guest post: is it time to get strong and healthy?

Is it time to get strong and healthy?


After a life-long dream of starting a fitness business, I opened the doors to Fitness on the Run 10 years ago out of our house. Fitness always came naturally to me because I grew up close to the beach in Southern California and spent most of the daylight hours outside playing some sport.


Even as an undergrad, I formally studied fitness and nutrition and have always been active. I completed (5) marathons and dozens of 10Ks before it dawned on me that I was not made to be a distance runner. Running was hurting me; not helping. My knees, my neck, my feet all hurt a lot – and at the ripe age of 30. I studied more about how to be ultimately as fit as possible, discovered bodyweight (no equipment) training, and fell in love. (See! Even a deck to my In-laws home works!)


Fitness on the Run (FOR) was created after two very close friends asked me to dive off the proverbial cliff and do it. They promised they would help me get clients and grow the business. Within the first year, the business was so successful I moved to a small location just off Washington Street in Old Town. At that point, FOR had 25 clients.

Over the years, our primary focus has been personal training. We school our clients on the science behind our philosophy and how it is more effective than any spin or barre class or DVD program. We take a holistic approach to fitness and marry other healthy disciplines to our individually-customized exercise regimens.

We are inviting Stylebook readers to ditch the latest fitness “trends” and join Fitness on the Run for our Stylebook Get Strong Day! Choose either Thursday, August 21st at 7 AM or Saturday, September 6th at 10 AM. You will participate in a Semi-Private session (pictured here) and receive a FOR goodie bag with a t-shirt, protein bars and gift certificate to Power Supply (fresh, table-ready & healthy meals). This is a FREE event. First come, first serve. Each day has 5 slots – so click here to sign up now!


The most concise explanation of our training philosophy is ruthless individualism. Every client is an individual with his or her own unique body and story. We see it all. Knee, shoulder and various other injuries or issues. Time crunched. Business owners. Executives. Moms. Dads. You name it. Everyone has different needs when they come to FOR. We take the time to understand your challenges and your potential and then build a program suited only to you. We take this individualized approach every single time – no exceptions.

Our individualized approach is made to match not just your body but your life. For example, most of our female clients are too hard on themselves. Moms have a difficult time saying “no,” and tend to place too many demands on their daily lives than is frankly healthy. Some are moms too and we know they juggle so much and have limited minutes each day to devote to maintaining optimal physical health. We place so many demands on ourselves that can lead to dissatisfaction because we never seem to accomplish it all. So how can moms do it?

What we know at FOR, is that getting adequate sleep is more important than a 5K, a spin class, or any of the latest-greatest DVD programs any day. Finding ways to meditate, pray or manage the stress of it all for a few minutes each day will do a world of good for your body. An over-stressed and/or sleep deprived body isn’t suited for vigorous exercise. When you are strong, you don’t want to cheat your workouts with bad nutrition or lack of sleep. I admit it: one of the reasons I get 8 hours of sleep is so I can give my workouts my all. Rest is also important when you’re awake. I have a special group of moms with whom I am honored to share a weekly Bible Study. This helps me keep it all in perspective.


At the end of the day, I just want to be strong and I want you to be strong. I’m 47 and have a lot of life left. I can still carry my twin 7 year-olds (pictured here with me working on our “inner peace”) together up a set of stairs (19 in my current home) and want to be able to do this for years to come. If I see someone on the street in trouble, I want to be able to pick them up and get them to safety. I work to be a role model for our children and want them to know the importance of total health and wellness. Those are my goals. What are yours?

Come check out this amazing business my business partner (Denise Dick) and I continue to re-create.

Get strong with us! Join us for our Stylebook Get Strong Day – sign up here.


Stylebook Sponsor

Fitness on the Run offers personal and semi-private training, group exercise as well as nutrition counseling and physical therapy treatment in Alexandria, VA.

  • 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.

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 Comment

  1. […] case you missed it, Fitness on the Run’s co-owner, Adrien Cotton, wrote a guest post Is it Time to Get Healthy and Strong in Alexandria Stylebook last week. […]

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