I grew up playing all types of sports, from Baseball to Bowling. At the age of 12, I made the commitment to start swimming year around under the "USA Swimming" organization. Swimming requires two a day practices (4 days a week) and 6 days a week of structured practices. With the rigorous training, I never had the time to go out and have a social life. I ate, slept and lived Swimming. With a structured schedule I was forced to manage my time. College was always stressed by my Age Group Coach (Coach Rocky). The nearest school to me was California State University of Northridge (CSUN), so I contacted the Head Coach Barry Schreifels (Division I NCAA/ Big West Conference Swim Team). After meeting up with Coach Barry I knew that the Coach and the surrounding environment was what I needed to really crank up my training and continue my education. Freshman year I had a lot of indirect pressure to show my commitment to the team. At this point I had never taken a vacation, only 1 week break between each swimming season. Sophomore Year rolls around and I continued to push hard and demonstrate myself to my coach and teammates. Junior years rolls around and I continue to work hard. My Strength and Condition Coach (Scott Bradford) pulled me aside to tell me that I was "pound for pound the strongest, hardworking athlete at CSUN". Not only was this the pat on my back to reassure me that I really was working hard, but made me realize that I could do anything I put my mind to. At the end of my Junior Year we had a yearly Swim Banquet where we would celebrate the end of the season and give awards to swimmers. The 2 main awards were "Peter Cardey" and "MVP" (Most Valuable Swimmer). Both Freshman and Sophomore year I would listen to our Coach present these two awards. I remember thinking "How neat would it be to walk away with one of these awards". My Junior Year at the banquet I sat quietly listening to Coach prepare to present the awards. I distinctly remember sitting with my fellow swimmers and looking up at Coach while he presented the Men's Peter Cardey award. As he gives his short speech he looks directly at me. I feel this sensation that something is just not right, he mentions my name but I sit there like I heard nothing. He looks at me and lifts his eyebrows and says "Matt Olaya"... I look at him and look around like I am in a dream. I stand up and walk up. It was surreal, it was a dream that felt right. This particular award (Peter Cardey) was chosen by the Coach. It meant the world to me to see all the hard work I put in and all the extra hours in the library to make sure I passed all my classes. I was walking on clouds. There was one more award I was wanting before I graduated. This award "MVP" was voted by my fellow peers. I was not the fastest nor the smartest. Fast forward a year I am back at the Swim Banquet and listen to the Peter Cardey Award being awarded. I listen patiently to Coach calling out for the MVP Award. Same thing, he looks my direction and looks at me while giving his speech. He calls my name and I hesitate because, it is too good to be true. He calls my name again, and finally I stand up and realize that my fuzzy goal of winning these two awards were actually a dream come true. I tell this story because it is a perfect example of who I am. I work my tail off every day. I wake up grateful for what I have. I don't let anything get in the way of me achieving what I want to achieve. I hold these two awards close because it was the first time in my life that both hard work and Determination made sense. Times are rough and it seems like nothing is achieved, but staying focused and driven in what you believe in will get you there.
In 2008, I graduated from CSUN with a Bachelor's in Kinesiology (Study of Human Movement) and completing 4 years of swimming for a NCAA Division I Swim Team.
I wake up every morning with the drive to accomplish all my goals I have set up. Running two businesses calls for a lot of attention and commitment. I am young, full of energy and will not take anything for granted. Reading about successful individuals, one thing was common, Hard Work is a necessity. If you are going through the motions, that drive will burn out. After 3 successful years, I still wake up with the same fire in the eyes as I had when I first started.
- Bachelor in Kinesiology (B.S.)
- NASM Certification
- Bowling League 5 years
- Baseball League 1 year
- Soccer League 5 years
- Swimming Year Around Club 6 years
- College Swimming Division I/NCAA 4 years
Huntington Beach, California