Name: Brooke Pedersen Cummings
Hometown: East Lansing
Occupation: Physical Therapist
What are your interests, hobbies, and talents outside of SOF?
I’m an amateur/intermediate photographer, trying to work on a little side business. I am kind of a wanderlust, I constantly have a need to travel with a goal in life to get to all 7 continents (4 down, 3 to go). I love all things MSU. I love watching (and attempting to play if I’m not injured) pretty much all sports.
Tell us about your sports and fitness background.
Growing up, gymnastics and soccer were my main sports, but I also tried volleyball, track, golf, tennis, softball and cheerleading throughout the years (like I said I love sports). Injuries stopped my gymnastics career in high school, so soccer, running and strength training were my go to activities until 2 years ago when I re-tore my ACL/meniscus. After 4 knee surgeries, I’m sad to say I have hung up my cleats.
I continue to run several races a year, ranging from 5Ks to Half Marathons. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I love the competition of races but I hate training on my own. For me it was a hard transition to go from team sports to working out on my own, I would constantly get bored with my own routine, so I would try all sorts of workout videos or different boot camps but never found anything that stuck.
When did you first start coming to SOF?
I kept hearing about SOF from patients or just throughout the community so I thought I would give it a try. I also like to try different gyms and get to know trainers so I can give an educated/knowledgeable recommendation to my patients. I started SOF in July 2015, it was a few weeks after I got engaged, (like every bride I wanted to look amazing on my big day, so I knew I needed to find something that would stick with me).
How did you first get exposed to SOF? How did your first couple workouts go?
I was pretty much hooked after my initial consultation and the first few weeks. As a physical therapist, I care about form and technique with all activities, as I started going to more and more classes and working with different trainers, it was evident that they all cared about form and technique just as much as we do in the clinic, so that was a huge bonus for me and now SOF is my number 1 recommendation to patients when asked about personal trainers.
What is your favorite and least favorite movement/workout?
My favorite movement/workout is anything core related, especially planks. My least favorite movement/workout are hamstring curls, whether it’s slideboard/physioballs or the sliders, it’s all miserable but that means I need it more and I hate to admit that.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting State of Fitness?
One of the most noticeable changes for me was the improvement in my running pace. I know running improves with stronger glutes and core but I never experienced it firsthand. Last September (after only 3 months of SOF), I ran a half marathon 1 year after (what I call) ACL reconstruction 2.0 and PR’d by 4 minutes. I have another half marathon in 3 weeks, after my most recent 9.5 mile run I’m on track to break my last PR by over 5 mins. There’s something to be said about strength training!
As for my general health, I’m definitely more aware of what I put in my body to fuel it. This is a constant struggle for me but from Justin’s book to the facebook group and the veggie challenge I’m learning something new every day.
What impact has SOF had on your life?
A lot of gyms advertise themselves as a community/family but I never felt that until I joined SOF. Everyone is friendly, positive, supporting and cheering each other throughout it all. I don’t dread going to the gym. This is also the first gym that I have consistently attended morning classes for over a year, (I’m not a morning person so for me that’s a win).
Do you have a favorite SOF moment?
My favorite SOF moment is not actually from the gym, it was the veggie challenge. I have so many new recipes and there was so much motivation to eat my veggies all week!
What is your advice for people just getting started or thinking about starting SOF?
As I tell my patients that are looking for a place to continue exercising after PT ends, I believe SOF cares about their members, give it a try with the 30-day trial and go from there. You will be sore, but it’s worth it, stick it out, talk to the trainers, they will work with you at your level whatever that may be.