I am a Pilates teacher. I teach 7 sessions plus a week normally, Monday Tuesday Wednesdays. I am doing less actual taught sessions yes, but working more in fact. I teach in a mix of ways now. Some people want live classes, and some want to do recorded classes. It’s better for them to do it when it suits them. I do the ante natal and a mixed and post-natal. I record them all. Last night I had to re-record one, as my child came in and there was some nudity! He was so funny.
Things have changed, yes: I’m at home with three kids. I usually work in halls. It’s been a huge learning curve with the tech. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while. It’s taken this to push me into it. There’s more to it that you would think. You have to get the right web cam. Mine was rubbish! Getting the angles right takes some adjustment. When you are standing, then down on the floor… things you would think would be simple, is actually quite hard.
I was born in Essex, and my parents moved a couple of times. I moved schools a lot. Dad was a teacher, ran a music school and a business and mum taught piano. I’m one of seven. Two of my siblings went to a musical boarding school in Manchester, and I auditioned and got in, so I boarded at 11. When I realised that a classical music career wasn’t for me, I left, did my GCSEs back in Essex, then my parents moved when I finished A-levels, to Somerset. I went to uni in Brighton, then lived in London for 5 years. I’ve been all over really.
We have been over four years in Keynsham. Before that we lived in Brislington for 5 years. I wanted my children to be somewhere they could grow up with their friends, feel settled, and have the same friends all the way up. Keynsham has good schools, lots of greenery and everything we wanted. It has great cafés too. I love a laté! There are plenty of cafés and cakes! The local shops have all you need, and we love the countryside really. We love the parks. We used to come to the Memorial Park before we moved here. We moved before my eldest started school. We loved Brislington but the parking was a nightmare and we really needed to move to a bigger house. Schools are really important to me. I had the chance to go to a really good school in Manchester, and I wanted that for my children too. Education gives you choices in life.
I love it here. There is such a sense of community. I have set my business up since I have been here. It’s so nice to be able to walk around and say hello to so many people I know. I have been doing some value adds for my clients, little extra videos. People are sitting a lot more aren’t they, so they need a bit more. People are hunched over their desks, so I have been doing things to release your back, glutes neck. As well as my usual sessions I've started offering a kind of Pilates HIIT fusion – mindful HIIT you could say. I always give options. Jumps and strong ab moves might not be suitable for people with back issues or my post natals, we don’t want any ab separation. I always do a good warm up too and a decent warm down and stretch. It’s so important. Being in lockdown has forced me to accelerate some ideas, and this is one of them. HIIT is great. You burn calories more quickly, and get the same level of fitness as you would doing a full aerobic activity such as a long run. You get just as much benefit from 20 or 30 min sessions. So yeah, I have been doing those extra bits, working harder than ever really, recording, I do two streams of blocks and around one extra mini session a week. I have been teaching less sessions. The setup is quite extensive with the online stuff. All the extras.
For me, the community aspect of my work is very important too. Especially with the live sessions and the What’sApp groups. I’m used to seeing over a hundred clients per week. Now I am on my own with family and people I bump into on walks. We all are, aren’t we? My work feels like a community. It’s a bit of normal life. It’s a routine and a headspace for me. People take that hour out of their life. Exercise more important than ever now isn’t it? We have to burn off the crazy. You can’t stay sat, hunched. You need it mentally, to get those endorphins going. Physical exercise is more important than ever to me. Everyone has had their stresses, haven’t they? It was really stressful at first.
We had financial worries with me being self-employed. People like coming to classes, right? We need my income – so I was worried about finances. I worried about upskilling myself technically. I had to get broadband changed. It was terrible! Luckily, we got it done at the beginning of lockdown. I couldn’t have it cutting out and lagging. I was scared of having my three children at home all the time too. I love them to pieces of course, but with no other outlet, no clubs, no school, both of us trying to work, I worried about how they were going to be entertained. Everyone with kids is in the same boat though. I have three boys close in age, and yeah, I was worried. I was worried about the business transition. Lee and I are both asthmatic, so there’s that worry with Covid. Our kids eat so much we can’t not go to the shops...the snacks!
It’s really all working out though. I feel grateful that business has given me a mental outlook other than kids. Some days feel like – oh my goodness. Routine has not worked for us and there is no real routine! I’m so grateful for the weather. We discovered a great walk with a rope swing. The kids went fossil hunting and found two fossils yesterday. We have been learning about ammonites. They have been loving that.