Mike Shoreman was taken by surprise when he learned that Some Good News — an Instagram account based on a web series started by The Office star John Krasinski — had featured his story.
But Shoreman is almost used to going viral now, because people consistently share his inspiring speeches and posts about how the Torontonian re-learned to walk and paddleboard after contracting a rare disorder and completely losing his sense of balance.
In late 2018, Shoreman contracted Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that caused him to lose his sense of balance and affected his hearing, vision, and speech.
It also meant that Shoreman couldn't paddleboard — something completely integral to his teaching businesses and his identity, he told Narcity in a video call.
"A specialist said, 'You're not going to paddleboard again. You're done.'" Shoreman said, which marked the beginning of a dark and difficult mental health phase for the athlete.
But Shoreman rallied, re-training his brain and committing to spreading positivity and important mental health messages, with speeches that have been viewed millions of times online.
And, of course, he did re-learn how to paddleboard.
In August 2020, he was named "Man Of The Year" by International Stand Up Paddleboarding, a popular magazine and social network for stand-up paddleboarders.
"[I'm the] First Canadian, first LGBTQ person, and first person with a disability to win this," Shoreman told Narcity.
Just a few months later, on Saturday, January 9, Some Good News shared the news of the award without giving Shoreman any sort of heads up.
Shoreman — who is a fan of The Office and whose full name is Michael Scott Shoreman — couldn't have been happier to see their post.
"I was like, 'Oh, it's John Krasinski. This is amazing!'" he said.
He hasn't heard directly from Some Good News or John Krasinski yet, but we're still holding out hope that the two of them will paddleboard in Ontario together.