Over the weekend, Mike Shoreman had a terrific day when he paddleboarded across the final Great Lake.
After receiving a Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosis in 2018, the former paddleboard coach, now 39, lost some of his mobility.
This disability of the concerned person which ultimately had an impact on both his work and his mental health.
When Shoreman felt ready, he knew he wanted to do something "newsworthy" to support the cause, he tells PEOPLE.
Shoreman finally started volunteering with jack.org, a Canadian charity focused on child mental health.
Last summer, he attempted to stand-up paddleboard across Lake Ontario from New York state to Toronto, but had to abandon the journey halfway through.
He adds of the mission's failure, which was brought on by a tropical storm, "I was shattered." Following a month of "healing from the catastrophe,"
As he puts it, he resumed training in October with a more ambitious objective: traversing all five Great Lakes.
Every crossing provided a unique set of difficulties, he says. "The crossings at Huron and Michigan took a total of 28 hours each."
He goes on to say that it was "exhausting" to cross in the dark while experiencing dizziness and hearing loss. "My body truly started to degrade at 18 hours.
He explained, "How much do I want this? became more of a mental game than a physical one."