A Better Version of Myself: Meet Shalane Jenkins!
My name is Shalane Jenkins. I am 57 years old. I was born and raised in a small town by the name of Fountain Hill, Arkansas. Even though we were a small community, the people there were loving and very supportive. The elderly people had strong faith in God and always instilled in us to “Always have faith, always pray, and always believe in God.” Their words were rooted within me and on more than one occasion while growing up, I relied on those words.
I am happily married to Samuel Jenkins, Jr. from Hamburg, Arkansas, where we are currently living. Together we have one son, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. I am employed at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Arkansas, where I work in Radiology as an Assistant Radiology Coordinator.
Since I was 20 years old, I had always had a strong desire to become a fitness instructor. I had always been a big fan of Denise Austin and Leslie Sansone, but life has a way of throwing some unexpected situations that can cause your plans to be put on hold. In October 2014, I lost my mother which caused me to fall into depression. I became addicted to food and I ate like there was no tomorrow. This was my way of dealing with my mother’s death. A 30-day devotional book written by Bishop Walter and Annette Hawkins stated, “Addiction is a deadly dance with a spirit that controls us like a puppet.” Well, I became that puppet and addiction produced an overpowering bondage.
This picture below shows me (left) at my highest weight ever because I allowed my addiction to hold me in bondage.
In July 2015, I faced a scary encounter, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. My results were critical. My doctor recommended I use a C-Pap, lose weight, and stop driving long distances by myself. My life was turned upside down. Not only was I dealing with my mother’s death, depression, being overweight, and now I had to come to terms with sleep apnea.
I realized that before I could make any healthy changes in my life, I would have to believe in my heart that these changes were possible. I also realized that having faith and staying fit is important because unhealthy choices can leave you physically unhealthy and spiritually unfit. Through my realizations, it occurred to me that I must change my mindset because we do become what we think. I was introduced to Shazzy Fitness by my cousin to become a fitness instructor. In June 2018, I became a Shazzy Fitness instructor and I have been teaching ever since. I get joy out of leading others to a healthy and wholeness lifestyle, through this faith-based fitness class. Shazzy Fitness is music driven, dance, fitness, and inspiring that can be enjoyed by all age groups.
Shazzy Fitness has been a great inspiration for me. It has allowed me to utilize my talents and skills to become a better version of myself. While I am becoming a better version of myself, I am also helping others to create better versions of themselves by offering Shazzy Fitness classes. Currently, we are offering classes one day per week with hopes of transitioning the class into a virtual platform. One of my participants from the class stated, “Participating in Shazzy Fitness has been beneficial, especially during the pandemic. Even when we can not meet face-to-face, it has helped me be consistent with my fitness routine.” It is my desire to become a Shazzy Fitness Master Trainer in order to continue my journey in faith and fitness that will enable others to believe in themselves, eat healthier, train harder, and embrace faith through their journey.