Episode 6 - Mike Shoreman

Uncategorized Jan 13, 2021


Brandon: [00:00:00] [00:00:00]Hello, friends and welcome to the Real Secrets of Magic Podcast. I'm your host, Brandon and I'm here today with International Stand-up Paddleboarding Man of the Year, Speaker Slam inspirational speaking contest winner and the author of Crash and Rise: Diaries of an Unbalanced Paddleboarder, Mike Shoreman -  whose rise is just been meteoric lately. 

Mike, thanks so much for being on the program with me.

Mike: [00:00:34] No, great to see you. Thanks for having me on Brandon.

Brandon: [00:00:37] Such a pleasure. And we've been, we've been Facebook friends for a little while now having some similar circles as speakers. But, but for everybody listening and watching, this is actually the first time we've been able to connect.

So I'm especially excited about this episode and, and being able to dive in to, to the magic that you're making. [00:01:00] Now for those who are new to the show or not, we are not here to talk about magic tricks. The Real Secrets of Magic is all about learning what people are doing to make magic beyond the illusions, beyond sleight of hand and conjuring and all of those things.

And I think magic is, is definitely real. And from what I've seen, Mike, you've been even making magic all over the place. Would you mind sharing a little bit? What, what kind of magic are you making and have you made in the last little while?

Mike: [00:01:29] Great. So I think you know, I'll just touch briefly on, on my story because you kind of have to know that too.

So, so I used to be a professional paddleboarding coach with Paddle Canada, which is the governing organization here in Canada of paddleboarding. And I used to teach in front of the Toronto skyline which was one of the [00:02:00] greatest periods of my life. It was my dream job. And you know, I think my favorite part of that job was the experience and creating something that people love.

And that was paddleboarding at sunset in front of the Toronto skyline with the planes going over. It was like the big show. And then, I got really sick, really fast. And my chicken pox reactivated. So the chicken pox from a were children reactivated as shingles and mine particularly attacked my facial nerve and my ear.

So when that happened, I - you know, my, my face collapsed on the right side. There were speech problems, hearing problems, vision problems, and I lost [00:03:00] my sense of balance. So I went from being this very athletic you know, paddle boarder to not being able to walk. And the doctor said that I would never paddleboard ever again. And I, you know, I went through a huge depression. I had to learn how to walk again. And then eventually I, I did. I took a chance a chance invitation and I got back on a paddleboard when they said I couldn't. And that first day I sat down for three minutes and that three minutes kind of gave me the confidence to sit down again for five minutes.

And I was battling vertigo and dizziness and, and then  five minutes led to seven minutes. And then I stood up for the first time. And it's just kind of [00:04:00] gone the progression of that. And then I entered a speaking competition called Speaker Slam. And I never given - I'd given one speech before.

I was, you know, it was a valedictorian speech in college and it was terrible. I'll be the first person to say that it was bad. And am I applied to do this thing called the Speaker Slam, which is Canada's largest inspirational speaking competition. And and they said, yes, we want you. And and it was great that they wanted me because I really needed a win at that point.

Like I needed, I needed some good things happening. So I went into that thinking, okay, well there's 300 people in this room and if I can uplift three, then I'll consider that a win. That'll be a [00:05:00] good success. And and I won and it was one of the most healing, cathartic releases that I've ever had.

You know, getting up and showing my story and tying in. You know, a universal message to it and making it applicable for people who were facing any adversity, not just mine, but going through whatever they were struggling. And and then that speech went viral on several platforms you know, Power of Positivity, put it up.

Ashton Kutcher, put it up on his platform. Chicken Soup for the Soul and, and, you know, got millions of views. But the more important part of that [00:06:00] was like, that was amazing. But the really special thing about that was that it connected those people to me those viewers on those platforms to me and I was getting comments of, "Oh my gosh, I have just been through you know, I've gotten multiple sclerosis" or "I've got Parkinson's" or "my dad's got cancer" and this is what we're dealing with.

And, and, and that speech has, has really done that. And then the paddleboarding community really took notice. And I woke up one day and there was this picture of this woman from Australia and she gathered her paddleboarding club and they'd taken a picture. And my speech was called "Paddles Up". And it was something I used to do with [00:07:00] my clients at the end of our lessons.

I'd tell them to raise their paddles up and I take beautiful pictures of them in front of the skyline. And it was a moment where they felt comfortable and confident in their own abilities to do so. And I woke up this one morning, shortly after the speech went viral and there was this picture of this woman in Australia with 10 others, and they'd all raise their paddles and they said hashtag paddles up from Australia.

