I sat down with Shawn, an ultra-Canadian friend, to talk about ultrarunning, mental health, and how the two connect. We met through LinkedIn and found out that we have a few things in common, like that we both love ultrarunning and that he drives past where I live when he vacations to Florida (which is an incredibly long drive. Would you run that far?!). Maybe we both like hockey. I don’t know as much about it as Shawn does (no American can know as much about hockey as a Canadian, anyway.), but I know that I care if the Penguins (my home team) or the Capitals (my second team) are doing well. Shawn and I have some cool things in common. In this episode that we did, there is a nice balance of trail tales and mental health tips, which I’m not going to give away the details because this is a must listen.
About Shawn, Host
“My philosophy on running is that it doesn’t really matter how fast or far you run, we all have different abilities and limits, but as long as you are making the effort to get out there and try, that makes you a runner in my books!
I am a certified running coach with UESCA and I enjoy helping runners obtain their running goals. I really enjoy studying physiology and applying it to training. Even though I’ve been a paramedic for 18 years I decided to also go back to school and am working towards completing my Bachelor’s of Health Sciences from Queen’s University, which is challenging while working full time and raising a family.
I started my podcast after many years of just sitting on the idea. I was inspired to start my own by a fellow podcaster and good friend (who I’ve never met in person) Coach Jeff who is the long time host of The Running Podcast.
I have many running achievements to be proud of. My top 3 would have to be running my first 50k Ultra in 2019, having lost 70 pounds from running and being active, and lastly, using running to be a role model to my children and making having an active lifestyle a normal part of life for them and my family (my 7 year old son has now enthusiastically started going to short runs with me.).
I find podcasting very rewarding, as I am blessed with the opportunity to talk to many amazing people around the globe and to share their running stories with the wonderful running community.”
Where to Listen
For more enjoyable tales and for coach talk with Shawn and Alex, head here.
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A Word on Mental Health and What you Can Do
As a community, we need to increase our awareness and knowledge of mental health. Read and listen to credible resources. Take a course. Inquire about mental health services. Advocate. Receive services yourself. Counseling works, it helps! Have an open conversation with others, you’d be surprised who is experiencing something very similar to what you’re going through. Normalize it because everyone has mental health. Fund raise through an event. Let’s improve lives together and end the stigma on mental health.
Mental health professionals cannot solely take this on, we need more community involvement, so help us out today.
Mental Health Resources
Browse and subscribe to my professional mental health blog. Use the search engine on the page to easily find topics.