Ian Hawkins 0:02
Are you ready, ready to release internal pain to find confidence, clarity and direction for your future, to live a life of meaning, fulfillment and contribution to trust your intuition again, but something's been holding you back. You've come to the right place. Welcome. I'm a Ian Hawkins, the host and founder of The Grief Code podcast. Together, let's heal your unresolved or unknown grief by unlocking your grief code. As you tune into each episode, you will receive insight into your own grief, how to eliminate it and what to do next. Before we start by one request. If any new insights or awareness land with you during this episode, please send me an email at info at the end Hawkins coaching.com. And let me know what you found. I know the power of this word. I love to hear the impact these conversations have. Okay, let's get into it. So welcome to everyone and welcome this week's guest, Matt Fletcher.
Matt Fletcher 1:08
Man How I really good man.
Thank you. How are you? Going? Well, I'm a fellow fellow para fan. So we can we can empathize with each other's pain after the grand final loss a couple of weeks ago. Yeah.
Most certainly can. It does feel like a bit of a memory. Now. I think I process the pain that happened pretty quickly. But yeah, it was a disappointment. That's for sure.
Absolutely. I've kind of processes a lot of this. We two months before we were in danger of missing the finals all together. So to go on the run? We did does that was pretty good. And when we let's face it, we ran into a red hot team.
We did and I enjoyed the run to I thought that Ron was enjoyable to be on. So it's good to be able to think about that instead of just the debate.Yeah, absolutely not like:
Look when I did the sinner rehab. So it was three weeks in St. John of God and rehab at Burwood. We did some exploration in there with psychologists and psychiatrists. And I guess one of the things that we look for is, well, why why have you got to this point. And I didn't have any other reason. And I've become clear on it. Now apart from I was a product of my environment. And what I mean by that is my foot I've been in the fitness industry for about 26 years, and my first job out of school was in a gym in Fairfield and I just hung out with with people that like to party, like, it's as simple as that, like I just hung out with people that like to party. So the introductions that, you know, we're talking about the normal drinking that goes on, and I guess for, you know, a young man that grows up in, in Sydney, there's a level of normality around drinking and for something that stems into drug use. And that was me like I was, I was caught up in it, I had no reasons I wasn't escaping anything, I got to a brilliant, a brilliant upbringing, that I'm extremely grateful for a family that that we you know, we all still love each other very much. But I got in the wrong crowd, like I got in with a whole bunch of people that, you know, really liked to drink and party. And that led me to do the same. And that led, you know, that was a good solid five or six or seven years until, you know, my life became unmanageable. And what I mean by that is I was still highly functioning, working with jobs of pretty high responsibility that I didn't walk up to work one Monday morning, like I was physically incapable of getting myself to work and my employer at the time was looking for me. And they rang my parents at my home and I wasn't there and I couldn't explain where it was. And I was at my girlfriend at the Times house and I had to come clean, like I had to complain with my parents, first of all to say, I'm out of control. Like I can't stop this. It's at a point where I can't stop it. And then the suggestion was made to go to rehab and I put both hands up and I said let's do it and I went to rehab and and I got a little bit clearer on the fact that I was I was an alcoholic and my life had become unmanageable. And that's not where it got better at didn't get better than that's for sure.
Yeah, yeah. I just want to dig a bit more there if we can, because it's You said something that really sort of got me thinking around what I know of sort of gym culture. I know all gyms are different. And but when I was growing up a lot of my mates you went to the gym? Yeah, the party does well, that's almost a contradiction, right. But I guess when you're at that age, the reason for that is not necessarily the same as it is when you get to, to an older age, when you're when you're more about staying healthy and maintenance. It's a it's a different, different things. So what what was the what? Why was everyone doing that? What were they actually getting out of that experience?
Yeah, that's a that's a that's an interesting question. What were they getting out of it? And it's not now. It's not until now that I can look back? And and possibly answer that at the time it was, it was an experience that was all, you know, Tom's it was an out of out of mind, sometimes out of body experience, and it was the you know, letting, letting loose, it was experimentation, it was socializing, it was, you know, there was there was communities and there was, so we got into the dance party scene in Sydney. So that was, for me a place that was almost like a it was like I was drawn to it, you know, the Oxford street dance club scene nightclubs until 6am, or 10am, the next day, what they were getting out of the, you know, my, my answer to that now would be very different to what it was then that it was like, it was almost like a really fun experience, you know, to experiment with different drugs. And what I'm talking about is ecstasy and, and cocaine were the two main ones that were part of the same then. But then for me, it wasn't just that party scene, it wasn't that I didn't switch off at the end of the weekend, and I would then continue to drink or smoke pot, Monday to Friday as well. whilst still managing to maintain a job and physically trying people like that was, you know, do what I say don't do what I do. So for me, I didn't have an off switch, I didn't know how to stop at the end of the weekend. So it was almost like I would continue to top up during the week, preparation for the next weekend. And that was very much my cycle.
It's almost the very definition of high functioning, like the ability just to use at that level and continue to shop for the places that you have to show up.
Yeah, look, I became a very good, very good light, you know, lying about what I felt like and lying about, where I spent my time and putting on one front for the people that I worked with at the gym, and then a completely different picture for the people that I was socializing with away from the gym.