And then. And then somebody else on my feed saw that and they did it from Boston and they tagged it to my wall. And then the next thing I knew, it went to England and it went to France and went to Italy and it went all over the world and it just became this movement of standing up for others who [00:08:00] are struggling and mental health and, and it just became this really beautiful thing.

And and here we are just over a year later and and the book was just - I wrote a book on the whole experience and, and what has happened and it's, it's a pretty, it's a pretty magical thing.

Brandon: [00:08:31] It's, there's so much magic. I've got, I've got goosebumps. Because I remember having seen the paddles up photos, but I was under the impression that was already a thing in the paddleboarding community. I didn't realize that was initiated in response to your speech, which by the way, for listeners, you should definitely check out. You can find it on YouTube, on Facebook. Paddles up is the title of the speech. Is that [00:09:00] right?

Mike: [00:09:01] Yeah, so, so the title is called  "I Said Yes", but my, but the tagline is Paddles Up - people, people know it as the Paddles Up speech, but it was called "I Said Yes". And it's about saying yes to yourself when you don't think you can.

Brandon: [00:09:15] It's fantastic. It's it's short and brief and powerful.

So check it out if you haven't seen it yet or heard it yet. I, I wanted to comment briefly on two things I noticed here, you, you mentioned, you know, getting back on the paddleboard in the beginning was really just incremental. It started with three minutes that shifted to five and seven, and then your, your desire for a win, your need for a win.

You know, the standard was incremental. It was 1% of the audience. If I can inspire uplift. Three out of 300 people that'll be a win. And I wonder what that, that thinking has done for you in terms [00:10:00] of building this momentum. Because I think a lot of people set, you know, they would say 1% is maybe maybe too low for a win or they, they might be striving for 50 or whatever it is that the bar we set is often really high.

And we tend to set ourselves up for failure that way sometimes. Yeah. I wonder if you could talk a bit about these incremental, sort of shifts.

Mike: [00:10:24] So if you increase your percentages by 1%, every day in whatever you're doing, whether it's you know, getting more sleep, being more productive anything that's a 365% increase every year. That's crazy. So, yeah, so, you know, increasing 1%. Although it might sound like for, for some [00:11:00] that you're, you know, you're aiming too low, well that's just one experience and that experience - you're going to take whatever you take from that experience. And you're going to move on to your next experience and then you're going to apply the same.

You're going to, you're going to keep going. So

Brandon: [00:11:17] Simple, simple, but I think I think. Often things seem so simple. They, they don't seem practical or they seem like they're, you know? Over-exaggerated and, and certainly I don't know if you knew, I had a chance to write a book a few years ago with, with a friend and the idea of writing a book is daunting.

It's a really, you know, there's lots of steps and there are so many hidden steps that you don't think about until you're in them. As  you can probably relate. And the only way to get through the steps is to take the little. Incremental, you know, 1% all the way through the process until you reach the end.

[00:12:00] Which is obvious. But again, if you're, if you're hoping for more in one shot, you might just quit because you feel like, well, I, I couldn't do it. Right. 

Mike: [00:12:09] I lost my business. I lost my independence. I lost my social life all at the same time. So I was in a really dark place. And I, you know, I went, I tell, I talk, I talk about it in the book quite a bit.

But coming back from that, I think that because I had a coaching background I understood what, like maybe not on the, at the forefront, like maybe it wasn't top of mind and it wasn't top of mind. While I was going through my recovery, I'm still in recovery. Like not every day is good. But, but having a coaching background and [00:13:00] understanding that, you know, you do, you know, you don't become.

Like my first time paddle boarding, I was terrible. I was, I was they're all, all, I'll be the first person. Like I took a lesson for 60 minutes and I was in the water for 40. And,

and I, you know, I know that, you know, it's, it's very, very rare that somebody is going to come up and hit a grand slam home run  without - with absolutely no practice, no training, no nothing behind them. So, so it's just these little wins and, and each little win builds the the confidence and the momentum that we to, to your next one.

Brandon: [00:13:50] That's fantastic. Speaking of mental health because certainly it do have [00:14:00] lost all those things would be devastating for anybody especially to have lost in, in sort of a blink. Can you speak a little bit about when you find yourself in the darkness, you know, how do you motivate or what, what, what's the first step that can get momentum back in your favor?

Mike: [00:14:22] Right. So don't listen to Florence and The Machine in the dark.. on repeat. It's not a good thing. I don't recommend it. Yeah, no, I think especially right now you know, we've had really, we've had a hard year at this point last year. And a lot of people are struggling. And we're going into the new year.

