Valentine's Month 🧡 Faces of Joy: The Butchens of Ridgefield

🧡Stronger Together 🧡

In honor of February - Valentine’s Month, we are spotlighting couples who ride together! 

First up: we are particularly proud to profile the amazing Butchens from JoyRidgefield, whose joint-careers in sports marketing led to them being known as a "true life Jerry Maguire” couple. Not only do Jeff and Heather Butchen run their own agency together, this dynamic pair uses classes to motivate themselves, connect with each other, and to help alleviate symptoms of Jeff’s early onset Parkinson’s disease.

What initially brought you to JoyRide?
Heather has been at JoyRide since it first opened as part of her regular exercise regimen. Jeff’s participation, initiated by Heather, came about the same time that Jeff was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. Based on current medical treatment, exercise is as important, or even more important than medication.  

We exercise for the stress relief, as most people do, and of course the sense of community. Being part of Ridgefield for so long, it is important to us, as well. We’ve raised our family here and we’ve always been very active in the community.

Which classes do you usually attend?
We not only exercise together, but we also work together, having started a Digital Marketing agency called teamDigital Promotions, 25 years ago. That means that we are either in the studio before work or hitting the bike immediately after- at least two to three times per week.

How do you motivate each other / how does riding together affect you?
Considering that we spend as much time together as we do, riding is just another thing we share. Admittedly, Jeff can sometimes default to a couch, watching the news. However, Heather makes certain that he is either on the bike (or at the other two weekly activities they share — kickboxing and yoga!).

How did you first meet?
We met while working at the Sports Marketing division of Saatchi & Saatchi in New York City. We have often said that we are the "true story" version of the movie, Jerry Maguire!

How long have you lived in Ridgefield?
This year marks our 24th year living in Ridgefield, and we have a son and daughter — both in college.

Has exercise always been a part of your lives?
In some form or another, we have always been active, whether through sports participation or going to a gym.

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourselves that could help/ inspire others looking to get fitter/healthier?
Being part of the JoyRide family has been incredible on many levels. The friendships, the inspiration from the instructors and the generosity has been felt on all levels. JoyRide’s support of Parkinson’s events has enabled us to donate nearly $5,000 in support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

lesley osborn