Matt Scoletti – Living on the Flipside 

By Janice Lane Palko 

Singer Joni Mitchell sang these lyrics: I’ve looked at life from both sides now. Matt Scoletti, 35, from Gibsonia could have easily sung those words. In October 2011, he saw the underbelly of life as an alcoholic. “I was an alcoholic from the ages of 18-27,” said Matt, who grew up in Murrysville and graduated Franklin Regional High School. “I had been keeping a journal for five months, and that morning in October, I woke on my living room floor, which happened quite often, and I looked back over that journal and saw what a mess I had become. And I decided right then that I was in control and it was time to change.” 

He began to take better care of himself-eliminating the alcohol, eating healthfully, exercising and getting more sleep. His transformation was remarkable and soon gained him attention. “Strangely, my first success came when I was a contestant on America’s Funniest Home Video, where I smacked myself in the face with a resistance band. My stupidity finally paid off.” 

Matt has a knack for turning the bad into good, and since his reckoning on that October morning, he has been living on the brighter side of life. He has become a 2-time World Record holder, 5-Time Physique Bodybuilding champion, been featured in Flex Magazinebecome a 40 Under 40 Recipient, was an American Ninja Warrior competitor, became a sixtime Tough Mudder finisher, received the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, Navy Seals 20x “Hellweek survivor. He was also named Mr. Pittsburgh. 

That success has spurred him to become a motivational speaker, life coach, author and philanthropist, leading him to speaking engagements all over the country. “My message is: No matter where you are, you can turn it around.” 

Six months after deciding to change, Matt met his wife, Stephanie, in the gym and learned that she was a 14-year cancer survivor. That has compelled him to raise money for the nonprofit Young Adult Cancer Support. Most recently, he made headlines while running in the Pittsburgh Marathon, when he donned an 11-pound weighted vest and ran in tribute to the 11 victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. 

Scoletti, who is a Catholic, was returning home from a vacation when the shooting happened. “We were walking through the airport, and it is usually a lively, friendly place. But on that day, it was eerily quiet. I thought this is Pittsburgh; this kind of stuff doesn’t happen here. I’ve got to do something.” 

As he crossed the finish line, Alan Hausman, the vice president of Tree of Life synagogue, embraced him and hand in hand they crossed togetherPrior to meeting at the finish line, they did not know each other, but they soon became friendsMatt’s tribute to the victims was noticed by the media, including Runner’s World magazine. “My whole reason for running the marathon was to show that in the end, love wins. I don’t care if anyone remember me, I just them to remember those we lost and that even through tragedy, LOVE CONQUERS in the long term  

Matt’s next challenge is the Marine Corps Marathon this fall in Washington, D.C. If you are interested in turning your life around, visit Matt’s website at: