Joining us on the podcast today is Matt Myers. Husband, father of 2 young boys, co-founder of Broneah Kiteboarding, co-founder of the hugely successful Northern Michigan lifestyle brand M22 and co-founder of the now infamous M22 Challenge. If all that wasn’t enough, Matt is a 5 year Chordoma Cancer survivor, an accomplished kite surfer, motocross racer, mountain biker, and stand up paddle boarder.
Matt and I became friends over 9 years ago when his then fiancé Stephanie and my wife Kim started working together. Over the years we’ve had many dinner party conversations and he has inspired me with an infusion of entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, Matt wife’s Stephanie created my first TC SURFSKI Logo which was instrumental in getting the business off the ground.
Matt and his brother Keegan were two of the first pioneers to realize how phenomenal the wind and waves are in our special spot along Lake Michigan. They saw and promoted the world class potential, much as I have tried to do with surfski. The M22 Lifestyle brand evolved from that passion for the wind, waves, and beaches, and the M22 Challenge brings it all together with a run on the sand dunes, a bike ride around one of the most beautiful inland lakes in the world, and a paddle that has become the single biggest exposure for surfskis across the Great Lakes. The race is capped at 900 participants and sells out in 3 minutes. This year I expect to see at least 70 surfskis.
My initial plan was to get Matt out surfing some waves on Lake Michigan in my tandem surfski, but as all of us wind chasers know all too well, when you actually build plans around wind it never comes. We didn’t get a chance to get out in the Epic V10 Double, but I won’t let this summer go by without giving him a true surfski downwind experience
As it goes when young kids are in the mix, time was limited and we only had a short window to record this podcast, so we didn’t go deep in all areas, but we did have a great conversation and covered a lot of ground including:
- Earth Day at M22 – Coincidentally we recorded this podcast on Saturday April 22nd designated as Earth Day. At a time when many environmental causes are seeing funding reduced, the M22 team decided to donate all sales from the day to the Leelanau Conservancy. In the end they raised over $20,000 dollars for a great non-profit that works tirelessly to persevere the precious Leelanau Peninsula we so enjoy!
- M22 Challenge, the early days. Going back to when it was just an idea
- The most embarrassing moment of the M22 race (hint – dominos)
- Matt’s leap into becoming a cardio athlete (At the time that Matt started the M22 Challenge, he himself was not a cardio racer)
- Matt’s experience racing the M22 Challenge for the first time
- What it was like and what it took to ride 10,000 feet up Mount Haleakalā on Maui on the 5th anniversary of his Chordoma Brain Cancer diagnosis
- Considerations for launching another multi-sport race?
- Becoming a father
Here is a great article that goes much deeper on Matt’s Chordoma Experience
And another article on how it all began