We all have a reason why we sign up and walk into the studio. For many of us, myself included, there’s something about being in that dark room with loud music that allows us to forget the outside world and focus on us. We all have a history, a story behind why we are where we are and who we are today. This is mine.
I was married, had a child and was divorced all by the age of 30. I am a culmination of my experiences. I am beyond grateful for each and every one of them. My past has made me who I am today.
What you don’t know is that I gained over 50 pounds with my son Karsten and throughout my pregnancy, my marriage was falling apart just as it was getting started. Before I knew it, I was headed back to work with an infant son, a demanding career, failing marriage and a body that was well over it’s ideal weight.
I remember visiting the Doctor, sad and depressed, not knowing what was going on with me. I was thinking “umm this must be postpartum depression”, and I was feeling
“I have failed miserably at the young age of 28.” I would lie in bed trying to identify and handle what felt like oppressive depression and anxiety. Truth was I was trying to do it all- caring for my newborn, trying to fix my marriage, provide for my family and stay at the top of my game in a successful career.
With tears I my eyes I remember thinking, feeling and finally saying to my family Doctor…”I need to do something about this. This isn’t me” She suggested medication; a drug or happy pill that would kick start me out of this funk. I understand that is a viable option for some. But I wondered, what else? She looked at me and said “ Well, Jenn, how about exercise?”
Now, listen- I’m a former athlete; a competitive athlete, I knew/ know how to train, what to eat to have my body performing at its highest level. Yet, when I became pregnant, I let that go a bit. And when I became mired in a struggling marriage, I found myself in a bad place. Giving up good nutrition, letting go of empowering workouts, does not lead to feeling good about ourselves. Lesson learned☺
For the next three months I committed to getting healthy and focusing on my physical fitness. Three months I would check back in with my Doctor. In the interim, I jointed the local gym, and used fitness magazines as a tool to help guide me on what to do. I would put my son to bed at 7:00pm and I would let my husband know I was going to the gym.
It was those moments that were for me, an opportunity to challenge myself, to be inspired by others in that gym. That 15,000 square feet building was my safe place, where I could forget the outside world, hit pause on the thoughts running thru my head and focus on me. It was there that I came out of my shell and began to laugh, smile and create lasting friendships. It was a place where everything complicated became simple. I could just be free and be in the moment. The weight didn’t come off nearly as easy as putting it on, but eventually each pound did come off. What I gained was more powerful than what I lost. Every pound I would shed, every muscle I would sculpt, I was returning to ME. This was my journey. I was on a mission to become the best person that I could be not just for me but equally important, for my son.
Fast forward some ten plus years and today, my mission comes full circle. My commitment and focus and passion to fitness still holds true, yet what’s different is that dark room, the bike or the Balance room is for you. It’s a place for you to be inspired. A spot where you can hit pause on the anxiety, drama and stress in your life. An opportunity to focus on you, to challenge you and to be inspired by others in the studio. A place to come out of your shell, laugh, smile and create lasting friendships.
When I ride, I don’t ride for me- I ride for us. I want to remind you how amazingly strong, determined and fierce you are. I ride to inspire to you to become the best version of you. I ride to challenge you, to train not only your body but your mind. I ride to help you attain the best life possible. Fitness gave me hope and strength in a point of my life when I was running on empty and that is what I want to pay forward to you. I don’t ride for me- I ride for us.