Who I am. How I got here:
Hey, I'm Shane
I write, coach, teach, and, according to my wife, have no capacity to do anything like a "normal" person. Whether it's biking to work in the land of big trucks, taking cold showers, or being a shameless public meditator, social norms have often seemed needlessly limiting. I've never fit well into a nice box. My inquisitive nature has led to broad interests in outdoor sports, philosophy, fitness, history, the Chicago Bears, travel, Game of Thrones, and getting way too excited about good quotes. Most of all I love doing life with my amazing wife, Neely, and our two dogs (see picture at bottom of page). We are currently within the adoption process and anxiously awaiting Baby Trotter, the future truth-seeker, rope-climber, and dog-lover.
The greatest gift of my life has been a deep desire to learn. Some of my fondest early memories were of my father quizzing me on history at the dinner table. This created a sense of play in learning. My father, the philosophy professor, taught me logic, ethics, writing, a love of reading, and a belief in my power to solve problems. I learned to admire the Warrior Poet ethic- the path of passionate curiosity and strenuous living modeled by my favorite American Hero, Theodore Roosevelt. It is this seemingly contradictory combination of disciplined, stoic learning and raw, passionate adventure that drives my purpose for exploring optimal human living. As Carl Jung said, "Only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life."
My parents balanced expectations of physical and mental resiliency with an ever-present love- a combination that instilled discipline and compassion. I do not claim to have had a perfect upbringing, but I know the power I've experienced in the values of learning, physical development, and autonomy.
As all experience in their own way, I met my first great challenge at age 19. The unhealthy mental and physical patterns of 21st Century America manifested in a deep mental angst. I developed what is called Pure O- a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder characterized by anxiety and obsessive thought patterns that permeated each moment of my day. I hid these well behind a sterling GPA and a superficial social life. My anxiety proved to be a tremendous gift. It led me to an intense study of success, mental training, and health of mind, body, and spirit. I applied mental practices influenced by meditation, Stoicism, Tony Robbins, and every other successful school of thought I could find. I fell in love with physical training and immersed myself in its science. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and collected training certifications. Most of all I fell in love with human development and trying to better understand how humans were meant to live-to thrive.
This passion offers truly limitless exploration that has made every day a remarkable experience. Within my studies, I've been struck by how far most people are from habits and mindsets that embrace their natural inclinations and provide an impetus for them to truly thrive. Most never chase their dreams or even understand who they are and what will create fulfillment in their lives. There is a huge industry built on telling you that buying this or that will create happiness. Education has turned into an outcome driven checklist to get you the canned life you've been told you should want, while obsessing over perception at the expense of best practices. My purpose is to challenge dangerous beliefs and entrenched unhealthy habits of our societies so more can believe in their power to create a different vision and truly thrive.