Name: Mark Schneider
Nickname: Cardigan Mark
Location: The Gym
Movement Minneapolis team member since: April 2012
Role at the Movement:
General Manager, Philosopher, Giver of the “Mark Look”
What’s your athletic/fitness background?
Ummm… I played soccer most of my life. Badminton – seriously.
What brought you to The Movement? Do you remember your first workout here and what you thought of it?
Chance brought me to The Movement. I happened to be driving down Lyndale and recognized the sign. I didn’t know anything about the place — but I needed a new place. I don’t remember my first workout, except it involved a lot of squats with the safety bar. The people were nice, the space was cool, and I did what I do best — jumped in!
What’s been the biggest change for you since joining the Movement?
I’ve deleted 10 distinct responses to this question. Not because there haven’t been changes, but because I don’t really quantify and track changes. My brain doesn’t work well with that structure (for good or bad). I’ve refined my ability to follow the feelings of joy and contentment — so perhaps that’s something that has been the most significant change in my time with The Movement.
What’s been your favorite Movement moment so far?
My favorite moment keeps repeating itself: when a member learns a little more about themselves, their strengths, and their potential.
Tell us about your most memorable PR.
I’ll cheat and go with an actual lifting PR — the 600lb deadlift that qualified me to officiate Jen and Dave’s wedding. It was like the American Ninja Officiant qualifying round.
Anything you’re currently training for?
No particular favorites. I work to see what I can do. Right now my focus is on learning to stand still (ß yeah, typical Mark answer). To expand a little on this idea — I’m focused on learning to use lifting as a meditative practice.
Do you prefer training solo or with a partner/team?
Im a solo worker-outer. When I train with the group, its never about me, so I avoid working out in groups for that reason. I can’t be as selfish as I need if I’m around other people.
When did you know you were hooked?
It’s all about the people. I think the group that solidified it for me was the skydiving group that worked out at the gym.
If you could tell people one thing about the Movement, what would it be?
I think Maggie put it best — it’s the gym you never heard of, but always wanted to join.
How do you spend your days when you’re not at the gym?
I don’t understand this question.
What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?
I really don’t know. Even though I’m not an open book, I am pretty true to who I am. I can’t imagine people being surprised to know something about me. The response is usually “Oh, of course you did.” I don’t like peanut butter — that one gets people!
What’s your favorite post-workout meal?
Mac and Cheese, if available.
How can people find/connect with you? (Instagram, etc)
Come talk to me in the gym. I may not seem approachable, but I’m very kind.
What does being ‘strong’ mean for you?
Strength is saying “I choose to…” and accepting all that comes with that — good and bad.
How do you see strength manifest in yourself and others?
Strength, for me, manifests in choice. The ACT of choosing, not the content of the choice. Whether you consciously choose to be passive or assertive — strength is about making that choice. Whether you consciously choose to allow yourself to be scared and stop or push into the fear and move forward – strength is about making that choice.
In myself, I see strength in saying that I can’t do certain things — admitting that I’m not good enough, skilled enough, smart enough — then deciding whether I want to spend my life getting better or move on and be ok at not being “something” enough in a particular context.
In others, I see it everywhere — weights they attempt, help they ask for, tears they shed, trust they extend, adventures they embark on, standing up for themselves and their personal values.
P.S. I reserve the right to change my mind and have better answers to these things at a different time. Writing is a limiting medium for me… so maybe I’ll say something different if you catch me later.