June 29, 2020, began like any other day for Brandon Peacock.
He woke up, went to work, and planned to get his hair cut before heading home for the day. But Brandon, now 25, didn’t get his hair cut that afternoon.
As he was about to enter a barbershop in Ottawa’s west-end, a car pulled up and opened fire. Brandon was shot three times — once in the left leg, once in the chest and a bullet also pierced the femoral artery in his right leg.
Although he wasn’t the intended target, he ended up the victim. His injuries were so severe, the doctors told his parents he had a 50/50 chance of making it through the night. However, as you’ll hear in the episode below, Brandon didn’t take to the victim moniker.
“I think you’re at your most dangerous, and your greatest potential for success, when you’re the most vulnerable and the most desperate,” he says. “When it came to my rehabilitation process, and finding a purpose for everything that I went through, that’s what kept me awake at night … And that drove me to want to use this to make a change for other people.”
Welcome to Season 2 of the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. This is Brandon Peacock’s story of tragedy and triumph.
0:00:05.9 S1: In
0:00:06.9 S2: June 2020, I showed up here 5:45 PM after my regular work day to get a hair cut, a car pulled up right there as I was walking in and opened fire on the barbershop. So I got caught in a drive-by shooting, and I got shot three times. One of them hit me in the chest, and then I took one bullet in the femoral artery, which I later found out that night is probably the second-worst spot you can get shot other than the jugular. So I think as soon as I got to speak to my mom on the phone, I realized it was a little bit more serious than maybe I initially thought. Going into the hospital, they told my parents I was looking at probably about a 50-50 shot of making it through the night. And on top of that, the odds of keeping my leg was much less. I’m thinking in a positive sense the entire time, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m making it through the night, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m gonna be all right. I started thinking to myself, I’m like, “Okay, you know what, what can I do to face this head on, how can I use this crazy thing that I’ve been through to find some purpose?” And I wanted to do something that allowed me to look back on my life and be happy with what I’d gone through.
0:01:48.0 S1: Hey there, and welcome to the Leading With Nice Interview Series podcast. My name is Mathieu Yuill, and you know we wanna help you inspire others, build loyalty and get results. If you’re listening, it’s not going to sound any different. If you’re watching on YouTube or elsewhere, you’ll notice we’re outside… I’m not in my office. We are in Ottawa, Canada, Canada’s capital, and the reason we’re here today is I’m with Brandon Peacock, and I’m gonna let Brandon tell his story. This is the first episode of Season 2 for us, and we wanted to launch with something a little bit different and something that we think might be really valuable to you and your team, so Brandon, thanks for hosting us here in Ottawa and just give us a little bit of bio information. Are you from Ottawa? How old are you? What do you do? Yeah, so thanks for having me on, Mathieu.
0:02:40.7 S2: I’m 25 years old and I just turned 25 last month, born and raised in Ottawa, just about 10 minutes from this location here in Kanata, I guess you could say, I’ve been here my entire life, but it’s a great city here, I’m happy you came down…
0:02:53.6 S1: Cool, thank you. So we are here outside of fresh ibushi, and it’s draining that we chose to sit here and I’m just gonna get rid into it… I don’t wanna set it up, I want you to tell you a story. So June 2020, you were here to get your hair cut and something happened that altered the trajectory of your life forever. Tell us your story. Yeah.
0:03:13.9 S2: So you can notice I still haven’t got that hair cut just over a year later, now I showed up here 5-45 PM after my regular work day to get a haircut, and a car pulled up right there as I was walking in and opened fire on the barber shop, they actually were targeting the store next door, it’s empty now, the owner has, I guess, left for obvious reason, but yeah, I got caught in dry by shooting and I got shot three times, so it’s always a little bit weird coming back here, it’s my third time back now, but the team here is phenomenal, so it definitely… It was a life-changing night for me.
0:03:47.6 S1: And just to be very clear for our listeners, when you say you were hit with bullet by drive by shooting, we’re talking like the stuff you might imagine in a TV or a movie show, a car pulls up if somebody leaves that with a gun, you’ve had incredible recall of those moments. What was going to remind those first instances. Yeah.
0:04:03.8 S2: So obviously, I’m very fortunate in a weird way to fully… I remember a good junk of the situation, obviously, there’s some areas that are a little bit gray, but yeah, walking into the barber shop, there happened to be the owner’s wife who was holding the door open for me, literally read on those steps right there, and we saw a car pull up, and obviously, it takes a couple seconds to react, but as they started opening fire, I guess I shared her in and then ran in a after her, so I happened to take the brunt of everything, I got hit three times. One of them hit me in the chest, which was my biggest concern the night of obviously, I think your heart, your lungs, do you have so many vital organs there that it was obviously a really scary scene for me, and then I happened to get one in the left leg, which ended up being a non-factor, I was kind of like a ricochet bullet, and then I took one bullet in the femoral artery, which I later found out that night is probably the second worst spot you can get shot other than the jugular, so even getting shot in the head, you have arguably a better chance of survival, so that ended up being the biggest cost for a concern the night of…
0:05:05.8 S2: So I got in there, immediately I realized I was hit and I started basically bleeding for in there, the entire barber shop at that point was evacuated, like Everyone run out the back, so what happened to be me and just the woman who’s holding the door for me at the time who were left in there, I got her to apply pressure to my leg as I was applying pressure on my chest, and then she ran over to get the phone, and how do we call my mom? Because she didn’t think I was gonna make it that hard… That was her idea. Yeah, she said, Is there anyone you wanna call and naturally I’m like, Okay, I got… I gotta call my mom. Right, and it’s funny ’cause in her mind, I was toast. I basically just say, Hey, Mom, this is gonna sound crazy. Don’t stress when I got shot, going to my barber shop, I’m gonna be okay, don’t worry. I just wanted you to hear it from me first. You can’t really see it in the camera here, but you can see it that Tim Hortons right there, there happened to be a police officer there at the time of the shooting, he literally sprinted directly across the street, that’s actually when my phone call…
0:06:13.8 S2: My mom got cut off because they took a phone, they didn’t know who I was calling it.
