Sweat Stories: Jen Stephenson

SPIN

Hi, my name is Jen.  I have been married to my handsome, generous and kind husband for almost 19 years.  We have three wonderful teenagers (13, 15, 17) who keep us very busy!  We also have a very cute pup named Rolie.  My daughters both play high school basketball and my son plays Sherwood Park Minor Hockey so most days we are driving to the gym or rink or are there cheering them on in the stands.  I also work part time as a Correctional Officer at the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre and have been there for almost 20 years.  You never know what each day will bring with this job so I have always felt that it is important to be healthy and fit and ready for anything.

We have been fortunate to travel quite a bit as a family and Hawaii is definitely a special place for us but our favorite vacations take place each August when we hook up the boat and head to Kelowna.  It’s such a happy place for us to be out on the Okanagan Lake on a beautiful, hot summer day!  I’m excited to be heading to Puerto Vallarta at Spring Break with my husband and son while my daughters will be taking part in a mission trip to Belize.  I am so proud of them and look forward to hearing about their amazing adventure. 

I grew up in Southern Saskatchewan and am the youngest of six children.  I have always been fairly active.  I have fond childhood memories of hopping on my bike and riding to the swimming pool all summer and travelling around Saskatchewan to compete in swim meets.  It was a great way to spend your days as a kid.  I also played basketball in high school and am thrilled that my daughters play as well because I know they’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.

COMMUNITY

I started riding at Spinunity in July of 2016.  It was actually through Groupon that I first heard of it and as I was looking for something new to add to my exercise routine, I thought it would be fun to try it out.  Prior to spin, I was doing classes at Millennium Place, running and had also done some Moksha Yoga and Sculpt Barre.  I remember the second or third day that I went to Spinunity, Jeff was at the desk and greeted me by name when I walked in.  It was a small gesture but it really made me feel good and was so different than the anonymous atmosphere of a large complex like Millennium Place!  It wasn’t long before some of the instructors started calling me by name and following me on social media and I them, and before I knew it, I really started to feel like part of this amazing community.  From the moment I walk in the studio each time, a happy, positive vibe comes over me.  It really is a happy place for me.  So many thoughts, feelings and emotions come into play in that 60 minute class.  Most days I feel really strong and know I’m going to have a great class but once in a while I go in feeling unsure of my energy level.  On those days, something happens by track two and I’m all in.  To be honest, I may have shed a tear or two during the gratitude track.  I’m amazed where my mind can go during that time and am so appreciative of those 3-4 minutes to think about anything—big or small.  It wasn’t long before I started sharing a high five or cheers with the riders around me.  It’s a really friendly community and I look forward to getting to meet more of them.  I can’t mention Spinunity without mentioning the music.  It’s loud and it’s awesome!  Each instructor is so different with their playlist choices and you never know what you are going to ride to and it’s always changing, which I love!  The music really allows you to be in the moment and clear your mind of any distractions.  I am also a huge fan of the Spin and Strength classes.  I have always done a lot of cardio but as I get older I am well aware of the importance of weight training as well. 

LIFE

At this point in my life I am much more concerned about injury so the strength/weight component is great for preparing my body for more functional day to day tasks.  I think when you are into your 40s you exercise a bit more for health and a little less for vanity and I am happy to say that spin checks all the boxes.  I think the biggest change I have seen in myself on the bike is that initially when the instructor would tell us to “add a bit more tension—I know you can”, I would think that I couldn’t or that I should save some energy.  Now I always add more, even if it’s just a small bit because I know I can and I love seeing those watts jump up.  The instructors are such great motivators and seem to know just what to say to get me to push a little harder.

I have introduced both of my daughters and a couple of friends to spin.  Of course, they have all loved it!  I will definitely continue to spread the word.

Lastly, I would just like to say a big thank you to Jordan and Jeff for this amazing studio!  It is so obvious to me that you love the community you have created and I wish you all the success in the world!

All photos provided by WeAreYEG.

#ridersforlife #spinunity #sweatstories