family. He has pulled through but then suffered a stroke. Grateful to see his family and friends again before returning to Mayo Clinic, he praised God.
Those who witness the living testimony like this one will surely be changed. There is power in hearing this story and it must be shared.
Tony’s Last Ride as a Dedicated Cyclist
He pulled through until October 6th, 2014, when he passed on as an unforgettable friend to all who knew him. See him smiling on his bike in my bike camp video. The video shows highlights of many client rides. However, there is one dedicated cyclist that lives on in our hearts and memories. See Tony in the middle of the trio featured in the YouTube thumbnail. Look for him at 3:56 through 4:03 on the video timeline. Feel free to give tribute to Tony in your comments. Thanks for reading my tribute to Tony McConaghy–a dedicated cyclist.