IKSOKAPI PROFILE: Ya’`a’t’e`e’h Shindine’e’ Shiloh LeBeau yinishye` Hello My name is Shiloh LeBeau, I am 27 years old and I am Half Navajo of the Hon’agha`ahnii’ Clan – (Walks Around Clan) of the Navajo Nation and Half Sans Arch Lakota Sioux from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
How would you describe yourself?
“I would describe myself as goofy and outgoing, determined, big hearted, humble but mainly a very big family person. I know natives have a lot of family but being born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, I never got to grow up with my Navajo side of the family but we always went back for visits every year and I never knew my father or his family (Sans Arch Lakota Sioux), but it has always been just my Mom, my 3 sisters, 1 brother and myself, then later down the line came my son and 2 nephews and we are all very close with each other!”
How did you get involved with the sport of boxing?
“I was 19 when I first started boxing. I never intended to seek out boxing as a full time passion. I am a very frequent runner, always have been. But one day I was thinking to myself I want to try another workout along with running, and my running routine was always from my house to the Haskell Indian Nations University campus, to the stadium to run the stairs then back home and one day I took a different route through the campus instead of around and as I was running I seen a garage door open, loud music playing, and a big scary guy yelling out different drills..needless to say I was scared but very curious, so I walked over and peeked my head in to see what was going on and why he was yelling but when I looked inside, the scary guy was gone and I could see people hitting heavy bags, speed bags, partner drills, sparring, and mitt work and I thought ‘DAMN’ that looks like FUN, I could do this and run.
Then out of nowhere I hear a loud ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’ I jumped, screamed and turned around to see Coach Erik looking at me laughing with a big smile on his face. ‘Did I scare ya?’ So I began training under him and after my first workout and sparring I was instantly addicted to boxing. Then I got my first amateur fight, after that fight I knew I wanted to keep competing and challenging my mind, strength and most importantly my heart.”
What makes a good fighter?
“I honestly think what makes me a good fighter is I am not ALL in it to win it so when I lose I am not all heart broken and upset, trying to find excuses or someone else to blame. I look at it as winning and learning! Any good fighter will take that loss, re-watch the fight over and over, and take notes on what needs to be worked on and come back with an even better game plan. A quote I live by in and out of the ring is “Be brave when you are scared, Be strong when you are weak, and Be humble when you are victorious.”
How do you prepare for each match?
“I prepare for a match by first giving thanks to the Creator for giving me this incredible gift of fighting and to keep me safe while I am in the ring. I also go for a light run, then eat a light healthy breakfast and get my stretching in before and after a run. I also have to make sure my hair is braided tightly so it does not come out during the fight and I shadow box to loosen up.”
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
“My most proud accomplishment is being able to be a good role model for my son, to be a person my son looks up to, not in just the way a child looks up to there mother but as someone he truly thinks is a hero. He is my world and everything I do in life is for him. Besides being a proud mother, in boxing my most proud accomplishment is being the first person/full-time college student ever, male or female, to win a National Intercollegiate Boxing Championship out of the State of Kansas, making history for Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.
What made it even more heart warming was knowing, not only was I the first female, but Native American Woman to achieve this goal and put the state of Kansas and Haskell on the map for Intercollegiate boxing!”
What goals have you set for yourself as a boxer?
“As a boxer one of my goals is to go to Ringside World Championships and win a World Title, and compete in the Native American Boxing Championships but my main goal through Boxing is to promote living a healthy and happy life style and to Knock out the Stereo Types of what being “Native American” means and how we represent ourselves, our families, our Tribes and most importantly Native America!”
What advice do you have for others who want to enter the ring?
“I want to send a message to all native American women young and old, that age does not matter. It is never too late to Get up, Get out, and Get Active and all our younger generations to live a healthy, fulfilling life and now matter what you do, always remember our Creator walks with us to keep us safe and protected.
To anyone who wants to take up the sport, I encourage them to always keep pushing forward and never give up on yourself. It is not about winning and losing, its winning and learning. Do it because its what you want to do it. It is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself mentally, spiritually and physically!”
Who is your favourite boxer?
“My favourite boxer is Christy Martian, she alone legitimized women’s participation in boxing and she has over come so much, along with all her great accomplishments. When I watch her fights you can honestly see her heart and how strong and tough of a fighter she is. Plus she is a very humble person that puts her whole heart into what she loves..BOXING!”
Do you wear your championship belt when you are home?
“I actually don’t wear my belt around the house..its actually pretty heavy and my waist is too small. It keeps slipping off if move around while wearing it.”
When you are not boxing, what do you enjoy doing?
“When I’m not boxing I am either at work or school but mostly I try to spend time with my family, when we’re together all we do is laugh and enjoy each others time.”
Photo Credit: http://Gaskins-Photography.com