[caption id="attachment_9297" align="alignleft" width="169"]shane4 Spend more time with those that love you and support you![/caption]

What does bouncing back look like more specifically? I will follow this mantra:

-Recommit -Redesign -Rebuild -Reclaim

I will recommit myself to myself. I no longer have time for people in my life who don't have a positive purpose in mine (as tough as it may be, this includes some family and friends...it won't be easy but it will be necessary). I will redesign myself, physically, from the ground up. I will rebuild myself inside and out, focusing on what it means to truly be happy and to truly love myself. I will reclaim the motivation, positive demeanor, and passion for life that I once had- and I will get better in all of these areas, focusing on always improving myself.

As much of a struggle as life has been the last few years I realize that I don't have it all that bad, and I like to think of myself as a good person that tries to treat people well- therefore, I’m doing okay! I've done some great things these last few years, despite my struggles: helped friends reach fitness goals, started a new job that I absolutely LOVE, and developed some new positive and healthy relationships (amongst other things). I'm also running a 2-person relay on race day with a Special Olympic athlete (Johnny "Rockstar" Moretti, he is so amazing!). Team “Rockstar and Two Shane’s” is running for fun and we are so excited.

Have I struggled? Yes. Will I bounce back? Absolutely. In that process I hope to open myself up more, because not even my family and closest friends know the extent of my struggles these last few years. I hope to be ready for love if it comes my way, but I cannot do that until I love myself in a healthy way. If there's any motivation/advice/inspiration I can give readers it's this: truly love yourself and appreciate yourself. Strive to be the best person you can be, for yourself...and open up yourself, when you are ready (despite the potential pitfalls of pain), to others and to love. Respect yourself, your body, and who you are as a person: approach the world from a place of love and not hate...because love always trumps hate. Treat others how you want to be treated and carry love, kindness, and respect, in your heart.

[caption id="attachment_9299" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Be kind…always. Be kind…always.[/caption]

I plan on loving myself and appreciating myself, and I plan on coming back a better and stronger person. I'm falling in love with running and working out again, but in a healthier way this time. I'm 5 years into my life transformation, but this feels like just the beginning of a healthier and happy ME. Despite all of my setbacks, I'm looking forward to the comeback: I plan on running the full VCM in 2018 and the year leading up to that will be a redemption tour for me! I hope to see some of you along the way, and I hope you have enjoyed reading my very real and honest guest blog. One last quote to keep in mind if you have any struggles like I have had:

"The comeback is always better stronger than the setback."

Best of luck to all of the runners on race day. If you see myself or "Rockstar" running, give us a shout! I can be reached at shanebeam05@gmail.com (or on Facebook) if anyone wants to chat about running, life, or you just need someone to talk with :-)