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!

 

 

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!

Seeking Constant Improvement

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Running like there’s no tomorrow is what you’ll see if you’ve ever taken a class with Christine. Anytime there’s an “all-out,” she runs as if her life depended on it and to the point of exhaustion.

Christine learned about Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) from her friend in Michigan who attends OTF frequently. Her friend was fit from attending classes and Christine thought it would be something worth trying.

“I’m going to compete in my first long course triathlon in June, and I’m excited to see what I can do in that race now that I’m starting training in great shape.”

She ran with teams and worked with a personal trainer in the past and always enjoyed the social aspect of it. Christine said, “Working out by myself just doesn’t seem to happen. So, I wanted to find something that combined a good workout with the accountability that comes with a group class.” When she saw that an OTF had a location opening near her, she signed up as a founding member.

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Christine didn’t recall much about her first class at the studio other than feeling unsure about the water rower and being exhausted afterwards. In addition to the physical benefits, she burns for a balanced life and the consistency with classes helps her remain emotionally and mentally focused. The intensity of classes at the studio pushes her through the “rough” days preventing her from getting down.

Many who start their fitness journey at OTF have goals of losing weight, toning and shedding body fat. As an endurance athlete, Christine’s goals consisted of improving athletic performance to assist her with long distance running and competing in a triathlon. She also wanted a fitness regiment, which she could do consistently whether she specifically trained for something or not.

A year has passed since the studio opened in December of 2017 and her goals remain similar; however, she has added specific OTF goals. She wants to run a 1 minute “all out” at a 4 percent incline, which she admits for the first time. “I’m going to compete in my first long course triathlon in June, and I’m excited to see what I can do in that race now that I’m starting training in great shape,” said Christine.

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Her diligent training has dramatically improved her running during classes. Christine’s base pace has increased by 2 mph this year and she ran her fastest mile of her life in the most recent Peak Week. She said, “Having coaches behind me believing in what I can do and pushing me to go faster has made a huge difference in that. Hearing ‘halfway done, add 0.1 to your pace or grab a heavier weight than you usually do,’ was scary at first and I was nervous to try, but I listened and gave it a shot.” Most of the time she can do it and if she fails, she shrugs it off.

“I love the positive feel I get every time I come in. The coaches and staff are always welcoming and encouraging to everyone and encourage members to do the same.”

Christine loves the many aspects of OTF. She enjoys the banter with friends she has met through OTF before, during and after class. Christine likes experiencing all the different coaching styles and personal flare that each coach shows during the class and through their personalized playlists.

Christine enjoys endurance and strength workouts since she trains for endurance events. She admits that power days can be difficult for her and she’s learning to enjoy the running portions on those days with the many “all-outs” that can occur. She also loves the variety of planned workouts and completing the class as a group.

Community and friends are a bi-product of having a membership at OTF. “I love the positive feel I get every time I come in. The coaches and staff are always welcoming and encouraging to everyone and encourage members to do the same,” said Christine. Seeing others in class acknowledging each other’s effort gives her an uplifting feeling. The encouragement during class often leads to chatting after class where she has met many amazing people.

She’s happy with her worthwhile decision joining OTF. The class has made a major impact on her life physically and she’s in the best shape of her life. It has also made a significant change for her socially as she has met coaches, staff and members that she connects with. Christine looks forward to many more years with OTF.

Keep Burning and crush your triathlon Christine!

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.

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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!