Orange Shoe Personal Fitness

Lauren Birkel

Owner, Fitness Professional

Lauren Birkel started her fitness career as a Personal Trainer with Orange Shoe in 2006 and is owner of the West and Downtown studios. She manages operations at these two studios as well as trains and coaches clients. Lauren holds a BA degree from UW-Madison and a Master’s degree from the University of Denver. She has held her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA for 8 years, is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach, Trigger Point and TRX certified.

Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
A: I’ve always wanted to help people. I find it incredibly rewarding to be a part of someone’s journey to health & wellness – not only being a part of the physical transformation but the emotional and spiritual journey as well. I strongly believe that healthy individuals are happy individuals and, in turn, create positive change all around them.

Q: What has been one of your favorite client experiences?
A: Too many amazing client experiences to pick just one. There are some the big success stories (like huge weight loss, overcoming injury, gaining major confidence, dominating a training or athletic goal) that pop in mind but, honestly, the thing that keeps me excited every day is seeing our clients leave each of their sessions happier and more energized than when they came in.

Q: What is your proudest physical achievement?
A: I’m an endurance athlete and have competed at Ironman World Championships and Long Course Worlds several times. I’m certainly proud of that but my proudest achievement (and the biggest endurance event of my life!) has been being a momma to three amazing kids (girl and twin boys). Wow – They keep me on the move!

Q: Why do you love Orange Shoe?
A: Orange Shoe is about team & family. We all love what we do and have a deep passion for providing the best for our clients. When everyone around you is passionate and excited it’s pretty great!

Orange Shoe Personal Training

Joe Burkeland

BS, CSCS | Fitness Professional

Joe graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has partook in multiple fitness ventures – from playing football at UW-Platteville and abroad in Germany to running a marathon to competing in a powerlifting competition. Joe appreciates the process of setting and achieving goals, and he is committed to guiding and teaching clients on the way to their ideal lifestyle.

Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
A: I became a personal trainer to educate, teach, and coach. There is too much misinformation in the fitness realm and I aim to clarify that for clients, which leads to more efficient progress towards their aspirations. I enjoy the process of teaching, learning, and seeing people make progress.

Q: What has been one of your favorite client experiences?
A: I applaud the folks who come in multiple times a week, and make it a priority in their lives. I admire the people who consistently live it. That dedication, commitment, and discipline bleed into the rest of their lives and make them successful.

Q: What is your proudest physical achievement?
A: Finishing a marathon. I have always been a power/explosive athlete, so diving into an endurance event really allowed me to challenge myself, and it turned out to be more mentally challenging than physically. There was an enormous feeling of accomplishment that came with finishing that race.

Q: Why do you love Orange Shoe?
A: The special thing about Orange Shoe is the amazing, driven, intelligent group of people that come through the studio every day. The trainers and clients at OS all have positive attitudes and bright smiles. The personal connections that I’ve made here are more meaningful than I can put into words.

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness

Michelle Van Dusen

CPT | Fitness Professional

Michelle Van Dusen discovered her passion for fitness at a young age through USA Powerlifting. Her dedication to the sport has led her to many accomplishments which include becoming a four-time State, National, and International World Champion. Her success drew her to become a Certified Personal Trainer through W.I.T.S. Furthermore, Michelle is a UW-Oshkosh graduate, WHSPA Hall of Famer, and TRX Certified. She is thrilled to be a part of the Orange Shoe crew and is excited to learn and grow with clients.

Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
A: I became a Certified Personal Trainer because I wanted to help others achieve their physical fitness goals through fun, safe, and effective workout routines.

Q: What has been one of your favorite client experiences?
A: When a client sends me snapshots of their daily lives, healthy choices and/or workouts outside of Orange Shoe.

Q: What is your proudest physical achievement?
A: Becoming a four-time IPF World Champion. In addition to training as an NPC Bikini Competitor, I can proudly say I’ve lifted over 420lbs. drug-free.

Q: Why do you love Orange Shoe?
A: I love Orange Shoe because it’s connected me to its amazing clientele and has taught me so much about what a personal trainer really is.

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness

Kory Kurt

BS | Fitness Professional

Kory is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with minors in coaching and strength and conditioning. Kory’s passion for fitness began at a young age, excelling in sports such as wrestling, football, and baseball. Kory’s commitment to fitness and understanding of the focus and hard work it takes to accomplish fitness goals comes from the strong work ethic provided by his family, growing up on a farm. Kory continued to excel in athletics throughout high school, taking on several leadership roles such as team captain of his high school football team, along with being a unanimous first team all conference selection. Due to a significant neck injury as a teenager, Kory’s competitive career in sports ended earlier than he would have hoped. Though Kory’s injury brought several challenges it eventually became a motivating force to continue his fitness journey and expand his athletic interests and knowledge. Kory has also enjoyed a background in coaching. He has coached middle school and high school athletes and continues to enjoy the coaching and mentoring aspect of personal training. Kory’s interest in fitness has lead him to explore a wide variety of fitness strategies and programs that brings an unique style of personal training to our clients.

Q: Why did you become a personal trainer?
A: I became a personal trainer because I have learned from my own experience to embrace the fitness journey rather than only the outcome. I enjoy working with people at various stages in their fitness journeys.

Q: What has been one of your favorite client experiences?
A: Getting to know clients on an individual level and learning what drives their fitness journeys is consistently one of my favorite aspects of personal training. I also have enjoyed setting goals with clients that pushes them outside their comfort zone, supporting them in accomplishments they at one time, could not see possible.

Q: What is your proudest physical achievement?
A: My proudest physical achievement was the transition I made from a athlete who focused on power to an endurance athlete. I attempted my first marathon on a day where the heat index resulted in my race being cancelled mid way. I was able to complete the race based on how far I had come in the race. I realized it wasn’t about the time but the new frame of reference I came to appreciate related to the mental endurance many athletes must achieve in order to meet their fitness goals.

Q: Why do you love Orange Shoe?
A: Orange Shoe is not only a membership, it is a family of support while on your fitness journey.

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