When I’m not changing poopy diapers or trying to convince my first grader that homework is fun, I work as a Pilates instructor. I’ve been teaching Pilates for almost six years now.
I love what I do.
After I gave birth to my son, I became a stay-at-home mom. Up until that point I had been a middle-school teacher. I have both a Bachelor’s and M.Ed. in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I loved teaching school and I loved my middle school students. I put everything I had into my job – people aren’t kidding when they say that teachers work much harder than they’re paid. At least on my part, this was correct. I woke up every morning and worked for at least an hour on my lessons, grading, and activities for the day. I raised money to take my students on overnight field trips all over the state of Utah. I spent my evenings writing letters to them in their journals.
Those kids were totally worth it.
But I don’t know how working mothers who are teachers achieve the balance between both mothering and teaching.
When Beatty was born, I stopped working. I also went through a huge identity crisis. This new job of being at home all day with a baby rocked my world. I look back now and suspect I probably needed a counselor as well as medication – I just didn’t realize it then. I was pretty much in a hazy stupor.
When you meet someone for the first time, the first question they usually ask you is “What do you do?” If you are a new stay-at-home mom, this is a loaded question. At least it is for confused, sensitive freaks like me. I felt I had to make excuses. I wanted to explain that I used to be important, I used to have a career like a normal person. I felt small. And unimportant. Because all of the sudden my life seemed to be revolving around laundry, naps, baby shit and dishes. It made me sad and angry, because DAMMIT, I HAD A 4.0 IN GRADUATE SCHOOL.
I’m not blaming these feelings on anyone other than myself. I made myself feel small.
When my son was almost a year old, I decided to get my Pilates mat certification. I had been a student of Pilates mat classes for quite awhile; it felt very natural to me since I grew up dancing in the School of Ballet West. Pilates made sense to me – I was a believer. Thus began a whole journey of various types of certifications and a new sort of
bossing people around teaching in my life. I’ve met some great people as well as some nutballs in this crazy world of fitness - some amazing mentors and amazing friends.
I met my future business partner Holly during my first reformer certification class and we became good friends. If you looked in the dictionary under the words sunny and cheerful, you would find a picture of Holly Isaac. I love the fact that she called me ”Poppy” for the first ten months that she knew me. She would say it so brightly that I never tried to correct her. Finally Holly looked at me and told me she had no idea why she called me Poppy and that she knew that wasn’t really my name. We’ve been friends ever since. Holly and I have worked together on and off at various studios around Salt Lake City; we always said that one day we should open our own place as business partners.
AND WE DID.
I love our studio. It’s called Sugarhouse Pilates. It is small, private, and perfect.
We don’t advertise. We don’t have a front desk. We come and go as we please. Many of our clients have been with us forever, and our new clients are friends of friends. They save my life every day.
This is what I do.