Greensboro, N.C.-based nail tech Stephanie Shelton sees her passion for jiu jitsu as a positive influence on her life.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I’m 32 years old and grew up in the industry — my older sister has been a nail tech and esthetician for almost 30 years. Nails have always been my passion. I’ve gone through the entire North American School of Podology program and started a non-profit in 2016 called Heal the Sole. It’s a foot-washing event for the homeless. I’m continuing to grow my business as well as grow Heal the Sole in multiple areas of the country.
How did you get into jiu jitsu?
I dated someone who is an amazing coach and former pro MMA fighter. He opened a school in 2016 and I decided to try it out. I ended up falling in love with the sport and started competing in March 2018. At this point I’ve competed in six tournaments, which adds up to a total of 18 matches last year.
How do you fit training into your routine?
I make my training schedule and then make my work schedule around training and it all balances out.
What has been your result so far?
The result is me growing and becoming a better individual, not only for myself but for others around me. The results aren’t why I’m into this sport as far as winning or losing. Jiu jitsu teaches you so much about life. It’s all about the journey and what you learn along the way.
Do you have any future goals?
My future goal in jiu jitsu is to one day receive my black belt and continue competing along the way.
What’s your advice for other techs who want to become healthier?
My advice to other techs would be to put your health first. Clients respect that you take care of yourself. I’ve lived the life of working 12-hour days seven days a week, and trust me, that is not a life. Find work-life balance and something that you enjoy that challenges you in every way and that is when you will discover the real you. You will also find yourself performing better at work.