Courage is the power to let go of something familiar. Currently, these words resonate with me more than ever. The past few years have been some of the most challenging but also meaningful in terms of self-discovery. As I approached and then hit my 50’s, everything about my life quit making sense. I found myself alone more than ever before.
Jamie was traveling – a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I was so excited for him and the professional journey he was blessed to be on, but not having him as a part of my day-to-day life became a challenge. Who was I without my husband? I’ve always been independent, but as a couple, Jamie and I are very social. We’ve always been more powerful together than apart. Suddenly, I found myself at events or out with friends without him, and I struggled to navigate this strange new situation. Encouraging myself to live life in positivity has been an ongoing theme for me, so I put on my big girl panties and pushed forward. After all, my struggle is far inferior to those friends and colleagues who fight daily for or have fought and lost their partner.
Compounding the situation even further, my boys continue to mature, living more independently each and every day, needing mom less and less. Like a good mother, I am there for them when they need me, but I’ve learned to give them the space they need to grow. I know this is Mother Nature’s way of preparing me for my new life as they begin theirs but it is challenging nonetheless.
Change continues all around me, but I can’t seem to put a finger on what it all means. I start to ask myself lots of questions about whether or not I’m happy and what might I want to do differently in my life. Blinders on, I pushed forward and shift my focus to my professional journey as a Pilates instructor and teacher. I say journey because this endeavor began 13 whole years ago when I made the decision to downsize my life, leave the corporate world behind and start anew. I’ve since incorporated a fourth child into my life who most of you know. Her name is Nola Pilates. She’s currently one month shy of 12 years old and has been one hell of a ride!
I opened this small Pilates studio with the simple goal of making Pilates affordable and accessible. And you know what? That’s exactly what happened. From only two clients, to what is a studio family of well over 200, my how we have grown!
We turned Pilates in New Orleans on its head, leading the charge in “firsts” – first group Pilates equipment classes, first post-op breast cancer recovery workout in Louisiana, first barre studio in the state and multiple firsts place finishes as top Pilates studio in the city by New Orleans Magazine. I could not be more proud of all her accomplishments or grateful to each and every person who has been a part of it all. This wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for each and every family member, friend, client and the city’s belief in her. New Orleans embraced us with overwhelming support – like take your breath away overwhelming!
As things continued to change, I began to realize I hadn’t really accomplished “MY” goal – the one I set out for 12 years ago – to downsize my world – to teach Pilates. I mean sure I was teaching Pilates and I had created this amazing space for Pilates to reach those who wanted to teach and learn. I had made it as affordable as possible. But it was massive in size and to manage the day to day took all of my energy and creative ability leaving me with very little in terms of downsizing my life.
It’s simple really. Amidst all of my self-discovery and all of the changes in my life, I realized I just want to teach Pilates. I want to train new instructors. I want to mentor them to be efficacious and go forth and spread the Pilates love. I want to help people open their own studio and set them up for success. I want to direct my creative energy to those endeavors. It’s time for Nola Pilates to embark on a new journey both here in New Orleans and on the road, bringing Pilates to those who may have never experienced its magic. And I’m happy to announce that’s exactly what I will be doing. I am so thrilled about this new chapter in my life and I cannot wait to see where the future will take myself and Nola Pilates.
I am blessed to be able to hand over the reins while remaining a part of the new studio moving forward. The new owner is someone near and dear to me. She walked into my life in February 2010 as a new client, and she’s been with me ever since. Soon, she was no longer just a client but a certified Xtend Barre instructor. It wasn’t long after that she came to me with the desire to become a Pilates instructor. Before you know it, she was ready to make the commitment to teach full-time. The decision did not come without hesitation, but I assured her she was a natural and should make the leap. She’s been full-time with me ever since. I’ve watched her get married, create a beautiful family, and grow and evolve into someone I am beyond proud of as an entrepreneur. Nearly a year ago she approached me in the midst of my self-discovery phase and said, “If you ever think about selling the studio, I’d be interested.” I thought it was a sign from God! It was a no brainer, and I fondly recall the two of us sitting at my dining room table in tears. Tears of joy and tears of fear for what this would mean for our futures. But as with most things in life, I have faith I’m on the path set out for me. I know she too is embarking on her own path, and I’m thrilled to announce our new studio owner, Natalie Averill.
I will look forward to seeing you all in the studio and in my classes. This next chapter is one I’ve been waiting for 12 long but purposeful and full of blessings years and now I get to fulfill my ultimate goal.
Thank you to ALL of you! No matter how big or small your part was in these past 12 years I am eternally grateful and humbled to have had you each in mine and Nola Pilates life.
Following a studio closure on Saturday, October 12 for renovations, the studio will reopen under the name Sculpt New Orleans. Please follow Sculpt on Facebook and/or Instagram for updates and FAQs for existing clients.
Please Continue to follow Nola Pilates on Facebook and/or Instagram as she makes her transformation and enters her teens and hang on!