Oh yeah, I opened my gym!

PANDEM(IC)ONIUM PART IV- The conclusion (for now. And it’s long!)

I feel like this is the perfect blog to be posted late… ya know considering it’s late because I had too much work to do last week. But, without further ado here we go:

I opened a facility when most were closing down. It felt weird and conflicting. I was sad that businesses were closing, but sadness aside, I have a business to run. People who’ve never met me would probably say that’s a dumb idea. People who truly know me, know that I have been working towards this for years; planning, saving, making endless spreadsheets of what I want and how much it is, writing off fewer things so I showed more income in preparation for a loan, and taking all the things I had learned at every gym I’ve been to and analyzing how I would do things if I were in charge.

It’s cool and all that I planned everything out, but then a pandemic hit as well as the sh*t to the fan…

My plan– to branch off on my own later in 2020- effed.

My savings– reallocated to things like rent and food since we weren’t able to work, and the whole unemployment system in all of its gloriousness. (Jokes aside, I can’t imagine anyone or any system would be prepared for what happened, but this is my blog and it severely inconvenienced me to say the least.)

My spreadsheets– everything was sold out or backordered for months… and I didn’t have money to spend at that time on things even if I did order them months ahead of time. And if I did receive it, where would I put it? In every closet in my house? (Foreshadowing.) Really glad I spent hours on that in the past though…

My taxes– I paid more in taxes due to writing fewer things off, and although I took the June date, it was still MORE in taxes in a year that I was unable to work for three months. I did that for a loan, right? But do you really think anyone would give a loan to someone who literally cannot work right now, and is in an industry that was shut down for an unknown amount of time? Even with great credit, I couldn’t even get a $5000.00 loan. (I did have a few virtual clients and a few programming peeps which were amazing and wonderful, but a lot of them had credits I applied from unused training in March.)

What had I learned­– At least this one still paid off how I intended? Yay for that. The funny thing is, I not only learned a lot of movements and knowledge of the fitness industry, I learned a lot about the business side of things which allowed me to set things up a certain way from the beginning.

So, because of the shutdown and restrictions put in place from the state and the facility I was training out of, I knew I definitely needed to open the doors on the facility I had been dreaming of, and ASAP. I was able to get some gym equipment due to being in the right place at the right time, and having built a network of people over my years in the gym industry. That was the biggest concern honestly, because even if I had everything else in place (loan, location, clients, etc.,) I didn’t have enough equipment to open a gym. Once that puzzle piece went into place, I KNEW it was going to happen.

Adrian is wonderful and let me slowly fill every space in our house with barbells, kettlebells, dynamax balls, and right at the end with huge boxes containing cardio bikes, a squat rack, and more. I am not going to lie, I am very impressed with how well I hid everything in plain sight, and didn’t really make our living space feel like a storage unit.

I reached out to a friend who was in residential real estate for advice after I was coming up short on my own with commercial real estate. She spoke with her connections and had a recommendation from them, funnily enough, who I had met in a networking group a few years prior. I am going the leave their name out, because I have nothing nice to say about them except, I needed our interactions to be fully prepared to own my O.W.N. location.

I’ve never been condescended to or mansplained to so much in my life, but guess what? IDGAF, and I will put on my “business pants” to handle what I need to. I kept our interactions civil, but I quickly realized this person didn’t give a sh*t about me or my business. They repeatedly told me how it wasn’t really worth their time because it’s such a small space. Rant about them over (mostly,) because honestly, karma came around and I didn’t have to do anything. Thanks, Universe (but actually, thanks to my friend who found out about the experience and made sure their shared boss heard about it. She’s a badass and I am so thankful to have her in my life!)

The first space we were scheduled to visit, I was late to because someone rear-ended my car on the way. Cool, huh? With all that, I was only 15 minutes late, but the c-word listing agent, only scheduled 15 minutes for us to view it and scheduled another viewing right after. When I arrived, she said we couldn’t go in because they said they didn’t want me to. Fine, I’m not mad at those people for that. But this listing agent was so abrasive, rude, and also, don’t try to play mind games with me. I will not be pressured or manipulated into anything, and if you try, I can pretty much guarantee the opposite outcome will happen. I never actually saw the space because “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

The second space we saw is now O.W.N. Health & Strength. I loved it from the moment I drove up and saw it. Huge windows everywhere on a corner unit of a brick building. Tons of natural light, great little outdoor space with bamboo separating our building from the neighboring businesses, and super convenient for all of my peeps! I’m a fairly decisive person, and I knew I wanted it. It had freakin’ chandeliers hanging inside (that the realtor GAVE AWAY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION,) a black and white striped wall, beautiful wood floors, and so much potential. We were able to negotiate a little lower rent since it had been available for a year prior (which also made me happier since I knew it wasn’t a COVID-19 related real estate opening.)

I was then on the hunt for flooring and knew that it was going to be a large chunk of money for what I really wanted. Without getting approved for any loans, I was doing this all out of savings and didn’t really want to put it on my credit card. I looked on craigslist one more time before completing the purchase on my credit card, and BOOM! I found the flooring I wanted and a great price, and despite the fact it may have been a scam (cuz, craigslist,) I reached out and asked if they had 42 sheets. The seller was a contractor that always buys extra when he has jobs because it’s less per sheet that way, AND he was willing to deliver them for a super cheap fee. I literally saved $5000.00, and am for sure “tooting my own horn” about it.

