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About root

Mind, Body and Soul

FREE Consult for Personal/Small Group Training 

Cathy Pierce and Jenn Houck have come together to form root SUP & Fitness, a fitness and wellness studio located in Shepherd's Old Field Market in downtown Leonardtown, Maryland. Cathy and Jenn instantly connected almost 15 years ago when they first met in a spinning class. They developed a close friendship, bonding over being moms, comparing their multiple surgeries, drinking red wine, and mostly, working out together. They both truly have a passion for educating others about the benefits of total health and wellness and leading healthy lifestyles. Together, they decided to pursue their personal trainer certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, obtaining their yoga teacher certifications a few years later from The Nosara Institute/evolve yoga and wellness. They are also both Functional Nutrition Specialists from The National Academy of Sports Medicine and together have over 35 years of experience working and educating in health and wellness. They are excited to bring their families, businesses and clients together to put down roots and grow alongside their community!

Our Team

Staff Bios

Jennifer A. Houck

root SUP & Fitness Owner & Trainer

Jenn Houck is married with 3 girls and co-owns Coltons Point Marina in Southern Maryland. Jenn is a certified personal trainer and certified nutrition specialist from the The National Academy of Sports Medicine, a certified yoga and aerial yoga instructor, a certified Level I and II SUP instructor (PaddleFit Pro and CORE) from PaddleFit and a licensed physical therapist assistant. She is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast who has competed in numerous marathons and ultra marathons. Following back surgery in her late 20's, she decided to return to school for a degree in physical therapy. After working in the field for over 10 years mostly with children with special needs, Jenn decided to blend her passion for fitness and the outdoors and focus on health and wellness. She dedicated herself to her personal training business including creating Potomac SUP & Fitness, a stand-up paddleboard company offering lessons and classes both on and off the water.

Credentials: B.A., NASM CPT, PTA, FNS, RYT200, PaddleFitPro and CORE SUP Instructor, Level 1 and Level 2 and Restorative Aerial Yoga Instructor

Contact Jenn at or 301-247-0977


Cathy E. Pierce

root SUP & Fitness Owner & Trainer

Cathy Pierce is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with a Fitness Nutrition Certification. Cathy was born and raised in St Mary's and has been an athlete since the age of 7 when she began her career as a competitive swimmer. She swam at the elite level and traveled across the Northeast, competing in various events. Injury took her out of the pool and after graduating from West Virginia University in 1999, she was a Special Education Teacher here in St. Mary’s County. In 2003 she had her first child and decided to stay home and raise a family. Cathy and her husband now have 4 children. Cathy became a Group Fitness Instructor in 2008 and started teaching classes. In 2011, she became a Certified Personal Trainer and has been loving her job ever since!!!! She is a RYT 200 and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others. Cathy is passionate about working with people and believes strongly in an overall health and wellness approach.


Credentials: M.A., B.A., NASM CPT, FNS, RYT200

Contact Cathy at or 301-848-0511

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Amanda Brelage

Personal Trainer & Instructor

Amanda has been teaching group fitness for 3 years, and has been an NASM Certified Personal Trainer for 2 years.  Amanda loves watching people try new things - from working with people on how to meal plan, prep and eat healthier options, to jammin' thru a workout  She finds joy in encouraging and empowering others, watching them grow in strength and in how they look at and feel about themselves.


Amanda is corny, which is part of why she LOVES classes with kids, like Fam Jam, and is laughing most of the time!  Amanda is an engineer by trade, over-sharer by life, mom of 3, and wife of 15 years.  She enjoys hanging with her friends and family, backpacking, kayaking and SUP, hiking, and just being outside in the warm sun!  

