Michael Rakofsky is a one of 25 new recruits at the Mesa Fire and Medical Department recruit academy. At 43 years old he is married with 3 kids. Prior to becoming a Mesa Fire Recruit, Michael was a reserve firefighter on the west side of the valley, as well as working a job in the construction field. Michael has a passion for Health and Wellness; he spends a lot of his time working out, cooking nutritious meals for his family, riding motocross and participating in Mui Thai Kickboxing. Although Michael thought he was in good shape before the academy he soon realized that the work demands of the academy would improve his fitness and put him in the best shape of his life. Michael’s first goal is to finish the recruit academy but ultimately he says he is training for a 25 plus year career in the fire service. He hopes to retire healthy and spend time with his future grandkids.
“Getting in a routine is first priority to a healthy lifestyle” he says. In Michael’s case he worked out 6 days a week, doing multiple different exercises; lifting weights for strength, running North Mountain for cardio, and even setting up a firefighter skills course in his cul-de-sac. The skills course Michael set up consisted of flipping a 300 lb tire, pulling hose, sledge-hammer hits, carrying sandbags, and dragging a tire to simulate a victim rescue. Michael realized that being healthy is only 30% what you do to your body and 70% what you put in your body. Because of this Michael cooks for himself and his family religiously. His favorite meal is grilled chicken, brown rice and broccoli, but no matter what he is cooking he loves his time in the kitchen.
Recruit Rakofsky has so much enthusiasm about health, exercise, and nutrition that he hopes it will carry over to the fire station. Most new recruits are more scared to cook for a station full of hungry firefighters then they are to run their first call, but Michael is looking forward to this. He is eager to take the lead on cooking and would like to bring his healthy meals into the fire house. Once he gets assigned to a fire house he will continue his path towards a healthy career. “As a new guy coming in, being excited and having a positive attitude, I will be the first one to train and the first one to workout.” Michael’s passion for health and wellness is apparent and his attitude is contagious. It will be exciting to watch Michael transition to the role of firefighter and carry on his healthy lifestyle.