"KEEP BATTLING BACK."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was the third of four boys growing up on the rugged streets of New Orleans. I get a kick out of the laughs people express when I tell them that. I can admit, it’s hard for a lot of people to believe the man I’ve evolved into today. At that time, my dreams of becoming an NFL superstar was all that I wanted. This became my first lesson in what unbridled dedication and hard work could do for me in life. I was a mama’s boy and I wasn’t really interested in girls that much, so for my mom I wasn’t much trouble. I just wanted to play football. At one point in my life, it had become my identity so much that I got the name “FOOTBALL SHAUN.” I was destined for football glory, and gave every bit of my life to making it a reality. Then at the age of 21, it happened: A dreaded hamstring injury that derailed the only dream I had ever had in my short life. Not only did everyone else give up on me, but I gave up on myself. Depression would ensue and would soon lead to alcohol abuse. I flunked out of school and had to move back home with my mom. Feeling like a failure was an understatement. Sometimes you get to a point in your life that feels so low, that all you can think about is not living anymore. It was, ironically, a cool brisk night in New Orleans. There I sat at the bar, a bum leg, no dreams, no hope, no drive, no passion. I drank to the point of inebriation. As I stumbled out of an uptown bar, I thought to myself: “I am such a waste.” I drove to the lakefront where I would normally go daily to gain peace and perspective. I stood on the embankment at about 1:15am in the morning thinking about my last move. I looked back on my life of 22 years and briefly thought about how I would be remembered. But I just couldn’t seem to shake the fact that I never became the athlete I wanted to be, I never found the lover I wanted to share my life with, and I just never did anything I had hoped for. These last feelings of despair and hopelessness pushed me to the driver seat of my car. As the tears came rolling down my face, I turned the engine on and prepared to take my last plunge into Lake Ponchitrain. Then in the still of darkness and despair, my cell phone rang. I didn't want to answer it, but I couldn’t resist. Thankfully it was a friend that I hadn’t talked to in a very long time that made me realize that not only was I being selfish for wanting to take my life and ruin the lives of my loved ones, but also reminded me of how loved and appreciated I was by so many. All I had to do was keep battling! “ Keep Battling back when the storms of life fight you. Never give up.” she would say. I reconsidered, returned home and thought about what I wanted from my life. By no means was it any easier, in fact it got tougher, but I had a new theme: KEEP BATTLING BACK.” And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since! Through Hurricane Katrina, through the doubts, through hardship and loss, I battled back stronger each time. I was determined to create what I wanted to see in my life. I returned to college to finish my education. Right after I took on a job that was a crash course in management and marketing. When I look back on it, I knew that I was destined to be a leader, so I made it a point to do as many things as possible that would enhance my life. Ironically, the same sight of my would be death became the sight of an immense amount of spiritual growth. This would play a huge role in what would be the biggest leap of faith in my life, my move to Los Angeles, California. I did something I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I became an actor and performer and loved every minute of it! It not only made me a greater person, but it helped me succeed in a profession that was unimaginable to anyone I had ever knew. For the first time, I was doing “THE IMPOSSIBLE.” Though I had a passion for acting, I knew that my destiny was greater. It was greater in a sense that I had a greater capacity to give back. So I took everything I had learned and decided to serve others with everything I was blessed to experience. Today, I am married to the love of my life, I am fulfilling my purpose and I’m always aware of the truth that:
“In every area of my life, it’s never been about me, but more about putting others first….The more I continue to believe and implement that, the greater the individual I can become; and the more I can continually give back to those in need.”
To Abundant Peace, love and Success