Health and Fitness
Although I’ve always been active in one way or another, from playing sports in childhood through to starting gym training at University and social sports in my early to mid 20’s, the time when I needed to exercise the most was when I did none at all.
This is part of the reason I suffered from work related stress and anxiety and 3 years later led to the life changing panic attack I suffered at age 27.
After suffering from daily lightening-shock feelings in my hearts, dozens of heart palpitations every day as well as actual feelings that I could die at any second, this triggered a 10 month self-rehabilitation process where I either found or created mind techniques to relieve or eliminate the feelings of stress, anxiety and ‘dying’.
I started back into exercise at this time as part of my self-rehab despite the fact I was experiencing the above symptoms. I knew I just had to push through things.
I kept looking for the next ‘thing’ or the next ‘level’ I could go to in order to out-grow the feelings, sensations and symptoms I was experiencing, and exercise was a big part of going to the next level.
Some days I had to completely back off and just do nothing, not even go to work. Other days I made exercise a priority, and for the first time in my life I starting running for fitness.
In the weeks following the panic attack, I started jogging by doing one lap of a local soccer field, and working my way up to 5 x 6km (3.7mi) runs per week.
A year after the panic attack I joined a gym to complete stage 2 of my self rehabilitation.
I dedicated myself intensely for the next 4 years and gained 15kg (33lbs) of lean muscle mass, going from 78kg (171lbs) to 93kg (205lbs).
I went organic, started doing meditation as well as Yoga and continue all of it to this day.
Health, fitness and well-being are part of my daily lifestyle now. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It just wouldn’t feel right.
Matt celebrates the launch of his website, Exercises.com.au in 2017
Mental Health Toolbelt
As a result of work related stress, work related anxiety, the panic attack and the subsequent self-rehabilitation, I now have an array of tools, techniques and strategies to handle, relieve, eliminate and create real change; mentally, physically and emotionally.
It’s an amazing freedom to have.
It was born out of suffering and it’s turned into my life’s purpose.
When I found Basketball at age 14, it was love at first sight (or first shot?). I played every day in our backyard court as well as in competition through high school.
I started collecting Michael Jordan memorabilia at age 15 and built up a collection that included 30 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, hundreds of basketball cards, hundreds of magazines, jerseys, hats, jackets, posters, and just about everything else available.
I owned every copy of SLAM Magazine up to issue #125 before selling it all along with my entire collection of Jordan and Basketball memorabilia in 2007.
My dream is to follow the NBA for an entire season, traveling to every city and stadium to watch a game.
My fitness program today is pretty much the same as it’s been for the past 13 years, although the intensity has reduced somewhat due to being a digital nomad as of April 2018 and not having close access to a gym as well as a reliable training partner to train with.
My weekly exercise schedule today consists of:
- 4-5 Weight Training Sessions
- 1-2 Yoga Sessions
- Cardio (Usually walking or hiking)
In the past I’ve also done sprint training for high intensity cardio, spin classes for endurance training, ocean swimming as well as general bike riding.
In addition to that there’s also recreational fitness activities such as forest walks or hikes, mountain hikes and basketball shoot arounds. I no longer participate in team sports due to dislocating my shoulders too many times.
Fitness, Fun And Travel Adventures
Here are just a few of Matt’s fun fitness adventures in Australia and internationally…
- Did pushups on the glass floor skywalk over the Grand Canyon
- Watched the USA Basketball ‘Dream Team’ twice at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
- Watched Michael Jordan score 51 points against the Charlotte Hornets on 29th Dec 2001 at the MCI Center in Washington DC
- Watched the championship winning Ice Hockey game in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) in Moscow, April 2019
- Duck walked through an underground tunnel at the Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
- Watched the brutal Calcio Storico (Historical Soccer) in Florence, Italy
- Did 60 pushups in 60 seconds in a competition at his local gym in 2016
- Shadow Boxed in the snow in Moscow
- Dislocated his shoulder(s) playing basketball, volleyball, squash, and motorbike riding
- Watched the Harlem Globetrotters in Sydney (1986) and Adelaide (1992)
- Did a set of squats at Golds Gym in Venice Beach, California
- Did pull ups on an old Vietnam war cannon
- Hiked up Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain
Here are a few images of my fitness and fun adventures over the years…
Matt at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain (2,226m)
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Attending a Lakers game in LA
Watching the USA Dream Team play, Sydney 2000 Olympics
Watching the baseball, Sydney 2000 Olympics
Attending a KHL Ice Hockey game in Moscow, Russia
Watching the KHL Championship winning game in Moscow, April 2019
Watching Michael Jordan score 51 points in Washington DC, 29 Dec 2001.