Shawn O’Neill

I recently had an opportunity to speak with millennial model and fighter Shawn O’Neill.

By: Joshua Conner

Shawn O’Neill is a bartender, model, and fighter with Cooper MMA. O’Neill was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, but he is based in Austin, Texas. O’Neill inspires me personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by how O’Neill’s dedication to the craft of his martial arts, as well as his style and physique. Professionally, I am inspired by how O’Neill has branded himself and his work ethics.

What would be the title of O’Neill’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title of my life story, you know I haven’t even thought about that one. I’m going to have to go with what I’m known by, like how I use my Instagram name that would be SMO, which are my initials for Shawn Michael O’Neill, so it would be SMO life. Who would play me? I would have to say, Matt Damon. I think Matt Damon, he always puts himself in some tricky situation, and I’m always putting myself in some tricky situations, but I always end up coming out and winning at the end, because I don’t quit,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill’s most memorable year would be 2015 because he started taking jiu-jitsu lessons, and that really helped set him in the modeling world.

“I would probably have to say my second year out of high school, I think I was like 20. I made some friends, that asked me would I like to come and start taking jiu-jitsu lessons, where I started doing my MMA at. Ever since then, it’s kind of taking off, and it’s brought me a lot of great opportunities. It brought me into modeling, because it put me into splendid shape, and helped me get my career started to where I am today. So, I have to say that when I look back on some days, just because I started in my garage doing jiu-jitsu. So, I guess that was 2015,” said O’Neill.

The greatest lesson that MMA has taught O’Neill, is discipline.

“Discipline, MMA and mixed martial arts have taught me the biggest thing in life is discipline. If you get too eager, aggressive, or too nice, people tend to take advantage of that. With that being said, if you learn discipline, and you learn control, then you are always going to be in the correct mindset, where you don’t let anything get out of hand or out of control,” said O’Neill.

If O’Neill’s mantra was a hashtag, it would be #blessed.

“I don’t know, if you could put a life motto into a hashtag, I could say that one would be blessed, to be honest. I would have to say being so young, I have dealt with different trials and tribulations. When I was younger, I actually ended up almost dying, and I had someone save my life. So, I respect it as sort of a blessing. I have a lot of friends and family around me, that shows me a lot of love, support and help me out. You count your small blessings in life, not everything has to be glitz, glamorous and diamonds,” said O’Neill.

What is O’Neill’s underwear preferences?

“I would probably have to say boxer briefs, but I actually wear the athletic brand of underwear. So it’s called Spyders. They are some of the most comfortable fit that I have had or the Adidas ones that I have,” said O’Neill.

If O’Neill could model for any national brand, it would be Calvin Klein.

“Any brand, I would probably have to say, Zara or Calvin Klein. I know those are probably really basic answers, but I would choose Calvin Klein if I had to pick my number one choice. I wear a lot of their clothes, I like the way they fit and they have good materials,” said O’Neill.

What does O’Neill enjoy most about being a bartender?

“What I enjoy most about being a bartender, is probably the people I meet. You know, I go to work each day, but my job is never the same. I may deal with the same job duties, but the people that I meet, and the conversations that I have with people, I mean I’ve made friends that I have known, and I’ve made friends that I have had for a lifetime because that’s the job that I do. Even though I am making drinks for people, it’s just a connection that I can make, I think that’s the most enjoyable part,” said O’Neill.

You can follow Shawn O’Neill on Instagram @smo_life.

If Shawn O’Neill could have a conversation with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why? You can find out by following me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner

Joshua Hickman

I recently had an opportunity to speak with handsome and hard-working athlete Joshua Hickman.

By: Joshua Conner

Joshua Hickman is a B Physique athlete & NQ NPC Physique/Classic Physique fitness competitor. Hickman inspires me professionally and personally. Professionally, I am inspired by Hickman’s work ethic,  and how one of his professions is in the food service industry. Personally, I am inspired by Hickman’s service as a first responder, amazing physique, dedication to creating a strong body of work & his didactic social media posts.

What is a day in the life of Hickman like?

