Worth the Drive


To get the results that you want in fitness, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and commit to the process. For Eryn, all it took for her was to walk through the studio doors of Orangetheory (OT).

Like so many others before, Eryn worked out by herself at a gym. Her normal routine consisted of 50 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of weights on the machines. She felt lost with no direction and never knew what to do. Not seeing the results she wanted, she took a new approach.

I felt empowered and so excited to come back.”

Eryn heard about OT and couldn’t wait to try it. In the fall of 2017, she took a tour at the OT studio in West Linn. The coaches and front counter staff made her feel welcomed. She then joined the Orangetheory nation.

However, her time there didn’t last long. She cancelled her membership and moved to Vernonia in February. The closest studio she could go to was Orenco Station. Her hiatus from OT was short lived.

A few months later, she rejoined at Orenco Station. She knew the value of it and how Orangetheory gave her the results she wanted. She said, “I was nervous to join a new studio but after one class I knew that the hour drive was worth it no matter how crazy my family thought I was for driving so far. I have taken classes at a number of studios but the environment at Orenco Station is something special. The staff is one of a kind…they truly care about all members and are there for you no matter what.”


She recalls taking her first class during Hell Week, which is not for the faint of heart. Although she felt terrified at first, the fear eventually went away and after class she never felt better. “I felt empowered and so excited to come back,” she said.

Two and a half years later, Orangetheory has not only helped her lose fat and gain muscle, but also accomplish things she never thought possible. Eryn said, “In 2019 I was able to run eight half marathons and finished my very first full marathon. OTF is like no other. I always feel supported and motivated by my peers.”

The things, which motivate her and keep her coming back are the constant results. Her body continues to evolve and transform. She recently gained a new personal record (PR) on the weight room floor. She lifted weights that she never thought she could lift and last month she ran her fastest mile ever.


Photo courtesy of Eryn Palo.

“OTF has not only transformed my body, but also has helped transform my mind. I have never been more confident in my abilities in the gym, but also in my personal life I have the strength to make positive changes. I know that with some hard work and consistency I can do anything. I mean, I ran 26.2 miles last year – there is nothing that I can’t do.”

She enjoys turning on the treadmill and pushing herself on endurance days. Strength days prove difficult for her, but she never misses a strength day because she knows she needs to work on this the most. “I have goals to gain more muscle and the amazing coaches have helped me get closer to this goal each week. Another benefit of OTF is the workouts, which are never the same; so even after so many classes, I never get bored. They always keep us on our toes,” said Eryn.


Her friends and family ask what it is about Orangetheory that keeps her coming back? One word– community. Last year was hard for her. She struggled with mental health issues causing a brief disappearance, but she never felt alone. Her OT family reached out to her to make sure she was okay.

This past Thanksgiving, her crazy Orangtheory Run Squad talked her into doing a 90-minute class and following it up by crushing a 5K race together. Eryn said, “Holidays are meant to be spent with family and I am so grateful I was surrounded by my OTF family this Thanksgiving. That has to be the thing that I love most – the family that I have gained.”

They supported her every step of the way. When she felt ready to come back, she felt as if she didn’t miss a day. She has created lifelong friends at Orenco Station and feels grateful. During the Dri-Tri last year, Persia asked her, “Remember where you were five years ago? Look at where you are now!” This brought her to tears when she came so close to slowing down during the workout. Persia gave her the motivation she needed to keep going.

OT has helped her stay accountable and has given her the strength to improve many things in her life. Eryn feels much stronger mentally and physically.

Keep Burning Eryn!

A Healing Community


Not too many members take two classes in a day or back-to-back classes, but if you’ve ever met Jozie, he does. He would take three classes per day if he had the opportunity to do so. He is made of sure will and determination.

Jozie is an endurance athlete who always “chomps at the bit” for his next race he can run. He’s the type to run a 5K race and take an Orangetheory (OT) class without the slightest hesitation. Jozie has the endurance to run an ultra marathon if he wanted to.

