20UNDER40: Shana White

Shana White

Shana White is a powerlifter with Duluth’s Team Rohr. She is as driven as she is strong, and the word “can’t” is not part of her vocabulary. A three-sport athlete in high school, she was destined for college basketball greatness with a Division I program. But after suffering a torn ACL as a high school senior, she left college basketball after being able to play for just one season.

But Shana is not one to let any injury – no matter its severity – stop her from pursuing some form of athletics. And so barely a year ago now, at the suggestion of a friend, she took up the sport of powerlifting. As you might surmise, she has taken to the sport with the same commitment and determination she maintained back in her high school and college days. (Shana is now 35.)

Her trainer, Josh Rohr, notes that Shana “is one of the most driven and focused individuals I have ever coached. She came in day one with some lofty goals (which most people do.) [But] the difference with Shana is that she has that internal drive to get better and achieve those goals. . . . Shana has already become an elite powerlifter and I’m not sure she even knows it because she continues to work hard toward her goals while remaining humble.”

An elite powerlifter indeed, in only her second meet, Shana set three state of Georgia records, a win in her weight class, and a win as best women’s open lifter of the meet. (Again, this was only her second-ever competition, and at the time, she had been training with Team Rohr for only two months.)

Rohr says that “Shana is very much a student of the sport. In my opinion, she is the perfect role model for anyone who wants to be good at something. She studies, asks questions, and, most importantly, comes to the gym to work hard. She is a coach’s dream.”

Shana gives credit to others for her success. “I’m so appreciative of Josh and his coaching, my friend Gina for getting me involved in the sport, and most of all, my husband who has allowed me to pursue this new passion. I’m a follower of Christ, 35–year-old mother of two, and a powerlifter. Never thought the latter would be used to describe me, but I love this sport, will respect the sport and those who have come before me by continuing to be focused, driven, and hard working. I can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for me!”


Reg L. Carver
Reg is a freelance writer and photographer from Johns Creek, Georgia. He is the author of Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties (Billboard Books 1998), which was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award for excellence in music writing. He is also the author of Walking Up Lombard:My Long Journey Home (AuthorHouse 2012), a memoir of his journey through major depression and healing. You can find him at www.reglcarver.com and www.500px.com/RegLCarver.

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