Building healthy lives

Published 2:25 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

In Alabaster, he is known as Mike Dais. His proper name is Michael De Porres Dais … quite a mouthful, huh?

Born and reared in Mobile, Dais is a 1985 graduate of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School and the oldest of three boys.

Physical fitness has always been in his family as his middle brother works for boxer Roy Jones Jr., and the 26-year-old brother is employed by the Tampa Bay Bucs.

After high school graduation, Mike came to the University of Montevallo on an academic scholarship. Although he had always loved writing, he chose to pursue a biology degree. For three years he followed that course, but came to the conclusion he had to switch majors and go into English/language arts. To pay for the switch and loss of time, Mike enlisted in the reserves to qualify for the G.I. bill and college money.

Soon after enlistment, he went to Ft. Jackson, S.C., and on to Ft. McClellan in Anniston to train as a chemical operations specialist. In 1990, his unit was called into active duty in Operation Desert Shield. Dais was seriously wounded in combat, had surgery and then returned to Montevallo. He stayed in the reserves until 1995, but because of his previous injury he was not required to go to Desert Storm.

When he returned to UM in 1992, he started his own business, Body Flex. By 1993, he had graduated from John Casablancas Modeling Agency and modeled in Atlanta, New Orleans and Jamaica. In May of 1994, he graduated from U.M. with his English/language arts degree and teaching certification. John Draper at Oak Mountain Middle School hired this multi-talented man to teach. In 1995, he entered business with Kyle Cleveland to open The Body Shop in Alabaster. For more than two years, he and Cleveland hosted the Alabama Open Natural Body Building and Fitness Competition held at Oak Mountain.

The prestigious Arlene Wilson Modeling Agency in Atlanta and Aboutfaces out of New Orleans signed Mike in 1999.

In addition to his unbelievable portfolio, he loves cars (he has eight) and he has published a book (remember his first love is writing). In 2001, “Stop Making Excuses” was published. In addition, Dais has a part in a made for TV movie in 2004 entitled “Dead Will Tell.”

In 2007, Dais left The Body Shop and now calls Cutting Edge home. He estimates he has personally trained over 5,000 people in the 20 years he has been in the business.

He judges and average of 10 pageants per year — Miss Alabama Jr. Miss in several counties, as well as weightlifting and fitness events. He also speaks at schools to teach youth that a fit mind, body and emotional stability lead to a healthier life and healthier relationships.

If you have been pushing your need for a healthier life style, try Dais — you’ll love him — or hate him (he’ll push you to your physical limits). Either way, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Sandra Thames can be reached by e-mail at