Discussion #3515

Walk the Walk

15 min - Discussion


What does it mean to "walk the walk?" In this conversation with Kristi Cooper and Jared Kaplan, they talk about how Pilates teachers sometimes struggle to live well because we are taught movement in our training, but not how to run a practice. He offers tips for how we can run our practices in alignment with how we practice the principles in life.

Find out if you are "walking the walk" with this workbook that will help you determine what you can do to improve the balance in your practice and in your life.
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Aug 30, 2018
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Hi, I'm Jared Kaplan. Uh, here with plot is anytime in a talk about in conversation, walking the walk. What does that mean? What does it mean for us as movement professionals? So, uh, I'm really grateful to apply anytime for opening up this conversation. We all tend to fell into this because we love movement, we love taking care of people, but then as we progress and we're business owners or teachers or lovers and moving their practice, we sometimes lose sight of that. I am here with Christy Cooper to talk about these things and go deep. So thank you for being no, we can go. Oh yeah, watch out. Watch out.

So you need something else you said? Yes, really early on that we swore we wouldn't, we said that we're in business. Yeah. So the big dealer self care, maybe the West Coast version, perhaps east coast, more about business and like who you are as a business owner or entrepreneur. I would argue that the same thing. I wouldn't argue it's about living well altogether and however you call it, we're in it. So, um, we're gonna thumb, right? This is what is normalization. So Yo, when living well, we good into this industry from however we fell into it with passion, with a love of moving what it means, my version for who we are as people for who it teaches us as uh, movers or goal setting or actualization. And what I've observed, and I'm curious if you have, is people really struggle and teachers struggle because it's not easy either running a studio, running a clientele and running an early morning shift or late morning a late shift or get to clients in the end, no one teaches us how to do that.

We learn movement. But I would say we don't learn business and no one's teaching how to run a practice. I wholeheartedly agree with that. I think it's not that different. I don't think from how a lot of people learn to teach, you know, and especially a while back now, there's training programs and so there's training programs. They don't necessarily teach you how to teach. They don't, I mean no offense, but yeah, there's a, here's what it is and then you observe and you practice and you figure it out as you go.

And so I think business doesn't enter into it to the degree that maybe I should. Um, but then you find yourself in that place either as an independent contractor or more a studio owner and, and it tends to be trial by fire and you all a sudden you're in it. So I'll, I'll, oh this, the teacher didn't show up. So I'm teaching now or I want to be do more with my career. So now I'm gonna own a studio. Cause that's logical.

But that's a [inaudible] you do. And so there's that a then with, with no map. And what I've noticed is that the people that succeed who we then emulate, cause they have a studio and they're brilliant and we're like, oh we can do the same thing and it makes sense. You then get there and realize that whatever mentorship may have existed, which is a separate conversation. Yeah, they didn't figure it out. There was no plan there. It just was haphazard and trial by fire.

And we then repeat this vicious cycle where you have people who are really passionate and all of us getting into it, working in our tissues, off, working our way up, whatever thing it is. And we have a thing that's a business and I can share my personal version and then you're standing with all the cards, but you don't know what to play. I've been there. I know exactly what you mean. I mean, I don't even have a question around that. Yeah. So let me, I'm happy to share my version because I think as we've talked and part of the reason we're having this conversation is that I stopped seeing all my clients and I know that you did at some point too. So studio 26 in New York City, uh, I opened it as what I thought was a new concept.

I was the busiest trainer at various studios for a long time. Uh, I was hustling, I was working hard, I was learning as much as I could. Um, and I was also trying to pay my bills as a young dancer. And when I stopped dancing, I was like, well, this is the thing that I love. I'm going to keep doing it and do the best that I can. So let me find a way that I can see clients privately, right? Which led to let me find a space that I can run myself that helps other professionals out in this industry.