All while this is happening, I was training clients at parks out of the trunk of my car. This topic could be a whole blog on its own, and very well may be soon, so stay tuned. I have a Rav4, and that thing was a trooper. I programmed everyone with the limited equipment that fit in my car, tried to make sure I had everything all of my clients needed for their bodies and goals, and am SO over parking in Seattle… Let’s just say, I don’t need to do farmer carries for a while lol. It was super fun, we only had one day with rain that caused us to cancel, and we only had one time where I was about to dropkick some dipsh*t for being rude to my client and being a jerk in general. I think I’ll save that story for the W.O.O. blog though. Then the smoke from all the fires hit Seattle, and considering I am a “health coach,” and smoke is pretty terrible to be in for long periods of heavy breathing, we needed to get things together ASAP, and we did!

Luckily, the weekend before the smoke hit, my Dad and Adrian helped with the bulk of what needed to be done in the gym. I seriously cannot thank them enough for helping me, because I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone, and didn’t have the funds to pay people. The moving truck got canceled twice and we ended up with one that was 10’ longer than needed, but whatever, we had one. I dropped my Dad off at the gym to start on things while I had a few clients at a nearby park. I do feel the need to say: I told my Dad that he could do anything, except move ONE thing because it wasn’t stable and could fall on him…. And luckily, he’s got catlike reflexes because that exact thing almost happened. (Funny note: When he told me this on the phone, he led with “I already told Mom, so you can’t,” LOL.)

We picked up the trunk, went home and loaded all of the equipment that had been stored throughout our house, and were off to Home Depot to get the extra stuff we needed for the build out. I am not sure if you’ve picked up on this, but I love organizing/organization. I had a list of what we needed and had researched the specific aisles that the things were on so we didn’t have to go back and forth a bunch of times with panels and drywall. We unloaded all of it in the back of the gym, moved around the piles of flooring Adrian and I had loaded a few days before, and got to work.

Adrian and I had ton a tiny bit of demo and had started a dump pile. We had to remove a metric sh*tton of shelving made of MDF (medium density fiberboard= cheap and heavy.) We took a run to the dump for everything we needed to get out, and it was legitimately 1600lbs for the first load… meaning we loaded it up, and unloaded it (2200lbs is a ton, so NBD, we’ moved over a ton of stuff. *flexes*)

For this next part, I’m just going to make a list:

– We installed soundproofing in the shared wall and covered it with drywall and awesome wood paneling. The walls are crooked though, so I had to get creative with that one.

– The rubber flooring that I love so much was actually super challenging to install, even though we were just able to place it on the wood flooring directly… but the walls of the space are not straight. So luckily, we started in a corner and realized that instead of getting there at the end and being effed a little bit.

-The sink was literally glued to the wall and wasn’t properly installed. When I removed it, I took out a chunk of drywall, which I was able to patch myself and install a vanity eventually, NBD.

-The track lighting is the hardest version to find things for, probably because it’s a little older. It took 4 online orders (because no stores carry it) to get the right thing, EVEN THOUGH the others said they were compatible.

-Painting took place in stages, with the bathroom being the last piece finished a few months after opening.

Things kept working out, with only minor setbacks or obstacles. We built enough of a gym that I only missed a few clients due to smoke, and we’ve been going in some capacity ever since!

Of course, there have been challenges that have come up (looking at you: homeless dude who broke my front window,) but honestly, I LOVE having my O.W.N. facility. I love being able to create a whole culture in my space as opposed to doing it with my individual clients in someone else’s space. I appreciate every facility that I have ever worked out of, and have learned things at each one. I am hopeful that I can continue to create something that’s bigger than just ‘working out.’

I want people to O.W.N. their lives, whatever that means to them, and I want people to see this as a lifelong commitment to their health. Goals will change, bodies will change, but the thing I hope remains always, is that they O.W.N. their bodies, O.W.N. their strength, and O.W.N. their lives…and I’m going to be there as they do it, with gentle pokes along the way!


Life Changing Books



To recap the last two blogs in “exquisite simplicity,” I panicked and organized, then with an organized space, I dealt with what I needed to mentally, and built a patio so that Adrian and I could actually enjoy our yard, nature, and temporary retirement. Since I had such a wonderful patio to read on now, it’s time we talk about books. It’s easiest to list them below:

Limitless- Jim Kwik. Must read for every human at any reading level/age. It’s a book about learning how to learn. Without spoiling anything, it helps educate you on how the human brain functions, how to use it in the best way you can, and how to make the life you want. I love it and have given it to seven people so far, and will definitely read it again. I cannot stress this enough; this is one of the most important books I have ever read.

Daring Greatly- Brene Brown. Love her and this book. After reading Limitless, I was already in a “get sh*t done” mindset and super motivated to be better. Daring Greatly encouraged me to stop planning and controlling things to death. I wanted to be less anxious. I wanted to be a gym owner. I wanted a lot of things, but I would always think about every possible outcome and just get a little down on myself. This book allowed me to start saying more positive things about myself and not feel weird, arrogant, or conceited. (My issues. Adrian read it and got something completely different from it, which is the coolest part of these types of books!)

The Gifts of Imperfection- Brene Brown. I wish I read this before Daring Greatly, and I would recommend that. It was wonderful, but after completing the two books above, I had already made a lot of progress and understood the concepts in the book. Still highly recommend it!

The Four Agreements- Don Miguel Ruiz. I re-read this one, but I am counting it. It’s a nice little reminder to stay grounded, and that other people’s opinions only matter if you let them, and words are just words. Also a must read, and it’s a very easy and short read. Short, sweet, and to the point.

