Health-Livehi im velvet crayon. IAmA 33 yr old one manned band, sideshow/burlesque/cabaret performer, and cripple born with osteogenesis imperfecta (aka brittle bones)
Jan 20th 2018 by velvetcrayon • 40 Questions • 5442 Points
I’m Mike and I’m best known for a few books (https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Matthews/e/B006XNAP6C/), my website Muscle for Life (https://www.muscleforlife.com), and my supplement company Legion Athletics (https://legionathletics.com).
I’m super excited to be here, so AMA! I’ll field questions on anything: diet, exercise, supplementation, business, marketing, velociraptors, Juggalos, whatever floats your boat.
EDIT #1: Hey everybody! I forgot to post how long I'll be doing this, soooo...I'll be going until 4 PM ET (another 30 minutes).
EDIT #2: That's a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by and asking me questions. :) I hope you enjoyed it!
What's your beef with Bruce Willis? Leave the man alone already! /s
Good luck to you, hope you make it big.
How many false, unverified, or unverifiable leads did you have to wade through before putting this together?
You have a book called Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef. Would you consider doing a book called Thinner Leaner Shredder, complete with a pic of Shredder (from TMNT) on the cover? The whole book can be about losing weight "The Shredder Way", which involves lots of cardio through intense stabbing and slicing.
Edit: added some stuff.
psh, more like what's his beef with me?! ;) thanks!
Many! There were other elements of the story that we had to drop because we didn't have sufficient confirmation.
Fucking brilliant. Email me. Let's write together.
The press is under attack on many fronts these days -- and that's disheartening -- but so far, in this country, it's pretty rare for journalists to be physically assaulted for their work. That's not true for so many of our colleagues working abroad, sadly. If/when we start being afraid to write stories that displease our highest government officials, we will have veered into a very dark alley in our nation's history.
WHY SO CYNICAL MY FRIEND!?
Emailed a list of mine with over 200,000 people to notify them of this.
Discovered your music last year and been enjoying it a lot since - just wondered who your main influences would be? Think I heard a lot of Velvet Underground on tracks like New York City...
Is there any evidence that Russian money went to the NRA to help trump?
If so, what is that evidence?
Hey Velvet Crayon. I was at one of the burlesque shows in New York back in 2014 when I was visiting for a college class. My friend and I went, and I remember there was another guy in the show who had me come up onto the stage and punch him in the stomach three times. I'm pretty sure you and my friend Jules exchanged texts or instagram messages or something for a while. Do you happen to remember us?
So does anyone else find it weird as Hell that this AMA has multiple comments for every minute from brand new reddit accounts with no other posting history...?
And all the ones that are from brand new accounts start with "Hi Mike!" While all the ones from older accounts are much more natural sounding and don't have a greeting like that
i do remember this night and you both a little bit, sorry, they were hazy times back then. did the guy who was punched in the stomach have reaaally short arms? was it at coney island?
I emailed a list with 200,000+ people to notify them of this, heh.
Hey it's your buddy Gerard from STARWOOD. It was good seeing you 2 weeks ago. What's your favorite Tame Impala song?
Hi Mike thank you for everything that you do for the community.
What aspects from your daily life did you notice change the most after becoming a more well known public figure? How does you handle knowing how strongly you can influence so many individuals at a time and what is your process for putting out new information?
Of all people in the bodybuilding community you’ve always been the person I can count on for “no bullshit” information. I can’t thank you enough for doing the research and making it digestible for those of us who might not have the bandwidth to do so.
hey! you guys fucking rocked the other night! loved it!!
i'm not sure which song is my favourite honestly, my wife and i own this live tame impala album which i absolutely love but i never pay attention to the song titles, i just listen to the whole thing. so i say, that album counted as one song haha
Honestly I don't think of myself as a public figure or even well known. I'm kinda well known in a kinda small subgroup of people who are kinda really into working out, haha. I hope is stays that way too. I don't want celebrity.
So to answer your question, nothing meaningful has changed, really, which has worked to my favor. I've just kept myself focused on researching, producing content, and growing Legion, and that has not only worked out tremendously well on the business side of things, I think it has also helped keep me grounded.
u/velvetcrayon Your music has this mysterious and Intriguing quality about it. It vibes for sure. What made you want to start making music?
