The Anthem of the Adventurer

S2 E6: Big dreams and adventures w/ Mitch Matthews

Episode Summary

Today on the show, we have the amazing Mitch Matthews from the DREAM. THINK. DO. podcast! He's an inspiration to thousands across the world into a life full of adventure, going after your big dreams, and putting together a team to achieve them! You're going to love this one!

Episode Notes


Mitch Matthews is a keynote speaker, a success coach and a best-selling author. 

His podcast called “DREAM. THINK. DO.” is in the top 5% on Apple Podcasts.

Mitch has worked with leaders and teams from organizations like NASA, Disney, and the Principal Financial Group.  Plus, Mitch speaks on college campuses around the country.

Most importantly, Mitch lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife Melissa and they are very proud of their two sons.  


Where to find Mitch and his awesomeness:



Most recent book:

Twitter: @mitchmatthews

Instagram: @mitch.matthews

Facebook: @mitchmatthews.104


If you want to find out more about the SEAL Team Leaders Boot Camp, mentioned at the top of the show, check it out here: . I can't wait to see you there!

Episode Transcription

Dan Zehner  0:06  

I am so excited for today and we don't even need any coffee for This conversation should get all excited


Mitch Matthews  5:02  

but just in case


Dan Zehner  5:03  

just in case we've got some Oh man, we have my good friend Mitch Mathews who you will hear over the next little while just the amazing energy that this guy brings into any conversation he has in outside of the talk with him it's been far too long three connected Mitch amazing to have you here my friend


Mitch Matthews  5:23  

It is an honor Dan Man, I love what you've been doing. And it's it's just so so cool to see what you're stirring up in in men and it's so needs to happen and I'm so glad you're you're doing it and it's just yeah, it's an honor beyond man.


Dan Zehner  5:37  

It's been great having you as part of my kind of mentoring team Yeah, and that you know, my inspiration team over the past been almost two years


Mitch Matthews  5:46  

I think so I think so. Right.


Dan Zehner  5:48  

Ah, before we get into all that though, you know, I love to kick these off with the challenge. Yes, this season we're focusing on practicing perseverance Yep. Art of our and adventure to And so what would you challenge us to do for the next few months to create an environment of practicing perseverance in our lives? Absolutely. So, um, you know, I thought about this, I love this, this concept. I love how you're challenging


Mitch Matthews  6:18  

guys to really think through this. And I was like, All right, I'm not going to throw out a challenge that I'm also not willing to, you know, I'm not gonna throw some out unless I'm doing it. Right. And the thing that came to mind, especially in regards to perseverance, and this may not necessarily be an obvious connection, but it'll it'll come back around is I want to challenge guys to give yourself permission to become a novice at one thing a year. Whoo. My thought on that is that I think as guys, a lot of us that are, you know, really try to be intentional and whether it's having adventures, whether it's, you know, developing our ability to be outdoors or more important. To be a dad or to be a good husband, be a good friend, all of those things. I think as guys, one of the temptations is, is that once we get good at something, we don't allow ourselves to be bad at anything. Yeah, I mean, and so that, I think is something that keeps us oftentimes, at least me and I'm just talking about me. But it keeps us from learning things that we need to learn, or asking for help, or trying something new. And I think it's, it's one of those subtle ways, especially like successful people who are going after it. Successful people fall prey to this even more, I think this is one of the dangers of success is that we as we become successful in a given area, I think, especially as guys, it gets harder and harder to allow ourselves to step into that novice beginner role again. So I, again, as a part of the challenge was I'm like, I'm not gonna throw this out to Dan and his try unless I've done it so this morning, which here's a phrase I never, ever


Unknown Speaker  8:04  

thought I would say. But this morning, I took my first yoga class. Yeah.


Mitch Matthews  8:12  

And here's the thing is I never thought I'd say yoga because that like, for me personally, because I'm like, and I don't know, I don't think it's me. But I found a yoga instructor who is a retired Marine, who came back from two tours and basically was stiff as a board like incredible shape, but stiff as a board and his body was all beat up. And so what he found was yoga helped him to restore his body all this kind of stuff. And then his kind of created his own system or approach to yoga. And it was like the first person ever is one of my coaching clients actually, but one of the first people ever that's entice me with yoga, but I started to realize Wait, as I'm turning 50 next year, I'm like, I am in relatively good shape. I you know, endurance stuff. I like endurance stuff, all that but I'm realizing with each year I'm becoming serious. Right. And if that's the case, then I'm not gonna be able to hike, like I hike now, in 10 years, I'm not going to be able to travel like I travel now, in 10 years, if I keep on the same trajectory, I'm screwed, right? Because I beat the crap out of my body and don't have a way to improve it. And so, you know, I lift weights, I do insurance, stuff, all that kind of thing. But Yoga has been one of those things where I'm like, I get it my chiropractors, like, please take a yoga class for the love of everything holy. But I knew for me like part of the thing was, I didn't want to be new at something, right? Like I've done martial arts, you know, gotten a black belt all that stuff, right, but it's like been a long time since I allowed myself to be the new guy in a completely new space. So this morning, I did it and and it's one of those it was an awesome session. I'm going to probably be doing it for years, all that stuff, but it's one of those things It was great to walk in and go, I know nothing. I'm complete new but you know, people that were in the room doing all sorts of stuff that that my I aspire there was a woman next to me 66 years old, full splits, head down the whole thing. And I'm like, all right, man, if I can do that by I'm turning 50 next year, if I can do that by 66 That's awesome. Right? Like, awesome. Fantastic.


