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download, they can track their own progress and earn “Splat points” for workouts and other healthy behaviors. Little said that when people haven’t slept well, stayed out too late, or drank too much alcohol, their splat points will decrease, which allows them to see “how their daily habits affect their health.” Little considers her more than 600 members and more than 20 staff to be like family. “We genuinely care for every single member,” she said. Little’s Head Coach, Carolyn Jones, who worked for the Sunnyvale location first, and moved her family to Morgan Hill when the new studio opened, said that Orange Theory Fitness is different from other gyms because “you’re not just a number. Here we know you by name and then the coaches get to know your limits. It’s personal training in a group setting.” “Seeing the members encourage each other and hold each other accountable is amazing,” Little said. “They want to support each other’s roadblocks. If someone is missing from class, the members will reach out to that person.” Studio Manager, Stephanie Vegh, started out as a member and loved it so much she said, “I found I wanted to be here all the time.” She was recently hired on to teach classes and manage membership sales. “I really believe in the science behind it,” Vegh said. She’s found it inspiring not only to watch her own fitness improve, but to see others lose weight or recover from inju- ries alongside her. “Anyone, at any level, can do it,” she said. Little didn’t start out in the “wellness business” as she GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN calls it. She spent seventeen years as the VP of Marketing for a gaming company that ran casinos in Las Vegas. She had to work very hard to “toughen up” for the male-dominated industry. Though she’s proud of the work she did to take her company public and work her way up the ladder, eventually the work began to go against what she calls her “moral com- pass.” It was partly the entrepreneurial spirit of her husband, Ty, whom she met through that work, who led her to opening her first Orange Theory Fitness studio in Sunnyvale, in 2015, and partly a way to honor her father’s passing. Her father, a former military veteran, passed away eight years ago of complications related to obesity. “After I lost my dad, I thought ‘What am I going to do to honor him and other military men, who come out of being very physical [in the service] and lose themselves? There’s a huge population that need this [kind of fitness].” Her Sunnyvale studio was an immediate success. In fact, she and husband are looking to open a second Sunnyvale location. But her husband really wanted to live outside of San Jose. As they scouted a second location, the city of Morgan Hill approached them about the downtown redevelopment. “Everything lined up correctly and it just worked out that Morgan Hill was our calling,” Little said. Now, Little, the mother of two teenage girls, is as far from the “cutthroat” male-dominated field she started out in as she can be, and she uses her position to empower other women. “It’s so important to have courage as a woman who wants to be successful. I love to empower women to take that leap of faith.” december 2018-january 2019 gmhtoday.com 37