Through her time in church, Andrea Johnson learned early on the importance of taking care of one’s own spirit.
At the same time, she saw people neglecting their bodies and damaging their health, which prompted her to find new ways to help people in a nationwide crisis that is affecting the minds, bodies and souls of people.
“I’ve seen family members and close associates die from things like heart failure, heart disease, diabetes, and preventable things. When my eyes were open, I decided to create this space so that people wouldn’t be intimidated by the gym and could effectively take care of their physical and mental beings, ”said Johnson.
For the past 10 years, Johnson has combined the health and spirit of the people at Temple Training in Leesburg. The temple began in humble beginnings in a Leesburg basement and offered staff and small group training. Two years later, the owner moved into the current space in Leesburg on South King Street (Route 15 Business).
Johnson – known as “Coach Andrea” – said the biggest stumbling block for many people toward healthy lifestyles was their mindset. Through encouragement and other wellness practices, she said, Temple Training helps empower its clients.
“We are our biggest stumbling block. We do it ourselves and it’s preventable, ”said Johnson.
Temple Training is a 2020 Loudoun Chamber finalist for Health and Wellness Business of the Year. The room was also a place where people could improve their wellbeing in a challenging time with the pandemic.
Johnson said her original temple training strategy was to increase people’s strength and motivation. Instead, the plan changed to help people take small steps by simply standing up.
“I’ve seen people come in and it’s not necessarily a physical transformation that does that, but it’s a mental transformation,” said Johnson. “It’s not always about pumping iron, throwing weight, but it’s really about creating the space for them to thrive.”
It was a challenging year for many companies due to the pandemic and Temple Training had to shut down for four months. But Johnson found a way to get through.
“We’re here for a reason and I’m just going to fight for it,” she said.
Johnson shares the space with Shannon Curvey, a business partner and owner of Function-N-Fitness, which specializes in post-rehab personal training and therapeutic massage therapy.
Temple Training currently offers online personal training and nutrition practice courses. It also serves as an extension of the statewide Faith RX volunteer group, organized to serve and empower the fitness community through workouts, prayers, faith-based discussions, social and service events.
The silver lining during the pandemic is increased health awareness, Johnson said. She added that many people prioritize things in their life, including jobs that can go “in a snap”. For many people, the key to getting out of the pandemic was practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Johnson said with the limited number of customers who can come in during various capacity constraints, she has had time to expand Temple’s online options for health and wellness courses.
One of the trainers’ main focuses was getting clients into an area where they can reset their priorities and focus on their eating habits and three key areas – mind, body and spirit.
“Fitness isn’t the end, but that can help you fight,” said Johnson.
One tip she gives her clients is to operate on a continuum. Some have made a goal of going to the gym, exercising twice a day, or eating salads. She recommends looking somewhere in between because this is where people can stay disciplined and consistent and see results.
“I want to encourage people to find something they love and be committed to, and stick with it … our lives depend on it,” said Johnson. “It all depends on how you feel and how you develop your fitness – whether it’s internal or external strength – just be fit.”