Corporate path takes a healthy turn for Truckee health coach Shannon Vigil
February 10, 2015
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Shannon Vigil was looking for the kind of transformation brought on by the likes of what a tropical storm brings — one that would blow through and redefine the landscape of her life.
"I was doing all of the things I was supposed to do – went to Berkeley for economics, got a great job in corporate finance in San Francisco – it all seemed so bright and shiny as I was checking things off the list of success, or what I thought others would view as successful," said Vigil, a New Mexico native who moved to California with her family when she was 13 years old.
In the pursuit of what she assumed would lead to happiness, Vigil realized somewhere along the way, she had taken a wrong turn.
"After working in the finance world for a while and supposedly living this awesome life, I felt really empty," said Vigil, her brown eyes aglow in a stream of sunlight that danced through her kitchen before disappearing for the day. "So I did a lot of soul searching and was finally able to admit that my corporate job had become draining instead of inspiring; it was unfulfilling instead of making me feel alive."
A HEALTHY TURNING POINT
Unsure of her future, Vigil examined the holes in her then-present life and began to repair from the inside out.
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Long hours at the office had often led to after-work cocktails, which led to late nights, then to early mornings, followed by sitting at a desk all day, which led to unhealthy snacking … and, repeat.
"When I realized how stressed and unhappy I had become, the first thing I did was turn to my health," Vigil said.
And the first person she turned to was none other than celebrity health and fitness icon Jillian Michaels.
"I started reading a bunch of health books, but her book – 'Master Your Metabolism' – really turned things around in terms of the way I viewed food, nutrition and dieting," Vigil said. "I found a lot of success through that book, and I also found I was pretty passionate about health – I liked learning about it, and I wanted to share everything I was learning."
Although her exact direction remained unclear, the winds had started to shift Vigil's course, giving her the clarity she needed to navigate out of the corporate finance world and into calmer seas.
"I did a lot of self growth and self reflection, and I started taking care of myself outside of work a lot more," she said. "That's about the time I met my man and we've been together ever since."
It was also around that time Vigil confided in a close friend, sharing her discontent with her career, and her uncertainty over what to do next.
"She mentioned another friend who had become a health coach, and as soon as she said it, I thought, 'that's it. That's what I want to do,'" Vigil said.
Always the straight-A student, Vigil started doing her homework, educating herself on what a health coach was, and how she could become one.
"Once I opened myself up to the possibility of it, I felt a synchronicity happen, like I was attracting things into my life that were manifested by this new direction I wanted to take," she said.
Soon thereafter, while still grinding the corporate gears, Vigil enrolled at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where the teachings, methods and principles of health and wellness helped her achieve balance in an otherwise hectic transition in her life.
"One year later, I finally pulled the plug and quit my job," Vigil said. "That was scary because you have these beliefs around money and success. I mean, I knew being a health coach wasn't going to make me the same income I had at my corporate job, but I knew if I didn't cut the ties with that job, I may never get anywhere with my business."
BRINGING IT FULL CIRCLE
In March 2014, Vigil and her partner wrapped up their San Francisco chapter and turned a new page in Truckee — one that is healthy, balanced, and more rewarding than Vigil thought possible.
"We loved living in San Francisco, but we started to change as people, and in doing so, we changed our minds about how we wanted to live our lives and what we wanted to spend our days doing, and we wanted to be around more people who felt the way we now felt," she said.
As a Certified Health Coach and Lifestyle Consultant, Vigil works out of her home office in Sierra Meadows, creating and implementing her repertoire of online programs, building up her clientele, honing in on her blogging skills, and cooking up a storm of healthy meals.
It's the corporate clients — namely the female ones — who more often look to Vigil for coaching, and it's that type of client Vigil feels she can benefit the most.
"I'm a spiritual person in so many ways, but I'm still corporate in a lot of ways too, and I like to bring those two sides of my personality together," she said. "I understand my corporate clients — their lifestyle and the struggles they face — and I also understand how to incorporate a more heart-centered, holistic approach in a way where women can have both.
"They can bring a spiritual awareness to an otherwise masculine industry and use it as a tool to be more successful in their careers — and their lives."
Jenny Goldsmith is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and a former reporter for the Sierra Sun newspaper. Have an idea for a merchant to feature? Email her at email@example.com.