- Our hobby, became our passion; which then became our career.
So, despite the fact that we love what we do, it is still work and some days, we feel the same way about going to work as you do. We would much rather curl up with a book on the sofa with a glass of wine and some chocolates or actually ‘attend’ a Pilates or Yoga class for our own pleasure!
- We go to work when you get home.
Which means that during the day, we are not ‘off’; we are actually doing all the things that you do in the evening. We are putting the washing on, doing the shopping, ironing and planning for the next evening or day.
- We never see our partners.
When they walk in, we walk out and many of us work weekends too because we have to be available to work when others are not! We fill the work spaces in the day that are not occupied by the ‘9-5ers’.
- We struggle to spend quality time with our kids.
We drop them off at school, run around manically either teaching, planning our classes, planning and executing our marketing strategies, keeping our accounts and doing domestic admin or at least, trying to; before collecting children and taking them to after school clubs, dropping them home and going out to teach.
- It is not, ‘ok for us’.
With reference to our bodies, it is not ‘ok for us’ because we are ‘working out all the time’ and can probably ‘eat whatever we want’. I refer you to point number 1! We are working, which means that we demonstrate an exercise or a pose, and then spend the time that you are concentrating; making sure that you are in the right position for maximum gain and minimising the risk of injury. Often we demonstrate on our ‘good’ side so that you can see the best possible example of perfect execution but that means that our ‘less good’ or ‘less strong’ side just gets weaker and eventually, we get injured. And no, we cannot eat whatever we want – we have to eat sensibly just like everyone else. Working in fitness is not a free pass to puddings and cheese.
- Owning a studio is not as much fun as you think.
As the boss, just like every other business; you have to be the manager, cleaner, data input clerk, marketing executive, mentor, counsellor, sales and tech support; and that’s before and after you’ve taught anything! And no, we rarely get to ‘play’ on our kit; when the day is done (at 10pm) we just want to go home.
- Self-employment does not mean freedom.
Being self-employed means that you don’t have 1 boss, you have hundreds! We have to be available and fit in around the timetables set by our clients, sometimes that means sitting in a car doing paperwork or answering emails because it’s too early to turn up for the next appointment and the last one finished and hour ago. Our classes are also carved into stone on the studio timetable, to change it means re-organising up to 12 individuals.
- We cannot just go on holiday whenever we want.
Our holidays, cost us double what they cost employed personnel. Every day that we are not working, is a day’s pay lost. No holiday pay here! I can also guarantee that most teachers will be planning sessions either in their heads or in their notebooks while others around them sunbathe and read books. (Our books, by the way; usually have something to do with our discipline too).
- Off sick?
If we cancel anything, you know that we are pretty much close to death. We will work through most things because, guess what? We don’t get sick pay! Unfortunately, I’ve seen teachers get more and more poorly because they don’t give themselves time to recover and their immune systems become weak, which is why they constantly catch everything (so if you have a cold or feel under the weather, consider others before coming to class).
- We love what we do and could never do, or be; anything else.
There are lots of difficulties faced by teachers of Yoga & Pilates, but for most us; it’s a calling. You don’t find many spinning teachers dedicating their lives to the art of indoor cycling, or Aquacise instructors travelling the globe to practise with the gurus of water-based aerobics. You will sometimes find ‘former’ fitness professionals finding ‘conventional’ work in an office or in sales, but Pilates and Yoga Teachers, are ‘lifers’.