And were you conscious that you were being deceptive or it was just I was just dealing with whatever you're going through the best way you could at the time?ferent, like from that age of:
Yeah, nice. And we want to get more into that journey around how you made that transition. I'm always curious about cause the environment that you're in, has an impact and like I think about my time in transitioning from school to uni and being a kid that was shy at times lacked confidence and then I go to uni and I discover alcohol and I suddenly am able to manufacture artificial confidence to go and do a whole lot of different things and it was a real game changer and and like you described it was a heap of fun. But up to a point, that it's to the detriment But now go on the doing the work that I do. Now, I'm always fascinated about cause and, and why that would have been. And sometimes it is, it's just it's a, it's a matter of circumstance, sometimes it's actually not a massive event or anything else that steers us on that path. It just can be like a behavior pattern. And, like, for me, it was a behavior pattern of well, I get overwhelmed with, with emotions. So if I do this, it kind of numbs it a bit, you kind of like how you described it, it almost sounded like it's, it was almost an addictive sort of thing. It was like, you didn't intend to go down that path. But somehow you get into this space, and it's like, that you whatever you're getting out of it just become almost like self perpetuating. Does that sort of resonate with you? Is it like that, that?
Start looking? And I've been asked that question a lot, like, why why did you? Why did you become an alcoholic, and it's not like, it's not like I wanted to, nor did nor is there at any point, an event or a circumstance that or a, or a or period of my life that led me to go there. I'm really clear on the fact that, that it's very much to do with you, there's a there's a personality trait within me, and I use that to my advantage today. But you know, if I if I do something repeatedly, because stuck in my behavior pattern, and for me, I was doing the wrong thing repeatedly. And then obviously, when we're dealing with substances that your body becomes physically addicted to, in combination with the mental compulsion for me to do it, it's quite a significant combination that leads to a very difficult transition away from it. Which is, you know, which is part of the struggle for me, and I know it is for many people. And that's why today I've got some different thoughts around it, and different, different beliefs around it that that one day at a time keeping me sober, I'm seven years and one month, drug and alcohol free, anything, anything mind altering at all, for me is, is a concern, and I steer away from it. Good man,.:
Yeah. And I think sometimes, and I know, I'm no expert in this insofar as discovering the reason why we do things. But I do feel a lot of strong belief around well, if it didn't work for yours, cause you for it, not to work them, we can change that. And for me, that's a huge, a huge thing, you know, that ability to have that will just go so it was like that, it doesn't mean it has to stay like that. And part of what I needed to do was to recognize that I can change if I want to. And that's what we do with within our coaching program is this get people to go well, if it's not working, and you're not happy with it, then you're in charge of changing regardless of what the reason was, to get you to that point. Here we are today. And here's the opportunity to bring about something different and that's cool when people can go you know what, that's right. That doesn't have to be my story. If it doesn't sit well with me and it doesn't bring me joy, let's change it. Then it's about saying what do I need to do consistently to bring about a new pattern of behavior and a bloody works that really does like today, my life is completely different to what was inactive alcoholism.
I love that. So if you look back then from 26, you got to rehab. That wasn't the moment that changed everything and you go back into sort of this repeat pattern. What what did rehab need then? That it didn't have?
You know what I'm Phil. So I still I still see and have the ability to, to connect with people in rehab and outside of rehab with with my recovery, because that's part of my recovery. Part of my recovery is to help other people in addiction, you know, find find a life that brings you joy. And I think the big thing is, for people in rehab always the same, you're in a safe place, you're in a safe place where you're not exposed to the temptations, you've got people around you that care about you, you build new friendships and support networks, the challenges, then getting back out into life, with, you know, potentially not enough confidence or time up and insofar as away from the last drink, or drug or support around you. And then what happens is life starts to, you know, play its role again, and that is, you know, throws up challenges. And if we don't have the necessary skills to be able to deal with those challenges, then our our fallback, you know, coping mechanism is to, is to pick up drink and drugs. And then you know, I don't know that rehab, I'm no expert in that space, I don't know what they need to do, or what needs to be done in in that time. And I'm sure that's constantly being refined, I feel like having another community outside of it. So I know, for me, personally, I'm still a part of the AAA program, it's my number one priority. In everything that I do, I write goals, with a goal board in our gym here. And the coaches and athletes write their goals on the board. And my number one goal is maintain my sobriety one day at a time, because I know if I do that, the other stuff will be okay. If I don't do that, I lose everything else that's on offer for me. But for me, community's huge, you know, so you have a little community inside rehab of friends going through similar struggles to you, and then you've got your professionals helping you, then if you come out of there, and there's no community of like minded people that are trying to, you know, pick you up, instead of drag you back down again, that's where I've see the gap been. So maybe there's an opportunity for rehabs to end they do align people with programs such as AAA, or align people with other groups of like minded people, that, to me, is an opportunity to build them on what has happened in rehab. You know, the challenge is, if you go out of rehab, and you start hanging out with their old, old mates, in the old environments, you know, you sit in the barber chair long enough, you're gonna get a haircut, well, the alcoholic, you should go and hang out with your old mate. So you know, the disconnect from the bad and the reconnect with the code is, is really critical.
Yeah, right. And was that was that quick, like you come out of rehab, and then like, you kept a gun for a few months, few weeks, few days.
I did about 12 months, I think I got close to 12 months of sobriety, if not just over 12 months of sobriety. And when I took sobriety, I took alcohol and drugs. So pot was a part of my story. And I think I picked up pot, before I picked up alcohol again. But then for me, it was just years and years of switching one for the other would go home smoking too much pot, get rid of it. And then I'd pick up the drink and then the drink and get out of control or contouring or these pick up the pot again. So I would go from one to the other. And then I had and I'd always justified on always justifying go all the pots not as bad as the drink. Now, for me, they're all in the same category as they also the way in which I'm able to use my brain and they're all They're all on the program.
