Matt Barnes, a full time firefighter, father of two, part time grad student, coach of his two daughters basketball team, girl scout troop leader, and PTA board member has had discipline instilled in his mind since a very young age.
“My dad would wake me up at the crack of dawn just to make my bed and to get my day started. I remember he would bounce a quarter off my bed and if it didn't bounce right, the bed wasn’t made correctly and he'd have me do it all over again.” Barnes said
From sun-up to sun-down Barnes keeps busy in one way or another. With his plateful of responsibilities, Barnes thinks about his family to stay motivated. In hopes of leaving a legacy that his family will be proud of, Barnes finds himself with very little spare time. To balance his non-stop lifestyle he uses running as a form of meditation.
For Barnes running is his down-time. It’s his time to think, relax, and clear his mind. With pressure to uphold standards he has set for himself, he makes it a point to run everyday and if that routine is compromised he’s more vulnerable to being on edge.
Aside from all other duties Barnes has, he is also currently training for the Chicago marathon. An aggressive training plan that consists of running four times a week is how Barnes is preparing to tackle his goal of finishing in 4:30. Sometimes he has to run before a morning shift while other days he’ll wait until the sun goes down for some cooler weather. But regardless of the time, Barnes finds the energy he needs to keep pushing his own limits.
He has found a way of integrating Run Gum into his daily life to help out with quick energy boosts.
“The kick and wild factor I get is like none other. I use it just about everyday. I keep a stash in my backpack for classes, a stash in my gear or locker at the[fire]station, a stash in my car, and always a pack in my house. I don’t get cranky, but I'm not the happiest when I run out.”