Pa. mom’s fitness studio outgrows her garage


RICHBORO, Pennsylvania (WPVI) – “I was never into fitness,” said Angela Berghaier. “I didn’t like the sweat. I actually was born with a heart condition. I just never liked it.”

Clearly, something changed for the mother of four who now owns her own fitness studio.

“Being a stay-at-home mom, I just felt like, throughout the years, I lost something,” she said. “I found barre and that was just a game-changer for me.”

Barre, a type of exercise that combines ballet moves with pilates and yoga, provided an outlet for Berghaier to express herself. She became an instructor at a local studio, where she became friendly with many members. But, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio closed.

“For months, I did virtual videos,” Berghaier said. “And I said to my husband, ‘I don’t think I want to do this anymore.'”

Then, the idea sparked to convert their two-car garage into a studio. Following cleanliness protocols, Berghaier was able to invite many moms back to an in-person fitness community.

One of those women was Anne Palilonis.

“When I started out, it was for the exercise,” she said. “And I’ve now been diagnosed with breast cancer and I look back and I think, this is the Lord’s way of putting me into a group that I knew was a better place.”

Palilonis now claims to be mentally 20 years younger and credits the classes as her support group.

“These girls could be my daughters, if not my granddaughters, so I’m pretty blessed that I have them in my life so that they keep me going,” she said.

The community grew so large that Berghaier could not fit it in her garage any longer. She sought out a new space, but the real estate market was not in her favor. Luckily, she pitched her mission to the owner of a historic Richboro building once home to the Spread Eagle Inn. Since the deal, she has transformed it into a garage-themed studio.

There, dozens of women sign up for classes using the MindBody mobile app and enjoy sharing stories about each other’s triumphs and struggles.

“I feel even though these women say I have helped them, they have helped me,” Berghaier said.

To learn more about Garage Barre, visit their Facebook page.

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