Leading Lady: Shannon Moyer-Szemenyei

Listen up moms!

I’m a mom of two incredibly busy boys (Owen - 5, Graeme - 1), run a doula practice, am a wife, runner, chauffeur, mentor, coach, woman…..the list goes on and on. I have recently been feeling burnt out by running, so have been switching gears to incorporate hiking and crossfit into my training for the Women Run London 10k, and the Canada Army Run Half Marathon…two back to back races that mean a great deal to me on a personal level. 

I want all of the mom’s out there to listen up for a minute. I never, not once in my 33 years, thought I could run. Never. I was always that dumpy, geeky, artsy kid in high school. I never felt comfortable or attractive, never felt popular or like I fit in. 
I finally started to feel like I knew who I was in my later years of University, when I met the guy who would become my husband and the father of my babies. Then, my Dad passed away suddenly (10 years this October) and life took a turn. Depression set in, fear and anxiety ran rampant in my brain and I didn’t know who I was…all over again. 

In 2010, we met our first son, Owen. He’s a pretty awesome little dude; super curious, never stops talking, always building Legos and playing superheroes. I wouldn’t have it any other way! We overcame a hard pregnancy, traumatic birth, breastfeeding issues and postpartum depression…and have lived to tell the tale. It has certainly shaped who we are as parents and me as a woman. 

After giving birth to Owen, I knew something needed to change. I knew I needed to change, and I certainly didn’t want to leave my boy too soon like how my Dad left us. I took my health into my own hands, started training at a gym, did the Insanity program in 2012 and then started running in May 2013. 
I think it takes a decently big life event, either positive or negative, to make you realize that you need to change your course. I’ve found myself again, a much stronger and more capable person, each and every time that I lace up my shoes and go for a hike, run or lift heavy things. 

When I look back on those 33 years of mine, I’m darn proud of where I am now. I’ve tapped into a power inside my core and realized that the strong person I see in the mirror now…she was always there. I think she just needed some flashy running leggings and fancy shoes.

How far will she go?


Why do you run?

I run for the mental clarity; being a mom and an entrepreneur is hard work. I need the mental break from it sometimes!

How did you get into running?

I completed Insanity in March 2013 and thought “ok, now what?” So I started…one foot in front of the other.

What’s currently on your running playlist?

Shut Up and Dance is a favourite, as well as the entire LOVE album by The Beatles. I like singing along while I run.

Which one are you?

Slow and Steady Kinda Gal

When do you like to get movin’?

Evening Evangelist

How many KM do you log per run?

5 KM

Let’s be real, do you fartlek?

Is that a spelling error?

What do you wear?

The latest and greatest

How do you wear your hair on a run?

Pulled back with the brightest headband EVER

What do you eat/drink after a run?

All.the.things. Ha! If it’s a big race, the girls and I usually stop for Starbucks or burgers. And yes, we wear our medals.

Who do you run with?


Where do you run?

Don’t care - as long as I get my miles in I’m happy

Describe your funniest running/fitness moment:

I’m not sure that I really have any!! I’m usually that earbuds in, singing to the music and thanking the volunteers as I run by type runner.
I think the only relatively funny moment that I had was this past August when my bff, Heather, and I did Roughneck Stampeded Mud Run in Burford, ON. I had to pee SO BAD at one point, and saw that there was an innertube water obstacle coming up. Well…once I wiped out and had to swim to shore…I did so rather slowly…so I could pee! 5km and 19 obstacles with no porta-potty…ahhh!

You can only pick one…


What’s your motivational running mantra?

For me, it’s about finish lines…not finish times. I race against myself every time, and want to keep a consistent pace. If I’m the last one to cross a finish line, that’s fine. 
What matters is that I finish.