So what what was the Was there an incident? What was there? Like? Were you going through a stage where you you ended up smoking pot again,
I'm trying to remember I feel like and the timelines not crystal clear for me, but I've got a feeling it was a trip to Queensland with a friend and then he went back and I went further to Queensland and made another frame. And this might sound cliche, but I'm pretty sure that there was a situation where there was a drink audit in a club, and I accidentally got an alcoholic drink, but then I knew it was alcoholic or drank it. And then I kept going. And I made a conscious decision. There was no I'm not saying it was an accident that forced me to pick up again. But I knew I knew that there was alcohol in the drink, and then I drank it. And my guard was down, you know, I was away from my normal environment. I know I hadn't been to a meeting, but I don't know how long so for me and this is now the big lesson that I've learned is that I need to continue to go to meetings to stay sober. And I got clear on that in a meeting one night where I was sitting in a meeting and there were two members that had like 50 and 60 years of sobriety up to two older men. Why one who has passed the other two still with us. And it clicked for me and I've gone hang on why are these guys still going to meetings every week? After 50 years of sobriety And it's like, Aha, they're still here, because that's what keeps them sober. And there was a real light bulb moment for me. And that was that was cool. It's like, you're here for good might be here for good. And when I accepted that, I was able to embrace it in her mind. And then I started to love that community, that community that I'm talking about is for me, a we go to a meeting once a week. And I love it for that reason, because I know it brings me the lights that I've got today, if I don't go to meetings, there's a there's a very high possibility that I might pick up again, like if I don't continually have that reminder that, you know, when I drink and drug, my life is a certain way. It's day, it's within me, we know we talked about it, it's still in push ups in the background, that little alcoholics going and waiting for that guard to go down. And when that guy goes down, I'm coming out, we got to pick up a drink, and then it'll be full blown again, I haven't gotten any better at drinking. I've got better at living without drinking.
That's good. Makes me think of a conversation I've been having a lot in the last few weeks, it's how often do people go away from what got them into the good space? They go, Oh, everything's going well, now I don't have to do these these different disciplines and, and daily routines that got me here, and then they drop it off. And what happens is they fall off a cliff pretty quick, or they slowly do which is probably worse, then, you know, a month to six down the track. They go How do I get back here and this whole?
Yeah, I think that's interesting, because I just spoke to one of our athletes this morning, about a shoulder she had, she's had a shoulder problem, she's done some rehab, she's got some physio work, and the shoulder is really good. And she said, it feels really good to go. Keep doing the work, keep doing the work, we've got your shoulder good, because what happens is we forget about what got it good. And then that problem will come back. And it's the same with us. And the work we do. And we teach meditation in our program, and people get it, they practice it, they start to feel good. And then they lose the practice. And we like it when they go, something feels different. And it's an ongoing, what is it? Like I haven't meditated for a while. And that's cool. When you can recognize Yes, something's happened here. What feels different? Oh, that's right. I haven't done my meditation practice for a while. And then you know what it feels like to do it and not do it. The key is obviously, then can we recognize when that behavior is dropped off, and get back onto it before the problems start to arise? I
love that. And for someone who's been a, like, nearly 10 years now meditator, like, exactly like you described, it's like, when I don't, then I'll know the difference. And yeah, interestingly, when I go on holidays is often when I don't. And I just like, I just want to switch off from all routine. But then there are times when I make sure I still do on holidays when I get more out of my holidays as well. So it's really interesting, isn't it? Like these patterns that haven't served us? Great? Well, let's build in these new ones. And then we just want to throw them out when when, when everything gets back to a place where we feel okay, so I'm not actually that's the timer, we got to make sure we install those habits to take us to the next level. And at the very least keep us above the line we want to stay above.
For sure. Yeah, and I think that's it. And a lot of these habits. They're not glamorous, they don't bring us about instant gratification. But when pieced together nicely with lots of other little good habits, they do bring about a really phenomenal life like and I like to believe that what I've got today is not a result of one thing, it's a result of putting bits of work into multiple areas of my life. And then what we get is a really good outcome. And it doesn't mean doesn't mean that life becomes easy life still bloody hard. There's still stuff that's going on all the time. That's difficult, and we get those things thrown at us. But I know that when I when I do those little things, I can manage whatever comes my way.
Yeah, it's a good point. There are still challenges. I say this to clients in the early stages, like, it's not about getting things getting easier. Yep. When you go on this journey, the challenges get bigger. But you just get so much better at dealing with them. You have more strategies and more coping mechanisms and more ways to get by. And you're just you deal with them with a different sort of clarity and calm that that makes it all worthwhile. Right. And that, yeah, and like you said, the delay gratification instead of trying to be this quick fix, which I know is just drummed into people with all the different messages they hear. It's actually a more overall feeling of well being of feeling happy and joyful more often and, and rising that level of your sort of default default feeling rather than the default being something far together worse.
It's like talking about those drinking and drugging days like I was always looking for what's you know how to get that, you know, that feeling that? That high? And then and then the challenge with that is once We get up there, we get down here. And now for me, I talk about the magic is in the middle, the magic is just that. Quiet. You know, there's that level of I don't want to get too out there like, you know, there's too much up there means too much down here. For me the magic is that steady, grounded and middle. And I like that. I like that. That's where I feel, you know, we're talking about your flow. That's where I feel that flow is so fulfilling.
Yeah, I'd like to think that we can have that more of that level, level base, but also still get more of those moments of high without having to go through the moments of low and that level. That's where always, I'm always shooting for and you touched on that flow, I think we'll we'll definitely come back to that, because that's an area I'm definitely passionate about. I want to get more around the story is still there. Because we've, we've kind of gotten to that point where you've come out of rehab, and then and then you've relapsed. So, like, you said, you battled for sort of 10 years, then like, so what, when you battled, like, what impacted? We're talking like, is this impacted your life as well?
