WCW - Meet The Movement Maestro, Shante Cofield

Meet Shante. 

I've yet to meet her in person, but have been connected via the ever so powerful Instagram! You can check out her awesome insights and daily 'maestroisms' here.  

She is smart, and kind, and really freaking good at her job.  Not only that but she's funny, strong, and is an incredible teacher! We can't wait to connect to Shante in person and know that you are going to nerd out over her interview below and killer Instagram channel.  

Get to know Shante, aka. The Movement Maestro below!

Instagram and www.TheMovementMaestro.com

 

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What do you do?

Shante simply answered, 'Live the dream'... which pretty awesome itself!

 

What else do you do?

I'm a physical therapist by trade.

About 3 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 don’t fix, I facilitate.

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 hefty amount of time on social media, looking to provide free education to whoever is willing to listen, with my ultimate goal being to empower individuals not to be able to treat themselves, but to be able to recognize a good provider. If we want to fix the system, we gotta educate the consumer.

 

How do you define the word 'strength'?

The ability to face and overcome whatever challenges may face you.

Be that challenge gravity, social norms, insecurities, physical, mental, or emotional.

 

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

This question makes me think of one of my favorite quotes: "Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you will see farther."

I would say that I stumbled across my passion.

I took a traditionally PT job out of school and hated it. I almost left the profession but then discovered social media and an awesome dude name Perry Nickelston (@stopchasingpain) who would become my self-appointed mentor. I wound up taking a RockTape course simply because he was teaching it, totally fell in love with the content and their approach to movement.

I inquired about becoming an instructor, found myself in the right place at the right time, and fast forward about 2 years, I'm living the life I always wanted. I've always wanted to be an educator, and RockTape provide me with that platform. And honestly, this is just the beginning. Social media has absolutely played a HUGE role in this, allowing me to connect with providers and individuals around the world.

Each day things continue to unfold and reveal themselves to me. I've found myself receiving clinical inquires, but even more questions relating to creating new lifestyles and finding happiness. I continue to take it day by day, and the most incredible part is that after a few months, the view is completely new, and it's incredible.

 

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Movement is EVERYTHING.

CrossFit has become a huge part of my life, and I go to the box about 5-6x a week if I'm not traveling for work. If I am traveling for work then I do my best to drop in to a local box, which is honestly one of the coolest parts about traveling.

If I'm at home and CrossFit isn't an option (or if I just need a break), then you can be certain I'm taking advantage of that SoCal weather, hiking, biking, or chilling at the beach. Movement is life, and I make certain to find a way to bring it in to my day-to-day, be it a CrossFit WOD or just some simple mobility work in my living room.

 

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Mindfulness.

I think one of the biggest problems today is that people are so detached from themselves and their experiences that they can't every truly learn and grow from them.

Wearables and a fast-paced lifestyle seems to have everyone focusing on external feedback instead of truly experiencing and feeling whatever it is that their doing. Too much looking to 'gurus' or fads or trends.

The fact of the matter is, something works for everyone, but not everything will work for someone. Meaning, find what speaks to your nervous system, and do it.

I love CrossFit. CrossFit is not for everyone. I've got friends who swear by Animal Flow, or pilates, or yoga, or running...and that's great.

As long as you're moving, I'm happy. Find what speaks to you and go from there.

 

How do you define 'fitness'?

Gonna have to steal one from CrossFit for this answer: "There are 10 recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these 10 skills."

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Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I see the future of fitness moving towards a more well-rounded approach. No one modality is king.

People are finally starting to realize just how incredible the human body is, and the fact that experiencing these heights doesn't require you to beat yourself down day in and day out.

If you’re not healthy, you’re not fit. If you’re always injured, you’re not fit.

In fact, that mindset is actually the opposite of what you want to be doing. People are realizing and recognizing the value of recovery, the importance of nutrition, the necessity of movement virtuosity, and the fact that fitness is not determined by the presence of a 6-pack.

If you're not healthy, you're not fit. If you're always injured, you're not fit.

People are educating themselves, empowering themselves, and the future of fitness is one filled with individuals who are healthier, because they realize that that is the basis of true fitness.

 

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely. As I said before, movement is life.

An interesting study came out in 2012 by Brazilian researchers that found a direct correlation between movement and longevity. The study simply looked to see if folks could sit down on the ground and then stand back up without the use of their hands. They found that those who were unable to perform this task are 6.5x more likely to DIE within the next 6 years. DIE!

Why do I bring this up? Because as your movement arsenal grows, your resiliency grows with it. Knowing that you can lift something, scale something, get into a position, makes you feel that much more prepared for whatever life may throw at you, and thus that much more confident facing any and all obstacles.

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Watching people push themselves and accomplish things they didn't think possible. Doesn't matter if it's a pro athlete or kid trying something for the first time.

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, and seeing that poured out and left on the battlefield motivates the crap out of me.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Quality over quantity. Movement virtuosity.

As a young kid I was super athletic and just banked on that. I played tons of sports but never had any formal technique training or technique work. When I was 15 I tore my ACL/MCL/meniscus, and then about 2 years later a tore the lateral meniscus of of left knee.

I got surgery, never rehabbed as much as I should have, focused too much on just getting back to playing, and paid for it down the road. I've since focused a TON on my movement and feel the best that I have quite possibly ever felt in my life, but I didn't have to take the hard road to get there.

Work smarter, not harder. Listen to your body.

Treat and use your body with the understanding that you only get one.

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Ask. Don't be afraid to ask for things. Asking for something changed my life.

It's a very male mentality to go into things and have zero problem asking for things...a raise, a promotion, a set on the bench that you're using.

I think that as women, we often believe that if we work hard, do what is asked of us, and give 110%, our efforts will be recognized and rewarded.

Lovely thought, but not always realistic. If you want it, work for it. But don't be afraid to ask for it. It just might change your life.

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Dani Almeyda

Women's Movement Collaborative, 101 South Main Street, Suite 221, Fuquay Varina, NC, 27526