Yeah. So I just I just want to challenge it, you know? And maybe for you, it's not yoga, but it's that whole thing of like, what something Yeah, that you think about to be able to say, all right, to allow yourself give. It's giving yourself that permission to be a novice and not to say that you're going to do it the rest of your life, right? But once a year, what something you want to do say, All right, I'm allowing myself to do something completely new. That's awesome.


Dan Zehner  10:40  

I like it because you chose something that if you fail at it, it's not the end of the world. It's so low stakes, right? It's like, Well, why wouldn't I do


Mitch Matthews  10:50  

that thing I would do is 530 in the morning, right? The only other people in the room are crazy people like me, and nobody was noticing me like they didn't care.


Dan Zehner  10:58  

Yeah. Trying to be be new at brain surgery or for the


Mitch Matthews  11:03  

love. Nobody wants that. Right? Exactly. or math? No, no, no, absolutely. But it is one of those where I looked around and said, All right, one, what's something I think I might need? But also what's something maybe I'm a little scared of, right? Like, I don't know, some of that yoga seems a little weird, right? Like, I don't know. But I'm like, What if I give myself that permission to say eight weeks? I'm going to do eight weeks and see where it goes. Doesn't have to be a lifetime commitment. I'm not married to it. I have a feeling it's going to be a long term thing, but I don't know. But like be able to Sarah what's that class? You know what something you know whether


Dan Zehner  11:37  

I need to find something else. It's been it'll be in March. It'll be a year since my son and I started doing Taekwondo together and right before you go I'm do


Mitch Matthews  11:46  

yeah. And like, if you love Taekwondo don't start another martial arts stay on that but maybe it's a cooking class or or maybe it's even going to Rei you know, like, we've got Rei and they've got all so


Dan Zehner  11:58  

glad that are here. is an hour drive away from me because otherwise I would spend every dime I had


Mitch Matthews  12:05  

just opened about 12 minutes for me and it's like, oh my i drive by and it's like, please It's like that siren song Come and see us we have new things. Right But I mean, it's it's one of those things where it's like, I've done a ton of camping ton of backpacking, but I know there's still stuff that I need I probably my next novice thing is going to be taken that like the first aid stuff to the next level, right. So it's kind of one of those I don't know if you do I commitment.


Dan Zehner  12:29  

Yeah, check


out My Medic.


kids I've ever seen. I keep it in my car. It's attached to the back of my head rest. Nine comes in so handy.


Mitch Matthews  12:40  

I bet. Absolutely. That's awesome. All right. I will check that out. Yeah.


Anyway, so yeah.


Give yourself permission once a year to be a novice at something.


Dan Zehner  12:48  

Man. I love that. So for the three people out there who don't know you, please. Maybe a little more than three, but we'll get right. I feel A lot of people in my circle know you but a little bit of background on on Mitch and and how you kind of came to be this powerhouse of inspiration. Wow, thank you.


Mitch Matthews  13:11  

Where do you want to start? I


Dan Zehner  13:14  

I really like your story around the big dream gathering cuz you were at that that crucial moment in your life or like, I'm just going to give this up. I don't even know what's next.


Mitch Matthews  13:22  

Yeah, right, exactly. So


basically back in 2000, late 2005, I got the idea for a product. And


it was kind of wild. And


this is not part of the story that a lot of people know. I don't even think you know, this, Dan. But basically, I got hit, I was praying. Interestingly enough, we were my wife and I were going to do a weekend away with our friends. And it was our small group from our church actually. And I the person that's normally in charge of kind of the social activities or something like that was sick. And so she couldn't do it, and her husband couldn't do it. So they said, Hey, Mitch, would you do it and I was like, Last one to you know, do this so I was it, right and so I was I was on a on a flight. I was on a trip a business trip, and I was on a flight and I was praying through like, what can we do? I didn't want to play Pictionary all weekend, all that stuff. And I like asking questions. I'm an introvert, but I like to get people talking. All that stuff. So I like asking questions. So I got hit with his idea. for basic, I think God kind of said, Well, what questions would you want to ask these friends? You know, they were friends that I knew pretty well. But I got hit with all of a sudden I got hit with these questions, and literally got about 90 questions. And about 30 minutes it was I could barely keep up with journaling. I was like, the person next to me. It's like tried to scoot away cuz I think I look like a plan. Right. So I came back from that. And interestingly enough, and again, this is not a part of the story that I tell her bigger gathering events. But I came back from that came up with this idea for a game that was question based I ran it by my friends. We tried it that weekend, I thought, hey, if it sucks, you know, let's just play it for a couple of minutes. If it sucks, great if it doesn't great, and we want to plan it all weekend, like literally all weekend Guile each other better that can be. So then you'll appreciate this. I come back from that experience. And I'm like, that was pretty amazing. And my wife was like, Wow, that was you know, those questions were incredible. What if you turn that into a game? I'm like, I know. Right? And so, so I was I was my primary job was I was doing some coaching. But our business it really involves evolved into be doing a lot of consulting. This is back, you know, 2003 2004 2005 so I was doing a lot of consulting in the pharmaceutical world. And I prayed, and maybe you'll appreciate this in the season that you're in, but I prayed. Lord, it seems like you gave me this idea. And I had no spare time. I was running all over the country. Were doing projects working on this big product that was coming out all of that. And so I prayed, Lord, I just need a little spare time to work on this project. Like it seems like it's a project you want me to work on. I just needed a spare time. And within about 12 hours, I was at a what was called Kinko's at the time, but now it's FedEx Office, making copies for my next meeting that was getting ready to leave for and my project lead calls me and here I am standing this FedEx Office. And she's like, Hey, what are you doing? I said, Well, I'm making copies for you know, our meeting tomorrow. She's like, Hey, can you stop that order? And I'm like, you know, that's never that's never been. And I said, Well, yeah, I think so. I can't Why? And she goes, Well, the FDA just called and our product just got shelved.


