One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 17, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I have always liked getting connected to people who live in Lumberton, NC that have ties to the Garden State. One of the first people who I met in Lumberton that was from New Jersey was Dr. Matt Thompson a podiatrist. Matt and his wife Debbie both are from New Jersey but they have been in North Carolina their entire married and professional lives.
Matt grew up in Monmouth County, NJ in small place called Belford which is really a neighborhood located within Middletown Township. Matt attended high school at Mater Dei High School and went on to attend Trenton State College which today is called the College of New Jersey. He and his wife Debbie got married in 1981 and have two grown sons Brian and Christopher.
Matt has made an impact in our community thru various talents and interests he has. He is a leader that never wants any of the spotlight or accolades that might result because of his efforts. He is very committed athlete and has excelled in a number of different events. Most notably he is a runner that has competed and won awards in all distance of races. He has run 5K to marathons. Matt is also an avid cyclist and has competed in cycling events across the southeast. Matt is also a triathlete and has participated in the most grueling of all events an “Ironman Triathlon” called the 2012 B2B Ironman in Wilmington, NC. For those that are novices to what that encompasses it involves swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bike 112 miles, and then running a full marathon race 26.2 miles. Matt did all of that in a time of 12 hrs and 27 minutes which is quite remarkable. In fact Matt who was in his late 50’s finished in the top half overall and 8th in the 55-59 age group.
Matt took up the sport of golf and got consumed by the sport and worked daily to get better. His efforts paid off because he became very good at the sport. He doesn’t play as much as he once did but hs still has a smooth swing and a deft touch around the greens. He always supports the Kiwanis All America Golf Tournament held in Lumberton each August.
Matt is also an artist. His paintings most of which are watercolors of various Lumberton landmarks are keepsakes for my family. The one below is what Matt did in 2009 and is of the Carolina Civic Center located on 4th and Chestnut Street in Lumberton, NC
He is generous with his artwork and his prints are the awards the Robeson Road Runners use for road racing winners each March during the Rumba on the Lumber.
Matt is also someone who gives back to the community. For years he has been part of the Kiwanis Club of Robeson/Lumberton. He has been a long-standing volunteer with the Robeson Road Runners and has served as the race director for the Rumba on the Lumber for over a decade. He does all of this very quietly and without fanfare. He never looks to receive any credit and he is deserving of much for all that he does to make our community a better place to live and work.
Over the years with his involvement in running, medicine, cycling, and the Robeson Road Runners. Matt developed a friendship with another doctor Jim Parker.
The Friend -MATT THOMPSON shown below with his grandson.
The Friend of the Friend-JIM PARKER
Cycling Riding MD’s
Jim Parker and Matt Thompson have a lot in common. The practice of medicine brought them to our community. They both are very intelligent. They both have beautiful wives, children, and grandchildren. What they both really love to do is be active and ride bicycles.
Jim not only has a passion for riding bikes he has a business interest in a particular type of bicycle, a recumbent bike.
A recumbent bike places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. Most recumbent riders choose this type of design for ergonomic reasons; the rider’s weight is distributed comfortably over a larger area, supported by back and buttocks. Jim and his wife Maria have a strong interest in Cruz Bikes.
A great video link by Jim on how to ride a Cruz Bike is found below:
A link about Cruz Bikes.
In our community we can often find a dedicated group of cyclist riding on our area roads. Often in that group you will find Matt Thompson and Jim Parker.
Photo below (l-r) Matt Thompson, Jim Parker, Maria Parker, Lee Ann Musslewhite, and Tom Florian