Dr. Mike isn’t the type of doctor that you’ll usually find at a typical Walk with a Doc event. Mike Wagner, PhD, has devoted decades of his life to teaching music education. In addition to his love of music, Mike has always been passionate about movement. In fact, passionate is an understatement. Mike was an avid runner for years and completed 10 different marathons. He was determined to live an active lifestyle the rest of his life, until that lifestyle was threatened when he developed lower back issues.
Mike underwent back surgery and had two of his vertebrae fused together. Rather than give up on the active lifestyle that he enjoyed, Mike chose to simply trade running for walking and reap all the unexpected benefits that have come with it. Mike is currently in his eighties and he does not let anything slow him down or get in his way.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Mike has published a book titled Stumbling Forward: A Life, which shares his philosophy of life. Mike beautifully shares his story, as he says:
“Stumbling Forward is a metaphor for how our life SHOULD work. I ran for thirty years (well, jogged, slogged and trudged), including 10 marathons. My life’s mantra has been, “Move forward.” I’ve fallen down spectacularly at times, as well. When my L4 & L5 vertebrae needed to be fused in 2010, I could no longer jog. So, I walked. I’m 80 and still briskly walking, and trying to beat yesterday’s time. In so many ways I believe in “stumbling forward.” Do it professionally, do it in loving relationships, and of course, do it on the road or path in front of you. If you can’t stumble, waddle! WWAD is the perfect place to find, inspire, and stumble with people of a like mind. To your health!”
Mike is a star participant in his local Walk with a Doc chapter in Miami, FL. He and his partner, MaryAnn, both enjoy attending Saturday morning events with their fellow walkers. The local Walk Leader, Dr. Manuel Padron, says that when he is not available to lead the walk, he tosses the baton to Dr. Mike. He emails the groups and lets everyone know that “today you get to walk with the Music Doc!”.