And I kid you not like we talked for a few minutes. I basically find out that the project is done. This project was supposed to be something we were going to spend next six months to a year focused on paying for all you know all those things, right. And literally At the end of the conversation, my project lead says, Well, I guess we got ourselves a little spare time. Now I had known anybody I know anybody and not even my wife. Right. And so literally, I closed my phone because it was a flip phone since 2005, I closed my phone, and I look at the ceiling of this FedEx Office and go, that is not what I meant, which freaks people out in the space, right? Um, but not at all what I meant, but at the same time, God had a plan. And so my wife and I prayed about it. And we decided to kind of devote our savings and you know, in that kind of thing, and to to this project. And so we started to build this product called kill. Now, what's amazing is initially the doors started to open, things started to happen, relationships, the right connections, all those things, everything was working great until May of 2006. And this is the part of the story that you know, in that basically everything had been working great for a number of months, but then everything came crashing down around us. So we've been working with a designer on the game design for months her computer crashed and we lost Everything a manufacturer we've been working with love, the idea was basically set to produce it. And then all of a sudden they started having issues. So all of a sudden that that relationship was gone, then we had a bunch of financial stuff all happen at once. And I'll never forget was it was on a Saturday morning in May of 2006, where I'm sitting in my office trying to figure out how to quit. Because, you know, here I thought God put us on this trajectory. Here. I thought God had it taken care of. And here I sat, what I thought was on a dream journey, and I was like a nightmare. And I'm thinking to myself, you know, how am I going to do this? And more so, like, how could I quit? How can I walk away? I was embarrassed, I was tired. You know, I was scared. And God hit me with a couple of thoughts. One is you're trying to do it alone. Which was true. And and two, he's like, I never meant for you to do it alone. Now, I think, you know, part of it was he meant for me to do it with him, right. But he also meant for me to do it within community. So very quickly after that, I got this idea. Inviting our friends over, to basically put our dreams and goals down, achieve paper, put them up on the walls, and then go around and look at each other's dreams and goals to see if we get help and then leave notes of encouragement, ideas, suggestions, offers to help all of that. And what's crazy about that is is that I sent that out an email and in the subject line up but big dream gathering, because I thought if I put big dream committee, nobody's coming to that party. And so I sent that out to 30 of our friends and made it for that following Tuesday night. And to our shock to our surprise, 29 of those 30 people showed up


Dan Zehner  19:31  

with one weeks notice 21 weeks


Mitch Matthews  19:34  

a Saturday morning, I sent it out of the following Tuesday night, our Lutherans and we made it a potluck. So I know that helped our numbers, right. But it was one of those things where what was amazing was is that some people came and they knew exactly what their dreams goals were but most people came and said I came to sort it out. I came to get inspired it came to figure out what my dream was. So we want to get out that what we lost control of it. It went for a full week which was amazing. Weird all the same time you know that story. But we got help we got you back on track. We got it in stores by Christmas, a bunch of other people got help with their dreams. But mostly everybody kept saying thank you so much for giving us space for reminding us to dream and then to do that together. And so we we started to do those big dream gatherings in Des Moines. That's where I'm based once once a year, annually for a couple of years. But by the third time we did that. The third one we actually have people from six different states there. And and quickly after that, had somebody from Texas reach out and say we'd like to have you come to Texas and do one of these things. We've heard about it. And it just kind of took off from there. So that is now something we do all over the country. I just did one in Oregon bend oregon last week. So that's mine. Yeah, it's absolutely incredible. So remember,


Dan Zehner  20:48  

the big one when you came to Purdue is just an awesome evening of like, inspired people and wanting to help each other. And Jonathan says hi, by the way.


Mitch Matthews  20:58  

Oh yeah, right.


That's so cool. I saw their expanded a barbecue. That's cool. So I love it. I love it. That is awesome. So yeah, absolutely. That's how we connected was we were coming to town and you saw it on Facebook and reached out and it was really


Dan Zehner  21:14  

random to like Yeah, right.


Mitch Matthews  21:15  

Yeah. Random. Right. like totally right. Yeah. So


Dan Zehner  21:19  

was it? It's


Mitch Matthews  21:20  

Yeah, right. Exactly. Right. So that was a very long response to a short question. But that's, that's exactly the kind of the genesis of that. And, and really, you know, I think kind of God's God's way of doing things that I know, in some ways, like, you know, sometimes he calls us out of the harbor to a destination, we think, right, and we start to set the trajectory towards that location. And we're like, okay, I'll come out of the harbor and go to that location. And then once we get out into the open sea, he goes actually calling you over here, but you never agreed to it. If you knew, you know, it's like way over there. Like, are you kidding me, but he knows what it takes to get us out of the harbor. Right. And then and Once we're out in the harbor, and out in the open sea, sometimes he opens up a whole new plan. And I can tell you, man, I love it. But at the same time I get grumpy with God all the time. Like, are you kidding me? You know, but he knows me. Well, he knows us. Well. He knows what we need and knows he knows what it takes to get us to move. So


Dan Zehner  22:17  

that reminds me of the


book and the movie kon-tiki if you're read that or seeing the movie, not


Mitch Matthews  22:22  

I have not! Kon Tiki.....


