Shawn Cheshire is this week’s Episode 10 guest. Having served in the U.S. Army for eight years as a helicopter armament systems mechanic followed by a career as an EMT-Paramedic, Shawn unfortunately suffered from repeated head injuries, but continued her career and fueling her passion to care for others. But in 2009, while working on an ambulance, she sustained a traumatic brain injury which resulted in total loss of her vision. As such, Shawn life changed dramatically.
Even with its ups and downs, Shawn shares why she is so passionate about sports now, what it took to get there, and how even though she didn’t go blind right away, what it took for her to realize her life had changed.
This shift in mindset propelled her towards a para-sport career, and for the last five years, Shawn has raced with the U,S. National Paralympic Cycling Team in 20 national and 20 international races, including her representing the USA at the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016. Shawn is an 11 time U.S. National Champion. More than that, she recently was the first blind woman to go from rim to rim to rim of the Grand Canyon – a full pass to one side and then back. She did it in 24 hours and 15 minutes, beating the only other blind athlete to complete it (who happened to be a man) by nearly 4 hours. Blindness, clearly, never stopped her from seeing the finish line.
Shawn’s tenacity for never giving up and for a life lived with purpose is so apparent during the discussion, but her authenticity to admit some hard truths and some good lessons on this week’s episode proves why she is the perfect ending to this season of the podcast.