STATUE of David? Pshhh, why bother with that old thing when we could have a statue of Shani?!
Who is Shani? Well she’s our WOTW and when you see her and that slamming figure of hers, you will understand why I am calling her the female version of the statue that epitomises the perfect male body.
Shani Victorin is a Socacize Fitness Instructor/Entrepreneur/Secondary School Teacher; however, today I am focusing on this Shero’s love for health and fitness.
It is no wonder why those who know her describe her as an energetic, vivacious, and eclectic young lady, because it would seem that everywhere you turn, once it involves exercise and fitness, you will find her there working up a crowd with her energetic dance moves.
She said: “If I had to choose an Earth element that represents me, I would say I am an embodiment of the wind. I am free spirited and always dancing.”
Victorin said that from a tender age, she became self aware through the art of dance, classical ballet to be precise, which she studied at the St Lucia School of Ballet and Modern Dance.
She said: “It was through my training that I began to appreciate the beauty of a strong body.”
The fitness instructor admitted to backsliding temporarily whilst at university and it was during that time that she gained more weight than she was comfortable with; however, she soon went back on track in her second year and took to the university’s gym where she discovered her passion for weight training.
Two years later, she took her love for fitness up a few notches and decided to pass it onto others by becoming a certified Socacize instructor.
In 2015 she began teaching Socacize at Vel’s Fitness Center. It was there that the owner, Velda John (who is a multi award winning body building champion) reignited her underlying passion for weight training and encouraged her to participate in a fitness and body building competition.
Although she laughed the suggestion off, she eventually took the advice, participated in the Bikini category of the National Amateur Fitness and Body Building Competition (in August this year) and placed second.
Victorin said that she is driven to drive the message home to women that they should always love themselves by maintaining a healthy lifestyle
She said: “A fruit can look ripe on the outside but be rotten on the inside. So we may look fine but we may have health issues. Most of the Socacize sessions are at a gym, however, there are short segments on the DBS morning show which I hope get persons moving in the comfort of their own home. Our lifestyles have changed dramatically where the little absent minded forms of exercise like taking the stairs, walking to the shop or supermarket, or even walking in the office are gone. I hope that by doing Socacize everywhere I can inspire persons to get moving. It doesn’t have to be with Socacize, although that would be awesome! Walk, swim, ride a bicycle, dance, clean or do conventional exercises. Once you are moving I am happy.”
Victorin feels especially compelled to share this message because “I see so many St Lucians who are out of shape and possibly on the verge of suffering with major health complications. A lot of those persons are young too. I may not know the people I see personally, but I do wonder why they are only loving themselves in one way?! I am not perfect, neither am I a perfect example of someone who loves herself wholeheartedly. No no, I am human and far from perfect, but I do believe that I need to share this ease of fitness with as many people as possible. Let’s love ourselves on the inside and outside.
Victorin said if she could reach out to people individually and give them a few tips on how to go about living that healthy lifestyle that she speaks of, she would tell them: “As India Arie sings ‘It’s the little things.’ The little things make a big difference. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. Alongside increasing your physical movement, be mindful of what and how you eat. There is always time.”
She went on to give her own personal routine. She said: “I used to do a ten circuit before I entered the shower, every time I went to use the shower. 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 lunges on each leg, 10 push ups and then hop in the shower. So if I bathed twice for the day I would have done it twice. In time, I increased the reps to twenty or had a more challenging variation. I would squat to use the toilet even at home triceps dip at your desk in the office, park further away from where you’re going so you have to walk…there are many simple and quick things you can sneak into your day. And rest when you need it.”