His co-workers convinced him to try his first class at Orenco Station explaining that it would help him with his running and soccer. He replied with, “Sure, why not. It’s a free class.” Jozie recalls his first class as fun and felt that it was a great workout.

“I feel we should all do at least one thing every day that makes us happy, makes us enjoy life or makes us a better person. I try to do as many as I can and exercise is one of them. Who doesn’t feel better after a workout?”

Jozie played soccer and ran a few times a week with no specific fitness goals in mind prior to joining OT. Sadly, a string of unfortunate events happened after he joined. Jozie lost five family members in a span of five months including his brother whom he was close with.

He gradually slipped into a downward spiral becoming emotionally and physically unhealthy. Jozie quit exercising completely and began gaining weight. He realized one day that he needed to fix this problem – he didn’t know exactly how, but had to try.

Jozie before OTF

A few months after he took his last class, Jozie appeared at the studio upgrading his membership from an Elite to a Premier membership. Since then, Jozie has attended almost every day and hasn’t stopped. He had no idea how much this impacted him and how it helped him cope with his loss.

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“I’ve met some great people and made new friends.”

The combination of staff, coaches, exercising, having fun, and making new friends helped refresh Jozie emotionally and physically. Health, fitness and community bring him in daily. “I feel we should all do at least one thing every day that makes us happy, makes us enjoy life or makes us a better person. I try to do as many as I can and exercise is one of them. Who doesn’t feel better after a workout?” said Jozie.

Many who come to OT have specific fitness goals they want to achieve, but this really wasn’t the case for Jozie. He said, “I have a couple of goals in mind. But mainly, I will keep working out for my health and for fun! Without health, I won’t be able to do any of the other things I want. The PRs (personal records) and weight loss will eventually follow.”

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Jozie enjoys endurance classes and partner workouts because of the friendly competitiveness, which comes with it. He loves how classes are never boring and how each coach has a distinct style of coaching playing a variety of music avoiding monotony. The most important thing to him, though, is the community.

He has visited other OT studios, but hasn’t found the same ambiance quite like the one at Orenco Station. The members, coaches and staff make the difference. Jozie said, “I’ve met some great people and made new friends.” Jozie’s enthusiasm and passion for OT has earned him a position as an ambassador and voted prom king voted by the staff at Orenco Station. Thank you for support and passion for Orangetheory!

Keep Burning Jozie.

Resonating Words


A person can tell you many things. Sometimes you forget what they say going through one ear and out the other. However, there are times when a person will tell you something where it simply sticks and resonates with you.

In 2014, Monica’s oncologist gave her words of advice, which were so profound that she shares them with anyone who asks her. After enduring four rounds of chemotherapy, followed by six weeks of daily radiation, she wanted to take control of the cancer she had. Her doctor told her, “…keep up your healthy nutrition routine…work out as hard as you can as often you can and then do more…get seven to eight hours of sound sleep every night.”

When she completed all of her treatments in 2015, Monica asked her doctor once again what she could do to remain healthy and keep the cancer away. He asked her, “Do you remember what I told you when you started? Do those same three things forever!” Since then, Monica continued to follow his advice. Determined not to have cancer take control of her life, Monica took control of it. She began by walking the Camino, a 260 mile trek from Lyon, France to Santiago, Spain with her daughter Kelsey.

“It’s the energy of walking into a place that sparkles, welcomes, and hugs you even when you’re a ‘sweat-ball.’ It’s your new friends who text you when you’re gone from the studio for a while and they want to make sure every thing is OK.”

As she went through her treatment, she remained diligent working out three to four times a week. She tried various types of workouts ranging from Zumba to swinging kettlebells, but she couldn’t find what she wanted the most from those workouts – a community. That’s when she discovered that an Orangetheory (OT) location was opening at Orenco Station only five minutes away from her front door.


Monica, a little gun-shy, signed up for a membership during pre-sales. Once Orangetheory opened its doors in December of 2016, she showed up for the two-week trial period.  She said, “The first class was terrifying! I remember walking into the studio and standing, frozen, staring at the machines, TV monitors, and the orange of it all!” She had no idea of what she got herself into.

