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.

Being The Best Version Of Herself

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Most people can’t fathom waking up at 4:30 a.m. in general – especially for a workout. Although, there are some who will drag themselves out of bed no matter how warm and snuggly it is. Leslie is that type of person. She makes the effort to attend the 5 a.m. class at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) knowing that she’ll feel better once she sees her morning squad.

Like many who join OTF, Leslie wanted to improve her health and she wanted to shed those last 30 pounds of “baby weight” after the birth of her second child. Her journey to OTF started with some frustrating news at her annual physical in late 2015. When her doctor said her weight and body mass index (BMI) classified her as obese, Leslie decided it was time to make a change.

“I think it was particularly great being part of the “founding” class of members at Orenco OTF because we all started together. We were all newbies together.”

She started with her nutrition, successfully losing 30 pounds in the first half of 2016. “I was feeling and looking better than I had in a very long time, but I knew that in order to maintain my health long term, I needed to also add more physical activity,” said Leslie. Towards the end of the year, Leslie started seeing OTF “coming soon” signs popping up in her Orenco Station neighborhood and heard the OTF “buzz” from friends at work. She decided to make the leap and sign up.

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Anyone’s initial class can be daunting and unnerving as you learn the flow of the class. While challenging, Leslie was hooked from the start and credits the variety of people in her class – men and women, young and old, fit and those looking to shed a few extra pounds. It was clear to her that OTF provided a place where all types of people can come together for an hour each day to work hard and achieve their goals. “I think it was particularly great being part of the “founding” class of members at Orenco OTF because we all started together. We were all newbies together,” she said.

Hooked from the first class, Leslie knew she was headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, a major family crisis propelled her to affirm her commitment to OTF. On December 23, 2016, Leslie’s mom suffered a massive stroke. One moment her, vivacious, 64-year-old mother was living a normal, healthy and active life. The next moment she was fighting for her life.

Leslie says she will never forget the call from her sister that came while she was wrapping presents and getting ready for their annual Christmas Eve party. Next came a frantic drive to the Salem Hospital, a quick decision by doctors to transfer her mom by Life Flight to Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), a rush consultation with the surgeon, and the three terrifying days with mom in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

She’ll also never forget the call she made to OTF Orenco Station on Christmas Eve morning to cancel her class. Leslie said, “Rachel answered the phone and she was just so incredibly kind and that when I started to tell her I was missing the class, that my mom had a stroke, I lost it and just started to sob.” Rachel was empathetic in the moment, and supportive when Leslie returned for her first OTF class a few weeks later. Her mom had been released from the hospital and she was thankful for her road to a full recovery.

Not surprisingly, the experience left an indelible mark on Leslie. She knew that she had to do everything possible to take control of her health and live her best life possible. And thanks to Rachel’s kindness, she had found her place at OTF Orenco Station. This wasn’t just a gym or just a workout – but a place that feels like family, a place that lifts her up. A place where she can push herself to be stronger and achieve more than she ever thought possible.

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Leslie says she burns first and foremost burns for herself. While it may sound selfish to some, Leslie thinks of it as being self-full. She says OTF empowers her to be her best, strongest, fittest self – so she can be the best wife, mom, daughter, and friend for others. She burns so she can carry her, 55-pound 6-year old, daughter up the stairs – and maybe still carry her when she’s 65 pounds and 7 years old! And, Leslie burns because of her mom. She knows that while she can’t control the genetic factors that might contribute to a stroke, she can control how she takes care of her body, her diet, and her physical activity.

At the start of her OTF fitness journey, Leslie’s goals were to maintain her fitness and gradually progress in her weight loss while leading a fun life and enjoying great food. Working out was not a consistent part of her lifestyle prior to OTF, so she set a goal of   attending classes at least three times a week as part of her fitness maintenance.

Although she had modest goals in the beginning, she soon realized that she could do more. Leslie started as a power-walker and she began to entertain the idea of jogging, despite having some reservations about it. Her inspiration? Coach Shay! One day in class he said to Leslie, “If you can powerwalk that fast, you might as well run.”

