We recently sent the Press Play workout to one of Sean’s and my childhood friends, Shelly. She wrote me back to share the following:
SHELLY: I cried when I opened these. These workouts helped me get through some really tough times. I hope you know how much of an inspiration Sean continues to be and far exceeds just a fitness workout. They inspire emotional strength ❤️🙏🏻.
I asked Shelly if she would be willing to share her Cardio Coach Legacy Story. Shelly has always been near and dear to Sean and me, so I had no doubt she would contribute her story, I had no idea the challenges and experiences she had after we moved apart as young adults. Nor, that the childhood friend we remember with pigtails and roller-skates had become even more amazing and resilient as she overcame her Level 3 and 4 climbs as an adult. Shelly, thank you for sharing this story in Sean’s honor. With such gratitude and love, Colleen
Getting married at 18 (running away from home essentially) and divorcing young at 27 with four babies in tow; fitness was quite literally my only outlet. I ended up raising the boys on my own, working long hours and experiencing many sleepless nights. The only time I had to myself for over 20+ years was when I worked out. I could go to the gym at 5am before school and before work and, well, that was my only “me time”. I still have emails (pep talks) from Sean that he shared with me. His Press Play workout quite literally got me through my Father’s death.
In 2012, I lost four immediate family members: my brother-in-law to cancer, my step-son to suicide, my father and my aunt, and of course, Sean. I didn’t have the time as a busy divorced mom to go to counseling. Sean’s Cardio Coach workouts were my counseling. I remember the 45 minutes I spent on the treadmill listening to Sean’s encouragement and Jim’s story.
“There is always someone going through something worse”, no matter how hard life may seem. I always tried to live my life that way and hope I have passed that onto my boys. Jim’s story resonated with that. Here’s this guy who had his whole life ahead of him and in five minutes everything changed. There’s a part in that interview where Sean asked Jim essentially what or who inspired him; it got me thinking.
Of course, I thanked Sean for his awesome MP3’s, what he didn’t know is that he inspired me and pushed me to “make a choice” more than once. The day my Father died I remember getting on the treadmill and listening to Press Play and thinking to myself – my Father would say “go one more mile”. It was just me, my Dad, Sean and Jim on the treadmill that day and I went one more mile; literally and figuratively. Sean’s MP3’s got me through a divorce, a bad relationship and the loss of the other four people in my life that year at a time when I didn’t think I could physically take that next step.
That’s just one example of how Sean was there for me.
It’s funny looking back to when we were kids and Sean was the big strong muscle guy next door lifting his weights (the younger kids idolized him, like ‘wow we want to grow up to be like him!’), and he was deeply kind even back then. I was a very quirky kid, far from popular, never was the all-star of anything (lol!) and I remember Sean was “hosting” roller-skating competitions in the garage. I lost, every time (wasn’t much of an athlete either (lol!) but one time; the other kids had left and I was still skating around the garage. I had one of those “kid” moments and shouted “Shelly is the star, she is the winner of the competition today” (thinking no-one was around)…but Sean was. Not only was he there, he came out and clapped, making a big hurrah about me being the skating champion that day. He made me feel valued, important and that I mattered. Some people just have good hearts that leave impressions for a lifetime and your brother was certainly one of them. Even at that young age.
Thanks again Shelly for sharing such amazing memories and your stories with us. Much love, the Cardio Family!