The PULSE House Story – A Letter From The Founder

PULSE House of Fitness

The PULSE House Story – A Letter From The Founder

As so many of us do, I grew up in a society that shamed me for my body and identity. I never felt comfortable around my classmates because of my size. My family reinforced this negative self body image – my grandmother even paid me to lose weight, all the while feeding me unhealthy foods. This, coupled with the emotional abuse and homophobia I experienced from my stepfather, internalized my sense of shame from a very early age.

Shafer's Story - Before

Everyone loves a school photo.

Entering college felt like my first chance to become the person I wanted to be. But as I’m sure many others have experienced, an unlimited meal plan doesn’t make losing weight an easy task. When at my heaviest, I decided I had to change and dieted to an extreme – losing 150 pounds in 6 months. Yet, while I was happy to have lost weight, I still struggled with my sense of identity.

During this time, I tried my first cycling class. I never felt comfortable in gyms before but decided I didn’t have much to lose. After the first class I was sick to my stomach and swore I’d never go again. But I gave it another go. Sure enough, I was hooked. I loved the energetic (and super importantly for me) accepting environment. I finally found a space where I felt I belonged.

Within 6 months, I became a certified spinning coach and found my true passion in life: empowering people to transform their lives through health. I went from teaching at small, local gyms to helping launch Tyson’s Corner and Bethesda Equinox, all while working a full time job that demanded frequent, long-distance travel. I would fly on the red eye home just to teach my weekly classes at Equinox because I loved my students so much. During this time, I also discovered CrossFit and quickly fell in love with the supportive community and team environment.

Shafer's Story - Now

RESULTS – This is after I discovered the VersaClimber.

While I was in excellent physical shape at the time, my work and personal life was suffering. I was under intense job pressure and grieving the passing of my aunt. My health declined because of stress and I later tore my piriformis muscle while teaching. I knew I had to step back and reassess what truly mattered in my life.

In physical therapy, I was introduced to the VersaClimber. It was transformational for me. The VersaClimber is such an effective and efficient way to exercise, yet no one was using it for more than physical therapy. In that moment I realized I had an opportunity to take my love of teaching to a new level. The first visions for PULSE were born.

I looked for years to find a home for PULSE and as soon as we secured our amazing first location in downtown Washington, DC, we hit the ground running. Every part of PULSE has been designed around one simple concept: to make fitness accessible and enjoyable for everyone. We believe you can have it all – your dream job, time to exercise, and time to play. Our hyper-efficient classes and luxe amenities make it easy to prioritize your health and still have time to enjoy life. Our coaches are true professionals and inspire you to improve yourself in ways you didn’t think were possible.

I can’t wait to see you around PULSE House.  Please share your stories with me – I’d love to hear from you.

Shafer Minnick

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