The Fifth Agreement- Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz, Janet Mills. Also a must read. I re-read The Four Agreements so they were fresh in my mind for this, but that was not actually necessary. They do a fantastic job of reviewing the first four agreements, and the Fifth Agreement really just makes it sink it. I am not going to tell you what they are because I want you to read them. 🙂

Untamed- Glennon Doyle. I like books that encourage people to be themselves. I like books that empower people and encourages people to take risks for the sake of a happy life. Be different. Don’t force things. Make life what you want it regardless of what other people think of it. I don’t think I got as much out of it as some peers, but if I had read it earlier in life I for sure would have. Sometimes it’s all about having it said the right way for how you need to hear it.

Reading has slowed down a little for me now that I get to see clients again (YAY!!), but I am keeping that in my daily/weekly life. I feel sharper when I read, I love learning, and it’s almost meditative for me because I only focus on what I am reading and thoughts that pertain to that. There is so much knowledge out there, I feel like no matter how much I learn, it will never be enough. I really focused on some issues that I was dealing with, I put in the work to be better, and honestly, I believe all of these books have helped me be a more confident human and allowed me to fulfill some dreams (helloooo, training studio.) It wasn’t all easy, but Adrian and I would talk about a lot together and help support, encourage, check, and inspire one another. He’s great and I love him (in case you didn’t already know.)

Going back to work schedules challenged my reading time, but I know what it does for me and how I feel with it, so I MAKE it a priority. How do I find time while still running and growing a health coaching business? I schedule out time for it, even if it’s only 15-20 minutes a day. I know that I retain things best in the mornings, and with the traffic changes on my commute, I head to work an hour before I actually need to start training. I have shifted my morning routine to take place in my facility. It was a change at first, but I wake up around 4:30am, am out the door by 4:50am, and at the gym by 5:05am. By the time I make my coffee or tea, put makeup on, and make sure the facility is ready for peeps, I have about 20-30minutes to read, which is actually ideal (and you’ll learn why when you read “Limitless.”) I always try to read things I am interested in, and if I am not finding myself engaged, I stop reading that book. Simple. I’m not in school and it doesn’t mean I’ll never read it again, but it may not be the right time for that.

So overall, books are amazing and I am so thankful I was able to rekindle my love and practice of reading consistently. I plan to start our very O.W.N. Book Club one day, but if you’re interested in what I’m reading before that officially takes off, check out @own.healthandstrength on Instagram. I post mini reviews on there, and sometimes there’s a cute little cameo from Misty or Jack.

Next blog will be about the elephant in the room… HOW I OPENED MY O.W.N. FACILITY during the trash fire year of 2020!!! Everything you’ve been reading, especially on this blog, lead to my first official facility opening. Spoiler: I did it myyyyyy wayyyyyyyyy!

Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay strong!

X- Shea


PART II of the Pandem(ic)onium Series

So, last blog we covered the beginning of the shutdown and what that looked like. Somehow I completely forgot that I had shingles when we first shut down. So in the beginning of March I had a sh*tshow of an experience at the doctor, they didn’t believe me, asked if I wasn’t “used to pain” when I cried from frustration (the tattoed person who spoke to them about a recent shoulder dislocation, torn labrum, a/c separation and fractured collar bone… clearly that person can’t handle pain. A-holes.) Anywhoo, that sucked as well and added on to why the following events were important in my life. Let’s begin, lol:

YO-ga: As in YOooooo have you ever tried this?! Cuz, “oh my GA(h)” it’s amazing and has changed everything!  I started doing yoga in the morning because I knew that it was good for mental space and could help ‘stretch’ tight things. HOLY MOLY, did I underestimate what it could actually do, like help you address areas you can’t feel and build proprioception, and flush out nerves, and so on… One morning after I was done and Adrian finally woke up (finally meaning he slept in until 8am lol,) I asked if he would want to do it with me because I noticed a difference already. He said “sure, I’ll try it.” I was effing stoked and said we could do another video right then. Control. (see Pt 1.) Adrian said “no,” but agreed to start the next day and give it a go, no pressure, but what’s the worst that could happen? (Spoiler: we fixed issues that had plagued us for years and still consistently do it.)

We did a 30-day program called “Home” by Yoga with Adriene (check it out,) and consistently added that into our days. It was probably about two sessions before both of us had a b*tchslap of reality and realized how many areas of our bodies weren’t doing what they could be (as in, I couldn’t feel my right outer foot on the ground at all. Probably a bad idea to load something you can’t feel, but what do I know?) Yoga is now a thing for us, and it’s changed both of our lives for the better. We use it for mental stress and anxiety, as well as physical stresses that occur. Judge all you want, because it also allowed our brains to chill out and destress so we don’t care if you roll your eyes. This also led to me researching the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems more, because I want to know WHY anything does what it does. I learned a ton of new cool things about these nervous systems that I am able to not only practice myself, but help my clients with it as well. What a great time to learn how to de-stress the body, amiright?

Patio and Yard: I built a little patio outside in our yard so we could sit outside in the morning and read with our coffee. Adult AF if you ask me, but back to the patio. I had to remove some super stubborn plants/weeds with a pick axe and shovel (thank you, rotational strength.) I did my best at leveling the ground and put down little concrete pavers, surrounded the area with rocks, added mulch to the planters, and set up our patio set in our cute little yard. The dogs love walking under the chairs as we read, and they often sit under us and keep watch, barking at all who dare walk in front of our yard. I’m still super proud of it even though the demon plants have tried coming back… I will take any opportunity to use a pick axe for something I need to do.

