Meet Shontelle Shelton of Team USA Women’s Football

Meet Shontelle Shelton of Team USA Women’s Football

“If I had any advice to give it would be to, live loud and have fun while doing it!”

Shontelle Shelton

LA Fitness Member

I grew up in a household where my family was involved in sports year-round and my mother was my basketball and softball coach while growing up. So as the “coach’s kid”, there were already high expectations, and I did whatever I could to meet or exceed those expectations in sports and in school.

The most dominant sport in my youth was always basketball. Never in a million years did I think I’d be playing women’s tackle football on an international stage, especially in my 40’s. I’ve been playing full contact football for a total of 13 seasons. I currently play defensive end and quarterback for The Toledo Reign located in Toledo, Ohio, which is a part of the Women’s Football Alliance. Currently, there 60+ teams located in the United States in the WFA.

In the fall of 2018, I was selected to play on the East All-Star team in the Las Vegas Hall of Fame Game. Also, I was selected to play for American Football Events USA All-Star team to play in their first-ever women’s Mayan Cancun Bowl against Mexico’s Women All-Star team (Guerreras Jaguars) which took place on March 9, 2019, in Cancun, Mexico. Out of the 400+ women to submit to play for Team USA, only 40 were selected. It wasn’t just exciting to be selected to be one of the first to play for Team USA, but an honor to be selected to represent my country on the football field as a football player and as an Air Force veteran.

One of the most amazing aspects of this team was that 40 strangers came together from different backgrounds, ages, and religions with no egos and with 1 mission, and that was TOGETHER. We put our all on the field and walked away with a victory. And that mission was complete with a 48 to 12 victory! Today those strangers are considered my family.

When it comes to fitness and football; football can be a demanding sport and very hard on the body. I typically work out about 3 to 4 days a week which includes football practice. A lot of my training involves cardio, HIIT, and weight training. During the off-season, I like to hit weights hard. But during the regular season, I don’t hit weights too hard because my body needs to recover from my gameday battles on the field. I believe that in any level of sports, ensuring that you’re healthy and in good shape is key to a successful season.

My training for Team USA involved preparing for a game that would be in hot and humid conditions, unlike preparing for my regular season with Toledo Reign which has typically colder and milder weather due to our season beginning in the spring. I approached my cardio regiment a little different and ensured that I began hydrating weeks before playing in Mexico heat.

I began working at LA Fitness as a personal trainer. During that time, I developed many friendships with coworkers who were also trainers and we would pick each other’s brains about training tips and advice.

During my 2018 season, I had surgery to repair my bicep tendon that I ruptured in a football game. The hard part of being an athlete is not just watching from the sidelines but hearing that you may not never play or do something you love again. My coworker Leo (who is also a personal trainer) at the Warren, MI location was very instrumental in helping me to strengthen my arm back. What my surgeon predicted would take more than 10 months to heal, I was able to get back in 6 months. I was able to play in the Hall of Fame game in Vegas 5 months post-op and for Team USA 8 months post-op.

If I had any advice to give it would be to live loud and have fun while doing it!

Additional team info can be found at:

YouTube link for USA vs. Mexico Women’s football:  https://youtu.be/rNxilgdSQ0M

Thee Toledo Reign: http://theetoledoreign.blogspot.com/

  • Coach Mitchi (419)654-2719

Follow Shontelle on Instagram: @CityLeague_Legend 


Recommended Reading

Instructor Spotlight | Celebrating 19 Years in the Fitness Industry

Instructor Spotlight | Celebrating 19 Years in the Fitness Industry

“As a former overweight guy, my weight will always be a struggle. I consistently work on my diet and find ways to shock my body.”

Wes F.

Group Fitness Instructor, LA Fitness

Prior to entering the gym, I used to weigh 350 lbs. with a 52-inch waist. My mother and I made a commitment to change and reinvent ourselves every year. I got earrings, tattoos, and new haircuts. Finally, I decided to lose weight.

I was a treadmill and weights guy until I saw a guy teaching a step class. People were piling into the aerobic room just to take his class. I finally got the nerve to try it for the first time. It was the most exhausting thing I had ever done.

I continued to take classes and followed my favorite instructor around town. One day after class, he looked at me and said, “You should start teaching.” At this time, I was down to 280 lbs. and laughed off the idea. I thought people would think that I’m too big to teach classes.

He said, “Wesley, you got it. Don’t worry about the weight, it will continue to come off.” So, I went and got certified through AFAA.  My first class was February 1, 2000.  I am now celebrating 19 years in the Fitness Industry.

Throughout my tenure in teaching, I got certified in over 25 formats, became a certified personal trainer, danced for a ballet company, and became a Master Instructor for several formats. I teach at fundraisers, charities, competitions, and fitness conferences.

