Meet the Pittsburgh Team

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They’re the #badasses that keep our PGH community moving, read about our Pittsburgh team below! 


How did you end up at Zenergy? What brought you here? Who has impacted your life the most?

Renee: My love for fitness is what brought me to Zenergy and the need for a change. I was coaching for a club swim team, and while I loved the kids and everything about coaching it was time to make a change. Zenergy has become a huge part of my life and I couldn’t be happier about the impact it has had on me as a person.

Josh: My life in NYC had become quite stagnant, just going through the everyday motions. I was stuck in a life-sucking job and found zero fulfillment. My daily mantra is to “do what makes you happy” yet I wasn’t listening to my own words. I had been following our founded, Nick Staples’ journey since his first studio opened and when I saw he was opening in Pittsburgh I said to myself “Josh you have NOTHING to lose and everything to gain by reaching out and inquiring about an instructor position.” I auditioned and I was accepted into their training program. I moved to Pittsburgh, sight unseen, one year ago and the rest is truly history. IT couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, Zenergy Cycling truly saved me.

Alexa: I started working at Zenergy back in May when I was studying for my nursing boards. I was looking for something light and fun to do to combat stress and I found that quickly in my job at Zenergy!

Emily: I first discovered Zenergy via social media, and once I found out there was going to be a Pittsburgh Studio I knew I had to be a part of it. As soon as the Pittsburgh Studio was announced, about a year and a half ago, I contacted Nick, we met for coffee, and the rest is history! From our very first conversation, I knew that this opportunity would end up changing my life for the better… and it definitely has, thus far, far surpassed any and all of my expectations, and I know it will continue to!

Alissa: I started taking the cycling classes once it opened because I walked past the studio as it was under construction and thought it would be so fun. So I applied for the front desk position and now I’m here!

Loghan: I was a Zenergy rider before I joined the team. I follow Josh on Instagram and one day he posted that the PGH team was looking for people to join the front desk. I thought it was an amazing opportunity to be closer to a community that I already loved so much.

Presley: The first-week Zenergy opened in Pittsburgh, they had one week of free classes as a promotion. I went the first day of that week and loved it so much that I couldn’t imagine missing a single day. After going seven times that week I was absolutely hooked and I never looked back.

Sarah: I took a few classes and immediately fell in love with riding to the beat of the music, the choreo on the bike, and the high energy. It was the spin studio I had been longing for in Pittsburgh!

Tess: The need to supplement my Target addiction and switch up my workout routine brought me here, the friends I’ve made and the community we’ve created here has kept me around 

Marie: A group of my co-workers at Walnut Capital wanted to try it together. After a (longer than I’d life to admit) hiatus from working out, it took some convincing, but I suffer from severe FOMO so I agreed to give it a shot. My birthday was also the next day, so I was hopeful I could get into birthday shape in 45 minutes.

Amanda: I found out about Zenergy at the mount Washington pop up ride in November and stayed in contact with Josh and Emily through Instagram which helped me find out when they were hiring staff.


What emoji are you? (and why?)

Renee: The ‘laugh until I cry’ emoji because I typically laugh so hard I cry.

Josh: The smiley devil emoji- come take a class to find out for yourself.

Alexa: I am definitely the nurse emoji!

Emily: The ‘laugh until I cry’ emoji is my number one most used emoji, so I would say that it is a pretty accurate representation of who I am. I can be super intense and serious sometimes, especially on the podium, but if you know me, you know I have trouble taking myself seriously sometimes. I do a lot of laughing and joking around in and out of the studio. I think sometimes we take ourselves and our situations too seriously, so when we can, we should be light about things and laugh… it’s good for you 

Alissa: I’m the ‘smiling and waving’ emoji because I’m all about having a good time and sending positive vibes

Loghan: The nerd emoji because I love corny jokes and being ridiculous.

Presley: The dancing girl in the red dress – it’s how I like to approach every situation – dancing my way through it until I figure it out.

Sarah: The turtle emoji- I have always loved turtles and I have a pet turtle named Sheldon.

Tess: The ‘sassy girl with her hand up’- because I feel like she (much like myself) serves up the right amount of sass!

Marie: Probably the upside down smiley face. Sometimes I’m all over the place, but I bring a smile with me.

Amanda: The hibiscus flower is my favorite emoji because it reminds me of when I grew up by the beach and surfing with my family.


What’s one word that describes how you feel about your Zen Community.

Renee: Perseverance. 

Josh: GRATEFUL

Alexa: The one word I describe the Zenergy community as is inclusive! I love that all types of people enjoy the workout and can come together in the studio for classes.

Emily: Home.

Alissa: I’d describe our Zen Community as loyal. 

Loghan: Love. I know, I know – it’s the most cliche response in the book, but there’s a reason it’s part of how we end every class. Lots of love in and for this community.

Presley: Purpose. 

Sarah: They are on FIRE!

Tess: Lucky.

Marie: Sweaty. So sweaty.

Amanda: Inspired because everyone is there working on themselves for their own reasons.


What’s your favorite past time?

Renee: If I’m not working, I more than likely am working out.