Hey Mike, love your books. Both me and my husband have been following them for about 6 months and seeing great results. My husband hurt his shoulder somehow really badly and can no longer lift. Any ideas of exercises he can do in the interim to maintain his strength while his shoulder heals?
i think i always wanted to make music. when i was a kid my grandparents had an organ and my grandmother played it. so whenever we were over their house i'd play their organ. and then she taught me basic piano/keyboards. i always loved music, it was one of my favourite things as long as i can remember. my dad loved the beatles and zeppelin and cat stevens, awesome 60s/70s rock, and he'd teach me the words to all these epic songs. there's a recording of me somewhere as a 4 or 5 year old singing love potion number 9 and i think it's totally the rosetta stone of velvet crayon music.
i took lots of music classes in high school and then after high school i went to college for a year then dropped out and bought a guitar and taught myself to play it and then recorded the first velvet crayon album and that was like, 2004/2005
The #1 rule of overcoming aggravations and injuries is WORKING AROUND THEM. That is, doing things that don't make them worse.
In your hubby's case, the first thing I'd recommend is seeing a good sports doc to asses the severity of the injury, as I'd really hate to give advice that might be right for SOME conditions but wrong for others, you know?
That said, I myself have dealt with shoulder pains in the past and something that has helped me, for example, is switching from barbell to dumbbell pressing (because BB was uncomfortable while DB wasn't).
This article might be helpful as well:
Are you familiar with Michel Petrucciani?
He had the same condition and was one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time.
How are the protein bars coming along?
i am familiar with him. i watched a documentary about him years ago. apparently his manager used to carry him around in a suitcase so they could save money on plane tickets! haha
We actually approved the last samples and then discovered that one of the ingredients was suddenly unavailable (oligodextrin). :-(
We're now waiting for the next samples without it, which should come this week (and should be good--fingers crossed!).
Is that the same thing the adorable kid Alec from the children's hospital commercials has?
Hey Mike, huge fan, glad you're doing an AMA, I have lots of questions I’d like to ask you but will stick to one for now.
I have a question about how to implement the stuff in ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’. I bought it (based on this article you wrote) expecting guidance on stretching and general mobility and am overwhelmed by how much it requires a complete change in the way you move and think about mobility.
For example, I’m having trouble even knowing if I’m performing the mobility checks properly (ie. Am I even “externally rotating my shoulders” or am I misunderstanding what that means/feels like?). Kelly also moves so fast in his videos sometimes, and is so much more flexible than me to the point where I have a lot of trouble recreating his movements.
Did you have any issues like this? Do you have any recommendations on how to get the most out of the book?
i think so but i don't know 100% but it looks like it. it's a great hospital, chop, it's where i go as an adult even!
I totally understand. That's a huge downside of that book. It's a tome.
Have you checked out my articles on MFL on mobility? They give some simple routines to start with.
I also plan on creating a digital course on mobility this year (MFL 2.0, which is on the way, will include digital courses).
Why don’t you cut your hair?
my wife and i are not legally married because i'd lose my health insurance and such, but we are married. we had a dear friend of ours marry us. it was a small wedding.
BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING ALPHA MALE HUNTER GATHERER PROTECTOR PROVIDER WARRIOR POET AND PERSONAL LIBERTY SAYS I CAN GROW MY HAIR AS LONG AS I FUCKING WANT.
I'm actually in the middle of the workout right now, monday chest day, trying hard to beat my 6x30kg at inclined dumbbell bench press!
I keep having trouble with my fitness app, I was wondering how Stacked was going and if there was any plan to add it to android?
Seriously, thanks for helping me get into fitness, I'm having a blast!
Haha nice! Glad you're rolling!
Yessir, but first we're going to do a round of improvements on iOS and see how they're received.
Hey Mike, What's your top three health/fitness misconseptions you wish people knew the truth about? Big fan of the books and tour work all round!
currently i'm addicted to The Legend of Zelda / Link to the Past. but i love myself some Super Mario World. i wish i were as good as GrandPooBear or something but alas, i suck haha but it's fun!
Strength training is just for people who want big muscles.
WHAT you eat is far more important than HOW MUCH if you want to lose fat/not gain fat.
You have to obsess over "clean eating" to be lean and healthy.
Hey, thanks for doing this AMA! I will admit that I'd never listened to your music before today, but it has really interesting layers of sounds. I dig it!
As the (adult) child of a person with disabilities, I was always intrigued by how my grandparents raised my mom to never be "less than". I feel that her outlook and ability to do everything that she does, was influenced by that "you can do it" attitude. How were your parents when you were growing up, and do you think that it helped you become the showman that you are today?
Hey Mike - BLS is awesome! You’re the man.