She gave herself the grace and permission to, from the start, quit if she couldn’t handle OT. Monica attended classes two to three times a week and eventually went six to seven times a week embracing the culture. Monica said, “I was hooked. Addicted. Obsessed. In Love. I found my groove – my thing.” Everyone she talks to about OT, she swears, thinks she has joined a cult.

“Just start. Just start and do not quit. Eat healthy. Sleep soundly. And, work out as hard as you can, as often as you can…and then do more.”

The community is the number one reason, which provides Monica her mojo, daily joy and her happy place. She has made so many friends and works out with people who she has come to love. Monica said, “It’s the energy of walking into a place that sparkles, welcomes, and hugs you even when you’re a ‘sweat-ball.’ It’s your new friends who text you when you’re gone from the studio for a while and they want to make sure every thing is OK.” She also landed a new career working with 401(k) accounts from her friend, Milauana, who she befriended by attending classes at the studio.  

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It didn’t take long for her to realize that OT wasn’t all about the equipment and tech, but more about the coaches and how they coached her every step of the way since day one. “They were patient and yet they pushed me. They watched me, and they coached me. I have learned how to row, how to run, how to lift correctly, and how to modify when I need to,” said Monica. She has observed each and every one of the coaches and seen how magnificently they’ve grown individually. Each coach has blossomed into a leader, mentor and a good friend to all – this is why she doesn’t quit.

Monica appreciates how the coaches don’t quit. The coaches show up for special workshops occasionally on Sundays after normal hours of operation. They take the time between classes giving advice and tips to help members with any problems or questions. Coaches provide a contagious energy beginning with high-fives at the start of class to celebrating milestones of any member during and after class.

Since she has joined the Orangetheory family at Orenco Station, Monica has seen real results in many ways. She feels great loaded with vast amounts of energy especially after an early morning strength-day workout. The euphoria from finishing a class empowers her to tackle the day with confidence and power.


She definitely feels the strength she has gained in her muscles in the past two years. Monica lifts heavier now because the coaches know she can and encourages her to do so. She loves how she doesn’t bat an eyelash now when she adds more weight or making the TRX strap exercises a little more challenging.

Monica’s healthy habits and diligence has rubbed off on her kids and they’ve followed suit. Her daughter Kelsey wants to open an Orangetheory in Vienna, Austria so she can take classes every day. She and Kelsey plan to walk the next Camino – the Portuguese Camino – in 2020. Her sons also send photos of healthy meal prepped foods for the week too.

When people ask her how she stays in shape and how she has so much energy, she tells them, “Just start. Just start and do not quit. Eat healthy. Sleep soundly. And, work out as hard as you can, as often as you can…and then do more.” This advice stuck with Monica and has worked for her – it can work for you too.

Keep Burning Monica!

Burning For Those Around Him


If you have ever met Rob, you know he loves chatting up a storm. Whether it’s talking about the upcoming class or what’s going on in your life, he genuinely loves to engage with other members, coaches and staff at the studio. He usually attends the lively 8 p.m. class despite it being the last class of the day.

“This is either the best idea I’ve had in years . . . or the stupidest thing I’ve ever done!”

For many people, life happens and they forget to take care of themselves and place their priorities elsewhere. Before Rob had a family and began having health issues, he practiced and taught martial arts for about 20 years. He also did weight training and hiked frequently.

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Life caught up with Rob and before he knew it, he had turned into a couch potato. At that point in his life he had gained excess weight and developed Type 2 Diabetes. He also took medication for his high blood pressure.“I finally concluded that I needed to do something before my health got worse. So when I do something it’s all or nothing. When I saw a Facebook ad for Orangetheory, I thought, ‘That looks pretty intense.’ So, I signed up without even taking a class first,” said Rob.

Rob thought to himself in his first class, “This is either the best idea I’ve had in years . . . or the stupidest thing I’ve ever done!” Aside from health reasons, he burns for his family and friends. He wants to make a difference in the lives of those around him, but he can’t do that if he’s always getting sick.

