for this month’s sh*t sorter file we turn again to Western Australia, for a look at the personal journey of one of the founders of the “Rogue Runners Club Australia”… as I am a “rogue” myself, many of you will have seen this group mentioned on the Facebook page a bit, so it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to dig a little deeper into the personal story of one of the men behind the group…
ok, so before we do anything else, can you just tell everyone who are you, where you’re from, what you do and maybe a little about your background?
My name’s Pete Shinnick, I’m from Perth, Western Australia and I own a Surf Store (Retail).
I was born & raised in Perth, adopted at birth to a wonderful family that includes one brother & two sisters. Our family also fostered a young aboriginal girl & boy, along with another boy a little later on. They too were my brothers & sisters, which often caused confusion at school as you can imagine.
I grew up as a sport loving child that lived and breathed the outdoors. I excelled in team sports as a junior, representing district sides in both cricket & AFL footy.
At age 13 i was awarded the Community Newspapers Young Sportsman of the year award which was a great honour & at age 15 I was chosen as one of 108 of WA’s best junior football prospects. I made selection into the squad of 40 for state schoolboys and all was good in the world. I was then cut and was one of 15 boys left out of the final squad of 25.
Although I didn’t admit it at the time & shrugged it off in my accustomed laconic manner, it cut me deep as a couple of my closest mates went on to play at WAFL & AFL level and the thought has always been with me as to what could have been. This was a pivotal moment in my development as a person, as I realised that you don’t always get what you want or felt you deserved. In order to be successful and to reach your goals you need a clear vision, set a pathway & have a strong support network. I didn’t have a clear direction or role model, though most of all I lacked fierce determination at that age. This period in my life still drives me today to want to push the limits of my abilities.
I moved out of home at 19 to live with some mates in South Perth and enjoyed my independence. I met Michelle whilst working in the city aged 20 years & I followed her to Europe where we lived & traveled for a few years (I won a car through a work incentive competition & sold it to fund my travels). Upon returning to Perth I was contacted by my biological mother & her family..We planned to meet one evening as she only lived 10 min away in actual fact..The strangest thing happened upon arriving at her house. We wandered out into the backyard & I sensed a feeling of familiarity..It was only 6 months prior we had viewed the property just behind it to rent. Had we moved in to that place we would have shared the same back fence & I would have probably seen her hanging out the washing on the old hills hoist! – still can’t believe this… Moving right along….. married Michelle, 3 boys (10, 8 & 8 – yes twins!) and have created our very own happy little family…
wow, that’s certainly some story Pete, and thanks for sharing so much of that so freely! you spoke about how disappointment helped shape you as a person, is that the cornerstone of your motivastion today?
My motivation is 3 pronged.. To become a distance runner for life as I believe running helps you to become better at everything else… Also to use my running to assist those that can’t run by fundraising & creating awareness for those that need assistance.. Our running club “Rogue Runners Club Australia” is the platform that I (along with our other members) use to do this..
I also wish to be a good role model for my 3 boys & show them that hard work reaps rewards..
speaking to you before, I know that things haven’t necessarily gone your way in more recent times, do you mind sharing a little bit of that with the readers?
Throughout the Global Financial Crisis, we lost everything. I was a partner in 7 stores that were travelling well, with future growth planned & anticipated – then the rug came out from under us. Our whole world went black. We were forced to sell our family home amongst other things to service the debt that remained..We shut down 4 stores & scrambled to survive. All this with 3 boys under 6 at the time. This was our darkest hour without a doubt!
yes i can only imagine how dark that hour must have been, what is your main focus now, and how did the running start?
The main focus is to rebuild our situation. I’ve dusted myself off & am resolved to working my way back. You really do learn what is important & what is not. It has made our family stronger & I will never, ever give up on creating opportunities for the ones I so dearly love.. The past few years have tested us to the core, though with perseverance & tenacity we have inched forward & the future is already beginning to look a little brighter.
This is what started me off on the road to becoming a runner.
so thinking specifically about your running journey, how have things gone so far, and what have been the main issues and achievements you’ve encountered along the way?
In terms of my running, I am very driven to push myself & improve. I am certainly happy with how I’ve progressed as a runner since I started 2 years ago.
Respiratory illness kept me out of running for 6 months last year.. that was a long 6 months, as running was my therapy and I couldn’t even attend the sessions..managing my asthma is something I’m still learning too.
My biggest achievement is forming “Rogue Runners Club Australia” with 3 mates of mine.. Check out our page & you’ll see why!
well I can certainly attest to the awesomeness of the “rogues” and the great work they are doing, but in personal terms what would you say have been the key impacts of running on your life, both in terms of benefits and drawbacks.
My resolve has grown stronger as has my positive outlook. I believe the human resolve is strong & can stand up against any challenge, you just need to believe.
For me it simply brings happiness, inner strength & hope.
The downside has been increased injury & illness.
I know you do a lot of running, and also have experienced frustration when injured etc. How do you stay motivated?
I don’t have an issue with motivation.. I’m lucky in that regard. I’ve always believed in hard work = success.
That’s a fantastic attitude mate, and one that can take people a very long way. Now in terms of other people, many reading this might be considering taking up running themselves, possibly for similar reasons of lifestyle change and so on. If you were able to say one thing to someone considering taking such action, what would it be?
Contact us at “Rogue Runners Club Australia” and we will support you..
awesome – and on that note, many thanks for your time Pete – and if you do want to contact and find out more about the “rogues” head over to the Facebook page www.facebook.com/roguerunners.aust