Happy Birthday Studio!

Pilates instructor Anna doing pilates move

Learn.. learn again, commit, be me, make plans, keep healthy!

One year old.  The movefit pilates studio is 1!! Yes, I have been teaching for 5 years.  But our little bricks and mortar Pilates studio in Bedford is one year old.

And, my goodness, what a year it has been to start a ‘physical’ business!

We’re all aware of the blockbuster, apocalyptic film-like scenario we have been living in.  So, I’ll refrain from giving you a re-cap.  “Unprecedented” has been used so much the word has ceased to sound like an actual word to me.

Those of you that know me will know that I think it’s all about the learning we can take from this experience.  And, in the last 365 days, I have learned a lot.  In the last 131 days – from the first Zoom class – that learning has happened a lot more quickly.  Like lightning speed quick!

I started the studio for one reason, to support people with improving their health through healthy and stronger movement. I fully support all forms of exercise, but when it comes to Pilates, I have always felt its benefits are best experienced in a space that is welcoming of all abilities, ages and genders and that is accessible. Since becoming a Bedfordian 6 years ago I have fallen in love with this town and wanted to give it the Pilates studio experience I’ve had before as a Londoner and as a Montrealer back in Canada! This year we all have continued to build a great Pilates community, and I’m proud our studio has been part of this… and for the many clients our studio ‘zooming’ into your homes as well! Thank you for having me join you!

So what has my first year as a ‘studio owner’ taught me.. well as good blogs seem to do here is my 5 big lessons from my first year!

  1. Learning never stops.. and is DEFINITELY not a linear process! I am not finished learning and will never finish learning. Nor do I ever want to be in a position where I think, why look at that, all the learning is done. The thing is, I love learning.  Whether by doing or reading or meeting interesting people with great experiences and stories to tell.  I have always loved the process of become more learned. And, fortunately, as a Pilates studio owner I have picked a career path that allows me to do just that.  And whilst I knew this about myself before opening, I think I assumed, I would open the studio, have a big learning curve, learn the lessons, develop as a person and business woman, and voila, complete package.  But nope.  I learned the lessons, then they evolved, and I learned some more. Learning and development from both professional and human perspectives are not linear processes. Because we forget.  We stumble.  Something happens that we could not have predicted…I can’t think of anything off the top of my head but there was something recently…starts with C ends with 19!  And we have to look back at our stock of experience and knowledge and start again.  Maybe not quite from the beginning, but a reassessment of some kind takes place.
  1. Sometimes in life you just have to jump in and adjust: I gave up the stability of a City job to do something I love and took a massive risk. If I have stopped loving bits of it, then why?  If I can change that why to begin loving it again, I must. Life is short, I know that very well having lost my mother at the age of 55, having lost a friend at 34.  So trying whenever possible to make it have value for me personally, to feel like I’m doing something with meaning, to positively impact others, to have a good balance of hard and rewarding work, happy family life and me time, that is important.  If that’s not happening, a recalibration needs to occur.
  1. Show up as myself all the time. I am not someone who has a professional persona and a home persona. I find it hard to pretend to be anything other than myself. I feel like the Pilates community that has formed around the studio appreciates that authenticity – the good and the less good stuff that comes with it.  And I hope that helps them walk into the studio, into the Zoom classroom, or park session relaxed and knowing full well that they can be authentic too.
  1. Make the plans. But, the adage “all the best laid plans”…always applies.  I had big plans for 2020, in terms of new classes and workshops and training and retreats etc…. But Covid-19 happened.  The exciting plans are still there though.  Some of the training I had wanted to do is paused for the time being.  But I have enrolled in online classes with other Body Control Pilates teachers in the UK and USA and I am still learning so much from them.  The workshops were put on hold but we’ve started rolling some out online.  Additional classes are now in the park. It’s not perfect but nothing ever is.  It’s not following my exact plan which I admit, I find difficult to swallow.  But planning and adapting is key!
  1. Keeping strong and healthy is more important than ever: I feel very grateful and proud of the Pilates community we’re building at movefit pilates, and I know this next year will have challenges (for all of us I’m sure) – but if this year has told us anything it’s that we all can adapt and change – and importantly keep moving. For me, lockdown has provided the opportunity to reflect on my health (and be grateful for it), and to invest in my health.  Not necessarily from a monetary perspective, but from a time perspective.  I have done a lot of Pilates – teaching on Zoom requires a lot more demonstration plus doing my own practice and classes.  I have done a lot of running, cycling and walking.  My body is stronger and that physical strength has really focused my mental strength as well.  Yes, I hate uncertainty.  But the last 6 months in particular have oddly helped to improve my resilience. 

I truly hope that, despite the hard time some of us have found ourselves in, there have been positives for you too. 

In the wise words of the man himself, Joseph Pilates (who was a genius and a bit of a nutter too), “Every moment in our life can be the beginning of great things.”

Thank you again to everyone that joined and supported our studio in the last 365 days.. and I hope you can keep moving with us this year as there is plenty more Pilates to come!

Lots of love and socially distanced hugs to you all, and hope to see you in class soon!



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