0:06:17.0 S1: They know you were not… All they know is that you’re even hit with gunfire.
0:06:21.4 S2: And it’s very uncommon that someone who’s not a target as shooting it shot three times to a drive-by… Right, yeah. So anyways, because that officer was able to get over so quickly, he basically strapped a turn, I get to my leg right away, and because the femoral artery bleed is so severe, I was told that I… Had it been 30 more seconds, I probably would have been DET. So I actually only found this out probably two months ago if my parents… So I didn’t know this at the time, and I think they’re probably scared to share it with me, but going into the hospital, they told my parents, I was looking at probably about a 50-50 shot of making it through the night, and on top of that, the odds of keeping my leg word much less. I remember to the last thing I said before going under the knife, do what you gotta do, you knock down my odds to survival by 50%, if you have to just do what you gotta do to keep this like… I was very fortunate too, in the sense that because I came in around 6 o’clock, I was there at shift change, so I had surgeons from the day shift and the night shift, a probably 10 surgeons who are all unbelievable and what they do on board for my surgery, so they were able to give me the best medical care that I probably could have got that night of…
0:07:36.7 S2: So again, I think for a challenging circumstance and something that definitely it was a terrible thing. I had every single lucky bounce that I possibly could have that night, and that’s kind of when I talk about with you, reflecting on the positives of everything, I’m able to do that because I had so many good dances go my way… So it’s actually funny, as I was laying there on the floor… People always ask me, they’re like, What were you thinking about what was going on in your brain? And I’m sorry, mom, if you’re watching this, but everything that was going on in my brain was, You know what, this is all right, you’re gonna have a couple of weeks off work, you’re gonna have some time to read some of the books you’ve been putting off… I watch some of the podcasts you and putting off, I do some of these things that you haven’t had the opportunity to do because you’ve been so busy in your day-to-day life, how can you make yourself better coming out of this, and that probably sounds psychotic of me, but I think it brought me a lot of peace at the same time because I wasn’t thinking, this could be the last breath, I take it.
0:08:45.1 S2: I just thinking what’s next, and eventually I caught myself, I think as soon as I got to speak to my mom on the phone, I realized it was a little bit more serious than maybe I initially thought, I’m sure had I allowed myself to drift off… It could have definitely gone south, right, quick, I think, but yeah, I was very cognizant the entire time… You don’t wanna think of everything in a negative, I’m thinking in a positive sense the entire time, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m making it through the night, there’s no debt in my mind that I’m gonna be all right regardless of how much was there, regardless of how stressed out everyone else around me is, but my biggest thought and the biggest reason that I was so driven to get through that night was like, what… Mark, have I left if I was to die tonight, would I be able to go peaceful knowing that I left a legacy with my friends, my family, my community, like all these things, and I wasn’t really… With the legacy I left it, I’d like to think I have a really good supportive family who would have been very proud of me regardless of my friends, I think I would have to…
0:09:42.9 S2: But I still thought there was a lot more that I could do it and a lot better than I could do what
0:09:46.9 S1: I found really excited about your story when we began talking between the time of being shot and you’re like a few days after recovery, you change your mindset again, you’ve pivoted, I’m just like, Oh, I ask some time off, I’m gonna make use of this moment tells you…
0:10:04.3 S2: Yeah, so there was… Maybe a couple of factors that played into that. I think the first… As much as I had a really positive mindset going through, when you wake up that next morning, you’re still so heavily sedated you, you’re on so many painkillers because of the severity of your injury, it’s really easy to… And which is fair to get complacent and just kinda lay in there and just be happy you’re alive and be kind of a bit of a slug. I couldn’t move. At that point, my leg was so destroyed, all of my ribs were broken on the left side, I physically could not not even just get up out of my bed, but move my shoulders up right, so it was pretty easy to fall into a dark place for the first couple of days where I found myself just trying to sleep as much as I could, I was sleeping probably 18 hours a day. And what was really unique about that is because of all the pain killers that I was on, my dreams were so wild and vivid, and I dream pretty lucid as it is, so I found myself just using that as an escape and escape from reality, where in my dreams, I was still running around with my friends, that’s all I could think about at the time was like, I hope I’m able to get out there and live my normal life again.