“I love the fact that I don’t have to plan my workout! I love that anyone at any level can do this.”

He had one goal when he started working out at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF). Show up. He came to classes and survived the workouts. At the beginning he had doubts about staying committed, but now he has an addiction for OTF.

Since Rob has committed to the OTF lifestyle, he has reached a couple of milestones. He has lost fat and gained muscle while losing 25 pounds. Not bad for someone who could only lift weights only from the orange weight racks when he began. He also attributes his success by eating well and pushing his boundaries each time in class always lifting 25 pounds or more.


Some people have difficulties planning a workout by themselves, which isn’t the case here. Rob stated, “I love the fact that I don’t have to plan my workout! I love that anyone at any level can do this.” He likes the euphoric feeling when the endorphins kick in after pushing himself to the limit for one hour in class.

Rob enjoys classes that focus on strength and power (minus burpees) because he likes to see how much he can lift. He enjoys how each coach brings their individual personalities and flare to each class. In addition, he likes to encourage and help his fellow classmates because it helps him forget how much pain he’s in.


He likes that the OTF community is like no other gyms or studios. “I’ve never been to a gym where people acted normal and talked to you where they weren’t worried about performance or how they looked,” said Rob. He loves watching how friendships form and grow around him. We love how people act normal here too!

Keep Burning Rob!

Being The Best Version Of Herself

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Most people can’t fathom waking up at 4:30 a.m. in general – especially for a workout. Although, there are some who will drag themselves out of bed no matter how warm and snuggly it is. Leslie is that type of person. She makes the effort to attend the 5 a.m. class at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) knowing that she’ll feel better once she sees her morning squad.

Like many who join OTF, Leslie wanted to improve her health and she wanted to shed those last 30 pounds of “baby weight” after the birth of her second child. Her journey to OTF started with some frustrating news at her annual physical in late 2015. When her doctor said her weight and body mass index (BMI) classified her as obese, Leslie decided it was time to make a change.

“I think it was particularly great being part of the “founding” class of members at Orenco OTF because we all started together. We were all newbies together.”

She started with her nutrition, successfully losing 30 pounds in the first half of 2016. “I was feeling and looking better than I had in a very long time, but I knew that in order to maintain my health long term, I needed to also add more physical activity,” said Leslie. Towards the end of the year, Leslie started seeing OTF “coming soon” signs popping up in her Orenco Station neighborhood and heard the OTF “buzz” from friends at work. She decided to make the leap and sign up.

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Anyone’s initial class can be daunting and unnerving as you learn the flow of the class. While challenging, Leslie was hooked from the start and credits the variety of people in her class – men and women, young and old, fit and those looking to shed a few extra pounds. It was clear to her that OTF provided a place where all types of people can come together for an hour each day to work hard and achieve their goals. “I think it was particularly great being part of the “founding” class of members at Orenco OTF because we all started together. We were all newbies together,” she said.

Hooked from the first class, Leslie knew she was headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, a major family crisis propelled her to affirm her commitment to OTF. On December 23, 2016, Leslie’s mom suffered a massive stroke. One moment her, vivacious, 64-year-old mother was living a normal, healthy and active life. The next moment she was fighting for her life.

Leslie says she will never forget the call from her sister that came while she was wrapping presents and getting ready for their annual Christmas Eve party. Next came a frantic drive to the Salem Hospital, a quick decision by doctors to transfer her mom by Life Flight to Oregon Health Science University (OHSU), a rush consultation with the surgeon, and the three terrifying days with mom in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

She’ll also never forget the call she made to OTF Orenco Station on Christmas Eve morning to cancel her class. Leslie said, “Rachel answered the phone and she was just so incredibly kind and that when I started to tell her I was missing the class, that my mom had a stroke, I lost it and just started to sob.” Rachel was empathetic in the moment, and supportive when Leslie returned for her first OTF class a few weeks later. Her mom had been released from the hospital and she was thankful for her road to a full recovery.

