Casey Cooper is a 40-year-old mom and 1st grade teacher.

Q: What got you started working out? A: Jennifer Lopez looking all fly at 50 years old showing women that age is just a number 😉 Just kidding (kind of). I really just wanted to be healthy overall. I wanted to learn about nutrition and different workouts from certified trainers.

Q: How many days per week do you typically work out? What groups are you a part of? A: My weekly goal is to work out 5 days a week. I am a part of the Strength Collective Kickboxing and Barbell Strong.

Q: What’s your favorite exercise? A: Planks and deadbugs for dayzzzzzzz 🙂 I also really like balancing exercises like Single leg deadlifts.

Q: What’s your favorite post-workout meal/snack? A: Fresh fruit or a protein shake

Q: What do you find most challenging about working out? A: Scheduling – my schedule is hectic with one of my children heavily involved in sports as well as the demands of teaching.

Q: What keeps you motivated to work out regularly? A: My children – I want to model for them the importance of being healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking about getting started in the gym? A: I would say find a local gym that offers the classes that interest you and that has trainers that are knowledgeable. I am an educator so when looking for a gym in Galesburg, I was looking for someone who was also able to educate me in nutrition and workouts.

Q: What is something you couldn’t do when you started, that you can do now? A: I am now confident enough to walk into a gym and feel comfortable about knowing how to use all of the equipment and what exercises I should be doing.

Q: What fitness accomplishment are you most proud of? A: I’m just happy I can now make it through workouts without feeling like I just punctured a lung 🙂 I feel stronger and understand what my body is capable of.

Q: What goals are you working on now? A: I’m still working on losing those pounds and toning up.

Q: Tell us a random fact about yourself that people might not know. A: I play the piano for my church.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working out at The Strength Collective? A: How can I narrow that down? I love the personality of Kat and Jenna. Jenna is so good about answering questions and entertaining all of our personalities. Kat makes a 6am Kickboxing class something you never want to miss. She entertains my never ending argument about how deck of cards workouts should really go – (she even caved ONE time). She plays my latin music when she sees me start to run out of steam and it always brings out the next level. She’s very good at knowing what makes you tick. How many places can you go where you can be yourself, laugh, solve the world’s problem (at least we think we are), and still get in a stellar workout? Also, Strength Collective feels like home when you walk in. Everybody is very personable and inviting. I’ve met a lot of people in this gym who I now consider very good friends.