Monday, August 31, 2009

My first blog here...

One of the best things about being a photographer is that you get to meet interesting people all the time. I recently had a chance to meet Matt Hoover- winner of the second season of The Biggest Loser. He is scheduled to compete at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii this October. 

Matt is being trained  by my friend Jim Vance. Jim is a former professional triathlete with a strong background in track and field. He is also great guy. I was scheduled to meet Matt on a Tuesday afternoon about 1pm. I met Jim at his house in Pacific Beach, CA and we chatted while we waited for Matt to get back from a training ride with one of Jim's friends. A quick phone call revealed that the ride was going to take quite a bit longer than expected. The ride out was uphill for 14 miles and the temps were in 90's! By the time Matt got back, it was closer to 2:00. He was bushed so I hung out with him while he had a chance to rest before heading out for our shoot.

The conversation was wonderful. Matt spoke about his journey, describing his hopes to be an Olympic wrestler only to have the dream taken away by a career ending injury. He talks about his depression and his addiction to food and alcohol-pretty serious stuff. Then we talked about his time on The Biggest Loser. Wow- I was blown away at the things he had to say about "the ranch". He talked about the food too. "It was the same thing everyday" he said. They would work out 8 hours a day- it was their job! 

He told me that the day after the weigh in when he won the show with an astounding final weight of 182, he gained 10 pounds. He met his wife Suzy on the show and they were married not long after. She was third overall. They have two kids now.

Since the show, Matt has gained some weight, 239 at the moment and he is constantly questioned about it. I know it bugs him, but he is working on it. He is training to do Ironman and it is likely he will not lose more than 15 pounds before Ironman. Matt is going to do The Ironman, not just any Ironman but the Original. This is maybe the toughest course there is and he is prepared to do what it takes to cross that finish line within the allotted 17 hours. 

Good luck Matt!

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