The first thought she had in her head was “Shut up! I hate running, there’s no way I’m going to run…” and her second thought was “Well, I’ll take that challenge!” The next day, she started to jog – baby steps – with her speed and strength increasing a little each day.

When a few of the OTF squad, Christina, Katie and Megan, in her class approached her in early 2017 about joining their team for the 2018 Shamrock Run, Leslie started to seriously consider it. While a tiny bit scared, she dug deep, signed up with the team, and set a goal to run the 8K.

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Then she started running more. She ran at OTF and outside in her neighborhood. She became faster and stronger and in March 2018 – she ran her first race and her first 8K ever! She ran the whole thing – a major milestone in itself – never walked and has OTF to thank for helping her accomplish that goal. She now looks forward to her next race and achieving her next goal!

In addition, inspired by the OTF Transformation Challenge, Leslie has increased her lean muscle mass by 2.4 pounds, increased her basal metabolic rate by 24 kcal, reduced her body fat by 4 percent, and has lost 6 pounds since January 2018. She also set the goal of completing last September’s Dri-Tri in less than an hour, which she did in 59 minutes and 22 seconds. She then, on her 46thbirthday, smashed her previous Dri-Tri time by five minutes accomplishing her goal! She’s now working to increase her speed on the treads, increase her weights on the floor and come to class five days a week.

“The Halloween party was a blast – and I was so sorry to miss the 1-year anniversary party but I love that Orenco OTF takes the time to create these moments of connections with its members.”

According to Leslie, it’s the fun and friendly coaches, staff, and incredible member community that make OTF Orenco Station a great environment to take classes at and keep her coming back for more. She’s also forged new friendships with folks like Monica, Sarah, and the Shamrock Run squad (Katie, Christina and Megan).

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“Orenco OTF has a special chemistry and magic that I’ve not found at any other OTF studio. AJ, Shay, Persia are my absolute ‘fave’ coaches. I still miss Chris and Chloe, but it’s so great when them come back to visit! And new additions like Jess, Taylor and Conner have brought new energy, which I love. AmyJae keeps the energy high and makes the whole place hum. And it’s always nice to see Jojoe’s friendly face when I come in the front door.” 

Finally, it’s the activity and accountability. She loves that there’s always a new competition, class or activity. From Hell Week to the Dri-Tri, Transformation Challenge to the Marathon Challenge, to Spirit Week, and to the guest DJ – there’s always something fun to look forward to and keep her motivated.

She also loves how OTF Orenco Station comes together to celebrate at after-hours social events. “The Halloween party was a blast – and I was so sorry to miss the 1-year anniversary party but I love that Orenco OTF takes the time to create these moments of connections with its members,” said Leslie.

Keep Burning Leslie!

From Timid To Confident

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If you’ve ever met Betsy, you’ll notice that she’s peppy and full of life especially if she hears an “old school” tune that she danced to often such as Daft Punk’s “One More Time.” Every time she comes to class, she’s ready to take on the workout no matter the type of day it is.

“Once I figured out that everyone was concentrating on their own workout and not looking at the new kid, I was fine. I can’t remember the format of the first class, but I know it was hard and I got a lot of splat points and I wanted more!

Prior to joining the Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) family, Betsy participated in group classes at a gym for years. Although she worked out frequently, she wasn’t seeing any results and realized her workouts weren’t good as they could be.

Her workout buddies Becky, Jen and Melissa, who also work out at OTF, told her all about OTF. Betsy, at first, felt timid about going to OTF at first because of the running component. Eventually, she tried her first class and joined in February 2017 after another friend coaxed her into going.

Betsy recalls being scared for her first class. She said, “Once I figured out that everyone was concentrating on their own workout and not looking at the new kid, I was fine. I can’t remember the format of the first class, but I know it was hard and I got a lot of splat points and I wanted more!” Once she started going to OTF frequently, making new friends and relationships – she was hooked. She and her friends keep each other accountable while having fun at the same time.

“We are like a crazy workout gang, and we motivate and push each other and love every minute of it! I also love all the events that the studio puts on for us. It is nice to feel appreciated.”

