Let’s start off by saying that I am not, nor have I ever been, an elite athlete. I played sports as a child and in high school, but it has been many moons since I competed in a sport. For the last decade, I’ve relegated all fitness activities to hobbies, at best, and torture, at worst.
For example, in the torture category, I’d place my year-long foray into running. I’m not sure you could call what I did “running.” Assuming there is a difference between walking, jogging, and running, I definitely was closer to walking than running, which probably puts me into the jogging category. In any event, I forced myself to train for a 5k. It was awful.
In the hobby category, though, I’d put my Orangetheory adventures. I joined Orangetheory in February 2017 on a whim. The orange branding was just so appealing! I love the color orange.
I didn’t know much about it before I joined. The gym next to my office had closed, which left me with either working out at home or working out near my home. I did the at-home bit for a month before I realized it wasn’t for me. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it while my dogs were staring at me or trying to sit on me.
There were two main options near my home, Pure Barre and Orangetheory, so I tried both. While I enjoyed Pure Barre, I really don’t enjoy seeing myself that closely in a mirror while I workout. Yikes.
Orangetheory, though, was a blast. It checked all my boxes. It was fast, fun, and competitive (with yourself). Better still, the mirrors were far enough away from my face that I couldn’t see the gruesome details. At first, I did it once or twice a week. After about two months I found myself craving more. I switched to 5-7 times a week for the following year, but that was a mistake. I ended up overtraining and getting injured. In March of this year, I started scaling back to 4 times a week, which has really helped. I try to avoid going two days in a row, and I think a rest day in between workouts has helped me stave off injuries. To be clear, those injuries are attributable to the fact that I forgot I’m not 22 anymore, not the Orangetheory workout.
Even with the overtraining (which was totally my fault–they don’t advise going that often), I’ve seen great results and feel like an (amateur) athlete again. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who is interested in a fast-paced, fun workout where you don’t really have to think and just have to follow instructions. And don’t be intimidated. There are folks of all skill levels there, including the adorable grandma at my gym who takes the 6:45 am class 3 days a week. If she can do it, so can I, and so can you.