F-STORY INTRO:Shawn Brokemond, a retired Bay Area kindergarten teacher wears many hats. Following her retirement she started a parent coaching business, personal trains a number of clients, trains for triathlons herself and makes sure to take her granddaughter Nikiah on many adventures.
Brokemond grew up in Gary, Indiana, where at 17 she gave birth to her son Josh. ÒI went to a catholic school and we hid a lot from out parents.Ó Brokemond had the support of her mom and dad in raising Josh, but also in that they wanted her to finish high school and go to college.
She attended college at Purdue University for three years, making the 5 hour bus trip home almost every weekend to see her son Josh, who was cared for by her parents. ÒI donÕt think they wanted my life to be altered by having a child, so they offered to take care of him,Ó said Brokemond. ÒBut it was really hard to be separated from him.Ó
Before her senior year at Purdue, Brokemond changed her major, transferred to DePaul and moved her and her son to the city of Chicago.
Immediately after graduating, Brokemond moved to San Francisco with Dan Hennage, her then boyfriend, and current husband. Dan was a childhood friend that had moved away from Gary, Indiana when his parents had divorced, but the two had stayed in touch.
Hennage visited Brokemond on weekends in college to watch Josh and give Brokemond time to herself or time to hangout with friends.
ÒHe is just a really great guy,Ó said Brokemond of Hennage.
The two have lived in the Bay Area for over 25 years and make an effort to take their granddaughter Nikiah Brokemond on fun adventures whenever she is at their house. Nikiah loves to code and Brokemond and Hennage volunteer with Black Girls Code, a group that Nikiah is involved in. Brokemond personal trains a group of young women who are on probation and also keeps a garbage bag to pick up trash people have thrown on the side of the road. ÒA few years ago Dan and I noticed an increase in garbage in our favorite places to run and hike, so we decided we could do something about it by picking it up ourselves instead of just complaining,Ó said Brokemond.
CAPTION: Shawn Brokemond ascends the hill leading to her house in Mill Valley on Monday, June 5, 2018, during a hill repeat workout. Brokemond, 50, trains for triathlons and rotates through daily workouts in each of the disciplines: swimming, biking and running.