Very much, so very much so. And, you know, I talked with, you know, talk with, with the people that have been there the whole time, you know, about it. And, you know, there was, there was a lot of lies, and a lot of hiding what I did, because once I came out of rehab, my story was that I was a non drinker. So then, you know, I had to take what I used to do in public to behind closed doors, because I couldn't, I couldn't be that failure, I couldn't be that person that was not successful after rehab. Yeah, so you know, I was very selective with who I drank and dried with. Or I didn't do it with anyone, it was all done by myself behind closed doors, or partners at the time, often would know the depths of where I was at. But for me, the struggle was, you know, how do I try to continue on with life, and now I look back, you know, I never really did anything. Really well, you know, might have might have appeared to be doing things well, but now when I understand you know, about what aspects needs to go into doing things, and then it was, so I would get periods of sobriety up by going back to meetings for anywhere from a week or two to a month or two, you know, or relationship with buster. And I was, there was me, like I was, you know, there were there was never any issues with with, you know, the other partner, it was me like when, you know, when there was a problem I was there for, you know, I put my hand up to that. So, you know, a relationship with bus stop, or I'd move, move from one job to another, you know, I started to do the job hopping thing, thinking the job would need to sort the problem out, but I was there again, at the next job, I was still the problem. So I get some sobriety up, I'd get a bit healthy, and then stop going to meetings, pick up again, and then the cycle would continue. And then it could go on for a you know, a year or two years. And then I find myself back in a back into meetings going here I am again, and I brilliant for re a returning member. A lot of people don't get back because if embarrassment if anyone's listening to this, and that's their situation, they will always welcome people back with open arms and understand the nature of alcoholism and drug use is that you know, people are going to relapse, but we've got to keep trying, you know, and that's why do I keep trying until I've got it. And yeah, probably wasn't solid 10 years, I became a father of 36. And it was about probably, you know, I was pretty good. I had a scare, I had a drink driving scare, a drink, and I almost I should say an almost drink driving scared. I was behind the wheel. I was affected by alcohol. I got pulled over by a police car. It was an undercover police car that I spotted. I knew it was an undercover police car. And you must have thought I looked a bit concerned. Anyway pulled me over and he checked my license. And I don't have any, any history with the law. And I thought the next thing is he's going to press testing. That's what they do. Anyway, you didn't press test me let me go. But I was over the limit. There's no doubt about it. And I thought that would have had to have been enough to scare the living daylights out of me to never do it again. They're scared enough to get back to AAA for a little while gets over. But then, you know, it happened again. I think it was about six months worth of sobriety and I picked up again. But becoming a father was the big catalyst for real change for me.
Hmm. We'll come to that. I just want to I just wanted to touch on something there. Do you know now what was like what was happening that was leading you back to using if you're going through these different moments where everything was when everything was going okay, well, I was like, was it relationships we get challenging and then you would be go back to using was it the job was not fulfilling? Like what was it completely random?
Yeah, no, it was it was the output was the unlit treated alcoholic. There was the untreated alcoholic. So it was the fact that there was, you know, there's, and this is this is not, I don't think it's well and truly understood enough, but I'm allergic to alcohol. And what that means is when I put alcohol into my system, I need to put more in, you know, the person who the person who's allergic to bees doesn't become a, someone that has a beehive and makes honey, you know, I mean, they stay away from the danger. And the alcoholic, when treated understands that it's the first drink for me that does the damage. So if I don't have the first drink, I don't have the second or the third or the fourth one. And the reason I kept going back was because I didn't have a clear enough understanding of that. Nor did I have a clear enough distinction to the pain that that was causing me. So what so there was never any at this point, this happened, and it led you to go and pick up a drink. It was my coping, it was my coping mechanism. I recognize that today. It was how I dealt with managing my feelings.
Yeah, because I
look realistically, and I look at this now. I have as an adult, about seven years experience with managing feelings. And one of the things that one of the things that happens when you become sober is you learn how to feel. And for me, I had to learn how to feel sad, happy, hungry, tired. All the emotions, all the feelings, you know, I had to learn how to deal with those feelings. Because all I ever used to do was didn't matter. But just pick up a drink, finish work, pick up a drink someone's birthday, pick up a drink, feel sad, pick up a drink. So instead of learning to feel things, I'm masked. And I didn't, I didn't consciously do that. I was that was just a creature of my routine. But now I know. Okay, so now when I feel a certain way, how do I? How do I process that? What does it feel like to feel this. And this is cool. Like, I look at this as an exciting part of life where I get to experience that now. I've had feelings that I don't like, but that doesn't mean I cover it up with alcohol. That means I learned to feel it.
It's great point. And we we have these messages from a young age around, not feeling. Don't be sad, don't be angry, don't be upset and feel like I'm having this same conversation with guests every week. But it's it's such a true pattern, we and we would have caught ourselves doing the same thing to our kids. And so the pattern sort of repeats. But then our body shows us different feelings that are there. And this internal contradiction going on. So it's like to me, it's no wonder that people are driven to all these different vices because of because it's just confusing, right?
Yeah. And when when we're like, when do we get taught how to feel? Like you're almost thrown out into the big bad world. You know, although we've got our parents that have loved as a kid force. Parents only know what they know. And I only know what my wife and I know now with our children around teaching things. But I'd like to think that we are evolving, and we're improving that experience. But yeah, I mean, that's the first time I've ever said that. But who teaches us how to feel like who really teaches us that? And is there a right and wrong way to feel something?
Well, my thoughts are is that that probably comes pretty naturally. We don't teach people how to feel we've taught them how not to sure. Because of the messages that continue to drum into them. It's it's and how's it going? Yeah, exactly. And if you think about when someone's I've said, we hate watching somebody or subsets. So what do we try? And do? We try and cheer them up? So we're forever running this pattern of not only not allowing ourselves to feel but trying to stop other people as well. And yeah, so. But you got to that point where you become a father, and that changed everything. So how so?