0:11:08.5 S2: Right, so now I use that as an escape, and I think on a day three, late day two, I kinda realized that I was actually reading this book by this guy called Mike Magellan is at the fifth vital, and he talks about his opioid addiction when he was younger and how it really threw off his entire life, and I started to see myself, and again, it was only two days, three days, it probably wasn’t something I would have fallen into long-term, or at least I’d like to hope I wouldn’t have, but it was becoming a big escape for me. So on day three, I decided to opt out of all my pain medications except for my nerve medications to Lyric as what I was taking, but that didn’t really alter my mental state whatsoever, I was still able to think to the same degree as I would be able to without any medication, the pain meds were at… Was impacting that, right? So I started thinking to myself, I’m like, Okay, you know what, what can I do to face this head on, right. Obviously, sitting here and being upset with myself isn’t gonna do anything, it’s not gonna be productive, how can I use this crazy thing that I’ve been through to find some purpose, right.
0:12:11.0 S2: And how can I come back from this to the best of my abilities and got back… I asked my parents to bring in a bunch of books for me, they thought I was crazy, they’re like… To relax, take your time. You just got shot, you’re basically on your death bed here, relax, feel sorry for yourself a little bit, and that narrative right there is what drove me more than anything… Right. I don’t want anyone to ever feel sorry for me, I don’t wanna feel sorry for myself, I didn’t see myself as a victim of circumstance, I saw myself as a proud survivor of something that was difficult, and I wanted to do something that allowed me to look back on my life. And be happy with what I’d gone through.
0:13:03.4 S1: So you’re in the hospital, you’re on day three or four, you’ve opted in the pain medication minus the one to help you your nerve recovery in those days, the short few days after recovery has begun in the hospital, you’ve started to answer the question, What mark… Do I want to leave? Yeah, yes.
0:13:20.7 S2: So I thought about it. And the things that got me through my time in the hospital, the most, my darkest days, coming to terms with everything were my communications with people who’d gone through circumstances, so I was able to talk… I had a friend in the same as Michael 02, he was hit by a car about five years ago when he slipped into a coma for a week, I believe, but when he saw what I went through, he reached out directly to me and he’s like, Look man, not many people are gonna be able to understand what you’re feeling right now, they’re gonna tell you allow yourself to feel sorry for yourself, they’re gonna wish you the best, but they’re not gonna be able to fully get it. I get it, I’m here to talk whenever you need, and We talked probably every day, and he guided me through how to think in that recovery process, and that was what I needed, I didn’t need some person with a degree who had a bunch of questions and boxes to check off, and I appreciate that. Yeah, I’ve done it. I think that there is a hell of a lot of value in therapy.
0:14:18.7 S1: You were explaining to me earlier about the system is set up to achieve a certain thing under
0:14:23.5 S2: You wanted to achieve a different thing. Yeah, I think… Well, there’s a couple of things, and it really depends which way you go, but you’re able to get a lot of emotional support, which I think is very important for sure, but in my personal understanding of what I wanted to do with my situation… For me, personally, I didn’t find it was the best road because I had resources like Michael in my life who I could talk to on a very emotional level, so that’s kind of something I started looking into. I started looking into, is there anything in that space to help support these people who’ve gone through these life-authoring circumstances other than a Go Fund Me or these kind of things? I realized there was a massive gap in government funding and government funding and charitable organizations for victims of trauma, you made a decision to start something that would ultimately help victims of trauma, and that thing was… Was our hit the ground running charity? It will not for-profit right now, we’ve applied for charitable status, we’re hoping to receive it sometime in the next couple of months, but… Yeah, so what we wanna do with hitter und running is we wanna raise funds for physiotherapy, psychotherapy and other functional strength training-related cost for victims of trauma, because even if you’re through an insurance provider, they’ll give you kinda like the bare minimum.
0:15:35.6 S2: Their job is to get you back to whatever your job was before, right, which for me was like a desk job, so they didn’t care about the long-term ramifications, these guys have one goal in mind and that’s to get you to be able to sit erodes and work again, right? So we realized that there was a massive lack of funding for people who wanted to get back to their new 100%, and that was my goal from day one, and I had an unbelievable team around me that had made that possible for me, but I realized a lot of other people wouldn’t have those same luxuries, so that’s really what drove me to get hit the ground running going, and obviously, we’re in the preliminary phases right now, we’ve launched a virtual run in the fall, September 2021. We also just launched a Merch, we actually just closed off our merch sales, but do you wanna buy a sweater? Let me know, okay. But yeah, so we’ve found ways to get creative in the space to raise some money and also provide some cool fun things for people. But yeah, it’s become a bit of a passion project for me, and when we talked about legacy that I wanna leave, I think it would be really cool if I could take this kind of horrific situation and bring some positive about it, and I think it’s brought me a lot of solace.
0:16:43.1 S2: In the meantime, I’m sitting in a side of the place I got shot a year later is my third time back here, and that something that crippled me at first when I came… The first time I came here, I was shaking, but it brought me a lot of solace and allowed me to come to terms with everything that I’ve been through because I was able to use it for a greater purpose than myself, and that’s something that I think is really cool, and I’m always gonna be thankful that I had the opportunity to do because of this terrible situation.