As a former overweight guy, my weight will always be a struggle. I consistently work on my diet and find ways to shock my body. Looking at old pictures of myself compared to where I am now, I see miles of maturity and shrinkage. Starting from overweight and untoned to fit and muscular.

As a fitness professional, I tell all my students that Group Fitness classes are just a part of the solution.  Your effort to maintain a steady diet must match the effort you make to attend class, using the LA Fitness quote, “You can’t out train a bad diet.”

For some, teaching Group Fitness classes is easy and simple. However, they underestimate the amount of work it takes to prep for class, keep your class current, and always have the energy to be exciting and motivating.

In my 19 years, I have learned it has to be more than just class. It is about the experience. With that, I stress form and technique, stamina and energy in my classes, while providing the best music and variety of exercise.

For all of my peer instructors, personality and education is everything. If you are not engaging and knowledgeable about teaching, then your class will be bored and lack trust in you.

Classes Taught:

At LA Fitness, I teach Step, Kickboxing, Body Works, Power Circuit, Yoga, Pilates, Aqua Fit, Cardio Jam, Boot Camp, and Cycle.

Current Fitness Goals:

I have become even more focused on my weight training and stretching. I want men and women to see the most successful athletes are people with an equal balance of strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Some slight adjustments may have been made for grammar and/or clarity. 


Recommended Reading

Celebrating International Women’s Day: What Women Need to Know About Their Health

Celebrating International Women’s Day: What Women Need to Know About Their Health

“Take control of your health. How you or your body responds to something may be very different from your friend, neighbor or the gal standing in front of you at the coffee shop, so try not to worry or compare yourself to others. You have only one life to live, make it your own and make it your best!”

Kimberly P., MD

Family Medicine Physician , Kaiser Permanente Santa Monica Office

What do women commonly overlook when it comes to paying attention to their health?

KP: Women often care for others’ health care needs before tending to their own. We are great at taking family members to the doctor and we call a friend when they’re sick. However, if it’s us getting sick, we call a friend or research “Dr. Google” and get scared when we read something on the Internet.

Going to the doctor is sometimes last on our list. Some of us are too embarrassed or too busy, and others of us are too afraid to hear what the doctor has to say. But regular checkups are so important as are regular physicals to prevent disease. What’s most important is to listen to your body and seek medical care when you think it may be trying to tell you something. But also, lean on your doctor to guide you through your health concerns.

Are there certain diseases that women are more susceptible to that women should be screened for on a regular basis? How often should those checkups be?

KP: I generally encourage all patients to come in every year for at least a checkup. Discussing your diet, exercise, lifestyle, checking to make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, and having a blood pressure check can prompt conversation for continued health maintenance and surveillance. Tests such as diabetes screening, cholesterol, liver, kidneys, thyroid, and others may be discussed with your primary care physician as well as the interval they are recommended, curtailed individually for you. Blood tests are not necessarily required annually unless there is a medical reason, concern or symptom your doctor wants to check.

There are some screenings that are designed specifically for women.  For example, while both men and women can acquire the HPV virus through sexual intercourse, the HPV virus can also make women susceptible to cervical cancer. For this reason, women are encouraged to undergo regular cervical cancer screenings called pap smears. It is now recommended to start after the age of 21 and to have a pap smear every 3 years between the ages of 21-29 and every 5 years between the ages of 30 to 65, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or with a history of abnormal prior test results.

Breast cancer screening is also important and I recommend annual breast exams with most of my patients who are in their mid-20s and older. The USPTF advises starting mammograms at age 50 and every 2 years after that.  Some women may choose to start this screening at age 40 or possibly even younger (if needed) because of personal or family history but this should be discussed with your doctor.

Lastly, we recommend all female patients of child-bearing age to have STD screenings when sexually active, especially when unprotected. Exposure to chlamydia and/or gonorrhea can lead to scarring and fertility concerns for women if left untreated.

When it comes to improving mental health, what are some tips that women (and men) can do to improve their mental well-being?

Good mental health is essential for all people, men and women alike. Our mental health affects more than just our mood. It also affects our energy, sleep, concentration, productivity, relationships, work, weight, eating habits, and so many more things in our daily lives.  Depression and anxiety are experienced by most women at least once in their lives and 1 in 5 will have experienced it within the past 12 months. My recommendations are to stay active and try to exercise regularly. Starting with something easy and not overly daunting such as 30 minutes, 3-5 times per week is a great starting place. If you can’t make it to a gym, get out of the house for some fresh air, take a walk and stretch! This will help open up your chest and your heart. Find what works best for you whether its yoga, or for me, boxing. There are so many options to explore, see if anything can strike your fancy and help protect your mental wellbeing. Exercise helps promote endorphins- the brain’s natural pain killer- enhancing mood and sleep – and it can show you great results that can, with time, improve the way you feel.

