Matt currently lives in Orofino, Idaho, and is proud father of 3 amazing boys; ages 8, 9, and 11. He says they are quite busy but there's no where else he'd rather be than with his family. He prioritizes to be a sports games and school functions for all 3 boys. He comments, "I love them more than life and look forward to watching them grow up to become young men of integrity."
Matt grew up in the small town of Pierce, Idaho which is in the heart of the beautiful Clearwater Mountains. So his love for the outdoors started at a young age, especially in the winter as he became passionate about Snowmobiling. Growing up in Pierce, you could ride your snowmobile right from your front yard to the mountains so it was easy to get a ton of seat time. His dad had grown up in the sport and he got back into it giving Matt, his dad, and two younger brothers the opportunity to all snowmobile together. The Potratz bros are all 3 close in age so they spent a lot of time together. When they got out of school and all went different directions, snowmobiling was the one thing that brought the boys and dad back together a couple times a year for some quality time on the mountain. So the sport is very special to all of them and they still ride together today.
After college, Matt returned home to Pierce and launched High Country Sports, a Polaris and Arctic Cat dealership selling, servicing, and renting ATV's and Snowmobiles. After only about 2 years, the struggling local economy forced him to close up shop. He loved working with people and I enjoyed the powersports business so went to work for Mountain Motor Sports in Orofino, just 40 miles away. Being in the business continued to give him a lot of seat time on snowmobiles. He really began to refine his skills and learn new technical manuevers. He also began to take more risk and push the limits on some steep and technical climbs. Matt got an invite to join 509 films on a ride to film for their yearly technical backcountry movie that snowmobilers watch for entertainment and to get pumped to ride. The shoot went very well and he ended up getting a segment in the film.
The next year the invites kept coming and he was fortunate enough to get a substantial segment when they produced their movie "Vertical Ascent". Matts youngest brother Jon had become a very talented and smooth rider and joined him on camera that winter. As best friends, they pushed eachother hard to get to the next level. After about 3 years, Matt left Mountain Motor Sports and went to work selling cars at Rogers Toyota down the river in Lewiston, Idaho but his passion for snowmobiling continued After an appearance in his second movie, he was able to land some sponsorships for clothing, helmets, boots, and some aftermarket snowmobile accessories. This helped a ton as it was becoming expensive to ride at that level and his family was growing.
Then Matt got a call from another film company, 208 Productions, asking for a day on the snow for some footage. He agreed and had a segment in 208's first movie. The following season he rode for both 509 films and 208 Productions. All this riding was on the side on his days off from what he referred to as his "real job" at Rogers. Things were also going well at work as Matt had been promoted from Salesperson to Finance Manager and then to Sales Manager all in less than 3 years. So life was busy. Busy enough that it cost him his marriage and the priviledge of tucking his kids into bed every night. Matt shares that he knows now that his priorities got outta wack.
Life changed in a hurry on Sunday, March 1, 2009. Matt was riding with 208 in McCall, ID filming for a segment in the movie "A Calculated Risk". He mis-calculated and "Life Happened". To read some of the story of that day and his long road to recovery, please see "The Avalanche" and "Never Let Go".
After being home from the hospital a couple months, Matt returned to work at Rogers Toyota part time and eventually went full time in his new position as Training Manager. But after 8 months full time, he was laid off for the inability to produce at the level the job required. Today, Matt finds tremendous fulfilment in his new career as a Motivational/Inspirational Speaker and his story and message are impacting lives, young and old. Read more in the “Get Motivated" tab.
In addition, during his recovery at home, a friend suggested that he try some 'Advocare' Health & Wellness products to help replenish nutrients in his body. He says it's amazing the difference they've made! He has more energy & stamina and just plain feels better every day. He was so impressed that he became an Advocare distributor to share the products with family and friends. Check out his Advocare site today by clicking the link on the right side of the screen. Review the products and order for direct shipment or feel free to contact Matt with any questions. Matt often says, "we cannot put a price on our health."
Matt has written an incredible book about his avalanche and recovery experience called "Two Hands". The avalanche may have left him with a hand he can't use but by the Hand of God and the amazing people in his life, Matt Potratz has never been without "Two Hands." Check out more about the book and order your copy in the “Read My Book” tab.
Stay tuned to “Upcoming Events” to hear his remarkable story live and in-person at an event in your area.
Please support my incredible sponsors every chance you get as they've been more than sponsors, but TRUE FRIENDS. ~ Matt Potratz