What I’ve Learned from 4 Years of Orangetheory

On this day, four years ago, I took my first class at Orangetheory Fitness. I had friends in other states that had been going for months, so when it finally opened in Kansas City, I signed right up.

My original goal was to lose weight. I was still pretty deep into a severe exercise addiction and corresponding body dysmorphia, and I saw the results my friends were having, so it seemed like a solid choice.

Since I had been running and working out consistently for a few years, I also thought I would breeze through these classes.

I learned a lot in that first class, and this workout has honestly changed my life.

First of all, that first class (and every class after that) put me in my place. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Olympic athlete, if you do the work, you’re going to be challenged. In four years, it has never gotten easier. And I kinda like it that way…

Next, it changed my heart. I am very competitive, but this workout and its community changed me. Quickly I found that I was more about celebration than competition. Yea, it’s fun to turn to your neighbor and say, “let’s pick it up,” or to see someone’s tread speed and think “daaaaaang” and let it push you. But I get so much joy out of standing behind a treadmill telling my friends to keep going than I ever would being upset that they lift heavier weights than me.

Subsequently, it changed my circle. After many years of living in our new city with very few close friends, I met my best friends at the gym. I am a 5 AMer, and it’s a special squad that can bring it at that hour. Those were, and are, my people. We bonded quick, and easily, and our husbands accused us of joining a cult. (They were kinda right.) These girls that I met while covered in sweat are the same ones that bought me a cake when I got promoted, that prayed with me when I got melanoma, that threw me a last minute baby shower when we found out about Jack.

And finally, it saved my life. That sounds so dramatic, but hang with me. Like I mentioned, I was deep into some pretty dark eating and exercise routines. These coaches taught me that these things were not healthy and not sustainable. I can confidently say that if this workout had not entered my life, I would have continued to delve deeper into unhealthy behaviors, and I fear for where I would be now.

Is it expensive? Compared to my previous gyms, sure. Is it hard? Not gonna lie, yea. But I’ve never looked back. I am stronger, physically, mentally, emotionally. I am faster. I played sports for years and never felt as much like an athlete as I do on this day. These coaches push me, encourage me, and care about me. And these members, they’re my family.

So for the foreseeable future, I’m still burning and adding to the list of studios when I travel. Here’s a list of all the studios I’ve visit the last four years and their placement on the map.

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Orangetheory Studios:

1. Olathe

2. Leawood

3. West Hollywood

4. Chicago Old Town

5. Lexington

6. Ankeny

7. West Omaha

8. West Nashville

9. Edina

10. Arbor Town Austin

11. Reno Southeast

12. Anthem Las Vegas

13. Naples

14. Olathe South

15. Omaha Northwest

16. Minneapolis Uptown

17. Overland Park

18. Chicago South Loop

19. Fargo

20. Salem, OR

21. Tulsa Midtown

22. Lenexa

23. Point Loma San Diego

24. Reno Northwest

25. Omaha Midtown

26. Albuquerque Far Northeast Heights

27. Las Vegas South

28. Minneapolis Eagan

29. Tulsa South

30. Des Moines Clive

31. Denver Tech Center

32. Denver LoDo/Union Station

33. Manhattan East 39th Street

34. North Little Rock

35. Woodbury

36. Lexington Summit

37. Lee’s Summit

38. Arizona—Tempe

39. Evansville, Indiana

40. Hendersonville, Tennessee

41. Austin Downtown

42. Brookside

43. Nall Hills

44. Huntington Beach—Brookhurst

45. Huntington Beach—Bella Terra

46. Corona Del Mar

47. Papillion

48. Lincoln South

49. East Nashville

50. Kansas City Parkville

51. Minneapolis—St. Louis Park

52. St. Charles

53. St. Louis—Creve Coeur

54. Charleston

55. Mount Pleasant, SC

56. West Des Moines

57. Davenport, IA

58. Brookhaven, GA

59. Chastain Park, GA

60. Buckhead, GA

61. Portland—Goat Blocks

62. Eugene, OR

63. Medford, OR

64. Las Vegas Spring Valley

65. Las Vegas Mountains Edge

66. Denver—Cherry Hills

67. Denver—Southglen

68. Springfield, MO

69. Emeryville, CA

70. Vallejo, CA

71. San Francisco—Financial District

72. Richfield, MN

73. Nashville—Midtown

74. Burnsville, MN

75. Eden Prairie, MN

76. Missoula, MT

77. Hyde Park Chicago

78. La Grange, IL

79. Glendale, CO

80. Uptown Denver

Here’s to the next year of splat, Run2Rows, deadlifts, and no palms to elbows.

XOXO,

Molly B.

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