0:17:14.2 S1: So I just wanna talk for a few minutes about the process of identifying the gap and then trying to fill the gap site a few questions about this. When you started to identify the gap, I’m thinking about business leaders who are thinking, Okay, we’re actually experiencing a thing in our business, and it may not be as significant as the trauma you experienced, but they might be feeling a hurt or a pain, and I’ve started to identify a gap in their recovery, so they need to be a the pain so that you’re dealing with your pain, what have been the doctors and all the experts they brought in, but then you saw… You had to see this gap if you are in business, ’cause you worked in business before, how does that translate… What are some things that business leader… My questions have been asked themselves that you asked yourself in both actually a gap, how do certain that…
0:18:05.7 S2: Yeah, I guess you have to see what the competition is like. And I think that’s a weird thing for me to say in regards to a not-for-profit, but the key to identifying the gap for me and realizing that this was something that could be a sustainable project for me was I just did lot of research to see if anyone else was doing it, and obviously at the time it had a direct impact on me, I would have loved to secure some extra funding for my recovery from credible organizations. Right, yeah. So I did a lot of research on what the competition or the environment and space was like, and there just wasn’t a lot… There was very, very little I secure, I think a 1000 check from some government organization that I basically just called and said, Hey, I got shot. They were like, Oh my God, that’s terrible. What’s your address?
0:18:49.1 S1: There was no more questions on that… Yeah.
0:18:51.3 S2: That was as simple as it was. They’re like, the max we can do is a 1000 bucks, Here’s 100 bucks, I enjoy it. However you want…
0:18:56.4 S1: And the reason you’re doing this too, is because you’re a physio, all the other support would have been like again, he really what you felt the vermandois Get back to work. And you wanted something more. So let me ask you this question then. Often, when we work with organizations that lead with nice, when people are identifying these gaps that need to be filled, one of the questions we ask them is, when you look back into your history, when has your organization been at its best? And so I think the question for names you, when is brand and been at his best, and that might… That doesn’t answer her. Oh, I was at my best when I scored a hat trick. Important hockey, obviously, you cannot replicate that hat trick moment, but you can replicate the work and the experience and the talents you brought to that, so how did you identify when you were thinking to hit the ground running, which is about doing runs and raising money through that, on the… We should raise money. How did you decide that was the thing? Like why not charity hockey and why not selling biscuit artists and big shops.
0:19:56.4 S2: Yeah, yeah, there’s two reasons for that, and I think the first is kind of my blanket statement with covid was detrimental to having any sort of gatherings at the time that we decided to do everything. So a virtual run, you can kinda do whatever. Right, but the second thing, and I think this pertains a little bit more to life in general, is I think you’re at your most dangerous and your greatest potential for success when you’re the most vulnerable and you’re the most desperate what I went through because it was the greatest struggle, an obstacle I ever had to overcome in my life, right. When it came to my rehabilitation process and finding a purpose for everything that I went through, that’s what kept me up late at night, I was working my tail off to get back to my new 100%, I was pushing through all these barriers I could… I was reading every night trying to learn about the PTSD, the symptoms, the impact that my situation was gonna have on me, and that drove me to want to use this to make a change for other people, and I think that’s a really cool feeling.
0:20:52.4 S2: It’s a feeling I still love. In my day-to-day life, I find myself… I find that it’s easy to get complacent, especially we live in a pretty good world, you’re in Canada, right? But when you start to get complacent, I think you start to neglect opportunities to capitalize on to success, whereas I didn’t really have the opportunity to be complacent at that time in my life, I had to be working for that next goal every single day in my recovery process, and it drove me to wanna make a difference, I now have the time to do it as well, or
0:21:22.7 S1: Having my perspective on that, because you talk in this… Definitely, I did not have a choice. I had to do this. Well, no, my friend, you had a choice, right, you could have been complacent, you could have accepted to go fund you chose not to, and I think the learning there is exactly that for a business leader, you do have a choice, how are you going to… And complacency isn’t a black or white… There are several layers and levels of how you approach things, Brandon, I’m gonna get past right now because there’s so much talking about when we have more learning from you that we need to do two episodes of this, the people will know if you’re just listening to episode one and a few people that make this thing happen, indicate helps book the show as an parent grass right now doing audio, Abbas are video guy behind Adam is a part of ours here in Ottawa, and he has a great company with a partner that does a lot of film, we are to put the link to his company in the show notes, Naomi Grossman helps research and do the questions. Jamie Hunter is our Content Manager.
0:22:19.8 S1: If you’re seeing this on social or reading on the blog or listening to the podcast, you see on YouTube, you can thank him for that. Kerry Cotton is our account manager.
0:22:29.2 S2: Well, I’m here, Gallatin auto wash, taking care of the business. So thank you, Carrie for that, and of course, my wife, Allison, which let me come to Ottawa today.
0:22:36.7 S1: For more on this. Visit our blog, leading with nice dot com. We also have a lot of Grimes. This is of course, Episode One is he’s in to… There’s a whole other 24-ish episode of great learning, and you definitely wanna come back for episode two, random peacock story, and there’s some brilliant learning for you and your business to the next episode.
0:22:59.9 S2: Branden, thanks for being here. For Part one, we’ll get it part too, right away, looking forward to a checkout grand dot com to learn a little bit more
0:23:07.5 S1: To hit the round writing website is definitely in the show notes, and we will definitely be talking more about how you can learn more, but hit the ground runner tip. Brandon should be coming to your company’s news with speaking.
