There’s nothing sweeter or more inspiring than seeing a couple supporting each other towards their greatest potential. Lilli, currently residing on Broadway at Bikini Bottom, and her boyfriend / master Broadway trainer, Paul, are answering the December prompt “What’s Creating You?” Bonus Segment: Training for Broadway Body, Mind & Spirit through fitness with Paul who walks us through Lilli’s workout to keep her strong and balanced on and off The BE Way.
NOTE FROM LILLI: Hi! Lilli Cooper here! I’m a proud Native New Yorker and mom to the world’s best rescue cocker spaniel named Dublin. I’m an actress who’s been working professionally since my Broadway debut at age 16 in the Musical Spring Awakening. I did Spring Awakening while I was a junior and senior at LaGuardia High School. I then took a break from performing to go to Vassar College. A few of my favorite credits are Threepenny Opera at the Atlantic theater; Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 at A.R.T.;The Wildness at Ars Nova; and Sundown Yellow Moon at The Women’s Project. I’m currently starring as Sandy Cheeks in Spongebob Squarepants on Broadway! It is a blast to play in Bikini Bottom 8 shows a week and quite a marathon, which is why I need to keep my fitness endurance as high as I can. Which is where Paul comes in!
Besides being my boyfriend of 3 years and my pups baby daddy, Paul is my fitness trainer extraordinaire. Paul has been a certified trainer for over 8 years. He started his fitness journey in Dublin Ireland, his home town, then moved to NYC in 2015. We love working out together since It keeps us accountable and motivated. We push and challenge each other to go above and beyond. In addition to training together we started CrossFit a few months ago. Fitness is one of the first things we connected on when we met. That, and food. Which I’ll get more into in my top 5 things shaping my mind, body and spirit…
December prompt: What’s Creating you?
Metamorphose. df: to change into a different physical form especially by supernatural means. synonyms: transform, develop, mature.
What’s creating you?
What is shaping your mind, body, and spirit?
5 tangible, intangible, ideas, people, places, ideas, rituals, practices that are molding your mind, body, and spirit in this space and time.
- List and describe the deeper layers of each.
- Try and answer the when, why, and how of each “thing” shaping you.
- Reference stories, unique experiences, memories that link with each “thing”
- Examine your day to day routine and why you do what you do.
- What are reoccurring things in your lifestyle practices
- echo lifestyle practices when possible to offer “tools” for readers (takeaway points)
- What are “things” that are so unique to you?
1. Dublin Yes, the city, but most importantly, our Dog! He brings us so much love every day, we couldn’t imagine our life without him. He’s a rescue and is filled with joy and gratitude. The second we saw his eyes we knew he was ours. Dub is as active as his parents are: he loves the beach, hiking, the dog park and a car ride with the window down. He encourages us to live life as the fullest, go on adventures and experience nature as much as we can.
2. New York So much more than my home town. It’s filled with art and music and people of every background imaginable. It absolutely tests our patience in every way possible but still proves that it’s the best city in the world. Sometimes I think having to walk through Times Square every day to get to work will take years off my life, but it also reminds me how absolutely lucky I am. There’s a spirit to New York, an energy that’s palpable. It feeds me every day, both in my Art and in my spirit.
3. FOOD of all kinds, but mostly sushi. We like to eat, and we do a lot of it. Meal prepping is an important part of our week, since finding healthy affordable food on the go can be so hard. But if we are going out, our go-to is sushi: Most delicious, healthy nutrient rich food out there. While we try to stay on a low carb, high protein diet during the week, we also look forward to a cheat meal now and then which helps us stay sane and stay on track. Our favorite not so guilty pleasure is Halo ice cream, which satisfies our sweet tooth without cranking up the calories. We think treating ourselves is just as important as healthy meals and working out. I think of Food can become a spiritual experience. It’s Something we can share and indulge in the pleasure of.
4. Sleep! Most important hours of the day. Not only does sleep provide you with the energy to go about your day without wanting to die, but I truly believe it helps feel the mind and soul. I produce higher quality work, I pour even more energy into my work/workouts, I want to eat healthier and crave less crap when I get the hours I need. It’s also an opportunity to cuddle with Dublin which I’ll never turn down.
5. “Impractical Jokers” This show pretty much sums up our style of comedy. We can watch marathons and laugh till we cry. What is life without a few hours a week of completely vegging out on the couch and watching your favorite guilty pleasure? Add some sushi takeout and we’re in heaven. We love to stay active and be outside as much as we can, but sitting in front of Impractical Jokers when we really need it, feeds our mind body and spirit more than you know!
TRAINING BROADWAY’S LILLI COOPER by PAUL MCLOUGHLIN
As Lilli’s coach my main priority, as it is with all my clients (especially those with such physically demanding jobs like Broadway performers), is to keep them pain and injury free.
Broadway performers need to be sharp and focused in so many areas. While programming for Lilli I have to think about the big picture: her need to be physically, mentally, and vocally strong in order to perform at her absolute best 8 shows a week.
Lilli’s role in Spongebob is very physical with a lot of leaping, jumping, running and sharp turns. I want Lilli to be stronger and faster than the show, so the physical demands are easier for her.
We train together 3/4 Times per week with a mixture of heavy weightlifting (that’s right, sandy cheeks lifts heavy weight to stay strong and sexy) and cardiovascular work 2/3 Times per week.
This may sound like a lot, and it is! Recovery and rest play a huge role in Lilli’s ability to be at her best. I always say: there is no overtraining, just under recovering. Stretching after each workout is a must, and managing stress is major. Exercise is a form of stress and so is performing 8 shows a week, daily struggles and worries can also obviously contribute to stress levels.
Lilli’s regime is really a 360 approach on her health and wellness. Here is a Sample “Sandy Cheeks” Broadway workout:
- a. 10 mins warm up and movement drills.
- a. 20 mins Strength work: Big lifts. Squats/deadlifts e.g.( heavy deadlifts 5 reps, 5 sets)
- a. 10/30 mins muscular endurance and or aerobic capacity work. Upper/lower body combo. (Ex: Push ups/pull ups lunges, 4 rounds with progression options) b. skill work / stretching / foam rolling
Photos & Interview by Jane Jourdan