An Interview with Brooke Marshall — Club Pilates Tulsa

I always love a good Q & A and it’s something you all really love too because these posts always get the best readership. So happy you enjoy interviews with my peers, mentors, and Pilates greats. It’s an honor for me to be interviewing one of the sweetest girls I have ever met, Brooke Marshall. We met in the Club Pilates South Tulsa studio and really connected through our love of getting a good workout in and writing and photography. She loved Pilates so much she is now an instructor and I could not be happier for her!

So while everyone is figuring out which way they're going to get fit in 2019, we've had our answer for a while now.

Read on to get a taste of Brooke’s passion and dedication for life AND Pilates !! She has the most amazing story and inspires me greatly. She always looks at the glass half full and sees the good in everything and that is something we should all aspire to do, no?!

INTERVIEW WITH BROOKE:

-What do you remember about the first time you tried Pilates?

The first time I tried Pilates I fell in love. I loved the way footwork mimicked standing at a ballet barre. I loved the spring resistance and how fluid each movement could be. I remember cleaning off my station after that first class and knowing this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 

-What’s your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

That’s such a hard question! I love so many!! Feet in straps has to be my absolute favorite, but I don’t know that you can count it as part of the exercise portion of class. I love standing work on the reformer. I love elephant and arabesque as well as doing side and front splits. I love these because of the stretch I find and the balance it takes. However, I think pike ups on the EXO Chair feel the most beneficial to me. In my opinion, it is one of the best core exercises in Pilates.

-When was your Pilates A-HA! moment as a student and now as a teacher ? What inspired you to want to teach?

My A-HA moment as a student was honestly my very first intro class at Club Pilates. I had never taken any sort of Pilates before so I was completely unaware of what to expect or what the origins of Pilates were. At the time I found Pilates, I was looking for something to scratch the itch that aging out of dance had caused. When I took that first class I was IN LOVE. I knew I had found my next great passion. 

As a teacher, I don’t know that I have had a great A-HA moment just yet. I have lots of moments where I have felt proud or accomplished. I think all of those little moments are what keep me in a place of wanting to be better and better. 

I can pretty much give almost all of the credit for me becoming a teacher to a fellow Pilates teacher and friend. She saw me take one class and knew I needed to go through the certification process. I have always had a passion for teaching and with my dance background I knew that becoming certified in Pilates instruction would be along the same vein as what I had known my whole life. With this friend’s help and finding myself in a season of asking, “What’s next?” I went for it, and I am so glad I did!! 

-What qualities do you admire in a pilates teacher? 

  1. Having and demonstrating a fun personality throughout the class

  2. Knowing and communicating the muscle groups being worked with each exercise

  3. Coming up with innovating and new exercises to keep the class exciting. 

-If Joseph Pilates were alive today what would you ask him or have him teach you? 

Because of my background in dance, I would love to have him take me through a class like he took the professional dancers through when he first came over to America. 

-When did you feel like a Pilates teacher?

The first time I really felt like a pilates instructor was starting my very first class. I walked in the room and said “Hi friends, My name is Brooke and this is Reformer Flow 1.5” and I had this moment of thinking… “Woah! This is actually happening” haha 

-What is your intention as you teach?

My intention as I teach is to give the people in my class a great work out. I want each person to feel like they are getting stronger, stepping closer to their fitness and body goals, and feeling empowered to push themselves as far as they can. 

-How has Pilates changed your body? Your outlook? 

Pilates has made me stronger. I didn’t think I would ever have muscle definition in my arms and as strong of a core as I have now. I see huge differences since I started taking Pilates. It shifted my outlook on working out in huge ways. I always loved dance but never could get behind just going to a gym and lifting weights or working through some cardio. Pilates gave me the ability to believe in my ability to live a healthy lifestyle.

-What is your favorite muscle group?

My favorite muscle group to work is glutes. I think it is a muscle group that we can sometimes neglect, but everybody wants to work. 

-What is your favorite prop?

My favorite prop to use is the magic circle.

-What is the funniest thing you have ever heard in the studio? 

One of the members was leaving to go on a trip to Colorado and she said as she left the room, “I’m going to Colorado to get high!” Nobody knew if she was just trying to be funny or if she was actually serious but the whole lobby started cracking up! It was so great! 

-What has been your biggest teaching blunder?

In one of my final test outs I was definitely nervous and trying to change springs in good timing so the clients didn’t feel like the class was lagging, and I accidentally took all the springs off of one clients reformers… She pulled on the straps and her carriage went flying back towards the back of the reformer! I was so embarrassed and I was just hoping they would trust me to be their instructor still! Haha she still comes to my classes now so all worked out alright! ☺

-What do you do to unwind after a long day of teaching?

