Before Bellum, Shannon’s approach to working out was fairly balanced – run a few miles, hit a few weight machines, occasionally jump into a class. But after time, her motivation was waning, and things started to get boring. After she married her husband Ryan (her former trainer!), they decided together that they needed something to take them to the next level. Shannon comes from a family of athletes and has always thrived on competition, so at the recommendation of a friend, they signed up for their first CrossFit class at Bellum.
Now, several years later, Shannon’s body has been through months worth of fertility treatments and two pregnancies. Through it all, she’s maintained the best attitude by balancing listening to what her body is capable of at any given time, with the desire to push herself just beyond her comfort level. This type of self-awareness is so valuable for anyone, but for Shannon results in continual PR’s of her deadlift and back squat.
Shannon’s love of powerlifting movements (deadlift, back squat, bench press) and motivation to get stronger, no matter what it takes, have her pursuing excellence in every workout. Whether it’s burpees (while being laughed at by Addison, ha!), “gentle” motivation to never stop before the end of a run during an endurance PT session with Coach Erin, or a nice long chipper workout like Murph, Shannon never gives up, and her hard work is paying off!
Outside the gym, Shannon’s life is full, but with so many good things. She loves spending time at the beach and traveling with her family. She is also an amazing cook! Her love of cooking gives her a creative outlet and results in the most delicious recipes using simple, clean ingredients (though she also makes a damn good Peanut Butter Cup Cake).
All in all, Shannon is a force to be reckoned with. Under her tough exterior, she is a kind-hearted, gentle, and giving friend. She’s not afraid to be vulnerable and real, especially about how tough it can be to parent two little ladies with a full-time job. Shannon, we love and appreciate your presence at Bellum. We seriously respect your work ethic both in and out of the gym, and want you to know that your dedication is contagious. Any time we’re in a class with you, we’re always working harder too. Thank you for motivating us, for making us laugh, and for supporting us through the years. The Bellum family is much richer because you’re a part of it!
What type of workouts did you perform before coming to Bellum?:
Before Bellum my typical workouts were running 2-3 miles and then a total “bro sesh” lol. I also took “cross train” classes a couple times a week, which Ryan (my now husband) was actually the coach. There was a time when I would listen to him at the gym but only because I was trying to impress him. I don’t think a lot people know that is actually how we met.
Why were you looking for a new style of workouts?:
I started to get a little lax in my workouts, if I did not feel like running I just wouldn’t or I would take long breaks in between sets. Ry and I talked and decided we wanted something that was really going to push us. We both enjoyed lifting weights and one of Ryan’s friends was a coach (Brewster) so we thought why not give it a shot.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement or workout?:
Lol…definitely the power lifting movements, squat, deadlift, bench press. I would like to maybe compete in a power lifting competition one day. Right now, though, my focus is on my conditioning and weight loss. I also really like Murph or “Murph like” workouts. Just those long, exhausting chipper workouts.
What is your biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum? (in and/or out of the gym)
My biggest accomplishments in life are Addison and Mackenzie. They can be absolutely exhausting but then that smile, that hug or that “I love you”, it makes it all worth it. They are my reason for everything I do.
We went through so much to get pregnant, both times. Months of fertility treatments, endless hours in the doctors office, I don’t even know how many times my blood was drawn, giving myself shots, crying every time I got the call to tell me I was not pregnant (which always seemed to happen while I was at Bellum, so thank you to everyone who was there for me). After months of treatment for Mackenzie, I was told I had less than a 1 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally. I told the nurse I was done, I was giving up. She convinced me not to, to order the meds, take the shots and just give it this one last try. When I got that phone call that I was pregnant, I can’t even describe the feeling. Now I have 2 amazing little girls.
What is your favorite out-of-the-gym activity?:
I love to cook and try new recipes. I also love to go out to eat, travel and go to the beach. The kitchen and the beach are my happy places.
You have always been one of the hardest workers in our classes, whether pre-baby, during pregnancy, or especially now postpartum with your second beautiful little lady! If we could, we would bottle your drive and sell it so that everyone could be as determined as you are. What’s your secret?
I don’t know that I have a “secret” it is really more just my personality. I have played sports my entire life, I have two brothers who were also athletes and my mom is in Gateways Athletic Hall of Fame. I grew up in a very competitive household. My parents and my coaches really pushed me to be the best in everything I did and they instilled that drive in me. I am sure there will be people who disagree with me but I just have this mentality that if you aren’t going to give something your all then why are you even doing it?
When I became pregnant, my drive became having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Then after having my girls, in addition to the crazy expectations I have for myself my motivation is them. I want them to look at their mom and think, my mom is a total badass. I want them to know if they work hard, they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. I have big dreams for my girls.
And any tips to those who, whether they’ve been on their health journey for a long time or are looking to start, may struggle with starting or maintaining motivation when the going gets tough?:
The good things in life do not come easy.
I work a lot of crazy hours and have two kids, it’s easy to make excuses. I will never forget one day after having Addison I was at the gym and I was crying because I was having horrible mom guilt. Ann said something to me that I will never forget. If I attended four classes a week that is 4 hours out of 168 hours in a week. That is not being selfish.
Also, remember why you started this journey. Focus on the positive, remember how you feel not only physically but mentally after working out. There are going to be bumps in the road, just keep moving forward.
What’s your “Why”?:
My family, to be the best person I can be for them, but also for me.