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.