Credentials: NASM CPT, FNS, BCS,WLS

Contact Amanda at


Angela Smith

Aerial & SUP Instructor

Angela has been an athlete, and a yoga and fitness enthusiast since she was a kid, and was trained by Cathy for years. After a back injury, Angela realized she needed a change from her regular workouts to make sure she was nurturing her body. She joined the root family as a client and was introduced to aerial ~ It was love at first swing! She loved the way it made her body feel, so she obtained her Aerial 1 certification, wanting to help others feel good too! After teaching aerial in the studio for a couple of years, Angela discovered she loved teaching on the water as well.  In 2020 she completed stand up paddleboard training, earning her PSUPA Flatwater 1 certification. In December of 2021, she completed her YTT 200 hours, certifying her as a registered yoga teacher. Angela teaches aerial yoga and fitness to adults and kids, mat yoga, paddleboard kids classes and camps, and paddleboard yoga and fitness.  She is passionate about helping others feel their best, and developed an aerial workshop designed to help relieve back pain using the hammock. Angela also offers private parties, small groups, and one-on-one sessions for mat yoga, aerial hammock, and paddleboard. 

Angela is a hairstylist by trade and has been working behind the chair for 20 years. She has been married to her wonderful husband since 2002 and has 3 beautiful children.  When she’s not teaching or doing hair, Angela loves hanging out with her family and spending time with their many animals. She enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and soaking up the sun!


Credentials: Aerial Level 1, PSUPA Flatwater 1, RYT 200

Contact Angela at

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Lauri Bruce brings over two decades of yoga training and teaching to her classes. As a certified yoga therapist,1000 hr Yoga Instructor and Level 2 Melt Method Instructor, all of her instruction is based on the premise that the mind, body, spirit connection can help us heal ourselves. As we age, overcome disease and deal with the stress of
living in an ever-changing world, movement becomes the balm of
healing. Breath is the vehicle for change and meditation is the calm in the center of the storm.

Lauri has been married for 41 years and had two grown children. She is
an accomplished landscape and portrait artist and former bakery
owner,dance teacher and aerobics instructor.

Having lived on the lower Potomac since 1984 she considers Southern Maryland her home. Join Lauri on your journey to self discovery and

Credentials: certified yoga therapist, RYT1000 and Level 2 Melt Method Instructor

Contact Lauri at

Lauri Bruce
Yogi, MELT Method

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Christine Jaffurs

Christine has been passionate about yoga for over 25 years. She loves to share the many physical and mental benefits a regular yoga practice can provide.  She has been teaching yoga in the community for over 5 years and serves as a school counselor at a local high school.  She incorporates yoga and breath work in assisting teens dealing with anxiety and depression.

She lives in Leonardtown with her two children and husband.  She enjoys being outside and active and spending time with family and friends. 

Credentials: RYT200

Contact Christine at

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Christa’s two favorite things are spending time with her three children and being active. Any free time she has is spent outside running, biking, hiking, kayaking or paddling.

A native to Southern Maryland, she has lived in Leonardtown for the last 15 years. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and spent the first ten years of her professional life working in the corporate fitness industry as an ACE certified personal trainer. Currently, Christa holds an AFAA group exercise instructor certification. As a way to share her passion for fitness, she has spent the past 25 years teaching various forms of group exercise.

Christa believes a healthy life is expressed through gratitude and exists when mind, body and spirit are connected. 

Credentials: AFAA

Contact Christa at

Christa Hayes
 rootcamp Instructor

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Teresa is passionate about being out in nature and experiencing the beauty of our diverse local waterways while working out on her paddleboard. She wants to share her love of SUP with others who have the aspiration to become a better stronger version of themselves. She also works @ Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital as a multi skilled Radiologic Technologist. She’s been in the radiology field for 26 years. She’s a single mom of two very active teenagers. Although balancing family and a career may be tough sometimes she believes that finding time for yourself and your health is very important and a great example for your family and friends!

