Resonating Words

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A person can tell you many things. Sometimes you forget what they say going through one ear and out the other. However, there are times when a person will tell you something where it simply sticks and resonates with you.

In 2014, Monica’s oncologist gave her words of advice, which were so profound that she shares them with anyone who asks her. After enduring four rounds of chemotherapy, followed by six weeks of daily radiation, she wanted to take control of the cancer she had. Her doctor told her, “…keep up your healthy nutrition routine…work out as hard as you can as often you can and then do more…get seven to eight hours of sound sleep every night.”

When she completed all of her treatments in 2015, Monica asked her doctor once again what she could do to remain healthy and keep the cancer away. He asked her, “Do you remember what I told you when you started? Do those same three things forever!” Since then, Monica continued to follow his advice. Determined not to have cancer take control of her life, Monica took control of it. She began by walking the Camino, a 260 mile trek from Lyon, France to Santiago, Spain with her daughter Kelsey.

“It’s the energy of walking into a place that sparkles, welcomes, and hugs you even when you’re a ‘sweat-ball.’ It’s your new friends who text you when you’re gone from the studio for a while and they want to make sure every thing is OK.”

As she went through her treatment, she remained diligent working out three to four times a week. She tried various types of workouts ranging from Zumba to swinging kettlebells, but she couldn’t find what she wanted the most from those workouts – a community. That’s when she discovered that an Orangetheory (OT) location was opening at Orenco Station only five minutes away from her front door.

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Monica, a little gun-shy, signed up for a membership during pre-sales. Once Orangetheory opened its doors in December of 2016, she showed up for the two-week trial period.  She said, “The first class was terrifying! I remember walking into the studio and standing, frozen, staring at the machines, TV monitors, and the orange of it all!” She had no idea of what she got herself into.

She gave herself the grace and permission to, from the start, quit if she couldn’t handle OT. Monica attended classes two to three times a week and eventually went six to seven times a week embracing the culture. Monica said, “I was hooked. Addicted. Obsessed. In Love. I found my groove – my thing.” Everyone she talks to about OT, she swears, thinks she has joined a cult.

“Just start. Just start and do not quit. Eat healthy. Sleep soundly. And, work out as hard as you can, as often as you can…and then do more.”

The community is the number one reason, which provides Monica her mojo, daily joy and her happy place. She has made so many friends and works out with people who she has come to love. Monica said, “It’s the energy of walking into a place that sparkles, welcomes, and hugs you even when you’re a ‘sweat-ball.’ It’s your new friends who text you when you’re gone from the studio for a while and they want to make sure every thing is OK.” She also landed a new career working with 401(k) accounts from her friend, Milauana, who she befriended by attending classes at the studio.  

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It didn’t take long for her to realize that OT wasn’t all about the equipment and tech, but more about the coaches and how they coached her every step of the way since day one. “They were patient and yet they pushed me. They watched me, and they coached me. I have learned how to row, how to run, how to lift correctly, and how to modify when I need to,” said Monica. She has observed each and every one of the coaches and seen how magnificently they’ve grown individually. Each coach has blossomed into a leader, mentor and a good friend to all – this is why she doesn’t quit.

Monica appreciates how the coaches don’t quit. The coaches show up for special workshops occasionally on Sundays after normal hours of operation. They take the time between classes giving advice and tips to help members with any problems or questions. Coaches provide a contagious energy beginning with high-fives at the start of class to celebrating milestones of any member during and after class.

Since she has joined the Orangetheory family at Orenco Station, Monica has seen real results in many ways. She feels great loaded with vast amounts of energy especially after an early morning strength-day workout. The euphoria from finishing a class empowers her to tackle the day with confidence and power.

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She definitely feels the strength she has gained in her muscles in the past two years. Monica lifts heavier now because the coaches know she can and encourages her to do so. She loves how she doesn’t bat an eyelash now when she adds more weight or making the TRX strap exercises a little more challenging.

