Matt Talford
Matt Talford, a former Army Medical Corp veteran, has written a best-selling book that speaks to how faith and family helped him survive a cancer diagnosis.



Writing this column affords me a front-seat opportunity to write about those who inspire me.

Whether it’s people who have shared weight-loss journeys, organizations paying it forward for the uninsured, or my workout with fitness guru Shaun T, I’ve met a lot of motivating people.

Add one more name to that list — Matt D. Talford.

I met Talford (and wife Joetta) in 1994, shortly after they married. We shared mutual interests — good food, writing and fitness. Hence, I featured the couple in a previous Wednesday Wellness column highlighting their tennis fitness regimen.

Today, Wednesday Wellness revisits the Talford household, at least one-half of it.

In honor of Veterans Day, this week’s column highlights my friend and fellow writer and his first book, “From Fear to Faith: A Survivor’s Story.”

Talford, a former Army Medical Corp vet and Long Island, N.Y., native, is also a tennis coach and motivational speaker.

In 2011, at age 37 and at the peak of a successful IT career at Microsoft and in pristine physical condition, he was diagnosed with a rare form of what he now refers to as “The C Word,” better known as cancer.

Rather than flounder in self-pity, Talford transformed his journals into what is a peaceful, authentic, well-written read, peppered with his strong faith,and how faith and family played a major role in his recovery.

“I don’t want people to look at “From Fear to Faith: A Survivor’s Story” like a book,” he said. “Books to me are, well, just books; stories are told and remembered for a lifetime.”

The “story” in Talford’s case has been a journey that has transformed a former kid from the NYC area into a national author.

Telford has had great success with his first project. The book has received excellent reviews, was nominated for several literary and international awards and reached #18 on Amazon’s Kindle Hot 100. In addition, it was named a finalist for Best Cover Design in the non-fiction category and Best New Non-Fiction.

Not bad for a first-time author!

In between the book and his speaking tours, I caught up with Talford to get updates on his book tour, his wellness journey and, more important, his health.

Q. What can I share with Qcitymetro readers about your faith and fitness?

My faith in God’s promises never being broken is what carried me through my ordeal in 2010-2011, and is what continues to drive me today. When you know what God’s promises are and understand how to apply them to your life, how can your faith fail?

Q. How is your health currently?

Never felt better, though with it being four years later, I’ve found that I have to work harder at keeping the spare tire off.

Q. Tell me about your fitness regimen. Do you and your wife Joetta still work out together?

I practice yoga up to three times per week, play tennis three to four days per week, lift weights about three times per week, and try to do a few miles of road work per week, whether walking or running. Joetta and I still periodically work out together, though not nearly as much as in years past, when our schedules were a bit more aligned.

Talford will begin work on a second non-fiction book in January. By writing, he returns to a long-time hobby with hopes his journey can inspire others.

“My goal in writing was to do my part to help others fight back against a condition that takes so many lives,” he said. “The beginning of winning a fight is believing you can win it. Seeing others win produces other winners.”

For more information on Talford or to purchase his book, visit

Until next time, I wish you joy, wellness and good health!

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...