Shannon Perez - IFBB Bikini Pro

Here is my story from amateur NPC competitor to IFBB Bikini Pro!

My journey in competing started truly in July of 2016. I traveled to Las Vegas with some friends for a girls weekend only to arrive during USA Championships. There were competitors every where! Saturday night we went out to a club and I ran in to some female competitors and got to talking as I had always be intrigued by this lifestyle. I had been going to the gym for about two years at this point teaching myself whatever I could from fitness blogs and forums. When I got home from this trip I began to look in to competing in more detail and that November I reached out to who would be my first coach!

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Ok long post ?? . . So last night I competed at the @craigproductions 2018 Emerald Cup! I was in a stacked line up of 20+ girls who all were stunning! I ended taking 1st place in my class! Which if you know this show, is such an accomplishment! Although I would have loved to add such a prestigious overall title to my past titles, I am beyond content! ???? . This show was so much more than that! I was able to see one of my best friends @jessssssssssssc_ compete for the first time and KILL it taking home a top 5 win! ???? ??!! You did the damn thing girl and I’m SO proud of you!! . . I am more ready then ever to kill these next 4 weeks in to JR USA’s in Charleston, SC!! Coach @caseymfit and I are already in the works! Speaking of...I am beyond thankful for my team @teambossbodies and all of their positivity and amazing support, you girls are the best and truly made me feel all the love! ???????? . . Suit : @cjselitesuits Bling/Shoes : @glamcompjewelry Glam: Your girl ??????? .

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I started my first prep in January of 2017. I was at my heaviest weight I had ever been and knew I had a long road ahead of me. Week after week I grinned in the gym and was strategic in the kitchen. In June of 2017 I stepped on stage for the very first time at the Tanji Johnson Classic here in Washington State where I live. This day was a complete DREAM! I not only won the Novice Overall, but went on to win the Bikini Open Overall! I was hooked! Fast forward 5 weeks and I was back on stage for the NPC Washington State Open Championships! Another amazing show and night as I took home my second overall title and became officially nationally qualified.

It took everything in me to decide to take a full off season instead of going to nationals in 2017, but I did and I think in the end this was best. I had only been lifting weights for about 2.5 years and lifting smart for less than 1. It was during my off season in 2017 that I realized I needed a different approach to coaching. This is when I found Casey Marshall and Team Boss Bodies! I joined the team in the fall of 2017 during my off season to be able to start my prep to the national stage in 2018! The chase for the Pro Card was on!

My body was in a much better state this time around and I wanted to step on one last regional stage so I decided on the biggest show in the Pacific Northwest… The 2018 Emerald Cup. By April I was ready. I got on stage and took 1st place in my class and 2nd in the overall. Seeing as I was truly a few weeks out from my planned national debut I was very happy with this outcome. I mean… I was only doing 6, yes SIX minutes of incline walking a day!!! After Emerald Cup I went right back in to “prep mode” and went in to JR USA’s in Charleston, SC with such a fire lit inside me. My national debut was a pretty great success! I ended up taking 3rd in my class of nearly 30 girls! I was upset at first of course. I had not gone there and achieved what I had set out to. I did not come home from Charleston an IFBB Pro. But I had this feeling in my heart that I KNEW when my time would come.

After talking with Casey about what other national shows I wanted to go for there was no doubt in my mind there was one, just one that I NEEDED to do. The one show that started it all and sparked my interest in competing. The night after JR USA’s I was already booking flights, reserving hotels and making a game plan to make my way back to Las Vegas for USA Championships 2018!

The weeks FLEW by. Other national shows were going on in the mean time and I was watching girls from my class at JR USA’s turn pro left and right. Until I was the final one in the top 5 to not go pro yet. Needless to say the pressure was on! I let it drive me, not consume me. It is so hard to explain, but I just knew. I knew my time would come in Vegas and I truly can’t explain how, but I knew.

