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Interview with Shannon Miller, a 7-time Olympic Medalist, Cancer Survivor, and Women's Health Advocate - Blog Puriya

January 02, 2019

Hear Shannon’s story and how she became the most decorated gymnast in U.S history. Learn more about how she maintained a positive mindset that got her to the gold. Find out how she overcame cancer and what she learned from the experience. Discover how she keeps her life in balance today as a busy mom and entrepreneur, and get more information on how she teaches women to make health a priority.

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:01) – Dr. Michelle Burklund: Hello everyone my name is Dr. Michelle Burklund. I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya and this is our living well series where our goal is to give you the tools and foundation to live a healthy life, while introducing you to inspiring people focused on fitness and wellness. So today we have Shannon Miller, seven time Olympic medalist, cancer survivor and women’s health advocate. So thank you so much for taking the time for us today.

(00:27) – Shannon Miller: Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.

(00:29) – DB: So before we get started, I’m gonna read more about your background so other people can understand how amazing and inspiring it is before we get started. So seven time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller, is the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic hall of fame twice. Shannon has won an astounding 59 International and 49 National Competition medals, over half of these have been gold. In 1993-94 Shannon became the first US gymnast to ever win back to back world all around titles. And she is the first American female to medal in the individual all around of a non-boycotted Olympics. Her tally of five medals: Two silver, three bronze at the 92 Olympics was the most medals won by a US athlete in any sport. At the 96 games, she led the magnificent seven to the women’s first ever Team gold and for the first time for any American gymnast, she captured gold on the balance beam. She is the first American gymnast, to win an individual gold medal at a fully attended summer games and cemented her place in the most accomplished gymnast male or female in US Olympic history. So after retiring from Olympic competition Shannon received her undergraduate degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and her law degree from Boston College. She then moved from Olympic athlete to advocate for health and wellness of women and children.

(02:16) – DB: Shannon launched her company devoted to helping women make their health a priority in July 2010. She continues to travel the country as a highly sort after motivational speaker and advocate for health and wellness of women and children. Shannon seeks to empower women to make their health a priority through education and awareness. And in July 2011, Shannon was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. She had a baseball-sized tumor removed successfully, and followed up with an aggressive chemotherapy regime. Shannon has remained open and public about her diagnosis and treatment and continues to empower women to make their health a priority. Shannon is currently cancer-free and continues to be a strong advocate for early detection. Shannon’s book, It’s Not About Perfect: Competing For My Country and Fighting For My Life, is her inspirational memoir written to encourage and empower others to break through and overcome their own personal challenges. Shannon remains involved in the sport of gymnastics and the Olympics as a commentator and analyst. So quite an impressive background and many different things. 

(03:31) – SM: It seems like a lot when you read it all together, but it feels like a different lifetime.

(03:37) – DB: And you’ve done many things in this lifetime, I assume, [chuckle] you’ve definitely had a couple… And so I wanna start off with, I wanna hear more about how you found your passion to become a gymnast at such a young age. And how was your childhood like? How was your life like building this career and being an athlete too?

(03:56) – SM: Well, I started like so many kids out there. I was about five years old when my parents decided that me and my older sister, jumping all over the furniture, trying to do flips by ourself, was maybe not the safest thing for us or for her furniture. So they decided that they would start putting in this thing called gymnastics, and we had never seen it before, we had never done it before, or so we thought. And they just called the recreational gym down the street, and I fell in love. I mean, just that that first day being able to run and jump, and go into a foam pit and climb and go upside down and be encouraged to do so. It was just amazing. And my sister several months later she went on to swimming, to try that but I was hooked. I just, I loved it. And I think for me what drove me the most was challenging myself to do new skills. Oh, okay, well, can I add a flip or a turn or something to make it more challenging or what’s that next thing I could learn, or how can I put these skills together to make it work, or make something cool? And so I think that really kind of kept me going throughout the years because you can never learn everything in gymnastics, there’s always something more to learn and if there’s nothing left, you invent something.

