For the Paperman: In Honor of Wes Scott

My name is Shawne Scott. I’m 33 years old, a wife, a mom of a teenage boy and a dog mom of two. I played sports in high school and college; with a background in competitive powerlifting and over a dozen GORUCK events. I am on the GORUCK marketing team, where I oversee Product Photography Projects and manage SRT/Tribe and Tribe Kids.

The idea for the Paperman WOD came to me whenever I would discuss with my co-workers and community what kind of person my dad was. As we discussed, the manner in which he died and the trial overshadowed the way he lived, which I felt was the best way to remember my father. 

One thing about losing someone you love, especially in a violent way, is that you talk A LOT about how they die. You will trace back how you felt the moment you were told the news. You will remember the gut-wrenching feeling at the pit of your stomach. Ive watched both the bodycam videos and the surveillance footage. Viewed the crime scene, and autopsy to the point it has been burned in my mind how he spent the last seconds of his life. But what I don’t get to talk a lot about is how he lived. This is what I want to highlight. 

In the fall of 2016, I was on top of the world: I had a growing career in a high end salon, a blooming relationship with my now husband and I was in one of the best physical conditions I had ever been, as a State, National and World-Ranked powerlifter. I was happy with the direction life was headed, but my happiness came to an abrupt halt in the early morning hours of February 15th, 2017.

I awoke to the devastating news of my father being gunned down while delivering newspapers in Charlotte, NC. My father was my everything, the successes I had achieved and life I was building wouldn’t have happened without his constant support. My father was my rock that held my perfect life together, the spark behind my drive and foundation for all that I had achieved. He was my person, the one I shared all of my good and bad news with; the one that helped guide me through being a single mother, building a career for myself out of high school and having to learn how to make it on my own. 

Shawne and her father, Wes.

When I lost my father, my life crumbled around me. I lost the motivation to workout, the passion to cut hair, the heart to fight for my relationship and everything I had once cared for seemed so pointless now and bleak. Over the coming months and years, I distanced myself from life. Finally, my husband got a job offer in Jacksonville, FL and I packed up my things and followed because I had nothing else driving me in Charlotte. I found a job in another salon and tried to get back into lifting, but nothing was the same. I battled depression for well over two years. 

Fast forward to the end of 2019, I was visiting Charlotte and out of the blue an old friend reached out to me and asked me to meet her at 6am on a Saturday morning. When I arrived, they threw a weight on my back and told me to walk. We ended up walking over 8 miles that morning and it was the first time in a long time I felt happy and enjoyed the pain that came with exercising again. I found myself waking up early every morning for the rest of my trip to meet them and ruck, the people I got to meet and bond with all those mornings let me open up about my pain and let me pour out all of the emotions I had been feeling for years. I was carrying weight on my back physically, but I felt lighter than ever walking with them every morning.

When I returned to Jacksonville something had changed. I wanted to find that enjoyment in my new city. I tried every ruck club I could drive to. Some were great, some weren’t, but I wasn’t giving up. In my first month of being introduced to rucking I found myself rucking over 100 miles. I’m not sure what it was, maybe the community that GORUCK attracts, and how willing to listen to me they were. Or maybe it was the relief you get when you finish a workout and get to set down your weight. Maybe it spoke to me in some way/somehow that it was ok to put down the weights I had been carrying for years on my back. Whatever it was, it was working, and I felt a spark igniting in my heart again.

Conveniently, while I found a new passion in rucking, COVID struck and I was furloughed from the salon. Initially it felt like I just couldn’t win, little did I know it would open the door to an opportunity of a lifetime. I saw GORUCK was hiring for a Customer Service Representative, I took a shot in the dark. I didn’t think I would even be considered. However, I had a passion to share what GORUCK gave me and inspire people who were struggling just like I was for so many years. In October of 2020, I was offered a position with GORUCK and my life hasn’t been the same since.

Completing the Paperman WOD at GORUCK HQ

I found myself hungry to learn all that I could with GORUCK, I wanted to touch every part of the company and understand what makes the GORUCK Community so different from the rest of the world. Along my journey, I shared my father’s story and was given an opportunity to dedicate a WOD in his honor at the GORUCK HQ. It started small but his story grew. I found others who had lost their loved one’s like I had and was given the honor to host a Custom Basic+ in his honor and for all those who died serving others. 

In February of 2022, we held the first Paperman Basic+ in Charlotte, NC. We had 48 participants and rucked over 10 miles through the night and through the very streets that my father worked and died in. Our ruck landed us in the very spot at the exact time my father was gunned down back in February of 2017. I was able to speak and release emotions and feelings I had been carrying for years, I was able to cry and share my story, my pain and my journey and found I was no longer alone. I had a community behind me, supporting me and crying with me, I had a tribe.

You ask me why I share my story? Because it reminds me, and people like me who have lost like I have and struggled to find a reason to put one foot in front of the other, that we are not alone in our pain. There are still beautiful people out there crying out for help and I want to grow the community that supported me, so that no one feels as alone as I did for all those years. 

This community made me realize life is heavy, but we are not alone under our weights.

This community gave me a way to honor my father and give back just like he did. 

This community isn’t about how much you can carry or how fast you can do something, it’s about growing together, it’s about connecting.

No matter what life gives me…I AM strong enough to ruck it.

Complete the Paperman WOD in honor of Shawne’s father, Wes Scott:

The Paperman (2-15-2017)

2-mile ruck with Ruck and Sandbag

Then 15-20-17 reps of the following movements with a ruck:

Sandbag Clean and Press
Sandbag Rows
Sandbag over the Shoulder
Sandbag Deadlift

This WOD is in honor of Walter Edwin Scott JR, gunned down in the early morning hours of February 15th, 2017, in uptown Charlotte, NC, during an attempted robbery. Before Wes fell, he returned fire, striking his attacker, resulting in the suspected being apprehended. Most knew Wes Scott, others as “The Paperman,” some knew him as an Advanced State Constable who worked drug interdiction with York County Sheriff’s Office; however, I, Shawne Scott, knew him as Dad. There are not enough individuals like him in the world. He taught us to appreciate the people right in front of us and slow down to enjoy the moment.

I remember a story about my dad; a bearded man with beat-up shoes walked past my dad and me one day on the newspaper route. I remember the Charlotte weather was cold that evening. I witnessed my dad take off his extra jacket, wrap it around the man, unlace his shoes, and give him his socks. I witnessed acts of kindness like this all the time from my dad. Whether it was buying medication for a homeless man, thanking a fellow officer, or giving newspapers. It was helping a woman who had a flat tire. It was going to help pay for the grocery bills of the flustered family in front of the line. While passing someone on the street, it was telling them to have a good day. He volunteered long hours at every athletic event so that the school could have free security. It was babysitting his grandkids. I learned love, passion, and strength from it. It is my hope that it will encourage others to do the same. To keep striving to be a better person. 

For me, I am thankful for everyone who has supported and loved me during this time. It is an honor and a privilege to carry on his legacy. Challenge yourself to engage with your community, your neighbors, and “strangers”. Start a conversation and connect with others. You never know who may need a friend and whose life you can forever change. 

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