The ink was barely dry on the sales agreement, and Samantha Taylor was already moving into her new Pure Health and Fitness Studios location on Knight Road in Land O’ Lakes.
That’s because the longtime local trainer doesn’t like to waste time, whether it’s helping to get a body in shape, or to provide a new 3,700-square-foot facility for her clients. Yet, Taylor hasn’t always enjoyed that level of discipline.
“I used to be a major binger,” Taylor said. “I would binge on thousands of calories at a time, and that progressed for quite a few years, all in the middle of my professional training career.”
At the time, Taylor was a physical trainer at Lifestyle Family Fitness Center. And while she was one of the top trainers in the company, Taylor had a nickname she didn’t really much care for: “the chunky trainer.”
“I had gained about 20 pounds,” she said. “I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a personal trainer, that is like gaining 50 or 60.”
But that all changed a decade ago when she discovered the Bible.
“I really started to get the revelation that the Bible talks about that your body is a temple of God,” Taylor said. “For me, it was life-changing. It was just like a light switch went on inside my head, and I suddenly understood that my body was a gift, and I really didn’t have the right to abuse it.”
It was also that same time Taylor decided to strike out on her own, starting Pure Health, and working with women to build their bodily temples as well.
Taylor admits that because it helped her, spirituality is a part of her program. But it doesn’t mean she attracts only Christian clients.
“We don’t force it on people, but those who want it, it’s in there,” she said. “That is a reason why people seek me out. They want to work with someone who works with not just the body, but they like the mind, spirit and the body all together.”
Since starting Pure Health, Taylor has hosted clients in a few smaller locations she rented out. And she was happy doing that, until one day last summer she saw a billboard while on her way to Busch Gardens.
“Something in me knew I had to turn around and get that phone number,” Taylor said. “And when I finally saw the building, it was everything I had dreamed about. We now have rooms for seminars, and eventually even a cooking class. We are lakeside on an acre of land. I get teared up every time I think about it.”
The two-story building is off State Road 54, not far from its intersection with Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, but a bit hidden behind trees and a small lake. Taylor said she is turning it into a place where women can come and get fit without feeling intimidated by the bigger box gyms.
Construction is already underway inside the building, which Taylor expects to have done by the end of the year. And right now, only her six trainers even know about the new location. They got their first look just last week, welcomed by hundreds of rose petals sprinkled up the main walkway.
The boot camp portion of her program will open at the new location by Thanksgiving, set up in what is an air-conditioned former garage. The big doors opening up to it are still there, which Taylor says can be opened in cooler weather to let in some fresh air.
Taylor’s program is straightforward: “If you don’t eat certain foods, you will not have cravings.”
“I think that is the trap that so many people find themselves in,” she said. “They’re trapped in cravings and impulses and desires that seem to overtake them. And they don’t know how to rein it in.”
The new location for Pure Health opens Jan. 1 at 2206 Knight Road in Land O’ Lakes. In the meantime, to reach Taylor, call (813) 909-4939, or visit her website at PureHealthStudios.com.