As a young child, Michael loved participating in a variety of organized sports, but also just enjoyed being active. Using his bicycle as a means of transportation and exploration, Michael kept active throughout his youth. He also swam well enough to lifeguard throughout his high school and college experiences. It was high school wrestling, though, that taught Michael to devote himself fully to a sport and to live the lifestyle necessary to compete at the highest levels. As a high school wrestler, Michael learned that managing his nutrition, training and his weight would allow him to compete at the level he dreamed of.
After graduating from college, it was important to Michael that he stay active. The youngest of five children, Michael began to follow in his sister’s footsteps having seen her compete in marathons and triathlons. Michael’s first triathlon was an offroad-sprint distance triathlon in Bloomington, Illinois in the fall of 2004. That’s all it took for Michael to get hooked on the sport of competitive triathlon racing.
Over the course of the next four years, Michael continued to build his endurance and increase his distance in order to compete in longer triathlons. By the fall of 2008, he was ready to compete in his first Iron distance triathlon. But after completing that race, Michael suffered from what he describes as the “post Ironman blues,” and stopped training and eating as well as he had in order to compete. By the spring of 2010, Michael had reached 190 pounds and knew it was time for a change.
The desire to compete at an even higher level drove Michael to a turning point in his life. Michael quit drinking alcohol, registered for an ironman to take place on September 11, 2011, and committed for changing his life for the better. It paid off. He completed the Ironman Wisconsin feeling strong and more dedicated to the sport than ever.
Over the course of the next two years, Michael completed two more ironman distance triathlons in Couer d’Alene, Idaho and Lake Placid, New York, as well as several shorter triathlons.
As his competitive edge grew, Michael built an incredible base of support, necessary for anyone looking to meet goals and exceed their own expectations. It was endurance sports that allowed Michael to meet the woman that his now his wife. Michael also credits his mother, mother-in-law, siblings, college friends, and the Springfield Triathlon Community for keeping him motivated and on track to achieve his successes. His family and friends often travel with Michael to events, going as far as to even schedule a family reunion around his first Olympic Distance Triathlon in Innsbrook, MO. Family and friends celebrate his successes and help to raise his spirits when a race doesn’t go as planned. He’s even been joined on the running portion for stretches by his niece.
As Michael’s commitment to the sport of ironman distance triathlons has grown, so as his success. In 2014, he was selected as the Springfield Triathlon Club’s Triathlete of the Year and in 2015, Michael competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Zell, a race he calls, “the experience of a lifetime!” That particular race took him through a swim in a mountain lake, a bike ride up and over a mountain, and through a footrace on old cobblestone streets alongside the greatest athletes in the world.
Michael’s not done. In May 2017, he qualified for the 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, TN in a qualifying race in St. George, UT’s mountainous terrain.
Next week, FitClub will continue to celebrate the success of its own Michael Dwyer and explore the training plans that got him here, how he stays focused, and what his goals are for the World Championships! The lessons and stories that Michael graciously shared with FitClub can motivate anyone to chase their own goals!