Alicia K.

finding yourself again

In 2016 I, along with my mom and my sister, received a text during the day that would forever change our lives. It was June 13th, almost two years ago, that I lost my step dad to suicide. Unfortunately, I have dealt with loss of all kinds in my short 28 years of life, but losing someone to suicide is an indescribable kind of grief. I had always considered my ability to handle adversity as one of my strong points, but this event broke me. I went into a deep depression that I battled for a year before going to receive help. I started taking a low dose anti-depressant as I have always tried to heal naturally as opposed to resulting to medication. 

I gained 40lbs through my depression and lost the drive and athleticism that had always defined me. I have always been a strong athlete. I was a competitive soccer player all my life. I coached high school soccer after college. I trained and ran a full marathon on my own, and even ran the Hood 2 Coast relay in Oregon. 

Gaining weight and losing myself was extremely hard. The medication I was taking was enough to help me make the first move and walk into a gym again, and that gym was OTF in Meridian Idaho. I wasn't, and am still not in the shape I was once before, but OTF was the best thing that could have happened to me. 

"I go 5 times a week, and even on days when I have a bad workout, I am still held accountable for getting out of my house and showing up."

I am proud to say that I have been off of anti-depressants for 2 months now, and I know for a fact it has to do with finding the athlete in me again. I owe my physical AND mental health to OTF.

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