Monica’s healthy habits and diligence has rubbed off on her kids and they’ve followed suit. Her daughter Kelsey wants to open an Orangetheory in Vienna, Austria so she can take classes every day. She and Kelsey plan to walk the next Camino – the Portuguese Camino – in 2020. Her sons also send photos of healthy meal prepped foods for the week too.

When people ask her how she stays in shape and how she has so much energy, she tells them, “Just start. Just start and do not quit. Eat healthy. Sleep soundly. And, work out as hard as you can, as often as you can…and then do more.” This advice stuck with Monica and has worked for her – it can work for you too.

Keep Burning Monica!

Leading by Example

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If you’ve ever taken a class with Kirsten, you’ll find yourself hearing from her, “Could you take me off the ‘black list’ please?” What does that mean? In Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) terms, it means to remove a person’s name from the previous class. Kirsten takes a back-to-back class every week and she’s one of only a handful of members who do it.

A small business owner, Kirsten bought the Gym-Nest (a gymnastics studio) more than 11 years ago. She considered herself at the time as “pretty chunky.” She didn’t put forth the effort in working out for a few years. A year into her business, she realized that she needed to set a good example for her athletes. She had to get back to the level of an athlete herself.

“I can definitely say the change in me has helped me to be a better coach to my gymnasts.”

Kirsten decided that she needed to shed some weight and transform herself into a stronger person. She wanted to lead her gymnastic students by example and not telling them to only work hard and be healthy. She needed change – a new challenge. She needed a community to push her further. OTF came along at the right time for Kirsten, which fulfilled her needs.

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Like many others, Kirsten recalls how nervous she felt in her first class. She stated, “My first class was nerve wracking! I was worried I wouldn’t make it through the class because it would be too hard and everyone looked fit and ready to go!”

She started OTF when it first opened its doors in December 2016. The new studio helped her feel comfortable quickly with the fact that everyone else was new too. Kirsten’s first class left her exhausted but in the best way possible. She felt excited to go back because she knew she had much more to accomplish. “I can definitely say the change in me has helped me to be a better coach to my gymnasts,” Kirsten stated.

“I’d like people to look at me and see a fit person – not a ‘doughy’ person. I’d like to look like an athlete again and feel confident in my ability to do pretty much everything.”

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In addition to helping achieving her goal with leading by example for her gymnasts, Kirsten loves OTF the most because of how every day is completely different. She said, “I hate running on a treadmill, but somehow I’m willing to do it here because it’s different almost every day. I love the variation and never knowing what’s coming.” She not only burns for her student, but she also burns for herself living as full of a life as she can.

When Kirsten started working out at OTF she had the goals of being and looking strong. Her goals haven’t changed much since she started. “I’d like people to look at me and see a fit person – not a ‘doughy’ person. I’d like to look like an athlete again and feel confident in my ability to do pretty much everything,” said Kirsten.

“OTF is an amazing group of people! The staff, coaches and members are all so friendly and welcoming. I feel supported and challenged every day and have made some fabulous friends!”

Since she began taking classes here, Kirsten has reached a milestone of increasing her base pace from 5 to 6 miles per hour. She has also increased the weights when she’s doing the floor workouts. Her favorite types of classes are strength classes (although she despises inclines) with endurance classes as the easiest for her. Power classes are the lowest on her totem pole, but they have grown on her.

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Kirsten’s favorite things about classes are the coaches because she appreciates their encouragement and feedback. The smaller classes she attends have her feeling like the coaches know her by investing in her growth with personal attention. She loves to have her form corrected and suggestions to make things more challenging while in class.

When asked what she loves about the community at OTF Orenco Station Kirsten replied, “OTF is an amazing group of people! The staff, coaches and members are all so friendly and welcoming. I feel supported and challenged every day and have made some fabulous friends! We think you’re great too!

Keep Burning Kirsten.