Cynt Marshall is an executive powerhouse. Even before she came to lead the Dallas Mavericks as CEO, she had decades under her belt at AT&T. And she penned her own book, You’ve Been Chosen, which published last fall. It captured her fight with stage 3 colon cancer, and how her entire perspective on wellness changed in a blink with her diagnosis.
“This is a preventative story, and that’s why I tell that story,” Marshall says. “You have to get screened, and when the doctors tell you to do something, you have to pay attention and go and get it done.”
Focusing on her health now is three-fold. She says it’s an integration—not a balance—of physical, mental, and spiritual health.
“I don’t believe in balance,” she says. “I believe in integration because balance to me means that something is kind of off, and then you’re trying to study it all the time. So sometimes you’re just going to be off.”
Marshall says that along with recognizing her need to pour into her trifecta of wellness, her children are also an incredible inspiration for pursuing healthy choices. One night a week, they even have a contest to see who can assemble the most colorful salad. She says she piles hers high with fruit, and the salad game gets pretty competitive.
“My kids are very healthy. I mean extremely healthy eaters,” she says. “They got to college and they would literally come into our house throwing out stuff in our pantry.”
We caught up with Marshall to find out what inspires her to approach wellness every day and how to handle a high-pressure role that commands much time and attention.
How do you start your day on a healthy note?
I start my day with what I call my “hour of power” where I have to have at least 20 minutes in my prayer closet. So spiritually, just to help get my mind, my heart, and my soul right. And then I have to have at least 20 minutes on my treadmill or elliptical. And then at least 20 minutes reading something or listening to something that I think mentally is making me stronger. So that’s my hour of power. And if I’m lucky, I can get maybe two hours of power.
What’s your favorite type of workout, aside from your elliptical or treadmill?
I love to work out, and when I’m on vacation, I’m working out every day. I’m walking for an hour each day and I don’t put headphones in. I want to be mindful and just enjoy what is around me.
How do you practice mindfulness?
Number one, I do set my priorities based on what is “crystal”—so if I drop it, it shatters, and it never comes back. So those things I need to get done. The stuff that’s “rubber”: It’s either going to bounce away and somebody else is going to take them; they’re going to bounce back to me later; or they’re going to bounce away because I don’t need to get them done in the first place, and they’ll never come back. And all that’s fine. I identify the crystal balls I have to handle on a daily basis at work and at home. And then I just integrate them. I rarely get stressed out because I’m very mindful of what stress can do to your body. I’ve been in situations where stress has manifested itself in a physical way, like when I was 27 years old and I had a bleeding ulcer. That was just pure stress and worry that caused that.
Any wellness goals you’d like to share with D readers?
I want to focus on mobility, and I want to be able to do the dance move, the Scorpio, again. My goal is to accomplish this by June of this year.
And lastly, how do you end your day on a healthy note?
I end my day on a mental and spiritual note by praying and reading a couple of pages from the “Jesus Calling” book before I go to bed.