Saturday Spotlight- Vinny O’Shaughnessy

Name: Vinny O’Shaughnessy, AKA Oshag Henessy
Age: 55
Marital status: Divorced/single
Children: Meaghan 30 and Padraic 28
Pets: none
Occupation: Police Officer/Detective,
First things first! Thanks to Lou and all of the SHW group! What a great group of people and I am lucky I headed for the hills this past January!
I grew up in Babylon, NY, the youngest of a large Irish family. Always been into sports as a kid and throughout high school and then into leagues as an adult. All the sports I participated in, Basketball, Football, Baseball all shared a common theme. Running was punishment! I hated to be punished and therefore I hated running.
I enlisted in the Navy in 1979 and continued playing sports against other commands in the service, and still hated running. Upon separating from the Navy in March of 1984, I quickly got on the Police Department in May and have been there ever since. I continued to play sports in leagues and still hated running.
Well, as life would have it, I couldn’t have been an amazing baseball player or superstar wide receiver; instead I was blessed with the good old Irish genetics and was a professional class drinker and smoker! So how in the world did I come to enjoy running you ask?
In 2000, I read that drinking wasn’t good for you, so I quit drinking!
In 2007, I read that smoking wasn’t good for you, so I quit smoking!
In 2016, I read that sex wasn’t good for you, so I quit reading!
But seriously, on March 2, 2000, I drank for the last time. I filed for divorce, got custody of my kids shortly thereafter and started a new life. It wasn’t until 2007 that I decided to quit smoking after 30+ years and I put on quite a bit of weight. By this time I had given up on hockey, basketball and volleyball leagues, as I needed to stay away from the “after party” that went along with them. I was very unhappy and unhealthy with the amount of weight I had put on. Then one day, I was at the dentist office and saw on the cover of a magazine, “raise your metabolism in only 15 minutes a day, 3 days a week”! I stole the magazine and read the article at home. The article turned out to be the couch to 5k running plan. Well, I started the plan despite my dislike of running and kept telling myself it was only to lose weight. Then I could stop this insanity called running.
Since I was doing all this running, I decided to sign up the Post Office 5k in Babylon. It was a local race for charity and seemed like a good idea at the time. As I was lining up for the race near the back, I saw my 9th grade Science teacher who I was not very fond of and decided I was going to finish before him. Despite being 25+ years younger than him, it was all I could do to beat him by a few seconds lol. Although victorious, I could barely walk for a few days. Luckily, on the windshield of my car was a flyer for the Brightwaters Pumpkin 5k in a few weeks, so I signed up for that too. That was the race that changed it all and made running a major part of my life. After the race, which I had a lot more fun in this time, I found a flyer for the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society on my windshield. My nephew is a LLS survivor and my other nephew was training for his 1st marathon, so this was all I needed to go to an info meeting and sign up for Team in training, to do the Country Music Marathon in Nashville! As I trained for that race and started doing the big miles, someplace along the way, I found that place of peace and serenity. I finished my first marathon in Nashville in 4:47 and from that moment on, I have never looked back and running had become my “therapy without a copay” with the slogan: “my sport is what your sport does for punishment”!

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