I have felt pain, desperation, and confusion. I am an aggressive man, but I’ve learned to focus that energy. I have gone to great lengths to understand life and break through resistance.
Ever heard of burning the candle at both ends? I torched the candle with a flamethrower for 10 years. My health was destroyed, and I finally fixed it. In fact, I’ve improved a lot of things over the last 20 years. This is the story of why I do what I do.
I’ll never forget why my girlfriend broke up with me when I was 14. She said, “You’re cute, but he’s hot!”, “What’s the difference?”, I asked. “He’s got muscles!” She said. This began my journey into the world of transformation!
I started lifting weights, and my body began changing. I spent hours staring in the mirror. I loved having full control over the way my body looked and performed. It was the most amazing thing to me!
Girls were more attracted to me. Bullies started to avoid me. Guys were even more willing to shake my hand and be my friend. I parlayed these skills into a high school soccer state championship and college soccer scholarship.
I remember being very confused as to why more people weren’t as interested in making these transformational changes! When something fascinates you more than anyone else around you, that’s when you know you’ve found your passion in life.
Growing and Learning
In college, I took my dieting to an extreme perfectionism. I specifically remember outperforming my entire soccer team during fitness drills after practice. I was so far ahead that the captains began yelling at me for making everyone else look so tired. It seemed like my dieting strategy had given me an extra gear above everyone else!
After college, in my 20’s, I was aggressive, intense, and arrogant. Even worse, I was blind to it. I was 23. I thought I was on top of the world! I had no idea I was about to be in so much pain, for such a long time.
I had just started a dream job in personal training working for my idol, Mackie Shilstone. This job was in a hospital. We used the most advanced testing. I had access to DEXA scans, metabolic breath testing, VO2 max stress tests, heart rate monitoring and world class pedometers.
This was 2007. We tracked everything. We used all of this data to create custom programs for each client. I had such a privileged opportunity at such a young age. I got to read medical journals that Mackie had already underlined. I got to see all of the programs he had developed for over 30 years. I got to work with professional athletes!
I worked with this data for 5 years. I thought I knew everything.
They say youth is wasted on the young, and like a lot of young people, I thought I was invincible, until things began to fall apart. I’ll fast forward to age 26, the lowest point of my life. I was walking out of the doctor’s office with my mother, after just testing negative for Lupus, she turned to me and said, “Matt, maybe it’s all in your head.”
This was the rock bottom of my life. Everyone thought I was crazy, and rightfully so. I had seen many doctors. I had a long list of symptoms. Traditional western medicine was not helping me.
I had to approach things differently. There had to be a better way to fix things. I started to realize that the entire body is fully integrated, each system dependent on the others. I tracked data so I could measure my progress objectively. I tested blood, hair, saliva, urine and feces. I tested for food intolerances, metal toxicity and parasites. I tested my cortisol levels. I put myself through protocols and retested everything. I found a Functional Medicine doctor and we tested everything. I spent thousands of dollars on testing, consultations, supplements and IV treatments.
I went deep into Ayurvedic medicine! I did the Pancha Karma cleanse, an herbal protocol that shifted my body back into balance more than anything else I had ever tried. To date, I have spent over $150,000 on doctors, health professionals, supplements, various treatments, testing, research books, seminars and immersions abroad. I had a budget reserved for healing. None of this was covered by insurance because it was considered “alternative.” This healing experimentation became more than a hobby. It was a real education, and it was the study of healing. I did this not just to become better at what I do, but to fix myself and get my life back!
After all of this testing and research, what did I learn?
Each diet, cleanse, or healing protocol requires planning, organization, and disciplined execution. Because I was in so much pain, I was intrinsically motivated. To be honest, I was embarrassed. My job was helping people get healthier, but I was ridiculously unhealthy. I was able to repair my health to optimum standards because it was an absolute MUST!
I needed to take control of my life.
After spending 2 years working in Physical Therapy, at age 29, I opened up my own personal training studio. Because I had limited focus, I only trained clients for 30 or 45 minutes. This forced me to be effective with my custom programs. With no boss, no employees, no girlfriend, no pets and no roommates, there was very little stress or responsibility in my life. I noticed a jump in my energy with this newly acquired freedom.
At age 30, my brother and I decided to enter an extreme adventure race. I severely injured my back just training for the event! I knew better than to continue, but my ego got the better of me. I was done with these injuries! At the same time, I had just read a book on courage and met a girl that inspired me to face my fear of traveling across the world. I went to Bali for 6 weeks to immerse myself in Yoga.
