About root

Mind, Body and Soul

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 10 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 20 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

 

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 jenn@rootsupfitness.com 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 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 cathy@rootsupfitness.org or 301-848-0511

Patty Jones

Contributor & UProotED trainer

Patty is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist and Fitness Instructor. As a mom of 3 (with another one on the way) and the wife of a retired Naval Officer, she has experienced firsthand the chaos that life can bring. She knows the importance and struggle of finding balance in life. Her passion for food, nutrition, and empowering others to love themselves and their bodies is at the heart of everything she does and she is excited to share that with you.

 

Credentials: ACE CPT

Contact Patty at pattyjonesfitness@gmail.com

Jenn Basta

Aerial & SUP Instructor

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Known by her friends as Jenn or Basta Pasta, Jennifer Basta has been certified in aerial since 2018 and paddleboarding since 2019. Jenn joined the root tribe during the summer 2018 SUP season as a client and has been loving life ever since. With the encouragement of both Cathy and Jenn, root's amazing owners, she has thrived as an instructor and enjoys the gratifying work with root's clients. Summer 2019 will be her first time out on the water as a SUP instructor and she looks forward to continuing to help others achieve their fitness (and fun) goals! 

 

In her personal life, Jenn has been married for 10 years to her husband, Greg, and they have two wonderful boys, Max and Nate. She is an engineer by degree and spends most of her week "enginerding" at work. Aerial and paddleboarding fill her free time, along with kid's sports, outdoor activities, spinning/rowing, and long walks on the beach (just kidding). Come see Jenn at root or at the Leonardtown Wharf for aerial (Sunday 9-10) and paddleboarding (Saturday/Sunday 7-8:15). 

 

Credentials: Aerial Level 1 & PaddleFit

Contact Jenn at peachy1107@gmail.com

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 steveamandab@gmail.com

Vanessa Cooper

Personal Trainer & SUP Instructor

My name is Vanessa. I have been a personal trainer and group fitness trainer for 13 years. I personal train, teach boot camps, small groups, water fitness classes as well as PE and personal coaching. I am a mother of 3 and being a mom is my greatest joy and proudest accomplishment. I live for helping and inspiring people to break through their limiting beliefs so they can live their healthiest, happiest lives ever. From the moment I stepped foot on a paddle board I was hooked. Combining the exercise with the beauty and relaxation of the water are a perfect definition of what life is about: the wind comes, the waters may get a little choppy and challenge you to stay afloat but if you look around there is so much beauty you can’t avoid but feel gratitude and joy! 

Credentials: ACE CPT, PaddleFit Certified

Contact Vanessa at vncooper@gmail.com

Deanna Devito

Pilates

Deanna DeVito is accredited with ACSM as a Certified Exercise Physiologist since 2000. She has her Pilates Mat 1 & 2 teacher trainings through the Physicalmind Institute and has completed over 500 teaching and training hours working towards her Pilates Comprehensive Certification through Balanced Body. She has received her Barre certificate through them as well. 

 

She has been teaching Group Exercise since the mid 90's but discovered her real passion of the Pilates Method in her 1st teacher training in 2002. Since then, Deanna has devoted and focused her teachings on the Pilates principles and is committed to helping people feel good in the body's they live in. She offers small group and individual sessions on the Pilates Reformer, Trap Table, MVe Chair and Mat.

Credentials: ACSM CEP, Mat Pilates 1&2

Contact Deanna at devito24@aol.com

Naomi Hurley

Yogi

Naomi Hurley is passionate about yoga as a method for discovering self-love, aiding in addiction recovery, and helping to find balance in our daily lives. Naomi was first introduced to yoga when she was very young, but has practiced regularly for the last five years. A 2019 graduate of the Evolve Yoga & Wellness Yoga Teacher Training, Naomi is a writer, poet, and plays in several local bands, believing that the 8 limbs of yoga can be applied to every facet of our lives beyond the studio. Outside of yoga, Naomi cares deeply for animals, the environment, art, and equality for all.

 

Credentials: RYT-200

Contact Naomi at SelfLove@YogaNaomi.com

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

Contact Teresa at tbkfree@yahoo.com

Teresa Ingrodi

SUP & rootcamp Instructor

Jonna Jones

Yoga & Aerial Instructor

I began taking yoga in 2011 as part of recommended therapy for PTSD. This was a far cry from the high-intensity, aggressive workouts I was accustomed to, but I quickly fell in love with the practice of yoga, not only for its physical benefits, but also for the peace and comfort yoga brought to my life. For me, the practice is a place to connect with myself and find stillness in the chaos. I will always be a student of yoga and I am thankful for the many amazing teachers who have shared with me. In my classes, my goal is to create a safe space where individuals of all levels can meet on the mat to move their bodies with purpose and turn inward to find stillness. Through tuning in to ourselves, we can find peace and equanimity in the world. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga.

 

Credentials: RYT 200 & Aerial Level 1

Contact Jonna at jonnajones@comcast.net

Amanda Meatyard

Yogi

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 akmeatyard@gmail.com

From the first time I went out with Jenn for a SUP class, I knew I was in trouble.  There was nothing that could compare to being out on the water.  Calm or rough waters, it’s exhilarating and it quickly became one of my favorite ways to workout.  My love of SUP and fitness has led me to teaching and I am so exited to share my enthusiasm for paddling with others.  My 2 boys share my passion for being out on the water and my husband is often my support crew.  Along with being a wife, mother, and teaching SUP, I have been a dental hygienist for almost 20 years.  A fun fact is oddly enough, I have a sweet tooth and decorate cakes, cookies, and cupcakes as well.  

Credentials: PaddleFit Certified

Contact Carrie at cah26.2@gmail.com

Carrie Samora

SUP Instructor

Angela Smith

Aerial Instructor

Angela has  been a yoga and fitness enthusiast for many years. She has always been active 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! 

Angela is a hairstylist by trade and has been working behind the chair for 16 years. She as been married to her wonderful husband since 2002 and has 3 beautiful children. She loves spending time outside with her family and two dogs. She is heavily involved in volunteering at school, leading a girl scout troop and enjoying her kids activities.

Credentials: Aerial Certified

Contact Carrie at curlgirl503@yahoo.com

Gretchen Thomas

Personal Trainer & Instructor

Gretchen Thomas is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a group fitness instructor.  An athlete her whole life, she developed a passion for group fitness after college.  Gretchen enjoys helping people feel empowered to live a healthy lifestyle while balancing life day to day.  In her personal life she is married with an escape artist toddler and one on the way!

Credentials: NASM CPT

Contact Gretchen at thomas.gretchen@gmail.com

Beth Torres

Yogi

Beth is a 200-hour Register Yoga Teacher (RYT) graduate of Yoga Teacher Training at Evolve Yoga + Wellness. Through many years of athletic training, she's discovered the power of yoga as a critical element of overall wellness through care for the joints, strength, balance, and bringing awareness to breath. She now carries forward her practice into all facets of her life. Her passion is for Vinyasa Flow as a way to incorporate the power of energy through breath to cultivate strength of mind and body during the practice. Beth is the mom of two remarkable kids, a full-time professional,  3-time Ironman finisher, marathoner, writer, and lover of nature. She can often be found on the trails or in the mountains backpacking or mountain biking.  

Credentials: RYT 200

Contact Beth at beth.bluejade@gmail.com 

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.

On Land

Located in Sherpherd's Old Field Market

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

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