There is a lot more to Shannon than just a pretty face!
So Shannon, tell us about yourself.
My name is Shannon Ihrke, I like to photobomb pictures, take long walks to my fridge, and love the pink starbursts the best. I have also been known to be slightly sarcastic. Ok, for real now? I am 25 years old, I was active duty in the Marine Corps for 4 years and got out honorably as a Sergeant and I’m currently modeling in Chicago and hold the title of being Chicago’s Loop Rock Girl and you can also find me in a Maxim Magazine or two (or more depending on if you subscribe or just buy them off the shelf once in a while).
Who or what encouraged you to join the Marines?
I was ready for a change in my life. At the time that I joined, I was a full time student, I had two jobs to pay the bills, and I still had a negative balance in my bank account. I knew I had to make a big change in my life to turn things around for me and when I heard a Marine Corps recruiter tell me that I wouldn’t make it through boot camp, I made it my mission to sign up and prove him wrong.
What are your career and/or personal goals for the next 10 years?
I’ll probably keep modeling for a couple more years and then I’ll probably make another big change by stopping completely. I’d like to do a little more acting in the coming years, I really enjoy public speaking and being stage as dorky as that might sound. I’m a big family person though, so eventually I’d like to live closer to my family in Minnesota and start my a family of my own. In 10 years I’ll be 35, that’s kind of a crazy thought! Yeah, I’ll definitely have some mini-me’s running around by then I hope.
How and where did you first hear about Fight Chix?
I did a fashion show for them a few years back in Chicago. The owners, Jake and Elisabeth, and I kind of hit it off the bat and have kept in contact ever since that show and when I got out of the Marine Corps and moved closer to Chicago we began working with each other more frequently and became good friends! I have done a few photo shoots for their clothing line now and Elisabeth even does my hair regularly!
You are currently the on the cover of Maxim magazine and you are the winner Chicago’s Loop Rock Girl contest. Tell us about those experiences.
They were both amazing experience for me and they were both definite game-changers in my model career. To be able to put those two things on a modeling resume is both rare and outstanding accomplishments! By landing those things, I’ve really been able to stand out more in the modeling world.
Give us your take on the explosion of Women’s MMA, especially in the UFC.
I think it’s great! I’ve been a huge fan of women’s MMA since I first saw it years ago when I was a ring girl for King Of The Cage. It’s come a long way since then and those woman who are currently fighting in the UFC definitely deserve it. The best part is that it’s still exploding! I’ll go to a bar to watch the fights and when the men fight all the guys at the bar will keep an eye on the screen and but when a girl fight comes on, everyone, including all the females at the bar, have their eyes glued to the tvs! I can’t wait to watch TUF 20!
Being as fit as you are and in the modeling and entertainment industry, health is obviously huge. What are your diets and workouts like?
I don’t LOVE working out. I don’t work out and think to myself, “This is the funniest thing ever!”. I do, however, love the feeling that I get after I workout and that’s why I do it. In my industry, it’s a necessity so the way I keep it interesting is by changing it up a lot. One day I’ll run, one day I’ll work on biceps, one day I’ll swim, etc. The key for me is just not getting bored with it because if you’re bored going to the gym then you simply won’t go. My boyfriend used to be a fitness trainer too so he makes me go when I don’t want to. Haha! As far as diet goes though, I got pretty blessed genetically so I can eat what I want for the most part. I don’t have anything that’s “off limits”, the key is eating things in portions for me.
When you were young, did you ever picture yourself doing this kind of work?
Simply put, no. I went to college when I got out of the high school because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. I pictured myself being a history teacher or going into business advertising. Now I am in business advertising, just not in the way I orginially thought I’d be!
What message(s) do you have to all the young girls out there pursuing the fields you have been in?
I joined the Marine Corps and people said I was crazy. I got out of the Marine Corps and people said I was crazy. I said, “I think I’m going to model full-time” and people said I was really crazy! So how could I possibly make this a reality? I embraced the fact that I was crazy and kept going anyways. You know that feeling that you get in your gut when you know that you’re supposed to do something? Well when that feeling comes don’t let anyone tell you differently. I got to where I am today because I stick with my gut feelings, don’t listen to the negativity, surrounded myself with people who truly have my best interest at heart, and I constantly work at improving myself in every aspect.
I am having a Sunday Funday party May 4th at Blur Nightclub in Woodridge. Would you like to join us? I’ll be out of town that day in Wisconsin, but thank you for invitation!