Shea Vaughn doesn't look like a grandmother. She doesn't even look like she's old enough to be the mother of actor Vince Vaughn (she's got three other kids, by the way: Victoria, Valeri and stepson Danny). What keeps Shea looking half her age? Her SheaNetics health and wellness classes (sheanetics.com). I sat down with Vaughn to find out why she loves her job for this week's Take This Job and Love It.
Weigel: You combine several different types of methods in your classes, from yoga and Pilates to martial arts and Tai Chi. You describe it as "East meets West" with a nod to the late Bruce Lee, who combined several different fighting styles and philosophies into a way of life that he called Jeet Kune Do. Explain why it's important to use a variety of techniques?
Vaughn: I wanted to make it fresh, creative and challenging. And the challenging aspect is really important. If somebody thinks they are going to find fitness and wellness instantly, they are cheating themselves. They don't want to put the time in. The truth is that nothing is instant. And it's not just about having physical activity in your life, but your diet, and your attitude. It all works together.
Weigel: You talk about using "Five Living Principles" in your philosophy of well-being -- Commitment, Perseverance, Self Control, Integrity, and Love. Why did you choose these specific principles?
Vaughn: These are not words, but things that we bring into our hearts and minds, starting with that contract we make with ourselves to better our lives. I try to get my students to be more present -- to marry mental and physical well-being techniques. Those people who are looking for instant pudding -- they are going to miss the journey. I'd rather do the hard work up front, because if I do, then I know things will get easier. … I always tell people it's about the journey and not the destination.
Weigel: You have almost as many male students as female. Do you find that surprising?
Vaughn: Not at all. Men in general -- even thinking about a yoga or Pilates mat class, they'll look at it and think, "I can't do that move." It's not about the move. It's about the sequences and how they are put together to help them with flexibility to stay in the game and play it longer. I have golfers or basketball players and they say their balance has improved and they become more proficient. Their muscles get more flexible.
Weigel: What's the most rewarding part of seeing your students thrive?
Vaughn: Watching people with health issues feel better is probably the best part of my job. From Parkinson's to back pain or arthritis, people don't realize that by moving and pushing your body, you can improve your flexibility and decrease the pain. My mother was a dancer. She suffered from osteoporosis. She's no longer with us, and I just wish I knew then what I know now.
Weigel: Where can people find your classes?
Vaughn: I teach at several locations on the North Shore, but starting in January, I'll be in the city working with Valeo at the JW Marriott.
Vaughn: It's a revolutionary wellness destination that is opening in January. They have a personalized approach to every guest. We want to help each person define and achieve their fitness and wellness goals. Say someone comes in and says, "I only have time for a foot and head massage" -- then that's what they'll get. Again, it's wellness defined by YOU.
Weigel: And finally, I have to ask -- how's everyone feeling about the new addition of Vince and Kyla's 's baby daughter? (Locklyn Kyla Vaughn was born Dec. 18.)
Vaughn: I love all my grandkids. We feel so blessed. Of course I'm biased but Locklyn's beautiful and sweet. Such an angel was delivered to our family.
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