Name: River Cook
Movement Minneapolis member since: April 2013
What’s your athletic/fitness background?
I was sporty as a kid, then dabbled in weighlifting and kettlebells through college and beyond, with lots and lots of bike riding. Then I found CrossFit, which was great to learn skills and challenge myself physically and mentally. My on-ramp coach at CrossFit was Jen Sinkler, who eventually led me to The Movement. I have done one powerlifting meet and now I am super-obsessed with the new hypertrophy programming I am doing.
What brought you to the Movement? Do you remember your first workout and what you thought of it?
I wanted a change from CrossFit, so I called Jen Sinkler to see where she had ended up, having seen her a few times doing “weird” (Jefferson) deadlifts at our old gym. I came in and met with David and I think I signed up that same day. I don’t remember what we did my first day there, but I had a buddy in class and people were cool, so I stuck around.
What’s been the biggest change for you since joining the Movement?
Everything. Seriously. The concept of testing has seeped into every aspect of my life and made positive changes everywhere. Also the bigger muscles and less body fat are big changes, but that’s secondary most days (OK, maybe just some days).
What’s been your favorite Movement moment so far?
I took my daughter to the most recent women’s powerlifting meet where Movement members were competing. She watched intently through three sets of bench presses and squats, including ones done by an eight-year-old. Later that night she was mimicking the lifters, saying “Now I will bench, and now I will squat…” It was a very proud moment and made me again realize how much I value our community at The Movement.
Tell us about your most memorable PR.
My first 300# deadlift!
Do you have a favorite exercise/workout/training style? If so, what is it?
Always deadlifting and sometimes other things like benching. But on a more broad level, the thing I love the most about training at The Movement is the thoughtful programming and that I get to show up and be directed.
When did you know you were hooked?
From the start, The Movement really felt like a place where I could bring my whole self. At about the nine-month mark, I realized that what I was learning at the gym about testing was having a direct impact on a huge issue in my work life. I would no longer do things that didn’t test well for me. Once I put those things together, I knew I was here to stay.
What does being “strong” mean to you?
Strength in my life looks like resilience and adaptability. Being able to roll with it, say yes to challenges, say no, and be my whole self. I feel strong when I can move around with my toddler: chasing and climbing and balancing, and being able to pick her up regularly. Strength for me is listening to myself and loving myself.
How do you spend your days when you’re not at the gym?
I’m a worker-owner of a fair trade coffee and chocolate company, parent of a five-year-old and 12.5-year old doggie Junebug, and spouse to fellow Movement member Byrd. We love to laugh and walk and cook together.
What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m really sensitive.
Any secret/hidden talents?
I think I’m a pretty good cook and I love to feed people.
What’s your favorite post-workout meal?
How can people find/connect with you?