I love this picture because it says so much to me. Five years ago I was in a much different place in my life, and inside my own mind.
From the outsiders perspective, things were going well.
I had all the things that most could want; secure high paying job, nice place to live, beautiful girlfriend, dog, nice car, amazing family.
Yet despite all that I still felt lost, like a loser, and seeking more.
Looking back, I can know see how much I really had and how good I really had it.
But hindsight is always 20/20.
Looking back is always easier to pick out what went right or wrong. Anyone can be a Monday morning quarterback.
Even though I had so much on the outside , it was what was going on in the inside that had me all wrong.
I was seeking purpose in life, looking to make an impact and wanting something of my own.
But even more than that, the struggle inside went back, way back into my youth. I was missing my identity, who I really was.
I was falling deeper into a depression and spiraling out of control.
I was using using cocaine and abusing alcohol more than I ever had.
After two DWI’s in less than 8 months, facing a 1 year jail sentence, 7 arrests, losing my license for two years, having to to walk away from a good career in finance because I couldn’t drive, and tens of thousands in legal bills and fees, I was still doing the same shit, yet expecting different results.
I was literally driving myself insane. I had doing the same thing for more than 15 years, abusing my body and mind trying to figure out who the fuck I was, or maybe just trying to mask who I really was.
This wasn’t a tough few months or even years, this was almost two decades of partying hard, excessive drinking, hard drugs and more than a few trips to the ER.
The story of my rock bottom is outlined in my book, Find Your Playlist, my story of how the healing power of music helped me find my way out in gave me direction in my life.
Every time I would come down from my highs, the lows and crash of the drugs would send me into a tailspin that would lead to thoughts of suicide to end what was to me a viscous cycle of failure and letdown.
4 bags of cocaine, three bottles of wine, 6 advil pm, 4 valium and 4 xanax almost did me in that night, but I woke up.
I had missed work, let down my friends and family, failed as a manager and team leader and disappointed myself yet again. I was tired of feeling that way; tired of letting others and myself down; tired of lying to myself, my girlfriend and my family; and tired of hoping I would not wake up, asking for help to end it all. The pain, suffering and disappointment were becoming too much to handle. Telling myself over and over that I was going to change and that this was the last time; it was becoming too much and if I had anymore pills left, I would have made sure that that I didn’t let it happen again.
It was after that night that I began looking inside, rather than everywhere else, for answers. Why was I using drugs in the first place?
What were the drugs doing for me?
How did I get here? Who was I when I was on them?
Did they make me a better person? What void were they filling?
All those questions and more began to surface and I finally started getting real with myself.
It didn’t just magically get better.
In fact it got worse in other ways before it got better. I decided I wanted to help people and studied, got certified as a life coach, speaker and trainer.
I left my career and all the promise it had and ventured out on my own. I withdrew my retirement and went all in.
In one week, I left my well paying, secure career, moved out of my apartment, closed on our new house, moved in my with my then girlfriend (now wife), and started a coaching business.
All at once.
And failed miserably.
I went to networking functions, advertised, spent a lot of money on systems, courses and programs that I wasn’t capable of running yet, and saw no return.
I ran a seminar where only my family & friends showed up.
I held another seminar where only my wife showed up.
It was embarrassing and I felt like a complete failure.
I had run through my retirement funds and was living solely on my wife’s income who working and also finishing her masters.
I felt like a complete failure.
At the advice of my mother, I took a job as a transformation coach with a local weight loss center and re-found my love for fitness, exercise and helping people out.
I began by taking my 15 plus years of various athletics and weight training and coupling that with the proper education of exercise science and personal training. I got certified as a personal trainer, became a head trainer for one of the studios, and within the same year got promoted to manager.
Within that same year, my sister was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer, and I decided that time waits for no one. If I wanted to create something for myself and my family, the time was now. A friend helped me acquire some equipment, and MAC Fitness had begun.
I left the company and started training out of my basement. One year later, I had finally opened my studio.
Things were finally looking up. I felt that all the hard work and determination was going to pay off.
But life will always throw things at you.
And it did in a big way. Covid struck and forced me to close down right when the business was picking up steam. But I refuse to lose.
That is a mantra of mine. It is a way of life.
I may be knocked down again, but I will get up every time. I adjust, I adapt and I grow. The same thing I instill in my clients. So the training has moved online, and now I’m learning this game too.
I’ve transformed lives in person, and now I can do it online.
The games the same, the field of play has just changed. I refuse to lose. I am determined to win. It’s that mindset that I teach to all my clients. It’s that commitment I give to them. I never give up on myself, and I’ll never give up on them.
I’ll never give up on you! We owe it to ourselves to be the best version of ourself that we can be, and I love doing this for a living.
How can I help you become the best version of yourself? MAC Fitness Mindset + Action + Consistency = Success
Peace & love, Matty Ice