Her initial goal when she started at OTF was to finish each class and attend classes a couple of times per week. Now her goals have evolved from completing each class to accomplishing more. She wants to do an actual push-up, consistently stay at a base pace of 4.5 mph or higher, row with better form while staying in the orange zone, and master the hamstring movement with the Ab Dolly. In addition, she wants to complete this coming spring’s Dri-Tri with a faster time and not be the last person on the treadmill.

Betsy before OTF

Since Betsy has been here, she has reached a milestone of finally being able to run. She began walking at first and thought to herself that she could never run. However, Betsy slowly progressed from walking/jogging, to full on jogging, and finally running while increasing her speed incrementally. She’s proud of how her shoulders, back and arms are in amazing shape along with her booty, hips, and legs from running.

“I am beyond happy with this transformation. ‘Who starts running at the age of 39?’ For anyone that has doubts, it can totally be done. You are only competing with yourself. Being able to run brought out confidence in myself that I didn’t know was there,” stated Betsy.

 Betsy likes how the heart rate monitor and performance summary emails keep her on track with what she has done, her progress and goal setting. She likes the fact that every class varies day-to-day and incorporates a full-body workout. Betsy also appreciates how all the coaches have their own style of coaching with various playlists.

Everyone has a type of day they either love or hate but Betsy likes them all. She likes endurance days to push her on the treadmill along with strength and power days pushing her limits on what she can do.

The OTF community at Orenco Station is a special place, which gives a sense of belonging and like-mindedness. Betsy loves the relationships she has forged, friends she has made at the studio, and being around people who want to be healthy helping each other reach their goals. “We are like a crazy workout gang, and we motivate and push each other and love every minute of it! I also love all the events that the studio puts on for us. It is nice to feel appreciated,” said Betsy.

Thanks for being part of a wonderful fit family Betsy – Keep Burning!

From Barely Walking To Crushing It

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The couple that sweats together stays together. It’s difficult to miss Gaurang (aka “G”) wearing his headband holding back his wild hair with his wife Janki and her infectious smile. They’ve attended classes here at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) Orenco Station since the beginning of December 2016 and have only missed one class each between the two – amazing!

“It was hard, and we could barely walk the first day. But at the same time, it was so engaging and different, we enjoyed it so much we knew we had found something special” — Janki.

Prior to joining OTF, they neglected their fitness but wanted to make a positive change in their lives. Both were looking for a workout that they could enjoy and sustain together. One day, the duo walked around Orenco Station and saw a sign for OTF. Their curiosity led them to meet the owner, Chad, and Persia discovering the benefits OTF workouts offer. The two joined right then and there beginning their fitness journey.

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The two recall their first workout at OTF as “intense” and it made them realize their “unfit” condition. Janki stated, “It was hard, and we could barely walk the first day. But at the same time, it was so engaging and different, we enjoyed it so much we knew we had found something special.”

They, initially, had differing fitness goals for themselves but wanted to improve on their overall health. In the past, G ran for distance and had the aspiration of building lean muscle, regaining momentum for running and getting back into shape. Janki, on the other hand, had the initial goal of completing the recommended three weekly workouts.

“My secret is to keep challenging and competing with myself everyday. Different variety of workouts and technical inputs from coaches kept things interesting and that made a huge difference compared to a monotonous gym workout” — G.

Now that they’ve attended classes here for about a year they have different goals. G wants to challenge himself by running longer distances in a shorter time period while completing all the floor reps as a short-term goal. He also wants to burn fat while continuing to build lean muscle, which helps his long distance running, his long-term goal. Janki wants to continuously stay in base pace between push pace on endurance days, lift heavier weights, complete more reps, row with better form, and tone select muscle groups.

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The two have accomplished some milestones since joining OTF. G has lost 25 pounds in eight months and never fathomed waking up at 5 a.m. to attend the 6 a.m. workouts full of energy and focus. At first, he found the routine difficult; however, the coaches, staff and other OTF members kept him going and staying motivated to reach his goals. G said, “My secret is to keep challenging and competing with myself everyday. Different variety of workouts and technical inputs from coaches kept things interesting and that made a huge difference compared to a monotonous gym workout.”

