TBT – Johnna Sullivan finds the Greatest Love of All

Every once in a while, we encounter those very special individuals. The ones that feel like angels, or prophets in disguise. At SHiFT, we are fortunate enough to have one such person in our presence, our front of house maven, Johnna Sullivan.

As we Throw it Back this Thursday, we see Johnna circa 2009 in Haiti, with Kendy. Kendy was one of the first orphans Johnna welcomed while working at an orphanage. After dedicating her life to those in need for an astounding five years, in 2012 Johnna came home to have her own child.

Becoming a mom to her beautiful son (and unofficial SHiFT mascot) Levi, Johnna would make her biggest SHiFT of all – choosing to love herself. Johnna needed to find a way to care for herself as well she cared for the world around her. Johnna has so eloquently shared this aspect of her journey with us. “I’ve learned we can’t really serve others if we don’t love ourselves first because then we’re pulling from an empty source.” And so to articulate that quest, Johnna is fortifying herself through the classes and the community at SHiFT.

Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at age 21, and suffering from a lack of treatment, Johnna has often felt a disconnect between the inner and outer aspects of her life. Johnna courageously explains,  “My body doesn’t always reflect the strength and power I feel inside.” As she continues to cultivate that stability and security about her own being, the way she is viewed is meaningless, and the way she shows up is meaning more.

Johnna will always love strongly and selflessly, but she is learning every day, to SHiFT that love towards health, and towards herself. 
Instead of being drained and depressed, Johnna has found abundance and acceptance. Her inspiring story speaks to so many of us who share similar struggles. Ever the altruist, Johnna continues to give back, this time by a life led by example.

Johnna is fiercely loyal and generous. She is also feisty and fun, with a sense of humor that brands her “best guest to have at your next dinner party.” An accomplished writer in her own right (her online account of life in Haiti brought in hundreds of readers), Johnna has some words we can all live by “keep swimming and never give up hope.” She certainly helped Kendy to see that promise!

So let’s Throw it Back this Thursday with our very own angel in disguise Johnna Sullivan, and let us all SHiFT towards healing and hope!

Written by SHiFT Instructor and Blogger,  Emily Webster.  Check out her soulful leaderboardless SHiFT ride on Wednesday mornings in Guilford at 9:15 am.