As everyone in the Western world probably knows by now, on May 23rd I had the honour of speaking at TEDx Stanley Park. Clearly, being part of such an epic event is landmark in many ways, not the least of which was the opportunity to meet, hear and ultimately befriend some very inspiring and unique individuals.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing you to some of these folks and sharing their stories, ideas and opinions, all courtesy of their own TEDx Stanley Park talks. So without further adieu, let’s begin with an introduction to…
Matt Young: TEDx Stanley Park Speaker, Insanely Accomplished Athlete & Founder of Innovative Fitness
At monthly TEDx rehearsals, Matt and I were often like ships in the night; meaning one of us would usually pass the other whilst dashing out the door, smiling and saying “Hey, sounds great!” But even with these curt exchanges, I could tell Matt was a guy who was both a force of nature and a serious student at the task at hand; in other words, it was obvious that Matt is a hard working guy, who clearly demands excellence from himself.
What I didn’t realize from these brief exchanges and speedy exits was just how much of these qualities Matt embodied; and now that I’ve had a glimpse of all he’s done, I’m perplexed on how to accurately describe this massively accomplished – yet humble – man. I say humble, because like so many people, Matt doesn’t wear his accomplishments on his sleeve, but rather his passion… A passion to ensure that all children have the opportunity to have access to both physical literacy, and healthy lifestyle habits.
This mission has lead him to create a national health and wellness program which he aptly named “The 60 minute Kids Club”, teaching these things to schools, families and kids. In addition, Matt has raised over $5.6 million dollars for various charities; and when not busy with work or philanthropy, Matt can be found consulting for businesses in the heath and fitness field, many of them non-profit. It’s pretty clear that physical literacy for all isn’t just a job for Matt Young; it’s an obsession.
In 1995, the two time Ironman finisher and Guinness World record holder (fastest bike relay across Canada-2007) founded Innovative Fitness with a partner. IF is a national group of personal training facilities (11 in total) that employ his patented and proven Lifestyle Management systems to help clients achieve a sustainable level of health. Matt oversees the chain from offices in both Vancouver and Ontario, where he’s usually found outside getting active with IF members. Additionally, he consults for several health & fitness businesses, both profit & not-profit in an attempt to help them progress from good to great.
Clearly, Matts passionate about helping children, which brings us to his TEDx Stanley Park talk, “Fixing the Childhood Obesity Problem” in which Matt explains in his own words why this is such an important cause to him:
Now that you know a little bit about Matt and his passion for helping children with physical literacy, I challenge you to ask yourself: “What can I do to help?” Because now the ball is – literally – in your court.
Special Thanks to Matt for sharing his vision with us.