How so I guess it was, I had a and I'm okay with getting emotional. And I'm sure you are too. But I had a father that was the best role model I could have ever asked for. And I wanted to I wanted to keep that legacy going, I guess. I guess it meant that much to me. That I didn't want to be a father that couldn't couldn't be present. A father that had to live that life that he that he lived and something Something had to change and the only thing that they was was made?
Yeah. And you can steer me in another direction as soon as you're ready because I know this is pretty raw with what's gone on over the last couple of years. But what what was it that your dad gave you that you just feel so humbled by him and wanted to take that forward to your children.ar, he passed away in June of:
Yeah, and I think anyone who's had children can identify with the moment where, where they're born, and just the will the joy, but then suddenly, the responsibilities thrust upon you that there's this tiny creature that needs depends on on you to keep it safe. And all of the other things that come around as young years and, and I don't know about you, but as part of pardon me there was like, Can I even do this?
Like, what are we?
What are we don't? What are we doing? Have we done? And then and then the moment that you describe where you like, I've got to be better. And I'm interested to hear how long that took. Because for me, there was a desire to get better immediately. But then I didn't know how. So then it's like, going on a journey to find out well, how do I even do this? So what was that like for you? Was it like, your the birth of your child instant sobriety? Or was it more like a gradual thing? How did that unfold?th of September:
I love it. And actually the first time we met, we were talking about books almost straightaway, we're talking about a particular book. And yeah, I've got it right up here as well. And, yeah, it's, it's a great way to connect. And one of our viewers, if you will, I can tell how passionate you are about that for one about the the impact that they've had in your life and how you just want to pay that forward. And I think about some of the books I've learned out which were just still online somewhere, I can't remember where they were they are. There's so much value. But I don't know if you relate to this, like that obsession, the early stages when he was like that, as well. And I just wanted to help everyone and convince them all that you got to look at this, you got to look at that. That was interesting to hear that if they're not ready for. So was that was that anything that you can relate to? And when you became obsessed?
Look, I'm sure it's probably come across that way. And it's interesting that you say that, because now I'm much clearer on the fact that when the students ready the teacher will appear. And yeah, look, I but I also I also believe that there's a need to if you are learning something, then try and teach it to someone else. And that then reaffirms what you've actually learned, you've understood if you can then teach it to someone else. But if you're in the wrong environment, and you're trying to teach the wrong people, it's gonna fall on deaf ears, and then you will lose some of the impacts today. I'm I'm very, very, like very, very, I'm going to say grateful. I'm not going to say lucky because I feel like it's something that we've fostered and we've nurtured. But I have a community around me of people that want to be better. So the ability to share that today is is is very present for me. And but I also recognize that people will will, will pick up what we teach when they're really but sometimes the job of us as a coach is to give that little friendly tap on the shoulder and remind them it's time to take action. It's time now to to step into that next stage because while you stay doing what you're doing, not much is going to get change. Yeah, looked at that. For me, it was very much doing first, you know, I needed to do doo doo doo until it was who I was until it wasn't something that I needed to think about. And now when I talk about it as a coach, it's not something that I need to think too much about. It's something that for me comes really naturally now. But that's how After many, many years of practice, and practice and practice,
yeah, love it. I'm really drawn to a few different things you've you said and the, the areas that seemed to be the most challenging where were the times when you're having to do it on your own, and the areas that are giving you the most joy where, where it's like as part of a team and even describe that now as the community have built and how much pride I can tell you having that. So tell me about some of the struggles of and I say this as someone who's an extrovert who's heavily dependent on connection. So me stepping away from a from a workplace where I was within a team, then doing things on my own hasn't been a massive challenge. What sort of struggles have you had when where you've been left to your own devices and had to do things on your own?
Yeah, that's a that's an interesting, and that's cool to be able to go back over the years, because for many for many of my early years in business, so my wife and I were so I resigned. So I had a small stint away from the fitness industry in a different industry. So we got married in March, or resigned from from my job in August. And I literally had about a three months dent, I literally had about a three month binge to be perfectly honest with you, I literally binge, like, you know, told people I was having a break, looking for some more work, but I was binge drinking, waking up drinking in the morning, all through the day. And then that was about that time that I had that that close to scare with the police that was starting to be the catalyst of change. And then I looked at purchasing a what was then known as a business called step into life, a fitness franchise business, we looked into it, we asked some questions about it. And then my wife and I reviewed it and then said we can do this on our own and my wife was still working in it in a different industry at that time. And then so we started our own business, we created what is now known as go PT group personal training, go PT originally stood for great outdoors, personal training, we were an outdoor business trained in a park in St. Mary's, that's where it all started. And I felt like because I'd had a fair bit of experience in the fitness industry, I just thought I could do it on my own date. I did it all on my own. I did all the coaching, I did all the marketing, I did all the content creation. My wife and my wife was very helpful with the with the books, because that's not my forte. But for probably the first three years of business I never got, I never saw any help. I never asked for any coaching and mentoring didn't pay for anything additional. And now I look back at it, and I go, I knew that if I reached out for help earlier, I would have been more successful earlier. But that's cool. I needed to learn I need to go through that process. But then I started to dive in and I got some business coaching, make some changes to structures did some things differently in business started to grow. And then that got me to truly let go of the ego side of it. And now I have coaches for different areas of my life and have for many, many years. And for me, it's perfect. Like it's a perfect scenario. Like why would I continue to try and fight this thing on my own when there's people that can help. And then you know, for years, I had a business coach. For years, I've had a nutritional coach, still, to this day have a physical coach that programs for for Jenny and I, Jenny works with me. We try and together we compete together. And now I pay someone to keep me accountable or pay someone to steer me in the right direction, or pay someone to say you're doing a great job. But we can do more. You know, whatever it is, you know, I mean, that concept of the coach being coached I love today. You know the best athletes in the world don't get to being number one without a coach. And I think that's it's all too common for people to want to do it on their own handed over. You know, that's one less thing for me to have to think about worry about. And I know that in all areas of my life, it's better because I've got a coach, I consider my AAA program, my sobriety coach.r a time there around the mid:
Yeah. Look, and it's interesting, different people, different coaches have different strategies. And for me, when I, when I seek a coach to be my coach, I want a coach that that, that is, that fills me with confidence, not by giving me a pat on the back, though. They know what direction they want to take me like for me, I don't want to coach to go, Matt, we can do this. Or we could do this, what do you want to do? No, I'm paying you to be my coach, you tell me what to do. And I'll do it. And I'll go all in in that, you know, so if my coach said, I need you to go and run five kilometers, and then deadlift, 200 kilograms, that's what I'm going to do it my coach says, you've got a choice today, you can either run five kilometers, or you can deadlift 200 kilograms, which one do you want to do? That doesn't work. For me, my style in being coached is tell me what I'm going to do. And then we actually wishes to say when out when people join our program is we want you to trust the coach, we want you to know that the coach is going to have your best interests at heart, then the coach is going to make suggestions. And we want you to jump on those suggestions. Because I feel that that that brings about a better level of compliance around taking action. Because if we're leaving local, I believe, as a coach, if I'm leaving my athletes with too many choices, they'll sit in procrastination and not take action. Whereas if we can go, let's be crystal clear, let's take this action. And you know what, maybe it won't work. But at least we know it won't work. And we can find another way to do it. Just a thought, yeah,
and there's a million different ways to do it. I would say that even though you're you wanting to have the decision made for you, you've still had to decide what the purpose of that whole exercise is in the first place. Right? It's still you're, you're there for a reason, you know why you're there. And either of these two things are going to work. This is the one that I recommend, you still got a choice, he's going to recommend it but you still have a choice, right?
You can still not do it, or you can still go I'm not working with you anymore. But I feel like there's there's a need for you know, we've got to choose the I did a post on this a little while back. But we've got to, you know, we've got to choose our heart, we've got to choose, okay, if there's gonna be there's gonna be difficult decisions to make. And if we keep choosing the easy road, that's going to lead us to having to make some other real hard decisions later on. Or we can choose a road now we can choose the difficult road of taking more action, getting more sleep, eating a different way, connecting with different people. And then that will bring about a better outcome. But if we keep staying in that, you know, we've talked about the comfort zone, not taking action hanging around people that aren't really helping us. Nothing's gonna change. And at some point, we're going to break physically or mentally we're going to break.
Jim Rohn Jim Rohn talks about the two the two easy's Yeah, it's easy to have the discipline to do all those things you talked about. And it's easy not to. Yes, I'm like, it's hard to do the things that you need to do. It's even harder to not do them. Because you're still gonna have struggles, but you're not going to go anywhere, you're not going to get anywhere. And that's to me, that's the greatest benefit of having someone to give you the strategy give you the system that's going to work for you, then away you go. Right, you just plug in and and here you go.
And it's it's interesting as a coach, seeing what we can see as a clear path of action to help that person with the problem that they've got. Yet they still don't take it. And that's one of the things that that I work with, with with my team here is okay, well, how do we what do we need to do to help this person to take the action that they need to take? And I haven't got the answer on that one. I haven't got the formula yet.
Well, to me, it's something you touched on before he talked about the heart. And when you can get people tuned into what they truly want in their heart, then the decision on what which path to take so easy. As a coach, you can give them any number of different options. Obviously, a good coach is going to narrow it down to the one that they think's the best. You're still allowing space for for the heart's desire to come through because we all have in our essence what it is that how we want life to be and God knows life throws enough contrast at us to show us there's plenty that we don't like and there's plenty that we can do. or I guess the word that comes to mind is empowerment is to empower them to be able to have the confidence that they are making the right decision for them. And I learned this the hard way, because I've worked with a heap of coaches that had incredible systems. And they taught me so much. But it was ultimately, it's this way. And that didn't work. For me, I much prefer to have, I need to have what works for me, and this system will take me to some point. But it's not going to take me to exactly where I want to go. And ultimately, that comes back to having a structure in place because that's, that's how I thrive is structure. And then I can make the decision myself, if that makes sense. And I
think there's, there's also got to be a level of unprepared to change what I think might work or you don't I mean, like, I know that how I coached people 10 years ago was very different to how I coach people today. And if I'd stayed stuck in that belief system from 10 years ago, there's a real problem there. But today, I recognize that I'm allowed to change what I believe I'm allowed to change what I understand to be true. And yeah, and I feel that's really important, because we just otherwise we we stay stuck in that, you know, well, this is what it's got to be like, but hang on, if that's not working for you, and let's change it, let's change the belief system around it. And then let's change the behaviors around it.
100% That's what I love about these chats. Right? Is that another Jim Rohn. One you talked about, you know, he said the, I think him talking about that when the students ready, the the teachable, it's, it's the same with when you're having a conversation, the teacher is transformed, the student is transformed. And if we're talking about this specific example, where we're having a conversation where at different times you've been teaching me and at different times I've been teaching you, the listener is also transformed. And to me, this is like just such a, the gift of this medium is to be able to have these conversations that not just have one benefit, but endless benefits for everyone who's tuning in as well.
And not only and the first time that we experienced that, like someone might watch this, and then they might watch it again that next time. They're different, they might receive the message differently. Like, you know, we, we talk about the books, I've read some of my favorite books I've read a couple of times, and I know that at different stages in my life, I've received that message differently. And that's because I'm changing, I'm evolving.