The spiders in the yard also took a liking to it, but that was another cool thing that happened this year: we got to experience nature more. Spiders no longer bother us, and we legitimately could tell a difference in how many tiny bugs were out. I’ve always been a fan of relocating spiders (under a certain size… Giant house spiders and I haven’t come to an agreement yet, the best method is avoidance in this case.)

Nature: Along with our spiders, we got to experience more birds since the West Seattle Bridge got shut down, and we normally would have heard the traffic. (That was another #just2020things… our main commute was taken away, and our current route is more than double the mileage. A mild annoyance, but back to the positives!) When we stepped outside onto our porch, we got to see hundreds of birds in the giant trees across the road try to make more birds, if you know what I mean. There was one bird dude in particular that we named “Bill.” Bill wasn’t winning big with any of the other lady birds, but dammit if he wasn’t trying.

He’d flutter his wings and laterally hop on a branch towards a potential mate. No luck. Then, he ruffled himself up to seem poofy and flutter, hop, shake, nothing. Again, and again. We saw Bill try over and over, and never saw him be successful. I understand that in nature only the strong survive and get to carry on their genes, but I never knew I would admire a bird for effort. I never knew I would have such a first-hand experience for the whole process living in a city.

We’re not sure if Bill ever got to carry on his legacy, but we got to hear lots of tiny chicks chirping, and see busy parents swooping in and taking off again to feed their hungry chicks. When they got a little bit older, we got to see them practicing their flying skills in groups. It was seriously so cool to see 10 of them fly up super high and dive bomb before pulling up and getting back in line. Then the next squadron would practice, and so on. They would ‘train’ their new skills for about 20 minutes before taking off towards the water. This all took place during hours that Adrian and I would normally be working, but this year we didn’t miss it!

While everyone was watching some stupid show that their streaming service pushed (that may or may not have been about tigers, and yes there is judgement,) Adrian and I got to see a whole generation of birds from creation, to adolescence and training, and finally to them leaving us. We’re “empty nesters” now, if you will.

Connecting to our bodies more, and connecting to nature more really helped us get into a flow state. We’d wake up, have coffee and read our books (next blog will be about the books we read!) Then we’d take the dogs on a walk before having breakfast. I’d do a little work and see what else I could do that I normally didn’t have time to focus on. Adrian learned a lot about the Vietnam War, mastered so many video games, and always made sure I ate something (since I forget to when I focus.) After “work” we would go on tour on RockBand, practice our yoga, and watch some Family Matters (since I somehow missed out on that! It was definitely a nice, positive addition to our routine.) I loved spending so much time with our little family, and it gave me hope for retirement when that happens one day. I couldn’t see myself retiring because I still have so much I want to accomplish, but now we’ve both developed a better appreciation for having balance in our lives. I’m not ready for it yet obviously, but now I can picture it a little, and am going to O.W.N. it for sure: Adrian, fur babies, lots of books, lots of nature, and so much more that will develop between now and then! It gave me hope for the future we’ll make.

I hope you all have enjoyed my little recap so far, or at the very least find parts entertaining. How did you O.W.N.  your at home experiences? Comment or email me at shea@ownfitnesspnw.com, I’d love to hear about it!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong!

(Jack really enjoys the restorative yoga days!)


Part 1:

What did I do during my time off?

Well, not write blogs clearly… but a lot! I am creating a 3-part series because there is too much for one blog, and I don’t expect people to read a novel about me… yet. 😉

First two weeks: Panic. For me panicking looks like the little Wall-E robot, M.O. For those of you who haven’t seen Wall-E, watch it, but for time purposes, just know that I was obsessively cleaning and organizing anything and everything I could, (cleaning was my “M.O.”) I finally shifted my calendar over to a different service, I added all of my client’s info into a nice organized system for emails, I reprogrammed everyone so they could do them at home with bodyweight or household items. My kitchen cabinets were organized perfectly, which also lead to a deep clean of the refrigerator, and organization of our storage room and laundry room. I started reading a book, organized any and all files I had, went full force into filming instructional videos for my clients, tried to cancel our trip we had planned to Italy in April, and made my husband super anxious because I. Don’t. Stop. I try to control things, and when the normal things I control are changed, I shift my focus to something else. (He also works in the gym industry, but was unable to do anything for his work since he works for a larger organization.) We only got in a few arguments because of this, and it was partly because he is normally at work and doesn’t see how I function on that deep of a level, and partly because my constant movement made him feel that he should be doing something too. Oh, but one thing that I loved immediately was getting to see my husband and dogs so much. I love them deeply and they are all very calming for me, almost all the time.

First two months: After the two weeks above, we started to figure things out a little more. I have made spreadsheets to track my business and figured that I could still be okay without unemployment for a month or two, it would just cut into my gym savings a little, but what are savings for if not to use them when you need to, right? We were reading books, having morning coffee together, taking the doggos out on morning walks before coming in to watch a show, and then I would go to work. Work on what you ask? Everything, still slightly panicky, but starting to set boundaries for myself (and some were set by Adrian, which I now appreciate but was a little butt hurt at first. I don’t like being told what to do by anyone, hence why I own my O.W.N. business, *snaps with finger guns* but he was right to do so because he saw what was happening to me aka ball of stress and anxiety.) I started to prioritize where I put my time a little better, and realized that I never took enough time to work on myself. When you’re in a field where you’re always helping others, it’s very easy to put yourself on the backburner, which can be fine for a while… but are you really leading by example then? Are you really able to provide the best experience for those around you if you’re never replenishing yourself? Things started to shift inside me.

