Gotta’ Run: Matthew Weaver needs his running and walking

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 26, 2020

Most of us know Matthew Weaver as an extremely talented piano player and singer. Over the last decade or so, I have enjoyed his music. I couldn’t help him with that but for the last few years, we’ve began to talk running.

Matthew said, “Growing up in the country, I have enjoyed the outdoors my whole life. My parents and sister, Mary Jean Hobart, and I always took walks together as a family day or night. Sunday was always a walking day after church, and we hiked a lot in the mountains. Exercising has always been a part of my family’s life, and my father and I played baseball for years. Even mom used to get up to bat. (Go Yankees!) There was no sitting around in my house growing up. We had no television, so we were always outdoors doing some activity.”

At Appalachian State, Matthew spent a lot of time in the outdoors hiking, trout fishing and swimming in the waterfalls, and joined his friends for two mile walks and runs around the campus. Everyone in Boone seemed to be outdoors.

Busy with his performing and traveling, I knew that Matthew had faced some challenges with his calorie intake. He said, “I’ve been up and down over the years with weight, and my problem is not sweets. My issue is eating everything on my plate and then some. While traveling and performing around 200 times a year, I had developed some bad habits. Diets don’t work. I found I should eat what I want, but in proper portions and not depriving myself which leads to binge eating. You can’t perform on a full stomach but proper fueling prior to a concert works best. I just can’t load up on the calories after a concert at 11 p.m. to compensate for what wasn’t eaten hours before. My weaknesses are Pringles and blackberry cobbler. I can eat them, but not every day and only in proper portions. Rewarding yourself once a month is good with maybe a second helping occasionally.”

Back to exercise, and how Matthew makes it work. He said, “I feel better mentally and physically when I exercise. I download old-time comedy, detective, and Western radio shows, good preaching, music, and Car Talk for listening. I’m exercising my mind, body, and feeding my soul as I walk and run. Often I am walking and running at 11 at night. I’ve lost around 40 pounds since late fall, and down almost three sizes.”

Matthew plays five shows at a time in one day at the Biltmore Estate. He gets 15 minutes off between shows, so he goes walking to get some exercise between sets. Matthew has completed over 3,500 miles since July 2017. This April, he’s already over 140 miles.

Going forward, Matthew knows that he needs to stay on track. He said, “I have to be more conscious of my health. Diabetes is badly genetic on my father’s side and I feel helpless as I watch my dad struggle with this issue which is causing heart failure and disease. But dad always has a smile on his face and keeps going. I love my momma and daddy, and he’s still my fishing buddy.”

Matthew added, “I want to lose 30 more, and encourage others to turn off your TV and go outside and walk. You don’t need expensive clothes to exercise and get in shape. I do recommend a pair of good shoes from Ralph Baker’s and your feet, joints, and body will thank you.”

I know Matthew is hooked on all the benefits of exercise and expect more success. He said, “A day without exercising is like a day with no Bible reading, prayer, or playing music and singing. It’s a regular part of my life. I get grumpy if I miss more than a day.”

I’ve seen and heard of so much more exercise than normal during the lockdown. There’s a lot of pent up energy. Hopefully, statewide rules will relax in time for the local races to resume soon. The Bare Bones 5K on May 23 is still on the schedule. Check for any updates.