On January 1, 2020, I took a leap and started a new business: Woodside Studio. It was very exciting. I started teaching Pilates mat classes and Healthy Back classes along with my regular Wellness Class for flexibility and balance at Hereford Physical Therapy. I was enjoying the new challenges and very busy. Then one day in March while I was teaching, the governor of Maryland shut down all non-essential activity and everything stopped.
It was a difficult time for everyone and I found myself with lots of extra time. As a physical therapist, I was still working and started seeing patients virtually. After some practice, I decided to take another leap and try teaching Pilates virtually. It worked! I taught an online class weekly and it was good for me as well as the students. It gave me something to plan for and provided some focus. The class was so supportive and we became a little community together.
As the weather turned warm and some activities were allowed, it was time to adapt and leap again. I began teaching outdoors. I had never attended an outdoor Pilates class, but after this year, I can say it can work well. One of my students said on a sunny day said that “it was the most beautiful studio ceiling she ever saw.” We were visited by butterflies and hummingbirds and in the evening the cicadas and frogs provided background sounds. We managed to adapt to the weather all the way to Thanksgiving.
The next step was to come indoors again. I have some very supportive students that have been ready to go each step of the way. They have been great about following all the changing protocols. This was hardest of all the adaptations in a year of many. It meant really limiting class sizes to allow for social distancing, everyone in masks, and continued cleaning.
I am pleased to say we are still here and moving forward adding reformer classes this January in addition to the mat classes. I have learned much this year. I learned the experience of being together is just as important as the exercise. Laughter and kind word can make all the difference. I also learned sometimes you have to take that leap to get to the other side.