228 NW 60th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
“I am happy to be an OG.” The inimitable words of Karen Brown echo Koda’s own deep appreciation for her OG status as we celebrate her four-year Kodaversary!
To start from the beginning, Karen truly is a founding member, having joined when owners Brice, Jared, and Mai first opened the doors of Koda. She remembers those first days fondly, saying, “There were only a few of us, but we all knew each other. I was over-the-moon happy for the guys for starting this journey. I still get emotional when I think about it. Oh, and it was COLD!!!!”
To start from before the beginning of her time with Koda, Karen recounts keeping an active lifestyle throughout her lifetime. “I was never one for ‘sports’, but I have always been involved in some sort of physical activity, mostly in a typical gym.” She even taught aerobics for 10 years before moving from the class scene to a personal trainer, but she says it lacked the community aspect she needed. “I needed someone to suffer right along with me,” she recalls facetiously.
As a regular of the 6pm classes, she gets the camaraderie of working out with the friends with which she moved to Koda. Asked what keeps her coming back week after week, she tells us it’s “The people, and the results… but, mostly the people. They give the best hugs!!” That being said, she’s not there purely to socialize. She works hard, and the results she’s enjoyed are a good example.
A particularly memorable demonstration of her growth came during the Cupid’s Revenge competition that Koda holds annually. Up to this point, Karen had been unable to do unassisted pull-ups, and one of the workouts in the competition required, you guessed it: pull-ups. “My partner (Izzy) was having to do all the pull-ups, because I didn’t have them down yet. He was such a trooper, but that was too many pull-ups for one person, so I had him tap me in (not knowing if I could even get one). I strung seven of them together!! I was so excited!!” Asked about her ambitions for the coming year, she shared that she’s looking forward to continuing to grow at Koda. “Koda has evolved, and membership has exploded over the years, but one thing stays constant, and that’s the feeling of belonging. The people here are the BEST!!! I get excited every time I walk through the door,” Karen says.
Now, were it left to owners Mai, Jared, and Brice, the following might have been omitted out of modesty, but since I’m writing it, and it showcases how kind and thoughtful Karen is, here it is:
“I have to say a few words about the leadership at this box, because I think they’re the best in the industry, and clearly the reason Koda has become the giant that it is.
[About Brice]: The first time I went to one of Brice’s Geek Out sessions, I was blown away! His knowledge of the human anatomy and functionality is impressive… He’s not just pulling a few movements and reps out of a hat and calling it a WOD…”
[About Jared]:”… He makes everyone feel welcome, no matter what your abilities, and makes the workouts fun. He knows every member by name, knows their capabilities (and pushes them to be better), but also knows when someone has a limitation, and coaches them in a way that they don’t feel ridiculed or embarrassed…”
[About Mai]: “Mai is the backbone of this organization… For every 100 things we see her do, there are 100 other things we don’t see her do. She benefits the members in ways they will never know, and never asks for anything in return…”
It’s members like Karen, though, that help make Koda the place it is. As a founding member and steady presence, Karen has helped to shape the welcoming and positive culture that makes it a home to so many. Karen, thank you for your four years with us, and we hope to celebrate your friendship for many years to come!