Matthew Johnson

AUSTIN, Texas — On a particularly hot Sunday, I ventured over to Republic Square to watch a fitness competition with some of my sphere homies. One of which, was our next guest for this week.

Please welcome, Matt.

What You Need To Know

  • Born in Iowa and has lived in Arkansas before Texas.
  • Ex Sprint Car racer.
  • Can run farther than you.
Connect with Matt at — @mattjohnson__

Now, if you don’t know Matt – here’s a few quick sound bites about the guy. Driven, motivated, relentless, tenacious.

Matt was first up in the competition, and I watched intensely as the referee counted down the start – 3, 2, 1 – GO! – Matt started off like a batt out of hell- crushing 30lb dumbbell presses mixed in with pushups. Rep after rep, you could see the determination in his face – and let me tell you, this was no easy workout competition – this shit was hard.

Matt and I grabbed time right after the competition and got into it. “I was born in a very small town in Iowa – maybe 5,000 people but we moved away at a young age to Arkansas before coming back to Iowa when I was in the 11th grade.” Matt explains. “Right out of high school I joined the military and served for 10 years.”

However, right after his military duty ended, Matt experienced another ‘life curveball’.

“Literally right after I was done, I got divorced – I came back home and my wife at the time said she was done – and I grabbed one bag, and moved everything I had to Austin in February of this year – I had no plan I just said fuck it, let’s go.”

There can be something extremely freeing in just letting life take the wheel and seeing where it takes you. In Matt’s case – life had brought him to Austin quite a few times previously – which set up a perfect preamble to what would occur next.

“Being an athlete for BPN (Bare Performance Nutrition) I had been to Austin a ton before moving here – so I already had a sense of what this city had to offer.” Matt explains. “Once I arrived in February, I lived in 5 different AirBnb’s for about 60 days before getting a spot.” We both laugh. “But yeah man, I think I was in Austin something like 12 times in 2022 – Being in the military all that time before I moved here, I was told how to live, what to do – now I have no rules and I can do what I want, the road is open to go wherever it takes me.”

We all experience traumatic events in our lives, and sometimes when we do – the best thing to do is grab that bag and move on.

“Going through something traumatic like an abrupt divorce is tough man – and I didn’t see it coming. But I had two options – sit there and be sad – or pack my shit and move on – The little money I had  in my bank is what I lived on till I figured shit out here in Austin – but I’m very much the type of person where I’m not going to worry about shit I can’t control. When bad shit happens your reaction to the situation isn’t going to make it better – the biggest thing for me is to just roll with it.”

We transition to his life here in the capital city.

“In addition to working with BPN, I’m coaching people online for endurance training – what I like to call hybrid athletes”

If you don’t know – Matt is a world class runner, and is currently training for something called ‘Leadville’ – a 100 mile run through the rugged rocky mountain terrain – that’s right, 100 miles…

“Running for me started as a hobby, but now it’s like brushing my teeth – running is everything for me, and I enjoy pushing it to the limit.”

We close, in typical fashion – advice.

“Knowledge is power – The more you can learn quick, the better you’ll be later in life. It doesn’t matter if you were in the military or went to college or whatever background you came from – Knowledge is the second-best thing to building relationships with people. Respect everyone, elevate others, love everyone and be a good fucking human!” We both smile. “Oh, one more thing – WORK YOUR ASS OFF!”

As we close – I start to reminisce Matt’s performance in the fitness competition a few hours earlier. The biggest guy there? Nope – The biggest heart? Yep.

Matt is inspiring – not because he can run a 100 mile Rocky Mountain course, but because when he does run that course, everyone he passes he will be giving encouraging advice. “Let’s go man! You got this! WORK YOUR ASS OFF!”

Matt’s the type of guy you want in your corner – and it’s clear now why he is drawn to coaching others attain their goals – it’s in his DNA. So, if you see Matt on the trails, or out and about – go up, introduce yourself and ask him – where are you running tomorrow? Can I join?

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Kathie Perryman
Kathie Perryman
9 months ago

He is the most determined athlete out there. Inspiring and encouraging

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