Through her time spent in church, Andrea Johnson learned early about the value in taking care of one’s spirit.
But simultaneously, she saw that people were neglecting their bodies and damaging their health, prompting her to find new ways of helping people amid a nationwide crisis impacting people’s mind, body and soul.
“I watched family members, close associates die of things like heart failure, heart disease, diabetes, things that are preventable. So, when my eyes were open to that I decided to create this space so that people wouldn’t be intimidated by the gym, and would be able to take care of both their physical and their spiritual being effectively,” Johnson said.
For the past 10 years, Johnson has combined training people’s health and spirit at Temple Training in Leesburg. The Temple started in humble beginnings in a Leesburg basement offering personal and small group training. Two years later, the owner moved into the current space located in Leesburg on South King Street (Route 15 Business).
Johnson — known as “Coach Andrea” — said the biggest stumbling block for many people toward a healthy lifestyle is mindset. Through encouragement and other wellness practices, she said Temple Training helps empower her clients.
“We are our biggest stumbling block. We do this ourselves and it’s preventable,” Johnson said.
Temple Training is a Loudoun Chamber 2020 finalist for Health & Wellness Business of the Year. The space has also been a place for people to improve their well-being during a challenging time with the pandemic.
Johnson said her original strategy with Temple Training was to increase people’s strength and motivation, but instead the plan changed to helping people take small steps by simply getting up.
“I’ve seen people come in, and it’s not necessarily physical transformation that does it, but it’s a mental transformation,” Johnson said. “It’s not always about pumping iron, tossing weight, but it’s really about creating the space so that they can thrive.”
It’s been a challenging year for many businesses due to the pandemic, and Temple Training had to shut down for four months. But Johnson has found a way to power 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 is currently offering online personal training and courses on nutritional practices. It also serves as an extension of the nationwide volunteer group, Faith RX, organized to serve and strengthen the fitness community through workouts, prayer, faith-based discussion, social and service events.
The silver lining during the pandemic is the increased awareness of health, said Johnson. She added that many people prioritize things in their lives, including jobs that can go away “in a blink of an eye.” The key for many people in getting through the pandemic has been practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Johnson said with the limited number of clients that can come in during various capacity limits, she’s had time to expand Temple’s online options of health and wellness classes.
Among the focuses for the coaches has been getting clients into a space 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 all be all, but this can help you to fight,” Johnson said.
A tip she provides her clients is to operate on a continuum. Some make goals of getting into the gym, working out twice a day or eating salads. She recommends finding somewhere in between, because that’s a place where people can stay disciplined, consistent and see results.
“I want to encourage people to find something that they love and that they can be committed to and stay with it ... our very lives depend on it,” Johnson said. “Everything is affected by how you feel and how you develop your fitness — whether that’s inner strength or external strength — just be fit.”