0:23:22.3 S2: ’cause these only scratching the service of how he brings integration and motivation, but that’s beside the point. ’cause there’s a lot more learning. We’ll talk to you in the next timis.
When we talk about the most pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life. It’s not getting shot. You have so much adrenaline there, like it is what it is. But that was nothing compared to the physio we went through in that first two weeks. It built a ton of mental toughness for me, but it also got me back to things like running in September 2021, right? I was running when I should have been walking, and that was a big thing that made me want to start. I hit the ground running.
I I needed a guy who made me uncomfortable, pushed me through all this pain because he knew that at the end of the day, that’s where my greater recovery would come from. I want to be able to afford people the opportunity to work with people who will push them to their brink every single day to get them to their new 100%.
Good day. And welcome to the leading with Nice Interview Series podcast. My name is Matthew, and we want to help you inspire others, build loyalty and get results. Now we are actually doing part two of our two part interview with Brandon Peacock. And if you haven’t listened to part one, encourage you to stop listening right now, go back and listen to part one to hear Brandon story. I found Brandon on TikTok of all places, and Brandon had this story, which I had to watch three or four times.
So I was like, what is this? So I just hear this correctly. Long story short. He was going to get his hair cut one night, and the next thing he knew, he had been shot three times. He was wrong place, wrong time. He was not the target of that drive by shooting, but he was certainly the victim of it. However, the victim label doesn’t sit well up, Brandon. And the reason we’re talking to him today is because in addition to encapsulating a mindset of being a survivor, he’s also using that idea in that mind shift to funnel his energy into a nonprofit called Hit the Ground Running.
Now, last episode, we talked about the incident and just shortly after he had recovered in hospital today, we’re going to talk about his recovery and what the future looks like for him from there. Brandon, thanks for coming back for part two, man. It would have been a very bad podcast if you were to stick around. I appreciate it.
I appreciate you having me like I said before, and it’s always nice to get out here, back to the scene of everything. It’s good for the nerves.
I guess so. Brandon, when we last chatted, you adjust, spoken about how you had had this thought. You had a built like what? Mark, what legacy isn’t going to leave. What does it matter that I’ve been on this Earth and out of that through a thought process. You said I need to help other victims of trauma and the way I want to do that is by establishing a nonprofit, eventually, a charity that will raise money to help for Physio mental. All the recovery, the strength thing you’ll need after you are a victim of trauma.
And you mentioned as well. The important thing is you recognize the gap was like availability of dollars to help you recovery were so sparse that you maybe if you followed that plan, it would only be at your desk able to work. The idea of running plane sports would probably done for you. Correct. That’s where we’re at.
I think it’s probably more than light.
So I think as people are listening to this, if you’re a business owner, the key message this particular part of the story is you found a great team and not just talented, committed, but somebody who is passionate about you achieving your goals. Frank, Physiotherapist was not trying to use you as leverage. He got a better job to open his own thing. He was literally to creating your future. So who’s Frank? What does he do? And how does he figure into the story?
Yeah. So, Frank, that we’re really close friends before anything happens. Unbelievably fortunate that he happened to be a physiotherapist definitely played into my favor. But after everything happens, he was one of the first people to reach out. And I don’t remember what he said, but it was something along the lines of, like, I’ve got, like, a summer science project, right? The summer science project. And this guy was going to do everything it took to get me back to normal and heat. I was really fortunate to have him because he wasn’t going to allow me the opportunity to back out of it either.
Now, what do that mean? Racially. He’s going to be calling you every day holding accountable. What did it mean?
So yes and no again, I had my dad took some time off work the two months after everything that happens. So he drove me to Frank’s house every day. So even if I wanted to skip, I would have had my dad. I would have had Frank, and I would have had myself to deal with, too, because I would have felt like I was letting myself down where I say he held me accountable. Is he pushed me way past where any other physiotherapist that I had previously had would push me because he understood where I wanted to be in my recovery, right?
He knew that I not only wanted to get back to a regular life, I wanted to get back to the best version of myself that I could be after everything that we happened happened.
Most people, I think, certainly have not been shot. I can empathize, but I can’t truly know. So talk to us about that, so we can understand what shape you’re in.
Yeah. So, like we said in the last podcast, basically, it wasn’t just my wound in my chest. The bullet hole. So I had a whole fully through in my femur bone. So there are some significant, significant damage on top of the massive incisions I had on both sides of my leg and the transfer of the vein replacing my artery.
This leg was in bad shape, and before I was able to leave the hospital, my physio in hospital team said that I had to be able to walk up three steps because that was enough to get me into my house.
So easy, right?
Yeah. You think you think it’s easy, but when all your ribs are broken, your breathing is not great. It’s very hard to get a good breath in as well as I hadn’t moved in seven days. Right. And that was to date the most difficult thing I’ve probably ever done in my entire life. But I was able to do it because that was the way I was going to get out. Right? I needed to get out of that hospital more than I needed anything in my entire life.