(05:19) – SM: So for me, that was really my quest was just to challenge myself as much as I could and then when I was, oh, I don’t know, maybe 11 years old, I had my first opportunity to compete as part of Team USA. I had made the National Team. And that was incredible to compete for something that’s so much bigger than yourself, to put on that red, white and blue and go out and be with your team. That was just so amazing for this little girl from Oklahoma. That was my opportunity to travel the world and to meet all these new people and all of these athletes that are now lifelong friends. It was just incredible.

(05:58) – DB: Yeah, especially at 11 years old to have that experience and to be at that level to travel with them at a young age too. So tell me a little bit more about how you mastered kind of that mindset to achieve these incredible goals like through hard work and dedication, even at such a young age, too, which is incredibly impressive?

(06:21) – SM: Well, I think the one thing about sports, it’s why there’s so many sports metaphors in life, in business because all of those incredible life lessons that you learn through sports, and I’m a big, big advocate of physical activity for kids, I’m a big advocate of youth sports for the lessons that you learn. Things like for me, positive attitude and mindset, the idea of team work and what does that mean to rely on your team, but also contribute to your team in order to achieve that overall success, the importance of commitment to excellence. And I think my parents really helped us with that. In that understanding of it doesn’t really matter what the task is, how big, how small, but you give it your best. It doesn’t mean being perfect, it doesn’t mean winning all the time, it just means training tearful is giving it a 100% and then after that whatever happens happens. But whether it’s your Math test or a full twisting double back, go out and give it your best. And then I think the idea of goal setting, which is so critical to everything that we want to do and achieve in life and for me, that was a really big one.

(07:35) – SM: And you talk about motivation. And I think it is the goals that help us stay motivated during the monotonous times, the tough times because you have these long-term goals and then you have these short-term goals that you set up in order to do something each and every day in order to achieve that long-term goal. And I think a lot of times we… And I talk a lot of about this when I go around speaking I talk about what I call the gold medal mindset, and it’s kind of a compilation of all these life lessons. But when I talk about goal setting, I talk about the long-term goals and the short-term goals, and the smart goals. But for the most part we all get that, we understand how important that is. What I find that is often left out of the goal setting conversation is that understanding and the importance of follow-through, and I think that’s the most difficult part. I mean we think of new year’s resolutions when we think of getting things done it is the follow-through that matters most. And when I talk to young athletes I always talk to them… I talk to them in terms of the sparkly leotard moment and I love this because it works for everything.

(08:44) – SM: The sparkly leotard moment is the big competition, but it’s also the big board meeting, it’s the big presentation at work, it’s whatever you’re getting ready for. So, in sport, you’re getting ready for the competition, you’re putting on your sparkly leotard, you’re putting on your uniform and you go out and you get to compete in front of all of these people that are rooting for you, cheering for you and it is this spectacular moment, it is a wonderful moment. But I remind them that that’s maybe not the moment that matters most, because the moment that matters most often isn’t the most glamorous. It’s not usually the most exciting, it’s not Instagram-worthy, it is the moment that was back in the hot, sweaty, smelly, chalky gym, doing routine after routine after routine when nobody was watching. There were no judges, there were no cameras, no one was cheering for you but the magic happens in the work that we do each and every day. And so those goals can help us stay motivated to do the work each day.

(09:47) – DB: Definitely. I think that’s incredibly powerful too, just to not only have goals, but to understand what outcome you’re looking for, what feelings you’re looking for along the way too. And it doesn’t have to be… Winning that doesn’t necessarily have to be the end, it’s the experience the whole way through that in the end..

(10:08) – SM: Absolutely. We always hear the journey, it’s the journey that matters most. And it’s true. And I love the gold medals don’t get me wrong but when I look back to my career, yes, I remember that gold medal moment, but that moment is all of those struggles along the way, but it’s all of those great things that happened. It is the friendships that I look back on most. It’s the travel and it’s the challenging skills and it’s the moments I fell right on my face or my backside that helped me understand the importance of getting back up and keep going and know nothing’s gonna be easy all of the time, but that’s kind of what makes it worthwhile.

