Dedicated Cyclist Story of Extraordinary Human Spirit
Click image to view: Dedicated Cyclist Tony McConaghy- 4 Weeks of Inspiration
Dedicated Cyclist Tony McConaghy- 4 Weeks of Inspiration
The Story of a Dedicated Cyclist Inspiring 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 and a dedicated cyclist. I mean a person tested to the max who prevails 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 fifty, he could no longer continue living without arresting the condition. His condition 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.
When he barely began to recuperate from the back surgery, he was diagnosed with cancer and given a fifty percent 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. We define who we truly are when faced with adversity.
Dedicated Cyclist Lives to Ride His Bicycle Again
Against the odds, Tony surprised his doctor and was released to start exercising again. He was out of the woods–this time. However, he knew that after nine malignant lymphomas, there was no guarantee that cancer would not return.
No Greater a Dedicated Cyclist who Spent Four Weeks at the Live-in Fitness Biking Retreat
Physicians 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 was 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 was for later. With chemo ports still in place, he racked his bike and drove from his home in Albuquerque to Debra’s residential fitness and biking retreat in 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.
A Dedicated Cyclist and a Centurion
Tony’s physicians claim that the only reason he survived nine 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 Debra Stefan fitness residence.
At Debra’s 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. Debra’s bikes are single speed beach cruisers and 26” mountain bikes. The stability and safety offered by both these bicycles along with muscle activation make an ideal choice.
Tony agreed with the training logic and quickly began to see improvements. Soon he ordered himself a mountain bike for training rides at home. He would enjoy his road bike only after accomplishing so many rides on my bikes. He soon believed in 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 two months, he underwent extensive stem cell treatments. His release from treatment was just in time to spend the 2013 Christmas holiday with his family. He pulled through but then suffered a stroke soon after. 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.
Last Ride as a Dedicated Cyclist
A dedicated cyclist, Tony McConaghy, passed away on October 6, 2014, two years after this testimonial video was made.
See his story of faith and love of biking that prolonged his life just two more years. 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 Debra’s biking retreat video. The video shows the 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. Feel free to give tribute to Tony in your comments. Thanks for reading the tribute to Tony McConaghy–a dedicated cyclist.
Debra is a fitness speaker/educator, group fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, jump rope coach, and master yoga teacher with professional fitness experience since 1971. Her fitness courses received university accreditation and professional development for educators. She is the 2020 Educator of the Year for the League of American Bicyclists. Outdoor biking is a year-round daily activity at the Debra Stefan Fitness Residence. Six-pack seekers to seniors and morbidly obese find the private fitness residence to be "home away from home." See Debra's VegasFitness1 YouTube video channel for actual client adventures in the pursuit of wellness. https://www.youtube.com/vegasfitness1