Dan Zehner  22:25  

Long story short, yeah, a guy from Norway. He's an anthropologist in the Okay, after world war two timeframe, and wants to prove that Polynesia was settled from Peru by raft. Wow. And he sends out on an expedition to build a raft crew it and sail from Peru 5000 miles across the Pacific and actually hit that needle.


Mitch Matthews  22:49  

Yeah. And so he,


Dan Zehner  22:52  

he did it and prove that the the equatorial currents do take you there. But part of the journey really early on, they very ventured closer and closer and closer to this Maelstrom that's near the Galapagos Islands, this massive Whirlpool that has sunk ships for hundreds of years. And they're like, we're all going to die.


Mitch Matthews  23:11  

Yeah, right. Exactly.


Right. Yeah.


Dan Zehner  23:15  

And and, you know, there's no spoiler story. It's a 50 year old story, whatever. Sure. So, But lo and behold, they end up catching this equatorial current just in the nick of time before they get way too close to this Yeah. Maelstrom and get swept along by the winds in the currents. That sounds amazing. Yeah, right. The movie on Netflix now it's Oh, no


Mitch Matthews  23:38  

kidding. Alright, cool. I will check that out.


Dan Zehner  23:40  

But that just got me thinking of, you know, we think we're going on one trajectory and we end up getting swept into completely different.


Mitch Matthews  23:47  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think sometimes, you know, it's either it's either God's plan or God redeeming our mistakes, right. And maybe it's a combination of both but it makes all the difference in the world and it does make life Adventure like I love. I love going on hikes, I love taking my boys on adventures, all that stuff. But, you know, all of that is just so that we're more prepared to have adventures in regular life right day to day life. So,


Dan Zehner  24:11  

um, that's, that's really true. And you know, is there ever a point either in your own life or or those that, you know you interact with where? Yeah, that has kind of gone off the rails like you haven't had enough of the hiking, biking, camping, persevering type adventures and it has impacted the rest of life. Oh, for sure.


Mitch Matthews  24:32  

Actually, I've just off of that, like, you know, this summer was crazy. Lots of wildness ups and downs, kind of the roller coaster. We talked about some of it, you know, stuff that we knew was coming like our youngest son, graduate graduate from high school. We moved him to LA to go to school. You know, we're in Iowa. So, yeah, and it's one of those we're a family that loves to be together. Like I like my kids. And I love My kids, you know, like you, you have a great relationship with your kids and just you know, fast forward to them being 18 and 20 or son. Yeah, it's tough. It's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done is to leave him in LA because it's one of those things where you're also he's like downtown LA doing exactly what he loves but it was it was one of the hardest thing


Dan Zehner  25:18  

they said to find me right right.


Mitch Matthews  25:20  

Yep, absolutely. So it's he's going to an acting conservatory there so Um, so yeah, absolutely amazing and exactly what he dreamed of and all of that but it's just hard. But we always as a family are almost always get to go take some adventure in the summer. That's kind of our thing. We always like try to try to relax but the boys and I we try to go someplace as a family where then the boys and I can go take a two or three day hike somewhere and explore and get away and you know, that's led led to some wild adventures and things like that, which is great. But we weren't able to do that the summer and with it being busy and then also we spent 10 days in LA, as opposed to being 10 days in the wilderness someplace. And so I could feel it like I was like, my heart was hurting. And interestingly enough, I just mentioned we had a big dream gathering in Bend, Oregon last week. And I realized, like, there was a conference that I could go and speak at, immediately after my dream gathering, but the conference was going to be in California. And I prayed about it. And even though it made sense, it was logical all of that to go God's like nope, we got an appointment in the mountains. And so I stayed in bed for an extra day with no appointments, no agenda and just went to the mountains and spent the day in the mountains just hiking and talking and pray in and out a quiet trail. God led me to just this beautiful quiet trail and had that true psalms 23 experience of you know, he leads me by, you know, I can't remember scripture all that well, like remember stories great, but you know, you know, saying wait, like, absolutely. So it's that whole thing.


Dan Zehner  27:00  

really terrible pastor because I can't remember script. Oh, yeah, you know,


Mitch Matthews  27:03  

yeah, I'm always I'm great at remembering stories like, I can tell you a lot of stories from the Bible, but where they are, I don't always know. But it was it was truly one of those things where there's just something about well, you know, I mean, how many times did Jesus go to the mountains to pray? Or Or you know, like when you think about it, like I don't know about you, but it blows my mind. Like, I've taken some long hiking trips, like two weeks or whatever. But like the whole idea of fasting for 40 days in the wilderness,


Dan Zehner  27:32  

or like, just how he got around, like,


you know, those little one line sentences and Jesus went up from Nazareth into Galilee and like 75 miles, right, exactly.


