We are so excited to welcome Jen to our team of Rockstars! Starting bright and early tomorrow morning, Jen will be helping us rise and shine with 6:15 am Revolutions on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Jen started coming to uforia about a year ago, so you may already know her from riding beside her in class, but we sat down with Jen to learn more about our newest Morning Warrior.
Tell us a bit about yourself! What brought you to Palo Alto, and to uforia?
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and went to college at Miami University of Ohio. After college, I spent two years teaching high school Spanish in Ohio and living in a rural village in Peru, then headed to grad school in Austin, Texas (my favorite city – ask me for recommendations if you ever make plans to visit!) I moved to the Bay Area because my boyfriend, Ben, was in grad school at Stanford.
I spent my first six months here living in Oakland and commuting to East Palo Alto to work at a nonprofit, and while I loved Oakland, I found that my very long commute left me constantly tired, lacking motivation, and feeling unhealthy and unbalanced. Exercise had already been my me-time and my release, but I just couldn’t find the time or energy with my commute and juggling everything else going on in my life. So, I made a switch and moved to Palo Alto to be closer to my job and Ben, and to find more time and balance in my life. I walked into uforia during their open house last spring, and the rest is history!
You mentioned that exercise has always been an important part of your life – can you tell us about your fitness background?
I grew up swimming but eventually found that it was too solitary for me and that I craved more of a team dynamic, so I joined my high school’s water polo team. I loved being able to build off of the energy of my teammates, struggle together, and share successes together.
Once I started to make my own fitness schedule in college, exercise really became my “me-time.” With my busy schedule, it’s important to me to make time to do something good for my body and have a chance to clear my mind. I started spinning in college and loved how much it focused on good music. I instantly fell in love with Revolutions because it is everything I have ever wanted in a spin class, and more!
What do you love about uforia and group fitness?
Before I started coming to uforia, I mixed the occasional group class with solo cardio and strength training sessions, so Ben was surprised when I went all-in and switched completely to group classes. But, the uforia community is so special and the instructors are amazing – they feel like coaches and the atmosphere in the studio and the underground reminds me of what I loved so much about being on a sports team. I love the variety of classes and feel like I can always find something to suit my mood. Even though I’ll be teaching in The Underground, I love taking GRIT and bliss, and shakin’ it in Hip Hop.
uforia is just FUN. A fun place to be with fun classes. I don’t ever have to “make myself go” because I just want to go. I want to be there and I want to take the classes. It is a place that exudes healthy in all aspects of the word – healthy mind, healthy body, healthy outlook and healthy community.
Aw shucks, we love you too, Jen! Tell us about your style – what can we expect to see and hear from your in The Underground?
To put it simply, I like music that makes you want to wiggle. I will bring a healthy blend of throwback jams along with lots of music with smooth beats, like Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and Maroon 5 (one of my favorites!) Since I speak Spanish, I’m sure that some Pitbull and other Latino influences will be in the mix sometimes. Expect to ride as a community and start your day off right!
What do you do when you aren’t at uforia?
I spend my days working as the Community Relations Officer at the Lucile Packard Foundation. From lemonade stands and coin drives, to charity golf tournaments and benefit concerts I get to work with all types of amazing individuals who have creative ideas and inexhaustible motivation and most importantly to me – a deep philanthropic desire to support the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. When I’m not working and working out, I love to read and am always looking for new book recommendations. I also enjoy cooking and tend to break out the butter and bake when I’m stressed. I’m also always looking for an adventure, so I’m constantly on the hunt for cheap flights or excuses to visit new places.