4 months later, at age 32, I immersed myself in the world of fasting. I found myself fasting for 8 days on an island in Thailand. I was amazed at what detoxed out of my body over that eight-day period!
The girl I met in Bali brought me to a retreat center in Costa Rica to try THE African plant medicine, IBOGA. The Iboga experience in Costa Rica was so mind blowing that I decided to travel all the way to the African jungle to see the Shaman work with the medicine. I was even initiated into the Bwiti tradition! This was a deep and truthful spiritual experience.
I traveled to Portugal for a breathing and meditation training. There, after 50 hours of focused breathing and meditation, I gained a deeper level of sensitivity.
Then, I practiced Qi Gong every day for 3 months with a local Asian master. I learned to feel subtle energy moving through my body.
I didn’t save much money in my early 30’s!
Back to the Studio
At age 34, in addition to my private personal training studio, I decided to start Pure Fitness & Yoga, a class-based fitness and yoga facility with my sister and my future wife.
Just one year later, we closed the yoga studio! And my future wife and I broke up.. I learned a valuable lesson: Just because you are capable of achieving something, doesn’t mean you should. I simply didn’t enjoy teaching yoga classes! I didn’t enjoy being at the center of a yoga community. It felt feminine. I am an aggressive man.
In 2019, at age 35, after some serious emotional work, my future wife and I got back together.
Learning by Failing
I was making great money with my private training studio. But I decided that I needed to generate more money for the family I was hoping to start one day. I spent the year reading a dozen real estate books. The numbers were interesting. It seemed like a great way to compound money. This would be a great way to serve my existing clients. I FORCED myself through real estate school and eventually earned my license. I spent hundreds of hours during the weekends working on this! Torture.
It didn’t take me long to realize that being a real estate agent wasn’t for me. Some of my closest clients, friends, and family wouldn’t even consider me as their agent! And to be honest, I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t! The amount of detail in the contracts, the systems, the bureaucracy, and the rules. The dishonesty in negotiating. I do not enjoy details and systems of compliance. I like to explore possibilities with honesty and move things forward… I’m naturally aggressive. I see the big picture. I see the risk. I see the plan. I enjoy intense conversations about life. I like digging deep into WHY we each desire something different in life. That’s how I’m wired. That’s what I do for fun.
I needed to do something I loved. Something I would do even if I wasn’t getting paid. Something that gets me excited and gives me energy. I can’t think of anything more exciting than having intense conversations about life transformation.
In 2020, I decided to shift my training business to Performance Coaching. I had spent over 10,000 hours talking with successful people, one on one, about life! I could see that problems related to money, relationships, and organizational skills can affect our ability to stay healthy and perform consistently at a high level.
Then, I found Jairek Robbins, Tony Robbin’s son. He and his wife Amanda started “Performance Coach University.” I blazed through his coaching course and enjoyed every minute of it! I became a certified Performance Coach.
Their coaching provided me with the necessary framework and tools to coach more effectively.
So now, clients have given me permission to coach other parts of their lives! It’s been a blast so far! I’ve been coaching people in New Orleans for over 15 years. It’s a challenging population. The New Orleans culture values tradition, music festivals, rich food, and heavy drinking! Talk about health coaching in the trenches! It’s like asking people to leave a party to go meditate. I’m swimming against the current down here. While there is a need for growth in New Orleans, the culture simply doesn’t value it.
In spite of some major adversity, my New Orleans clients actually still get results! Lately, I’ve been working with people outside of New Orleans, and it feels easy! These clients are FLYING forward and CRUSHING their goals. My success in a place as challenging as New Orleans means I’ve heard all the excuses, I know all the unhealthy mind traps, and I’m uniquely positioned to help you succeed, no matter the circumstances.
Time for a New Approach
Our health, political, and media systems are very confusing. 70% of people hate their job. It seems what is “normal” doesn’t actually work. Our country’s obesity rates are higher than ever. Depression, anxiety, and suicide rates are at an all-time high. Our healthcare system doesn’t reverse disease. We often need alternative solutions.
That’s why I have a job, and a purpose: to guide people through this process. I give you permission to break rules and take things to the next level.
Of course, it all comes from within YOU. I listen closely and ask questions until you discover the solution. I provide accountability and share my network of experts and experience. Seeing my clients make progress every day is what excites me! My coaching is based on my personal experience and the experiences of hundreds of clients I have closely worked with. I’m obsessed with transformation! I know can help you unlock your hidden potential!
I think all great coaches share a deep belief: The client, not the coach, knows the solution to their problems. The coach is a guide with experience, questions, tools, and accountability.
I am certain that if you are 100% committed, you can dictate the outcomes in your life.
Thanks for reading all that,
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