Former veteran uses running’s positive impact to help others
The positive impact running has on people is widespread and far-ranging. Runners of all speeds and abilities have bettered their health, become better role models for their kids, and uprooted stigmas set by society. Shawn Livingston uses running’s positive impact to make up for lost time. Learn how he went from hitting rock bottom to being featured in a documentary and giving hope to those living the life he used to live in his edition of My Running Story. Experience running’s positive impact firsthand and join Shawn at the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon!
What running has done for me
Running has had a positive impact in every single aspect of my life. It has become the best medicine I could ever hope to find for both my physical and mental health. It’s also introduced me to a community the likes of which I have never seen before. The friends I have shared and endured so many miles with has left a bond that will last for life. Most importantly, running has given me the ability to help others.
As a combat veteran of the US Army, I lost my way once departing the service. I was plagued by symptoms of PTSD, the loss of close friends, injuries that led to opiate addiction, and legal trouble. I hit rock bottom. Eventually, I discovered running. It’s positive impact completely transformed my life.
Woke the Monster
Andrew Shebay, with Pipeline Films, began filming a documentary called Woke the Monster (trailer below) a year ago. He just wrapped up production. This documentary would tell my story and highlight running’s positive impact. That film would provide a platform and show me I had the ability to help others by using my experiences. This would allow me to show individuals similar to me what’s possible. Addicts who still suffer, their families, and the rest of the world can see that people can change. They can accomplish feats beyond their wildest dreams. However, those who’ve led a life similar to mine often can’t change on their own. They need a pacer in the marathon of life. Someone with the ability to help inspire and motivate them to the finish line.
The positive impact of running
I’ve started a movement, Be Somebody’s Pacer, so people can use their experiences in life to help others who are having similar troubles. If those of us who have suffered hardships and persevered aren’t using our experiences to educate others, then, in my opinion, it was all a waste. The ability to help others has become the most rewarding part of my life. If it wasn’t for running I would have never discovered that I had this special ability to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Follow my journey and stay up-to-date with Woke the Monster on Instagram.
My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, Axel Reissnecker, Blair Nagel, Brittany Drennan, Rene Arguello, and Christy Thomas.