By StayWell President, Health Management Solutions, Pearce W. Fleming, Jr., FACHE
The leadership team of StayWell has a few new faces, one being the new President, Health Management Solutions, Pearce Fleming. The StayWell team focuses internally on living the lives we encourage with our clients, participants, and communities. This week Pearce is embarking on an exciting and punishing ultra-endurance cyclist race across the United States. Pearce is a part of the crew that will keep the 4 cyclists moving across the country 24 hours a day – rain or shine, flat tires, blisters, and sleep or no sleep – until they reach their destination. We asked Pearce to tell us a little about his personal journey of well-being, and why he is taking the time to participate in this physical and mental challenge:
When my son was born, I made a conscious decision to lose weight and become healthier. Now 13 years and 115 pounds lost and kept off later, I am very conscious of the support system I have in my life relative to staying well. As I lost weight on my journey to health, I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and start running, and then cycling, and then became involved in triathlon. Along the way, I made new friends who supported me in learning new sports, training for events, buying new gear, fixing said gear – you name it. Now, I have an opportunity to give back to a group of the most influential of those friends by serving in a support crew role as they Race Across America in what has been called “the most brutal challenge ever devised in the name of sport” – over 3000 miles of nonstop cycling from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland, including 170,000 feet of climbing along the way.
Our team is sponsored by Bike Law, a national network of bicycle crash attorneys who believe when roads improve for the safety of bicyclists, they become safer for all users. Our team is riding in support of Cycle for Survival, a movement to beat rare cancers. About 50 percent of people with cancer have a rare cancer, including the mother of one of our crew and my dear friend and personal training coach, Anne Moore. Even though they account for about half of all cancer diagnoses when combined, research on many rare cancers is drastically underfunded, often leaving patients with limited or no treatment options. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center—is committed to changing that reality with the help of Cycling for Survival.
It has been said that endurance athletes, with whom I now identify as an “adult onset athlete”, are running away from something inside of themselves – that is why they do what they do. I can certainly understand that notion. Even more than a decade later, I oftentimes still see the “old” Pearce of 300 pounds in the mirror and choose to go for a ride or run both to celebrate life while also ensuring I don’t turn back to bad habits when it pertains to my health. As we embark on this journey – one we hope will take 5-6 days racing as hard as we can go with no stopping and very, very little sleep, I hope to enjoy the beauty of this incredible country I call home, support my team with hard work and good humor, and support those who potentially look to me for coaching and support in their own walks through life in seeing that we are all capable of amazing feats when we put our best effort forward and surround ourselves with the right network of friends.
In good health,
To follow more about Pearce’s experiences through the next few days – please follow StayWell on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also follow more about the RAAM race by going to their website: or their social media Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.