It was a requirement to teach a group exercise class for
my major. I wanted to blend hip hop with aerobics…
something that no one had done before at my school.
I put fliers up all around campus hoping for 15 students tops. I’m astonished to see 90 at the door of a group exercise room… that barely holds 60.
Leading a group exercise class, dancing, taking people on a movement journey, and feeling tremendously joyful doing it – it was my happy place. I found my life’s work at the Rec Center at Rowan University.
And I owe it all to “Little Shauny”, my 8-year-old self.
He dug deep and moved forward.
Seriously, I hated childhood. Death or jail was my trajectory. I’m from the hood, my mom was on government assistance, and I’m gay. I was sexually abused and terrorized by the “step monster” (my step-father) for years. The abuse got so bad that at 14, Little Shauny said, “No more,” and devised a plan to move out and into my Mommom and Poppop’s house (my grandparents). The step monster had threatened to kill us on the regular in his drunken tirades, so one wrong move could be fatal. I told my mom that Mommom and Poppop were getting older and needed help around their house and I should be the one to help them.
It was the most dangerous and courageous move of my life but I needed to get out if I had any hope to survive. My mom said “Great idea” having no idea what was really going on. I frantically packed and made my way to their house.
To make his team, you had to dig deep. His mantra was, “Always move forward!” Once again, I was reminded that I was capable of more than I could imagine — A lesson that stayed with me for years to come. After graduating, I left the track for academics,
“passing the baton forward” to my future self.
At Rowan University, I started out in great shape and was rocking a 6-pack.
Food was scarce growing up, and I was fucking hungry! As a kid, I’d tiptoe down to the kitchen at night to sneak bread to my room by stuffing it in my underwear. So when they gave me a college food card, I ate! But there was also another reason why I was eating –
I was gay and I knew it. I used the food to gain weight and keep girls from thinking I was cute or hitting on me.
I had enough.
I felt horrible,
didn’t recognize who I saw,
I was overweight and was very unhappy.
I was ashamed that this former track athlete couldn’t even run 10 minutes.
It was rough getting back in shape, but I had to, wanted to, for me, drawing strength from what I’d learned in track…“Finish Strong!” “Move forward,” and “Pass the baton forward to your future self, Shaun.”
After shaping up, I changed my major to Sports Science and Health Promotion (minored in Theatre/Dance because dancing is my joy!). I wanted to help people get healthy, and this is when I asked the college Rec Director to give me my first-ever hip hop aerobics class. The rest is history.
After college and a few years of leading dance classes across Southern New Jersey, my friend said I should come visit him in LA….and he told me to bring my headshots just in case. While there, I went to a dance class (which turned out to be an audition for a big dance agency). I went back to Jersey thinking nothing happened. I got a call a couple weeks later asking me to move to LA and join the agency! Time to pass the baton to my future self again.
I became a dancer for multiple celebrities, booked gigs and taught classes all over town and landed my own Saturday morning fitness class at Equinox in West Hollywood. People waited an hour to get into my class.
One day, someone who worked at Beachbody witnessed the Saturday WeHo fitness mayhem and asked me to audition. Later, they offered me my own infomercial! I was 25.
Then, my third program, INSANITY, was a cultural smash-hit – – #1 infomercial seven years in a row! I was the first person to create a commercial workout that wasn’t for everybody. When my friends first tried it, no one was left standing. But for me, it was just high school track practice.
Today, my business, Shaun T Inc, is not just Beachbody and fitness, it’s far more. My business is your transformation journey, getting unstuck, facing difficult situations and Trust & Believing that “You can do hard things!”
I have worked hard to expand the platforms in which I can connect with you on your transformational journey. Whether it’s through my podcast, book, online courses, social media, live events, speaking engagements, or our in person retreat and premium accountability weekends at my Transformation Center, I am here to help, connect with and love you through your journey in life.
I started off hating life. Little Shauny endured and carried a lot. It sounds crazy to refer to your younger self in the third person, but through all my challenges, it’s a reminder that if “Little Shauny” could dig deep and move forward, I can too. I can help others pass the baton to their future self, find joy – – and of course, walk in an eight-count!
I want to help people transform EVERY aspect of their life.
My goal is to help you live your best life — the way it was meant to be lived.
A life filled with happiness, love, purpose, health, and abundance.
Each day. In every moment.
It’s the way I’ve transformed myself and my life.
Now, I want to share my heart, wisdom, support, and years of experience in self work to help you achieve the same thing…