Take Pride Tuesday: A Clydesdale in the Lions Den

My name is Matt Nolan and my wife Wesley and I have been Denizens for the past year, and what a year it has been. You can normally find us at the den in the afternoon time, since my peak work hours as a Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor are in the morning and evening, and my wife is literally about to give birth to our first child.


We have lived in Astoria for the past five years (actually used to live even closer to Iron on 38th St) and I had seen posts about the gym on instagram and had driven past it numerous always curious to actually come in and see what it was all about. I had just lost my mom to a 14 year battle with cancer, and had lost some of my motivation so I needed a fresh start for my own fitness and mental state. We also wanted something close to home with highly intelligent people who knew what they were doing and could help us reach our next goals.


Fitness wise I am a “big" runner. Not just because I am tall and over 210 pounds, but “big” as into marathons. I love the challenge it presents, and the fact that you cannot fake it. You must dedicate yourself to it and plan just to finish it. I have been doing them for the past 4 years and I always wanted to break the elusive 3 hour mark. On my own training I got close, but was still not getting over the hump. PB was 3:03:36.

Cue Iron Lion (Rocky Soundtrack too). I was instantly hooked and loved what Jason and Chris were, and have been able to incorporate in my training.  My hips and knees used to be really sore after my longer runs, and overall the toll of my weekly mileage, which can get up to 50-65 miles per week would take its toll.  Not to mention my work as a fitness instructor also taking a lot out of me physically (I teach 19 classes a week).  So feeling stronger, healthier, and happier has made all the difference.  I was able in November to run my fastest NYC Marathon ever, 3:05:22, and finally just this past February, broke 3 hours and Qualified for the Boston Marathon 2020 in 2:54:58.  Almost 9 minutes off my previous mark and I won the Clydesdale Division, (200 Pound Plus runners)!! 


The team and family here and Iron has reminded my wife and I just how grateful we are to have people that genuinely care so much about us. Not just when we are working out, but in all aspects of life. To trust others and learn from fitness professionals like myself is everything. We all need coaches, at any level of your career, and I love feeling like I’m at the undiscovered “Harvard of fitness” in NYC.  The Den has become such an important part of our weekly training routine and as we enter into the next phase of our lives as parents, we look forward to it even more.