The year: 1991
The place: Mahoney Park
Matt: “Hey Alex.”
Matt: “YOU THROW LIKE A GIRL!”
Alex: “BECAUSE I AM ONE!” *proceeds to angrily whip baseball at Matt’s head*
This is hands down one of my favourite memories of my friendship with a guy I have known since I was about 4 years old. Matt was probably the closest thing I had to a jerkface brother as a kid and I say that with a lot of love in my heart. There isn’t a time that I don’t laugh when thinking about childhood memories with this guy…except the time he pulled my chair out from under me in grade 5 and I went bottoms up. I still haven’t forgiven him for that…just kidding. He’s probably still laughing and SUPER proud of himself for that right now…a 20 year old prank, and I’m just sitting here thinking that one day, when he least expects it, I will have my vengeance. Muhahaha!
Anyway, I’m not here to take you on a trip down memory lane about the prankster Matt was, I’m here to tell you how incredibly dedicated and inspirational he is.
Some of you that read this blog may know Matt personally and some of you may not. A husband and father of two young boys, Matt has always been into sports and athletic, but has also struggled with his weight. Last fall, he made the proactive decision to reclaim his health and began working towards his goals. Since that time, through proper nutrition and exercise, he has lost 140+ lbs.
Ah-mazing right?! Now, I realize just how awesome that sounds and how we all glorify the stories where we lose weight and become less fat, but that’s not what inspires me about Matt or his story. What inspires me is his why.
Over the course of the last few months, Matt has motivated me to wake up early almost every Tuesday and Thursday to go running with him. Except the days where Canadian winter happens or I’m a big whinypants and want to sleep instead. Anyway, I digress, but on our runs, there are some classic good ol’ jerkface jokes of his, but also some really serious chats. Those serious chats are where I learned his why, which I am collectively calling “giving back”.
There’s the part where he wants to give back to be a better husband and father. If you check out his Instagram account you’ll see him supporting his equally amazing wife Hollie (@confidently.losing) on her own health journey, as well as him inspiring their eldest son to get active alongside him. There’s also the part where he wants to give back to himself, and then there’s the part where he quite literally wants to give back to his dad by donating his kidney. And that my friends is what inspires me most about his story. That after all he has persevered, it is ultimately so that he can give back to others.
Matt, while I will always remember you as the kid stuck in the Hamburglar jail at my 6th birthday, the goofball kid on the playground, or the boy that always joked about me being the only girl amongst the boys, I am so effing glad we are still friends 30 years later.
And I can honestly say that you have 100% achieved this because you have inspired me not to quit on myself these past few months that I’ve been struggling. I always say that I know you don’t need me to be proud of you, but I am. I am proud of everything you have accomplished, I am proud to run with you, but most of all, I have always been proud to be your friend.
Soak it up buddy because this is the last time I’m going to be this nice and you better watch every chair you sit in from here on out 😉
To follow Matt’s inspirational journey, you can find him on Instagram under the handle @nomorefatmatt, cheer for him at Around the Bay’s 5k, and read his answers below!
1. Who are you (in 20 words or less)?:
I would describe myself by saying hard-working, fun. And also a DAD
2. Who/What inspires/motivates you?:
I’m inspired and motivated by my family I want to be the best husband, father I can be and working out and running really help with that.
3. What is your most amazing memory?:
My most amazing memory is hard, but I would have to say the moment that I saw Hollie and Keegan walking down the aisle on our wedding day.
4. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?:
If I could be anywhere I would be at Disney world with the family.
5. What drew you towards living a healthy lifestyle?:
I have always been an athlete. I feel I was born a jock but I got away from that over the last few years. I didn’t like where I was headed so I just decided to get back on track and be healthier so I could have more fun with life and my family.
6. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?:
I don’t really know where I will be in 10 years but as long as I stay on the track I’m on now I will be happy with where I am.
7. What is the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn in life?:
The hardest lesson that I have had to learn is probably slowing down and thinking before taking action and letting other people be right every once in a while.
8. What are you most afraid of?:
Bees, they scare the shit out of me!
9. What is your favourite inspirational quote?:
Do What Others Say You Can’t
10. What advice would you give your younger self or the younger generation of today?
The best advice I could give my younger self or the younger generation is actually the same and it is listen to your parents. You get into your late teens and early 20’s and think you know everything and then you grow up and have kids and realize you should’ve spent more time listening to your parents. They do know what they are talking about.