Why Strength Matters to Alexandria Wellness

Over the next four weeks, I will showcase Alexandria Wellness’ answer – and some stunning photos of strength –  to a simple question:

What has helped you get strong(her) during COVID-19?



You’ll learn about how the interest in our programs is overwhelming and how we’ve added more virtual classes to our schedule to accommodate this growing demand. If you too want to get strong, both emotionally and physically, join us for our virtual small groups with Lis.



It is our hope you will take away some inspiration, a bit of encouragement, and even motivation to get (re)started on your wellness journey. Remember to join our newsletter list so you can keep up with our exciting programs and receive a 5 Minute Flow.

I couldn’t be prouder of our community. They have:

  • • Looked fear in the eye and chosen strength over becoming paralyzed;
  • • Turned physical strength into emotional and spiritual strength;
  • • Become “bulletproof” for their immune system;
  • • Changed the way they perceive their own wellness – for good;
  • • Invested in powerful tools for strength: gratitude, breathing, sleep, and some equipment essentials like mats, dowels (pictured in our hands in the photo above!), and bells.

You will see, in their own words, and in these beautiful photos (half of our clients could not make it to our photoshoot) what getting strong(her) looks and sounds like to our Alexandria Wellness community.

When we first learned of the Governor’s stay-at-home orders, Lis (our esteemed AW coach) and I put our heads together about what we could do to help our community of 45 women, six corporate clients, and 12 concierge clients. It took us about three minutes to figure out our strategy:

Let’s keep doing everything we can to help our clients stay strong.


About two months into the pandemic, we asked our clients to tell us their definition of strong. We pushed and prodded for them to define their own “strength” place. Here is a sampling of what they said and drew…




We wanted to help our community understand the importance of strength not only on our physical bodies yet also how well we can tap into our now-established stress resilience during this “new normal.”

During those first few weeks, Lis and I admit it was tough to keep especially the small group fitness clients engaged, focused, and feeling confident. Together we vowed to always start sessions (and meetings) with gratitude, breathing, and wellness tips. We share in a short wellness conversation, including sleep, stress, mindset, calendar, and the entire AW concierge wellness wheel. Our community understands achieving total wellness is way more than exercise and diet.

Over time, we never wavered in our mission for strength for the entire community.

Today, not only is our Alexandria Wellness Community strong(her), every individual from our spectrum of clients: corporate, concierge, and small groups is stronger too. Corporate clients are practicing small habit change, concierge clients are pacing their wellness growth in ways they’ve never imagined, and our small group fitness clients are so strong.


“Count your riches in relationships.” – Craig Ballantyne


In fact, Lis and I are strong(her) as well! We have both engaged in more focused training, “doubled down” on our sleep, and adore our stress resilience practices. We both contend we are strong(her) than ever!

Now, here we are in November and grateful that every client is strong(her). How?

  • • They turned this new “normal” into a time where they can practice strength all day long and not only through physical movement.
  • • They increased their number of visits with AW by 50 percent, sometimes more.
  • • They realized tapping into their wellness habits like sleep, stress resilience, mindfulness, mindset, and controlling their day are essential.
  • • They found new friends in our community that will now be lifetime friends. (That’s what happens when your social network shares your goal for wellness!)

These are real people, with real fears, real stress, and busy lives who turned COVID-19 circumstances into their own personal self-care silver lining.

Here they are in their own words:

Jennifer P:Exercise has been a priority for years. When COVID hit, I found I had anxiety about how I would effectively exercise. Adrien was there with an outdoor strength training option that not only helped me survive but helps me thrive. I am the strongest I have ever been and feel great!”

Mary Leslie K.:Working out virtually has allowed me to stay consistent with workouts and add more sessions to my schedule. Having trainers that challenge me and create workouts that are customized for me helped me get strong during the pandemic.”

Betsy:“The positive spirit of Alexandria Wellness and their dedication to us kept me motivated, engaged, and strong!”

It is with great pride that Lis and I have found a community we’ve dreamed of for so long. Our community supports one another, shares, and finds space for vulnerabilities they cannot find elsewhere.

Consider joining our newsletter to keep up with the fun ways we are helping build strength and join our virtual sessions with Lis today.


  • 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




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