GGS Spotlight Dr Shante Cofield aka The Movement Maestro
What does it mean to you to be part of the GGS Community?
I’ve always subscribed to the mantra you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are. I am strong. Those around me are strong. Together, we’re a force of nature.
How long have you been strength training, and how did you get started?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life but found the gym when I was 15, after tearing my ACL. My mom signed me up at the local YMCA, got me a trainer, and I’d lean my crutches against the machines and hobble around. I’ve never looked back.
What does your typical workout look like?
Depends on my mood, depends on the day. As it relates to lifting, for the past few years my attention has been held by CrossFit. The beauty of that paradigm lying in its versatility and variability. Some days I focus more on bodyweight and gymnastics training. Other days are more strength biased. And other days have a more metabolic conditioning focus. No matter what the theme of the day, the focus is always on moving well.
Most memorable PR:
Getting my first bar muscle-up.
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
Again, it depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s nice to crank up the tunes, listen to my body, and do what I need for me. Other days it’s great to throw down with friends.
Top 3 things you must have at the gym or in your gym bag:
Confidence, perseverance, grit. Yes, those are my official answers.
You don’t need fancy equipment or gear to have a good workout. Everything you need, you already have.
Top 5 songs on your training playlist:
I’m a country music junkie who hates Spotify and making playlists. Gimme a good country station and I’m a happy kid.
Most embarrassing gym moment:
Honestly, I don’t love this question. I haven’t had any embarrassing moments at the gym, not because I’m some infallible human, but because it’s a fun, safe environment. A bunch of funny sh*t has happened, but nothing I’d say is embarrassing. It’s the gym. Have fun. Be light. Smile. Enjoy the moment. Celebrate your movement and stop taking yourself so seriously.
Most memorable compliment you’ve received lately:
“Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there every single day and reminding us all to be better therapists, better people, and better at chasing our own happiness.”
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
“I’m proud of you.”
Taking leaps is scary. The decision to make moves can paralyze people. A good friend of mine recently made the decision to protect her happiness, even if that meant leaving the safety of her current job. Choices like that take guts, and I’m proud beyond measure.
The tears of my enemies. Or a good burger. Never been one to turn down a good burger.
Go as far as you can see, and when you get there you’ll see farther.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
What inspires and motivates you?
Lighting a fire in other people and watching them realize just how powerful they truly are and how much potential they truly have.
What do you do?
I live my best life. I’m a physical therapist turned entrepreneur, dedicated to helping movement professionals find their passion and turn it into profit.
About three years ago I left the beaten path, took a job with RockTape, and never looked back. I travel the country teaching continuing education courses for RockTape, on subjects including kinesiology taping, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), but honestly… they’re about movement. All about movement.
I still treat, but my focus is on assessment and guidance. The majority of my patients come from social media, looking for a different approach to whatever it is that ails them. I typically see patients once every few weeks, with the emphasis being on them doing their stuff and creating their own changes. I don’t fix, I facilitate.
I also spend a ton of time on social media and podcasting. Life is all about connection, and these platforms are incredible when it comes to meeting new people and forming ties.
My overall message is that happiness is for everyone, and I look to show this to others, not just in how I live my life, but by showcasing, and subsequently connecting, folks who have taken the metaphorical leap and are anywhere along that incredible journey.
I want to inspire folks to live their best lives, and help facilitate this process for them in any way possible.
Describe a typical day in your life:
Going to have to default to my favorite answer: it depends.
If I’m home, I’ll go to the gym for about two hours whenever fits best in my schedule. If I need sun, I’ll go to the beach. If I need to relax, I’ll drive my Jeep with the top off. If I need to work, I’ll do so during the hours that make the most sense based on the task, and what time zone folks I’m working with are in.
If I’m traveling for work, I’m spending my days on planes, in airports, in hotels, but most importantly, meeting new people.
I subscribe to the mantra “create every day” and as such, the majority of my “free” time is spent making things like podcasts, videos, and graphics… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Your next training goal:
Getting stronger as it relates to bodyweight movements.
Of what life accomplishment do you feel most proud?
Being able to pay for my youngest brother’s gym membership. Doing this was special to me on so many levels. I got to help my brother enjoy something that has brought me such joy, and something that he has quickly become so passionate about.
Having the financial means to help him was likely only possible because of that leap I took three years ago, and thus, that moment seemed to me like the universe giving me a high five and letting me know I made the right choice.
Lead with light, lead with service, be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Which three words best describe you?
“I’m the Maestro.”
Really though, I’ve worked for the past four years to build a brand, The Movement Maestro, and it stands for everything I believe in, everything I strive to be, everything I hope to become. Drive, authenticity, passion, grit, kindness, determination, leading with light, leading by example, abundance, pursuing ones happiness, just to name a few. These words embody my brand, these words describe me, and so, I answer: I’m the Maestro.
What’s a risk you’ve taken recently, and how did it turn out?
I recently had to confront a colleague about what I believed to be practices that were not in line with leading with light. Honestly, I can’t say that she completely changed her trajectory and changed her actions, but, given the circumstances it would have been hugely remiss for me to say nothing.
Sometimes, taking a chance and standing up for what you believe in doesn’t yield life-altering outcomes, but staying true to your values is something that will always have a favorable result.
How has lifting weights changed your life?
As you gain the ability to control your body, you realize you have the ability to control your life. As I got stronger and found myself capable of performing more and more physical tasks, I realized just how limitless my potential was for my life, and that happiness truly was mine for the making.
What’s the coolest “side effect” you’ve experienced from strength training?
Bigger biceps and more self-confidence.
What do you want to say to other women who might be nervous or hesitant about strength training?
Movement is absolutely the best medicine we have.
You will never, and I mean never, regret getting strong.
Human physical achievement speaks to so much more than physical capacity and capability. It speaks to mindset, to dedication, to perseverance, to courage, to heart. It’s a physical representation of that person’s soul.
You are already stronger and more powerful than you know… than you could imagine. Strength training simply helps to open your eyes to it.
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