“I have scoliosis so I have to try and maintain a strong core because of my back,” she told ES magazine.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine. Cases in girls are 10 times more likely to deteriorate and require treatment, according to WebMD. And as the 5’9″ model describes, it can be difficult to manage given her busy modeling career.
“It’s pretty severe and hurts when I sit or stand for long periods of time,” said the 28-year-old runway queen. “I got it when I grew up really fast when I was 12.”
To maintain her fit frame, she sticks to a daily workout regime that involves Thai kickboxing training. “I always feel like every couple of years I want to learn new destreza — a new skill,” she explained. “I wanted to learn how to box, but proper boxing. I wasn’t doing it for cardio, I was doing it because I wanted to learn how to throw a punch and feel empowered.”
Smalls says he father could have taught her those skills. “My dad was a black belt in the Marines but he never taught us properly how to fight,” she said.
When it comes to her career, Smalls said she’s not doing any of it for the glitz and the glamor. “I always viewed it as an experience and an opportunity to one, make money and, two, use what God gave me and enjoy what I have around me and make the most out of it.”