(10:54) – DB: Definitely. And yeah, just that experience can be applied to every single area of your life throughout your whole life. It’s like you have that amazing foundation, which you really put it to work at a young age to achieve anything.

(11:08) – SM: I was always an old soul. 

(11:12) – DB: So I wanna talk about while you were training, you were training 24 hours a day, I’m assuming or a lot, most of the time. How did you find balance in your life and in your health, then and also now, how have you maintained that?

(11:29) – SM: Well luckily, it wasn’t 24 hours a day. But yeah, so we trained a lot. And I think as I got closer to actually training for a world championship for an Olympic games, probably around the age of 12 or 13, I was training six to seven hours a day, 6 days a week, which now it seems like a lot. I can’t even imagine doing anything six, seven hours in a row. But at the time, that was my after-school sport and I think what helped me keep the balance was really my parents, they kept me so grounded. That was my after school sport. I went to public school and so during the day it was being a regular school kid worrying about your test and your homework and everything else. But then when it was time for workout I didn’t have to worry about that. I just focused on gymnastics and usually I did my homework to gym, usually in the car, when I got home from gym ate dinner, headed to bed. But I think it also helped me manage my time really well.

(12:31) – SM: When you talk about school and I’ve two kids of my own and they’re starting to get more homework, and so I can see now how important it is for me to teach them about procrastination and making sure we don’t wait till last minute and managing our time successfully. That was kind of built into my regimen because I had to. If I didn’t manage my time appropriately, I didn’t get to go to the gym because that’s what my parents said. They said, “Keep your grades up, you can go to the gym all you want and we totally support you.” And then this idea of going to be Olympic games, fantastic, but if your grades start slipping that all goes away because it’s education that’s coming first and family time, of course. So I was able to have that kind of normal life and then switch over to gymnastics when it was time.

(13:24) – DB: Very nice. So you definitely had that balance, and you had all of the priorities to keep it then and to also translate that later on too.

(13:34) – SM: For the most part, yes. I got to do chores at home, just like my sister and brother. So it would have been nice to get out of those, but no.

(13:43) – DB: So I wanna jump a little bit because after the Olympics, it seems that in 2011, you had a huge shock in your life, and you were incredibly healthy, Olympic medalist. This doesn’t seem like something that can happen to you or to somebody you think at that young of an age. So your life changed dramatically. You had a baseball-sized tumor removed and underwent aggressive chemotherapy when you were only 34 years old. And I wanna talk about how were you able to cope with that diagnosis, that shock emotionally? Tell me a little bit about that journey too ’cause I think that’s a lot of power with your history and how you were able to overcome that.

(14:34) – SM: It was a shock. I think you kind of hit that right on the head. It is shocking and it doesn’t matter who you are or what time of life, a cancer diagnosis is always a challenge, it’s like it’s always a shock. At that time, I… Our son had just turned a year old, so the… It really kind of began in the Fall of 2010. And I will be fully upfront that I had called my doctor’s office in order to cancel my exam, I was going to be out of town on that date. I thought, “Oh, I’ve got holidays. I want to spend time with my son. I’ve got all this stuff going on.” My company had just launched that summer. I’ll just push it off till next year, I feel fine. And it was waiting on hold, I had been immediately put on hold and I just felt this weight and this guilt because here I was at this point an advocate for women’s health, and I was doing the exact opposite of what I’m telling other women.