So they can do that without having to deal with poorly run studios. To be honest. Um, some studios are really well run, but it doesn't mean that there's really a path to success. So I opened a studio, um, that looked really successful. It's a beautiful space. People noticed the design of it is gorgeous plant wall. It looks great and I designed it for others to succeed as independent professionals, whether it's massage or physical therapies or not trust Pilati is, but some of the same issues came up that people who are independent are running their business in a space that looked great. Then myself as owner was actually really struggling within that and it was a really hard lesson to have to own up to here.

I was as a business owner with what people thought was this great space and it was succeeding within some metrics, but I was miserable to be honest. And it took a lot of soul searching to unpack that, which led to a sabbatical this February for me. Okay. I'm going to back you up. [inaudible] weight. We've mentioned walk the walk. Yeah. And what does that even mean to you? Well, interesting point. So what I'll say today, when are you not walking the walk? When you get too busy, we run a business that I'll send to these around alignment. That's what we really got this conversation going. Yeah.

So if we're offering something to our clients, if we're offering a business has value and integrity, right? We should be walking the walk. I would hope that we are, our clients come to us because they resonate with something that they're aspiring to, that we model and yet pervasive in the fitness industry in general, especially in our Instagram age, is that we look really good on camera, on Instagram, in pictures, and when we edit or we filter the point being we spend time doing that. It doesn't always mean that we're aligned with purpose and with value and with the delivery of what we're doing so that regardless of what it looks like on the outside, we're functioning well on the inside of our practice with our business, which is what we're asking clients to strive for. And the irony there for me was kind of heartbreaking, to be honest, that I had to really look at what I was offering, where I was doing really well with clients, but I wasn't doing well myself. So I was out of the line that I get. I mean that those days that you go, you have to do it this way, you must be that way.

It's all about this and you're just in the back of your head going, Oh my God, I'm so burnt out. Or Am I, how am I going to even get to the next thing I have to do? Or, yeah. Yeah, it's hard. We all experienced that at some level. I think time. I think we do. Yeah. It's not just you and me. Hopefully. Uh, so what I started to look at, and I'm hoping to inspire with conversations like this that we can open up and I hope the conversation continues in lots of different ways, is a really deep look at how we actually run our practice in a way that has integrity with what we are actually doing physically. So that walking the walk isn't just about a physical practice, it's also a business or self care understanding of how we practice the principles in our life. Not as a business play because of dollar per square foot revenue metric analysis or as, oh, my move practice is really good. Yeah.

But for the actual purpose and the why of what we're doing as health professionals. Yeah. And I'll even say [inaudible] professionals, you know, there's the, the method, the system, the exercises, and then there's the writing behind it. You know, the questions I'm asking myself now, and I have another one for you, but it's telling me forget, but are, am I trying to achieve my fullest capability in every walk of my life? You know, and that's a quote almost, um, to the, to the highest extent of my capabilities. And there's days I'm, it's clear. No. And some days it's like I did everything I could today and I'm still burning out. I'm not burned out. That's actually not the right word for me, but it's, it's, I'd like to be where I can feel like I, I strove to do the best and at the end of the day I don't have so much more going on. He likes how many studio owners do business owners. That's you president. Can you be president in it? Can you, and where's the vitality? Where's the zest? And if those pieces are missing, that's my indicator.

Now it took me a long time to get there cause I just wanted to keep up and make this thing go. And so now I'm requesting a lot. The question I have for you is, you said you are on Sabbatical and I did the same. My Sabbatical is, I'm into my fifth year, I think of it maybe six or seven, but it was only meant to be four weeks. And it I felt somewhat forced into mine. You chose to do it and I'm, I'm impressed by that. I'm curious if that was hard for you. Was it terribly hard for me? It took nine months of anxiety and stress and fear to allow myself to do it.

