Making a Difference; Hike Across America

James Onuska | Contributing Writer

TShane Johnson, courtesy

Last week, Old Dominion University had the pleasure to host an incredible event and guest. TShane Johnson, a Marine Corp Veteran made a pit stop to break a Guinness World Record with the fastest mile run while wearing a 100 pound backpack.

TShane did it to raise money for the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E., which builds homes for severely wounded soldiers, adapted vehicles, and mobility devices for injured and wounded veterans. The Marine Corp Veteran began his journey from New York City’s Ground Zero and will involve a 22 mile daily run until TShane reaches his destination in Buena Vista, Florida. While TShane was visiting ODU, the Mace & Crown had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about his life and motivation.

TShane was born in Arcadia, Fla., where he enjoyed playing football and rodeo growing up. He lived in a small town and was excited to enter the Marine Corp to make a difference for him and his family. While stationed in Fort Pendleton, Ca., TShane endured a horrendous incident when he was derailed while on his bike and left for dead.

He experienced a broken chest plate, ribs, and was pronounced dead three times. After that incident, TShane knew he was meant to tell people his story and become an inspirational speaker. When his enlistment finished, TShane went through years of searching for his identity. TShane would find it and now he travels the country visiting a variety of locations speaking to fire departments, colleges, and anyone who is willing to listen to his story. 

When asked what do you miss most about the Marine Corp, TShane responded “I miss the comradery and the friendship I built with the Marines.” TShane’s encouraging story has impacted so many people and he enjoys what he does. TShane’s goal is to raise one million dollars and for people to visit to pledge a donation or share his message.

During his three month hike to Buena Vista, Fla., TShane visited ODU where he achieved the fastest one mile run Saturday night at the Monarch’s football game with a 100 pound backpack, which he completed in 13.05 minutes. An amazing defeat in itself, but no surprise with the attitude and motivation that runs through his body.

He’s inspired by his daughter who means the world to him, and also adds “nothing is easy about life, always going to be hard, endure the pain and push through and get it.” True words from an American Hero. Upon his completion TShane plans on relaxing before preparing for his next worthy cause. Next year, TShane is scheduled to run four world deserts next year, which include the coldest and hottest deserts.

The Mace & Crown would like to thank Mr. Johnson for talking with us and want to wish him good luck on the rest of his hike as he continues to make his way to Florida.