Mitch Matthews  27:43  

Exactly right. And not tabla. not keen. Oh, no, like sandals. Right? So I know. It's amazing. It's absolutely amazing. And it was just it's truly that that is something you gotta listen to your heart on. You know, we live in Iowa. So we don't have a lot of mountains. We got we got some good We don't either. Yeah, right, exactly. So we got some beautiful parks, we can have some nice adventures and things, but there's just something about getting to the mountain. So it's sometimes just being intentional with that and finding those, those little windows where you can maybe grab ahold of something, but


Dan Zehner  28:13  

absolutely, it's a really good point, actually. So being in the Midwest, and you're really from Iowa.


Mitch Matthews  28:19  

Yeah, I grew up in Iowa. And so yeah,


Dan Zehner  28:21  

yeah. How do you then knowing that you know, we don't have a lot of mountains and not everybody's able to get to Oregon? Like we as much as we would like to right. Where do you find adventure in the daily locally?


Mitch Matthews  28:33  

Absolutely. So you know, it's interesting, we've got some some pretty good parks like it's it's bright Indiana is kind of the same way and that I think when most people think of Iowa they think of flat you know, Field of Dreams, just open cornfields, which there is a lot of, but we actually have some really nice wilderness areas, nothing like Montana or Oregon or Colorado, but we've got some pretty good, nice, wide open wilderness with some rivers and things like that. So Like my boys and I have figured out that it's, it's great to go and a lot of them will have trails that will go through the parks. But we've just said, All right, we're going to start here. And then we're just going to go this way, right? And we just basically blaze a trail through these different parks and you know, orient ourselves and things like that. Now, you know, we weren't as in as much risk because we probably wouldn't get lost for days, but we could definitely get lost for a day, especially, you know, if we lost our bearings, things like that. But it's just good to go and get lost once in a while. So that's a little bit of how we would meet that need a little bit or you know, just getting away you know, and having that that kind of experience plus i, I'm now a Jeep guy, I think you know that and so we have a four wheel drive Park, there's a couple of them and Iowa that's interestingly enough, some very strategic big thinkers have taken some basically Abandoned strip mines and turn them into full dry parks, which is brilliant like acres and acres and acres of just holes and dips and crazy Oh, that's another way to just get away and that's something like that I've got a buddy that does it and then my boys will go so that's something else we try to do once in a while.


Dan Zehner  30:20  

That's awesome. Yeah, there's no coincidence so next next week I'm going out to visit the guys at Blue Ridge overland gear Do you know though Yeah,


Mitch Matthews  30:28  

I've heard that but I


Dan Zehner  30:30  

made oh my gosh, to outfit my Subaru not not lift kit yet. But yeah, tear your organization parts that will make you know getting out in the wilderness with the kids. That's the more palace.


Mitch Matthews  30:42  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That's fantastic. So that's awesome, man.


Dan Zehner  30:47  

Yeah, that's good. That's good. That's gonna be quite the adventure. We're taking a look a local friend of mine, a friend of mine from high schools husband and are my three year old because she and I don't get a lot of one on one time like yeah would be more fun than driving nine, nine hours one way with three year old


Mitch Matthews  31:04  

right? Hey man talk about adventure. Good lord. Yeah, I bet she'll do great though. Oh, yes, it's


Dan Zehner  31:10  

a peaceful soul and and if not, you know it's perseverance.


Mitch Matthews  31:14  

Right? Exactly right. I tell you what, it's funny because we would


when our when our boys were about that age, we would take these trips out to Montana my wife and I used to live in Montana. So so once once our boys were born, we decided to move back to the Midwest and vacation in Montana because the family and all that stuff, but some of my absolute favorite video footage is of our boys traipsing around in a river when one was three, the other one was four, and just having them play in this river in Montana and you know, the middle of nowhere. And you know, for them, that was normal, right like and it was one of those where in that case, we drove two days so I'm with you like the long drive, but when they get used to that, as Normal, then it's okay. You know and so, but yeah, some of my absolute favorite video footage of our boys is them playing in this river that was absolutely gorgeous, pristine, but for them it's just a I was playing in the water, you know, so I love it. Yep.


Dan Zehner  32:18  

Yeah, it's it's pretty amazing. You know, as the kids get older like they're, they're five almost six, three and just turn one. Like, man, they're just the two the older two are getting that age where it's like, starting to be fun to take them long Dong drives with them, but the youngest is still like, Oh man. Yeah, not so much. She totally get that peaceful soul but yeah, um, so what are some other your storyteller? Yeah, you have some other stories either from you and you and the boys, you and your wife or folks that you've run across in your podcast where they've been able to cultivate this in environment of practicing perseverance in their regular life.