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Wow. Where do I even start. I am just a girl from a small town in WA who never set her sights on big dreams. Who had settled for average and kept herself there. Who felt let down after let down, set back after set back. Who just a couple of years ago didn’t think it was possible to reach goals so big. Well here I am. Here I freaking am! An IFBB PRO! A goal I had set for myself but kept quiet over the course of this journey. You could not have told me that when I started competing that this would be my reality. I was so lost, so broken down, and I made it y’all ?? I am proof that no matter where you come from, no matter what you have been through and who has doubted you, you are capable of whatever you set your mind to!!! I am so thrilled and honored to be part of the #IFBB professional league and get to live my absolute dream ????. To show my nieces and nephews, cousins, family and friends that any dream, absolutely any dream can become a reality if you work hard enough! Thank you to everyone who believed in me, supported me and road along this journey with me! Y’all make it that much more special ?? And last, but not least thank you to the man in this picture! For believing in me and seeing more in me then I did myself. You are my rock, I love you Josh ???? . . A huge THANK YOU to my coach @caseymfit for believing in me and helping me to achieve my goals! My team @teambossbodies for all the love and support! I LOVE YOU! My girl @caro_the_cat for gifting me this suit and helping me shine on stage! @musclecontest For putting on such a fabulous show and making me already feel like a true Pro! The NPC and IFBB for seeing in me what I dreamt of becoming ???? . . Suit: @cjselitesuits Glam/Shoes: @glamcompjewelry Hair: @caro_the_cat ?? Makeup: @lebou_beauty . .

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The day came. Friday. Prejudging at Artemus Hall Performing Arts Center at UNLV for Muscle Contests 2018 USA Championships. I stepped on stage with a new suit, new vibe and the best package I had brought to date. As all the girls lined up along the sides of the stage my heart was pounding. I was just praying they would call my name. Finally… it happened. First call outs!!! As we were compared I could hear my coach and teammates in the crowd screaming my name, but all I was focused on was the judging panel. I felt so comfortable. I felt at home. I don’t even know how it happened, but the next thing you know I am splitting dead center of first call outs and then Sandy calls off the top 3… me being still in the middle. The three of us got off of the stage and looked at each other and nearly cried of excitement!

I went back to the Air BnB I was staying at with my mom, boyfriend and teammate and was still just in complete shock. Needless to say… I barely slept that night waiting for Saturday and finals to come! I woke up feeling the most energized and ready I had ever felt. I remember going to get my make up done and tan touched up and thinking, but never saying out loud “I DID IT!! I DID IT!!”. Sure enough, later that evening on the same stage as the day before they called out the top five on stage, myself included. As they read off the names in order of placing I just waited in disbelief. 5th,4th,3rd,2nd…and then… “First Place tonight for Bikini Class D and your newest IFBB Bikini Pro is… Shannon Perez!”. I could have cried my eyes out right there on stage, but I held it together.

All of the months of hard work. Lifting heavy in the gym to build a better physique, sprints to bring my legs down, eating my diet 100% to the gram, picking out the best suit, shoes and jewelry and in return bringing the best ME to the stage were 100% worth it! I can now say that I am an IFBB Bikini Pro!

After Vegas I was in need for a much needed off season and reset. For two years in a row I spent a majority of those years in prep. My body was tired and I knew I needed to grow. So that has what I have been doing. Growing, learning and evolving to prepare myself for my pro debut. 2019 may be the year this happens, but for now I am enjoying pushing myself in the gym and eating good!

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I was nominated by my lovely teammate @broganburwick to share 10 facts about me! So here we go! . 1?? I was born and raised in northern WA state and have never left. #PNWtilidie ?? . 2?? I have 3 older siblings which makes me the youngest, and obviously the favorite ??????? . 3?? My entire life people would guess what nationality I am, and usually guessed either Asian or Native American...but I am actually half Mexican and the other half is a mix of Dutch, Italian and German! . 4?? I took AP art classes my entire 4 years of HS and actually always dreamt of being an artist ?? . 5?? I am obsessed with cooking shows and my favorite channel growing up was The Food Network . 6?? When I was younger my family always said I would be a comedian because I am fucking hilarious duhhh ?? . 7?? I was an aunt at the age of 7 and am actually a great aunt as well! . 8?? My birthday is 4 days after Christmas and I will be 28 this year, no big deal, I’m fine, I’m fine ??????????? . 9?? I love cars! I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a child. I used to collect Hot Wheels instead of Barbies ???? . ?? Lastly, I actually used to pose for staged wedding photos and some have even been published in bridal magazines! ???? . . I hope this helped get to know me a little better aside from just fitness! Now let’s hear from some more amazing ladies out there! ?? . .

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I do have some shows that I would love to do, but I am not saying much right now ;). Just know that I am no where near done yet. Competing changed my life for the better and I don’t plan on my fire going out anytime soon!

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