It all started at dawn on Thanksgiving day 2018. Yep. Dawn! Not 3 p.m. on a Friday or 10 a.m. on a Monday. I’m a sleep superhero for crying out loud. Dawn!
The Dream Team sponsors and runs in the annual Mooresville Christian Mission Turkey Trot every year. When the pistol fired to start the 2018 race, a giant crowd of 1,800 people charged through downtown Mooresville, NC! It was awesome!
Some runners like to wear crazy pants, others wore turkey hats, and a few of us on the Dream Team suited up in our promotional mattress costumes leftover from a High School fundraiser earlier that year. For years we wanted to run the races with a twin size mattress strapped to our backs. Or maybe two of us could carry a king size mattress the whole race. The suits were an entertaining compromise! We pinned Dream Team shirts to the back of each one to let people know “We are the Dream Team!” It was a lot of fun!
By the way, the Dream Team refers to the staff and owners of Sweet Dreams Mattress and Furniture. We’re a family-owned, four-store operation in the Lake Norman, North Carolina area.
My normal pace at this event, the four years prior, was 56 minutes. Not a fast 5k! But I don’t train or prepare. I’m not a runner. My expectations were even lower that year wearing a five-pound windcatcher.
Along the way, runners and spectators cheered and jeered at my outfit. I was mistaken for an oven mitt and a piece of toast! In my witty replies and in the heat of the moment, I found a pun-worthy response by shouting “I’m Mattman!”
That year, I crossed the finish line a few seconds past 44 minutes. I was extremely proud of myself! I did not know I could run that fast! Zero preparation, zero training. I just rolled out of one bed and into another!
Wearing the mattress suit had changed my pace. In previous years I started too fast and after a short stretch, I slowed to walk/run for the remainder of the 5k. The mattress suit slowed me down at the beginning. My initial pace never overwhelmed me and I trotted slow and steady from start to finish. Shaved 12 minutes right of the top.
I spent the next few months developing my Signature Super Sleep Superhero Suit to run in more 5k’s. All around Lake Norman, I wanted to run them all! Like a superhero’s band of expert brethren, the Dream Team rushed to my aide with sleep tips. We had meetings to discuss developing a bedtime routine, a wake-up routine, and learned ways to fall asleep quickly, and ways to stay asleep for long periods of uninterrupted rest.
After ten 5k races in 2019, my time was down to 32 minutes. Again, I was not working out, training, or running in my free time. I am not a runner. But a good night’s sleep had awakened one of my superpowers, which is the ability to focus. I knew my pace. I knew what to expect. With a good night’s sleep, I could focus and push myself. I could reach new limits! And that was the fun part of it. Every race was a different track and a different course. Regardless, I could perform at a higher level every time.
As a result of that first successful 5k, I have become Mattman! Not a day goes by that I do not have a Signature Super Sleep Superhero Suit within arm’s reach. I am always on call except when I’m sleeping and always ready to fight the things that keep you up at night!
By the power of the pillow, the might of the mattress, and the surety of the sheets, I hope to help everybody sleep better at night so they can awaken their own superpowers to use in their daily lives.