Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

  • Shavonda Johnson Shavonda Johnson

Feature Friday - Shavonda Johnson

Rec Sports is looking to feature members on campus that embody a healthy lifestyle and a Life in Motion! Take a look at our latest spotlight student, Shavonda Johnson. Shavonda is in graduate school, studying to earn her Master's of Social Work. She recently participated in the Buckeye BarBELLES program with Rec Sports. Read on to learn more about Shavonda's experience with the program and how she lives her life in motion! 


What made you decide to attend The Ohio State University? 

"I decided to attend Ohio State because I loved the campus when I visited! I was a part of a college prep program and Ohio State was one of the schools we toured. I was a first generation college student and I liked the programs that were in place to support first gen students when I was an undergraduate. I stayed for grad school because I fell in love with Ohio State and needed a little more time."


What are some of your hobbies? 

"I enjoy reading and cooking. I also like things that are artsy. The short north and and some of the Columbus theaters have come to be my second home. Orchestras, plays and musicals are good for the soul. I enjoy hanging with my family and friends in the area."


How did you learn about Buckeye BarBELLES? What got you interested in signing up? 

"I learned about BarBELLES through an ad at the RPAC. I saw it and I almost didn't sign up, but it sounded awesome so I decided to give it a try. I was interested because I felt that it would be empowering. I liked that it was for women only."


Can you tell us a little about your experience in the Buckeye BarBELLES program? 

"My experience was nothing short of AMAZING. I loved that we got education about eating, supplements, proper form when lifting and different types of workouts. I also loved the bonds that we got to build with our small groups. Almost all of our group is still connected on social media, including our trainers. We all encourage one another in fitness goals as well as personal and academic goals."


What did you learn in the program? 

"I learned 3 things:

1) Fitness is a marathon not a race. It's okay to move at your own pace and as long as you do a little better every time, improvements will come.

2) Fitness is a lifestyle, not a chore. Before this program, I wasn't consistent because I saw working out as a chore. As I got more comfortable and changed my mindset, it became a more enjoyable part of my day to day activities.

3) It's okay for women to be strong. I learned techniques to get physically strong, but I also learned how to become emotionally and mentally strong!"


What was your favorite part about Buckeye BarBELLES? 

"My favorite part was learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I always struggled with some of the group fitness classes because I was bigger and felt out of place compared to others in the class. While working out in this class I never felt defeated and out of place. I started to become okay with who I was and gained confidence while working out."


What has been your biggest fitness accomplishment since participating in Buckeye BarBELLES? 

"I've lost about 90 pounds (65 since BarBELLES). I have Crohn's Disease, which has proved to be an obstacle for my health. After a major surgery, I decided to that I needed to make my health a bigger priority, especially my food choices!"


Would you recommend this program to a friend? 

"Of Course I would. Every chance I get, I tell women about this program (especially women who are graduate students)! I think that every woman can benefit from having a supportive community in any area of life including fitness! The atmosphere was so positive!"


Since participating in Buckeye BarBELLES, how have you continued to live your life in motion? What advice would you give to someone trying to live a better life in motion?

"I continue to live my life in motion by participating in some type of physical activity at least 5 days per week. I like lifting, but I also love to dance. My best friend is a yogi, so sometimes I tag along to a yoga class with her! I am intentional about using at least one hour of my day to focus on myself and my health. I would would tell anyone that living a life in motion is important because it allows you to become the best version of yourself. If you make a 1% improvement everyday, by the end of the year you could be 365% better!"