Josh: Oh gosh! There are so many that come to mind, but if I had to choose one.. I can’t so here’s two. 1. It would be spending summers of my childhood at the beach with my family and friends 2. Sitting on the porch during thunderstorms with my Mom and Nana just listening to the rain hit the roof and watch the lightning strike mere football fields distance away. Those were always the best times- no phones, no distractions.. just pure family time.

Alexa: When I am not working, I love to cook and of course take Zenergy classes!

Emily: I love hanging out with my friends and just being around people in general, but when it’s time to wind down and have some alone time you can probably find me watching nerdy documentaries and super dark thrillers on Netflix or listening to any and all genres of music.

Alissa: My favorite past time activity is baking healthy desserts.

Loghan: Anything that’s music-related, but that’s partially because I’m an opera singer so I suppose that’s really more a mix of past time and profession. Outside of music, I really enjoy baking from scratch- pies are my weapon of choice.

Presley: Going on walks in Frick Park  It is so beautiful and peaceful – the perfect place to reflect.

Sarah: Hanging out with my husband, family, and friends.

Tess: School supply shopping!

Marie: Christmas Eve with my entire family. We wear pajamas and eat Chick-fil-a nuggets.

Amanda: Watching How I Met Your Mother and relaxing.


Who has impacted your life the most?

Renee: So many people have impacted my life, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. When I reflect on my past and how I’ve come to be the Manager of the Pittsburgh Studio I know I couldn’t have done it without the guidance and leadership skills I learned from my boss of 10+ years, Mr. Ron Ellis. He helped me to learn by example and saw the potential in me that I had not yet recognized. Mr. Ellis gave me the knowledge, confidence, and expertise that I have today. I know that I am a better leader and role model because of him and the impact he had on my life.

Josh: My family. Sometimes we take our family for granted, I know I have; but with every year I get older, I come to appreciate them more and more. We don’t always have to agree with our families, but at the end of the day, they will always be the first ones loving and being there for you, unconditionally.

Alexa: My sisters have definitely impacted my life the most. They are my best friends and they are my biggest inspirations!

Emily: This is a really tough one! So many people have impacted my life in different ways. However, I feel like the people that have made the most impact in my life are the people that have believed in me though everything, people who never lose faith in my capabilities even when I may veer off the path. I don’t need to name names, you know who you are.

Alissa: My boyfriend Rob

Loghan: I don’t know if I can choose just one person. I’ve had so many people impact my life in deep, meaningful ways and, of those people, I can’t say who’s had more impact over another – I mean, unless we want to get really technical ten the answer is obviously my mother because without her I literally wouldn’t be here. And in that case, also my dad because it takes two to tango (sorry, is that too inappropriate? Subtlety is not my forte…)

Presley: My mother – she is the epitome of hard work and dedication when it comes to chasing her dreams. She is a powerhouse and has taught me so much when it comes to work ethic, not through her words, but through her actions.

Sarah: My mom. She has been there for me every step of the way. I can always count on her to talk through the tough times and she is always willing to chat about my successes!

Tess: After moving from Indiana to Pittsburgh without knowing anyone, I can say that after 5 years I have finally found my place and my family here at Zenergy. All of the people that I have met through Zenergy have honestly made such a huge, positive impact in my life.

Marie: My mom <3

Amanda: My sister has impacted my life the most, encouraging me to live life on my terms and never settling due to comfort and fear when I want more.


What’s one thing about yourself you want to share with the Zen Community?

Renee: I love country music, but I also LOVE Eminem and I shamelessly can probably sing a majority of his songs including the rap battles in the movie 8 mile.

Josh: I love iced coffee (yes, even in the middle of the winter).

Alexa: One fun fact I want the Zen Community to know is that I am an ICU nurse!

Emily: FUN FACT: I am a total Geography nerd, and have been since I was little! I can name every single country (197) in the world along with the capitals, largest cities, landmarks, etc. I also speak Hebrew and some Arabic. Don’t believe me? Try me 

Alissa: My goal is to retire before I’m 30.

Loghan: Are we going for a fun fact or a more meaningful answer here? If fun fact, I love game shows and have been a contestant on The Price is Right and $100,000 Pyramid (links for funsies: https://youtu.be/_LgLFU_VQSs and https://youtu.be/_JPsbSqD4I8). If more meaningful answer, I am a big sap with a big heart that I (more often than not) wear on my sleeve.

Presley: I am not super into sports, but when it comes to the Olympics, everything else in life comes to an absolute halt and I watch every sport pretty much constantly. I am so in awe of the incredible athletes and the work they put into their profession.

Sarah: I have been in love with spinning for about 12 years. It has been interesting to see how spin classes have evolved over the years. I’m loving what it has turned into… and I’m especially loving the ride at Zenergy!

Tess: When I was little I wanted to grow up to be a backup singer…yes, a BACKUP singer. It was clearly too much pressure for little Tess to want to be a lead singer.

Marie: I’m new to the team and can’t wait to meet everyone! 

Amanda: Fun Fact about me: I danced in a Disneyland parade with my high school dance team!


Have an idea for a ZenBlog?! Email alyssakogel@zenergycycling.com

Jenni Schwartz