My overnight success took 30 years!
My overnight success took over 30 years….
Living the dream of being a studio owner, Pilates Rehab specialist and teacher trainer didn't just happen overnight. Even now locals to the studio still don’t know my skill set or what we offer (I think I need to up my marketing!!)
Starting out over 35 years ago in a very large sports hall, I donned my leotard (thong of course), leggings and leg warmers (of course), with my hair in a ‘top-knot'. Gawd… I was the bee's knees… (it was the 80s!!).
Aerobics, step, aqua, body conditioning were all taught; I was Virgin Actives’ first studio co-ordinator and loved every day of it.
But the bottom fell out (not literally) of my leotard (which by the early 2000s were shorts and vest-T-shirts), and I hung up my leg warmers and went to work in the NHS.
I was tired and exhausted with all the classes so I became a physio assistant working initially on the wards then specifically in the Chronic Pain Management service. I was lucky enough to secure this position as I had a fitness background and part of my job was to teach fitness! The role also included teaching sleep and relaxation, and then Pilates.
During my time there I was fortunate to start training in Pilates (after a very brief introduction to the method when I was on a pre/postnatal training course). My initial thought was “how fantastic -they are teaching, but not leaping about gasping for breath!”. I was hooked on Pilates.
In 2001 I started teaching Pilates at a local Adult Education centre - we set the course up as it was the first in the Ribble Valley, and in Preston (I believe…!). The newness of the class, the gentler pace and the fantastic results lead me to leave the NHS and set up on my own.
Church halls, WI Halls, converted shops and even a cricket club were my venues, but I wanted to offer a more bespoke service…. Initially, I converted a spare room in my home to use for 121s and duets. It went well for over 10 years.
Fast forward to 2017 and teaching a pelvic floor course at Infinity Fitness, Longridge. Being a nosey mare I took a peek upstairs to see what else the venue had. To my delight and surprise, there was a room (not massive, but bigger than my home studio): a permanent place I could call home for my ever-expanding Pilates Apparatus (Reformer tower, chair etc).
I talked to Danielle and the deal was done - I would move in, call it Your Pilates Space, and set up classes. I could move all my community classes to one space, have a dedicated room for my apparatus and could set up speciality classes not often catered for in the community.
Fast forward 5 years I took on the whole unit as it had come available. We now have a fabulous community activity room where we can host larger classes, groups, talks and workshops.
It seems so surreal now, all this time later, that we have a permanent home, with great facilities that can serve the whole community.
Never stop dreaming and working towards your goals. You WILL get there, but not just the way you imagined it!
How easy was that? Ha - yes, when you are an overnight success, it takes over 30 years!