Painting the Town Orange
Former Indiana Fever Star Katie Douglas Opening Orangetheory Fitness Downtown Location
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
When you’ve seen your dream through to fruition, it’s time to find a new one. That’s exactly what Katie Douglas, former WNBA star, has done. Born and raised near Greenwood, Douglas spent her childhood shooting for the stars by shooting hoops.
“The WNBA didn’t exist when I was Little Katie playing basketball in my driveway,” Douglas says. “I just hoped that one day I’d get a college scholarship. That’s what motivated me and kept me in the gym late at night.”
Her dedication paid off as she went on to play at Purdue wherein 1999 her team won the NCAA championship. During her sophomore year at Purdue, the WNBA was created and Douglas began to wonder if pursuing a basketball career post-collegiately was a possibility. It certainly was.
She was drafted in 2001 by the Orlando Miracle and stayed with the franchise when the team relocated two years later to Connecticut where she spent the bulk of her WNBA career. After being away for so long, she was thrilled to get traded to the Indiana Fever so she could play on her home turf.
“It was an awesome experience playing in Indiana — especially when I won the WNBA championship [with the Fever in 2012,]” says Douglas, who spent much of the following year injured before retiring in 2014 after 14 years of professional play. Post-retirement, life only turned sweeter as Douglas married Fred Poe, whom she had known since childhood but reconnected with years later.
The couple traveled regularly to their getaway home in Florida to escape brutal Indiana winters. After a while, though, Douglas got the itch to get back to work, and because her entire career has revolved around fitness, it only seemed natural for her to pursue something in the health and fitness realm.
Douglas first learned about Orangetheory Fitness when she trained in the sunshine state. The workout is an hour-long session that’s split into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. It’s designed to maximize metabolic burn. On average, participants burn 500-plus calories per workout.
“I fell in love with Orangetheory first as a consumer,” Douglas says. “I’d spent so many more hours trying to get the exact same effect that I could get with this one intense 60-minute workout.”
After learning more about the business, she decided to become a franchise owner.
“I told Fred, ‘This is something I’m really hungry for,’” recalls Douglas, who sometimes drug her husband along to workouts where he’d tease her by claiming she was trying to do him in. But the truth is, Fred is her best friend and greatest inspiration.
“He has a wealth of experience in business so I use him as a sounding board,” Douglas says. “Sometimes I probably beat that sounding board a little too hard, but he’s definitely a huge asset.” In April 2017, Douglas opened an Orangetheory Fitness studio in her hometown of Greenwood—with 600 initial members.
“I was blown away,” Douglas says. “It was truly a blessing the way everyone embraced us. That’s my baby. Greenwood is my heart.”
But Geist, her current home, is her sanctuary. In the summer, she loves to host friends and go boating.
“After a long day, Geist is so relaxing, serene, and peaceful,” Douglas says. Now, she’s opening a new Orangetheory studio at the corner of New Jersey and Market Streets in the Artistry Building. Ironically, it’s where the old Market Square Arena used to be — and where she used to play.
“Fred scouted out locations and when he found this one, I honestly thought, ‘Is this a sign from God?’” Douglas says. It’s directly across from the new 360 Market Square as well as the Whole Foods Market and Cummins, Inc.
“It’s a live block down there,” Douglas adds. Even the apartments across the street are painted orange. Right now, all signs indicate that Douglas has hit another home run as more than 600 new members are already locked in. It’s a great location for downtown residents as well as those who are employed downtown and want to exercise either before or after work.
“We couldn’t be more excited to get this location up and running,” Douglas says. “Orangetheory has really blown up. We’re trying to paint the whole state orange.”
The new Orangetheory Fitness will be located at 91 N. New Jersey Street. A VIP Party will be held on Feb. 8, while the Grand Opening to the General Public will be Feb. 9.