Welcome to active GRIT!

Our Story

Maybe it would help to understand some things about us. Hopefully, our story will explain our mission.


We (Susan and Josh, mother and son) live with grief. Depression is hard to comprehend. Losing someone to suicide makes grieving all the more complicated. Two members of our family died by their own hand. Life for them was unbearable. I wonder if they’ll ever know how hard their leaving was for us. I lost a best friend/husband (David A. Shadle, 1951-1999) and my son (Jacob A. Shadle, 1978-2004) my first born. Josh lost his father (David Shadle) and his brother (Jacob Shadle). Depression kills just like any other disease. Recovery from that kind of sadness takes everything you’ve got.


Grief had a hold on us for a long time.  A seriously, long & dark time. Eventually, we began to rebuild. My son Josh started competing in triathlon. He was a good athlete. I was too. Watching him, inspired me. Before long, I found my way into TRI’s as well.


Things began to fall into place as a way of life. We embraced helping others through fitness, health and nutrition. We opened up and spoke about surviving the trauma of 2 suicides in our family.  We realized there’s a whole world of hurt out there and it doesn’t have to be that way all the time.


It’s nearly impossible to believe that there are big payoffs in being an athlete, including grief relief. It’s not just about a fit body. Pretty sure putting sport in our spirit saved us from long-term despair.


It’s easier said than done, trust us, we’re not saying it’s easy. But we took the first step…and then another…and another. We want to help you do the same. So whether you’re struggling with something or not, maybe your life could benefit from a little GRIT training.


Come on… Join Us. Neither you nor we are just “our story”. Every day, we have a chance to be made anew. We at Active Grit want to do much more than “make a living”. We’ve come through trauma that has transformed us and put us on a mission. We are looking for more Grit-letes (that’s what we call Active Grit athletes). If you’re looking to dig a little deeper in your training, your fitness, your racing, your health, let us help you. We can’t wait to meet you & to build the GRIT-Lete community.


Calling all GRIT-Letes!


Why “GRIT”?  Check any dictionary for definitions and synonyms for “grit”. You will see words like:

character, strength, toughness, mettle, courage, hardiness, bravery, resolve, spunk, perseverance, and many more! I’m telling you, GRIT is the stuff of goosebumps, pride, and passion.


Back in the early 1900’s, I think President T. Roosevelt must have envisioned Grit-letes himself. Here is a snippet from “Man in the Arena:”

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

One more thing about GRIT it’s an acronym for Grief Relief in Training.


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