At that point I got up those three steps. It was like climbing Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest. But my physio finally gave me permission to go home, which was the best thing in the world to me. At that time. When I was able to get out of there, I was able to kind of take control fully back of my life. I mean, I couldn’t really walk, though, but at least now I was out.
So enter Frank.
Yes. So after that, I had to take a week before I was able to actually start truly going to physio and grinding because my incisions were so big and shout out to the plastic team if they ever watched this because those guys were awesome and did a lot of great work. But it was so so fragile. I probably had about between stitches and staples like, well past 100, I’d say in summation, right of both my legs. And if I move too much, I could reopen something. Right.
So they made me take about an extra week. So I’d say it took about two and a half three weeks to get the physio for the first time. And then I would go to Frank’s house because he was working while he was Covin. Right. So he was at his at home, so I was able to get to his place. He throw me over a shoulder, kind of hobble me in and we would just go. And at that point because I couldn’t walk, it was almost all stretching and we would go at it for 3 hours of him pulling and twisting my leg to the point where we were just trying to straighten it out because it was so messed up at the time.
Right? The muscles hadn’t been used in so long. There was also some damage to the femur, and I had a lot of trust in France. So initially my prognosis, even my doctor said that I likely wouldn’t be running again until like February 2021. I wouldn’t really be playing hockey or skiing again until maybe like January, December, I’d be able to maybe walk, walk, some basic level hikes by three months out. And me and Frank kind of looked at that in Frank’s. Now, screw that. No way we’re gonna kill that.
And I’m like, Are you sure, man, these guys are practicing doctors. You’re recent physio grad. And he’s like, look, it’s all about the effort that you put in, and this is the most critical point in your recovery. You’re going to need to trust me. We’re going to go through some tough pain, but I know where your body can be. You just need to trust me and let me get you there. And I put all my trust in Frank, which was the best thing I ever did.
But when we talk about the most pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life, it’s not getting shot. You have so much adrenaline there, like it is what it is. There was some pain for sure as the adrenaline starts to wear off. But that was nothing compared to the physio we went through in that first two weeks where I’m literally laying on the ground for 3 hours as he’s stretching my leg and he would often hit me with 30 more seconds. And then we finish those 30 seconds.
He’d be like, alright, another minute and a half and I’m like, okay, whatever. I trust this guy. There was multiple points where he looked at me. He’s like, alright, this is going to hurt right down to the pillow kind of thing. And I look at him like, Are you crazy, man? Bike down to the pillow. That’s how much it hurts. And he’s like, look, do you want to get back to good health soon, or do you want to feel sorry for yourself this entire time? Right.
So I just trusted him. I went through that pain, that difficult process with him, and I’m unbelievably happy that he afforded me that luxury because it built a ton of mental toughness for me. But it also got me back to things like running in September 2021, right? I was running when I should have been walking, and that was a big thing that made me want to start. I hit the ground running. I I needed a guy who made me uncomfortable, pushed me through all this pain because he knew that at the end of the day, that’s where my greater recovery would come from.
And that’s what I want to do is hit the ground. Running is the people that we work with down the road. I want to be there for the recovery process of a lot of these people, like, I want to be able to afford people the opportunity to work with people who will push them to their brink every single day to get them to their new. And that’s something I’m really passionate about.
You know what we haven’t heard about yet? The guy who shot you. Why not?
I just don’t care. I mean, that’s probably like a really bad way to phrase it. And it’s funny because I’m sure again, if you ask my parents, they probably care a lot more. I don’t really know who they are. I don’t really care to know. I’m sure I could. I think it’s all out there in the news now. That does no good to me. You know, I don’t have any resentment to these guys. I don’t care why they did what they did. They afforded me this opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.
And I was. My mindset could be entirely different if I wasn’t able to recover as well as I did. But in the first couple of months of my focus was getting back to the best version of myself that I could.
Do. You think that because you chose and it sounds like it was a choice? Do you think that the choice you made was a key part in your recovery?
I think in my mind that it was a choice, but it wasn’t a choice. There was no day where I was waking up, and I was like, I want the book thrown at these guys. I want the worst things ever is like, I want to focus on what’s in my control and my unique recovery process and trying to deal with things that are outside of my control was going to do me no good, right? That is someone else’s area of expertise. Someone else will be dealing with all of that side of everything.
I could only control my recovery and how I respond to the situation. It sounds crazy. Everybody thinks I’m a psychopath or whatever for thinking about it that way. But at the end of the day, there was just no benefit for me to stay up at night, stressing about it.
How do you plan for wrong place? Wrong time? The answer is you don’t. You can’t.
You definitely can’t. And I think what you can do is if you see something at the wrong place, wrong time situation, you’re allowing yourself to become that victim of that narrative, right? I think I saw myself as a right place, right time situation. Again. I told that to my dad. My dad hates that narrative. My mom hates that narrative. I see myself now having this incredible opportunity I otherwise wouldn’t have had because of the situation that I was dealt.
The parallel here, I’m thinking about business that have a crisis happened upon them. The neighboring shop has a chemical spill that forces them to close for two weeks. Two months. The power goes out in your town, and your business has to shut down the bus that your staff are on at a retreat, gets into an accident. Everybody’s a hospital. All these things that you can’t control. The lesson here now that I put those scenarios to you. What do you say to these businesses? What’s the message you want to tell them?
