Courtney L.

Gainesville SW  Studio  |  Member since 2016

being in control

In May 2015, I married my best friend Chris. Two months later, with very few signs or symptoms, I was diagnosed with kidney disease. Doctors explained I was less than a year away from kidney failure if left untreated and our plans to expand our family would have to wait. I was devastated. All I have ever wanted was to be a wife and a mom. Over the next year, I took multiple medications to control the disease, including high doses of prednisone, a steroid with several unpleasant side effects including weight gain and “moon face”. 

In the summer of 2016, I joined Orangetheory Gainesville SW as a founding member. Frankly, I was unhappy, insecure, and uncertain of the future. I needed an outlet to let go of my fears for an hour and focus on my mental and physical health. From the first class I was hooked – each workout is different and can be scaled to meet any individual’s needs. It’s efficient, exciting and effective! The coaches at OTF are extra special too – they invest in each member, push us in ways we didn’t think possible and encourage us to keep burning. 

"OTF has been a big part of our journey to overcome kidney disease." 

In fact, it’s not just my journey anymore – in the fall of 2017 I finally convinced my husband Chris to join me! We enjoy working out together and spending time with our OTF friends. With the help of OTF we have both lost 20 lbs. While my kidney disease will never go away, it is currently under control thanks to the Lord, medication, a healthy diet and the perfect workout. In March, I was given the good news that we could move forward and try to expand our family. Thank you OTF for being part of our story!

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.

Members: Have an experience to share?    SUBMIT YOUR STORY