Mucker Q&A – Michael Fagone, Team Pat’s Muckers, MuckFest MS Boston
Our next guest blog post is from Michael Fagone, a MuckFest® MS Boston Participant. Michael’s mom battled multiple sclerosis for 46 years of her life. After she passed away from melanoma, he was inspired by her strength and courage during her battle with MS and took control of his health – and lost 240 pounds in the process. MuckFest MS was his very first running event of any kind, and his team, Pat’s Muckers, is back (up from just him and his trainer, Jason, in 2013 to 23 and growing in 2014!).
Left: Jason, Michael’s trainer. Right: Michael Fagone .
Q) What made you decide to register for MuckFest MS?
I can still remember the day that I received an email from the National MS Society talking about an event they had called MuckFest MS that was coming to Boston. I mentioned the event to my trainer, Jason, who has done similar events in the past. He immediately said, “I will do it with you if you want.” I responded that I wasn’t looking to do it, it was way above my abilities, and that I was just telling him about it. He said that I could absolutely do it. But I wasn’t sold. I had never done a 5k or an obstacle run of any kind before. I was just coming off a significant weight loss and didn’t think I was ready for a challenge like that. In the following weeks, I could not stop thinking about it. Why couldn’t I do it? It would be a great way to honor my mom, who had battled MS for the majority of her life, and it would be a great challenge for me after my weight loss. I went back to my trainer and said, “Let’s sign up,” and we did. I told no one and made sure that he didn’t either because I was so nervous. But there was no turning back. I was going to do this for my mom and myself.
Q) Why do you support the National MS Society?
My mom was diagnosed with MS at the age of 16. She battled this disease for 46 years of her life. My sister and I grew up watching her struggle every day. Our lives just weren’t like those of our friends. See, we were luckier. Things that other kids took for granted, my sister and I never did. We saw what true strength, courage, and determination was. We saw it personified on a daily basis.
After my mom passed away from melanoma, I had to take a long look at my own life. I was at a dangerous weight and facing potential health risks. I decided it was time to turn my life around. I knew if I had even half of my mom’s determination, I could do it. Inspired by the courage and strength with which my mom faced her MS, I was able to lose 240 pounds. I also decided that I wanted to get involved with the National MS Society to honor my mom and to help other people who were impacted the way my mother was.
Michael and his mother.
Q) When was your first MuckFest MS event, and why do you continue to get mucky with us?
April 27, 2013, in Devens, MA was my first MuckFest MS event. It was so rewarding on so many levels. After I finished, I looked at my trainer and said, “I didn’t think I could do that.” He didn’t even hesitate and said, “I never doubted it for a second.” This year, we are bringing a team. I want to share the euphoria of crossing the finish line with other people who have never run an obstacle course like this before. I want to show people who think that they can’t, that they can. My mother never let MS stand in her way and taught me to let nothing stand in mine. This year we have named our team to honor my mom. Pat’s Muckers is going to bring it at MuckFest MS Boston 2014!
Michael and his mother.
Michael will be back with another post right before the Boston event, so check back to hear how his training and fundraising are going!