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Cycling For Sobriety

UPDATE ~ Mat finished his cross country BMX bike ride on Oct 9th, 2019 in Victoria, BC. On Oct 8th, 2019, the Foundations pink firetruck escorted Mat through the downtown Eastside to inner Vancouver. New photos and articles on the bottom of this page. Congratulations Mat! 

Mat is attempting to set a world record for longest BMX bike ride. If successful, He will be the first person in the world to bike across Canada on a single speed BMX bike.

Mat left Halifax on May 1 and as of Aug 4 he is now in Ignac, Ontario. The finish line will be the Parliament Building in Victoria B.C. He is ‘Cycling For Sobriety” to create awareness for Recovery and Addiction. 

Mat’s Bio

I was born in Duncan on Vancouver Island. As a child I lived my life on bikes. I learned to ride without training wheels at 3 and you couldn’t get me off my bike. My Dad, my superhero, talented at cycling and mechanics, taught me how to fix bikes. My Dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was 6 years old and from that day forward my life changed.

I moved to Terrace BC, when I was 7. I rode bikes trying to make friends. Some of these kids were older and they sexually abused and tortured me. I tried to hang myself at 8 to end my pain and confusion. Not long after my parents divorced. I blamed myself. My parents were going through a lot and as they tried to find solid ground, my sister and I were sent to live at a teacher’s house from our Christian school. I began to disconnect and people remarked that something was wrong with me.

In my teenage years I became an outcast. My social behaviors were odd. I wanted acceptance so badly that I started partying and hanging around with the wrong crowd. Hard drugs and drinking became my life at age 15. I lost a close friend and unable to process the pain of that loss in a healthy manner I simply did more drugs. I crashed my truck due to mixing drugs and medications. My mental health became negatively affected. I would hear voices and people were not there. I tried to hang myself off the Kelowna Bridge and a random stranger saved me.

My relationship with drugs and alcohol was torture – I was running from the same thing I was chasing. I lost my job, overdosed and ended up in the hospital.

While in the hospital my mom showed me a news clip about the John Volken Academy. All I heard was long term. I was sold because I knew I didn’t know how to live. Once I was through the doors of the John Volken Academy I felt safe. After 3 months I experienced great personal growth. It is not easy living in a Therapeutic Community, but it works. I learned to stay grounded and present within my body and my periods of blackouts lessened. I learned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and finally at the age of 30 I got answers to why I mentally and emotionally suffered.

At the one-year mark I suffered more flashbacks. Through deeper trauma therapy, the teachings of the program and a lot of personal work I again experienced a surge of personal growth. This was a turning point for me. One day I saw students sitting around laughing and I was happy that they were happy. I began to make friends and learned to connect in a healthy manner.

Riding my BMX across Canada is a dream I’ve had from 7 years old. Now the dream is a reality. I want everyone to know you can change your life – sobriety is possible!

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