An open letter to Orangetheory Fitness

Isn’t it both funny and amazing how one decision can change the trajectory of your life?

How one new relationship, connection, job, move, etc. can have a bigger impact on your life as a whole than all other decisions you’ve made combined?

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you definitely already know my love for Orangetheory, but maybe you don’t know how it started.

I had heard of Orangetheory Fitness long before I lived in a town where there was a studio. I mean, back in late 2016, Orangetheory Fitness hadn’t made its way into Iowa yet, let alone small town Iowa. I was so intrigued, and I had imagined traveling somewhere someday where I could try a class! But things have a funny way of working out exactly how they’re supposed to.

Whether you’re a current or former Orangetheory member, an owner, a coach or a sales associate, or someone simply interested, you’ve likely had an experience with Orangetheory worth noting. My hopes, is that many of you reading this have had a similar experience that I have. Because if that’s true, then it confirms my beliefs that Orangetheory is bigger than a 60 minute workout, bigger than a multi-country corporation, bigger than the numbers on the screen.

It confirms that Orangetheory is absolutely life changing. 

It’s hard to put into words something that takes up such a big part of your heart, something that has altered your life completely, but here it goes….

Dear Orangetheory,

It was approximately January 25, 2017 when my world changed. My husband got a job moving us 1,000+ miles across country from Cedar Falls, IA to Greensboro, NC. I was excited, shocked, and sad to be leaving home. However, the very next day began my search to get a job in our new city that we were bound to be in within 3 weeks. My first Google search? “North Carolina Orangetheory Locations”. And hold. the. flipping. phone?! There you were, a location right there in Greensboro.

Orangetheory, you already know the story, but for those of you who don’t, long story short, I got the job! I got in contact with the manager, had an interview only 10 days later when we flew out to find a place to live, and began work there 16 days after that interview.

When I stepped into Orangetheory for the first time, it felt as if I was in a movie when they open the doors to some place spectacular and a halo of light shines around it accompanied by an “ahhhhhh”. A bit dramatic? Maybe. But the point is that something struck me deep with that first step. I felt home, my gut feeling was that I was home. It’s been 2.5 years since then and I haven’t looked back once. Within 2 months I went from sales associate to coach, and 2 years later I went from coach to assistant head coach. I’ve grown as an employee, as a leader, and as a coach. I’ve gotten new, “big girl” jobs between then and now, I’ve moved houses, I’ve begun volunteering and taking on more responsibilities, but one thing remained the same: OTF has to stay on my schedule, and in my life.

In case I haven’t said it before, or said it enough, thank you Orangetheory.

Thank you for the friendships

When I look at all of my friends in this city, literally all of them, I know that I know them because of you. If I didn’t meet someone directly in the studio, between exasperated breaths after an all out, or while wiping the sweat from our faces, I met them directly through someone I did meet at OTF.

To this day, my very first friend in this city I met on my, oh 3rd day of the job, and she stood by my side at my wedding.

I guess it makes sense to make friends with people inside of these walls, because if we’re all crazy enough to be there in the first place, we all have a common factor 😉

Beyond that, I watch people walk in the door every single day at Orangetheory, and they too come there to chat with friends they’ve made along the way. The time in the lobby before class begins has become a little bit of a social hour. It’s amazing to be standing there, with the mic around my neck and coaches shirt on my back and watch new friendships bloom. I’ve seen people introduce themselves for the first time and weeks later they’re choosing each other for the partner workout and then hopping across the street after for post workout beers. That’s a benefit I have being a coach that the members don’t have, I get to watch friendships blossom, friendships that aren’t mine but put a smile on my heart just the same.

 

 

Call us a cult, call us a tribe, call us whatever you want. Orangetheory, you grow families, so thank you for that.

Thank you for the mentorship

Not many people become close friends with their boss in their lifetimes. I’m glad I’ve had that chance through you, Orangetheory. My boss, the OG head coach at our studio, has become more than my boss, more than my friend, more than my “NC MOM” (as I call her), she’s my mentor. I turn to her for advice that could be OTF related, dog related, LIFE related. And I recognize that none of this wouldn’t be possible had I not stepped into those doors on February 3, 2017. I think my head might have fallen off from whirlwind of stress had things gone differently.