(15:29) – SM: And so I just, when the receptionist came back on the line, I said, “Okay well, can I get on a first available list, I’m gonna not be here on this appointment?” And she said, “That’s fantastic. That was a cancellation on the other line, can you come over now?” So I did. I drove straight over there and that was the morning they found a baseball-sized cyst on my left ovary and that kind of set me into this whirlwind of tests and scans and this excruciating wait and observe period that so many cancer patients are familiar with. And this phase, this first phase, leading up to surgery was just this loss of control. And this, I had so many questions and so few answer. And here I had been this elite athlete for the better part of my life at that point and I really knew everything that was going on in my body. You kind of have to. As an athlete that is your job. You use your body as the tool to quite literally become the best in the world at something, and now you have no idea what’s going on. It’s just, it’s really, really confusing, it’s maddening.

(16:42) – SM: And by January I’m sitting with an oncologist, and he was scheduling me immediately for surgery. He said, it’s not something that’s going to go away on its own, and we need to figure this out. So it wasn’t actually for me, until after surgery, that I found out it was cancer. So I woke up with the news that yes, it was a rare form of ovarian cancer, but they had caught it early and so the prognosis seemed good and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I found out that it was a higher grade malignancy than they originally thought. And I would need to go through a pretty aggressive chemotherapy regimen called the EP and that was going to give me the best chance of non-recurrence. And so I think at that point, that’s when all of those lessons from gymnastics started flooding back and I kind of went from this victim mentality where everything was just happening to me and I had no control to kind of reverting back to that competitive mentality that I had learned through sport.

(17:41) – SM: Okay. We know now what’s going on, we can create this plan of action. And while I don’t exactly know what the outcome’s going to be, I know what I can get up and…

(17:50) – DB: No. I think we lost Shannon just for a second, one… Let’s see if we can get her back on here.

(18:00) – SM: There. I’m fine on the…

(18:24) – DB: I lost you. We lost you there for a second.

(18:26) – SM: No worries. I’m not sure what happened but yes, where’d you lose me ’cause I can talk and talk and talk?

(18:33) – DB: We’re getting more into how your Olympic athlete mentality took over. So you went from victim and then we lost you a little bit during that. So tell us a little bit more about that, that’s an incredibly powerful part.

(18:47) – SM: So I did. So I kind of reverted back to this competitive mentality that I’d learned through sport and I think at that point, we knew what we were dealing with, we had some sort of a course of action, and I feel like… Well, I didn’t exactly know where the outcome was going to be, I knew what I could get up and be a part of and being in somewhat control of each day. So that might just be protein and hydration as I prepared for chemo. But I think the mental aspect was so important at that time and just mentally preparing for kind of the road ahead with chemotherapy.

(19:21) – DB: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So how did you feel when you changed that mentality, when you went and you took the victim mentality aside and you pushed through? So tell me a little bit about that experience and how you came out of it too.

(19:41) – SM: Well, I think whenever you can go from having no control to having some sort of control especially for a type A person like me, even if it may not affect the true outcome at least, if you can be doing something, moving forward in some way, I think that’s always helpful. It’s always positive. And so for me going into chemo that was where I needed to be mentally, if not physically. And so I think for me, just being able to move forward, being able to say, “Okay this is gonna be a tough road, but I’m going to just need to buckle up and kind of do it.” I will say, and that the first week of chemotherapy was a game changer for me. It was the toughest thing I have ever had to do and I’ve had two children. So [chuckle] but for me that first week I couldn’t keep down food or water, I was put back in the hospital at the end of the week, I was hooked up to IVs went through. I don’t even know how many nausea medications, didn’t even faze me. And I just remember that evening… I won’t go into the whole story, but there was a point where I just felt like I just couldn’t do it. I just, I don’t know how to do this.

(21:02) – SM: And it was at that moment a nurse walked in. And I can’t tell you what she did or said I just remember that moment and it was like this light bulb came on, and this word team appeared and granted, my faith is first and foremost. I knew I wasn’t alone in the grand scheme of things, but all of a sudden, I recognized the idea of team. Now very different team than when I was competing, but… And it wasn’t just the medical staff, it was friends and family, neighbors, people willing to pitch in and help out anything for me. That was another turning point. This idea that I went from asking for help is a weakness. I don’t wanna be a burden, I don’t wanna complain to switching over to that. Understanding that asking for help is actually a strength, accepting help is actually a strength and not only did it end up helping me, but it also helped so many around me and I can’t tell you how many people that have come up to me in the years since, and said, “I really wasn’t sure what to do or say but when you asked me for help with this, or asked me for that, it gave me something to do and I appreciate that.”

