Shawn Delierre Half 2: Working night time shifts in a hospital and coaching throughout the day offers me an ideal life steadiness


‘I’ve some unhealthy vices in my life however I can get the demons out of my system by occurring to the squash court docket’
By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

Yesterday we talked to Canadian worldwide Shawn Delierre about his extraordinary experiences throughout the pandemic, when he volunteered to assist the Crimson Cross in Quebec.

That quest to assist his group in a interval of utmost want has developed right into a secondary profession alongside his squash. Amazingly, he’s now working nights within the well being care business and coaching throughout the day.

We loved a two-hour dialog on the telephone final night time earlier than Shawn headed off to work.

He says he’s happier than ever with a new-found steadiness in his life, however at 40 he’s displaying no indicators of wanting to surrender squash.

We mentioned among the difficult moments he skilled coping with dementia sufferers who had been disadvantaged of human contact throughout lockdown and the way Shawn’s shiny, participating character helped to convey a smile to their faces.

Shawn, after all, options within the report books as having performed within the longest squash matches in historical past, plus two others within the high 4!

The report was the 11–6, 4–11, 11–6, 7–11, 16–14 defeat to Leo Au of Hong Kong within the semi-finals of the Holtrand Fuel Metropolis Open in Medication Hat, Canada, in 2015 lasting 170 minutes.

That eclipsed the long-held report established by Jahangir Khan and Gamal Awad within the remaining of the Chichester Squash Pageant in 1983, which Jahangir received 9–10, 9–5, 9–7, 9–2 in 166 minutes.

Shawn and Adrian Waller battled for 157 minutes within the remaining of the Nationwide Capital Open 2013 in Washington DC, earlier than Shawn nicked it 11–13, 12–10, 14–12, 4–11, 14–12.

Within the semi-final of the 2008 Baltimore Cup, Shawn beat fellow Canadian Shahier Razik 9–11, 8–11, 11–7, 13–11, 11–5 in a match lasting150 minutes.

We may have talked on for hours about these battles, and I’d have gently teased him about his motion out and in of the again corners, but it surely was near 11pm and Shawn was off to work.

He has all the time been a troublesome man to get off court docket, and, at 40, he says he has no intention of leaving that gladiatorial field simply but. Right here, Shawn tells the story of how his life has taken a brand new and rewarding path after volunteering for the Crimson Cross throughout lockdown:

I had loads of totally different moments after I was confronted with new experiences in a brand new world.

Coping with this new world throughout the pandemic was stuffed with highs and lows. At one time I used to be requested to go to a care house the place the sufferers affected by dementia had been all collectively on the second ground.

Throughout lockdown they had been unable to obtain visits from members of the family and my job with the Crimson Cross was to go in and attempt to increase morale among the many residents.

My colleagues and I all needed to put on full-body, protecting fits, plus masks and visors. It was boiling sizzling and I used to be sweating.

My job was to have interaction with the sufferers as a lot as I may and easily by way of speaking to them I used to be capable of make them smile and chortle.

At occasions I felt very uncomfortable within the swimsuit however I selected to not go away the room. I had the facility to go away that room however the sufferers … they weren’t leaving.

Shawn Delierre swaps the squash court docket for well being care

In these uncomfortable moments I pressured myself to pause and assess the state of affairs. I’m right here for one more one to 2 hours to present worth to those individuals’s lives, perhaps only for a second or two earlier than they lose focus.

These are the moments once you don’t take a look at the closed-in atmosphere. You don’t take a look at the darkness of the room. You’re assembly individuals who want one thing of their lives on this darkish nook of life the place they’re left alone.

I’d inform them humorous tales about my life and discuss aliens, and it was gratifying and rewarding to see them smile.

I quickly got here to understand that there isn’t any solution to management dementia.

Typically I obtained punched and I additionally ducked a number of punches that had been thrown. The workers and I obtained coaching in the right way to take care of these conditions. It’s important to management your feelings and all the time put the sufferers first.

Typically, it felt like being in a event with lengthy hours and ups and downs however I beloved that complete expertise.

For some years I’ve been asking God for one thing totally different. My life in squash was deliberate out, my pals are all in squash, and I needed one thing else in my life.

I saved asking: What can I do, God?

Shawn and his spouse Stephanie

I’m now 40 and I used to be getting calls about teaching jobs providing $100k a 12 months however I wasn’t positive I used to be prepared for that sort of function, the place it’s important to spend hours away from the membership promoting and selling the enterprise.

