My Name Is: Matt Wright

Two-time contestant on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

Posted 5/9/17

About me...

I was born in Lakewood and raised in Conifer. My parents decided to retire early to Florida, so I graduated from high school there, and then played baseball while getting my associates degree in Laredo, Texas. But Colorado was always where my …

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My Name Is: Matt Wright

Two-time contestant on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

Posted
About me …
I was born in Lakewood and raised in Conifer. My parents decided to retire early to Florida, so I graduated from high school there, and then played baseball while getting my associates degree in Laredo, Texas. But Colorado was always where my heart was, so I came back to Lakewood in 2004.
I joined the Air force’s Special Operations Tactical Air Control Party, which goes in with ground units to help call in airstrikes, but I was hurt after two years and had to leave the service.
My parents are still in Florida, I have two sisters, and my wife, Brooke. I proposed to the cameras during my first time on “Naked and Afraid,” and when we were done filming I took her up to Lookout Mountain and showed her the footage. That’s how we got engaged, and we were married last June.

A passion for surviving
I’ve been interested in the outdoors since I was a kid. I’d watch other kids playing in the sandbox, and I’d be trying to improvise a trap to catch a rabbit. Growing up, I kept learning and getting better.
I own Extreme Instinct Knives and Survival in Lakewood, where we make custom knives and outdoor products. I also teach survival classes — everything someone would need to know to survive if they were stranded, including making primitive fires and shelters, navigation, and how to create hunting tools. I don’t want people to just survive in the wilderness — I want them to thrive.

Naked but not afraid
I saw the show “Naked and Afraid” and saw all the suffering contestants were going through, and immediately wanted to be on the show. Not because I wanted to be on TV, but because I wanted to do a real challenge.
The first time I was on was in April 2015, and we filmed on the southern tip of Thailand. The first time I met my partner was a pretty comical moment, because we were both naked. But I think it’s an awesome way to meet somebody, because you can’t judge anything about them.
It was miserable as hell, but I adapted to it. I found if you enjoy the misery, you never suffer. I call it the beautiful suffering.
That first time was 21 days, and when it was over, I asked if I could stay longer, because I didn’t get the full spectrum of everything I wanted to experience. So when I heard they were doing an XL show that lasted 40 days, I was so excited.
We filmed in the Amazon River basin in November, which was one of the most inhospitable climates imaginable. It was the most incredible time of my life, and I absolutely enjoyed becoming one with the jungle.

Going past the limit
I love finding epic that moment, and that’s what I’m out there to find. It’s the moment you can support your adventures on. I love testing myself to the extreme and seeing what I’m made of.

Watch Wright on “Naked and Afraid XL” on Discovery, Sundays at 10 p.m.
If you have suggestions for My Name Is ..., contact Clarke Reader at creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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