“They do vary, and they are always busy. So, typically it depends on where I am at in the year. So, as you know, I compete. So, as I get closer and closer to shows, my days might start at 4 or 5 in the morning, and it might go until midnight. That kind of schedule would stay that way for weeks on end. I usually don’t operate on very much sleep, I get anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. I am always active.
I have a few different professions that I actually do so. Then, I have to squeeze in gym time. The physical aspect of my life, I don’t want to say are precedent, but it does have a high priority, and so I am in the gym 5 or 6 times a week. My diet is such that I eat 8 or 10 times a day, so I meal prep enough food for 2-3 days before I have to cook more. So, I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. Then, I have an 8 hour work day, sometimes up to 12-hour workday. I might do 2-3 jobs within a day or so. So many of my days can start at 5:00 in the morning and go to 12:00 at night. I’m always on the go, I have a meal bag, that literally gets packed with 4 or 5 meals in it, because I may be eating on the road, going to one thing to the next. So, my days, I don’t want to say are hectic, but their busy and there on the go. So early mornings and late nights,” said Hickman.

What would be the title of Hickman’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title, I think with most people’s lives, would be something in the realm of a survivor, as far as the title of my life story would go. Who would play me, let’s go with Ben Affleck,” said Hickman.

How did Hickman get the nickname Mr. Homecomin?

“Hahaha, so one of my jobs is I am a bartender & server at one of Chef Art Smith’s restaurants. Chef Art Smith is a friend of mine, and the name of his restaurant is Homecomin, so that’s how he dubbed me the name Mr. Homecomin,” said Hickman.

What are Hickman’s underwear preferences?

“Boxer briefs, and any of the athletic ones. I like synthetic fibers. I have some Adidas, Reebok and Under Armour, as long as it’s synthetic,” said Hickman.

If Hickman’s mantra was a hashtag, what would it be and why?

“#NoPainNoGain, in my experience, anything in life takes at
least some sort of sacrifice. Especially your time, which is probably the most important thing you have. You can always make more money, you can do more things, but the time you have is important. So we all sacrifice something to gain something. A lot of times, it’s going to be that time, so obviously, no pain, no gain,” said Hickman.

What was Hickman’s most memorable year?

“My most memorable year, was probably my busiest. I was working full-time as a firefighter EMT, I was going to the law enforcement academy as well, and my daughter was born. I had a newborn, I was working full time and I was going to school full time. Yeah, a lot of times, I look back on that, and I have friends who were with me during that time, and there like man, I don’t know how you do it. Honestly, I look back at it, and I’m not quite sure how I did it.
So, as a firefighter EMT, you had to work 24-hour shifts. So, I would, during the week,  I had school from 8-5, my shift ran from 7:00 in the morning to 7:00 the next morning. So, I would have to take the first part of my shift off, with my vacation time. I needed school, so as soon as we were left out at 5:00, the school was an hour away from my station. So at 5, I was out the door, because I didn’t know what kind of traffic I was going to get. Then, I would get to the station, for the back half of my 24-hour shift, and I was on the third busiest truck in the department so, I didn’t get much sleep. Then, at 7:00 in the morning, because class starts at 8, I was hoping my relief was on time, and I didn’t have any late calls,  and I was out the door going back to school.  Then, I got off school,  and I got home and I took care of my baby girl, who was a newborn. So, I was burning the candle at both ends, I guess that goes back to no pain no gain, to get ahead, you have to sacrifice something, though, it was a lot of time,” said Hickman.

Hickman says that his daughter already has the one quality he would leave her, stubborn determination.

“If I could leave my daughter, one quality, fortunately, and unfortunately, she already has it. It’s that stubborn determination, she very much so takes after me. I think that if you have that ability to kind of put your head down and push because the world isn’t going to give you anything free, you’re going to have to work for it. Which goes back to no pain no gain. If you have that stubborn determination to push through those tough times, you will get whatever it is you aim for. So, I am blessed that, she does tend to take after me in both a good and bad aspect,” said Hickman.

What does Hickman enjoy most about being a B Physique athlete?

“The comradery, by far. I am blessed to have the networking of this team. We have several different mediums that we communicate through and several group chats. I think when you compete, it’s a big test of your own personal will. I think if you experience that with other people and they experience that as well, you need to learn from each other, without that dreaded experience sometimes. So, the comradery that you get from these guys and the life experience that tends to get shared, it becomes a family.
I mean my coach alone, I meet her through this process, and she is a very good friend of mine. I’ve been to her wedding. You become a sense of family. A lot of different people from a lot of different walks of life. Our male team is also connected to a female team, with bombshell athletes. So it was a very good thing for my daughter. She loves going to the shows, but she is also able to see strong-willed women and how they handle themselves. It was a great learning experience for her as well. The family and learning dynamic there, is irreplaceable,” said Hickman on B Physique.

Extra content: If Joshua Hickman could have a conversation with anyone died or alive, who would it be? Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can follow Joshua Hickman on Instagram @Joshua.Hickman