ROAD iD Ambassador Shane is one of the most positive guys we know. One glance at his Instagram and you’ll find plenty of running inspiration, good vibes, and #MedalMonday shots. But just a few years ago, Shane was in a dark place. Partying and junk food caused his weight to skyrocket while his mental health plummeted.
Shane decided to make some major life changes and discovered a newfound love for running. He’s down 70 pounds, but that physical transformation is only a small part of Shane’s journey. Read his Q&A to see how running has made a difference in his mental health and happiness.
You experienced an incredible transformation after taking up running a few years ago. What made you decide to change your lifestyle?
At the lowest point in my life, physically and mentally, I was hovering around 250 pounds. As a direct result of hard work, a positive mind-set, and healthier lifestyle, I’ve managed to maintain a consistent weight of approximately 180 pounds. I didn’t set a specific goal weight, I just decided I wanted to be healthier and happier with myself.
When did you start running and why?
To be honest, when I was a child I absolutely hated running and I used to consider it a form of punishment passed down by my gym teachers! In my earlier years, I was a competitive swimmer and I also enjoyed basketball. I started to become more and more interested in running and added it to my workout routine. Like many young men, I always wanted to be BIG and strong. I focused on lifting heavy Weights and consuming all of these expensive weight-gaining supplements. My size definitely increased; however, it ended up changing in a negative way. My party lifestyle, which consisted of countless late-night binge-drinking and junk food sessions, also had a terrible impact on me and my weight skyrocketed! This not only affected me physically, it also crushed me mentally. I sank into a state of Depression for a very long time. Despite living in Canada’s largest city, I often felt sad, lonely, and isolated. After a moment where I became severely winded walking up a simple flight of stairs, I decided to do something about it.
I drastically reduced my alcohol consumption, eliminated junk food, started eating healthier, and became more active. Instead of a routine that was mostly weights and very little cardio, I switched it up. The bulk of my focus shifted towards cardio with some weight- training sessions on the side. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to give up many times. I slowly started a run/walk routine then gradually increased my distance over time. After experiencing the post-race euphoria from my first 5KM race (the B&O Yorkville Run- Toronto) and discovering a fun social running club called RunTOBeer, I was absolutely hooked…and I’ve never looked back!
You’re very open about your journey on social media and your blog. Why did you decide to share your story?
Some people are shy about talking about things like mental health and/or their struggles with being overweight; however, I don’t mind sharing my story at all. I firmly believe that I can help someone out there, even if it’s just ONE person. It’s one thing if a celebrity or pro athlete is super fit with their infinite financial resources; however, I truly believe that people can relate more to ‘regular’ people trying to make a change (whether it’s in a job, life, weight, etc.). This is the number one reason I continue to share my story on my Instagram account (@shaneruns0630), Facebook, LinkedIn profile, and my blog, ShaneRuns.Wordpress.com
I want to help the countless people out there that are struggling with similar issues. Change is possible, they just need to put in the work, be positive, and stick with it!What has been the best part about becoming a runner?
I’ve always thought the saying “Running will change your life” was a bit corny until I experienced it first-hand. The physical and mental benefits of running are tremendous; However, I especially love the people I’ve met in the running community! 'Personal Bests' and medals are great but, to me, running is more about the people that you meet along the way. Our community is filled with many positive and kind people and, for the most part, everyone is treated equally- regardless of a runner’s ability.
I’m blessed to have met so many wonderful people and they continue to give me a boost almost on a daily basis! You can never have too many good people in your life. I hope this trend continues.
What would you say to someone who is craving a change but is scared to take the first step?
I’ve been in the unique position to experience a physical transformation AND I’m still in the midst of a career transition. Yes, they’ve been amazing, difficult, and scary experiences at the same time, but it’s been worth it. The key is to be patient, take your time, surround yourself with positive people. Regardless of how tough it gets, be kind to yourself. Accept that things will be tough. With hard work, you will achieve your goals! At this point in my life, I have finally realized that there has only been one person holding me back... and that was myself. If you’re unhappy with life (i.e. relationship, job, living situation, etc)…do something and make a change!
Who or what inspires you to continue running and leading a healthy lifestyle?
My family has always been active ever since I was a child (tennis, swimming, yoga, etc.), however, I would say that my brother has been my main running influence. One of the most awesome experiences was watching him finish the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It gave me goosebumps watching him cross the finish line as complete strangers cheered him on from the sidelines. At that Moment I said to myself “I want to race!”...and the rest is history.
Why do you wear ROAD iD on your runs?
I’m very protective of my family and friends, and therefore safety is something that I always touch on in my social media posts. When I say things like “Have a fun and SAFE week of running!” I really mean it. My mother was a nurse, so I think this is where I’ve learned about the importance of safety and it’s something that I continue to practice every day. I always carry some form of I.D. in my waist belt along with a metro card, debit card, health card, and some cash when I run. (It still surprises me how many adults continue to run, walk, cycle, etc. without carrying any form of I.D.!) I never know what will happen when I’m out running, so I always want to be prepared. God forbid something ever happens to me, I want someone to be able to notify my family/friends. This has become especially important when I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Cardiomyopathy. I discovered ROAD iD through a friend and it’s been a match made in paradise ever since. In fact, I like my ROAD iD so much that I wear it every day! I’m excited (and VERY proud!) to be partnered up with a great company doing great things to keep people safe!