Today I am... a father, husband, Ironman finisher and certified health coach. I strive to serve and live from my heart, on a journey to live the way I want to live with joy.
Mother Earth Food: Food is Medicine: The Matt Rowe Story
The Future of Healthcare: How MS Changed My Life - Matt Rowe
After marrying the woman of my dreams and having two kids, I lost 85 lbs and earned the title of all American Triathlete. My life had work and family stress and I was proud of what I had done, but always felt that it was not enough. I was trying to fill an empty hole with accomplishment. Then in 2008, I paralyzed my right leg taking away what I loved, who I thought I was, and the identity I had created.
During my journey of healing my leg, I suffered from negative thoughts of not being enough, which led me to career, family and health struggles. These negative thoughts plagued me as I avoided my new life. I was wearing a mask pretending and acting like I was going to be OK, confident and strong to everyone else but inside I was scared and lost. The denial of my injury and pretending to be OK led me to depression and thoughts of suicide. I had to make a change but did not know how. Grasping tightly to my old self, and out of sheer determination with a desire to have my old life back I completed Ironman 3 years after I paralyzed my leg.
This amazing accomplishment did not come close to what I really needed and my mask was bolted on tighter. This cycle of blaming myself and not feeling good enough or deserving continued with high levels of stress and fear. During this time, I did not ask for help and thought I just needed to deal with it.
My journey was not over, In 2017, I was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
I did not know how to leave this vicious spiral downward. I realized that the next step was up to me and ask for help. I later discovered that being diagnosed with MS would be one of the greatest gifts ever presented to me, because I woke up to what was truly important, me.
Do I want to go back and relearn this lesson? Absolutely not!
The gift I soon began to realize happened when I was given the choice to address who I was, what I wanted, and more importantly deal with the mental roadblocks and stress of not feeling like I was enough.
My previous identity of not being good enough or deserving left me living in fear and shame. Holding on too tight kept me from exploring other options being open to receiving help.
I kept walking through life life with my eyes closed.
When I began to look inward and begin loving myself for who I am, I discovered and believed that "I am enough" and my old identity was holding me back from taking control of the disease and living the life I wanted.
When I opened my eyes to the beauty and joy of life and not accomplishments, I started to see life as the joy it is. I began studying and exploring how to control MS and limit the symptoms and episodes it gave. I became a certified health coach, studying Food as Medicine, understanding a living what foods helped me thrive and others that made my MS symptoms worse. I also studied and practiced meditation and breadth work to calm my nervous system and decrease my stress.
Along this journey I came across many teachers, guides and resources that have all helped me. I have learned and live daily the power of Food as Medicine, the calm that comes from sitting quietly, exercise that is balanced, love that gives from an open heart, and an awareness of who I am.
There is a difference in what you have accomplished and who you are. Your diagnosis does not have to be who you are, you have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to know ourselves on the inside not just what we present on the outside. We have an opportunity to feel good and not be a victim to what has happened to us.
We can live the life we want and what our heart calls us to be.
I want to encourage and guide you to live your best life with MS no matter what that means for you.
During my journey of controlling the disease, I became a Certified Health Coach and host of the podcast "Identity of Health" a podcast the interviews those that have healed themselves from disease. I am also soon to the author of Identity of Health a book meant to inspire and guide others along their own healing journey.
I took my experience of creating exceptional teams to helping recently diagnosed individuals develop the Identity of a survivor and the habits necessary to be one.
Matt is a speaker, coach, and author leading great people to help heal themselves.
- Matt is so energetic, insightful and fun. Oh and the food is so yum!!! I will be bringing friends next time! ~ Willow B.
- Matt is a serial entrepreneur and genius. He has now applied his knowledge and experience to a wonderful, and badly need cause. I highly recommend Matt Rowe. ~ Michael G.