Julian Fitness Center is a revelation for many visitors to Julian (pop 1502), CA, which is more famous for its apple pie than it is for fitness. Conveniently located on Main Street in the former post office building in the heart of this historic gold mining town 35 miles east of San Diego, the compact little club offers a surprisingly well-equipped facility for such a small community, and local residents seem to know a good thing when they see it by their support.
Julian has long been known as a gateway to the popular Anza Borrego Desert State Park and has a longstanding reputation as the B&B capital of Southern California. Hiking and horseback riding trails abound as well, and Julian Fitness Center is now contributing to the community’s fitness resources by adding an entirely new dimension.
Julian Fitness Center is a compact 1,500 square feet, but owner Matt Kraemer has found a winner in the old expression “all good things come in small packages.” This is a small but superb facility - well-spaced and well-equipped - with commercial-grade FreeMotion selectorized and plate-loaded resistance-training equipment, free weights, and an ample selection of cardio equipment including treadmills, elliptical trainers, and both recumbent and upright stationary bikes.
Kraemer’s background is in physical therapy. He is a Board-Certified Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapist who owns two clinics - under the banner of Alpine Physical Therapy & Wellness Center - in Julian and nearby Alpine respectively for more than a decade. A graduate of Cal State Long Beach, Matt began as a declared engineering major but soon realized that engineering was not his calling.
“I began volunteering at the Shiley Sports Center at Scripps Torrey Pines where my sister was working as a physical therapist,” he recalls. “The environment was exciting, rewarding and my sister influenced this change in career path. I also volunteered with disabled veterans at the La Jolla VA hospital which solidified my decision that I would have a career in physical therapy and caregiving.”
“I had always thought that it would benefit the locals, of what is a very rural town, to have a small fitness center. I also realized that a fitness center would also complement my core business of physical therapy.”
After practicing physical therapy in Julian for more than 8 years, Matt opened Julian Fitness Center in April 2011 in conjunction with his physical therapy practice.
“Fitness is scientifically supported to improve one’s quality of life mentally, physically, and emotionally. Belonging to a fitness center allows for a sense of community, socialization, and a little peer pressure doesn’t hurt when embarking on a fitness regimen. My plan is to continue to reach out to the community and encourage fitness and good physical health. It is my goal to keep our current members enthused and focused as well as attract new members to the fitness center. I would eventually like to acquire more space so that we may offer more fitness classes and a wider array of equipment.”
Julian Fitness Center is quietly making a difference.