Meet Sarah, owner and Master Teacher Trainer at Four Graces Pilates in Oklahoma City. She’s been through some tough times but has found Pilates to be her rock. She has a tradition we should all start– Mexican food Sundays with her husband and the occasional on-demand movie with her pup.  Read on to learn more about Sarah and her amazingly inspiring story.

What is your WHY? Why do you teach Pilates and own a Pilates studio?

I fell in LOVE with Pilates the very first session I took. My Pilates journey began in 1994 after I had a bi-frontal craniotomy to remove a brain tumor. My eyesight and balance were affected but I was alive and well. I found Pilates and started taking privates and classes at a local studio. The owner asked if I would be interested in working for her and getting my certification. I went through comprehensive training and soon started teaching. I enjoyed being a student but discovered my real passion for the connection and satisfaction of helping others to reach their goals as an instructor. In 2007, I opened my own studio and joined Balanced Body as a Master Teacher Trainer and host site. Ever since, I have especially enjoyed teaching others to become instructors. At the end of last year, I discovered I had another brain tumor, which was surgically removed over the holidays. I knew some of what to expect, but I was 24 years older this time around. I am still in recovery but began taking classes at my studio less than three months after my brain and sinus surgeries. I quickly found how weak I was–mermaid had me shaking like a leaf! I know I’ll gain my strength back and eventually be stronger than ever before–because the method works! Pilates has been a rock for me through this rollercoaster of life.

How did you first get into fitness?

My mother insisted I needed ballet as I was quite the tomboy. I started group dance classes but had a best friend who introduced me to Hunter Jumper and the world of horses. I quickly fell in love with riding and continued through college years.

What’s the best health/wellness advice you’ve ever received that has actually helped?

Just keep trying; do what you can do now and expand on that. Baby steps.

What’s your favorite workout to do when you’re not teaching?

Well Pilates of course! My favorite piece, the Combo Chair, never disappoints.

What’s the last song you listened to on Spotify (or iTunes, Pandora, etc.)?

Blue Ain’t Your Color by Keith Urban. My husband is joking that I’ve gone country!

Best thing in your fridge right now?

That’s hard! It’s pretty empty at the moment. I did recently treat myself to egg salad and a loaf of bread from one of my favorite local spots, Green Goodies. So I’ve got those leftovers to dig back into!

Go-to pre or post-workout snack?

RX bars (we keep a whole cookie jar full!), and water, always!

Go-to morning beverage(s)?

Water first, French press coffee second.

Favorite splurge meal/dessert?

My husband, Paul, and I have a long-standing tradition of Mexican food most every Sunday. Other favorite splurges include Indian, Thai, and a high quality burger! For treats, I like a chocolate chip cookie. Another favorite is coconut gelato. So hard to narrow down!! We cook most meals at home so when I do splurge—I want it to be good!

Where do you get your health/wellness information? (blog, website, podcast, etc.) 

PMA is a great resource as well as several sites I subscribe to, including Balanced Body and Polestar. Pilates Style magazine. Plus everything my clients experience and report back to me! I have a few favorite cookbooks. Our house could live off of the Whole30 grilled coconut-curry chicken!

Favorite way to unwind after a long day/week? I love movies! I will make it to the theatre every now and then. But there is nothing like watching an on-demand movie at home with my dachshund, Rudy, in my lap.