Hypothetical - If you were sitting down for your last meal, because the supplement / fitness industry finally came after you and figured out how to have you framed and executed, what would you eat? (Macros and calories don’t matter anymore, right???)
thanks for taking part in the ama! glad you dig the tunes!
i think yeah, it totally did. but it's complicated, parents are complicated you know? but for the most part, yeah, my parents treated me just like any other kid i think they definitely made sure i knew that being a cripple couldn't stop me from doing what i wanted.
i think a lot of the way i am is because my mom got me involved with wheelchair sports usa when i was really really young and it got me around other people that used wheelchairs. i grew up around other crips and that definitely shaped me into the man i am.
but it wasn't some sort of, "i know you're crippled but you can do anything" inspiration porn type stuff.. it was just like, hey you're a human, do your thing. does that make sense?
Hahahah shit, this is my recurring nightmare!
Uhhhh one scoop of Legion WHEY+, Legion THRIVE, and Legion ATLAS, washed down with some Legion PULSE, Legion RECHARGE, and Legion GENESIS!!!
Okay okay, a mountain of penne vodka from Carbone NYC. ;)
Hey velvet crayon, My name is Will, I live in Portland, Oregon. I have type three OI, with 82 fractures under my belt. I am also a musician, who has about 9 years of performances under my belt. I have never really left my town to persue music in other places but I would love to. Do you have any advice?
What is your favorite TV channel, and why is it the gorilla channel?
Also, could you please explain in detail how the way he hit that other gorilla was good?
hi will! advice? just do it! cause why not? trump has his finger on the button, time is now!
honestly, reddit is a great resource to book shows, i've booked a tour that way before. do you have your music online? that's a good start if you don't. but yeah, do it, play tunes, have fun! portland rules, i've heard, i've never been but i should, soon. right? right.
Oh man if you only knew how much I love The Gorilla Channel.
Some days, I watch it for 17 hours straight kneeling in front of the TV, with my face just a few inches from the screen, so I can say encouraging things to the gorillas. I know they (probably) can't hear me, but when one gorilla hits the other one really good, I just can't control myself.
For example, one of my favorite gorillas, who I've named Harambe McHarambeface, is like a freakin' hammer in a nail factory. He has huge muscles and storms around like Donkey Kong on a diet of coffee and cocaine, and the way he hits those other gorillas isn't just GOOD, but damn near poetic. Imagine if you could watch Tyson in his prime roaming around the mall, uppercutting strangers. That's how good this gorilla hits the other ones.
My only complaint with TGC is sometimes it's boring because the gorillas aren't always fighting. All I want to see is gorillas hitting each other. A lot. And I know I'm not alone. If TGC doesn't fix this fascist microgression on my safe space, I'm going to burn my city down.
(Real talk, how fucking stupid/gullible/delusional do you have to be to actually believe that snippet was real? Gaslighting is way too easy these days...)
not everyone with OI has brittle teeth! wikipedia says ''More than 1 in 2 people with OI also have dentinogenesis imperfecta (DI)'' so it is a majority, but definitely not most.
Is the plant protein powder by Orgain a decent option? I'm trying to stick to a budget and it seems to be the cheapest option.
hmm, i don't know how much you can trust wiki though, i used to edit them with random bullshit all the time when i was in college. but you're probably right.. i just wanted to say that i used to write bullshit on wiki :)
Honestly I'm really skeptical of any protein powder that's really cheap and sold in retail stores because high-quality powder is expensive and the margins needed to do well in retail are astronomical.
That said, Orgain MAY be legit. I haven't seen any third-party analysis, though.
Hey Mike! Ive been wanting to know a little more about your golf game. What’s your favorite club in your bag? what is your handicap? if you could play a round with anybody in the world, who would it be and where?
i have no idea who that is, sorry, never got into mass effect. what makes you think i may be like him? what's he like?
Honestly didn't golf much last year BUT I will be doing more of it this year! There's a club right by my house, which is the setup I had in FL.
Hmm favorite club? Whatever I'm hitting best that day, haha.
Didn't get a handicap before I left as I was just making the transition from the range/swing work to playing, but I did shoot a legit 83 from the blacks, haha.
Ricky Fowler? Seems like a neat dude. Congressional? So much history there.
well i've always been telling jokes and playing music and then in college i had been performing as my one manned band for a few years and i also hung out in a bar pretty regularly (bob and barbara's in philly, cheers!) and another regular of the bar was producing a music video and asked me to be in the video as an actor. that led me to meet some burlesque people in philly and then i was at a burlesque show one night and i met a clown (jelly boy the clown to be exact) and we drank all night long and chatted. he and his brother have a troupe in philly called the squidling brothers sideshow circus and they do a show in philly called carnivolution (which i had been to a ton in college). i think he had heard of my music before and we were chatting all night and he asked if i wanted to be the opening band to their next carnivolution, i said of course. the next day he told me if i came up with a character for carnivolution (it's a play, a sideshow play) then i could be in that as well, so i did. and i've been in every show since. jelly and i have traveled/toured the world together. it's pretty awesome. it's actually the most artistic freedom i've ever had. i can do whatever i want in the show! it rules!