Mitch Matthews  33:04  

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, speaking of being a novice and things, one of the things that my boys and I as we mentioned, each summer we try to do some sort of vacation but that would also then involve some sort of adventure to and my wife is is totally up for adventure. She's just not as much up for camping as she used to be, and that's just fine. Right, exactly. So we've taken a number of trips, a lot of times we go and spend time in South Dakota because it's just, you know, that's just a day away but we get the Badlands and all that stuff. So it's Yeah, it's perfect. Right. So we spent a lot of time out in South Dakota and we've done a number of multi day backpacking trips. And and the we had done one in a year with it had a ton of rain. So it was supposed to be a pretty aggressive trip, but it was made much more aggressive because of all of the floodwaters so that was good memories. Oh my gosh. Yeah. So, you know, it made for what was supposed to be these little stream crossings. We had about 30 waist deep waist deeper, more river crossings, right. So it was awesome. It was so cool. It was one of the best. Well, the next year, we come out. And I'd like to think that I'm getting good at this stuff. But this is a good reminder that I'm not always great at it. But we're coming off of you know, the year prior, we've had flood water, water water everywhere you look right. And so we planned this trip that was up and around Harney peak, which is the highest point in South Dakota, but we're going to take these lesser known lesser use trails, and basically there's going to be about a 14 to 16 mile hike we're going to do over a couple of days. Kind of just take our time is going to be beautiful, pretty good Appalachian, you know, elevation creep, all that stuff, but not too aggressive. All that stuff. So we're like down for it, you know, a two to three Trip it was going to be fun, all that kind of stuff. And I done everything right except for really look at how much it had rained. As we get out there were about a day and we decided we always like to do the trip early on in the in our vacation. So then we can recuperate afterwards, do whatever we want to do all that stuff. So we're like a day and to be out there. Don't really take a look, I've got all my maps, all that stuff. I know where we're going to, you know, replenish, you know, the water, all that stuff. So we get about three or four miles and my wife drops off at the trailhead. We start doing our kind of cross adventure thing. And about three to four miles in we're supposed to come across this creek, and we come across a creek bed, but no Creek. Oh, so I take notice of it. But I'm like, I don't really bring it up to the boys and we have we have enough water for a day. Right? You know, and we've got our straws we've got the whole thing. So and I've got a purifier the whole deal I'm ready to take on water. Wherever we stopped for camp, all that stuff, there's 1000 different creeks that we can plug into right. Next, you know, mile or two we go another to completely dry creek bed. And at this point, I bring it up to the boys like, Hey, we're not halfway through this trip or just about halfway, you know, that whole story of you swim across the ocean or halfway across the ocean and decide, you know, what do we do, right? So I'm mentioning to the boys like, Hey, I'm not seeing any water at all, in any of these places, I thought we were going to be able to replenish. We're getting close to need to make a decision that we either need to really ration the water because we It's hot. It's much hotter than we planned. The whole thing and we're probably six miles into a 14 mile hike, full packs the whole thing and


I'm IM and


going up in Revelation, elevation pretty aggressively at this point. I'm like, so we're gonna need to decide what We want to do, right. And because I said we could we could turn around and go back down. And I think we get enough cell service we call my wife and she could pick this back up and they're like, No, we are not turning back, right? Like there is no way. But I'm like, you realize that we keep going, we're talking, you know, at least eight, if not 10 more miles of pretty aggressive stuff. And it could be on the backside of that we're not gonna have much water. And they're like, let's do it. Let's just do it. So we it was it was amazing until we get to about 10 miles. One of my sons is gone through all of his water because it was a lot harder than we expected. We start rationing it out all that stuff. We figured out we've probably got about six miles to where we need to go. And you know, the boys were weighing out like, Okay, do we just camp and just plan on being cotton mouth and just try to you know, find something on the way out or do we just keep hiking. And so we wind up, we wind up pushing through and doing that what we were going to do in a two to three day leisurely. thing just get it done in a day,


you know, we were exhausted it,


you know, it's one of those words like 40 miles 60 miles is not that bad unless you're going straight up the side of Yeah, pretty good, pretty good carrying a bunch of stuff and caring about stuff, right. And what was really fun was about probably about a, there was no cell phone coverage anywhere we're at at all. And my wife's not planning on picking this up until the end of the day, the next day, right? Yeah. And we had this we had this, you know, the other side of this trailhead where we were going to meet her and things and we had a time that we were going to make a buy and all that stuff. So we finally were at this not Harney peak, but one of the peaks next to it, and one of my sons is like, I'm going to try my cell phone and see if we get mom. And so he calls and we get one bar. And as it turns out, she was doing all these things, all that kinda stuff. So she actually it was like God's miracle. She connects up and we're like, well, we're going to keep hiking but we think we're going to be this trailhead probably bring water. Exactly. Bring copious amount of water and how about you know, dominos pizza or something. You Right. And so it's so fun because we get we get done and we just we just put our heads down. It's like death march for the last few miles because it's hot. It's a lot. You know, it's probably in the mid 90s. At this point, we're all just drenched in sweat. And it's kind of stuff. And it's so fun because we're getting blisters. Right, exactly. Right. So we get we get to this trailhead, and the greatest irony, we get to this trailhead, this parking lot where my my wife's going to pick us up, right probably in about an hour. And we just all just lay down, right packs on just lay down like we made it. And my youngest son's like, wait,


you guys hear that? And I'm like, What? He's like, Listen for listening. And it's just like, trickling in. And as it turns out, we were like 10 feet away from the one and only babbling brook in all of South Dakota. Right. And


it was, it was like it was incredible. It was not something I probably would have ever said. Well we should do this. We should try to hike 14 to 16 miles with too much stuff in our bags, you know, all our packs all that stuff, right? But like the boys wouldn't give it back for nothing, right? Like they wouldn't they wouldn't recommend it to anybody, they wouldn't give it back for nothing. And I can't tell you the number of times where even I was just in LA seeing my son this past weekend. And we talked about like, the number of times he's came, he's come up against challenging things. And in the back of his mind, he thought I hiked 14 frickin miles in 90 degree weather. I can do this. You know what I mean? Like, right, exactly. Right. And and I think, you know, one of the things in our day and age, that is the most dangerous thing. And it's what's the challenge of it is is that it comes at its root. We're trying to be good parents. But one of the biggest challenges is and one of the biggest dangers I think, is we also try to shield our kids from any danger. Yeah. And that worried about careful or right, exactly, right. It's Is that one of the things that we've kind of learned is, you know, taking calculated risks is being different is different than being crazy, right? Yeah. Um, so what you're doing instead of


