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Shona Smith Turned Fitness into Therapy and is Making Her Dreams Come True

Since 2018, we’ve discovered some great fitness influencers with the help of our monthly photo contest on Instagram. Followers tag @prettygirlssweat in their favorite fitness photo, we pick three finalists, and IG users vote by liking their favorite submission. Of course, the post with the most likes wins, but the lucky sweat sister also scores PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT merch and a feature on our site.

The 26-year-old winner for February 2022 has often popped up on our feed, so I was excited to learn more about the  Hillsborough, North Carolina native. Keep reading to learn the Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach’s fitness journey, what she eats before and after a workout, and who she’s inspired by on Instagram.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

– James Baldwin 

Tell us how your winning photo came about? 

After training a client/close friend, I did a short workout, and she talked me into taking the photo. It was summertime, early in the morning, so Texas didn’t feel like a sauna then. I’m glad she did. It came out nice! 

Please briefly share your fitness journey with us. 

I ran track years ago, but I didn’t start taking this current fitness journey seriously until 2019. I moved to Texas from North Carolina to begin my Ph.D. program and was states away from my family and friends, was dealing with a breakup, and school was hectic. So, life was all over the place. Fitness turned into my therapy and gradually became a must for my life. There’s always something new to learn, a technique to fix, and the progress becomes fun to see.  

We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?

My favorite group fitness workouts are dance classes. I’ve been to a few afro-beats and Caribbean dance workout classes that are always fun. My hips are stiff, but I hold the back of the class down, lol.

While working out is essential, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout? 

I love oatmeal before my workouts. I usually train early in the morning, so I eat a proper breakfast afterward. Kodiak protein waffles, eggs, turkey bacon, and a smoothie does the trick. 

What is one item that is always in your gym bag? 

Headphones. Gym playlists are rarely the wave. 

What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow? 

I admittedly have a lot, but a few are: 

  1. @dnicolemonroe
  2. @fitfinesse_ky
  3. @drellejinfit 

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? 

I worked/lived in Barcelona for some time and went hiking around the country. 

What are the top three goals you hope to accomplish in life? 

My current three are to: 

  1. finish my PhD
  2. own a gym
  3. start a scholarship for Black women pursuing their MBA. 

What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?

To me, it means that women are limitless. We can do everything we set our hearts to do and still look good doing it. It also means that training hard isn’t just for men, but that we can get dirty too. 

Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant? 

Secret pH balance (Target, $3.49)

How can readers stay in touch with you on social media? 

@shogeovanni_ on Instagram and TikTok

Want to be a finalist in March? Tag @prettygirlssweat on Instagram in your fitness photos, and use the hashtag #prettygirlssweat.

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