Her Story with Shanie Rusth: The Woman in the Arena

Shanie UFC.jpg

With Shanie Rusth’s time spent as a professional MMA athlete, the title of her Spotlight interview is very much literal, but also so much figurative. If you haven’t read the Theodore Roosevelt speech this title references, you’ll have to check out the full “Man in the Arena” speech here because it’s such a good way to describe Shanie and a good reminder for us all to get into that arena of life.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive, who knows great enthusiasms...
— Theodore Roosevelt

The amount this girl shows up in life is truly inspiring. She’s been in a professional MMA fighting ring twice and in multiple Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments. She sells UFC Gym franchise locations across the continent and travels regularly. She models. She wakes up at 4:30 AM to make sure her own workouts get in. She is a lead instructor for an online boxing fitness app. She designs her own workout clothes for those videos. She is a personal development addict. She is a single mom to two lucky kiddos (who has been seen long-boarding with them through town!). She takes chances and tries new things, knowing there is no failure, only learning, and keeps moving forward no matter what.

And she does this all with a smile and positive attitude, not because her life is perfect without any problems, but because she has made the choice to show up that way.

It could be easy for someone to look at her and think how lucky she is to do all that she does. I know that she is very grateful for it all, but she’s not lucky. Rather, she’s had the courage to show up and take leaps into the unknown and fear, towards her goals, time and time again.

I know there are many other women reading this who have also pushed past fear and showed up for themselves and their dreams, so you will appreciate Shanie’s outlook below. And if you’re needing a little nudge, or motivation or sign to make a jump into something that’s been pulling at your heart, consider Shanie’s message below it :)

Meet Shanie! - Fun Facts:

  1. I've never eaten meat! I'm a lifelong vegetarian, raised that way by my mother. I drink fresh juice and smoothies daily and have since I was a baby.

  2. I have a huge family and am the youngest of four sisters and two brothers.

  3. I have always been on my hustle. I grew up in the entertainment industry and have been working since the age of 5. I was able to move out and live on my own when I was 17. I was a mother of two by age 20 and a single mother two years later. Brody (11) and Lola (9) are my blessings and reasons for everything.

  4. I was born at home, and gave birth to both of my children naturally with a midwife. I breastfed both children back to back (for 4 years straight!) and made all of their baby food from scratch out of organic produce. My daughter is a vegetarian by choice, following my footsteps.

  5. My favorite hobbies include anything involving the sunshine and sweat. I was on the surf team in high school and started training in mixed martial arts after my children were born. I hold a professional record in MMA of 2-0 and have collected quite a few medals from BJJ tournaments

So many in our audience are multi-passionate women and I know you're similar with having a few different balls in the air - Could you give us a quick overview of all the things you're up to right now?

I work at UFC GYM's corporate headquarters in Newport Beach as a Franchise Development Associate, selling North American franchises for both UFC GYM and their new boutique fitness studio concept, CLASS by UFC GYM.

I also am an on demand, virtual boxing coach for FightCamp powered by Hykso Boxing. You can access my boxing/HIIT classes anytime through the Fightcamp app!

I design all my own outfits for FightCamp filmings with Ryan Gregg (owner of Built to Fight Industries and OTM Fightshops) and have discovered through this that I have a passion for designing! I aspire to one day own my own fitness apparel and bikini line.

Photo by: FightCamp - Some of Shanie’s workout apparel designs!

Photo by: FightCamp - Some of Shanie’s workout apparel designs!

In addition to all of that, you're also a mama to 2 kiddos - What advice could you give to us when we sometimes feel like we don't have enough time to pursue our passion projects and side hustles?

My mantra is "Get it, girl!" and I constantly psyche myself up for whatever task I am about to accomplish. We are all given the same hours in a day. Your success is determined by how well you utilize them. I simply don't the have the time to think or stress about how busy I am and I just get shi* done! Human willpower and mindset is a magical thing and you can truly accomplish anything you want to. Manifestation is legit. The secret is to keep it positive.

Of all the things you've accomplished already in life, what's the thing you're most proud of and why?

I am the most proud of my two greatest creations... Brody and Lola! Being a mom is sometimes the most difficult and always the most rewarding accomplishment.

Shanie and her daughter, Lola.

Shanie and her daughter, Lola.

