October Athlete of the Month

Diane Shannon

Meet October’s Athlete of the Month, Diane Shannon

Diane joined Fit Crew in May of this year as one of Niels’ personal training clients. Over the past five months she has shown an extreme level of dedication and effort, coming to the gym twice a day sometimes while still tending to her family. Mid-October, Diane hit her 50 lb weight loss mark, a huge achievement that was well deserved (and celebrated).

Diane’s positivity is contagious. She’s kind to all and gives encouragement to everyone within the Fit Crew community. We’re so proud of her and happy to have her as part of our gym. Congratulations, Diane! We can’t wait to see what you achieve next.

Tell us about yourself.

I am 51 years old (shhh don’t tell anyone, it’s not nice to tell a ladies age). I have been married for 27 years to Sean and we have two beautiful grown girls, Kristina (who is married to Rob and living in Michigan) and Andrea, who lives here in Bradenton with us. I am also a proud mama to Zoe a 9-year-old black lab and I have a feisty beagle grand-dog named Oliver.

I am originally from Michigan where I attended Kettering University and received my BS in Industrial Engineering. I have spent the majority of my career working in the Automotive industry with a 10-year hiatus being a stay at home mom, which is the hardest yet most rewarding job I’ve had. We moved to Bradenton in 2013 for my job, where I am currently a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Dentsply Sirona Orthodontics – a Medical Device Manufacturer – I am responsible for the Global Supply Chain.

I have always LOVED sports. My dad raised me to be the biggest hockey, baseball, and football fan. My sport of choice, though, was volleyball. I played from middle school through college.


How did you get started at Fit Crew?

A series of unfortunate events led me to have 4 surgeries in 3 years, including two rotator cuff repairs in 2016. That said, I gained a lot of weight. So in the Spring, I started talking about joining a gym and doing personal training, but I was really concerned about re-injury. As a result, I was being very cautious and selective. Then my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma. As you can imagine, that sent us spinning and I let the “gym” plan fall to the side. When the decision to start chemo was made, Sean knew I would need something to keep me focused instead of worrying. He did his research and one day in April he came home from work and insisted I look at the Fit Crew website. I did what anyone would do and said, “ok I’ll get to that later.” He wouldn’t leave me alone (actually he was relentless) until I emailed Fit Crew and asked to set up a personal training consult. I met with Niels and the rest is history. What started as a coping mechanism has become a real passion for me and permanent part of my lifestyle.

What has been your proudest athletic moment?

That really is a trick question for me. Each time Niels greets me at Fit Crew with the infamous WHITEBOARD and says “This is going to be tough, Good Luck”, it is GAME ON. My proudest moment is every time I finish what he challenges me to do. But if I had to pick a single thing, in particular, it would be the first time I rowed 10,000 meters straight. Of course losing over 50 lbs is pretty cool too!

What is your favorite and least favorite movement/lift/drill?

I just started lifting and am really enjoying it. I love anything that I know is making me stronger and leaner. When I started training, I hated the Airdyne bike. I would look around to see if anyone noticed that I was desperately gasping for air after 30 seconds of pedaling… but now I love it. Same with the rower, it’s a love-hate relationship. Truth is, I am just amazed and happy when I can do something I couldn’t do before. Yes, even cardio, who would have thought that!?

What do you think makes Fit Crew different from other gyms that you’ve tried in the past?

It is the people, the community atmosphere, the knowledge of the coaches and the encouragement I get from people around me when I am in the middle of doing something really difficult. It comes down to this for me. Fit Crew is a place where your successes are celebrated openly and your failures don’t mean weakness, they just become your next goals.

What do you like to do when you’re not training at Fit Crew?

I love being outside. I love to garden. I love to float in my pool. I love to hang with my family. I also really enjoy studying leadership and mentoring/teaching others to be the best “them” they can be.

Tell us a fun fact that we might not already know about you.

I am an extreme weather nerd, storm chasing is on my bucket list!