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Perry and Judy Messer became the owners of the Hampshire Athletic Club in the fall of 2007. They have owned and ran HAC’s sister facility, Northampton Athletic Club since 1982. Perry and Judy feel very fortunate to be a part of both the Amherst and Northampton community.
When they are not at the Clubs Perry and Judy enjoy running together, traveling with their three children and volunteering as board members of the Northampton High School Booster Club.
Who would have guessed that when I began teaching aerobics in 1988 at a tiny gym called Northampton Nautilus, now Northampton Athletic Club, located in the back half of a motorcycle shop, it would still be my calling and passion 33 years later! I currently teach an Aqua and a Pilates Fusion class at Hampshire Athletic Club and a Step Class at Northampton Athletic Club. I still thrive on the reciprocal energy from both new and longtime participants. I hope folks always feel free to approach me with questions regarding their health and fitness!
Jenn Therk started teaching indoor cycling in 2017 and has been an enthusiastic participant for many years. She enjoys the camaraderie of a group workout and loves to get lost in a good playlist. She strives to make her classes fun, safe, and effective. She is also a competitive jump roper with Pioneer Valley Jump Rope. In 2019, she was awarded 3rd Place All-Around in the Over 30 Division at USA Jump Rope Nationals.
Yoga has always been present in my life in one way or another. I quit classes several times, but I always returned to yoga again and again. After 5 years of in-depth Kundalini yoga classes (if you see strange people wearing white clothes, in yoga clubs, this is kundalini: yoga with a deep approach to breathing, meditation, mindfulness), I returned to traditional yoga, graduated from Moscow Yoga University, additionally took courses on safety in yoga, biodynamics of movement, dynamic stretching. It is important for me to teach effectively and safely. I have always led yoga groups for friends. Through teaching yoga, I like to give people health, inner balance and freedom of movement. Our body can do more than we think.
Kali first entered the world of Yoga at the age of 12, attending classes with her mom at their local gym. The practice of fun stretching slowly evolved into a deeper settling, settling into herself. Kali’s personal practice has now blossomed into a vital ritual in her life, providing peace and clarity through intuitive movement..
Kali leads her classes with the utmost reverence to an individual’s needs and body. To her, the language of yoga is the language of The Self. The flow of class will honor the body, challenge the mind and always include some form of breathwork, intention setting and grounding. Kali studied to become a certified Yoga Instructor in the Sacred Valley of Peru in the Spring of 2022. She is thrilled to be teaching in Amherst and to the incredible community that thrives in this equally sacred valley.
“I’ve had an interest in health & fitness since I was a teenager. I noticed that lifestyle mattered and played a huge role in how we feel and how we age. I also saw how adding healthy habits in your life can change your life at any age. Exercise is like a fountain of youth! I worked in a stressful professional office for over 30 years, and I saw the struggles my co-workers were having with working, raising children and trying to balance their lives. It was taking a toll on their energy and overall health. Most were over weight and had poor eating habits. Although I worked in an office, I always dreamed of being a personal trainer, so I could help others to reach their fitness potential, as well as enrich their lives with good health. I made up my mind that it was time to change careers and start doing what I love.”
Victoria is a clinical therapist and educator by trade and has been teaching a variety of fitness classes for over 30 years. She enjoys sharing her love and passion for group fitness with others. Exercise has always been an essential part of Victoria’s life, and she hopes to help you make it and important part of yours.
Health and Fitness has been a lifelong passion for me. After I graduated with my undergrad degree, I started competing in sport karate tournaments; a year later I held the number one ranking in women’s black belt fighting for the New England region. Soon after that I started teaching aerobic exercise at Northampton Nautilus (predecessor of NAC). It’s really great to be working with Perry and Scott again, teaching at HAC. I teach kickboxing on Tuesdays, where I focus on developing cardiovascular endurance, strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility through basic kick and punch combinations, along with weight work. I also teach intervals on Saturday mornings, where I alternate weight work with various cardio sets. My day job is at Babson College, where I’m an entrepreneurship professor. But my fun job is at HAC where I get to spend time with a group of enthusiastic and dedicated people that come to work out with smiles, laughter and encouragement for others.
Heidi is an economist by day but changes gears in the spinning room. Her love of
fitness, music, and people align when she’s leading a ride and helping others push
themselves. Heidi lives in Amherst with her partner and three young sons.
Anthony is originally from the island of Trinidad & Tobago. He has been involved in sports and training from an early age. With a great measure of success, he played and coached his neighborhood’s basketball team the Green Acres. He represented Trinidad & Tobago on the national rugby team and played internationally for 7 years. After moving to the United States, Anthony continued to play rugby for the Springfield club rugby team from 1987 to 1993. He got involved with Smith College where he served as the head rugby coach for 7 years. After his time at Smith College he spent 5 years coaching rugby at Amherst College. He is currently the assistant coach for the men’s rugby team at UMass Amherst. He has been coaching there for 6 years in counting. In 2010, Anthony attended Brandford Halls where he studied to become a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. While he was completing his coursework at Brandford Halls he participated in an internship at the Northampton Council on Aging. He came to find that the senior population is greatly underserved. He now enjoys working most closely with this age group.
Diana began practicing yoga 25 years ago in an effort to alleviate back pain. She found it beneficial in so many other ways including feeling more balanced in body and mind. After 15 years of personal yoga practice, and studying with a variety of teachers, she decided to share her love of yoga with others. In 2002 Diana completed Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Since then, she has taught yoga classes at Holyoke Hospital and prenatal yoga at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. In 2004, Diana began teaching yoga at HAC where she very much enjoys the friendly, non-competitive atmosphere, and creating community through yoga.
Ahna has been teaching a variety of group fitness classes in the Pioneer Valley for over a decade. Ahna fell in love with group fitness while attending Syracuse University where she completed Masters’ Degrees in Communication and Education. Her fitness interests are diverse and include everything from intense interval training, body sculpting, and step, to exploring the art of Argentine Tango and other dances. Ahna loves to move and loves to motivate others to do the same!
Lynne Nicole Smith is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She is also a Certified Qigong/Tai Chi Instructor through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi based in Santa Barbara, California as well as a Certified Psychosynthesis Counselor and Expressive Arts Therapist. Lynne’s teaching style reflects her passion for Yoga and Qigong as both being powerful tools and practices for releasing physical, mental and emotional blocks in the body. Through Yoga, we access a stronger connection to breath, a deeper awareness of our body and increase our level of energy and healing on all levels. Lynne is constantly astounded by the profound benefits Yoga and Qigong have had on her own life and students. Lynne also offers private lessons and individual sessions in addition to group Yoga and Qigong classes. Visit www.yogaandhealingartstherapy.com to learn more about Lynne’s work in integrating Yoga, Qigong and Counseling to support healing, peace and wellness in people’s lives.
“I’ve been in the fitness industry since 1983. I’ve lived a lifetime of fitness and continue to pursue constant education to keep up with the ever-changing information in the fitness, massage and spa world. As your trainer, I can design a nutrition and exercise program allowing you to reach your ideal lean to fat ratio. When your muscles are fatigued I can massage you or help to rejuvenate your skin with a facial or spa treatment.”