Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives
Imagine being a professional athlete at the peak of your performance. You’re making waves in your sport as your name becomes more and more well-known to people both within and outside of your professional circle. Then, imagine, suddenly having your dreams of competing professionally effectively stolen from you by the actions of another human. One minute, you’re driving around your local town; the next, you wake up dizzy and disoriented in a hospital bed only to have doctors tell you that you will never be able to live an active lifestyle again.
This is exactly what happened to Matthew Gagne. In 2014, while living and working in Dubai, Gagne was involved in a single-vehicle car wreck, instantly taking him from a professional skydiver with a budding career to a spinal injury survivor.
From Death’s Door To The Growroom Floor
“I suffered 10 fractures to my cervical and thoracic vertebrae as well as a full subluxation at the C5/C6 level,” says Gagne. “In other words, I broke my neck and was internally decapitated. I was struggling physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as well as financially. The internal and external battles were real and the stress of not knowing was almost unbearable.”
With a sleek titanium cage installed in his neck, as well as bulging discs both above and below the fusion, pain and discomfort became a part of daily life for Gagne. That is, at least until he made the conscious choice to not allow that pain to control his life. As a seasoned skydiver, Gagne was no stranger to facing fear head-on, or to the trade-off of “risk vs. reward”. According to Gagne, it was this same mindset that not only helped him kickstart his recovery to overcome his injury, it also gave him the confidence to use the tools he used during that recovery to help others regain control of their lives.
CBD Helped Me Help Myself
In April of 2018, nearly four years after his life-threatening injury, Gagne founded Flock Goods: a nutritional enhancement brand that offers a line of CBD-based nutraceutical products that help nourish and strengthen the body’s physical building blocks. Each of Flock’s all-natural CBD products is designed to help those who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, mental fog, and more to improve their mental health, physical fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle along the road to recovery. These aspects, along with that of the recovery journey itself, make up what Gagne refers to as the “Five Finger Framework” – the fundamental factors in which Flock Good’s core values and philosophy is rooted in.
“Pain is not only humbling – it’s the best teacher I’ve ever had,” says Gagne. “The layers of healing are complex, but with self-empathy and a strong, conscious effort, you can find true understanding, perspective, and patience.”
Indeed, healing is often a long and tumultuous process. Though the events we endure that cause our bodies and minds pain and trauma are inherently subjective at the individual level, the process of healing is not. As such, it should never be undertaken alone. Gagne stresses the importance of this, too, citing that the road to recovery since his life-changing accident would have been impossible to walk by himself.
Strong As FLOCK
In his founding of Flock Goods, Gagne has helped to create a community that perfectly matches the definition of the name. Chasing dreams, facing fears, and overcoming adversity in spite of our limitations are all terrifying to think about doing alone. Together, however, any obstacle truly can be overcome.
“I consider myself extremely lucky,” Gagne continues, “which is one of the reasons why I feel so compelled to give back to others. I didn’t get to where I am by myself. It started with a healthy mindset, was aided with proper nutrition, and I was lifted up by a community of others when I needed it the most.”
Nearly seven years following his horrific accident, Gagne is proud to say that no one “has any idea” about it until they see the scars for themselves.