Monday, February 06, 2012

Male on Monday: Matt Miller

Harlequin Superromance author and PHS editor Jeannie Watt shares what makes triathlete Matt Miller a very special guy.

I’m a runner, and when I received my September 2002 edition of Runner’s World, my first thought was, “Wow--this cover  guy is gorgeous." He was obviously hero material, so I stashed  the magazine in my hero file and every now and then I'd pull it out for inspiration.

When it came time to write this blog, I decided to learn more about my favorite cover guy.  I spent an evening on the internet and discovered that Matt Miller  is a hero—the real life kind. He’s a man who’s making a difference.  

Matt is an Ironman triathlete. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Ironman is the queen mother of triathlons and consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon. In the 1990s Matt traveled the world competing as an elite amateur in triathlon competitions, but he also looked for ways to give back. One of those ways was to volunteer as a race guide to a blind athlete.

In 2001, Matt guided Heidi Musser, who has been blind since birth, as she competed in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. This triathlon is slightly less demanding than an Ironman—*only* a 0.5 mile swim , an 18 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. Piece of cake, right? Uh, yes… 

Matt and Heidi successfully swan, rode (on a tandem bike) and ran the race. After finishing the Nautica, Matt and Heidi competed in other triathalons and in 2005 Matt guided Heidi through her first Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Four other visually impaired athletes and their guides competed with them.

Inspired by his experiences, and having witnessed societal prejudices against blind athletes, Matt decided to do what he could to change public perception. In 2005, after the Coeur d’Alene triathalon, he founded the C Different Foundation, which focuses on helping blind and visually impaired athletes train and compete in athletic activities by pairing them with sighted guides. Because of C Different, visually impaired athletes and their guides are now competing in athlete events around the world.

In 2009, Avon developed an Ironman product line and Matt is now the face for those products due to both his personal physical prowess and his dedication to helping others.

I think this statement by Heidi Musser sums up why Matt Miller is the perfect inspirational Male on Monday: “Matt is a terrific athlete, and much, much more. He has the recipe for infinite opitimism, unconquerable lust of life and never-running out energy to give of himself to make someone else happy. He has thrown out our culturally defined attitudes towards physically challenged athletes. He is not only my guide; he is also my teacher to help me discover my potential as a contributing member of society.”

If you’d like to learn more about the C Different Foundation, please check out their website or watch this (3:38 minute) video . 

Matt Miller—truly hero material. 

Jeannie Watt writes cowboys, cops and cooks. The books of her latest Superromance trilogy, Too Many Cooks?--The Baby Truce, Undercover Cook and Just Desserts--are currently available wherever good books are sold. 

To learn more about Jeannie and her books, visit


  1. Jeannie, you found THE perfect hero! What a heart (okay, what a body too ;), but oh his heart). I think I'm going to have trouble focusing for awhile lol.

  2. Jeannie!

    Great post and awesome topic - and hero!

    Matt showcases the good that lurks in all of us. Thanks so much for bringing him to my attention. I'll keep an *eye* out for him in the future.

  3. Oh, my gosh, what an incredible inspiration. And of course I bet he's the kind of guy who would hate for anyone to call him a hero! :-) Stories like this are so uplifting and always seem to come just when we need a reminder that there are people out there who *do* care. Great choice, Jeannie!

  4. Wow, what a great hero! So glad when I see "known" athletes giving back to other athletes. Never mind the body, I love his heart!

  5. And hero inspiration for sure. All necessary qualities present!

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Matt is a great role model and I'm happy I was able to showcase him and his work here on PHS.

  7. Wow, what a guy! If you wrote all of that in a novel, no one would believe it could all be one man. :-) Lovely post!

  8. Jeannie

    Thank you for writing the kind words.
    I really appreciate it. It's nice to read that the work I do does not go unnoticed.

    Fun to see myself in the same ranks as the other "Male on Monday" guys.


  9. Jeannie, what a wonderful choice to spotlight Matt. My active childhood came to a sudden stop when I lost my eyesight as a teenager. It took another fifteen years before I fully gave myself over to athletics again. That was when Matt entered my life. With his help I began participating in triathlons. He is a great friend and an even better human being!

  10. Great to hear from you, Matt and Isra! Thanks for stopping by. Isra, I'm so glad that you were able to continue pursuing athletics. Matt, you definitely measure up to the other Monday Guys!