And although, you know, we're very excited that it's 2021 and 2020 is behind us. The reality of it is 2021 is going to be pretty rough. [00:15:00] And for, for people who are really struggling to kind of step out of that, I would say. You know, journaling, journaling gratitude is an amazing thing. Not, you know, taking into an account -and I didn't do this, I do this now, but I didn't do this before I sought mental health treatment.

But writing down all the things that we are grateful for today. And making note of that. And, and I think that it's it's, it's a completely different thing than when you just say it out loud, when you write it down you know, there, that's taking an action. And and smiling. [00:16:00] There's a power in smiling that I think so.

So I smile on, I laugh a lot. I've got a crooked smile because because of the facial paralysis but, I you know, smiling leads to us being happier. There's science behind it. And so, so even if I'm not particularly, you know, Laughing at something or like I'll just sit there and I'll type and I'll just like have a goofy grin on my face because I know that that's going to mentally make me feel better.

I also focus on sleep getting, getting a lot of sleep right now trying to eat as well as I can. I'm drinking a lot of water and being outside, being outside is huge.

Brandon: [00:16:56] That's great. Yeah, that's I, I, again, then [00:17:00] it sort of creeps up a bit, but that writing down what you're grateful for is different than saying, because it's one more step it's one more commitment, a little one, but it's, it's a sign to yourself that, you know, you're, you're taking a step I think.

And there's tremendous value in that. At least I've experienced that as well. Oh man. Mike, I have so many things I want to so many directions I want to go now. Can we talk a bit about your, your book? So, I mean, you, you did the talk that blew up then you've got this movement happening around the world in support of yourself and of others who are experiencing struggles.

You write a book and the book, as I understand is also blowing up. It's getting, you said earlier, you were in the international book fair in Miami. Is that, did I get that right?

Mike: [00:17:53] Yeah. Yeah. We were entered at the Miami International Book Fair. It's the largest bookfair in [00:18:00] North America.

Brandon: [00:18:01] Incredible, incredible top reviews on Amazon.

So what, what is the hope or, or maybe what, so your next vision or ambition with, with this movement, with the book and, and your, your, your general direction, where are you going?

Mike: [00:18:22] Yeah, so, so, you know, just sell my rights to my story and have it turned into a movie. No, I'm kidding.

We never know. Right? Like we don't, that could happen. You never know. I didn't anticipate like, you know, anybody who, who knew me probably wouldn't have said that I did the speech. And, and, you know, I've had, you know, people who knew me before probably thought, you know, "he won't write a book," so you never know.

But no, this [00:19:00] year - So my personal goal for this year is this August I am going to be the first paddleboarder to paddleboard from the USA to Canada. So I am partnering with. Jack.org, which is a mental health organization and they provide programs and services to youth -  Canadian youth mental health across Canada.

And I got involved with them just after the speech came out and I've had two annual events since that's happened raising awareness and funds for them. So we are actually launching The Crossing it's called The Crossing and [00:20:00] it's being presented by Redbull Canada. And we're launching it on Bell Let's Talk week, Bell Let's Talk Day week. So right now I'm very focused on book stuff and all of that. And just kind of focused on  speaking engagements this year book and then just training for that, because that is going to take me I think it's going to take about 48 consecutive hours.

So go from Rochester to Toronto.

Brandon: [00:20:35] Crossing Lake Ontario?

Mike: [00:20:37] Yeah.

Brandon: [00:20:37] My goodness.. On a paddleboard?

Mike: [00:20:40] Yeah. So I will be the first person to do, to do that crossing. And I'll be the first person with mobility problems to do so. So I'll be doing it sitting down. So, so right now I'm, it's hard to train with a neurological condition cause you can't move - [00:21:00] like  when I move my head from side to side, I get dizzy. So paddleboarding's tought for me and like, well, how, how do you train? Like I'm even questioning, how do I train for this? So, so right now I'm walking like an hour every day. Outside. Like I go for a walk every day and then I do half an hour physical training inside, like a workout.

And I go paddleboarding twice a week and then next month, I'll up it to two hours of walking and then I'll up it to three hours of walking every day. So I'll get up at five and walk you know, go out walking until eight and just build it up. And then by the summer you know, hopefully I'm, I'm, I'm ready. We'll see.

Brandon: [00:21:50] The question that pops to my mind is, is can anybody ever be ready for, for the, you know, I think people train for marathons and [00:22:00] they never trained the full distance. They just train. You know, some good chunk of, of mileage, but, but when you get to the real deal you're like, okay, I'm in! You'll sleep on a paddleboard?

Is that, is that the,

Mike: [00:22:14] Because it's gonna take so long. I will have to sleep out there at some point. I'm going to have two different boats, security boats, like one behind me. And one ahead. And they're also going to be there for like safety team and also documenting it, like filming it.