And why did you do it? Answers your question. Yes. My personal reason for doing it and I love seeing my clients, so clients who are watching this, I still love you. Okay. Still coming back, I had to come to the hard realization that within what I thought still was a brilliant concept wasn't doing what it could do exactly and to own the fact that the business was well set up except I wasn't well set up within it and the relationship of my effort to actually helping the business be what it could be an owning my role as an owner, not okay. I see clients and reacting to client schedules all the time. We all know what that's like, but actually owning that I run this thing and my success is going to reflect in the business. That's self care. We can say business can, right? Whatever we can say life purpose.

I won when I was business too, so the draw, joking aside. Yeah. I had to look at my own identity as a distraction. I was setting myself up that I'm this trainer Jared the trainer versus dare the business owner versus Jared that maybe has a social life and friends and a life, and to see that I was literally the thing that was standing in the way of my own success because I had not thought through and looked up what could I do to actually carve out space for myself. I created what I think is still a brilliant, beautiful space that people are doing really well in. I didn't have space for myself, which was my own shortcoming and I had to learn to say, okay, I'm gonna press pause on this really successful thing with clients that I built my business off of. Yeah.

So that I can get to this closet full of stuff that I've put off in what I thought was the effort to try to get ahead and to say, hold on. If I'm going to practice the principles of plot is that I know and the rigor and the discipline and listening to myself and moving through it to actually look at all the variables I had ignored. Cause I was like, I got to keep going. I need time to do that and I need the attention to do it. Yeah. I can't do it all, all the time. I love the content you presented in this. Um, it's all about environments and moving within them and moving fluid all the time and space or space really. Um, I'm curious if you have tips for people that are, that are just even to find out, is this happening to me or am I just you?

Or do you have questions or tips for people for how to look at this deeper and, and to not up end and give up their practice to do the next thing. But what would you say, um, for tips for people to number one, understand are you walking the walk in your own life and your own practice? I frame it this way. If you think about how you train your clients currently and you apply those same principles to how you actually are running your business, they're kind of the same. So in sessions we assess, we come up with a plan. We look at where someone's maybe not so strong, maybe where they're weak or inflexible. We do a pretty thorough understanding of where our clients are, what your goals are.

So in a self audit of your own practice or self care or business, you can actually look at what are the things that are working well, what's not working well? It doesn't have to be in a big extensive thing. It can be fairly quick, um, to look at all the variables in a session from a plan that you put in place to get to a certain goal that you want for yourself with checking points. Maybe it's a friend that you bring in to say, hey, here's what I'm thinking of. I want to work on this one goal for the next month. Can you help me stay accountable to it?

Whether that's your own workouts and actually getting them in or if it's a specific business goal that you want to improve your client communications or whatever the thing may be. So if you train your business like you train your life. Yeah, sorry your clients, if you're training your business, like you train your clients, you might actually see that you progress like your clients do when you're working with them. And that's a general concept to understand it cause it doesn't need to be at first much more complex. I'd fill out some tools with my own studio practice and some mentorship that we're calling move your business. But it's a specific on a month by month program that we're doing one on one that comes from that same general idea.

So if you were to just take maybe five minutes and think through, right, assess where you're at. Honestly, give yourself some time to look at it. What's our part? That is the hard part and it's that I needed someone to reflect that for me. So sometimes enlisting the help of someone who knows you really well, someone who's got your back is x. I needed that. So absolutely go there. Um, and then what's one thing, like what is the one thing, if you're really honest with yourself that you could do in the next month that would actually change something? Does that to be huge? Yeah. But committing to one step of action actually changes a lot cause you're finally putting the attention on what you need.

That then has a ripple effect to everything else. And it's, it's, for me, it's, it's very vague. It's a vague, but it's, um, I'm not really looking for the next member technically in my life experience. You know, I want that, right? If we're talking about parties anytime, but I am looking for more joy, like that's a bigger, right. So, so those, that's how I'm deciding what's the one thing today that I can do that can achieve the things I'm already doing, but allows me to be in it in a way that allows me to live in integrity. And for me it's like that was kind of fun. I mean, I need that. Okay. That's a sophisticated approach. Like you already have, you already have a thing that's the big picture and you're coming back to me.

