I have known Matt since we were both in college back in the early 2000’s and worked at a Lowe’s store here in Fort Wayne. I always got along with Matt but I don’t recall a lot of details about him. He’d always been a good guy as far as I knew. Time passes and the next thing I know I hadn’t seen him in years but we’d stay connected via Facebook.
When I founded Runnin’ Not Walken and decided to field a team again in 2016, he reached out and let me know that if I needed an extra runner to let him know. Two things went through my head. One was how protective of the team I’d become. I’d only ever had friends or family run with us and when you run the mileage we’d been running within the tiemframe we were running it, there’s a good chance you won’t feel well. I always thought someone that didn’t know any of the other runners could feel pretty lonely if they’re on a team where they don’t know anyone if they got sick.
Secondly, I thought, “Matt’s a runner?” I didn’t recall that being a part of who he was but hey, some decent time had passed. That was 2016 and my feelings didn’t really change in 2017 when he hit me up again, but this year was different. The team was rebooting in some ways and I was finally comfortable with the idea of bringing in someone from the outside and it was a great decision but how is Matt a Run-Gooder?
Yes, Matt joined Runnin’ Not Walken and helped us raise a boatload of money but Matt is an inspiration to many and proof that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. As he would say it in his own words:
“I’ve been running for 5 years now. Before that I was a pro couch potato. I started with a Couch to 5k program, then worked up to a 10k. After that, I did half marathons and to date, I have competed two full marathons. I’ve always been competing in triathalons for the past year and a half having completed 4 sprints and one Olympic distance. In 2017, I was a part of a team for Ragnar Tennessee. It was an awesome experience!”
Matt had been fairly heavy and was on some medications but due to his weight loss, he’s now off of all of his medicine he was on when he was 60lbs heavier. As you can see by his picture, Matt’s in great shape now and I believe an Iron Man is in his future.
We’re truly lucky to have had him on the team this year. He was a great teammate, a lot of fun, and a heck of a runner. My hat’s off to you Matt for all you’ve done to improve your personal health, all of the challenges you’re taking on in the running world, being a great example and inspiration when it comes to running and fitness, and hopefully we’ll have you back on Runnin Not Walken this fall!