 Janki initially started as a power walker because she didn’t like running and thought she couldn’t run at the time. Now she’s a jogger/runner – a milestone she never thought of achieving. She also completed the Dri-Tri in September, which she thought she couldn’t accomplish. Throughout her fitness journey, Janki has had many nagging injuries. She has had moments when she wanted to “take it easy” and give up. However, she persevered knowing that the workouts made her stronger and changed what her body could do. At the end of the day, she always felt good post workout and the thought of getting stronger kept her going.

“All this strength and determination would have been impossible had it not been for the amazing coaches at OTF Orenco pushing me to lift more, run faster, row faster and longer! It was constant support and reaffirmation from all the coaches at OTF, which kept me going. And of course, the overall amazing format of workouts that OTF offers has led me to grow immensely strong from where I was a year ago” — Janki.

Every time they experience a different workout at another studio, they always circled back to how extraordinary the coaches and staff are compared to the other locations they have visited. Both credit the staff and coaches for their constant involvement and hard work, which brings out the best in them every day describing OTF as “life changing.”

When asked what they loved about the OTF community, they described it as a positive support system built into their lives, which is simply special. In addition, the OTF community at Orenco Station gives them an amazing feeling, which adds motivation to the workout. They’ll continue to succeed with the help of each other and the rest of the OTF Orenco Station family.

Keep Burning G and Janki!

Leaving The Comfort Zone

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If you’ve ever met Jenn in class, you’ll notice that she’s smiling and ready to tackle the workout of the day. She ensures that she gets her daily workout in by diligently attending the 5 a.m. workout with her “crew.” Since she began working out at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF), she has reached some milestones and continues to reach more milestones in her fitness journey.

Five years ago Jenn’s health had declined and she weighed in at 375 pounds. She decided to take charge of her health by partaking in an active lifestyle, which she started off by taking bootcamp classes and using personal training. You name it, she has tried it ranging from kickboxing, spin and step aerobic classes; however, those classes didn’t quite get her where she wanted to be.

“It went by so quickly that all that nervousness got turned into sweat real quick! When class was over I was energized, sweaty and smiling.”

Jenn heard about the great workouts at OTF from a few people. Her good friend, Becky, knew that OTF had a location opening at Orenco Station and invited her to check the place out. The rest, you could say, is “history.”

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Like many people who have never taken a class at OTF, Jenn felt nervous but excited at the same time for her first class. “It went by so quickly that all that nervousness got turned into sweat real quick! When class was over I was energized, sweaty and smiling,” said Jenn.

Before she started her workout regimen at OTF, Jenn had plateaued in her weight loss goals and complacency kicked in. She had the goal of getting healthier and stronger by “shaking” her out of her comfort zone and pushing her – her favorite way to do this is by attending strength and power classes, which are her favorites!

“You can’t help but smile from the first ‘good morning’ to the high fives and laughs. The moment you walk in you feel like you’re part of something great.”

Not initially considering herself a runner, she power walked the first Dri Tri back in March. In the most recent Dri Tri, she committed herself to distance and interval running, which she accomplished. Jenn had doubts the day before about completing the event, but felt pretty good after completing it. She said, “Every time I step on the scale I reach another milestone. I am seeing weight loss and numbers that I wasn’t sure would ever happen.”

Although she has come a long way, her goals remain the same – become healthier and stronger. When asked what she burns for, Jenn thought of it as a funny question. Her friends will tell you she burns for food, especially for brunches, at La Provence. She knows the caloric count in a croissant from there. In all seriousness though, she burns for a better version of herself every day.

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Jenn loves attending classes at the studio because of its atmosphere describing OTF as “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” She said, “You can’t help but smile from the first ‘good morning’ to the high fives and laughs. The moment you walk in you feel like you’re part of something great.” She enjoys classes because of the coaches and staff’s encouragement. Most of all, it’s all the dynamic people who surround her that are like her who take a proactive step in their health.

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Jenn during the weight loss challenge.

Jenn stated, “I can’t begin to express the encouragement and confidence that Orangetheory has given me. I have new friendships that will last a lifetime and countless memories have been made. I can’t think of a better place to take my fitness goals to the next level nor would I want to do it with a different bunch of people.”