exactly right, exactly right. So, you know, they're trained up, they know what goes in their pack. They know, they now know to pack more water in general, you know, all those things, right. But it's one of those things where, when we allow ourselves, you know, those adventures, and especially to do it with our kids. And also, I think one of the other aspects of that, that I really, I kind of did, right by mistake in this case, but it's something I recommend now, too, is, like, involved them in the decision. Right? I didn't make the call. We were all in that decision together. So it wasn't me saying, you know what, boys were going to turn around or, you know, my boys were going to push on through. It's like, Hey, what do you guys think? What do you guys think are the data? Yeah, exactly. Right. Let's look at the map together. You know, GPS wasn't working at that point, right. So it's like, what, here's, here's our maps. Here's what I think is going to happen based on what's happened so far. What do you guys think?


And I had opinions, but I didn't share them until we were done until they shared. And it's one of those things where they learned about themselves. I learned about them they learned about me and it's hilarious too because we don't cost a whole lot in our family. But I said about halfway through I'm like, you know what guys? complete and total openness to cussing now have at it and what is the time and one son ripped off a whole string of man, I've been holding those in right so it's that old thing like we just were able to be real together have a blast together and again, would wish it on anybody but at the same time wouldn't give it back. So and it is it's those kinds of experiences


Dan Zehner  42:50  

that story remind me icon


of not only the importance of venturing with our kids like that, but of our peers and our army. Towards as men like, yep, you have a time like that you can share about as we as we get into the tail end of this. No, you got it. Yeah, I got 10 minutes or so left, but some time where you you've had ventured with some brothers and arms and learned that way.


Mitch Matthews  43:19  

Yeah. Yeah, a number of a number of those times I think one one of the times you know really learned a lot about life through one particular trip where I decided to climb granite peak, which is the tallest peak in Montana, which is located in the beautiful bear tooth mountain range. But granite peak is basically it's a two day hike just to get to it and then it's a full day to summit it. Totally recommended. It's absolutely beautiful. went with two guys and our guide, and our guide was absolutely an incredible guy. It's a long story that would probably take two hours or three hours to tell the whole thing but Basically wind up going to summit granite


and and we'd had rain and terrible weather for the two day hike in and it's absolutely like pristine God's country it's it's untouched I mean it's absolutely amazing beautiful all of that. We open our temple apps though the day that we're going to summit try to summit and we have the first crystal clear skies of our whole trip It was absolutely gorgeous 4am in the morning, it's like this is it. Let's go for it. We go up, make our way up and as we do, clouds start to roll in and starts to snow. It's beautiful but I'm like thinking of the various ways we can die well you know the list is getting longer and longer. And we wind up getting to the rich that's the you know, the on our on our march to the summit. And fog starts to roll in which is kind of a gift because there's like a 10,000 foot drop on water. 2000 foot drop on one side 15 foot 100 foot drop on the other side and not being able to see very far around you as a total gift from God. Oh yeah yeah it's amazing so we we make our way to the summit which is marked by table top rock, granite beach kind of known for this flat rock it's about the size of a kitchen table at the top and we all get our pictures taken it's hilarious most that my my two friends that were with me and our guide, you know, they do the full Rocky Balboa pose on top of the table top rock. My picture is me one arm, triumphantly raised in the air. The other arm holding onto me sitting on tabletop rock is like you know, I'm buying. Like I said, you know, it's like it's, it's, it's Hi, this is very hot. Anyway, while we're up there, though. My guide says all right time time to roll. I actually like release my grip off of tabletop rock and as I do I hear the sound which is that's like sounds like somebody took a handful of fire. like fireworks and threw him at our feet. But our guide yells one word I'll never forget how yelled at it was like lightning, you know? And we realized we weren't in fog, but we were actually in the clouds of an electrical storm. Right?


Yeah. And we got to


total like all you know, metal pro I've got you know, each one of us has an, you know, an axe coming out of our backpacks. We've got metal pro all over so we're like four lightning rods on top of this mountain and lightning striking. But you know, probably that high. It actually looks like the the lightning emerges from the rocks and shoots up sometimes it's it's nuts. I don't recommend it. But it was amazing, right? And, and literally, we're, we're moving down, we get into this rock outcropping. We throw our gear. You know, I'm praying like, Lord, get me off this rock. I'll never do something stupid like this. Again, all that stuff right now, it's absolutely amazing. It was life changing, right? Because


we lived through it.