I climb into bed with some sort of chocolate snack, Netflix and my dog, Bailey. Bailey loves to snuggle! 

-What benefits will I see from doing Pilates once or twice a week?

I think Pilates will make you feel stronger and more balanced. You will be able to see physical results in your muscle tone and in your athletic or physical ability.

-Will I leave Pilates feeling like I have worked out? Will I get sore?

It honestly depends on what class style you are taking, but yes, absolutely! I have left Pilates classes drenched in sweat and whole body asking for a bubble bath! Pilates is great at targeting not only the core muscle groups we all talk about such as abs, legs, and arm… it also reaches those muscle groups we often neglect.

-Fave thing to eat for breakfast?

I’ve never been a big breakfast girl. My morning routine usually consists of making a hot cup of earl grey tea and having some berries. That’s usually all I’m in the mood for in the mornings. 

-Fave guilty pleasure ? 

Watching the bachelor… although I don’t feel that guilty! Haha 

-I don’t leave home without my __________.

Chapstick! My friends know, you can always count on me to have some. 

-Top 3 places you have traveled? Top 3 places you would like to travel? 

Top 3 places I have traveled:

  1. Chile

  2. Hawaii

  3. Cancun

Top 3 places I would like to travel:

  1. Turks and Caicos

  2. North Carolina

  3. Africa

-Favorite Blog? 

My favorite blog is tayruth.com. She is an everyday girl who talks about God, relationships and empowering girls/women. 

-Favorite Book? 

My favorite books are the Bible, Rooted by Banning Liebscher, and How’s your Soul by Judah Smith.

-Favorite quote? 

“We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.” Romans 8:37

-Fave places in Tulsa?

This is so lame, but my favorite place in Tulsa is home. I am such a homebody at heart that there aren’t many places that bring me as much joy as being home. However, if I do go out I love walking down Brookside or window-shopping down the storefronts of main street in Broken Arrow. 

-I am an expert in __________________.

I don’t know that I would consider myself an expert in anything, but I consider myself very knowledgeable in dance.

-On any Saturday night you will most likely find me ___________________.

At home with my dog, bailey… 100%!!

-Fun fact about yourself?

Dance is a huge passion of mine! I was a competitive dancer for 8 years and a collegiate dancer for 4. After graduating college I became a dance coach for a couple different dance organizations.

-What song are you listening to on repeat right now?

Endless Alleluia by Cory Asbury and last night’s Mascara by Brynn Cartelli!!

-Fave workout attire? And why? 

By far leggings and a form fitted tank top is my go to. I love Lululemon because of the hold their clothes have while working out. 

-Okay so we have to talk about this sweet dog?! Tell me about this sweetheart!

 YES!! Bailey is my favorite topic!! She is a rescue so we don’t know what all she has in her, but we know her momma was a Catahoula. I absolutely and completely fell in love with her as soon as I picked her up. In that moment, I knew she had to be mine! She has such a personality and wants to play with all of her people friends, but is also the biggest snuggle bug you have ever met! She is my best friend!! 

-What’s your pilates schedule at CP ? When can we take your classes? 

Right now my class schedule is

Tuesday mornings 6:30 and 7:30

Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 and 5:00

Thursday afternoon 5:30 and 6:30

Friday mornings 6:00 and 7:00

Come work out with me!!! ☺

-What’s next for Brooke?

I’m looking forward to really diving into Pilates even more by learning more and becoming more skilled in my instructing abilities. I would love to get certified in other fitness programs like Zumba or body pump as well.  

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Words from Brooke!

These questions definitely answer a lot about my life and where I am now, but something that is a strong passion of mine is speaking on the subject of Beauty and helping women find their confidence and feel comfortable in their own skin. I feel so passionate about this because I have had to live it. When I was born I was born with a birth defect called Cystic Hygroma. At 4 weeks old the doctor that was supposed to remove the Cysts also unknowingly removed all the facial nerves on the right side of my face. After 5 years of reconstructive surgeries taking 54cm of nerves from my legs as well as muscle and transporting it all into my face and neck doctors said that it was going to be all I could do to walk and there wouldn’t be much hope for any physical or athletic ability beyond that due to the extensive scarring on my legs. Through nothing short of a miracle from God I was able to be extremely athletic all my life dancing my way through school and now living a vocation in the fitness community. I love the restoration and story of overcoming that took place in my life, but I love even more the platform it has given me to encourage other women to be confident in their own skin no matter how much they weigh, what scars they bare, what clothes they wear or what skin tone they rock! They are all beautifully fearfully and perfectly made!! 

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