- ABOUT US
- Bumper Plates
02,Dec reviewed by Michael Williams
“I committed to it,” she says, “and now I can do a whole class without stopping.” Indeed, now she works out six or more times per week (yes, per week).
The studios are “awesome,” she says. “If I need to leave class, my coaches make sure I’m OK. They still push me to my limits. They want me to push my PR (personal record) and to reach my goals. Other days, they’ll let me go and just power walk. They support me through everything.”
Then again, that’s not unique to Katherine, says Caitlin Donato, manager of the Template Design Team at Orangetheory’s Global Support Center.
“Workouts are designed to ensure people of all fitness levels walk out after a class feeling successful,” said Caitlin. If coaches notice a member hesitating or struggling, they can offer options for every movement. Plus, extensive ongoing training allows fitness coaches to offer a personal trainer feeling in a group fitness setting.
Early on in Katherine and Blaze’s voyage through Orangetheory, they only attended classes taught by one coach. Now Katherine is something of a celebrity. Other members know not to pet Blaze — after all, he’s working. But he does have his favorites, finding a way to stand by them during class. And more than a few members try to align their schedules with Kathrine’s.
“I always ask, ‘Are you OK with dogs?’ And they’ve all said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been waiting for you to come to my class,’” she recalls. “Everyone has been fantastic; they’ve all liked him being there.”
By the time Katherine decided she needed a service dog, she’d already tried insulin pumps and continuous monitoring devices. Nothing helped. She has what’s called hypoglycemia unawareness, which means she’s not alerted to low blood sugar numbers by typical symptoms of dizziness, shakiness, sweating and rapid heart rate.
“I lived alone and was having seizures,” she says. “I wasn’t recognizing that I was having issues because I couldn’t feel the symptoms. I’d wake up on the floor with blood on my face.”
While Blaze was being trained at a facility in Idaho, Katherine sent his trainer samples of her saliva when her blood sugar was normal, low and high. Blaze learned to sniff out what wasn’t in the normal range. Now that he and Katherine are a team, she has gone from having three to six seizures a month to having only three in the last 18 months.
“It’s a completely new life,” she says. “I’m in a state where I’m confident if something happens, I’m in great paws.”
“I’ve met some of my best friends through Orangetheory and they’ve helped me through so much,” she says. “The coaches and staff are amazing. Everyone is sweating and struggling together.”