For Mike Recicar, native Floridian and Owner of Peak Performance Wellness, life pitched him a couple curve balls before he ultimately found his true calling. After high school, Recicar spent two years studying photography on a full-scholarship at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He became a father at the age of 20, moved back to Seminole County and spent the next six years in the photography and printing industry, primarily working on high-volume displays. As Recicar shared, there came a point during his journey where his passion for health and fitness was too strong to ignore.
"I really started looking at life and a possible career change," he said. "I was initially interested in becoming a physical therapist, but quickly realized that having to go back to school was probably out of the question. After experiencing first-hand the benefits of massage therapy, I realized I could do that and more. I got my license in massage therapy and decided to focus on working with people that have a desire to get healthier and understand why they might be having certain muscle injuries."
Recicar launched Peak Performance Wellness in September 1996. He developed the business on the side while also working for the Orlando Predators and David Leadbetter Golf Academy. He initially shared an office with two other therapists and even worked with some clients in their homes. In the beginning, growth was slow, but steady.
"As a sports massage therapist and personal trainer, I'm good at what I do," Recicar said. "However, the business aspect and the marketing was another beast. I learned the importance of getting involved in networking groups, joining associations, having a presence at sporting events, like 5Ks and triathlons, self-promotion and word-of-mouth referrals."
Despite a move in 2014 to New Smyrna Beach to, in Recicar's words, "be closer to the ocean", and having to develop a new clientele base, the business has developed a stellar reputation for delivering quality results that last.
"I provide sports massage, functional fitness and stretching to treat muscle injuries and enhance recovery from physical activity," Recicar said. "What sets me apart is that I take the time to assess why my clients have pain and reoccurring injuries. I treat the current injury using several different manual therapy techniques and muscle activation exercises to create long term stability and pain relief. I get so much joy in helping people feel better and recover from injuries that they have struggled with chronically."
In addition to helping his clients recover from and move beyond injuries, Recicar is also actively involved with an organization called Oceans of Hope Foundation. He volunteers as the foundation's Executive Director and oversees a team of individuals that provide adaptive surfing and kayaking for individuals challenged by life or for those with disabilities. They work with individuals with spinal cord injuries to help them experience things they didn't think they could ever do again.
Looking ahead, Recicar's goal is to continue helping the residents of New Smyrna, and the surrounding areas, live a healthier and more active lifestyle. He's also in the process of working with another Volusia County business, Kenneth Grant Inzpirations, to rebrand his image and reevaluate his marketing approach.
What advice does Recicar have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Find a mentor," he said. "Focus on the things you do well and leave the tasks you struggle with to the professionals in that field of expertise. Also, work hard every day at your craft or business."