Worth the Drive

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To get the results that you want in fitness, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and commit to the process. For Eryn, all it took for her was to walk through the studio doors of Orangetheory (OT).

Like so many others before, Eryn worked out by herself at a gym. Her normal routine consisted of 50 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of weights on the machines. She felt lost with no direction and never knew what to do. Not seeing the results she wanted, she took a new approach.

I felt empowered and so excited to come back.”

Eryn heard about OT and couldn’t wait to try it. In the fall of 2017, she took a tour at the OT studio in West Linn. The coaches and front counter staff made her feel welcomed. She then joined the Orangetheory nation.

However, her time there didn’t last long. She cancelled her membership and moved to Vernonia in February. The closest studio she could go to was Orenco Station. Her hiatus from OT was short lived.

A few months later, she rejoined at Orenco Station. She knew the value of it and how Orangetheory gave her the results she wanted. She said, “I was nervous to join a new studio but after one class I knew that the hour drive was worth it no matter how crazy my family thought I was for driving so far. I have taken classes at a number of studios but the environment at Orenco Station is something special. The staff is one of a kind…they truly care about all members and are there for you no matter what.”

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She recalls taking her first class during Hell Week, which is not for the faint of heart. Although she felt terrified at first, the fear eventually went away and after class she never felt better. “I felt empowered and so excited to come back,” she said.

Two and a half years later, Orangetheory has not only helped her lose fat and gain muscle, but also accomplish things she never thought possible. Eryn said, “In 2019 I was able to run eight half marathons and finished my very first full marathon. OTF is like no other. I always feel supported and motivated by my peers.”

The things, which motivate her and keep her coming back are the constant results. Her body continues to evolve and transform. She recently gained a new personal record (PR) on the weight room floor. She lifted weights that she never thought she could lift and last month she ran her fastest mile ever.

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Photo courtesy of Eryn Palo.

“OTF has not only transformed my body, but also has helped transform my mind. I have never been more confident in my abilities in the gym, but also in my personal life I have the strength to make positive changes. I know that with some hard work and consistency I can do anything. I mean, I ran 26.2 miles last year – there is nothing that I can’t do.”

She enjoys turning on the treadmill and pushing herself on endurance days. Strength days prove difficult for her, but she never misses a strength day because she knows she needs to work on this the most. “I have goals to gain more muscle and the amazing coaches have helped me get closer to this goal each week. Another benefit of OTF is the workouts, which are never the same; so even after so many classes, I never get bored. They always keep us on our toes,” said Eryn.

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Her friends and family ask what it is about Orangetheory that keeps her coming back? One word– community. Last year was hard for her. She struggled with mental health issues causing a brief disappearance, but she never felt alone. Her OT family reached out to her to make sure she was okay.

This past Thanksgiving, her crazy Orangtheory Run Squad talked her into doing a 90-minute class and following it up by crushing a 5K race together. Eryn said, “Holidays are meant to be spent with family and I am so grateful I was surrounded by my OTF family this Thanksgiving. That has to be the thing that I love most – the family that I have gained.”

They supported her every step of the way. When she felt ready to come back, she felt as if she didn’t miss a day. She has created lifelong friends at Orenco Station and feels grateful. During the Dri-Tri last year, Persia asked her, “Remember where you were five years ago? Look at where you are now!” This brought her to tears when she came so close to slowing down during the workout. Persia gave her the motivation she needed to keep going.

OT has helped her stay accountable and has given her the strength to improve many things in her life. Eryn feels much stronger mentally and physically.

Keep Burning Eryn!

She’s Going the Distance

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Many members who come to Orangetheory (OT) come maybe 10 – 15 minutes early. There are some members who come 30 minutes early, like Kelsie, excited for class to start. She arrives at the studio ready to go and to chat with friends and staff.

Prior to joining the OT Orenco Station tribe, Kelsie ran for about two years on her own but hit a wall in her training. She didn’t feel well during and after her runs because she had no strength – Kelsie wanted to fix this.

“I love that it is attainable for everyone. It is possible for everyone to get a good workout no matter what their skill level is.”

She wanted to improve herself as a runner and luckily learned about OT at a 5K she ran. “I saw an OTF tent at one of my 5Ks, talked to the staff for a couple of minutes, and had a feeling I would love it. I’m not very self-motivated, so knowing that there was going to be a coach made me feel like it was something I could be successful at,” said Kelsie.  This catapulted her to try her first class at Orenco Station.

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Kelsie remembers feeling exhausted after her initial class, which had a familiar feel to her. Growing up, she figure skated competitively and also competed in track and field as a jumper in high school. The coaching aspect in class and having her pushed to her limits felt similar to the sports she loves. At that moment – she was hooked immediately. Kelsie said, “I love that it is attainable for everyone. It is possible for everyone to get a good workout no matter what their skill level is.”

When she first started coming to class, she burned for her running. While still true, Kelsie burns for more now. She burns for stronger muscles, heavier weights, and accomplishing more now than what she thought possible from a year ago.

“I absolutely love that the workouts are ever changing; it keeps things interesting and keeps me on my toes. I also think that we have the most amazing coaches here at Orenco and their positivity keeps me so motivated to finish every workout strong.”

She started OT last year with a goal of improving her running game and now has more goals she wants to reach. Kelsie wants to lift heavier weights, run faster and longer than before. She said, “Persia recently taught me how to utilize the bike for a very good workout, so I would like to try to incorporate this into my workouts every once in a while as well.”

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Since joining, Kelsie has reached a milestone and can now perform multiple sets of push-ups and sit-ups where she could only do one or two of them before joining OT. Her running has definitely improved. She felt drained after running a 5K in the past, but had completed a 10K in May and will run a half marathon in September.

As an endurance athlete, the runner in her loves endurance classes but she also holds a special place in her heart for endurance, strength and power (ESP) days because she had it as her first class. “I absolutely love that the workouts are ever changing; it keeps things interesting and keeps me on my toes. I also think that we have the most amazing coaches here at Orenco and their positivity keeps me so motivated to finish every workout strong,” she said.

Kelsie loves coming to the studio seeing it as a home away from home. The place has a family vibe every time she walks through the door with all the hugs and smiles that she receives from staff. She appreciates all the support from other members and coaches during class especially when she feels like she’s not able to finish the last 15 seconds of an all-out – and the life advice and injury support from AmyJae and Jess.

Keep Burning Kelsie!