My Journey To Getting My Life Back: A Mindset Story

Last week, I outlined many of the mindset shifts I’ve experienced with my concierge wellness and fitness clients. This week, I’m excited to tell you my story about my transformation from worrying about my body, my business, everything…to taking control of my life and mindset. I decided to be in the driver’s seat of my life rather than allowing my worries, guilt, stress, and fear to drive me…

Excerpt from last week…

On a personal note, there was a time when I felt trapped in the belief that working harder – at everything – would produce the results I wanted. I wanted to be as fit as possible, raise amazing children, be the BEST gym in Old Town, and “have it all.” I worked hard at it and then I worked harder at it, and then I worked harder still until….

 …Until I was exhausted. My relentless striving and doing was not only not producing the results I wanted, but it was taking a toll on all aspects of my life. My body was not responding in a healthy way and my relationship with those closest to me felt strained.

My personal life was in crisis. I felt like my husband, also going through his own crisis, lived 300 miles away, yet we slept in the same bed. Our son fell from a 7-foot pool slide and cracked his skull, resulting in learning and behavior issues requiring multiple specialist appointments each week. I was too drained to focus on our daughter, who patiently waited for her mother to “be back.” Our children’s school wasn’t working for them. And my business that felt like it “never slept.” And, yet I was still striving…

Finally, instead of working harder, I took a step back. Why was I doing so much, working so hard? When honest with myself, I realized that much of my striving was motivated either by a comparison of myself to others or an attempt to achieve some level of success that I could not define (and therefore was likely unattainable). Or, I was trying to earn my own birth family’s approval — still — at the age of 45? Or was it a combination with the result of never feeling good? What was the goal?

As I thought about what I really wanted…what really mattered to me… it was wellness. A deeper sense of wellness for myself, for my family, and for my clients. I truly feel like I am in a vocation to help others. So why not live that way instead of trying so hard to be something unattainable? It seems so subtle and yet the shift was HUGE. Instead of striving for success, I made wellness my focus, and everything began to change.

I stopped worrying about how I looked – and appeared in the mirror and to others – and focused on feeling strong and healthy. I stopped concentrating energy on how to be successful and began focusing more on how to do what I love in a way that really matters to me (hence, the birth of Concierge Wellness and the expansion of our Wellness Education program). I stopped worrying about being the perfect mom and attending every event, preparing every meal, making every pick-up on time, folding laundry daily and instead focused on being present to really help shape the individuals my children are becoming. (Tip: Schedule laundry for two days of the week and make it a folding party so your children fold their own!)

How is your mindset affecting your life?

Do you feel like you are the architect of your life or do you feel like the details of your life have taken control of you/your time? Are you feeling overwhelmed more than you are feeling grateful? Are you exhausted more often than you would like?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I am personally inviting you to join me at Fitness on the Run on Saturday, June 22nd from 10am to 1pm for a three-hour mindset workshop that will provide you with the tools to get YOU back into the driver’s seat of your life. We each only get one of these lives… who or what do we want running it? Choosing the mindset that supports the life I want to live is something I work at every day because I realize the consequences of not making the choice. I am now opening up my coach to you to share with you all she has taught me.

Register here.

We have limited space so don’t think twice about it. Sign up now!


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. 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 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women 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 and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. 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 metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women 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, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-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.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




  1. Avatar Sara Wolcott says:

    I love the idea of scheduling laundry days!!!! I’m going to implement that!

    • Avatar Adrien says:

      Yes, it has changed our laundry “predicament” big time. And, it’s given our children some responsibility they actually enjoy!

      Thanks, Sarah!

  2. Avatar Tracy L. says:

    It pains me that I’m catching up with you and your life in your (excellent) blog posts, but I’m so proud of you, and so honored to call you “friend”. You are a force to be reckoned with, and your greatest strength is your willingness to learn. To assess what you’re doing and change if it’s required. Sharing what you learn with the rest of us is gravy. Love you! And thank you. Needed this today.

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