Episode 019 – Shannon Miller, Former Olympic Gymnast and Founder of Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Shannon Miller

Bobbi-Sue has a great interview this week with Shannon Miller, former Olympic gymnast and now a businesswoman. Shannon is the only woman, in any sport, to be inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame twice, as an individual and for her team. With seven Olympic and nine World Championship medals, Miller is one of the most decorated American gymnasts, male or female. Today, she runs Shannon Miller Lifestyle, a women’s health and wellness business.  In addition, Shannon is an outspoken advocate for research and prevention related to ovarian cancer as she is a survivor. Listen in as the women talk about what it was like for Shannon to retire at the ripe old age of 19, Shannon’s thoughts on moving forward from the Nassar situation, and how much they both love sleep.

Bobbi-Sue will be at a few events over the next couple of months… if you’re able, swing by to say “hi!” First, Bobbi-Sue will be speaking at Michigan State University’s College of Law at the International Law Review’s Sports Law Symposium on February 23, 2018. The following day, Bobbi-Sue will be at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Women of Isenberg event. She will be on a panel and part of a second discussion with Professor Nefertiti Walker. Some or all of these may be recorded for use as an episode over the next few months!

Finally, this episode is sponsored by LifeSum. LifeSum is an app that helps people achieve healthier and happier lives. It’s your body, it’s your health. Your health is worth investing in. The LifeSum app helps you keep track of your health by logging meals, exercise, water intake, etc. It also gives you access to healthy eating plans based on your current lifestyle and what your goals are. Examples of some of the plans include Cleaning eating and the Ketogenic diet. They provide you with a broad range of recipes so that you never lose inspiration. LifeSum’s 3-week weight loss program can help you kickstart your weight loss journey the easy way. You can even add friends on there. Want to do a challenge with me? Check it out at www.lifesum.com/ltpf.

Make sure you subscribe, rate and review on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, and RadioInfluence.com.

Additional Show Notes:
  • Shannon was a brand at a really young age. She was drawn to marketing because of this.
  • The University of Houston had one of the few entrepreneurship programs. She then went on to Boston College Law School.
  • She went to law school not to become a lawyer but to learn more about contracts, etc., in order to start her own company.
  • She wasn’t really sure what that business was going to be at the time.
  • Shannon took a sports law class right around the time that Paul Hamm was fighting for his gold medal.
  • Law school was relevant to Shannon’s life generally due to her brand and career up until that point.
  • Now, the brand is a whole different game because of social media.
  • Bobbi-Sue and Shannon talk briefly about the Nassar situation and how Shannon wants the sport to move going forward.
  • Education is going to be a key component to prevent this from happening again. All adults around children should know what is appropriate and how to signal when something isn’t appropriate.
  • There are so many athletes that turn into gym owners and coaches, those will be the people who keep the sport going in a fun, safe way.
  • Shannon typically keeps her medals in a lock box. A few years ago, however, she started bringing them out when she’s at an event. The reaction to them has been inspiring.
  • Bobbi-Sue talks about the reaction people when they heard that she was interviewing Shannon.
  • Shannon talks about the “let down” after retiring from gymnastics.
  • It was during this time that she realized she wasn’t taking good care of herself. She started researching and it was the catalyst for her company.
  • Shannon’s book wasn’t supposed to be a memoir. It was meant to be a short story for her website.
  • The type of cancer that Shannon had was very rare. Germ cell ovarian cancer is only about 4% of all ovarian cancer.
  • She tells a story about how she tried to push off her annual appointment and how not doing that probably saved her life. GO TO YOUR ANNUAL EXAMS, LADIES!
  • We, as women, need to get better about listening to our bodies and our intuition when it comes to our health.
  • Shannon Miller Lifestyle started with little “to go” fitness books. It is now a multi-faceted business focusing on all aspects of women’s health.
  • One of the partners Shannon works with is Tesaro – “Our Way Forward.” They focus on ovarian cancer research and post-diagnosis life, including after treatment ends. Shannon shares a story about how bad the fatigue was for her even after she was in remission.
  • Gymnastics is still in Shannon’s heart. She has been an analyst for various competitions, including the Rio and London Olympics. She also has the “Shannon Miller Gold Cup.” It is a different type of competition where the competitors receive immediate feedback from the judges. There are also free educational clinics on getting scholarships, nutrition, etc.
  • Shannon speaks about a recent appearance at BlogHer Health where she spoke about ovarian cancer.
  • Initially, Shannon’s foundation was focused on childhood obesity. Now it’s focused on kids actually being active. They go into the school system and provide 30 minutes of activity for the students for free.
  • Self-care: SLEEP, physical activity
  • Shannon is a voracious reader. Bobbi-Sue recommends her friend’s book, The Devil’s Song.

Shannon Miller, mid-routine on the balance beam during the 1992 Olympics.

Quotable moments:

  • “I’m a little bit of a control freak, by nature.”
  • “Law school was a great experience for me. It made me think in a different way.”
  • “Ok, I’m gonna give this a go. If it doesn’t work out I’ll take the bar exam, I’ll be a lawyer.”
  • “I’m kind of like the student who went to college forever.”
  • “What’s the legacy I want to leave beyond sport?”
  • “How do I channel this for progress? How do I channel this to make sure things are better for gymnasts now?”
  • “The more people are aware of the issues, how to prevent the issues, how to understand the red flags, the less darkness that exists.”
  • “Why would you ever have a male trainer alone with a female athlete? It’s just common sense.”
  • “I was a workhorse.”
  • “What on earth do you do with all your hardware?” BSDH to Shannon about her Olympic medals
  • “I named my child Shannon. You, what? Wow. That’s amazing.”
  • “My best friends were Jerry Seinfeld and Jennifer Aniston.”
  • “I had never been on a treadmill. Gymnasts just didn’t do that.”
  • “There are just not enough survivors of ovarian cancer.”
  • “Let’s get fit so that you feel strong and confident to give that proposal at work.”
  • “It is not a selfish act to go to the gym.”
  • “When a woman goes down, it’s tough on a lot of people. Whether it’s at work, at home… it’s rough.”
  • “I never imagined my life would be traveling around the country talking about my ovaries. Not in my life plan. But it’s important.”
  • “I will be jumping up and down during the winter games.”
  • “Gymnastics is a great way to get college paid for, frankly.”
  • “I could fall asleep while stretching.”
  • “I eat like a five-year-old.”

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