Julie Barker has been coming to Highway 54 Pilates for 18 months. She originally came into the studio because she had plateaued with her own workout routine at the gym. She has participated in private and group classes in Pilates and is now a student instructor. Here are her answers to our questions.
When did you start working out at Highway 54 Pilates and why?
About a year and a half ago, I was in one of my Mom’s doctor’s offices and saw the Highway 54 Pilates video running on the monitor in the waiting room. I had been going to the gym but was not losing weight or gaining any more tone. In my 20s I had a very athletic friend that did Pilates, and she always talked about how it “kicked her ass.” That was intimidating to me, especially since she was a former gymnast. I always assumed it was too advanced. Then I saw the video, and the women looked just like me! They were in shorts and t-shirts and were working on the Reformer at a steady pace. I thought, hey, I can do that! So, I called and set up my first lesson with Amie. Once there, the atmosphere was so light and happy. I’m addicted to the positive energy—laughter, encouragement, music, natural light, and fur baby love! It’s the perfect combination for me.
Describe your workouts. How many days a week do you work out?
My goal is to work out 3x per week. I love the Reformer but notice that I tone up better when I do a variety. So, I do a springboard class as well. I’d love to add Barre in, but my work schedule and a new puppy have generated scheduling challenges. I WILL get there!
What is your current fitness goal?
I want to feel good about myself. I’m tired of looking in the mirror and seeing flaws. When I work out and watch what I eat, I can look the same, but I see myself better. I’m finally enough.
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
I was getting aches in my knees and back and had a lot of migraines. Pilates has taken the aches away and my migraines are not as frequent. Having fewer migraines and headaches in general is priceless!
What helps you stay on track?
The comradery in the studio is so wonderful! Amie is cheerful and inspiring. Not to mention keeping the migraines away.
What do you do when you’re not at the studio?
I’m cleaning up and chasing after my 12-week-old puppy, Tinkerbell. Before I had her, reading, knitting, gardening, and spending time with my friends and family were my hobbies.
Do you have a favorite exercise or favorite piece of equipment?
I love the Reformer, Cadillac, and Ladder Barrel. But no matter which one, I always feel so accomplished once I’m finished with a workout. On the Reformer, I love any exercise with feet in straps.
Describe our studio in 3 words.
My breathing space.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting Pilates?
Don’t be intimidated! EVERYONE can do this. Amie sets you up for success from the beginning, all you have to do is show up. It’s worth the money—YOU are worth the money.