Grind for Life:

Goals, Gold and a little more

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Knoxville, TN.

Tyson Park in Knoxville TN Photo: @dani_mayy

Tyson Park in Knoxville TN Photo: @dani_mayy

 

A few weeks ago our family and the Desmonds made the trip from Sunny South Florida to an even sunnier Knoxville, Tennessee. All of us traveled to this Grind for Life contest in hopes of bringing a little victory back home. Unexpectedly, we a little more than trophies home.


 

Scotty the body & Mike Rodgers at the Grind for Life tent.

Scotty the body & Mike Rogers at the Grind for Life tent.

At a venue like Tyson Park you must bring basic commodities like a cooler, picnic blanket, sunscreen, snacks and water, lots of it. As you know a true trip isn’t complete without forgetting the essentials! Despite the late night run to Wal Mart on Friday our boys  ready to go Saturday morning. While everyone was setting up their tents and checking in with registration, I B-lined my way to the Grind for Life tent. Yes, we have been to plenty of GFL events and did our research on what it’s all about.

 

This day, well, it was very different from other days at GFL events. That day I had just been informed Grind for Life was joining us on the Road to Radness. Mike Rogers, the founder, was willing to invest in Daytime Radness and the family we were supporting. Rogers is in it to benefit a family that he doesn’t well but knows what challenges they have been facing against cancer from personal experience. Knowing this, I wanted to know more about his foundation and his outlook on the future of GFL.

Sure, any of us can Google search the “GFL Mission”, but there is nothing better than hearing someone’s vision. A vision tells you where the person’s heart is at.  Aside from providing financial assistance to his recovery, he now gives back to cancer patients and their families. Rogers wants to inspire, bring awareness, and recovery. As a two-time survivor, Mike knows a thing or two about what it takes to truly create an motivating atmosphere for recovery.

Not only did Mike share his vision but he showed his enthusiasm. As a matter a fact, he is already on his way to make his vision a reality.


Daniela Mayorga:

These GFL events are awesome. Where did the unique idea for a non-profit, like GFL, begin?

Mike Rogers:

GFL started out has a benefit to help me get back on my feet in 2003. So after the benefit we started GFL to help educate and inspire people about cancer survival in recovery with my story and Help People with Cancer Who are Traveling A Long Way for Treatments

Mike Rodgers, two time cancer survivor.

Mike Rogers, two time cancer survivor.

DM:

So you were telling me about your vision of opening a cancer patient recovery spot right on the beach. What are you planning to accomplish there?

 MR:

Yes, Grind for Life working on doing a wellness house in Cocoa Beach for cancer patients who are finishing treatments. We will have yoga instructors, skateboard instructors, surf instructors and a nutritionist to help action sports people get back on their feet with great wellness tips. Wellness is happiness.

 

Mike Rodgers visiting cancer patients.

Mike Rogers visiting cancer patients

DM: What’s the most profound testimony you’ve heard from someone who’s been impacted by GFL?

MR:

They can not believe skateboarders are helping them get to the treatments they need . Thank you everybody for supporting Grind for Life.

 

 

DM:

What’s the most valuable lesson, life has taught you as a cancer survivor?

MR:

Being healthy is everything and wellness is happiness.

GFL shows love

GFL shows love

 

DM: If you could sum up your experience as the founder of GFL in one word, what would it be?

MR:

Love

 

 

Mike participates in GFL events. Photo: @andymac720

Mike participates in GFL events. Photo: @andymac720

DM: Ready for the Road to Daytime Radness 2016?!

MR:

Yes we are . I have been doing events with Island Water Sports in Deerfield since 1985 . IWS, great people doing great things in the community for many years. Thank you for all you do . See You There . Keep ripping my friends!

 


Hearing the difference each of our Day Time Radness supporters, like GFL, can individually do is humbling. It’s overwhelming and exciting to see our support system build. GFL taking a part in our event was last thing I wanted to keep a secret from anyone. This weekend I saw the skate community from a different lens. This community is close knit where it matters most. Maybe as an outsider it seems a bit rough around the edges, or even difficult to penetrate a social circle like that of the skate world, but once you’re in you are family. Seeing individuals, non-profits, and businesses come together for the Hager Family is one of the most astounding series of events I’ve witnessed in the many years of Daytime Radness.

Noah Nagaro and Roman Desmond take home some gold!

Noah Nagaro and Roman Desmond take home some gold!

 

As the sun continued to beat down on Knoxville, so did the Floridian skaters on the concrete. Noah Nagaro, IWS team rider, took home 1st for the 9 & Under Street division. While Roman Desmond, IWS local shredder, took home 1st for the 13-39 Bowl division. They were accompanied by other Floridian’s like Jonah Clark, Jake Yanko, Samantha Narvez, Jeff Wolcott, and the man of the hour himself, Mike Rogers. Congrats everyone!

 

Starting our day in prayer and ending it with gratitude we were able to say we took more than gold home. We learned a little bit about life’s ups and downs and how a person’s “down” moment has turned multiple lives around.

 

Learn more about Mike’s testimony here.