Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Decker.
Hi Shannon, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born in Washington State. My parents divorced when I was two years old.
I had an older brother who I was obsessed with and wanted to do everything that he did.
My mom was on welfare and my dad was a “derelict” who we saw but mostly cared only about surfing and his own survival.
I was naturally very athletic and had a lot of energy. I was willing to participate and try new things.
My brother ran away but I wanted to stay with my mom so I could keep playing sports – so I started the long hard process of being emancipated. I lived with friends and some foster care until it got so bad I had to move to a small fishing town with my dad. But he lived in a Flop House and it was also very difficult, especially for a 16 yr old girl. (I had a plywood “bed” in the laundry room and was pretty much responsible for myself.) But I did continue to play sports and stay active – I started really getting into surfing. Then for my senior year of High School, I ended up with my aunt and uncle, whom I now refer to as my parents in Santa Barbara. It was a bit rocky at first because I wasn’t used to being part of a family and having rules. I moved back to the small fishing town after HS and failing of city college, bought the flophouse, worked three jobs to remodel it, rented it out, started back in school, and then moved back to Santa Barbara to help my sick grandparents. We lost everything we own in the Tea Fire, lived in trailers, and started rebuilding. My brother fell 150 ft working in Yosemite, was heli vacced out and was in a coma for a month. The responsibility fell on me to help him so I left college and work and lived in a Motel 6 in Modesto to be close to him. He got better but it was a rocky road. He passed away six years ago from a grand mal seizure. I had gone to school to be an elementary school teacher and a nurse. At that point, I finally broke and felt like all I had control of was how hard I pushed myself in the gym. I was at the lowest of my lows and was offered a role on E’s ‘Hollywood Cycle’. I said yes and made the move to LA. From there, I started my LA fitness career leading group fitness, indoor cycling, personal and online training.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It certainly has NOT been a smooth road but I think a lot of those times as a good thing. When everything goes smoothly, it doesn’t leave much opportunity to learn and grow which I definitely have done a lot of, especially over the past few years. Of course, there was COVID and the world shutting down as an obstacle, but even before that I really had to grind it out to grow my training business and create a brand for myself in the fitness industry. I have always worked in multiple gyms – sometimes on complete opposite sides of the city – and gone back and forth daily to make locations work for my clients. Even the seemingly “little” things like waking up at the crack of dawn, working 12-15 hour days, constantly changing around my schedule to accommodate their schedule changes. But now that I am where I am today, it’s all been worth it and I get excited to see where the next level takes me.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about ShannonShape?
ShannonShape is the brand I created that encompasses my personal training business, lifestyle brand, social media presence, and modeling. In all of these areas, I try to embody and convey to my clients, followers, and those who purchase my program that fitness and health should be “for the sanity and not the vanity”. Everything I teach and practice is about using exercise as a way to clear your mind and up-level your physical state in order to be the best version of yourself. Exercise has always been a really healthy outlet for me and something that keeps me in a healthy routine focused and motivated towards all of my goals. I like to impart that on the people I am training as well. I want each of them to find what makes them happy both athletically and in their greater lives and simply have fun with it. Exercise should not be something you dread! I try to express this through all other areas of my business as well – modeling, social media, and via my online programs as well.
Something else that I really feel passionate about is giving back – I grew up with almost nothing and would not be where I am without the support of people in the communities I have been in and without my own hard work. I feel so fortunate to be where I am at in my life now and know that part of my meaning of being on this earth is to help others in many ways that I can. I work with multiple local organizations in a larger capacity and then I also try to help others in small ways in my day-to-day as well.
I am most proud of my diverse clientele. I have been able to connect with all ages, genders, ethnicities and athletic abilities through my training business. I believe this to be the sign of a good trainer because fitness is not one size or mentality fits all. Even when I am teaching group events, I have to make sure each participant gets what they need to be able to walk away from me feeling happier and stronger both physically and mentally.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
1) That I am 37! I have a VERY young spirit, some of the closest people in my life are those who are younger than me, and I swear I have the energy of someone in the early 20s! I really think that age is just a number and I got a later start to achieving my goals and knowing what I wanted, which I actually feel very blessed for. It gave me time to grow up and really go all-in on my career, knowing it was the perfect fit for me.
2) I LOVE food! I feel like while a lot of trainers encourage their clients to restrict, count calories, and eat bland diets, I strongly encourage living your life with balance! I think it’s so important to go out and have fun with your friends and I personally love to work hard, but also enjoy my food. While I do see food as food, I also find a lot of joy in trying new restaurants, discovering a good hole in the wall, and experiencing different cultures through their food!
- Email: ShannonShapeLA@gmail.com
- Website: ShannonShape.com
- Instagram: @ShannonShape
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/shannypants805/featured