Name: Emily Gus
Location: North Minneapolis. Transplanted from Fort Collins, Colorado
Movement Minneapolis member since: April 2015
What’s your athletic/fitness background?
I began playing rugby in high school and was instantly hooked! I played during high school and college and then for city teams, for a total of 11 years. I had to stop playing because of injuries, and that’s when I turned to lifting. Outside of the gym I like to hike or ride my bike.
What brought you to the Movement?
I first heard of the Movement while I was playing with the Valkyries rugby team. We had a team workout lead by Jen and David. I remember having a blast trying out new lifts and I thought that the testing would likely help out my injury situation. After I finished my Master’s program at the U and got a big-kid job, one of the first things I did was join the gym!
What’s been the biggest change for you since joining the Movement?
Before joining the Movement, workouts were a guessing game for what would trigger flare-ups in injuries and it was frustration. After these workouts, I wouldn’t feel satisfied about the work I had done or connected with my body. Sometimes I still don’t know what will trigger injuries, but workouts now feel more methodical and supported. I also feel stronger than I have in years and more connected to my body.
Do you have a favorite exercise?
How about your least favorite exercise?
Overhead anything. Just not a fan.
Tell us about your most memorable PR.
I recently tried maxing out on the sumo deadlift for the first time! I had been looking forward to it all week. It was fun to learn to test my limits and feel supported by everyone else in the gym. It also felt like an accomplishment to lift more than I weigh.
Do you prefer training solo or with a partner/team?
I like being able to do my own thing. If I work out with a partner I tend to get competitive, which isn’t always a good thing for me. But I do like to chat with people while I work out.
How do you spend your days when you’re not at the gym?
When I’m not at the gym I’m usually hanging out with my dog Murphy. We’ve been trying out dog agility — think dog obstacle course — which is a blast because he’s so fast and excited about it all.
What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?
People are usually surprised that my job is to teach sexual health in high schools, but they might be more surprised that it’s an actual job! I love my job; I get to talk about fun things, I feel that I get to make a difference in my students’ lives, and sometimes I get to make condom balloons.
What’s your next training goal?
I want to keep increasing the weight for the sumo deadlift. I’ll have to build up my confidence on it first.
How can people find/connect with you?
I’m Emily Gus on Facebook, so people can find me there.
Do you have any advice for people starting out?
I think the quote on the wall of the gym, “Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer,” has helped me the most. It reminds me to trust my tests and not push myself too far, possibly upsetting an old injury. The gym and trainers are great at meeting you where you’re at, so that when you’re ready, you can reach your goals.