Yeah. What's today? And I love that you're putting joy in there because why else would you do it? But it to me it aligns with the Polonius situation. The carts. Yeah. Um, there are, there are more tools that we can share. Uh, we can send a link and happy to kind of create a very simple way for you to think through some of these ideas with a little bit of a checklist or some of you can write out for yourself that take some of these concepts and concepts and applies them to actually what you need for you, where you're at in your life.

I would personally love to take this conversation a lot further, but I want to know what other people are interested in as well. So feel free to let us know and we'll continue. Um, and however we can, we'll, we will continue to matter what, but hopefully if we have something to share, you all join us in that. Um, is there anything you want to say? Good morning. Number one is thank you for even entertaining this conversation and to do the self work of asking if you are in alignment rather than us kind of keeping ongoing, which we all do real well is the deep work and it's the most honest, as Christy said, it's the most difficult to ask that real question once you're asking the question, which I think you guys watching right now are, yeah, that's when the ball starts rolling. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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3 people like this.
I love this and totally agree with the importance of joy with what we do. It definitely gets lost within the running of the business, would love to know more. Thank you xx
2 people like this.
Thank you so much for this discussion. I am definitely asking the hard questions and remembering to come back to the why of it all and to the joy of the practice is the key. More discussions like this would be amazing!
Jane I totally agree and am so glad that Kristi made that point! Jennifer You're welcome! Keep centering in the truth of 'why', infused with joy, and big changes can occur. Happy to share more!
3 people like this.
Kristi, I love these interviews/discussions that you do with other Pilates professionals. You ask great questions and I always learn something. Whatever you’re discussing touches on issues we all face , frequently things we knew but forgot about or just need to be reminded. I come away with a lot to think about. Thanks Jared !
I love these discussions too Sharon . Thought-provoking reminders about issues we all encounter in our own ways, and ways to spark change, improvements, and more enjoyment. To be honest, I was nervous about offering this kind of chat during my first visit, but I felt compelled to - that there was no way to NOT talk about this now. So thank you for watching and I'm very glad it's resonated with you.
4 people like this.
So glad you did bring this discussion to the table. Even those of us who run very small business need to take time to see how we are in alignment with ourselves. Like our movement practise, which changes with time, so do we as people, and that alignment also changes.
3 people like this.
Thank you both! Seriously interesting concept that behoves all professionals to consider, AND action as appropriate.
Food for thought at a great time for me, as I reflect on my past years growth as a Pilates professional, who wants to do and learn more. Much appreciated, please keep up the honest work you do.
All the best, Mel
2 people like this.
Thank you Jared and Kristi in starting this very imporatant conversation . Teaching and running a business are two very seperate things and before thinking of opening your own studio really know what drives you and how much of yourself you willing to sacrifice ? Maybe having a private practice the way to go ?
1 person likes this.
Being in alignment ourselves, over time, is SO critical Lynn - no matter the size of the business. Otherwise, what are we *really* offering? Thank you for pointing out how dynamic the process is (like in movement!) Glad it was timely for you Mel , you have my word that I'll keep offering honest, professional food for thought! Varvara : you said the 'S' word: sacrifice. ;) It all comes down to knowing your self, what you want to offer, and how you can best show up for yourself and others. Teaching clients is an entirely different 'business' than running a Studio - yet so many of us forget how different they really are (and how much we actually DO every day!) Thanks for sharing.
3 people like this.
Thank you! I’ve been practicing Pilates for twenty years and I’ve owned my studio in Hudson NY for almost 15 years. This is the EXACT conversation and content that truly interest me now. Honestly, I experience a pervasive fatigue that I have been addressing for years. I’m closer now to a balanced work life but it has taken a lot of reflection. As I write this tonight I am totally worn out; again. Wonderful subject!!
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