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We Heart Austin

By Austin

T.J. and Annie Freeman came to Austin in 2011 from the Diocese of Indianapolis. T.J. has just finished his second year towards his M.Div. degree, and we asked them to share their favorite spots in this great city.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we’d love to hear your favorites too.



So the purpose of this and future posts is to share a little bit about why my wife and I love Austin. Austin is an amazing town and it is a big part of what makes Seminary of the Southwest such a wonderful and amazing place. For me there are two places that are absolutely vital to my health and wellbeing. JP’s Java and Dane’s Body Shop. They are two very different places but they are probably the two places that I visit the most outside of the seminary campus.

JP’s Java ( is a locally owned coffee shop/ bar that is only a few minutes walk from campus. The atmosphere at JP’s is what makes it such a great place. There is a plenty of room to sit and read or write a sermon or just relax and have a chat with a friend. They sell sandwiches, pastries, breakfast tacos, beer and wine, and of course all the coffee, tea, and espresso drinks that you want. There is a large patio to enjoy the beautiful central Texas weather and there is a bulletin board outside of the restrooms where you can find all kinds of different things to do.


The other place that I am going to write about today is Dane’s Body Shop ( Dane’s is more than a gym; it is a family. My wife and I found Dane’s last summer while we were looking for a place to work out. It is a little over a mile from campus, so it is not a struggle to get up and go even at five in the morning. We could not have found a better place. The workouts are not easy; they are a fusion of cardio, Crossfit, strength training, yoga, and they are nonstop for an hour. At Dane’s you will constantly find different ways to stay in shape; there are the fusion classes, run group, yoga, strength, and they even have a kid’s fusion class. Some of favorite events at Dane’s are the special events; the best so far has been the Zombie Obstacle Course. It was a 3 plus mile course that wound its way around Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores, and Lady Bird Lake. You and a partner collected supplies, avoided zombies, and got a great workout along the way. The real beauty of Dane’s though is in the people. The coaches and athletes at Dane’s are a family. They support and motivate each other, and there is friendship that extends beyond the gym.

From physical to mental well being the area campus has a lot to offer. These are two of my favorites and places that I will miss a lot when I leave Austin.

Blessings… T.J. and Annie




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