Meditation is also a wonderful practice for mental wellbeing. It can help gain perspective, reflection, and mindfulness. Lastly, don’t be afraid to talk to someone! Whether it’s a friend, religious figure or getting professional counseling, there are people who care and resources to help, especially in time of crisis.

Everyone’s body is different, but when it comes to the general health for women, are there certain foods they should be eating? Increase in their diet?

KP: First and foremost, try to avoid fad diets. Life is about moderation. It’s OK to treat yourself every once in a while, but find a meal plan that works right for you; something you can sustain and is easy to follow for you. Be mindful of portion size and ingredients that are on the labels. Read the whole label!  When possible try to stick to foods that are low in inflammation. Chose nutrition dense foods such as green veggies. Reduce your intake of sugars and processed foods, and opt for whole grains, lean proteins, and leafy greens. Here are some other tips:

  • Eat Fiber
    • Beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are great examples. These foods are a great source of fiber and protein and high-fiber diets have been linked with good intestinal health and bowel regularity, decreased cardiovascular disease, are high in isoflavone (soybeans are the highest), and can help reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms.
  • Eat Yogurt
    • Low-fat yogurt can be beneficial to the intestines as a probiotic to help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Protect your heart
    • 2-3 servings per week of fatty fish (Omega 3 fatty acids: DHA and EPA) such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel can help as an anti-inflammatory for many disease processes including heart disease and stroke.
  • Get Vitamin D
    • This includes low-fat milk, fish (as listed above) and certain juices. You want to be taking in at least 800 iu daily. For those of us who do not have the time spend basking in the sunlight and naturally building or vitamin D levels (sunscreen also reduces natural vitamin D absorption), a diet rich in vitamin D can help with fatigue, calcium absorption and reduce the risk of various disease processes in our body.
  • The Power of Berries
    • Eat fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries. They have a high level of vitamin C and folic acid, but also offer a powerful source of antioxidant (protecting the heart and skin, for example) and an anticancer nutrient called Anthocyanin which helps in cell repair.
  • Eat Red Fruits
    • Tomatoes, watermelon, red grapefruit, and navel oranges provide lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant.

What vitamins are essential for women? Is it better to consume these in daily supplements or in day-to-day foods?

KP: It is best to get your vitamins and micronutrients in your diet rather than chasing after supplements.  Your body is an amazing tool and can more effectively extract the nutrients it needs from the foods you consume than by getting it thru a supplement. However, there are a few diagnoses that may require vitamins:

For example, if you have a diagnosis of osteoporosis, then Calcium and Vitamin D are helpful in bone health. Also, vitamins are essential for women when they are planning to conceive or are pregnant. Taking a daily prenatal vitamin to ensure adequate folic acid and B vitamins are essential.

If my patients really want to take any supplements I encourage Vitamin D, Omega 3 and fiber.  These are the most common things lacking in normal American diets, and even a multivitamin does not provide this for you. A daily multivitamin is generally not necessary.

If you are still not convinced please consult your doctor but always be careful when taking over the counter supplements. Sometimes, taking too much can lead to complications such as liver, kidney or heart disorders that you would have never otherwise known or expected.

Responses provided by Kimberly Petrick, MD, Family Medicine Physician at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Monica Office. Some slight grammatical adjustments were made. 


Recommended Reading

healthy snacks to go
Super Snacking Guide

Super Snacking Guide

Eating healthy between meals is easier than you think! LA Fitness registered dietitian, Debbie James, offers solutions to common obstacles for snacking right with ideas for on-the-go snacks and overall tips.

Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It!

Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It!

You’re never too old to HIIT it!

I want to say thank you to Master Trainer Lauren H. at LA Fitness in Tinley Park for working with me over the past year.

I’m 67 years old. I have a history [of] knee issues and a partial knee replacement on my right leg.

After I recovered from my knee surgery, I promised myself to get back in shape, so I joined LA Fitness. I worked with a personal trainer for about four years [and] lost about 60 pounds. Unfortunately, I was upset when I was told my trainer was leaving because we worked together so well!

So, I started working out on my own. I wasn’t pleased with myself and started to have knee problems again. I stopped going to LA for a number of months. I went back to see my doctor and he gave me a cortisone shot and sent me to physical therapy. I started to feel better again.

I started going back to LA Fitness again and was on the search to find a new personal trainer, and that’s when I met Lauren.

Lauren has done a terrific job working with me, she knows my limits on what I can and can’t do and finds alternative exercises. Lauren has gotten my knees back in shape by teaching proper body alignment/exercises to take the pressure off the knees. My flexibility/posture has improved as well!

