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Hi I'm Shannon.

I'm a mom to three kids. I'm a wife. I'm a Zumba Fitness instructor. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I grew up in Iowa and settled in Utah after meeting my husband in college. I worked a full-time desk job for five years until the day our first child was born in 2007, a son named Wesley. He came unexpectedly three weeks early, weighing just 3 lbs. 15 oz., and carrying a surprising diagnosis: Down syndrome. I loved him instantly, and I loved being his mommy. But a few days after his birth I found myself lying awake in the early pre-dawn hours, thinking about my son's life, about my life, about what we had expected versus what we had gotten. I didn't know what it would be like to raise a child with special needs. That was supposed to be a job reserved for qualified parents, and I wasn't one of them. I worried about kids making fun of Wes. I was sad he wouldn't have kids of his own. Later I realized this late-night cry was part of the mourning process--of coping with the loss of my expectations and preparing to take on something new. Time has passed and Wes is six now. When I look at him I don't see "a kid with Down syndrome." I see my son, Wes. He loves school. He's athletic and loves sports with balls. He is smart. He is also a big brother to his sisters Carissa and Elizabeth. Wesley loves his family. He loves everyone. And he helps everyone who's willing to learn to love a little more. When Wes and Carissa are asleep I teach Zumba Fitness classes. I get to recharge and serve others and make friendships with amazing people otherwise I'd never know.

Why I am a Mormon

My parents each joined the church individually before they met and married, and I was raised in the Church. I always felt it was right. It made me feel good. I could see that a path of good choices created happiness, while others around me were headed down paths of unhappiness created by the poor choices they made. I continue to be Mormon because I like the way I feel when I do good things and keep God's commandments. I believe it is not only a good way of life, it is the best way to live.

How I live my faith

I teach Zumba Fitness classes to students of various ages, sizes, races, and religions. Working in the fitness industry can be challenging and competitive. There is a lot of pressure as an instructor to treat your body like a trophy, showing it off so others can see it, admire it, and want it themselves. But modesty, both in action and dress, is important to me and to my faith. I practice treating my body more like a temple than a trophy by covering it with clothes that are respectful to its beauty. I choose music and movements for class that will be uplifting and fun and not offensive. I may never win any big awards from the fitness world for my efforts but I know I'm making a positive difference to those who attend my classes.