Doggos: They would love for us to never have to leave again. We went on walkies all the time, we trained them a little better, we got to see them start to love each other more (OMG, my heart hurts when they lick each other’s faces,) and Jack will no longer be fat-shamed by the vet. To be fair, he was overweight and it was bothering his knee/hip. The vet tried to put him on a “weight loss” food, but I look at the ingredients and they were junk and fillers. I asked the vet if it was temporary, and she said that most people just leave their dogs on it since they usually have weight problems. I never realized a vet visit could be so triggering for me lol, but it was. I asked for other options and she said with a snarky tone “well, not really unless you’re going to track every calorie he eats.” BAHAHAHAHA, ummmmm, YEAH, I can do that. I did it to myself for years in an unhealthy way, and now I finally get to use those skills for good instead of evil. Jack would argue that it’s evil, but his weight is healthy, his energy is better, and he suddenly likes belly rubs! Thanks, former Shea, your torturous behaviors that you did to yourself actually turned into a positive for your pup! It happened for a reason.

Anyways, they love us, they love each other, and our family is so happy to be around each other whenever we can.

So, to sum it up, the beginning started with anxiety and survival mode. Then, filled with organization, not to avoid dealing with what was going on, but to process things, which I do by moving my body and clearing my mind of clutter. We finally got into a “flow,” but that’s for next time!

Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay strong!



June 28, 2014- I used to hate this photo. All I would see was the negative things I felt about my body. I was recovering from an eating disorder, had gained weight, and felt extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. My legs weren’t shaped how I wanted them to be. My arms were forever “sausages,” and who looks good in neon yellow?! Plus, I tried to dye my hair a different color and ended up with hot roots. To top it off, leaving that company was not a smooth process, and it used to bother me that they responded how they did when I chose to move on.  All I saw was everything I didn’t like about myself and things that bothered me. Sad huh?

Now, do you see that sunshine of a human in the center of the photo next to me in the back? That’s Jany Bacallao, the epitome of a good human. We recently lost him due to a hiking accident, and I honestly don’t know how the world makes sense when things like that can happen. He was amazing, kind, funny, a great friend, and a fantastic man that will always be in my heart. Jany left a positive impact on every person he interacted with. He helped everyone coming into the gym feel welcome and important. He’d listen intently like they were the only person that mattered, relate to what they were saying and put them at ease in uncomfortable conversations, especially for first time gym goers. I took the fact he was in this photo for granted because I was worried about stupid things that didn’t matter.

You know what I see when I look at this photo now? My first summer in Seattle. My first Cap Hill Pride where the neighborhood united more than any other time during the year. My friend Jany who always had time for everyone, who took me to Julia’s on Broadway and showed me what Cap Hill was all about, and who I got to talk to about the cute new guy at work (who is now husband, Adrian.) I see Greg ownin’ it at Pride giving out hugs to everyone. I see Chris with his freshly shaved head because he wanted to dress up like the Gold’s Gym logo. But mostly, I see Jany’s smile and am reminded of how much fun we were having when this was taken.

We all go through phases in life where we think we have our priorities figured out. We all go through phases of insecurity and worrying about vain things that our happiness shouldn’t depend on. What I hope we also do, is keep moving forward. Make progress in life and don’t forget to reevaluate your priorities as well. That way you can look back on a photo that used to make you cringe because of ‘how bad you looked,’ but now all you remember is the good parts about what that day represented.

I feel very proud that I have grown and restructured what matters to me in life along with progressing other aspects of life (relationships, business, dog mom-hood, etc.) This was due, in part, to the pandemic and using the time off work to work on things I never prioritized before. Things like my confidence and self-image, two  things that I work on with clients all the time, but hadn’t checked in with myself in a while. I don’t mean physical appearance self image, but I mean how I view myself, which is now: strong, kind, confident, resilient, and happy. I am happy and proud that I have reached a point that I am able to enjoy memories like this, rather than miss out on them due to stupid insecurities. I love this photo now because I get to revisit my friend and the fun that we all had together that weekend.

When was the last time you checked in with yourself to see what is important to you?

It’s okay to admit it has been a while, but you can always adapt and adjust whatever you need to. Nothing is forever, and instead of seeing that as a negative, let it be an inspiration to start living the life you want now.

Do you want to look back on years of self-torment, or would you like to look back on years of wonderful connections and good times with great people? I choose to be positive and happy now, instead of thinking “I’ll be happy when ­__________.”

If you need help on how to make adjustments, or need someone to talk it out with, send me a message or email shea@ownfitnesspnw.com with the subject line “Priorities.”

Rest in Peace, Sweet Jany. You made the world a better place and left a lasting impact on everyone you met. I promise to continue spreading sunshine!

Stay strong, Peeps!



“You can’t have a rational conversation with an irrational person.”- Gary Leonard, Mr. America 1980, husband, Pops, and my dad.

We all have more time to be online nowadays, so this seems like the perfect time for this topic.