I’m glad that I now have a brand new tackle life. I jumped into my new well being care function with enthusiasm and appeared and discovered on a regular basis.

I’m nonetheless working as an athlete throughout the day and at night time I placed on a special swimsuit and be a part of a special battle.

You see issues otherwise, particularly in a spot the place there’s not loads of love, and the sufferers are disadvantaged of a human contact or the possibility to speak to somebody.

I may sense that this was my calling and if I didn’t speak to a few of these dementia sufferers every single day and do my greatest so as to add some high quality to their lives, then I felt that one thing was lacking.

It was, and nonetheless is, so very totally different to my life as knowledgeable squash participant. In sport, athletes are probably the most egocentric individuals on the planet. All the pieces revolves round your personal private wants, however now I really feel I’ve the precise steadiness in life. I’m nonetheless coaching every single day and staying mondo wholesome, regardless of having some fairly unhealthy vices in my life which I get pleasure from to the complete!

I’m fortunate that I can get the demons out of my system by occurring to the squash court docket, hitting balls into their targets and the health takes care of my psychological well being.

I do know I’ve a wandering thoughts however squash units me straight. I do know I’ve to remain wholesome to remain in that buzz that you simply get with coaching and taking part in tournaments.

I like the steadiness I’ve proper now. Being a optimistic particular person helps. It’s important to know the right way to get pleasure from your self.

I am going to a event and all my pals are nonetheless within the sport. Leaving that might create an enormous void in my life and the sport nonetheless has an enormous affect on my life.

I’ve a deep love for the game and I discover myself questioning about what Jonathon Energy and Ramy Ashour are as much as. And questioning if James Willstrop continues to be taking part in.

I not too long ago performed in a superb event in Windsor, Ontario, and I beloved assembly up with JP and JK: Jonathon Energy and Jahangir Khan!

Jahangir and I greeted one another with fist bumps and he was busy signing copies of your ebook all over. The ambiance was superb, the very essence of squash.

I look again at that period of competitors between JP and Peter Nicol and it was an intense rivalry. JP was the anti-hero and Peter was this mercurial Mr Good Man who by no means obtained flustered and behaved like Roger Federer!

A lot of my life nonetheless revolves round my squash pals and we maintain one another up once we see one another on the membership.

Now I’ve one other string to my bow it’s not all about bringing house the cheque from squash as a result of I’m incomes cash from my profession within the well being sector.

I do know that by working nights I get house when most different persons are simply beginning their day, and after a tough match or a troublesome coaching session I feel: Why do I do that to myself?

I do know that I’m good to nonetheless be round 50 to 60 on the planet however my mindset is all about having fun with the second and never having plans for a remaining vacation spot. That’s what subdues too many gamers, setting targets that they’re by no means able to reaching.

I do know that at some point I’ll cling up the racket however my life steadiness is best than ever. I like to indulge my ideas in enterprise, a number of shares, artwork, sport, taking part in my guitar, studying Spanish, and spending time with my unbelievable spouse.

I’m additionally going again to highschool and attempting to get a fast-track place to assist me get my diploma.

I assume that I’ll find yourself teaching at some point as a squash professional however I do know that we have to do issues otherwise in that division. We’d like new issues and new concepts.

For now, the pay cheque is coming in, I’m staying match, and nonetheless dreaming concerning the subsequent event.

Shawn traces up subsequent to Diego Elias as Canada face Peru within the PanAm Championship

‘By no means, ever surrender … I simply maintain operating and getting all these nice pictures again – I chase the ball down and ultimately they hit the tin’

Let’s end with a quote from Shawn from the 2016 World Championships, when he spoke about his never-say-die perspective to the game:

“I like taking part in catch-up; it’s obtained a stunning tasting style. I used to be chatting with (fellow Canadian) Andrew Schnell, and he requested me what I believed was my greatest attribute. And I mentioned I simply dig in. And by no means, ever surrender, by no means stop. Always, I’ve hope, I’ve hope, I’ve hope.

“I simply maintain operating and getting all these nice pictures again. I chase the ball down, and ultimately, they hit the tin. They have to play excellent pictures many times, however then they make the error. You’ve simply set to work laborious sufficient to take that hope away from them.

“There may be nothing worse than ending a squash match, and never being drained. Not feeling you gave your all. In the event you play a 3-2 match in opposition to an excellent or nice participant, someplace in there, you performed good squash.”

Associated article on Canada’s marathon man

Footage courtesy of Shawn Delierre and Squash Canada 



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