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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Matt Hoover.

In March of 2005 Matt Hoover was a fat piece of crap.

Matt wrestled at the University of Iowa and weighted in around 180 pounds. After college Matt developed “eating and drinking” problems. He stopped wrestling and most exercise altogether. Eventually he ballooned to an appalling 340 pounds.

A fat piece of crap.

This is when Matt made the decision that was to save his life and inspire many other people to do the same. He tried out for, and was cast on, Season 2 of “The Biggest Loser.” Matt went on to lose 157 pounds on the show and win the $250,000 grand prize.

Great. Good job dude. That’s not what I want to write about today. I missed that season so I didn’t even remember him. I came across the name Matt Hoover just a few weeks ago while I was sitting in bed trying to recover from a measly marathon by watching the 2009 Ironman World Championships. Towards the end of the show Matt Hoover “from the Biggest Loser” popped on the screen for a few seconds.

The commentators simply said that Matt didn’t make the 17 hour cut off time. I knew there was more to this story. A few weeks later I got more details on a Biggest Loser “where are they now” special.

This is the show that sent tears down my face.

Apparently Matt had gained back 50+ pounds after the finale of the show. Once the weight gain starts it’s often hard to stop and most people that lose a lot of weight gain a lot of it back. Matt Hoover didn’t want that to happen so he decided to start doing triathlons. In June of 2009 Matt tried his first Olympic Distance triathlon and barely finished.

“About a hundred yards into the less than 1 mile swim I freaked out and took my wetsuit off in the water and handed it to a life boater. I wanted to quit but I didn’t. I finished my first Olympic distance race. At the end I thought “How am I ever going to do a 1/2 Ironman in August?”

He lined up for the Ironman 4 months after struggling to finish an Olympic Distance race. That, my friends, takes some balls.

An Ironman distance triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. That’s a long damn way. Matt Hoover got himself to that starting line and gave it his all.

He finished the swim under the time limit. Now Matt had to bike 112 miles.

Let me stop here for a moment. Have you ever biked 112 miles? It’s hard to even describe. So hard to describe.

Just imagine for a moment what it must feel like to swim 2.4 miles in the ocean and then bike 112 miles. Just imagine. You can’t do it can you? Neither can I.

Matt barely got off the bike. His legs almost didn’t bend enough the get over the top tube. The pain must have been extraordinary. As he hobbled out for the run all I could do was cringe. He was in agony.

And he now had to do a marathon.

Let me say that again to let it sink in. HE HAD TO RUN A MARATHON!

It took Matt Hoover over 2 hours to do the first 5 miles. He was on pace to be pulled off the course well before the finish line. He needed to finish in less than 17 hours or his race wouldn’t count.

What was going through his mind at this moment in his life? In his own words: “I can only do what I can do and that’s give it my best.”

He didn’t quit. He didn’t search for an excuse to give up or give it. He was better that that. He kept pushing. He never gave up.

Here is what he said about attempting this race: “a lot of people lay around and think of all the things they could be doing but they don’t actually get off the couch and go.”

What could you be doing? Personally this thought hit me a few weeks ago. What did I do? I paid my money and signed up for an Ironman.

Matt Hoover kept pushing. He kept walking and running. He met the race sweeper a couple of times. He was in danger of being pulled off the course but he had the fortitude and desire to just keep on going. He just kept fighting.

With one mile to go Matt Hoover saw the clock. He needed to run a 6 minute mile to realize his dream and to finish the Ironman within the time limit. He’s been running 20-25 minutes per mile for 25 miles and needed to run 6 minutes for the last mile. I guess his race is over….

On this day the odds didn’t matter to Matt Hoover. He tried. Matt Hoover couldn’t run a 6 minute mile having not done a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 25 mile run in the previous 16 hours and 5 minutes.

How hard is this race on your body? Watch this famous video:

Matt Hoover left it our there. He gave it his all. Did he come up with the super human strength to run a 6 minute mile? No. He ran 8:40. In the end he did cross the finish line but since he did not make the time limit he was not official. So what. He’s still a winner to me.

Not bad for a guy who was at one time a 340 pound fat piece of crap.

See the video that I have been describing here on Youtube:

What lessons can we learn from Matt Hoover? Oh God, where to begin. How about this one from Matt Hoover himself: “I crossed the finish line. I never quit.”

Here is another gem: “It’s not about what we’ve done. It’s about what we’re doing.”

What are you doing? What are you truly capable of that you aren’t trying because you just don’t know what you ARE capable of?

We are all made to be great. We have the potential to be so much more and so much better than we are.

What’s stopping you?

I encourage you to find out. I encourage you to set a mammoth goal that involves a lot of courage and heart and then simply start.

With enough desire all you need to do is simply start. The rest with take care of it’s self.

I want to leave you today with 2 things. First is another Youtube video. It’s about an ordinary guy doing an extraordinary thing. It’s a guy whose will to succeed became greater than the obstacles he faced:

Lastly, I recommend that you get help. Hire a coach or a personal trainer. Join a health club. Enroll in a Boot Camp. Start building your accountability team now. If you don’t know how to start please contact me. You can email or call me on my cell phone (352-989-6795). This is a not a shameless plug. Of course I coach and personal train and teach Boot Camps. I don’t care if it’s me that helps you or someone else. What I care about is YOU and your success.

Just imagine for a moment achieving your biggest goal or being that ideal weight. Just imagine. Now watch the Matt Hoover video again and realize that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can hold you back.

Happy New Year!

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