Four Friends: Retired, Medicine-free, 100 Pounds Lighter

Would you believe…these four are a combined 100 pounds lighter than they were just two years ago? And they are all prescription medication free? Want to know HOW? Read on and join us for an introductory workshop about our Move Better group, Saturday, June 10th from 10-11am ($19 per person).


Jerri and Dick Ginman and Frank and Pat Van Haste are why we at Fitness on the Run (FOR) do what we do. These two couples, four highly intelligent and driven individuals, bring focus and grit to every session.

The Ginmans and the Van Hastes believe their health is more than reps in the gym.  More importantly, they appreciate that their FOR sessions are a part of a larger mindset: health is a way of life.  Each of them has their own personal fitness journey that led them to their twice-a-week sessions at FOR.



Jerri Ginman and I hit it off early. She hails from the Golden State, like me. Jerri Ginman’s mom, at 90 years young, hugely influenced Jerri’s love of fitness. Like so many of us California kids, Jerri played golf, tennis, biked, and just moved outside.

Jerri says she was always trim until around 1990 when she had her kids and she began to gain weight. As a Navy wife, she moved often, Dick traveled extensively, and she owned her own small business. She recalls driving the children to their various sporting activities, and admits she lost her ability – and the time – to stay fit. In 2000, she started walking Burke Lake and lost 30 pounds. This was the beginning of her journey to get her health and fitness back.

Jerri retired from her desk job in 2016 and found FOR here on Alexandria Stylebook. She and Dick started the program then invited Pat and Frank six months later. The rest is history.

Two years later, Jerri says “All four of us are stronger, leaner, fit, and able to carry our grandchildren and our suitcases as we travel the world. We are also excited to be off prescription medication.” She adds, “FOR helps us with joint mobility, better balance and posture, something I focus on while walking and breathing.”




Pat Van Haste “drove a desk” for 30 years. Pat was a high school English teacher, college communications professor, worked in Human Resources for several big name firms, and now owns her own company as a career coach. She also volunteers at Carlyle House. Yes, I know, I said they are “retired.” Pat likes to move.

Pat has struggled with her weight and lack of enough exercise. When she and her husband Frank moved to Alexandria eight years ago, she soon realized she needed more. Pat says, “Dieting and some walking was not enough. Once Frank retired, and I cut back my work to part time, we were able to commit to a fitness routine that would truly make a difference.”

Pat aims to walk 10,000 steps per day, saying “I hit 10,000 steps, one way or the other, each day, even if it means that I walk around the dining room table until I get there.”



Recently, Frank was walking his granddaughter Hannah in her stroller crossing Duke Street when a driver didn’t stop…and hit Frank (not the stroller!). It knocked him down, but Frank got up and walked away. Frank credits the work he’s doing at FOR for this amazing feat.

Frank, like the others, has had a storied career culminating in selling his company two years ago. He has vast experience in business development, engineering, and shipbuilding. What a huge success and great end to his career. Yet his frustration was he was heavier than he’d ever been. He told me one day he realized, “I’m fat in t-shirts.”

Frank believes that exercise machines are off-putting and harsh and liked that FOR has no machines. FOR was the place for him. Frank learned how to use his own body for strength. He dead lifts and swings the “Beast” (48KG!) like it’s easy.

Frank makes conscious food choices calling himself “a foodie.” Frank uses the “Lose it” app and credits it with helping him lose weight and keeping it off. He shared this find with Dick who also believes it’s motivated him to stay lean and healthy.




If you are around FOR any time between 2-4pm, you will likely see Dick pull out a few chin ups – he’s up to four now. He didn’t start at four. Like anything, it was a journey to get to one.

Dick walks 3-4 miles around Old Town and always wears his heart rate monitor (and when at FOR) to ensure he keeps his heart rate elevated.  Dick says “Younger Next Year” emphasizes exercise rigorous enough three times a week so you sweat.

In Dick’s 33-year career in the Navy, he served on three ships, running the naval ship purchasing program, heading the Navy Exchange Command. His Navy career culminated when he retired as a Rear Admiral in 2001. He used to work a lot and didn’t make the time to exercise. Now, he is totally committed to his FOR sessions and his walks. And, he laughs, “My walks afford me the ability to enjoy my end of the day bourbon.”

Does it get any better?


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 1,500 clients, 25 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now-more-than-ever passionate about helping others view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty workout weeks to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Now, Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down”, a healthy mix of strength and metabolix work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength. Adrien believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and our health and that change, or improvement, is always within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help Alexandrians learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness and listening to clients’ success stories and bragging about her twin 12 year old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Fitness on the Run is Fitness for Life. Combining a focus on strong bodies and strong minds with a robust wellness education program and unparalleled personalized attention, we provide fitness for health, longevity and functionality.

Fitness on the Run
210 N Lee St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!