My Journey from Corporate IT to the Studio Life
I have struggled with body image and self-esteem for most of my life. Working out was not really a thing for me until high school when Jazzercise came out. I took those classes and came to realize that my coordination is poor, and my sense of rhythm is non-existent. I sporadically kept at it. Over the years, I tried aerobics, Zumba, Curves, and other types of exercise. You do not want to see me in a Zumba class! Nothing really resonated so I wouldn't keep it up.
In the mid-2000s, I saw a Pilates Mat class being offered at Columbia-Greene Community College. I signed up. I really loved it.
I felt empowered and connected to my body for the first time ever. And guess what? I didn’t have to be coordinated! I wanted more.
I continued taking the mat class and I also started taking Pilates with a local teacher who had (at the time) a little studio in Ancram, NY. It was my first introduction to Pilates equipment. Love! I did this for a couple of years until CGCC stopped offering the Mat class. (Sidenote: Guess who teaches that Pilates mat class as CGCC now? Me!)
I stopped Pilates for a year or so and tried my hand again at other things, but I MISSED Pilates and how it made my body feel! Enter Chelsea….she took over the CGCC mat class and I started back up. In class one day, she handed out flyers and announced that she was opening a new studio in Catskill!
When the Catskill studio opened I stopped in that first Friday and signed up for a private with Rachael. I started taking privates and classes twice a week while still taking the mat class at CGCC.
I found my home!
At some point during my years there, Body Be Well was offering a Pilates Teacher Training class and my trainer, Rachael, said “You should look into that. You are really good at it.” I had ZERO concept of what that meant. I am fairly sure I signed up at the absolute last possible minute.
Taking the leap
I was working a full-time high-pressure job in corporate IT where I was on call 24-7-365! I had an overflowing plate, yet I was feeling the nudge. My gut was telling me to go for it, so I took the leap! Going in, I thought that this “class” was for a deeper understanding of Pilates and how it was working for my own body. Ha! (At the time, I had frozen shoulder and Pilates was helping immensely…a story for another time).
It was scary, overwhelming, exciting, and fascinating. It gave me a glimpse of another life that I could have someday. It was hard. Really hard. I was juggling the corporate job, married life, and studying. I did it because I wanted it. It helped that I was in a class with other students that were incredibly supportive like Karen and Elsah! We all worked together and we helped each other. That is important! I could not have done this alone.
Fast forward to passing the written test and the practical (Gulp! Scary!) and onto observation and teaching! I would spend hours studying and working on lesson plans, making sure I understood the exercise and how to teach it. As a bit of a perfectionist and a corporate gal, I typed ALL my lesson plans for EACH class to help me teach. (I literally JUST stopped doing this. I have a huge binder of lesson plans for every type of class imaginable. Do you need one, just ask!)
Chelsea must have seen something in me because to my surprise, she hired me! I have been teaching Pilates at BBW now for almost 7 years. I love to teach. I love it. I love Pilates. No seriously, I love it. I no longer work in corporate IT. I work in the Pilates industry full time and my goal is to continue to learn and grow. Learning never stops!
I am EXTREMELY excited to co-teach Body Be Well's next round of teacher training with Chelsea starting at the end of February, and my next adventure in the Pilates world is equipment maintenance…stay tuned!