Meet Jana Brown

Jana Brown runs her own fitness empire in Webster.

She spends most of her time training and managing her gym, Rise Beyond Fitness, as well as a virtual gym, complete with online exercise groups, home routines and healthy recipe swapping.

She likes to say, “No excuses, none whatsoever.”

But she’s the first one to admit that it hasn’t always been this way. Only 15 years ago, she considered herself overweight. She was unaware of diet and exercise.

When she was pregnant with her first child, her weight climbed to 210 pounds.

“I didn’t have any knowledge of food,” Brown said. “I didn’t know how to fuel my body at all.”

She asked her sister Kristen Marshall, a trained nutritionist, for help.

“She taught me the basics of calories in, calories out,” Brown said.

As a stay-at-home mom, Brown did not have a budget for more than calorie counting and doing a few home-video workouts while her infant daughter was napping.

“I couldn’t buy a gym membership; I couldn’t buy supplements,” she said. “But I lost 50 pounds in six months. I haven’t gained it back. I kept it off.’

Brown stayed healthy through her second pregnancy and the birth of her son.

Then, her husband, Tremayne Brown, died in a tragic motorcycle accident. Jana had never worked or built a career, and she suddenly had to consider how to generate an income for her young family.

She turned to fitness. Eventually, she became certified as a trainer and asked a local boot camp if they needed help.

“Two days later, I was leading group classes,” she said. “I loved it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Now she’s running two locations of Rise Beyond Fitness. And last summer, she added the virtual group.

“My mission is to help women eliminate any excuses for why they can’t train,” she said. “Not valid at all. I got you.”

She has started a 12-week course for women training to be in the 2019 Spartan Race, a marathon event complete with obstacles.

Diet and exercise are only part of her focus as a fitness coach. Eliminating stress and fatigue are equally important, Brown said.

“Once you adjust those things and your mindset - once you help someone believe - then everything can change,” she said. “Once you understand why you do what you do, then you can fix it. You can make modifications that benefit your health.”

Pamela Jones signed up for fitness training with Brown after seeing the motivating effect the coach had on her daughter.

“I knew hands down that Jana was a great trainer,” Jones said. “She herself represents what health and beauty is. I saw her own body transform and that definitely speaks volumes to me.”

Jones also her coach’s directness. “She is very straightforward, but she listens to you.”

She signed up for the online gym to make courses more convenient.

“A lot of people don’t go to the gym because of the cost or the time. Jana eliminated all of that,” she said.

Now Jones has joined Brown’s Spartan training team. “I trust Jana and her training,” she said. “I know that Jana’s going to set me up for success. She connects to everybody, to each one of them. Your body can change.”

Brown enjoys spreading that message every day she goes to work. “Whatever sets your soul on fire, that’s your purpose,” she said. “And this just fires me up.”

Lindsay Peyton,