And it was an incredible thing. Like, I'll never forget going through that with these men, right? But then the other part of the story, which is not part of a story of it tell very much, but we get done. And that in and of itself was life changing to realize like, wow, okay, we live through that. That was incredible. I think God's got a plan for us. If we live through that, then maybe there's some more stuff we're supposed to do here while we're on the planet, right. But then, a wild part of the story is, is that when we got back down to our base camp, we were pretty quiet because we lived through this craziness, and all of that, and we we backpack two days to get to our base camp. But as we got there, a golden retriever comes running up into our camp, which is weird, like we literally had mountain goats come up to our camp. That wasn't weird, but a golden retriever was like weird and then my guide was like, wait, and he recognized the dog. And as it turns out, one of his buddies was an ultra marathoner was running came down the line. are part of a bowl we could see off in the distance. And we could see him coming. He was like this tall Swedish guy. everything you'd imagine, right? And he shows up to the camp. And our guide was like I must be he knew which they were trying to get to summit maybe came to celebrate with us all that kind of stuff. But shockingly, this guy who was our guides friend was coming to tell this guy, this our guide, and who is now my friend


that his son, our guide son had been killed in a car accident the night before, while going to the grocery store.


Dan Zehner  48:37  

Whoo, whoa, yep.


Mitch Matthews  48:39  

So here we were, we just came off of


a mountain. That


when you in the grand scheme of things, it's kind of stupid for for men to climb a mountain that's just sitting there. It doesn't need to be climbed, right, but we've taken all sorts of risk climbing, you know, ice and rock and all of that, standing on the top. Having lightning bolt strike all around us and we lived. And yet his son was going to the grocery store to pick up some basic groceries and was sideswiped by a distracted driver and lost his life. And I can tell you that trip was probably one of the most, you know, life changing experiences that I've ever had. Because we had, you know, the highs and the lows, and in some ways, like the mystery of life, like why is it that we did something stupid? And, and, and still important, you know what I mean? But like, the grand scheme of things like crazy, and yet we walked away from it, and his son did something mundane and didn't. And it was just a lot like, you know, again, I'm glad we worship a God that's too big for our brains to understand because there's there's going to be questions I'm going to ask him when I get to meet him, that part of my weird theology is that someday, I say those are leather couch questions where this is not in the Bible. But I think there's going to be a time where we're going to get to maybe ask God some questions right like incent a leather couch. I don't know why I think it's a leather guy, but sit on a leather couch and get to ask him about some things that happened in our life. Right? Like, what about this or when this happened, what was going on there? You know, we'll be able to understand some of that stuff. But that's definitely one of the leather couches. Questions for me is to say, you know, how could we survive in the sun having the mundane, but at the same time, isn't that part of the mystery of life like and it's this great reminder that we're to do what we feel called to do. And no matter the result, you know, we're going to learn from it. Our lives potentially will be changed by it. And, and it's one of those things that you just never know. And this may sound trite, but it's so important to remember, we don't know how many days we have on this planet. So to live everyone at its best, you know, to squeeze the juice out of every day in every way possible and help others do that too. Right? Because you just don't know. And sometimes it's those things of sometimes we take risks and we think we're a little crazy that might in fact be The safest thing we could do.


Unknown Speaker  51:02  



Dan Zehner  51:04  

You know, that is such an elegant way to wrap up our time together today. Right on.


Mitch Matthews  51:11  

Again a very long


on okay.


Dan Zehner  51:15  

Yeah, I mean, man. I mean, you know, we could talk for three hours and someday we probably should but right for sure that's such a great way to end of you know some. I mean what my wife always says I'm insane I was holding this patch here if the last insane thing that I did Oh nice. Yeah, in the month of July I did 75 miles of rucking 51.2 which was in one day.


Mitch Matthews  51:38  

One day,


I remember watching the pictures. I'm like, you're a madman, and I love


Dan Zehner  51:42  

it. And my wife was like, why


in the heck do you do this? I'm like, yeah, to prove that I can, right?


Mitch Matthews  51:48  

To learn something about myself to learn some of my friends and learn something about God. Yes. Yeah.


Dan Zehner  51:53  

Right. It's those moments like, you know, God provides like, this is the only way you're going to learn this. Right? This is the only way you're Going to get men who love and respect to you to tell you afterwards that they would charge hell with a water gun.


Mitch Matthews  52:05  

Right? Exactly right.


Yep, that's exactly right. And that whole thing of being able to learn about yourself, learn about your friends and to learn with them is huge. And to do that with your kids do is huge, right? Like, you know, 50 miles with your three and five year old right now would not be the smartest thing, but someday, I bet they're gonna look at that patch and go Dad, could we?


Dan Zehner  52:26  

Yeah, that'd be awesome. Yeah. Oh, man. I love this. working folks. Follow on with all the awesome stuff that you are up to lately. You guys going on?


Mitch Matthews  52:36  

Yeah. So the best way to find out is to go to MitchMatthews. com that's Matthews with two T's and they can find out about my dream, think do podcast, find out some of the stuff that we're doing some of the places I'll be speaking, things like that, and absolutely LOVE, LOVE to continue the conversation. So it would be great Plus, there's lots of giveaways, things like that you can get a full audio version of my book. Just come to the site, check it out. There's a number of other things that we're giving away for free, just so we can hang out some more


Dan Zehner  53:06  

sweet. I'll make sure to put links to all that in the show notes. Dude, thanks so much for being here today. I really appreciate it. It's always a treat to get to talk to you. Oh, man, I love it before to share on this man.


Mitch Matthews  53:16  

Thank you so much. I'll share it too, but it's an honor and I just, I'm rooting for everybody. I think it's fantastic. What you're doing and I'm just so glad that people are listening.


Dan Zehner  53:24  

Thank you, Mitch. Take care. Have a great day.


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