What’s up guys? It’s been over a year since I last posted. Wow time flies! It’s kinda cool to have just reread my last entry having returned from a festival called Burning Man. That experience was one of the times of my life. You can find that entry here.
It’s been a wild and crazy year no doubt! Let me first give a shout to my gf Justine who has been with me each step of the way. She’s been by my side during a pretty annoying poker downswing. We’ve also been together for some pretty redic fun leisure travel. Last winter we skied in Breckenridge and then scoped out Denver.
Next, we embarked on a 58-day backpacking trip through South America that took us through 6 countries and provided countless experiences for which I don’t even have words. Justine has crafted a couple compilation videos of the first two countries we visited: Ecuador and Peru. You can find our youtube page here. She’s working on the videos for the other four: Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
Some highlights from that continent:
I could write a blog entry for each of those experiences and a dozen others. If you wanna hear more details about any of them just holla at me. I’d always heard such great things about South America and it lived up to the hype. My countries visited count is now up to 32, and I hope to add many more in coming years. Ideally the next stop would be Southeast Asia as I’ve only seen Thailand in that region.
I spent almost my entire twenties (I’m 31) single, so a ton of my travel was done solo. It was extremely special to experience all of the recent travel with Justine. It would be silly to parade as if we are a perfect couple that never argues or disagrees on anything. We've had our challenges and we’ve worked through them each time. I cannot say enough about communication and vulnerability and its importance in a relationship. I give mad props to Justine for her willingness. We’ve been having so much fun getting healthy, working out, and learning about all sorts of topics together. I think one of the benefits of traveling and dating a lot of people in my twenties was meeting so many different people from so many walks of life. It allowed me sort of find a mold of all of the qualities that I like in a person. It allowed me to find Justine.
As it pertains to my personal journey, it has been a bit volatile since I last posted. I’ve had some dark times that almost all stem from the rough stretch I’ve endured in my career as a tournament poker professional. I won’t bother complaining here as you most certainly don’t wanna hear it. There has been an often-present anxiety due to things not going well financially. It has also been a hit to my ego.
I think I’ve finally worked through it and at peace with it. I’ve been playing poker tournaments for near 11 years now and have experienced the swings of the business first hand. It’s really important to take a step back and gain perspective and “zoom out” as a friend told me this summer. I experienced some depression as a result of things not going well at poker table. An interesting thing happened. I would get upset about tournaments not going well. I would then get really wrapped up in my head and hard on myself FOR getting upset about tournaments not going well.
Through travel and life experiences I’ve developed a keen sense of awareness and have (most of the time) been able to stay pretty balanced. I know that I am not defined by my poker results, so when I allow my emotions to get wrapped up in the results the depression was doubling. I think that awareness can be both a blessing and a curse. I’ve had an interesting relationship with awareness. I’ll always be working toward complete security in myself and have enjoyed the journey in direction of totally not caring what others think of me. I talk a little bit more about all this in a <15 minute audio interview at the top of the page here:
Unless you’re a true, true poker world insider you won’t understand the variance of playing poker tournaments for a living. Simply, things haven’t really gone my way. I’m extremely determined to right the ship though and continue to work extremely hard on my poker game. I’m still in a good place financially and plan on playing some lower buy-in, high value tournaments here and there while I continue the never-ending journey toward life balance. There are some tournaments in the Northeast on my radar this month. I’m gonna see some of Justine’s friends and family as well then road-trip back to my place in Birmingham, Alabama.
I’ve really enjoyed spending increasingly more time in my hometown of Birmingham. I’m extremely excited about the future of this place as I’m seeing it grow so quickly in front of my eyes. It’s so chill and the people are super friendly. It is reportedly one of the hot new food cities to which I can attest is true. I love hitting all the new spots as they pop up. Justine and I just joined a health club locally and have been doing weights, yoga, meditation, swimming, running, cycling and boot camp classes. The fall in my hometown is always a blast because college football is so huge here.
Though, the best part about Birmingham is that my family is here. It’s been so nice to get more time with my mom, dad, sisters Heather and Carly and two young nieces Alaina and Madeline. They all bring me such joy, and I’m (usually) worry free when I’m in my moment with them. I had such a great upbringing and my family life literally could not be more perfect. I know that’s something not everyone can say, so it provides me a ton of inspiration.
I hope all of you are well and enjoyed reading this. Feel free to share if you’d like. I do the social media thing on Twitter and Instagram @shannonshorr if you care to follow along a little more closely. I can also be reached by email: shannonshorr at gmail.com.