Right. But I think most people, when they, when they cross, like they don't, they don't get into a boat. So, so if I have a sleep, I called tether it to a boat, to a boat and I'll just have a little nap on, on, on the paddleboard. If I, if I need to, and I will. But I've, I've been in talks with Canadian border services and the Toronto Marine police unit has [00:23:00] agreed to come out and get me 20 kilometers out from Toronto and bring me in safely.

So it'll be, it'll be a pretty big, it'll be a pretty big thing. And hopefully it raises a lot of money for mental health in Canada this year.

Brandon: [00:23:12] And what a fantastic fantastic event and challenge and and kudos for, for the willingness to, to attempt it at least then to, to consider it. And the cause is so much bigger.

Mike, the show is called the Real Secrets of Magic, and we've sorta talked about a lot of things. A lot of magic you're making and, and. It's just, things are going in all sorts of directions for you it feels like. I am interested in the practices that you keep that maybe have, you feel have contributed to your success.

But other people might not see them as being so obviously connected. So you've talked a little bit about [00:24:00] keeping a gratitude practice or, or being outdoors or sleeping. Well, I wonder, is there like a hidden secret practice that you sustain that you would say has really contributed to to where you are now?

Mike: [00:24:15] So there's there's this poster about, I see. And it's, it's you know, I think most entrepreneurs have seen it and it's an iceberg and it's, you know,  we see the tip of it, but the main component of the iceberg is actually under water and, and any entrepreneur will know that, you know, you see the success on top and it's just small, but you don't see the foundation of everything underneath. And and so I was talking with, with with a friend of mine, Kevin, a couple weeks ago and, [00:25:00] and he said people don't realize how relentless you are.

And I said "what do you mean?" And he said "it's unbelievable. It's unbelievable." Cause he knows he's he sees it, but I don't, I don't share it with, but but like I've, I've turned, I've leveraged that Speakers Slam into everything else. And you know, I've got, I've been very fortunate to get a lot of media coverage out of it which has kind of propelled everything you know, support and, and the momentum that has built to at all.

But no, like, I -  be relentless. Like you, if you want to have a journalist cover your story, contact contact [00:26:00] 300 journalists, there are a million out there. And you might have to contact 300 to get one to say yes. But but when one says yes, then, and then, then it becomes kind of a domino effect. So, so be relentless in your pursuit of your own success.

Brandon: [00:26:22] Brilliant. Brilliant. I love it. Thanks, Mike.  It's I, and I think it's things people know. I don't think this is new, but also people don't do. Yeah. I love the analogy of the iceberg. I'm the, I'm a fan of saying, you know, if you, if you trust the process -  we're in a product focused world. We only ever see the stuff that's made it.

We don't see the stuff that didn't and we don't get to know how much stuff didn't before something did. So keeping that in mind, what a great, a great bit of advice for anybody who's trying to make some magic of their own.

Mike: [00:26:56] Yeah. No. Have you seen the Queen's Gambit on Netflix?

[00:27:00] Brandon: [00:26:59] No.

Mike: [00:27:01] It's the new chess, chess movie chess series. Really good. But I just saw something the other day that the guy who wrote it. He, he pitched that something like 80 times before, before it was picked up by Netflix. And, and I feel like he's my spirit animal. Like, just be relentless, don't give up you know, Ask ask if you don't, if you don't know somebody I'm like, I don't know anybody at Redbull Canada, but I know somebody who does.

So I asked them to put me in touch and they believed in what I believe. So they, they, you know, made it happen. And I think we don't ask, we don't ask. We're afraid that people will say no, but people want to help people want to feel good about [00:28:00] - people want to feel good about themselves and know that they did some good.

So, so I think when, you know, we just need to ask more often and, and be confident in our own abilities that, you know, you know, we can, we can accomplish a lot.

Brandon: [00:28:20] Poignant poignant. Great advice, Mike. I don't want to take up too much more of your time, but but thank you so much for agreeing to, to donate some time today.

I think you've given us a lot to think about there's so much value in, in your words and your experiences. And I know I, for one will be can't wait to see how the crossing goes in August next year. And we'll have, maybe we'll have to have another conversation post-crossing about the new wisdom gained on that experience.

Mike: [00:28:54] Thank you. No, thank you for having me. It was really nice catching up and [00:29:00] and just great to, to finally connect with you, Brandon. Thank you.

Thanks Mike.


 Thank you for tuning into the program today. I hope you got as much value out of that conversation as I did and have a few different tidbits to help you make magic in your own lives. For more on how to create new possibilities. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at Brandon loved magic and tune in next week where we'll share more of the real secrets of magic. 



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