(22:16) – DB: Yeah, that takes a huge amount of strength just asking for help, and bringing in that team and I think there’s a huge amount of healing going on when you have that team and that support network with you too.

(22:31) – SM: Absolutely. The caregivers that surround you, they are just amazing. It’s one of the things I do talk often about though because we also want to make sure caregivers don’t lose themselves in the process because they give and give and give. And I always wanna make sure that they’re focusing on their health as well and not letting their health slide, while they’re so focused on the patient, on us.

(22:55) – DB: Right, right. I think there’s definitely a balance with that. There’s always a problem with caregivers, where they can enter depression because they’re so focused. So yes, the balance with caregivers is balance with health too. So I want to talk about your current projects and how they’ve been influenced by your past, by this diagnosis and how you’re such a strong advocate for health and fitness. So tell me more about how this experience has helped shape that and what these projects are that you’re doing now with this.

(23:33) – SM: Absolutely. I actually started my company, it launched in the summer of 2010, and my company is devoted to women’s health and fitness and really our mission is to help women make their health a priority. So whatever form that takes, from nutrition and fitness to taking time for yourself, which is often the most difficult, to getting those exams and screenings and kind of everything in between. But the idea for the company started long before that, and it really didn’t have a lot to do with my diagnosis, certainly in the beginning. Really, it came after I stopped competing in Olympic competition and I retired at the ripe old age of 19. And so, my life changed overnight. I kind of went from this competitive athlete to what do I do with those 40 extra hours a week that I have where I don’t have to be in the gym. And at the same time, I moved away from home in order to continue on with my college education, and so everything changed. I no longer had to be anywhere, all of a sudden I wasn’t getting any physical activity, I had never been to a regular gym on a treadmill or anything like that. I do floor routines and beam routines. And I didn’t know how to replace that at the time.

(24:55) – SM: Now, granted for the audience out there, we had no social media, we barely had internet at that time, so it wasn’t like you could just readily Google, what do I do now? So for me, it was coming to terms with where I’m at and even with nutrition, I just ate what my parents served me and they did a really great job. I was eating five or six meals, full meals, a day to try to keep up with the calories I was burning through gymnastics. And so when you go from working out 40 hours a week eating five or six meals a day and then you keep eating the five or six meals a day and you have zero activity, the balance is lost. And I kind of witnessed that. I gained four dress sizes in a matter of months and went, “Woah. What’s going on here?” and I started thinking about health in a different way. And granted, I went through the fad diets like pretty much most everyone in their early 20s, but when I realized none of that worked, I decided to start really researching it and understanding what worked for me and for me it was kind of an everything in moderation approach. And I kind of took that and it just kind of became this passion of mine. And years later when I decided I wanted to start my own business, I really wanted to focus on that.

(26:18) – SM: And I had watched women in my life, my mother, especially, she took care of us kids and she worked full-time and she did all these things, she is amazing, and yet she didn’t always make it to her appointments. That was always the backburner. And I wanted to make sure women understood, that making their health a priority is not a selfish act. And I think the cancer diagnosis for me, showed me that more than ever. It shined this light on this understanding that if I’m not healthy, if I don’t take care of my health, I may not be able to be here for all of those who depend on me including at the time, my 14-month-old son. So for me, it became very crystal clear and now if I ever have that wavering of oh, I just… I don’t know if I can go to that workout, because we tend to do this to ourselves. Oh, because I’ve got so much work to do. Oh, because I’ll be missing time with my kids or oh, I won’t be there for that. I stop and I say, “Okay, but what’s more important? That I can run and jump and play with them, that I can be active with them, that I’m healthy for them or that I made a 30-minute dinner instead of a 15-minute dinner tonight.” I try to really look at it and really think about what my priorities are.

(27:42) – DB: Right. I 100% agree with that in so many ways. I feel like as a physician trying to get people to take charge of their health, and to grab it and to understand how important it is and how, in the long run, it’s a benefit for everyone this way versus if you cut out this now or cut out that then in the long run it’s hurting everyone, not only yourself but everyone involved too. So what I wanna talk about is a key thing that I always see in a clinical sense, is the most difficult part is not only to make people have… Like put themselves as a priority, but the motivational aspect. You can say all day, “Oh, and I want you to eat more greens or I want you to drink more water.” But from your standpoint and your expertise, what would you tell our audience too? How would you motivate them and tell them that it’s important for them to be a priority?

(28:47) – SM: I think the motivation comes from feeling like you actually can accomplish the goal. And I think oftentimes we set ourselves up for failure. We set the goal so high that… Okay, I wanna run a marathon and you’re sitting on the couch and you’re nice and comfortable and you’re thinking, “Well I really need to go run a marathon, but I can’t run a marathon, so you know what, I’ll just go ahead and sit here.” instead of thinking maybe I just need to walk around the block one time today. Okay, I can walk around the block one time today. And gosh, the dog needs a walk too or maybe my kids wanna come with me and that’ll be our opportunity to talk and they can leave their cellphones at home, and we have to turn this around in our head, and I really feel like baby steps, kind of that bite-size approach is so important, because we’re in this day and age where it’s okay, don’t eat this entire food or this entire food group. And if you’re not getting X amount of exercise then it’s all for nought. And it’s not true. I think any physician, most people will tell you that moderation matters, doing a little bit each day.

(30:04) – SM: So, if you’re gonna replace one soda with a glass of water everyday do that for a week, and see how you feel. And then the next day choose something else small. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and see how you feel when you go to bed 15 minutes earlier, or 10-minute workouts. I actually started filming 10-minute fitness videos and putting on YouTube so that people could just see that you could get a really good 10-minute workout and if you do that once a day great, it’s better than nothing. But you know what, if you did it twice a day, and then you took a walk at lunch, there’s your 30 minutes of activity each day. And then you start to feel better, then you start to want to eat more nutritiously and it just kind of snowballs in such a positive effect. So I think being able to make those small incremental changes, when you do that over time it makes such a huge difference to your health and wellness.

(31:00) – DB: Definitely, definitely no question. And I like that approach too. It’s less overwhelming. I think that a lot of people… They get a prescription or they need to change so hugely and they feel like they just have to jump into it and then everything falls apart. So having that guidance, having smaller goals that are a lot more manageable can really help too.

(31:19) – SM: Well, and I know, I simply don’t possess the will power to do these grand gestures. I can do it for a few days, but then I go back to whatever I was doing before. But I know that I can make small changes. And if I just kinda tweak my diet, tweak my exercise I think… I draw the line at getting to exams and screenings. You just put that on your calendar, and you just do it and you set the date and you get there. But other than that, I think if you can just kind of get yourself to do a little bit and I do sneaky things to get myself to be motivated. I know that I’m not gonna… I’m no longer that person that can workout in the afternoon. If it doesn’t get done in the morning, I have a zillion emails, I have a zillion things that are gonna happen, someone’s gonna call home from school, they’re you know… Someone’s not gonna be feeling well and have to come home early, something’s going to happen. And so I put my shoes on first in the… My tennis shoes on first thing in the morning, put my workout clothes on. I take the kids to school, and I don’t even come home. I don’t do anything until after I’ve gone to the gym and that’s how I get it in ’cause if I come home, that’s it.

(32:29) – DB: So it’s just part of your routine. It’s part of the process, it’s in the…

(32:35) – SM: It is. It is. And I’m a big advocate of scheduling your day and scheduling it in just like a dentist appointment, just like getting your kids to school, it’s on your schedule. Now, it doesn’t have to be an hour every day for exercise, but something, some physical activity and some me time whether it’s 10 minutes or it’s 20 minutes, but sitting with a good book for 10 minutes with a cup of tea or whatever that looks like to you. Maybe it’s some yoga, maybe it’s just some meditation, but whatever that is, build that into your daily routine. For me, it’s usually the first 10 minutes when I wake up, and that’s how I kind of set my day, I get kind of in the right mindset, I go through my day in my mind, but I also really think about all of those things that I can be grateful for and it just sets me up to have a positive morning and a positive day.

(33:30) – DB: Right, right, and there’s a huge amount of power in that as well. So you’ve discussed a little bit already about how you keep balance and how you have your morning routine and I wanna go a little bit into your book too, ’cause we haven’t touched on that too much. Tell me about your book and what inspired you to write that, and how did you put that all together as well?

(33:56) – SM: Absolutely. Well, before I get to the book, I will mention as far as balance, I will, I fully admit that there are moments of my life that are pure chaos. So I don’t want anyone out there thinking that I have this perfect daily routine and that I’m completely balanced because that’s not the case. I try my best just like everyone else out there, but things happen and for me, every day is different. I might be traveling, I might be home, I might have meetings soon, so just like everyone else out there, I’m always juggling. And so this idea of balance I think is sometimes a little bit more of an idea than a reality, but we just kinda do the very best that we can. So that being said, so I wrote this book and it was actually more of kind of a self-help genre, in the beginning and then of course the publisher was like, “Oh you need to add more gymnastics. And we need to know about your background and you as a child.” And so it became more of a memoir. Even though I feel like I’m a little young to be writing a memoir, but that’s okay.

(35:01) – SM: And though I wrote this book, it really started kind of as a short story, kind of as a blog at the time where I was just kind of writing down, so both my thoughts and feelings as I was going through chemo, and recovering and people were asking how things were going and what not, and it was a little bit cathartic as well for me. And I recognized that I really started thinking about how many lessons I learned through sport that I then was relying on so heavily during chemotherapy and during recovery. And I thought these lessons are not just for gold medalists. You don’t have to wear a leotard, you don’t have to do cartwheels to utilize these incredible life lessons. And so, I wanna write them down. And so I started doing that and then it ended up turning into this full-fledged book. And so that’s really what the book is. Yes, it’s got some of my life story and what not, but it’s really meant to be an inspirational and hopefully motivational book for those that are going through any kind of challenge, and it doesn’t really have to even be health, it can be anything that you’re dealing with big or small and just kind of understanding what is that gold medal mindset and what are those tools that we can utilize every day to help us continue on that path and really overcome some of the challenges that we face.

(36:20) – DB: You’re right. I think that’s fantastic too. I think that’s great.

(36:24) – SM: Thank you.

(36:26) – DB: Stress is such a huge thing in people’s lives and so many things can affect it, and having those tools in whatever capacity and knowing how to overcome them is priceless and putting themselves as a priority during that too is incredibly important. So well, thank you so much for talking today about your history, about your journey through cancer, what you’ve learned from it and how it’s helping other people too. I think that’s incredibly important to get out there and to teach them on so many different levels, not only putting themselves as a priority but having that deep compassion and understanding that journey too, and doing everything they can. So thank you.

(37:11) – SM: I appreciate that. Thank you.

(37:13) – DB: Is there a way our viewers can get a hold of you. A website that they can visit to find you and see everything that you’re doing as well.

(37:24) – SM: Absolutely. Very easy. Just my name shannonmiller.com, and of course follow me on social media.

(37:30) – DB: Perfect, perfect. Well, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule today to talk to us and to inspire the people and let us all know what you’re doing too.

(37:40) – SM: Absolutely, thank you so much for having me. Thank you for all that you’re doing.

(37:44) – DB: Thank you, thank you very much Shannon. Take care.

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