The True Essence of Community.
In March of 2010, Energia opened it’s doors as a first of it’s kind fitness facility in Western Mass, focusing solely on Spinning and yoga. Jennifer Siddall, of Amherst, founded the studio with a strong passion for health & wellness. She carried this passion and vision for a true mind-body connection through, year-after-year, making consistent changes and ultimately building the foundation for a successful business. She showed everyone that in one small room, truly remarkable things could happen.
Early in 2012, a nervous, awkward 22-year old UMass graduate stumbled across the facility, while job searching in the area.
He strongly disliked his current job, especially after this happened:
But, he at least continued to keep himself entertained…
And, so the story continues:
Jennifer hired Justin as a personal trainer, and he got started with his first clients, a young couple from Granby, several weeks later. On the side, he began Pioneer Valley Fitness, an in-home personal training business, with a small office in Sunderland. Justin quickly quit his Raggedy Ann position, to focus solely on personal training. As Justin matured (many would say that’s debatable), he began to take on more responsibility…both within Energia, and his own business venture, as well. Without the expertise, guidance, and wholehearted faith his clients continued to exude on him, the journey would have stopped there.
Several months later, while walking through the UMass Dining Commons, I received a phone call from Jennifer. Robert (shown below), was going to be traveling for work and she needed a new spin instructor. “Uhhhmm, let me think about it”, is all I remember. For days, I deliberated. Me, a spin instructor? I had barely gotten over the broccoli days, which damn near sent me to therapy. How could I get in front of a huge group (by huge, I mean 12) people? But, this was my chance. I needed to branch out, to make a name for myself. Shortly after my certification class, I was put on the schedule for a Saturday Spin class. Ironically, it’s the same class I teach to this day, now four years later. Anyways, Friday night rolled around and I went to Dick’s to buy a new outfit (awwww). I returned home to find that my roommate had invited about 15 people over, music blasting, drinks everywhere. Horrified, I left and rented a room at the hotel up the road. 6 hours later, I had crafted (what I believed to be) the perfect workout. By crafted, I mean I went to Michael’s to buy a poster board, Popsicle sticks, and markers (you can’t make this stuff up). My goal was to write the entire workout onto the poster board and bring it with me onto the bike. How could I screw up if I wrote down all of my lines on the sheet? Oh, and don’t worry, just in case the sheet were to bend, I bought the Popsicle sticks for extra security.
Within about 4 minutes on the bike, while I was introducing myself and going over the positions, my sweat must’ve continuously dripped down onto the poster board…because when I looked down to start my cueing, all I could see was a bigggg old smear of magic markers. At this point, all I could do was smile. “Really Justin? You buy yourself an outfit, you remember the damn Popsicle sticks that look ridiculous taped to the back of this page, but you couldn’t think to laminate the sheet”.
So there you have it Jennifer, there’s the true story of what happened that day!
Oh yeah, and here’s Robert, back in the old studio! If Robert didn’t go away, I wouldn’t be here today. I still don’t know where you went, but THANKS Robert!
Needless to say, I survived. My success was SO wild and apparent, the next day I bought the business. KIDDING!
Before that could happen, there was a whole lot of this:
Don’t worry, don’t worry, that isn’t the true story either. The true story is… I, we, all of you, couldn’t be here without Katie. Her energy and passion, her raw and uncanny emotion, are truly second to none. With Katie, our second location came to light. And with Pat, Jay, Lindsay, Jamie, Ryan, Pam, Ali, Sarah, Mindy, Ashley, and Brittany, our third location now comes to light.