Not surprisingly, the experience left an indelible mark on Leslie. She knew that she had to do everything possible to take control of her health and live her best life possible. And thanks to Rachel’s kindness, she had found her place at OTF Orenco Station. This wasn’t just a gym or just a workout – but a place that feels like family, a place that lifts her up. A place where she can push herself to be stronger and achieve more than she ever thought possible.

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Leslie says she burns first and foremost burns for herself. While it may sound selfish to some, Leslie thinks of it as being self-full. She says OTF empowers her to be her best, strongest, fittest self – so she can be the best wife, mom, daughter, and friend for others. She burns so she can carry her, 55-pound 6-year old, daughter up the stairs – and maybe still carry her when she’s 65 pounds and 7 years old! And, Leslie burns because of her mom. She knows that while she can’t control the genetic factors that might contribute to a stroke, she can control how she takes care of her body, her diet, and her physical activity.

At the start of her OTF fitness journey, Leslie’s goals were to maintain her fitness and gradually progress in her weight loss while leading a fun life and enjoying great food. Working out was not a consistent part of her lifestyle prior to OTF, so she set a goal of   attending classes at least three times a week as part of her fitness maintenance.

Although she had modest goals in the beginning, she soon realized that she could do more. Leslie started as a power-walker and she began to entertain the idea of jogging, despite having some reservations about it. Her inspiration? Coach Shay! One day in class he said to Leslie, “If you can powerwalk that fast, you might as well run.”

The first thought she had in her head was “Shut up! I hate running, there’s no way I’m going to run…” and her second thought was “Well, I’ll take that challenge!” The next day, she started to jog – baby steps – with her speed and strength increasing a little each day.

When a few of the OTF squad, Christina, Katie and Megan, in her class approached her in early 2017 about joining their team for the 2018 Shamrock Run, Leslie started to seriously consider it. While a tiny bit scared, she dug deep, signed up with the team, and set a goal to run the 8K.



Then she started running more. She ran at OTF and outside in her neighborhood. She became faster and stronger and in March 2018 – she ran her first race and her first 8K ever! She ran the whole thing – a major milestone in itself – never walked and has OTF to thank for helping her accomplish that goal. She now looks forward to her next race and achieving her next goal!

In addition, inspired by the OTF Transformation Challenge, Leslie has increased her lean muscle mass by 2.4 pounds, increased her basal metabolic rate by 24 kcal, reduced her body fat by 4 percent, and has lost 6 pounds since January 2018. She also set the goal of completing last September’s Dri-Tri in less than an hour, which she did in 59 minutes and 22 seconds. She then, on her 46thbirthday, smashed her previous Dri-Tri time by five minutes accomplishing her goal! She’s now working to increase her speed on the treads, increase her weights on the floor and come to class five days a week.

“The Halloween party was a blast – and I was so sorry to miss the 1-year anniversary party but I love that Orenco OTF takes the time to create these moments of connections with its members.”

According to Leslie, it’s the fun and friendly coaches, staff, and incredible member community that make OTF Orenco Station a great environment to take classes at and keep her coming back for more. She’s also forged new friendships with folks like Monica, Sarah, and the Shamrock Run squad (Katie, Christina and Megan).

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“Orenco OTF has a special chemistry and magic that I’ve not found at any other OTF studio. AJ, Shay, Persia are my absolute ‘fave’ coaches. I still miss Chris and Chloe, but it’s so great when them come back to visit! And new additions like Jess, Taylor and Conner have brought new energy, which I love. AmyJae keeps the energy high and makes the whole place hum. And it’s always nice to see Jojoe’s friendly face when I come in the front door.” 

Finally, it’s the activity and accountability. She loves that there’s always a new competition, class or activity. From Hell Week to the Dri-Tri, Transformation Challenge to the Marathon Challenge, to Spirit Week, and to the guest DJ – there’s always something fun to look forward to and keep her motivated.

She also loves how OTF Orenco Station comes together to celebrate at after-hours social events. “The Halloween party was a blast – and I was so sorry to miss the 1-year anniversary party but I love that Orenco OTF takes the time to create these moments of connections with its members,” said Leslie.

Keep Burning Leslie!