In the realm of teaching Pilates, every class presents a novel canvas, each stroke coloured by the varying dynamics of our clients. The rhythm of their lives, the day-to-day stresses they endure, and the ever-changing tapestry of their physical and emotional states, dance together in a choreography that is as unique as it is ephemeral. It is within this ever-changing landscape that we, as Pilates teachers, find our purpose and, more importantly, our motivation.
As someone who has been engrossed in this beautiful discipline for over four decades, I often get asked, "Michael, doesn’t the repetition wear on you?" And my response has always echoed the sentiment of finding the new in the known. No two classes are ever the same; each session unfolds a new narrative, a new opportunity to touch lives, to adapt our teachings to the evolving needs of our clients, and in doing so, discover a deeper understanding of the Pilates discipline and of ourselves.
However, akin to any professional, there come moments when the embers of motivation seem to wane, when the early mornings and the long day's attempt to cloud the joy that teaching invariably brings. The honesty in acknowledging these moments is the first step towards reigniting the spark.
My roots in dance have often served as the wellspring of my motivation. I reminisce about the days of performing to a sparse audience, yet the essence of dedication never wavered. Each person in the audience deserved the same calibre of performance, irrespective of the crowd size. The parallel to our Pilates classes is palpable. The essence of our teaching, the core of our dedication, should remain unswayed.
On the rare occasions where the doorway to motivation seems momentarily obscured, I reach within and draw from the reservoir of my dance discipline. Yet, invariably, it is the interaction with the class, the energy of the clients, their earnestness, and their evolution, that dissipates any lingering shadows. Especially on a weary Friday evening, when the week threatens to stretch the fabric of enthusiasm thin, it’s often the unexpected arrival of a dedicated client that rekindles the joy and the inherent purpose of our profession.
Each client, each class, and each interaction is a teacher in its own right. They challenge us, push us to adapt, to learn, and to continually evolve. They are the mirrors reflecting the essence of our teachings, and it’s through these reflections that we draw our motivation.
So, as we step into the studio, let’s cherish the opportunity to learn, to teach, and to grow. Let’s delve into the richness of each interaction and draw from it the motivation to continue on this rewarding journey. The essence of self-motivation resides in the heart of our interactions, in the joy of teaching, and in the boundless realm of learning that each class unfurls. Through this lens, the freshness in the familiar is unveiled, propelling us forward on this enriching journey that we have chosen.