UNFOLLOW THEM- Shea says, “Look at you, being mature and whatnot.” If this person doesn’t affect you, and isn’t worth getting annoyed over, so the easiest thing is to remove their influence from your life. I know this isn’t an option all the time, but even minimizing the amount of interactions is helpful. Trust me, cutting down on seeing negativity is going to allow you to make more thoughtful decisions, and be happier the whole time you think about them. If you’re worried you may be wrong, research it or seek out those whose opinions you value.

POLITELY DISAGREE AND STATE WHY, CALMLY- Shea says, “Good luck, and break a leg.” You’ve thought about it, you still want to say something, or maybe you can’t avoid them. Maybe this person doesn’t know any different, or maybe you aren’t the audience they were looking for, but you can be neutral and calmly ask questions. Hopefully they are willing to discuss like a human. If they get defensive or take it personally, reevaluate how much effort you’re willing to put in here. Will they ever be able to have a conversation? No? Maybe try talking to a wall instead; at least the wall doesn’t say stupid things back. Or a more practical approach is to have a “b*tch book.” I do! Anything that annoys me, but isn’t worth doing anything about, goes in there. I write it all down, why I disagree, why I didn’t say anything, and honestly, it’s enough.

GET ANGRY AND PARTAKE IN THE “CALL OUT CULTURE” THAT DIVIDES PEOPLE- Shea says, “Don’t be this person. If you’ve tried other options, do what you got to do I suppose. In that case, buckle up cupcake, the internet is rough, and everything is there forever.” What good will come of this? You’ve put someone on the defense, are you prepared to deal with a conversation that will go nowhere? I’m all for sharing opinions, disagreements, and learning from each other. Even if we don’t end with the same opinion, we now understand more about this person and maybe ourselves. Calling people out just because you have anonymity online is not awesome in my opinion, and if you don’t like my opinion, I am happy to discuss this calmly. If you insult me, or initiate any sort of engagement negatively, I’ll kill the conversation with kindness, or at worst, just kill it, and move on. My day will be fine, will yours? This is one thing that I have a really hard time dealing with, and I’m working on it, but I strongly disagree with this as a first or second option in most scenarios.  

PUT OTHERS DOWN TO FURTHER YOUR OWN POINT/OPINION- Shea says, “*facepalm & deep sigh* No! *flicks nose of person doing this* If you feel that you must go negative or insult someone to get ahead, you’re either a politician, or someone I don’t need in my life. My brain does this his pitched ‘boooooooooooooo’ sound as soon as someone does this. It’s not that I can’t sink to their level, it’s that I choose not to.” This is not really an option or shouldn’t be in my opinion. If you feel that you must put down others to further your opinion, that probably means that you don’t fully understand your own opinion to defend it or properly explain it. Just because you don’t agree with someone (whether they’re wrong or not,) does not give you the right to put them down or insult them. Have you thought about that fact that this is a human, and we are all flawed? Have you forgotten that you have been wrong before, and didn’t know until someone politely spoke with you? Or maybe some have done this to you, and now you’re just defensive of any inquiry, do you like that feeling?! Treat others how you want to be treated.

One of the first things we learn in life is that you don’t get your way when you throw a fit, (or at least that was one of thing first things I learned,) and it seems that some people forget that. Hopefully, we’ve also learned to be kind. If not, you’re an adult, you now have control over your life and can take action to change things, so pull it together. (It can be hard, you may need help, but why stay in a vicious cycle of unhappiness?)

Since so many of us have multiple sources of media input/output, we have the opportunity to interact with at least hundreds, if not thousands of people within minutes. You’re reading “Exhibit A.” 😉 I had a thought after seeing so many people just cutting each other down, I chose to write about it, and now you’re reading it. That is effing cool, right? But what if I specifically targeted someone, or spewed negativity under the guise of standing up for the ‘little guy?’ What if I stated my opinions as facts, and cut down all who don’t agree with me? You wouldn’t be here (hopefully,) and it would spread negativity like wildfire, instead of making progress by starting a conversation and asking questions.

If you have a conversation, both parties have the opportunity to learn. If you start by insulting someone, do you think that they’ll ever agree with you, even if you have scientific facts to back it up? Probably not. Or, they may come to that conclusion eventually, but due to how you delivered the information, you hindered their progress. Weird how one little snippy comment can make such a dent in someone’s life, huh?

In the gym, when you have an issue, you go back to the basics. The “back to basics” principle is helpful no matter what area you’re having issues in. The definition of a human being is a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.(Source: Oxford English Dictionary.) Our basics are advanced. ACT. LIKE. IT. Stand up straight, use your words, and continue to grow your brains!

Do you want to be a negative part of someone’s day one time? Or do you want to help build them up, so they have more positivity in their life going forward? We all have power and resources to influence others, and that can be great, or it can be detrimental. Choose to be great. Build each other up. Ask questions. Seek out knowledge. Throughout all of that, be kind. You will help make the world better one interaction at a time.

Do you have another way to handle situations like this that I didn’t mention? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment or send me a message: shea@ownfitnesspnw.com!

Balance in Chaos

I feel like this topic always applies, but especially during our current situation. Collectively, we are going through something that has never happened in our lifetimes, and who really knows how to handle it?

It’s stressful. We are constantly being bombarded with the fear mongering television or newspaper articles. All of them providing coverage almost exclusively about the ‘doom’ in the world with big, red, headlines, and a tiny spikey photo. Constant posts on social media that are “facts that so and so heard from their cousin’s, ex-boyfriend’s, third grade classmate’s, sister.” We hear stories about how people seem to be so selfish, they are literally buying up entire quantities of items so they can either sell them for more (really? THIS is your opportunity?) or just had ‘fomo’ when they saw someone else’s cart was full of one thing, so they needed it too. (Side note: HOW much are you going to the bathroom? If you need multiple warehouse sized packages of toilet paper, you either have 12 people at home, you’re selfish and entitled, or maybe talk to a doctor about that if you NEED that much.)

