I started Orangetheory after my sister encouraged me to try this amazing new workout she had become addicted to. I’ve always been athletic, I played basketball and ran track in high school, but always felt intimidated by the “gym” and working out around other people. Needless to say, that first workout changed my negative outlook and I’ve been a happy OTF member for years. My home gym is Carmel Valley, but I love trying other OTFs in the San Diego area especially Mission Valley. I was able to sprint again like in high school and run a 7 minute mile. I learned how much I love a water rower and that burpees will forever be a challenge for me. I expected my body to change and it did. What I didn’t expect was that time I put into my health would be invaluable when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
Any diagnosis is scary. I went through every emotion from anger to grief to disbelief. Everything happened so fast and it felt like my life would never be the same, but what kept me grounded was maintaining my consistency at OTF. My 5am workouts with Coach Danielle at Mission Valley were my rock. My place to forget for 60 minutes the roller coaster my life was on. One workout I cried (probably freaked out the guy next to me) while looking in the mirror during the treadmill block, not out of sadness, but out of relief as I realized my body was ready for the battle ahead. My legs were strong enough to support me, my abs were strong enough to lift me up when my chest muscles couldn’t, and my arms would be able to carry me through the double mastectomy.
My base, push, and all out treadmill speeds at OTF remind me of this crazy journey I’m on:
- Base-find a lump, get an ultrasound, complete a mammogram.
- Push-hear the diagnosis, meet the doctors, make the tough choices.
- All Out-have a double mastectomy, endure the expanders, future exchange surgery.
I knew Orangetheory would be good for my health when I started, but I never could have imagined just how important it was to be physically strong before being diagnosed with cancer. It’s like insurance, only sweatier. OTF pushes you to challenge your speed, how much weight you lift, and the expectations you have for your workout. It’s similar to the way Breast cancer pushes you by challenging your emotions, your perseverance, and your appreciation for life.
Man, I can’t wait to be back there. I even miss burpees.