LA Fitness just recently started High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. I decided to try one class to see if I could survive it. I was amazed [by] how I got through it. So, I signed up! This is the best thing that I could have done for myself. I just completed my 30th HIIT session and moved up to the second level, which is Bronze status. I continue to burn up to 900+ calories per HIIT session and I feel great. I’m so motivated about my results and look forward to the next session. Now I’m trying to watch my calorie intake and add protein to my diet. Lauren suggested an app to track my daily calorie intake.

Lauren is an exceptional trainer, motivator and friend.

Again, I want to thank Lauren for working with me I couldn’t have done it without her.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2019.

Let’s HIIT it!

– Ed B., HIIT by LAF® Member


Recommended Reading

Member Spotlight | A Father and Son Unstoppable Team

Member Spotlight | A Father and Son Unstoppable Team

My name is Al Allen. The members of my family are the jewels in my crown. My beautiful wife Jude gave me the blessing of two boys; Jacob, 21; and Seth, 14. Since he could barely walk, Seth loved basketball. Even at the age of five, he begged me to teach him and I did, passing on all I learned from my college career. While little league provided highlights and memories when Seth because an eighth grader the competition became more serious. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish his last season of middle school and he said, “Dad, I want to be one of the best players ever to play at my school.” I believed he possessed the ability to attain that ambition.

So, I created a PowerPoint presentation for Seth. The first slide simply consisted of ten words. The next slide listed the goals that he would need to achieve in every game he played in the upcoming season (best shooter, best ballhandler, most athletic player, etc.) The next slide covered the eleven strategies it would take to ascertain those goals. And the next eleven slides itemized five to eleven objective to accomplish those strategies. The season started in three months and the work we committed to seemed daunting. Seth could complete a few of the objectives when he woke up and after finishing his homework. But for most of his training, only one place contained everything we needed to accomplish his vision: LA Fitness.

With all of this in mind, we began our training. LA Fitness became our second home. We trained there three to four times a week, sometimes arriving at six in the morning so we could practice in the gym by ourselves. LA Fitness accommodated [everything we needed]. Seth worked on getting stronger, faster, and quicker. We performed numerous shooting and ballhandling drills. I would play him one on home, mentoring him [on] what he just learned. Then, he would lift weights and complete a plyometrics workout, jumping over boxes and between ropes. Once a week, we would play in a pick-up game at LA Fitness, applying what he learned during the week. We did this for three months. A week before the season began, we played our last pick-up game against college players and adults. One of the adults couldn’t believe how well Seth shot during warm-ups. I told him “you haven’t seen anything yet.” Our team won with [me and Seth] scoring all our team’s points. Of course, it didn’t matter that he scored twenty-four of those points and I scored six. Afterward, I told him “you play the season l.ike you played in that last game, you will become a legend at your school and they will talk about you for years to come. You are ready.”

And ready, he was. He led his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocks, and steals. He played every position on the floor. His dexterity and skills made him unstoppable [at times]. His team finished the season tied for first place in their division. He made the All-Conference team. But we both knew even after his astonishing season, to accomplish his mission, his team would need [to] win the city championship. To succeed, his team would need to win five games in a row against the best teams in the city. Before the first game, I told him he may need to make game-winning shots to advance. I asked him about his nerves. I said confidently “Dad, this is what I trained for.” As if I prophesized it, he dominated and made incredible plays in the last moments to win every game including the city championship. His team won it all as the tournament declared Seth the most valuable player of the entire city tournament. Seth’s school won their first city championship in school history. I think I can say that my son accomplished his vision of becoming one of the greatest players ever at his middle school.

That week produced one of the greatest memories for my family. Seth’s team winning the championship took great coaches and teammates. It took his mom taking him to doctor’s appointments for therapy after injuries during the season. It took multiple motivational speeches from his big brother, Jacob. It took my mentorship. It even took his grandmother’s prayers when shooting free-throws in the last minute. But mostly, it took Seth’s talent, hard work, and character. However, none of it would have been possible without LA Fitness. LA Fitness provided all the tools to assist Seth in fulfilling his potential as a middle school basketball player. Ironically, I can’t help but think of a million commercials where actors pretend a product caused an indispensable impact on their lives. But the Allens are not actors. LA Fitness did offer us indispensable service to accomplish a dream of my son’s. These videos and pictures are not manufactured. This story is not scripted. All of it happened. Most importantly, LA Fitness helped a father and son become even closer. And, by the way, LA fitness helped me lose thirty-five pounds in the last year.

Seth accomplished one dream but a lifetime of dreams light his path and he is just getting started. I will say [this] about Seth, you haven’t seen anything yet.

See you at 6:00AM.

Sincerely,

A proud dad of two boys and a proud member of LA Fitness


Recommended Reading

SUBSCRIBE TO

LIVING HEALTHY

Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest