Life is sometimes funny. You never really know what direction it may take. Some of us think life is driven by luck or coincidental circumstances. Meet Team Studios Central runner Shelley Benhoff who knows for a fact life is driven by the choices we make. Originally from Baltimore, MD and now living in Orlando Shelley moved closer to the theme parks in 2012 with her husband Jason.
Shelley Benhoff poses with her bling she received after completing the 2013 Princess Half Marathon
Shelley’s career as a Software Trainer really took off after she decided to live a healthier lifestyle. Included in her lifestyle change was running and becoming a member of Team Studios Central. Shelley became inspired to run after watching the 2011 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend activities on a Ustream broadcast from her home in Baltimore. She figured it was a great way to get into shape and meet new people.
In 2010 Shelley set her sights on her wedding. She circled her wedding date on the calendar and made it a point to lose weight and look fabulous for the big day. After dropping 80 pounds before her date she was ready for the wedding. Fast-forward a year later and Shelley quickly realized what most dieters discover. Setting a date for the end of a diet usually doesn’t work because once the diet is over you quickly return to your former self. She gained the weight back. The intelligent side of Shelley took over and she realized losing weight and keeping it off had to be a part of a healthy lifestyle, not just some date on a calendar.
Shelley Benhof stops to strike a pose during the Legoland Citrus 5k
Her health and fitness story is more than just losing weight. Shelley took it to the next level by encompassing the mind, body, and soul and to just become a better person in general. It was a total transformation of mind and body. This time Shelley was going to engrain her health and fitness goals as part of her lifestyle; making a commitment to never let it go. Today Shelley is more goal-oriented and a more positive person in general who believes you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.
Shelley loves Disney races and especially the pre-race activities with her Team Studios Central running mates. Those are some of her best race memories, but the best memory was crossing the finish line at the 2013 Princess Half Marathon with her friend Laurie of the WDW Radio Running Team. She recalls coming around the corner to the finish line and seeing her husband and friends cheering her on to the end. Both Shelley and Laurie embraced in a hug and collapsed to the ground with tears in their eyes realizing the amazing accomplishment they just achieved.
Shelley poses with Team SC teammates Courtney Anne Maclaren and Yulady Rodriguez before the Princess Half Marathon
Living only 20 minutes from Disney World Shelley visits the parks at least twice a week. Her job requires her to travel around the world. Fortunately, her stops have included places near Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Now she just has to find a way to sneak-in a business trip to Tokyo and Anaheim so she can visit every Disney park in the world. Just the thought of all that travelling wears me out. Not Shelley. She says her new healthy lifestyle and positive mental attitude have given her the energy she needs to see the world and become a more talented worker.
Shelley’s love for the Disney parks starts each time she walks through the front entrance. She doesn’t have to be an adult anymore. She can leave her adult cares behind and just become a kid again. She’s been known to frolic through the theme parks with a smile on her face and her hands in the air. For Shelley Disney World is a special place. Jason proposed to Shelley on her 30th birthday as they flew over London on Peter Pan’s Flight. One year later they were married at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. Two months after their wedding they moved to Orlando to live happily ever after.
Shelley poses with Team SC runners Amanda North and Yulady Rodriguez
Shelley has opened up her heart to running. Outside of Disney races she has supported and ran in charitable running events like the Give Kids the World Gingerbread 5k. She’s also run in the Legoland Citrus 5k and Nerd Herd Running Series all in support of Give Kids the World, Women’s Health, and Stupidcancer.org.
When you are around Shelley you can feel her positive energy. It’s obvious she loves Disney, but it’s even more obvious how thrilled she is with the decision to change her lifestyle. They say positive energy is contagious. If that’s true who wouldn’t want to be around Shelley Benhoff.
If you are interested in joining Team Studios Central you can find all of the information here. We are a running team dedicated to staying healthy and making a difference in the community at the same time.