Photo Credit: Katie Hall Photography
Rachel is a mother of two boys, a wife, a Physical Therapist, a Pilates and group fitness instructor, and the founder of The Pilates PT in Libertyville.
Where are you from? What brought you to the area?
I grew up in Ohio (Go Buckeyes) and moved to Chicago to attend Physical Therapy school at Northwestern University. While in Chicago, I met my husband and we lived in the city for 8 years. He always commuted to the northern suburbs. When we found out his company was moving even farther north, we decided it was time to move as well. We looked at many different communities and decided to move to Vernon Hills with our 8 week old baby in 2010. Neither of us has family in Illinois, so we were drawn to the area for the excellent schools, cute downtown Libertyville area, and proximity to work.
Tell us about your family and some of your favorite things to do in the area:
My husband, Jason, and I have 2 boys, Evan (8.5) and Zach (5.5) and a cute white, fluffy dog named Yoshi. We are frequently busy with kids sports: soccer, baseball, swimming, golf, basketball, and are now starting tae kwon do. When not playing sports, we love family movies, mini-golf- and now regular family golf, playing games, and traveling to visit our families. You can often find us at our favorite restaurants, Egg Harbor and O’Tooles.
Tell us about your career:
I knew in High School that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist. While in PT school, I began taking mat Pilates classes and felt an immediate connection. After I graduated, I became certified in mat Pilates and started teaching classes at a gym (I now teach at Heather’s Gym in Libertyville twice a week). I then earned my full equipment Pilates certification and started combining Pilates with Physical Therapy. In 2016, I started my own business, The Pilates PT. I had a vision of incorporating rehabilitation with wellness, education, and prevention. Teaching people how to make exercise more effective and how to use their core functionally is something I am passionate about. I want everyone to stay active and be able to continue to do what they love- but as we get older or experience injuries, sometimes our bodies need something a bit different. Pilates helps fill that void; it works on the smaller, deeper muscles that typically get ignored in a gym setting, plus it builds core strength, flexibility, and body awareness.
My vision to provide holistic care has organically led to growing my business. I have recently moved into a bigger space, hired two amazing Physical Therapists, added small Pilates group classes and workshops, and also offer Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. One of my specialties is Post Partum, including working with Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation). I just added new post partum services: a Post Partum Pilates class that starts in January, and a more personalized Mommy Tune Up, which I am really excited to offer as I feel many women don’t take the time to reconnect with their core post-baby. And don’t worry; it is never too late! Even if you had a baby years ago, you can still make significant changes.
Photo Credit: Malinda Kav Photography
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I started my business “by accident” due to a need from the active women I met in the community (at preschool and the gym) that I knew I could help. I felt there was a need for patient-focused Physical Therapy and an even bigger need for education. The Libertyville and surrounding communities have been extremely supportive and enabled my business to grow from a part-time one-woman show to a bigger space with 3 Physical Therapists.
Best Advice from another Mom:
Balance is constantly changing. Being a business owner, wife, and mom is hard and finding balance is always a struggle. Some weeks the laundry and cleaning may not be done perfectly, and some weeks the business may get a little less attention. I have learned I have to schedule my work outs, my errand time, and my “catch up” time at home. It is all worth it; I love what I do, and I love the example that I am setting for my kids.
What’s next for you?
I am working on expanding my classes, such as adding Pilates for Athletes class in the next few months. I am also planning specialty classes and workshops in the community for high school sports teams, moms groups, local gyms, and more. Some upcoming examples are Core & Pelvic Floor, Women’s Wellness Talk, and a private Pilates class. I am excited to share my expertise and help as many people as I can to feel better and stay better. As moms, we are constantly being pulled in a million directions. I empower each of you to make sure that you are taking the time to take care of yourself.
Sign up for classes on her website! Special discount for Libertyville Area Moms is 10% off a Mommy Tune-up, Post-partum Pilates class or Pilates 101 January class if you sign up by Saturday, 12/15. Use your exclusive coupon code LIBMOM!