Isn't that easy? Or you listen, or you read the same part of the book and go? Is this a new book? Like I don't even remember this, right? It's the beauty of it. And that's what comes with with going through the growth. So I was asking you about, like having to do things on your own. And you were talking about how like the business that you made that conscious choice to do on your own. But you also talked about the benefit of having someone there in your corner. If you look back at the journey. We always someone that really thrived in that in that group in that sort of community aspect.
I don't know if I would say I thrived in. I didn't I didn't recognize the power of community until the last few years. I really didn't.
Somewhat so when you were a kid, did you gravitate towards groups that you didn't like? What sort of things did you get from a
sports sports perspective, played a combination of team and individual sports? So I was trying to think about that, did I move towards one or the other? In reflection, probably the sports. And the activities that I did better at were individual sports. And I don't feel it was a conscious choice to go and want to play this sport because I can be in charge. But I've been I've had different activities that I've got really into over the years. But the community Yeah, I probably would have been in reflection, I probably stayed more towards throughout the years more individual type, work slash performance. Even I've always been in the industry that involves, you know, working in groups, but today, and it's probably more of a shift. I can just I can really feel the power of community. And I want that to be something that when we when we understand the power of it, and it's the right community. We can really make change, like individually and as a community. Yeah, and I believe that like today I have a really strong belief that if I can continue to do my best work with as many people as possible Then my daughters will grow up into a community and a world where things are better. And if I don't believe that, I'm wasting my time.
Yeah, I love that. It comes back to knowing your why, and having that as a moment of inspiration to actually keep you on the path.
Yep. And it takes some time to get clear on that. But when there's clarity in that, then everything that you do, for me, everything that I do them forms into, does this sit with what I'm trying to do here? Or is this gonna be a detractor, and then I can make decisions based on that. And when I say decision, that's decisions based on individual interactions, and big picture stuff.
Love it. Yeah. You mentioned before, you know, some of those memories from those years. Through addiction where you were there not so great. I'm also curious, like, around like around, what impact it's had on your memory, but also, like, Do you get any other physical impacts that still play out like, um, kind of like, you know, petering people in when they go through a detox and you feel like they've got spiders on them? Or whatever other things going on on their body? Like, do you get any sort of? Or have you had any sort of impact of of those years doing that?
Look, to this point, I would say no, that's, you know, that's unproven, you know, I think potentially, if we were to do some deep exploration and some some scientific experiments, there would definitely have to be knowing the nature and the level at which I used and abused, I would feel there would have to be some level of impairment, physically and or mentally none, however, that I am aware of, nor express themselves in any form. Today, what I do recognize today is that as human body is phenomenally resilient, and we are very much we have very much a picture of how we look after ourselves. And that's not always within our control. But even when it's not, we can improve it. And I have some strong beliefs around this. But I'm 45 now and physically and mentally, in the best shape of my life. And I have no doubt whatsoever, that I will be better at 55 I have no doubt whatsoever that I will be better at 55. Because all the emotional and the, you know, the emotional growth that has taken place in the last seven years has also led me to explore and maximize my physical potential. And I feel like I'm, I'm in it's in its infancy, like, I truly do believe that it's really cool. Because I, you know, I was doing all that damage from 18 to 36. And now I'm at that point where, okay, well, I've stopped damaging my body. Now I'm nurturing my body in my mind. And as a result, I like to think that I am a really good reflection of the work that I've put in. But I also believe very strongly that from a longevity point of view, that I am investing in a really good quality life. And I said to Jamie, we went to Melbourne and competed in a CrossFit competition on the weekend, we did really well, we're very proud of ourselves. But I said to her, I would love to be able to compete with one of my daughters one day, you know, and my eldest daughter is eight, my youngest daughter is five, who they might never want to compete. But at some point, I thought how cool that be to be able to do a competition with my girl. So, you know, the body is very resilient. You know, that gets to a point of diminishing returns, and it's not going to turn turn around again, like people do that much damage. But I don't have any. Any concerns that my body in my mind has been severely impacted. I feel like there has to be something like that.
Of course, but I love how you describe that because I feel the same. I'm like, I can't remember feeling as well as I felt, I'm sure as a teenager at some point. But I also think back to those years and the mental and emotional turmoil that I was going through, like, maybe physically I was much better, but like overall, then I can't remember a time and to me, that's the greatest gift of doing this personal growth work right is to to be able to have the most fulfillment, enjoy our life that's possible and who wouldn't want that?
Exactly. And I really, you know, it took about let's put it to play and I said, Let's put deposit into the back. You know, what am I doing to make sure that, that Matt's growing, and I use that terminology with our community as well. But I it's a little bit saddening to think that I feel like there's a I can't put a percentage on it. But there's, there's a lot of people out there that have never, and potentially never will know what it truly feels like to feel well. And when I say well, I don't mean, normal or average, you know, people go and get blood tests, and they get told that their, their blood works normal. Well, normally to meet that good to be perfectly honest. And I'm talking about physical and mental wellness, like truly feeling alive and feeling connected and feeling fulfilled and feeling moments of joy, you know, the book The Power of Now, like, how do we get ourselves into a situation where we can truly experience joy in all the moments that are taking place? Even the not so pleasant once? And how do we learn from them? And until people put their hand up and go, Okay, what do I need to do? What's the work that I need to do to allow me to experience that, and then continue to do the work? Well, after the motivation has left you? Then there's going to be a lot of people that, that, you know, when that time comes, and I say this to my community? You know, let's get to that point where you're on your deathbed, you can say, I'm glad I did. Not I wish I do.