Keep Burning Jenn!

 

 

 

 

A Game Changer

Lindsay

The early bird gets the worm. Lindsay has consistently attended early morning classes at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) Orenco Station since she started her membership in May. She mainly attends the early morning classes that some of us would rather skip and sleep in. Her commitment to attending classes has helped her reach her fitness goals.

Before joining the OTF family, she carried extra weight and needed help to achieve a healthier life. She wanted to build strength and endurance to enjoy the outdoor activities she loved with less pain.

“I powered through it and came right back feeling much better. I certainly felt accomplished!”

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Luckily her friend and co-worker, Todd who also attends OTF Orenco Station, invited her to try a class at the studio. This is exactly what she needed – getting plugged into a fitness community of like-minded people. “It’s been such a game changer for me!” and she describes OTF in one word as innovative.

Lindsay recalls her first workout going all out to the point of getting sick in the restroom half way through the class. However, she had a determination of completing the class, which she did. She said, “I powered through it and came right back feeling much better. I certainly felt accomplished!”

Since her start, she has lost 25 pounds alone by going to classes and a total of 40 pounds since she started her fitness journey. Lindsay now has goals of toning up, improving on her performance and pushing herself to do more.

Lindsay before and after

The coaches at the studio and an independent health coach have attributed to Lindsay’s success and reaching her milestone. She recently decided to coach others as an independent health coach encouraging and supporting others towards reaching their fitness goals – paying it forward.

“I’m so thankful for OTF and what it’s done to help transform my health.”

Everyone has their favorite type of class but she likes them all. She said, “All of them are great, honestly. Any day at OTF is a good one.” The things she likes most about OTF Orenco Station are the coaches and the staff because of their energy, positivity, encouragement, and how they lead by example. She’s amazed by how everyone knows her name. “They’re great at connecting on a personal level and are the reason why I’ll be a lifer at OTF,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay loves the accountability the studio provides because the classes, which she schedules keeps her on track by showing up to class. In addition, the community of the OTF family keeps her connected, which always has her coming back. “I’m so thankful for OTF and what it’s done to help transform my health.” 

Keep Burning Lindsay!

Consistency and Determination Pays Off

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Aaron is a dedicated and humble guy who arrives to the studio early and ready for the unknown workout of the day. Patiently waiting for the day’s workout challenge, he sits quietly in thought.

For Aaron, coming to Orangetheory Fitness on a frequent basis has payed off. Since he began working out at the studio and maintaining a proper diet, he has reached his target weight by losing 40 pounds! Despite any barriers, he consistently followed his plan.

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“I ended up enjoying it and never stopped.”

Before OTF Orenco Station opened its doors, Aaron spoke with Persia, then fitness consultant and now coach, about membership and how OTF incorporated the use of heart-rate monitors and how it gave metrics in real-time. Intrigued by the concept, he purchased a membership as a founding member.

His family has a history of diabetes and he knows people who are on dialysis. With that in the back of his mind, he knew he had to make positive changes in his health. Prior to taking classes he said, “I had been sedentary for over a year.” He knew that his fitnessjourney would be painful and difficult. However, the feedback and positive encouragement kept him going. Regarding the workouts he said, “I ended up enjoying it and never stopped.” OTF has provided him an “interesting” environment with a positive addiction to working out.

 

“I couldn’t have made so much progress and change in my life without the help and the encouragement of everyone at OTF. Thank you!”

 

He enjoys power days and everyone’s positivity in class, which keeps him coming back. When asked to describe OTF in one word he said, “challenging.” He now has a goal of seeing how far he can push his body and how much strength and endurance he’ll gain. He burns for abs and to lose his belly.

Aaron wishes he had the secret superhero power of regeneration to quickly recover his body when faced with intense classes at the studio. In the meantime, he’s going to have to get plenty of rest and water. He attributes his fitness journey success to other members and staff and stated, “I couldn’t have made so much progress and change in my life without the help and the encouragement of everyone at OTF. Thank you!”

Keep Burning Aaron!