Making a Team With an Unstoppable Dream

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastics 4:12

Mike McCaskill and his trainer Lisa Burch.
Mike McCaskill and his trainer Lisa Burch.

I never thought in a million years that losing massive weight would affect so many people around me.  I never thought in a million years I would become an active athlete.  I never thought in a million years I would be going through personal trainer school to teach others how to experience life better.  I never thought in a million years that I would be sitting here writing this blog.  There are so many people that God brings into our lives that can weave a tread of life-giving energy that if you are on the right path can change your life dramatically for the better.  One of those threads for me is my friend Lisa.  She has this unbelievable spark of energy that can light up a room.  Without her I would not have lost the weight I so desired for so long to get under control.  She started as my nurse and became a sister to me and a great teammate to defeat my obesity.  She also is an awesome prayer partner and is an incredible prayer warrior.  As the above verse talks about a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.  The third part of the team is the most important and that is God.  God weaves out a team for a greater purpose than the people involved have yet to understand.

Composite of my transformation from 449 lbs to 207 lbs.
Composite of my transformation from 449 lbs to 207 lbs.

The next part of this story is as I lost 242 pounds; Lisa continues as a nurse, but has made her main focus personal training.  She had developed a passion for helping people overcome any health issue with exercise and proper nutrition.  God weaved another person into our lives to bring about another passion, not only to help others overcome their health issues, but help them overcome financial burdens that will be a part of those health issues.  Mike McCaskill needed a trainer and found Lisa through Bike World here in Memphis.  Mike was 40 pounds overweight and had a desire to get himself into shape for a long distance bike ride.  He had lost his son Michael T. from cancer.  Michael T’s good friend Jonathan Pait whom God weaved into Mike’s life started a Ride For Mike in 2007, at the time Mike did not think much about it other than it was a nice gesture to honor Michael T.  Mike would support Jonathan financially for each ride over the next couple of years and then in 2009 realize as he put it, “the magnitude” of Jonathan’s efforts when he saw a pennant with his son’s name on it from video that was shot of the ride.  They then talked about the 2010 Ride For Mike and it was going to be off the chain.

The 2010 Ride For Mike was not just about riding for the cancer that killed Mike, but for what Mike’s life and passion was all about.  He was a youth minister.  The ride for 2010 was going to be a 700-mile bike from Memphis, TN to Greenville, SC on to Raleigh, NC.  It was to be done in 7 days, unreal.  Mike rode with him in a car as he did this for 50-60 miles and after he left Jonathan behind, he came back to Memphis a changed man.  He was determined to get himself into shape and to join Jonathan on his next Ride For Mike.  Lisa trained him well as she always does and he was able to go from a half a mile bike ride, “feeling like he was going to pass out, “to doing 50 of the 220 miles Jonathan did.  She did the same for me; I went from walking 5 minutes with oxygen to running a half-marathon within a 2-year period.  Mike and I made the correct choices we had to, to get ourselves back into shape.  Thanks to our friend Lisa and most importantly God, we were blessed to achieve our goals.  Mike went on this past year to do 100 miles for his son’s memory and to raise money for the I Do It For Foundation.  This is a charity that can be used for all areas to help those in need.

Mike and Lisa and some members of Team Low Cadence finishing the "Century."
Mike and Lisa and some members of Team Low Cadence finishing the “Century.”

God came full circle on this one.  Lisa would tell me different things about what was happening to the Foundation and the Ride For Mike, but I really to be honest didn’t know what to think about it.  I thought it sounded awesome and I prayed because she asked me to, but I really didn’t understand what it was all about until I sat down a couple of days before the 100 miles or century as it’s called, that Mike was going to do.  I came away after I read the story I just told you and seeing the passion in my friend, thinking wow, what an awesome cause; what love and what passion Mike McCaskill and Jonathan had for Michael T.  It awoke in me my own passion.  I wanted to be a part of this, but I really wasn’t much of a biker, I was more of a runner.  Lisa pointed out to me in one conversation that I didn’t have to be a biker, but I could be a runner on this team.

John Maxwell has a great book out there called Teamwork Makes The Dream Work.  I don’t share this story to tell you how awesome we are, but how it has taken other people in our lives to bring about change.  This story is really about how awesome God is by bringing likeminded people together.  We did make correct choices, but God was steering us on the correct path.  God by weaving us together is making a dream of one man a dream for a whole team.  The main motivation of that dream is love of others, not of ourselves, there is no selfish motivation.  That is why this team will succeed in that dream because it’s a God driven dream.  This year we are doing here in Memphis a Run, Bike, Fun event.  It’s a 5K run, a 30 or 50 mile bike ride and an adventure race.  We are praying for a 1000 people to be a part of this event.  Our team Low Cadence’s heart and soul is that being active will make you a better person.  We want to promote an active lifestyle to show that people with other people can overcome.

September 14, 2013 at the Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee.
September 14, 2013 at the Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee.

Mike McCaskill could have given up on life.  I could have gave up the fight, but we had Lisa in the mix saying dreams come true.  God’s love weaves a positive triple-braided cord into our lives that cannot be broken or stopped and success is only an encouraging word away.  The fabric of our life is made stronger when God weaves these positive influences in our lives to achieve a greater purpose and that’s to glorify God in all we do.  Teamwork not only makes the dream work, but if love is tossed in there, it’s unstoppable.

For team information go to:

© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow!! What powerful testmonies!! So inspiring and encouraging. And, SO TRUE. Awesome post, David!

    1. asd539 says:

      Thanks Bethany, our hope is our story will get people motivated to come to our event. We are praying for 1000 people or more to make it yearly. 🙂

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