I would like to say an enormous Thank you to all those of you who came to celebrate Ten years of PilatesbyPhysiotherapy on Thursday. It was a great evening. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as Karen, Rachel, Shirley and I did. I must remember to memorise your orders next time so when the waiter says Chicken Tikka I know exactly who it should be served to!!
For those of you who couldn’t be there here is a summary of my speech.
Monday 17th September 2012 I taught my first Pilates Class at Dusk Til Dawn Dance studio on Langley Moor Hight Street. One of my main thoughts that day was wow these people are paying to come here and exercise with me!! After 25 years of working mainly in the NHS it took all my courage to start charging people directly for my work.
17th September 2022 passed in a blur following my surgery for an ‘exploded’ appendix. Pilates certainly wasn’t on my mind and I feel extremely grateful to have such a fantastic team of colleagues and clients around me who all supported me so much for those difficult few weeks. Karen certainly demonstrated that she can carry a large load and Rachel worked away in the background organising cover and clients. Thankyou all so much for your understanding and support as well as the flowers, plants, cards and best wishes messages I received.
Choosing another date for our Celebration meal was no simple task and sadly not everyone whom I would have loved to have come tonight has been able to make it.
I want to make a special mention of the following
Moya, who is happily on holiday at the moment. When Moya joined us, having finished in the NHS, the business was able to grow.
Rachael Bullock is busy completing her Masters in Manchester. Without her support I would not have had the courage to move to Zoom in May 2020. It was essential for me to have someone to share my ideas and fears with. Rachael was a great support as we both had to get our heads around treating physio patients over the phone and taking Pilates classes online.
Joanne is also on holiday. Joanne and I started our Pilates Instructor journey together and she has helped out many times over the years. She was working with me in the NHS as we were redeployed to A+ E at the start of covid, having to learn how to apply braces and slings that we hadn’t seen in our Physio role for 20 years! Having maintained face to face patient contact from the start of the pandemic she was happy to come and teach Live classes when we returned to the studio in September 2020 after the first lockdown. This was a very uncertain time. Some clients were very keen to return to the studio and as health care professionals we were keen to be there but did not want to place any of our clients at risk. Establishing a safe routine for the classes was paramount in our minds. With Joanne’s support we managed well until the second lockdown.
Josie unfortunately is unwell tonight and should have been on holiday too. She arrived at UHND during the second covid Lockdown and had been teaching Pilates elsewhere before covid. Her professional attitude and willingness to get the job done shone out from the start so I was delighted when she agreed to come and work for PilatesbyPhysiotherapy. It was great to have her enthusiasm and energy when we opened up to Live classes again in May 2021. We needed to offer a good selection of class times at that stage and although most classes ran at half full Josie was happy to get back to teaching Pilates.
Caroline is working hard in her own Physiotherapy practice tonight. She is my very dear friend who was my first Pilates Instructor. She is my Pilates guru. After attending her classes for about three years I decided to follow in her footsteps and become an APPI Pilates Instructor. We have continued our Pilates careers together attending APPI conferences and courses. Some colleagues at UHND used to call me ‘bag lady’ because of the amount of ‘stuff’ I carry in my work bag ….Caroline takes that phrase to a whole new level, going away with her is great as she brings enough food / wine and goodies to feed an army.
Thankfully the two most important people who have supported me to make PilatesbyPhysiotherpay what it is today are here tonight.
Rachel Smith started here as a client in 2013 taking up teaching in 2015. There have been several moments when I have held my breath and crossed my fingers that Rachel would continue to teach with me. Firstly after Chloe was born, then again when she gained promotion at UHND and again after covid. Rachel, like all of us, continues to teach because she enjoys the work. And the most enjoyable part of the job is the clients. We have all had our own Pilates journey so we know the benefits Pilates has had on our own bodies but working closely with all of you clients is what makes the job worthwhile. I don’t think any of us would turn up week after week to teach Pilates to a room full of strangers. As the business has grown Rachel has taken on the responsibility of learning the business side of the job. Managing my work life balance has never been my strong point, particularly when trying to build my own business. Being able to hand the phone over to Rachel and feel confident to leave the business in her hands has made it possible for me to grow the business and still have a life outside Pilates!!
Sadly we have lost a small handful of clients over the years but I feel very privileged to have been part of their lives. Thankfully we have had plenty of babies born and it is lovely to hear that those babies are now at School / Brownies etc.
And finally to Mike. He has been beside me from the beginning. In the early days Mike was in his element designing and making the furniture for the studio …the shelving for the balls was quite a challenge. As the business has grown he has taken on the IT challenge. I, like most of you, just want the computer to work but Mike’s tenacity and resilience has kept us going. The steepness of his learning curve during covid has been amazing. Finding / developing the booking system / setting up and teaching me Zoom and editing / quality control of the videos has been all his work. We are both pleased that he is back on renovating houses now but still provides support in all sorts of ways….plumbing / electrician/ technical support/ creative ideas.
So to finish….this takes much longer to write that to speak !!! The business continues to grow and evolve in these challenging times. Karen is developing the Physiotherapy Treatment side / teaching one to one Pilates both in the studio and in people’s homes. Word of mouth by yourselves is still our best form of advertising so Thankyou for all the work you have done and please do continue to spread the word. I’m sure our Online Plans are here to stay so do share your Pilates experience with friends and family outside Durham. Shirley continues to work with Women’s Health clients.
So I hope you can see that you, the clients are what makes PilatesbyPhysiotherapy successful. In writing out this speech I have missed out the many many times I said Thank you to all you clients on Thursday evening. It looked a bit much in writing so I hope it wasn't too much on Thursday.
The continuity of care that Pilates gives me is one of the biggest highlights of my career. I look forwards to sharing Time on your Mat with you all.