Congratulations to Cooper Best for being named the January Athlete of the month at Defiance West. Cooper flat out gets it. He is training for the longevity and his training shows it. Cooper consistently works hard, works on the small details, has changed his diet, and is very supportive of all other members. He has learned that certain days it is beneficial to back off and other days to push. Cooper is a great example of being able to work through an injury and still continue to make health and fitness gains. Not long ago he injured his ankle pretty badly playing on the lake, he spent several months working around this but still consistently showing up to the gym and it has paid off. He has consistently and steadily become stronger in the gym because of his consistency. Thank you Cooper for making our gym a better place.
Please tell us about yourself. I was born and raised on a farm in Texas. I am a husband and father of two wonderful children. My family and I love to camp, rock climb, bike, ice climb, ski, raft, etc. My day job starts when you turn on the sink to brush your teeth, take a shower or flush the toilet. I’m an environmental engineer.
When did you become a member at Defiance West? About a year and half ago.
What made you join Defiance West and why do you do it now? My wife was going and raved about the staff and members. Once I started, I was hooked and enjoy challenging myself each and every day. It is one of the best ways to start the day.
What were your thoughts after your first workout? Wow, I have a long way to go!
What is your athletic background? Grew up playing soccer and some basketball. Lots of manual labor growing up on a farm too.
What is your favorite movement or workout? The workouts that appear really simple, “That doesn’t look bad”, then halfway through I’m like, Wow!. Those are the most memorable and humbling ones. I also enjoy seeing people push themselves out of their comfort zones to achieve things they didn’t know they could.
What is your least favorite? Pushups, situps, handstands…, I’m super weak and sloth like on these. I know you said one but I couldn’t just pick one. Wait, I don’t love thrusters either.
What has been your favorite or proudest moment since joining? Getting my first bar muscle up was great, but I have reflected back on where I started with overhead squats (barely able to do the PVC) and where I am today. Still have much room for improvement but now I can at least do them with some weight on the bar.
How has Defiance West changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness? I am continually amazed at how much it has improved my life, nutrition and overall base fitness level. I feel like my body is much more balanced. I also am happy that my wife and I can workout (aka suffer) together.
What are your fitness goals for this year? Continue to improve my weaknesses, base fitness and stay away from injury. I also want to continue to maintain a growth mindset. 0.01% better every day!
What is something most people don’t know about you? I was in the drama club and One Act Plays in High School. Ask me about the freezer story as a kid!
What advice would you give to people looking to get started at our gym? Just start and don’t feel overwhelmed or push too hard in the beginning or get wrapped up in where everyone else is. We all started somewhere. Everyone at Defiance West is very supportive no matter what step you are on in your journey.