Public speaking…so not something I ever thought I would be doing

So Saturday, April 25, 2015 was a very exciting day for me…and also one that made me so nervous. I was to give my fitness journey speech up on stage in front of hundreds of people at Super Saturday, which is a Beachbody event. When I was asked to give my journey about 6 weeks before, I immediately said “YES” and didn’t really think about how nervous I would actually be. It was just so exciting to be asked if I would speak publicly about how I even started working out with Shaun T! I never really thought about how I would feel sitting in the audience and being introduced to come up on stage to speak. The weeks prior to the event I wouldn’t really think about it…because I knew if I started to think about standing up on stage in front of people, I would start to freak out.

April 25th is a day I will never forget ~ it is actually the day that started me on the path I am on now. That is the day in 2014 that my youngest son was left on a school bus after he fell asleep. The bus driver and aide never checked the bus before leaving it on the side of the road and going to their own houses. My son was five at the time and he was all alone for almost two hours. Two hours that I assumed he was at school since I placed him on the bus and waved goodbye to him and two hours that the school thought he was home absent. The phone call that I answered when the principal called me was absolutely horrific. So much happened since that day and I started to go down a path of darkness thinking I would never again be ‘normal’. I began focusing on what ‘could have happened’ to my boy instead of just seeing that he was perfectly fine. But hearing him ask me questions about “where were you mommy when I screamed your name over and over again” “you said you would always be there mommy but I was alone” and “why did you not come find me mommy”…he would ask these questions with tears in his eyes. It honestly destroyed me…the carefree loving person I was instantly disappeared. I was gutted to my soul and I began crying every single day.

So April 25th to me was a day that I will always remember as the day my son was left on the bus and the path of darkness that ensued after. But since that date so much happened…I started to reclaim myself after pushing play on Insanity and having Shaun T in my life. Every morning since May 13, 2014 at 5am I have pushed play on a workout with Shaun T. Slowly I began crawling out of the darkness and started using exercise as my outlet. To be asked to give a speech on that same date 1 year later and explain how my path of darkness became a light for myself and others was truly amazing.

When you think about it…darkness is a very lonely place. It is a place where you go to in your mind and your body follows. It feels as if you are in a swamp and slowly losing all sense of ability so pull yourself up to the surface again as you are falling under. I was drowning…completely drowning. But using Shaun T’s workouts and forcing myself to pull out of the darkness was a great way to reclaim me! Now I of course know my story about my journey that I was asked to speak about but actually standing up and giving that speech to a room full of strangers was hard. I did not practice my speech or write anything down until 24 hours before my speech. That was when I actually started to panic and wonder how I would do it. I just couldn’t think about it beforehand. I just knew that I had to give people hope and my darkness isn’t something that just I struggle with…we all hide our true feelings and emotions on things from others. We all shutdown and go into our ‘corner’s and hide. Only I was able to share the ‘good part’ that came out of it…how I used Shaun T and how he helped me pull myself out.

Darkness is not something that is easy to climb out of alone. Using fitness and an exercise program Insanity as a way to reclaim myself gave me the greatest chance at being ‘me’ again…but not the old me actually being an improvement of my old self. Sharing my story actually helped others at the event and I heard from people that day and days after about how my story related to their life in some way. How hearing about where I was in life 1 year ago and where I am today gives them hope. Hope that is something that we all need…a hope of change; a hope of something new; a hope of improvement; a hope that our past/present doesn’t need to dictate our future. Hope ~ hold onto hope and think of ways that you can use something to help you reclaim the YOU that you should be in life. We are given one life ~ one life to be the best version we can be. One life to achieve dreams, set goals and reach for the stars. One life ~ what will you do with your one life? For me that is a question I ask myself daily. What can I do with my one life I have been given by God…we all have a beginning and an end. For me I feel as if I started over again after April 25, 2014. That started me down a very sad and lonely place but I got out of it. It wasn’t easy and it was a tough road. But the fruits of everything I see now after what I went thru at that time and where I am today makes it so worth it. I could have sat in my corner every day and slowly drifted away into myself but I didn’t. I pulled myself together and went for it. I knew I had to change and I knew I had to shake myself out of it. Having Shaun T’s program Insanity helped me more than ever.

Fitness and working out to me is not just a healthy lifestyle or choice. It is something that I do daily to make myself mentally and emotionally better. I feel so much better after I work out and it helps me relieve stress and makes me not want to get into that dark place again. Working out and pushing play and giving it all I have makes me who I am today. I love helping others out and inspiring them to continue on their path…and had I stayed sitting in that corner crying ~ there would be no Inshannonity today. The Shannon you all know today would not be here. I would be so different.

That day I gave my speech that is when it hit me. My story didn’t just end there because it was one year later after the incident, it showed me that it was a new beginning for me. Find your story and find your reason…find your passion and go for it. Reach for the stars and don’t ever stop going for it. I am so thankful for Beachbody and being asked to speak at Super Saturday. It was a blessing to me to turn that tragic date of April 25, 2014 into a much happier day on April 25, 2015.

Love yas!!

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