...please donate all of your money (plus all the money you can borrow) to the newly minted Mike Matthews Foundation?
Don't look into it but our mission is to grow a better and more beautiful and harmonious tomorrow by realigning global vibrations toward a 4th dimensional reawakening blah blah green tea infinity...will that be Visa or Mastercard?
Not sure if anyone has asked, but... I was kinda surprised you used the word cripple to describe yourself. Isn't that a negative word?
Is Stacked coming to Android this year? Do you guys need any volunteers to test out pre-release versions of the app and provide feedback?
it's one of those words that i can say because i am one but for someone else to say it could be negative but to me it's a good word. a powerful word. because it makes non cripples a bit anxious/uncomfortable. it's like "mutant and proud" type stuff.. does that make sense?
Possibly! We're going to start work on a round of improvements to the iOS version very soon and see how that goes.
Have you ever collaborated with other one man bands like Keller Williams, Xavier Rudd, or That One Guy?
i have not, i should look into it yeah?
actually, that's sort of a lie, there's a one man band out of the czech republic / france / let's just say out of europe, his name is Koonda Holaa. i've played with him. he rocks.
i have played in other bands though and been in other bands, even while i've had velvet crayon.
Hoping to go do a PhD studying the fatigue mechanics of bones with osteogenesis! Have you noticed the condition worsening over time? I don't now much about it yet
hi! cool! i haven't really noticed it getting worse. and by it i mean the strength of my bones. general pain and such has but i think i'm just getting older and that's what happens. i think it can get worse for people as they age because they become less active and less activeness leads to less muscle growth and also less bone strength. i'm not a doctor or anything but just speaking from experience ya know. i think puberty was the freaking worst and not just because of the weird puberty stuff but my bones were growing too fast i think and it made them weaker/thinner/less dense. but now they seem to be pretty good
nope, not that i know of
nope! it's fucking lame dude! i miss canada, they said things like "squeeze" instead of merge. and, at least the canadians i met, were really nice and fun and awesome stoners
For a second I thought you were the guy from Fury road who sits with all the telescopes. I looked him up and it seems he also suffers the same disease.
So suppose my question is have you ever been approached to be in any TV or films?
yes and no. once i was doing a show in la and someone was talking with me about it but i was pretty drunk honestly and didn't pay him no mind. there have been various little tv/film offers but i've never really looked into them, maybe i should!
Philly here - going to come see you in February!
I was just wondering if you’re familiar with This Way to the Egress? They’re a great act from Bethlehem, and you seem to run in the same circles. Anyway...I dig your music! See you soon!
hi! yep, i met them once at some show, honestly can't remember what show but their music was cool! see you february!
thanks! glad you dig the tunes! and hey, i agree with you on the more listens thing
navigating as a short dude.. umm, i try to avoid the farts.. but i do get to see some damn fine butts. butts are nice. damnit now i'm thinking about butts, what was your question? oh yeah, i look at the ground a lot, trying not to hit a big bump and flip over or run over someones foot to where they trip and fall on me. i am cautious of falling drunk people. they fall a lot.
personally i go the weed route. meditation is cool, it can help. find something fun and to distract yourself. distraction is key to not being overcome by pain. good luck! i'm still thinking about butts btw
because people have questions. i clearly look different, and people wonder about people who look different. people wonder about cripples, i hear the whispers, i see the stares, so why not allow people to ask the questions behind the safety of the anon internet? i want people to understand, to learn, to get shit off their chest instead of just assuming things and staring.
i'm doing an ama because i'm not scared to answer the real questions honestly. because nothing is too far or too much to say to me. because i won't be offended or scared of the truth.
because i want to help the cripple revolution but i'm too lazy to goto a march or a protest.. so i create my own protest.
Huh, I don't know what I was expecting from how you described your music but it certainly wasn't what I heard. Very pleasantly surprised though, love it! If I have one question it would be how has your disability impacted your music, if at all?
what did you expect? how would you describe it?
i think my disability impacts my life in all ways because it's part of me, but directly to music, it probably is the reason i play guitar the way i do (with the guitar flat like a slide guitar but played with my thumb instead of a slide)