Pilates Insider: Beyond the Class

I’m the first to admit it—I love shiny new things.

I’m constantly mulling over the idea of moving my studio to another physical location that’s less….um, old?  Apologies to my landlord if he reads this but it's a fact that we are not the prettiest building on the block.  And to our students, thank you for seeing beauty more than skin deep.  Even though here in Texas, size and glamour definitely matter.

Reality check...check.

Sure, I dream of that big, beautiful new space. But holy cash cow!  The price of retail space!  I started adding up the cost of making that work.  And soul searching.  And making a list of priorities.

The price of devotion

Fortunately, I have a decision-making process that allows me to get gut-level honest with what matters.  What surfaced for me was that I always want to put people FIRST.  This is a business that truly belongs to the instructors who teach here.  They are a physical therapist, a seasoned dance teacher, a prenatal specialist, several PMA board certified instructors, and a trauma care volunteer. 

More than that they are fanatically devoted to the art of pilates.  They each have each spent many years studying and specializing in the various divisions of pilates.  And yet they are increasingly difficult to find and hire now that many studios cut costs with instructor training ranging from a weekend to 5 days.

We do what it takes

I fully appreciate that a Pilates studio is a small business and that someone’s livelihood is at stake.  But 2-5 days of training is not nearly sufficient for the expertise that is expected from our customers.  On a survey that I sent out to over 225 new students this year, over 40% reported having existing injuries, including spine and joint problems.  Many of these cite injury as their motivation to seek pilates to begin with.  But it’s not even good enough to keep people safe—they also anticipate being in tip-top-sparkling shape after spending the money for private and small group lessons.  I rely completely upon talented instructors to deliver the goods.

Any time you want to make a change the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.
— Anthony Robbins

So how’s a girl (the “boss”) supposed to feel, wanting that shiny new space but knowing it may require a big compromise on staff and quality to make those numbers add up? 

My first thought is…grateful.  I’m simply overwhelmed with gratitude with where I am right now, in this building, with you, with my team.  Things are just things, but relationships are timeless.

Secondly, I am patient.  There’s peace in knowing that all things happen in their season.

Thanks for helping support Pilates as a skilled profession.  You can support the studio by telling your friends about us and by giving your honest reviews on Facebook, Yelp and Google.

Written by Stephanie Vanderbeck, owner Purely Pilates Center, giving a shout out to all the girl bosses doing bossy things.

Written by Stephanie Vanderbeck, owner Purely Pilates Center, giving a shout out to all the girl bosses doing bossy things.