Illness inspires new studio wellness gym
By Dana Delgado
Tall and slender and committed to staying fit, Holly Johnson is the picture of good health and devoted to running a budding specialty wellness and fitness program.
It is hard to imagine that only a few years ago, life was dramatically different for the Liberty Hill businesswoman.
As a 15-year honor roll student who had been active in a host of school activities, Johnson had been precipitously overcome with a multitude of illnesses that sent her spiraling into an unspeakable emotional and physical abyss. For eight seemingly endless years, an agonizing and bedridden Holly Johnson wondered when her nightmare would end as she wrestled with Fibromyalgia, scoliosis and degeneration of her spine, as well as epilepsy and a Chiari malformation in her brain. Her days were filled with never-ending pain, fatigue, weakness and “a foggy brain.”
“While bedridden, physically, I was sometimes in so much pain I could barely think straight,” she recalls. “I was fatigued and ‘foggy’, unable to concentrate or be productive. Due to the drastic life change, I was often depressed and felt worthless and extremely guilty for burdening my family. While there were definitely healthier and brighter times, a lot of the first years I was sick were very dark.”
Johnson said her family helped her get through those horrific years.
“My parents (Michael and Sherry Laskowski) raised me to fight and overcome,” she said. “My dad calls me ‘Warrior Princess’.”
Johnson said that while family helped her through the ordeal, faith began her journey to wellness.
“Now, my strengths are my faith and the support from my husband (Jeff Winkley), my son (Aden Johnson) and my parents, and I view obstacles as growing points,” Johnson said.
All the disappointment, pain, and trauma she endured, however, turned out to be an epiphany, a sudden intuitive leap of understanding that has led her to pursue a profession helping others with their personal fitness and well-being.
As a Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist and Yoga and Geriatric Yoga Instructor, Johnson operates a professional studio gym serving clients from all age groups and specializing in individual programs tailored to one’s specific needs ranging from rehabilitation to strengthening.
“My personal health testimony and the growth and healing I have experienced made me want to share these ‘cures’ with everyone,” Johnson said. “If I can help someone live a healthier, more fulfilled life, I get fulfillment from that also.”
Johnson said that she still struggles with Fibromyalgia, but not to the scale as before. She said she has learned to deal with the intermittent pain and fatigue with a fitness plan and more healthy food choices.
“I also modify my workouts or remind myself that rest is an important part of wellness, too,” Johnson said. “I love to find a plan that works and work the plan. Overall, I’m happy and refuse to let my health change that!”
As a personal trainer, Johnson says she sees herself as a friend, educator and motivator for her clients.
“Building loving, trusting relationships helps me to know where some of their failures are coming from and how to turn them into successes,” she said. “This relationship also helps me speak hard truths and be received better and also to know how and when to push or when to pull the reins. I think the best thing for my clients to learn is that change is okay. Change is hard and I enjoy being there to walk my clients through that, helping them create the discipline needed to maintain and grow in their new lifestyle.”
Johnson said she conducts a 142-point assessment with each client before designing an individual program that includes discussion of healthy food choices, correct and effective exercises and the identification of behaviors that inhibit the achievement of one’s goals.
The Liberty Hill personal fitness trainer said that everyone is on the same journey to lead a healthy lifestyle but only at different points. She said that her experiences and the essential tools she has developed to not only survive but thrive have allowed her to be successful in helping others with compassion, yet expertise.
“I’m a real person who’s been through the ups and downs emotionally, spiritually, and physically,” Johnson added. “Training is in my heart.”
Hour and half-hour programs are available at reasonable prices. A current training special offers the first three hour sessions for $99. Holly Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.