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Treating the mind, body and spirit


Dr. Alina Dawson

At first Smith Mountain Lake was a destination for family vacations. Then it became a place to seek refuge from the pandemic. Now it is home and the place where a dream can come true and for clients of Dr. Alina Dawson that means less pain, more mobility and a path to total wellness.

In mid-December, Mariners Landing announced it has partnered with Full Distance, a physical therapy and fitness practice with 20 years of experience, to increase wellness services to its property owners and club members. For Dawson it was it was a dream come true.

“Our first family vacations were spent at Smith Mountain Lake State Park cabins when our three kids were 6 months, 2 and 4 years old,” reminisced Dawson, founder of Full Distance Fitness, Therapy and Wellness Practice. “Mariners Landing soon became our favorite cove with its beautiful deep green water and views of Smith Mountain.”

The Dawsons purchased a waterfront cabin on Craddock Creek in 2018 as their first Airbnb which they fittingly named “Serenity Point.” During the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020 they spent two months there as a family and she fell in love with the idea of living here year-round.

One warm spring day they were boating around Mariners Landing looking at waterfront property and they became curious about the seemingly abandoned land next to the Pointe. “I called a realtor who referred me to Kelly Drinkard, with Perrow Management Corp., who shared the new mission and vision of Mariners Landing,” said Dawson. “We set a meeting with Waller Perrow [one of Mariners Landing’s owners] and it soon became clear, my dream of a resort-based wellness center and retreat aligned perfectly with the NEW Mariners vision of having health and wellness available within the community.”

Full Distance has an office in Purcellville, Virginia. Dawson is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a geriatric clinical specialist, registered yoga teacher and licensed Zumba instructor. Her team includes six additional members with expertise in personal training, reflexology, occupational therapy, massage therapy, as well as fitness and dance instruction.

“Waller has given me free reign to provide this unique model of delivery of physical therapy and the opportunity to organically create a holistic practice that encompasses all dimensions of wellness without the typical corporate chains of command or bureaucratic tape I’ve had to go through in the past,” explained Dawson. “The partnership is mutually beneficial breaking down barriers for all ages to access services to live well in their own community coached by the finest faculty in healthy lifestyle change.”

While the practice is in the Mariners Landing community, there are services for everyone.

“There are two spaces on the top level of the center where access to our services is unrestricted. One space provides spa services such as massages and reflexology and another is a large fitness studio where personal training, group fitness and therapy classes take place,” added Dawson. “The lower level is restricted for members, property owners and their guests. This includes both indoor and outdoor pools, and a gym where we also can provide personal training, physical and occupational therapy as well as other offerings.”

Full Distance is fully operational at Mariners supplying physical and occupational therapy services in clients’ homes and at the center at Mariners Landing. In 2022, Dawson is planning special programs targeted to achieve an ideal weight in a healthy, progressive and balanced way while purifying the body, mind and soul. They will continue to offer and evolve the Grateful Aging Program (GAP) as well as other discussion groups, wellness workshops, and health and wellness retreats.

“Although Mariners Landing Resort is a beautiful campus for seniors to age well and our programming will focus on that, it is important to remember we are ALL aging,” said Dawson. “Mariners Landing is also the perfect place for a wellness reset. Our Full Distance team is prepared to challenge all ages and levels of fitness to be the best version of yourself and our evolving, growing diverse selection of services will reflect that.”

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