Orangetheory Challenge Recap

To say the least, the past 8 weeks have been a transformation— mentally, physically and emotionally.


I started Orangetheory of Hattiesburg as soon as they opened in November. If I’m completely honest with you, I have to admit I was a little intimidated to walk in the doors. You see I have always been known as being in great shape and a woman that prides herself in being physically fit. Well, since opening the Birdhouse last January I had completely fallen off the wagon. Yes, me, the girl who thought “that could never happen to her” couldn’t find the time or energy to work out. I had completely lost my mojo.  I was excited and nervous because I’ve always been able to push myself to the extreme. Many thoughts went through my mind before my first class… what if I couldn’t do an exercise, what if I was in last place, what if I wasn’t as strong or fast as people expected? I’m happy to say I put the fears aside enough to walk into my first class and all my nerves walked right out the door. I was greeted with some of the warmest smiles and trainers that were not only knowledgeable but encouraging. I left my first class feeling empowered and strong. I continued to be consistent with attending classes  through the holidays and started to really feel as though I was getting stronger and was most importantly feeling a since of community with the orange theory family. As the new year and new goals were approaching one of the trainers mentioned the transformation challenge to me. I love a challenge, so of course, I immediately signed up. The transformation challenge consisted of attending 3 classes a week as well as being held accountable and encouraged by your team coach. I had an initial weigh in and pictures (of which I tried to avoid… we can save that for another day) a personal coach to cheer me on and had to do some team bonding throughout the 8 weeks as well as attend classes. My sister had her first baby the first week, but I was determined to get my 3 classes in. I went early on a Monday before heading to Nashville to see her and meet sweet Scarlet. As soon as I got back on Friday I did my second class as well as Saturday to complete my three for the week. Week 2 was a breeze, and I actually took 4 classes… whoohooo…. Week 3, I started taking 1 Pure Barre class a week in addition to my 3 Orangetheory classes just to mix things up. Pure Barre Reform is my favorite even though it kicks my tail :) Week 4, I attended 4 classes and I also was gaining confidence in running again.  When I started in November, I was really struggling on the running section of class, and this was really hard for me because I had always been a strong runner. 

Guess what? I decided I wanted to train for the Nashville half marathon.


If you would have told me that a month earlier I would have laughed. I 100 percent thank Orangetheory for helping get me back on track by motivating and encouraging me. Week 5, I attended 5 classes, and the fifth class was my first 90 minute class with Orangetheory!!! Wow what a week… I was really proud of how hard I pushed myself and completing the 90 minute class was hard but seeing how everyone was pushing each other the whole way really brought such a closeness to our class. 

So, I’m on this super high going into week 6, so I sign up for a 10k supporting the Children’s Center at USM… Well, it was one of the hardest runs of my life. I started cramping and almost couldn’t finish the race. I kept telling myself how hard each day is for many of the children and parents we were running for and it kept me pressing forward. I had to walk many many times throughout this run but I did it with a smile and remembered it’s not always who is the fastest or strongest but about those who don’t give up. I want to encourage each of you to start wherever you are. Don’t be afraid that you’re not good enough or strong enough. This life we live is a journey of many hills and valleys and exiting at the wrong time. Sometimes we run out of gas and sometimes we putt putt up mountains. It’s not the start but what we learn along our journey that matters most. I finished the last two weeks of this challenge not only stronger physically but I finished mentally and emotionally stronger than I ever expected.

The final day of my 8 week challenge I ran the Thames Elementary Minions 5k run. I pushed hard until the finish and if it weren’t for the all outs in class, I wouldn’t have been able to push myself to an all out sprint to finish the race 2nd place for overall female.

Thank you Orangetheory for helping me push myself and so many others to becoming our best! 


Kathleen A Dearman