Yeah. You know, it’s funny. I think maybe something that probably ties into it is I have a bit of a background and change management. So I understand the necessity of I decided to really appreciate that you’re always paying.
I love that you are always playing in your experiences.
Your schooling, people of nurture man, as much as nature versus nurture play a role. I think nurture is so critical in the development of any individual. Right. So what I would say to business leaders going through the situations is everybody is going to have those hurdles, right? Those impairments, those crutches, everybody’s going to have those obstacles to success. The way that your business is going to be viewed is how you respond to those negatives. Right. Those obstacles, like, let’s say you have a flood or a leak or whatever.
You need to be out of your office for two weeks. That’s really difficult. But do you have a work from home strategy already set up now? You might have to think about doing that right now. Maybe you can bring on ten new employees you otherwise wouldn’t have had down the road and shift a little bit of a work from home work from office setup, right. There’s always going to be ways that you can respond to the situations and the unique experiences you’re thrown at. You just have to be willing to accept that.
Whereas I think and I’ve seen this with a lot of people in my life, like, for example, one of my old colleagues, I remember we had our phone calls recorded for a little while, and he got a call that just kept dropping. His Wi Fi didn’t work, whatever. And he just did not want to call them back on his regular cell phone because he wouldn’t get credit for it, right. Because they track your staff, whatever. And it blew my mind. Sometimes you just got to take a little bit of sacrifice, move that step back and call them back from your cell phone.
Right. I think that a lot of people see barriers and get flustered and don’t know how to respond properly, whereas you can take those things like you call back that client and say, hey, I’m so sorry. I’m calling you back from my personal number. I’m having some Internet issues. You can laugh that off, right? It’s a bit of almost a relationship builder if you see it properly. So I think that there’s always a response to any sort of barrier obstacle that you have. It’s just whether or not you’re willing to accept that or if you’re going to let it fluster you and cause more problems there as well.
Too, is the if I leave this interview today and I go home and the client call says Matthew, like, the power has gone out on our street, we have to move and Vacate. We had all these presentations for clients coming in. We don’t know what to do. I can say to them, hey, just talk to a guy, Brandon, and he would tell you this. Don’t worry. Don’t concern yourself anymore. Don’t worry as I’m like, oh, forget about it. It’s not a problem. Don’t concern yourself with the why who concern yourself now with your response and only your response.
Exactly. How can you solve that problem if it was to happen again down the road? So how are you prepared for this problem next time? Because let’s say the power went out and the power is going to go out again. It’s very likely there’s a man. How are you going to respond to that the next time that it does. And you can use these as learning opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have had or you can get flustered by them and let them throw you off.
The other question I want to talk about is the you not stop smiling. How many people have talked about the time they’ve been shot several times and could use smiling. But surely there must have been set back when you were like, Screw this noise, man.
Yeah. And I think I’ve had that smile since I was a kid, and it’s going to take a lot more than three bullets to wipe that smile off my face. But, you know, at the end of the day, there was some dark times. I know, we talked about the first couple of days in the hospital, but September was a really tough month for me in the sense that my anxiety through the roof re integrating to the world is really difficult for me because you have such you’re very hyper anxious, right.
I go to the gym for my recovery, and I’m looking around at every person I can see thinking, is this guy like a threat to me? Like, is this going to be the day where this guy comes to finish me off? Like, all these crazy things? Right. And that’s something that it’s really, really hard to understand. I think unless you go through some sort of life altering circumstance like that. And as much as I read about the response I was going to have and wanted to learn about it and talk to people who who have much greater knowledge in that field than I do living in is totally different, right?
The fear of driving down the highway and having to look at every single car around you at all moments because you think that someone might be coming to take your head off at that point is an unbelievably difficult thing to process is exhausting. It sounds exhausting. Like you’re stressed every single minute of the day. You’re scared? Yeah. In September, about two weeks in, I noticed I was having this uptick in massive anxiety, PTSD, all the stuff. So I started doing these crazy things. We started doing this thing called exposure therapy.
That I read about in one of my books. I got my roommates to start popping balloons around me. When I wasn’t looking in September, I started going for Jogs through sketchy areas of the city late hours the night, like I’m talking 1130 12:00 a.m. Going out in the dark because I started to notice how scared I was becoming of regular things that shouldn’t scare me. Right. So what did I do? I went the exact opposite route. I put myself in situations that should have scared me or intimidated a normal person.
So that when I was reintegrating back into regular life situations, I was like, this is nothing. So it all became a perspective, right? Again. I could hide in the business to where you have this one bad experience. You have this one deal that goes really south and you just look at it and you could be nervous on the phone that next time you’re calling your client, you could be worried. You could be stressed about it, or you can take what you’ve been through. Understand that it’s an anomaly and get back to the chalkboard and start learning about what you’re doing and start becoming comfortable again and growing from it.
Did you ever to a point where you kind of accepted that setbacks will be a part? We actually talked about your expectations for this nonprofit out of the gate.
Yeah. You know what I did? I didn’t think it’s it’s important to understand. Like, I knew there was going to be some setbacks, but I knew that I could only do what was in my control to overcome them. Right. So, for example, with starting running again or walking again, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run in the start of August. Right. I knew that that wasn’t an attainable goal. So to me, I saw that as a bit of a setback because I would have loved to be running mid July, right?