I love that. No regrets, right. Yeah. You mentioned that impact you want to have, and I love what you said about competing with your daughter. Like, that's, that's one of my goals is to play sport, and my son, my daughter is more of a music. So we've got to do that. Right. So where we're going to perform at a concert, but we're going to play some music together, which is cool. But that, that is something that that really motivates me too. Because I just mean, how cool to do that sort of stuff with your family. But if you're looking at like, from a biggest perspective around legacy, what's the impact that you want go PT to have on the world? For beyond just what you take them through? Like, what's the impact?
Look, I guess that's it, I've sort of touched on it with I want people to be able to truly feel what it feels like to be healthy and happy. Like our one of our I guess underwriting missions is to make healthy and happy normal to make healthy and happy normal. And they do go hand in hand. And the idea there is, you know, we want to, to allow people to, to experience better than where they're at. You know, and I take I actually take a lot from some of the things that we work on in the AAA program and apply it to life. And one of those is strive for progress, not perfection. And and, and that's tough. Like that's tough to one, except that as, okay, well, I don't need to be perfect. But if I'm making progress, then that's that, you know, we talked about that journey that feels like we're making progress. Yeah, the legacy, I feel like we've started, we've started pretty well. But there's a long way to go. And I say that insofar as the impact that we want to have. You know, when we talk about it, if one person at a time can we call it the Go PT way? You know, what's the what's the Go PT way around this? And we talk about, okay, well, we've got to make some changes to what we have control over. That's, that's, that's ultimately how we get better. What do I have control over. And that is in our, in our program, it's your sleep, your nutrition, your mindset, your physical training, and your connection with people around you. And we believe that when you make small progress in each of those areas, consistently, everything gets better. Life gets better, life still going to be difficult, but you're gonna be better in life.
I love that. And my mind always goes to the bigger picture beyond that. And it's like, if everyone's doing that, then what are we capable of as a community as a collective? endless possibilities, right?
Yeah, like if we can, if we can truly focus in on what we have control over and let go of the other staff. Like there's periods where I go through where I totally disconnect from from the news because we know how, how much it can impact us. And the more than I dive back into what I have control over, life's better, life is better. There's just so many opinions out there and it's really difficult then people stick to that concept of information overload and then it just leads to procrastination and no action.
100% And then people worried about what they're allowed to say if they're going to offend someone that is upset someone here again it it means that you live in your life, worrying about other people instead of trying to do the best for you. You know, comes back to responsibility, like you said, we all take responsibility for how we can be better, then everything else will take care of itself. And so I love I love that legacy. Awesome. Where can people find your mess?
So we have a gym in Mission barre in Western Sydney. We provide a bunch of a bunch of opportunities for people to get better. We do a one on one personal training, we do group personal training. We do online coaching, we do corporate work as well. So we do some work with depends on the nature of the business, what sort of work that is, but it can be team building activities that can be seminars and workshops, we have face to face sessions that we do external to our Jim Pierrot mentioned various well, so. But ultimately, our program, our program is is about teaching people how to, to manage better what they have control over. And then provide the coaching and support to implement those changes in those areas. So there's Yeah, we are, Jim and mentioned bouveret, Liberty. We're nothing like any other gym we've been to. There's no mirrors in our gym. And the coaching, and I say this with absolute confidence, saying that coaching is, is in my opinion, second to none. Because what we offer insofar as improving people's lives is far, far more than sets and reps, and exercises in the gym, that's about truly grasping those things away, and we spoke about it, we say, we want you to be better outside the gym, you know, if you get better in here, that's fantastic. And there's senses of achievement there. But our job and our program is all about helping you live a better life out there and giving you the tools to be able to do that. And when we feel that happens, then we really feel that we've been successful. And that's you know, I guess that's part of that legacy we want we want people to be able to come back to us after they've been impacted by us and go because of the goat btw way, my life changed in so many ways. That's, that's what we're about.
I love it. And it's giving them a reason to go to you beyond just the physical side, right? Because once they get to that point where they're physical, physically competent, maybe they go off and buy their own gym, maybe they've got the motivation. We also know that sometimes people's attitude towards their physical well being can can wane but if you're giving them something else that that mental strength and and the strategies to do with other parts of their life as well, then I can see why that's very different. So great, share. Cool. You got to you said you got to online, if for people who are listening to this and they're in other parts of the world, is there something they can dive into and check you out and still get plenty of value?
Look, I used to do some pretty good, it's I haven't done it consistently. But yeah, I'll put a can share below our website and our social page connections as well. And happy to share your contact details so people can reach out and, and, and the nature of coaching is just very, very varied these days, you know, it needs to come in different forms. Because people need different forms of it, it can't be a one size fits all approach. So the idea with with delivering our program, we'll put it in a way that we can do it in different formats face to face and the people that want to work with us in a you know, a remote setting anywhere in the world. The methodology about making change in those areas you can control, we can lead you in the right direction from anywhere. Love it.
Awesome. Matt, always good to chat to another eels fan. Even better, when we can have a real positive chat like this, it's going to impact people. Thank you so much for sharing so openly and honestly about honestly about your journey. And, and for taking this time here with me.
It's been cool. I've really appreciated the opportunity. Mike, thank you for the invitation. And it's been really cool to connect while you're doing great work and it's good to be able to, to to connect with with someone on a very similar path. Mike, thank you.Ian Hawkins:
You're welcome. And thank you, cheers. We are here. Hope you enjoyed this episode of The Grief Code podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Please share it with a friend or family member that you know would benefit from hearing it too. If you are truly ready to heal your unresolved or unknown grief. Let's chat. Email me at info at Ian Hawkins coaching.com You can also stay connected with me by joining the Grief Code community at Ian Hawkins coaching.com forward slash Grief Code and remember so that I can help even more people to heal please subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform