As part of my new web series, The Role Model In You, here is my most recent interview. The Role Model In You series discusses how individuals were influenced as a child to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covers who influenced these individuals, the changes they made in their life to be healthy, and the message they would like to convey to the youth of today. Our guests include doctors, soccer stars, Super Bowl champions, NBA players, Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and just regular people looking to share their story. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Name, age, title
Shannon Russo-Pollack, 36 +, President, Dasha Wellness Corp, Co-Founder and Director of Lifestyle Services, DASHA wellness & spa
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
Initially my mother inspired me to lead a healthy life. She was always following the latest workout video trends, from aerobics to step workouts, and something about the way that they gave her a jump-start to her day inspired me. Then, as I hit my teenage years, my older brother Sean most inspired me to eat healthy foods and stay fit.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
Sean’s smile inspired me. He had a smile that could light up the room, and he was always was standing tall and laughing. Vain in a good-natured way, even since childhood, Sean was always exercising at the gym, always posing, always admiring his muscles. We did everything, from listening to music to going to concerts- people even said we were twins! He began taking me along with him to the gym, and we became even closer when we started working out together. He taught me how to properly train from age 16, and I learned all about eating healthy foods like brown rice and steamed/grilled lean meats from him. He made living and eating healthily fun, and not just routine, in part because it was our time together. A few years later, I lost my brother, but his healthy lessons continue to stick with me to this day.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
The minute I walk into a room I am able to feel comfortable and to stand tall with a genuine smile. Smiles like his are contagious and welcoming! Sean also taught me to deal with stress in a healthy way, to value health and fitness, and to always be motivated. As a wife, mom, and co-founder (along with my husband) of a lifestyle brand and wellness center that was created to offer a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle, his lesson is something that I have carried with me my entire life, even after losing him.
I am passionate about enhancing the well-being of others. In the same way that my brother inspired and motivated me, I want to do the same through my business in my community. My husband and I are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and teaching our kids to do the same. Throughout the last few years, from losing my brother to starting a business to having two C-section births, my time for myself at the gym was the way I coped with stress, kept my energy level high, lost my baby weight, and stayed centered. It is also a time when I remember Sean most and our time together.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
Constantly- Sean has been part of my children’s lives since the day they were born. As a member of the Lifestyle & Wellness Industry, I have also been able encourage and educate other kids in my community to live a healthy lifestyle, and I practice what I preach. It’s the best way to deliver a REAL message.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Try a variety of flavors and colors in foods. Don’t assume you don’t like it until you try it! Vegetables, fruits, and protein should all be a part of what you put into your body each week. Exercise in gym class. Try to improve. Join the track team and really get your blood flowing- you won’t regret it! Making good choices when you’re a kid will help you reach your goals in the future.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?