Let’s start with a reminder or two:
We are stronger than we think we are. And when we push through the uncomfortable, we emerge empowered — filled with a can-do attitude we carry into all aspects of our lives.
Which brings us to the DriTri. This twice-yearly Orangetheory Fitness challenge invites members to participate in a 2,000-meter row, 300 bodyweight exercises such as burpees and pushups, and a 5K on the treadmill.
It’s tough; no denying that. Yet it also builds camaraderie and confidence, plus a sense of teamwork and of making sure we do all we can to help each other through.
Although many members strongly consider participating, they hesitate when it comes to actually signing up. Bottom line: The unknown is scary, and can fill even the most diehard, three-classes-a-week member with trepidation. But keep in mind that fear is part of being human. And that at Orangetheory Fitness, you’re never alone. Members support each other, and you can always count on your coach to be your biggest fan.
“If someone is scared to compete, I tell them to trust me,” says Jeremy Whitehead, an Orangetheory coach in Albany, New York. “You’re going to be nervous and you’re going to have doubts. But I know your ability and I know you can do this. So start believing in yourself, and even if you don’t, sign up anyway. I will be there with you.”
If they can do an hour-long class, he tells them, they can do a DriTri. “It’s all the stations of a workout rolled into one big benchmark.”
At this point, maybe the seed to sign up is planted; you may be getting a little intrigued. But if concerns still overshadow courage, read on. Here are four fears you may still have — and ways Orangetheory coaches help you look those doubts in the face and put them to rest.
Fear No. 1: I can’t do a triathlon! Going to class is plenty for me!
“When a member says something along those lines to me, the first thing I do is ask why they think that,” says Ellen Charalambous, an Orangetheory regional manager in New York and head coach at Long Island City studio. “I always revert back to their successes — a weight they lifted or a speed they reached on the treadmill. Then I ask, ‘Did you think you would be able to do THAT?’”
The answer is usually no, which is a natural lead-in to this: “Go for the DriTri because I know you can do it,” Ellen says. “And you know you can do it, too.”
Kaitlyn Rank, a coach at Orangetheory in Gresham, Oregon, reminds hesitant members about the excitement inherent in a DriTri.
“The coaches are amped like never before and the music is targeted to help you stay motivated the whole time,” she says. “You’re challenging yourself, mind and body, while having the most fun you can think of while working out.”
Jeremy’s tip: Remember that doubts are natural, but trust your coach and trust yourself. “I will not let you give up.”
Fear No. 2: I’ll be slower than everyone.
“Do not worry about if you’re slow or if you feel like you’re the last one,” Jeremy says, “because it’s not a competition with anyone. It’s for you to do your best so that you can do it six months later and prove to yourself how much you have improved.”
In four years of coaching and of participating in DriTri events with hundreds of participants, Jeremy has yet to see anyone not finish. And each person leaves the floor talking about how to improve the next time DriTri rolls around, he says.
Adds Kaitlyn: “It doesn’t matter if someone finished two seconds or 20 minutes before you; the experience is what DriTri is all about.”
Kaitlyn’s tip: Set personal goals for each segment of DriTri before you step on the floor. Focus on those, not on everyone else’s speed.
Fear No. 3: I don't want to sense that everyone is watching me.
Remember the closeness you feel when you’re in class? The comfort knowing everyone is cheering you on as much as you’re encouraging them? That’ll hold true even more in the DriTri.
“I promise,” Kaitlyn says, “no one in that room will be looking at you or thinking of you in a negative way. By signing up, showing up, and giving it your all, you are already a winner.”
Jeremy’s tip: Focus on the fun. “Everybody cheers everybody on, and no one looks silly or slow.”
Fear No. 4: What if I suddenly lose focus and get nervous right in the middle of it? it?
“If you start to feel anxious in the middle of the workout,” Kaitlyn says, “take some time, breathe it out, refocus. Remember that coaches and other members are there to help encourage you. Clear your mind of everything other than your goals and motivation, and you will get through it with the most amazing feeling of success — no matter how long it takes you to finish.”
Kaitlyn’s tip: Get a good night’s sleep the night or two before the DriTri. Eat nutrient-dense and familiar foods the day before and the morning of the event. Remember to breathe.
“It’s no secret that DriTri is hard,” Ellen says. “But so what? You’ve gotten where you are in life because you have gone through challenges. You have grown outside your comfort zone and you have done hard things. So go for it. It will be worth every second.”