What's something you've "failed" at and what did you learn?

I fail at something at some point almost daily! The most important thing I have learned is that there are no failures, only lessons. I have learned from all my failures, big and small how to keep a positive mindset and to always keep pushing forward. No matter how tough it is, you will get through it and come out a better, stronger, and smarter version of yourself.

I have learned there are no failures, only lessons.

What has been the main key so far to helping you get to where you are?

My biggest attribute to getting me to the point I am in my life is my susceptibility to change. So many people fear change because it is unknown and uncomfortable, but I welcome and embrace it. I have learned that life is a cycle and it is always evolving. They key is acceptance and non-attachment.

Shanie and Rob McCullough, UFC Master Trainer

Shanie and Rob McCullough, UFC Master Trainer

What are common mistakes or myths you see other people get tripped up on for why they might not be where they want to be?

I think most people get discouraged when they fail at something and just give up. DON'T GIVE UP!!!! Keep going and do it over and over again until you get it right. You should have seen me the first time I tried to throw a kick. Or even the thousandth time, because it was still horrendous and I felt humiliated that I couldn't get it right. But, I never gave up.

I still consider myself a beginner even though I have fought in a cage twice. Practicing martial arts for the past six years has taught me so much about myself and all lessons are applicable to life.

Life is a cycle and it is always evolving. They key is to acceptance and non-attachment.

I've heard you say before how empowering it is to know you can protect yourself if you ever had to - While most of us probably won't get to the level where you are, what might be a good first step for someone to take who's interested in knowing more about boxing/BJJ/MMA but might be intimidated to start?

UFC GYM is a wonderful place for women to begin martial arts training. Almost 50% of our average member base is female and they have specialized classes like women's only BJJ and self defense workshops. I've found popping through many of our locations that most of the classes like boxing or kickboxing conditioning are female dominated. If there isn't a UFC GYM near you (locations are found on www.ufcgym.com) do some research and try and find a martial arts gym with women's classes or a large female member base. Most studios gyms offer a free trial class, so call around or look up reviews on Yelp.

Also, you can always take my boxing/HIIT classes with no gym needed by downloading the FightCamp App! There are instructional videos for beginners and classes available for every level designed to work your entire body and classes range from 15 to 50 minutes long.

Photo by: ActionShotz.net

Photo by: ActionShotz.net

What routines do you have that helped you be successful?

I wake up between 4:30 and 5 am Monday-Fri. This way, I can start my day off right and get a workout in!

The key to success is organization. I do a load of laundry every night, so it doesn't pile up and I spend a ton of time preparing everything for the day the night before (check homework, make kids lunches, pick out their and my outfits for the next day, tidy up the house, and prepare any necessary notes or work assignments) and try to stick to a routine.

I almost never watch TV or or stop moving from the second I wake up until it is bedtime. I rarely get enough sleep, but have found that I am happier when I sleep less and workout more. Sacrifice!

Human willpower and mindset is a magical thing and you can truly accomplish anything you want to. Manifestation is legit. The secret is to keep it positive.
Shanie and her son, Brody.

Shanie and her son, Brody.

What is a book(s) and/or podcast you would recommend for others around personal development, positive mindset, or fitness?

I am a Joe Rogan fanatic! I attribute his podcast to keeping my sanity during my 3 hour a day traffic ridden commute from LA to the OC and back.

Some great books I have read are The Secret, The Four Agreements, The Power of Now, Never Split the Difference, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Think and Grow Rich, and The Art of War.

What's a favorite quote or mantra that you refer to regularly?

Get it, girl!

Photo by: FightCamp

Photo by: FightCamp

What's a goal you're pushing to accomplish before the end of the year OR what big project/next phase are you looking forward to?

I have some things in the works but they are top secret! ;)

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us ladies that wasn't asked?

I love you all! Women are amazing and powerful beings and we should all be striving to show the world how truly capable we are. Girl Power!

How can people find out more about you and learn more about FightCamp?

You can keep up with me on Instagram by following @ShanieSMASH Or checkout @fightcamp_ .

Get a Free 30-Day Trial with Shanie here!

Studio boxing-fitness workouts led by world-class trainers that you can do at your convenience from the comfort of home.

Show Shanie some love and comment below to let her know about a key takeaway you got from her interview!