Credentials: PaddleFit, Aerial Level 1, Restorative Aerial

Contact Teresa at

Teresa Ingrodi
SUP Instructor

Jenni Groht
SUP Instructor

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Jenni took a SUP class with a group of girlfriends many years ago and was hooked.  When the opportunity came to get certified she jumped at the chance.  Jenni loves being on the water, especially with the great locals of Southern Maryland on paddle boards beside her.  Teaching Paddle 101 to newbies is her passion!  Hearing how nervous yet excited her new students are brings a smile to her face.  When they get off the water they are smiling and can’t believe how much fun they had and can’t wait to come back for another class.  Even if they fall in :)

Credentials: PSUPA Flat Water Level 1

Contact Jenni at

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Amanda Meatyard


Amanda was introduced to yoga at the Saipan Institute of Yoga in 2000 in Micronesia. Then moving to the Hawaiian Island of Molokai in 2005, Amanda had the opportunity to learn and practice Astanga Yoga for almost 15 years. Over the years Amanda developed a deeper curiosity and appreciation for the benefits and impact of yoga for all. Returning home to the banks of the lower Potomac River, Amanda  completed Evolve's 200 YTT at Ease Cafe in Alexandria, VA. Since becoming a certified yoga instructor in 2018, Amanda continues learn and develop as a teacher and a student. She furthered her training through Evolve's Spiritual Anatomy class as well as completed Evolve's 12 week Mentor Program. These classes have enhanced and developed Amanda's skills and knowledge as well as  cultivated new curiosities of practice and teaching. While Amanda loves practicing and teaching vinyasa based yoga she is also committed to the therapeutic aspects of asana and pranayama. She believes there is a yoga practice for everyone.  Amanda enjoys teaching yoga on the beach, at local studios, private individual and group lessons. 

Credentials: RYT 200

Contact Amanda at


Tyra Countiss

SUP & rootcamp instructor

Tyra is an ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor and Flatwater Level 1 SUP Instructor. She graduated from Coastal Carolina University in the spring of 2021 with a degree in Biology and currently works as a Physical Therapy Assistant at ProFlex Physical Therapy in Leonardtown. 

Tyra is a lifelong resident of Southern Maryland and loves being on the water! She enjoys SUP, surfing, swimming, running, and anything else outdoors. Tyra loves being active and wants to teach others to love fitness as well through tun workout classes on  the water and land!


Credentials: ACE GFI, PSUPA Flatwater 1

Contact Tyra at:

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Yoko Tin


Yoko Tin is a 2019 graduate of Evolve Yoga + Wellness 200-Hour Interdisciplinary Yoga Teacher Training. She also completed Yoga Anatomy and Soul 50 hour Teacher Training. She is also certified teach Aerial Yoga and Yin Yoga.

A native from Japan, Yoko has lived in Australia, California and Tokyo as a military spouse. Yoko loves outdoor sports such as skiing, golfing, hikingand snorkeling. Beaches and mountains make her feel happy and content. After years of being in constant pain from a ski accident she suffered from her 20s, Yoko was looking for an alternate treatment. When she moved to Southern Maryland she found a yoga class taught by Ann Hunt in the Naval Base where her yoga journey began. Since then

she has been a dedicated Yogi.

For Yoko, Yoga is not only a tool for pain relief, but also a tool for self-discovery and self-love that extends compassion to others. Her teaching style is inspired by so many of the amazing instructors and students within the SOMD community. Yoko likes to incorporate the combination of energy/calmness and steadiness/ease throughout her practice.


Credentials: RYT 200

Contact Yoko at

Our Roots

Putting down roots in historic Leonardtown, MD

Cathy and Jenn have chosen to make St. Mary's County their home and are passionate about the health & wellness of their community. They are very excited to forge a strong community relationship with the town of Leonardtown, Maryland and to help the residents of St Mary's County live a healthy, active lifestyle!! The ladies can not wait to bring workshops and events to the community at the beautiful Leonardtown Wharf Park as well as their brick and mortar location in Shepherd's Old Field Market! They are looking forward to sharing more than just exercise and movement with their community. Nutrition, proper sleep, stress management, arthritis, joint discomfort/pain, and more. Everyone deserves to feel good and be happy! You are never too old (or too young!) to start!

On Water

Launching from Leonardtown Wharf Park

Amenities include ample parking, public restrooms and expansive calm water ideally suited for stand-up paddleboarding.

root brick & mortor
On Land

Located in Sherpherd's Old Field Market

Amenities include parking, showers & restrooms, indoor & outdoor workout space.

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