Shelby S.

overcoming obstacles

Stepping into Orangetheory for the first time was intimidating, but instantly I felt at home with the music, the coaches and the workout style. For once my goals went beyond "losing weight" and started to be focused on strength and speed: "do a better push up" or "run the whole block" became my new goals. Hitting those goals gave me a boost of confidence like nothing else I had ever done. What I didn't know is that I will need that confidence for what I was about to face... 

Despite all the good work inside of Orangetheory and eating very healthy, I felt off. I was exhausted, had vision and hearing issues and often felt just a little unsteady. After a few months and a lot of tests it was confirmed. I had a brain tumor. 

Needless to say, I freaked out. The day after I was diagnosed, I went to Orangetheory and worked off my worry and stress. I then took action and learned everything I could. I learned that it was benign, but dangerous. I learned that it was the cause of my double vision, hearing loss, unsteady feeling and lack of balance. I also heard from every doctor that it was in my favor that I worked out regularly and was in great physical shape. Also, that the strength, balance and core work at Orangetheory likely kept me from falling. I told my coach, Sam, a week later and received the most amazing support. I underwent a 7- hour brain surgery shortly after. 

Once I was medically cleared I came back to the studio. The coaches were ready for me and modified any move that did not work for me. I was dealing with post-surgery fatigue and most disturbing, I came back with the entire right side of my face paralyzed. At a time where I felt that most vulnerable it became a respite to go into the orange colored lights of the studio and focus on my strength and endurance, instead of my face. The coaches pushed me (gently) and really helped me get back into form even faster than I thought possible. Only 6 weeks after surgery, I successfully ran an entire block and felt so powerful. After a few weeks, I was back to feeling strong and pushing myself. 

"I credit the coaches and Orangetheory for being a large part of my recovery and getting back on my feet faster than predicted."

Three months after surgery, I got a PR on running a mile. I was actually faster than before surgery! I really believe that Orangetheory helped me face brain surgery, the biggest challenge of my life, and go “All Out” on my recovery. I don't know what the future holds, but I feel confident that I can face any challenge.

When I started my Orangetheory journey in June 2015, I was a gal who could not stand working out. Last May, I was asked to be a model in our company’s photo shoot launching our new uniforms. I had the confidence to stand in front of the camera comfortably because of the hard work I put into my Orangetheory workouts.
Hello, my name is Stephanie Strunk (aka Splat Girl). I was born to teenage parents in 1971 and was premature, weighing only 2lbs 11 ounces. At birth, doctors diagnosed me with mild cerebral palsy and told my parents that I would never walk or run. Obviously, the medical prognosis was incorrect. While I have never been an athlete, I've always had a competitive heart but could only watch from the sidelines as others played. When I tried out for team sports in school, I was told I could never keep up and to focus my efforts elsewhere.
Where do I begin?! My weight loss/fitness journey technically started on August 17, 2017 when I started seeing a nutritionist. I weighed in at 393.8 lbs. when I started! I officially signed up at OTF in January of 2018 and at the time I weighed 279lbs. I was told that my studio would not be ready until the end of March, but in the meantime, they invited me to partake in a class at the Schaumburg, IL location. I was super nervous and scared but once I completed the class I was hooked immediately! I couldn’t wait to start doing it on a regular basis! I instantly fell in love with the workout and I was itching for more.
The week of my 30th birthday, at my 20-week ultrasound, my husband and I were given devastating news. Our unborn daughter, Adeline, was diagnosed with a rare birth defect and given a 50% chance of survival. Our entire lives changed that day.
I am a 56-year old male, four-time cancer survivor. Cardio and weights have always been best for me, with cardio being the real deal. This last year brought me another "diagnosis" and a subsequent surgery. When someone like me hears this kind of news once again, you just stand up strong, be positive and just f----in do it. The surgery was a long one this time and I got myself out of the hospital as quick as I could. Went home with a bunch of tubes and bags attached and "healed" my body waiting for the day that all the stuff would be removed. They said no bike riding for three months and limited cardio. I was on the treadmill at the gym within days wearing a diaper (pull-ups) under my shorts, headphones turned all the way up. It was okay, but in no way was it good enough, but I kept going anyway. I was down and gloomy.

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