ENTREPRENEURIAL ATHLETES

Flex Goddess

Shawn Smith's Wide World of Sports
 By Rachel Werner

Shawn Smith’s world revolves around the axis of fitness. As a group exercise instructor, trainer and co-owner of X-A-M Sports, a marketing and public relations firm that represents NFL players, Smith’s high energy and no-nonsense attitude help her maintain wellness on a personal and professional level.

What drew you to athletic training?

I grew up playing sports and spending time outdoors with my parents and in our neighborhood where there were a lot of boys who also played sports. In college, I started teaching aerobics and step-aerobics on campus and then at a local fitness club. (Picture thong leotards and big scrunchie socks. Yeah, I went there).

What’s made you stay in the industry all these years?

I’ve always been intrigued and amazed by athletes. The amount of discipline surrounding sport is mind-blowing. I’ve learned there’s so much more off the field/court/track, than on it. My professional background is in public relations, and I started working with the professional sports teams in Denver via a nonprofit. That evolved into promoting a local triathlete and helping him launch a fitness product as well as working with Olympic athletes and their post-career opportunities. My husband then became an NFL sports agent, and I began handling the public relations and marketing for the NFL players. Eventually we founded X-A-M Sports.

Describe your wellness philosophy.

In order for me to be a good mom, wife, business owner and all the other titles I hold, I have to feel good. I feel good by working out, which also helps me make better choices as it relates to eating, sleeping, etc. It sets the tone. It’s non-negotiable. At 45, I feel strong and healthy.

 Who’s your personal health muse?

Throughout my life I’ve been involved in fitness on a personal level. I would say my “go-to” workout is running—learned from my mom. She was an inspiration to me because not many women were on the road running 30 years ago. I’ve completed countless road races all the way up to the marathon distance. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym, lifting. I like building muscle and then breaking it down again. There’s something so satisfying about that ache when I lay my head down at night.

What’s your biggest fitness achievement?

I just completed a 200-hour yoga training intensive. It was more challenging mentally than physically. It’s not easy to cultivate a mental strength equal to one’s physical strength.

Describe your teaching mantra.

I think there comes a point in our lives when we all become teachers in some manner. For me, it’s my NFL business experience and my fitness background.  I’m currently reading Baron Baptiste’s “Journey Into Power,” and he teaches [that] you have a responsibility to share what you know, and if you don’t share it, you lose it. It’s in the sharing that makes it more real, a living part of you.

Don’t miss BRAVA’s stories on other amazing female entrepreneurs in our August edition and online.

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