Most of the ranty bits aside, we also have the opportunity to see several positives during this time. Some people are choosing to be more kind, thoughtful, and caring, individuals that are helping when and where they can. Some people are using this as an opportunity to improve a skill, learn something new, or just taking a moment for themselves; regardless which one you are doing, you are right. Do what you need to right now and check in with yourself often. Personally, one of my favorite positive things in this chaos, is that some people are using this time to find creative ways to perform things that were in their routine formerly known as “normal.” Adaptation, progression, and stimulation are all key things we need as humans.

 I am so PROUD of my people and selfishly, this makes me feel like I have accomplished something big. I have always strived to inspire my clients to seek out knowledge, educate them to the best of my abilities, and to improve my own education so I continue to be a resource for them. My goal is to teach them what they’re doing and why, instead of just putting them through the motions because ‘it’s hard.’ I am so proud to brag about my clients. When the gyms were ordered to close, I had a moment where I was bummed and nervous, for my clients, myself, and for the entire industry, honestly.  After that, I started thinking about how to adapt to the situation and what I could do to help. I could adjust my client’s programs to be done with equipment they have at home (or items that could be equipment) to start, and then plan for my business going forward.

One thing that has been the biggest positive in my world right now is my network of clients. They are amazing, and I don’t care how many times I have said it! They. Are. Amazing! It makes me so happy to hear that they are trying to keep movement and activity in their lives, because they WANT to, not because they feel like they MUST. They understand that it’s more than a ‘fitness’ routine, but an all-encompassing ‘health and wellness’ routine. They like the mental stimulation and change of scenery while working at home. Normal household items are now being adapted as weights, and they’re progressing their knowledge of different exercise modalities, and adding them into their routine. Some see this as an opportunity to focus on areas of mobility that need improving, mind-body connection, and breathing techniques. Some are taking this time off from working out to deal with what’s going on in their own way, for which I am equally proud.

I have such a fun mix of clients that includes everyone, all ages, various professions, but we all have one thing in common: exercise is important to us, and we understand balance. It’s okay that they don’t exercise the same days they had in the past. It’s okay if they want to take a week or two off. It’s okay to be worried about things and use exercise to process OR escape for a moment. It’s their choice to do whatever they want in their day, and whatever is best for them.

One thing that I would ask us all to do, is to be kind and compassionate. Don’t put others down to feel better about your choices and how you’re managing your own life right now. Try not to judge how other people process things and handle this time in our lives. Some people want to stay busy, learn five languages, knit a huge blanket, workout with homemade equipment and try to maintain their normal routine. Some people want to lay in a pillow fort, binge watching shows, baking endlessly to supply their tv time with treats, and don’t want to do anything. If it’s not your life, worry about yourself. We all need more positivity in our lives, now more than ever, so don’t add to the doom.

If you want to share positive things in your life (pet photos, something you saw on your walk, a happy link you have, etc..,) something that you have learned, or a great book to read/show to watch, please feel free to reach out to shea@ownfitnesspnw.com. You may also check out my YouTube Channel (O.W.N. Fitness) for some short instructional videos on home workouts. OH, and drink some water! Stay home, stay healthy, and stay strong!


This applies to life in general in my opinion, not just the gym. Sometimes we can get caught up with people that we think we should like. We’re drawn to something about them, and it might be good or it might be bad. In the past, I was constantly worried about “looking like a dude” if I had muscle. How did that thought get in my head? I had some of the wrong people in my life.

Full disclosure, when I started doing strength training, it was purely for vanity purposes. I wanted to “look good” and have people think that I was attractive or whatever “looking good” entailed. So, when people I was close with started to tell me that I should stop working out because I was starting to look like a man, it really hurt my feelings, and only made me workout more and eat less. What they could have done instead was mentioned that they cared about my health and wanted me to be healthy and happy, OR just not commented on my body that I was so clearly uncomfortable in.  

The cool thing is, I have no hard feelings towards those people. I now see that they were just very unhappy with themselves, and were threatened that I was trying to make myself “better,” while they were perfectly okay with staying unhappy. I didn’t realize at the time those weren’t my people; even though I was wearing dresses, low cut shirts, 6” heels, a full face of makeup, and pretty much anything screaming for attention, I just thought I had to be uncomfortable and eventually I would get used to it. Now that I have amazing individuals in my life, I am wearing what I like and what I am comfortable in, which is workout clothes and Vans/Chucks, or if we’re going somewhere that that is not acceptable or I am feeling “fancy,” it’s jeans, a shirt or tank, and nicer Vans/Chucks.

Now that I have found who I am, I can confidently build relationships with the people that I chose to have in my life. The gym has been a key part to this process. If I hadn’t started lifting, I would never have left that toxic environment. I would never have moved to a new city I had never been to, never got a job at a gym, never made great friends (including my now husband,) built confidence in myself- mind and body, and I would not have the wonderful network of positivity in my life. Now I have people who think it’s cool that I like to pick up heavy stuff, and understand that I do it for fun (because they do too!) Now I have people who say that I am “strong” instead of commenting on the size of ANYTHING on my body (unless it’s in a good way #hamstringgoals.)

