From Sonoma to LA with 250K followers on Instagram
Scott Mathison hasn't missed more than three consecutive days of working out in 15 years — and it shows.
Exercise is a big deal for this Sonoma Valley High School alum, not only because he loves doing it, but because it is his job.
Mathison, born and raised in Sonoma, attended SVHS from 1998 to 2002 and didn't think much of fitness at the time. He played on the football team his junior and senior year, and started getting into the routine of weight lifting every morning.
'I didn't really work out too much, and even then I worked out because I had to,' Mathison said. 'For some reason on my first day of college, I said, 'I'm gonna go to the gym, and I'm gonna get strong.'"
Mathison graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz in 2006 with a degree in business and a minor in accounting. The next few years he did what he thought he had to do: work jobs he hated in order to make money. He bounced around different business and accounting jobs across California before sitting at his desk in Novato and taking a serious look at what he wanted to do with his life.
'Even though it probably sounds ridiculous, I decided I really like movies, everything about movies. So I wanted to work in movies. So I jumped into acting class, quit that accounting job. I thought I could just start acting and it could just pay my bills — I don't know what I was thinking — but I quickly realized 'I need to find a way to continue to make income,'' Mathison said.
So back to the corporate life he went, except this time only a part-time job in Mill Valley, while he continued to work on his acting career. Soon he decided if he was going to take this seriously, he needed to move to Los Angeles. He got a desk job while he got his feet on the ground, but it was in Santa Monica that he discovered something new.
'Down here is a whole movement of functional fitness – parkour, flips, ninja training – and I got into that,' Mathison said. 'I would go to outdoor gym area on the beach and see people doing cool things.'
At the time, Mathison had no social media accounts, but once he started doing these new, crazy fitness techniques, he created accounts and began posting videos, for fun. Eventually, his following began to grow, and some companies reached out to him, saying they would pay him to use their product and tag their company on his accounts. It was this offer that made him realize fitness could be his full-time job. He quit the corporate life and hasn't looked back.
'I run my own schedule and I get paid to basically work out,' he said. 'I love creating fitness content. I was doing it for free before I got paid. I didn't think 'I'm gonna do this that and get a following.''
Today, Mathison has more than 250,000 followers on Instagram, and he does photoshoots for companies like Men's Health and Speedo. He is trying to break into the acting world, and has had some minor roles in soap operas and is auditioning for action movies.
Since he gets to do a job he loves, he's a big advocate for advising high schoolers they can do the same thing.
'Instead of grinding it into them that they need to have a job, they need a career. Teach these kids how to understand what they enjoy, and teach them how to monetize that and turn their fun and hobbies and passion into income,' Mathison said.
Even though his career has taken him away from his Sonoma roots, Mathison still has a lot of love for his hometown. He visits often and loves working out at Sonoma Fit.
'In SoCal there are a lot of fake people and it's extremely competitive,' he said.
'Sonoma's small-town vibe has stayed with me so I'm always super chill. Sonoma made me who I am.'