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The Little Michael Story

I would like to tell you a story about a boy named Michael…. 

Fifteen- year old Michael watched as his teammates played their last basketball game.  It was hard to share the excitement from the sidelines.  Michael’s coach had promised he would put him in soon, but just like every other game that season, Michael still hadn’t played because the coach felt he was too heavy and slow.  In spite of that Michael showed determination by showing up for every practice and trying his best to get better. 

Michael begged his coach again, “How about now Coach? Please let me play.  I know I can do it.”  “Not now, Mike,” the Coach replied; without even looking at him.  “But there’s only two minutes left in the game.  It’s my last chance.” “ It’s a tied game and I need my best players out there,” the Coach snapped.  Michael’s coach didn’t care about encouraging confidence or building a child’s self-esteem.  He only cared about winning.  Sending a slow, overweight player into the game was the last thing his coach wanted to do. Holding back tears, Michael pleaded, “But Coach, you promised.”  “Maybe next year, “PUGSLY!” 

Michael was devastated.  He couldn’t hide his humiliation at home.  In an attempt at keeping up Michael’s morale, his mother signed him up at the YMCA gym.  At one time he had shown her an advertisement for the gym with a picture of a bodybuilder.  He had said, “Ma, I want to look like this guy.”  At the gym, Michael was in awe of the equipment, noise and bodybuilders.  Feeling discouraged, Michael sulked on a nearby bench.  There he was again, watching but not participating.  Another bodybuilder witnessed his face across the gym and knew Michael would leave and never return if somebody didn’t help him.  Hey kid, you want big muscles?  Come here and I’ll show you how.”  The man knew how important it was to give a child support and confidence when learning something new.  After his first day at the gym, Michael was excited about what he had learned and the new sense of pride he was taking in his body. He could feel the tightness in his muscles.  This gave him a feeling of security and confidence, and that felt good.

I am Mike Torchia, “Michael” from the story you just read.  I was a determined young boy.  I know first hand the pain and difficulty millions of people suffer from dissatisfaction with their own bodies.  Low self-esteem is a devastating result.  I have spent my life overcoming it and have become an authority in the field of health and fitness through years of studying, teaching and living it.   I’ve worked with many celebrities and have won several national titles in the sport of bodybuilding, including Teenage Mr. America, Collegiate Mr. USA, Mr. California.   I have devoted my life to finding a safe solution for obesity and to helping people create a healthier lifestyle.  

My high school basketball coach made an all too common mistake.  He made a choice, winning the game outweighed nurturing a young boy’s hopes and dreams. 

Michael Torchia
Shape Up America Campaign
9903 Santa Monica Blvd. #820
Beverly Hills, CA. 90212
Office: 800.933.8633
Cell: 310.650.5595

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
                        Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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