If you are starting to work on your health and fitness, and you have people making that seem like a negative thing, take some time to think about if they are worth having in your life. If so, call them out on it! Tell them how important your health is to you, and why what they are saying makes you feel negative. I say “health and fitness” because my journey did not start out as healthy at all. Your “people” will support you, ask questions and check in, and maybe even go to the gym with you. They will snap you out of “a funk” when you start to say negative things about your body, strength, confidence, ect. (shout out to my husband, Adrian, for working on this with me for years! It’s our anniversary and the photo is from our wedding!) Your people should add positivity to your life and care about you, and in return you will add positivity to their lives. You get to a point where you keep bringing each other up to the next level and growing as individuals and together. IT IS SO COOL!

If you’re not sure who your people are yet, work towards your “why,” and it will just happen. (psst-> https://ownfitnesspnw.com/2019/07/31/why-why-why/ ) Find your people that make you want to O.W.N. the day, the week, the year! Find your people that see you O.W.N. your life, and get inspired to do the same!

P.S. If you’re reading this, I consider you some of my people!

Why? WHY?! WHY!

Find your “why” to get to the what! So deep and moody huh? Seriously though.

Why do you want to go to the gym? To lose weight? Why? To get jacked? Why? Because you know you’re supposed to? Why? A lot of times, people have a goal, but don’t really dig into why that is their goal. If someone told you that you should eat only cornflakes, would you just blindly follow them? If so, you’d probably be a really easy client to have, but you wouldn’t get the results that you COULD if you knew the why behind that. *I am NOT saying to do that… with any food.*

The why behind your actions will help you truly connect to the process, help with accountability, and make it more realistic because it’s something only you can decide and it’s what YOU want.

The goal of “weight loss” is a perfect example:

  • We still need the why behind each goal. Do you want to lose weight because you “should” so you feel healthier? What is healthy to you? Being able to do the activities you want to do?
  • Do you want to “look” a certain way? Why do you want to look that way? Are you wanting to look like YOUR version of that, or an exact copy. Spoiler: One of those thoughts can cause some serious issues with food and fitness relationships.  
  • What about your health specifically do you think would improve with weighing less? Heart rate so you don’t feel winded as often? Cool, let’s focus on building your cardiovascular capacity as our main goal and let the weight not be our focus.
  • Is it hard to get up and down because you don’t have the strength and balance to do so? Cool, let’s work on strength and balance first and see how you feel.

If you go in with the only goal of “weight loss” or a vague idea, you will have a huge range of emotions. Mostly frustration and disappointment because the scale will never be a true statement of progress. It measures your weight, not health. The mirror is slightly more dependable, but not when you compare yourself to others, only your past self.

I workout because I enjoy being strong. I workout because it’s stress relief and helps keep me sane. I workout because being strong makes me happy and feel confident. I love the feeling of a challenge, and I am constantly adapting and accomplishing mini goals (and valuing the little wins for how important they are.) The sense of joy I get from working out is so powerful, I chose to make it my career. It saved my life, and I feel that I can influence someone to help make their lives more positive through being active. That is my why.

What is your why?! Reach out on IG: @ownfitnesspnw or FB: facebook.com/ownfitnesspnw and let me know!

LISTEN to your body!

Most people think that the hardest part about reaching your fitness goals is making it to the gym. For some that may be true, but personally, I have a hard time listening to my body when I should NOT go to the gym. I love working out; it’s a great escape for my brain from everything else I have going on, and as silly as it sounds, it’s my “me time.” I try not to think about work, the dogs, what’s for dinner, the dishes that are in the sink, how dirty my car is, nothing. I feel great and can manage my thoughts better afterwards. The hard part for me is to remember more isn’t always better, and although I know this, I still have a hard time putting it into practice.

I recently went to visit my family for the Fourth of July. They live in a small town and my dad organizes the fireworks show there. That means that we help get the fireworks moved, built, wired, taken down, and moved back again. Now add that to my normal lifting schedule, sleeping on a different mattress, and bookend it with 6 hour drives. As I write this out, it would only make sense to take a day or two off, or maybe have a light week. Guess what I did the day I got back? Deadlifts… or I tried. They felt awful, I was tired, and the weight was super heavy. I left feeling annoyed and like I should have stayed home. Luckily, I stopped before I hurt myself,  but I should have let my body recover more, and gone back when I was ready and crushed it.

I could have listened to my body saying that it was tired when it was more challenging than normal to get up off of the ground after playing with the dogs. I could have listened when I felt my whole body giving on lazy vibes taking forever to get ready. I could have listened when I was more focused on the annoying people at the gym than on my own warm up. I could have, but I didn’t, even though I know better. I am not worried anymore that I will lose results if I don’t go, and I know that recovery is immensely important, and yet I still made this mistake. But, instead of going back again today to make up for my poor workout- I took a rest day!

              Instead of pushing my body even harder when it is so clearly telling me to rest, I chose to do some light mobility work, organize a bunch of files I have been neglecting, work on my business and write to all of you wonderful peeps. I am sharing my story because we all need reminders, even if this is just to myself. I need to make time for my body to recover. I need to make time for my brain to recover and find other ways to manage my stress. You need to listen to your body when it comes to a workout. It is okay to take rest days. It is okay to need time away from the gym. You will not “fall off the wagon” for missing one day, and you will be better prepared for your next workout when you allow proper recovery.

              Our bodies are amazing and we should treat them as such! What do you guys do to help keep balance with the gym?