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Thank you for my physical health

Sometime in the fall of 2017 I said, somewhat arrogantly, “for the first time in my career, I contribute my physical health and success to something outside of my own workout programming”. I’m talking about YOU. In all of the jobs I’ve had, the group exercise classes I’ve taught, I’ve never fully wanted to participate in the workouts like I want to participate in these. In the past, I felt like I had to, you know just part of the job description. But now, you are a part of my weekly routine. You’ve helped me run a half marathon only 1 month after signing up. You’ve helped me be the most confident in clothes and swim suits that I’ve ever been. And my strong heart and strong muscles are here to prove the rest of the benefits I’ve felt from you.

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And then there’s the members, the transformations they’ve gone through. Losing 50+ lb, running again for the first time in years, lifting weights they never though possible, going from awkward and novice rowers to leaderboard rowers! The list could go on, and I’m sure to anyone reading this, you could find a friend that you know who does Orangetheory, and they have some sort of success story to share!

Thank you for the connections

Beyond the friendships, the connections I’ve made through people I’ve met inside your walls has been INCREDIBLE. I’m not going to go into details of every little thing, but let me just leave it with: I’ve done things, experienced things, and tried new things that never would have crossed my mind had I not been influenced by my connections from you.

Thank you for the stress relief

After a hard day at work, a long day in general, family stress, life stress, any stress, I turn to you. I hop in my car, get to the studio 20-30 minutes before class and shoot the sh*t with my friends and connections there. And then, when the studio door opens, my phone is on do not disturb, and I laser focus on the workout. If I need to get out of my head completely, the bumping loud music, the interactive heart rate monitors, and the fast paced, grueling (yet fit for anyone) workouts do the trick!

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Thank you for the comic relief

On the days when I’m not there solely for stress relief, well, we open the door to fun a little more. The one-line zingers from coach Val, the comedic relief to keep us going into our 10th all out from Tracy, the friendly competition on the rowers from Kristen, Ed, or Dave, or when I trip over another dumbbell, all offer much needed comic relief. Life needs comedy, every single day. And there is not a day I leave this studio without smiling ear to ear at least once.

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Thank you for the career skills

A person cannot grow within a company like I have without learning crucial career skills along the way. They just cannot. The skills I’ve learned, so far, through you have spilled over into my day job. Literally, my boss has said before that he appreciates the added skills and creativity that Orangetheory offers me, he can see it in how I program my classes and schedules at work. I believe that job should always be more than a job, it should leave you with more, it should give you more. 

Thank you for the life skills

Besides the ability to multi-task like a freaking pro (legit, watch a coach the next time you’re in a 3G class and how they most of the time, seamlessly get 36 different people going, throughout 3 different sections, all within a 2 minute window. Or for more comedy, watch how a coach talks through the “Orangetheory works through 5 heart rate zones” warm up while a member is asking them a question- and the coach can still spout off that warm up scpheel while helping the member fix their heart rate monitor), I’ve learned necessary life skills through you. Patience, extra customer service, how to not give up, how to put yourself first, how to truly care for yourself. The list could go on.

Thank you for quite literally everything about my life as is.

When everything in life seems to be going left, I turn right….. right to Orangetheory. I know I annoy my non-orangetheory friends with how much I talk and post about you, but when you’re passionate about something you should let it be known!

And to all of my friends that I have met through Orangetheory, all of the members, and my co-workers. I love you DEARLY. I couldn’t do my weeks without you. If the sad day comes sometime when I can no longer coach (you know, if kids ever come), I will hands down STILL purchase a membership to be there! I’m not letting you go, and I’m not letting YOU let me go”

 

-Much love, now and always,

Carly B

And for the record: for those of you thinking “if she says everything about her life here is from Orangetheory, how do you explain her full-time job, and the people she’s met there?” Well, while at Orangetheory, my friend (the first friend I made if you recall), told me to use the Linkedin easy apply options just for shits and giggles, something that never would have crossed my mind. The result? I found the job I currently have and obviously….. I got it.

 

Thanks for reading!

Are you an Orangetheory member too?

Let's connect! @lifeofcarlyb_

Got questions? Want a topic covered?

Email me @ lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com

In HEALTH,

Carly B

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