Understanding realistic time frames and then doing everything in my power to shatter them. Right. And that’s with an offer profit right now. Obviously, I came out of the gate thinking we’ve got a ton of media attraction with this story. We’ve done really good. Let’s blow this thing up quick, and we were able to get a pretty good baseline out of everything. But it’s going to take a lot of time to grow, right? I’m going to need to make some connections in the community I didn’t have beforehand.
I’m going to need to meet some new people. I’m going to need to go out there and do a lot of work. And it’s not something that just comes to fruition over a two or three month period, as you might have initially thought, no matter how much energy and ambition that you have, you have to set realistic expectations. And I think that’s something that I was able to learn throughout my entire recovery process. Sometimes you’re able to shatter those expectations. And that’s great. And you need to do everything you can.
I think that, er those expectations. But you also need to understand the realistic situations that you’re being thrown at. It’s as well. There’s and there. Hello.
We’ll take a break.
Take a little break. How are you doing?
Come on over.
And this is actually the first time we’ve seen each other. How are you ready? Yeah. Lady. How are you doing?
I’m good. How are you?
So nice Department.
Yes, it’s to you doing.
Man. This is Annie, who was the woman who is here the night that helped put bandages and towns on Brandon. She was the one that he helped usher. This is the first time they’ve seen each other. This just happened, but on the way to pick up the catering and it’s good.
No, I’m happy you came. You guys look good too. You’re making me look terrible. Now How’s school for you? Good. That’s awesome. Yeah. No, she actually is going into nursing school now, after everything.
After saving me from bleeding out, she’s now found her calling, which is awesome.
Was that a decision out of this experience? Yeah. It’s why we because he almost died in front of me and I didn’t know what exactly to do to save him.
Good. My three Guardian Angels.
Well, you saved my life.
He saved my life to trade it off.
This is your place.
Cool. Good. Well, actually actually came for a haircut and just ran into him and I’m only kidding. I don’t have he’s like looking at me.
What hair? I didn’t want to be the one to share. Much worse.
Listen, it was good to see you.
Alright. Thank you very much.
Take care, guys. That was awesome.
That was great. The story keeps on getting that was great. Well, it keeps on getting more, more interesting that she’s now going into nursing.
You know, I want to rare conversation to not a permanent close, but to finish off this episode. And what would you have to say? Like what do you think the big learning out of all this is for you and that somebody else could take and apply to themselves being open in your communications and just in every facet of your life.
I think a lot of the time people often are closed off and it makes others not think that they’re going through the same things that they are. I had an unbelievable amount of people who reached out to me who don’t necessarily feel comfortable talking about their unique traumas with the world. Talk with me about them, right. And I think they were able to find some solace in understanding that someone else was going through what they were going through. And to me, there is no better feeling in the world that I could ever have then making a positive influence on those around me.
And that’s something I learned about myself throughout this, right? I think I’ve always been that way with my friends and my family, where I want to see them succeed. And I’ll literally take a bullet for these people, right? Like I would do anything I could to see them flourish. And if I can use my story to do that, everything will have been worth it for me. And I think that’s the case right now.
Something that I hear a lot as I’ve met some people that work alongside you or that have been impacted this you may not hear in the same way because it’s you and I get to be an observer and it’s that they felt invited into the journey with you. When I tell this story, I tell your story to people. That is the lesson I’m sharing with them is that the key to the success you’ve had in your recovery, the success you’ve had in launching this nonprofit and becoming a charity.
The key to the success in your first virtual of run event has been your invitation and to others to co, create and co own your story. You could very easily have taken it and held it tightly to yourself. But it’s really been an invitation for others to come along. And if people want to connect with you, how do they do it? What’s the website?
Yeah. So our website for our not for profit, hopefully soon to be charity is www. Granada. Com. Our Instagram and tick Tock Tags are at HGR Canada, and then my personal Instagram is at Peacock underscore. Brandon, you want to talk to me, you have any crazy stories, you just want the shoulder to kind of lean on. I’m always happy to speak to anybody so seriously, reach out at any time. And I appreciate you taking the time here.
Matt. Brandon, thank you so much. Behind the camera is Adam. He’s a partner of ours here in Ottawa. I’m going to put a link to his company. His partner in the show notes to his right is Austin Pomeroy. If you’ve listened to our podcast before, you know, I do not sound as good as I do in real life. It’s thanks to him doing the editing. Miami Grossman helped prepare for this with research. Cindy Craik helped get the calendar and the booking has to happen. You can imagine bred and schedule.
My schedule to come to Ottawa is not easy. If you’ve seen this on social or the website or YouTube or somewhere else. Jamie Hunter, our content manager, is responsible for that. Kerry Cotton is taking care of clients while I’m out here in Ottawa having, like, an amazing chat and doing all this learning. My wife, Allison, I go away for the whole day today and she had no problem saying yes. Go to share these stories. If you just jump into this, you missed episode one. You can catch it wherever you get.
Fine podcasts. That leading with nice interview series. You can also find it on our website leading with nice. Com. We’ll see you next time on the podcast. Thanks very much for listening today.