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Meet Matt Suppin – 2018 AOCF Success Story Participant

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Meet Matthew aka Matt aka Mattie…

Matt joined Angel Oak CrossFit in September to write his own Success Story. He joined with one of the more common challenges those in Charleston face when trying to begin or stick to a fitness routine – work travel. Matt’s job in the medical field often has him traveling for long periods of time or even last minute long, but quick turn-around trips. This kind of job presents a lot of problems with creating a routine, maintaining good sleep habits, and eating good foods.

Challenging, but not insurmountable.

Matt is a living example that dedication to yourself overcomes even the most oddball, work travel schedules.

Matt committed to coming to the gym at least three times a week at 6:00 AM. The Success Story Challenge required him to attend 20 classes; so weeks when he was in town he came four times to ensure he hit his attendance goal despite weeks with scheduled work travel. He planned; he committed; he showed up. Period.  

Every class, Matt showed up with a positive attitude, a smile, and actively worked to improve his technique, endurance, and overall health. Mission accomplished!

If you are struggling to balance life and work travel, read and learn from Matt and his experience with starting a brand new fitness routine and the benefits of a community! (P.S. Matt is now a full time AOCF member and continues to workout with his – now 5:45 AM – crew weekly!)

Congratulations Matt!! We’re so proud of you and glad you’re a part of our community!

What is your job/occupation?

Strategic Client Executive for healthcare company. Focus in telemedicine, analytics, and expert consultations mainly around surgeries, cancers, and disease.

Growing up, what was your relationship with fitness?

I played soccer, basketball, and baseball through high school.  College was just intramural sports, aka sports with a beer.  I did weight train in high school, but I feel like back in the day it wasn’t well organized at that time.  Plus, that was 17 years ago – thanks for making me feel old.

Before you began writing your own Success Story, were you sedentary or were you active in life/job but had no structured fitness routine? And, what was your relationship to food?

Before CrossFit I was going to Anytime Fitness 3-4 days a week.  I used to travel a lot more often than I do now which made eating and gym routines more difficult.  I’d be perfectly happy not eating at an airport or hotel ever again 🙂

What was the most difficult part of writing your own Success Story? And, how did you overcome that difficulty?

I think it was just the ‘where do I begin aspect’ and making sure it was measurable.  Although I didn’t reach my body fat goal, I did improve and notice a difference just in how I felt day to day…energy level was up, felt more in a routine, weight loss, stronger. I wouldn’t say I was scared to start, but more of an uncertainty on what to expect since my gym was mostly dumbbells so you had the barbell intimidation.

What aspect of the challenge ended up being easier than you thought?

Nothing? Ha…I’d say as quickly as you lose the ability to do things you don’t practice regularly, you notice it starting to come back as you get into routine and develop muscle memory again.  Even just endurance changed in the first few weeks, so I’m excited to continue progressing.

How did your perception of yourself, fitness, nutrition, and others change during the 6 week challenge?

A big difference I noticed with CrossFit vs. my typical gym routine was the type of activity and intensity, which is was one of the reasons I wanted to get into CrossFit.  Working from home can be a challenge too (snacks around 24/7) so I’ve been trying to do a better job with grocery shopping.  My love handles are less lovable.

Coming from a sports background, it’s funny how much was lost just from being stationary in the gym routine.  Even something like box jumps had me gassed on day 1 because I hadn’t jumped in so so long.

What’s 1-3 things you learned about yourself, nutrition, health, working out, or anything else?

I found the nutrition packet to be helpful.  I was constantly buying the same thing at the grocery store and eating the same items.  I used to joke that I could walk through the store blindfolded and still find everything I need.  Seeing everything broken down helped re-plan and and evaluate what you actually eat.

Regardless of achieving your goal or not, what were 3 positive changes that you experienced physically, emotionally, or mentally through the 6 weeks?

I definitely noticed a difference in my energy level, endurance, and improvement with the movements.

Where are you now, and what’s in store for the future?

I am definitely sticking with CrossFit and enjoy the coaching and being pushed aspect.  I am continuing with my diet as well and will likely attend barbell classes at times too.  I wanted to get the basics down and get back into a routine before bouncing around.

What is your #1 piece of advice you would give to somebody who is on the fence about beginning a new fitness routine or nutrition regimen?

Don’t fear the unknown or overthink it. I think one of my hesitations was being in my own head – can I do this? Is everyone else in way better shape? The great part about Angel Oak is there are varying skill levels, amazing coaches, and the community pushes each other so there isn’t that out of place feeling.

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