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The Naked Truth: Shawnee Harkins

The Naked Truth: Shawnee Harkins

Shawnee Harkins strips down for our feature on the beauty and blemish of the human body.

Shawnee Harkins, 26 Dallas Likes: arms, shoulders, triceps, rear Dislikes: abs

Personal trainer Shawnee Harkins has a goal to "help people come to love their bodies." And to that end she's started her own business, offering fitness training and nutrition counseling. While Harkins says, "The body has always been important to me," once upon a time, she worked hers differently.

Growing up in Dallas, Harkins was always an athlete; basketball and track were her favorite sports. But when she decided to become a firefighter--to use her athleticism to help people--she had to confront the limits of own strength. "I was this 18-year-old string bean competing against big, buff 25-year-old guys," she says of training to become a firefighter-EMT in Ventura County, Calif. "I had to bring it." So she took on a second full-time job to pay for a personal trainer to get herself into shape. The experience stayed with her throughout her two-year firefighting career. When Harkins decided it was time to do something else, she remembered how her trainer "helped me reach my goals."

Now Harkins spends her days improving the bodies of others, but she considers her own to be a work in process. "My goal has been to lean down, and through personal training I'm able to do that," she says. "I'm still working on a six-pack, so I'm not perfect by any means."

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