“Conquer any goal and overcome any obstacle to unlock your dream life,” is the theme of Ohio State alumna Julie Wilkes’ upcoming book, “The 7 Life Miracles.”
At an early age, Wilkes was diagnosed with a terminal heart disease and wasn’t expected to live past age 12.
Wilkes feared doing physical activity as a result of her health problems in her youth, until her fifth grade gym teacher taught her “fitness could heal your heart,” Wilkes said. From that point onward, her mantra has been “Carpe Diem, to seize the day.”
As Wilkes got older, in her 20s, she realized she had a rare second opportunity at life.
“When I was 25, I ran my first marathon. It was when I crossed that finish line I realized that my heart has been healed, because I don’t think I would have been able to run that marathon with an unhealthy heart, so I realized at that time I was given a second chance at life,” Wilkes said.
Wilkes’ studio, Seven Studios, located at 275 S. Third St. in downtown Columbus, aims to helps clients find their “7 Life Miracles” — which are obstacles Wilkes said she believes everyone needs to overcome to live a full happy life — through yoga, Pilates, boot camp and motivational retreats.
Wilkes emphasizes her belief of “The 7 Life Miracles,” also the title of her new book set to be released Tuesday, in her motivational lectures and life coaching sessions that she offers in person, over Skype or over the phone. The seven “life miracles” — embrace, connect, create, empower, choose, climb and inspire — are all intended to help clients find awareness in these areas to live with purpose.
During one of Wilkes’ motivational lectures in her mid-20s, a client suggested that she write a book.
“I started to find out when I talked about overcoming obstacles there were seven things that always came up in my lectures, and one day someone had said to me, ‘You should write a book we could take with us,’ so I set to write the book about the seven things I believe will help anyone come over any obstacle to live their best life,” Wilkes said.
Now at the age of 38, Wilkes said she is serving her second shot at life through influencing others by setting an example of how she carries herself daily.
“She has helped me grow in my profession, but that barely compares to how she has helped me grow as a person. I say over and over again that Julie could save the world,” Seven Studios yoga instructor Alexander Chang said in an email. “I actually believe that she does just that before I even wake up in the morning. It isn’t by her words or teaching that she has influenced me and changed me, it is by example, how she ‘proacts’ to everything in life. The ability to not even acknowledge adversity as adversity — that has influenced me.”
Wilkes earned her bachelor’s degree from Marietta College in international business and then completed her master’s at Ohio State in exercise physiology.
Christine Hannon, a friend of Wilkes who is also a personal trainer, said in an email her friend “has created a platform of inspiration, through her words and her presence.”
“Whether I talk to her on the phone, take her yoga class or just walk into her studio to teach, I know she has intentionally created an environment rich with energy that everyone who shares that space will take home and spread throughout the community,” Hannon said.
Wilkes said her seven factors could be relatable to real life and everyone can insert them into their daily lives for better outcomes.
Publishing company Changing Life Press, located in Cleveland, is scheduled to release Wilkes’ 160-page book for $19.99 at Barnes & Noble and online through Amazon.com.
Wilkes’ friends received the book well.
“My first few thoughts on the book might be interpreted as me saying that the book is all about her, but it’s not. It’s about the reader. This is what makes the words so monumental,” Chang said.
Wilkes said she has taken advantage of the time she has been given.
“A second chance is only as good as what you do with it, and so I decided to share my story because I believe that’s why I was given a second chance,” Wilkes said.