I originally started spinning at Leading Edge Gym in Amherst. When it closed I moved to Energia in 2010, before Justin was there. I ended up leaving Energia for a while, because one of the instructors opened a new space in Amherst, but that only lasted for 10 months. When I got back, Justin had taken over and it was clear the energy, vision, and enthusiasm he brought to the business was boundless. When we made the move to the satellite location and became 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition, where Embodied Chiropractic is now, I decided to start personal training.
I was 62 at the time and it was something I could see as a need for myself. I always felt that I was in ok shape for cycling and skiing, but felt that my cardio/pulmonary system and overall upper body conditioning could be improved. I could finally, honestly admit to myself that I did not, and probably would never, have the self-discipline to do this on my own. I had tried personal training once before. The individual I worked with was nice, but there wasn’t the connection I was looking for, something I believe is absolutely critical for success.
I started working with Katie in February 2015. I thought we would be a good fit and that she “got” me. I think we got it right as we are still working together four and a half years later. One of my biggest frustrations at the time was skiing at altitude. I would easily get winded and wouldn’t recover quickly. The improvements I have realized in my conditioning and strength have resulted in my skiing being some of the best and most fun I have ever had. I have stayed with 50/50 over the years because I find the environment welcoming, inclusive and non-judgmental. The sense of community is real and important and is encouraged by the management team. I have found the instructors to be universally excellent with a good mix of different styles, but all lead with a balance of knowledge, inspiration and motivation.
My next goal is the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) in August. It is a cycling fundraising event whose mission is to raise money for life-saving cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston through its Jimmy Fund. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is committed to providing expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases. The PMC started in 1980 with 36 riders and raised $10,200. Last year over $56,000,000 was donated to the Jimmy Fund. The goal this year is $58,000,000. One of the most unique aspects of this event is that 100% of donated dollars actually go to Dana Farber,
While I have faced some challenges over the years, they pale in comparison to the challenges faced by my wife Mallorie upon getting a thyroid cancer diagnosis in October, 2009. Intellectually, I thought I would be able to handle that information, but in reality, the emotional toll was completely overwhelming. However, as the days went on and we learned how far the care and treatment of this condition has advanced, in part due to the valuable research made possible by the funding provided through this event, hope and belief displaced the despair. The years have passed and we are happy to continue to report that Mallorie has as clean a bill of health as one can have. It is behind us and we move forward. But not all are so lucky. My 65 year young cousin recently lost her battle with brain cancer in May. We all know someone dealing with this disease and it is vitally important that we continue to raise funding for important research and technology improvements for the ongoing fight against cancer in all its forms.
I am asking for your help by contributing whatever you can to support this worthy cause. My goal is to raise $4000 for this event. Every contribution, no matter how small or how large, is helpful. Your tax deductible donations can be made by credit card directly through the PMC website at www.pmc.org(type in John Stothoff in the Donate link) or mailed to me with checks made out to PMC-Jimmy Fund.
I will be riding with added incentive this year, knowing that my physical efforts and your contributions will help make a difference for those that are fighting so hard. Thank you all.