A Day In The Life…

There is a trend going around the internet of people sharing “A Day In The Life.” Simple posts that expose what a typical day looks like in a certain career or lifestyle. I love getting glimpses into other people’s lives and often have people ask me what it’s like to be a Pilates instructor. I usually keep it mostly business here on the blog but today I thought it would be fun to get a little personal.

One reason I was attracted to this field was for the flexible schedule and light hours. I figured I would teach for half a day and then have plenty of time off. After working a very traditional 9-5 job the idea sounded like heaven.

Now that I’m full time in this career it’s safe to say that my hours are not light, but not all Pilates instructors work like I do. It is certainly possible to work short days as an instructor, although it does take a good deal of time and commitment to build up an ideal schedule. When I first entered this field, I focused all of my energy on teaching but now that I’ve expanded my business online my world has changed quite a bit – and I LOVE it.

So if you’re curious what a day in the life of a full-time Pilates instructor looks like, here it is…

Thursday, June 21st

5:00 am: alarm goes off. 5:00 am wake-up call #4 of 5 for the week. Whew, one more to go…

5:30 am: finish getting ready, grab a bite to eat and a mug of coffee before I head out the door. I also tidy up the house so that it’s clean and ready for my in-home clients that will be coming later in the day.

6:00 am: teach a group Pilates reformer class at Equinox.

7:00 am: train a private client at Equinox.

8:15 am: rush home to meet my 8:15am client for his session in my home studio.

9:30 am: train a private client in my home studio.

10:30 am: have a snack and respond to emails either in my little home “office” or at Starbucks if I feel like getting out.

Today I’m working on:

-Summer registration for my Equinox Pilates classes. Registration opened at midnight and classes were full by 7:00am! This is not my favorite day because I hate telling people that they’re on the wait list.

-Responding to my Pilates Body Program participants (I love these ladies). We have weekly “weigh-in’s” so I respond to their questions, cheer them on and track their progress. I genuinely love emailing with them.

-Scheduling clients.

-Sending class reminders.

-Writing a blog post.

-Brainstorming my next program.

-Checking in on Facebook/Twitter.

12:00 pm: train a private in-home client (she cancelled today so I’m using the time to write this post and re-stock the studio).

1:00 pm: lunch at home. I try to take a break from work but often end up emailing through the lunch “break”. Sometimes my husband comes home so we can chat and catch up for a few minutes before the afternoon/evening schedule begins.

2:10 pm: Leave the house to drive to a client’s home.

2:30 pm: train my client in her basement on her own Pilates equipment (I do this 3-4x per week. She’s got a great set up).

3:45 pm: return home, snack on an orange and some almonds, and finish up emails that didn’t get finished along with a bit of bookkeeping and invoicing.

oranges and almonds

4:30 pm: attempt to rest, go for a walk, or fit in a run and disconnect for the next 45 minutes so that I’m fresh for my evening class.

5:15 pm: head over to the Stanford campus. Thankfully it’s a super quick drive but parking can be a challenge.

5:45 pm: teach a mat class for a wonderful group of cardiovascular nurses on the Stanford campus.

7:00 pm: arrive home, collapse on the couch and stare at the ceiling a bit before gathering the energy to cook dinner. Thursday’s usually call for an open screen door, a glass of wine and James Taylor to unwind while cooking dinner.

7:45 pm: enjoy dinner with my husband (if he’s not in class) chat about our days and hang out. I love this time of day.

8:30 pm: clean up, relax for a bit, respond to my PBP members and prep for tomorrow’s classes & clients.

9:30 pm: bed time! 5:00am always comes too fast…

So there it is. A day in the life.

Not all Pilates instructors have a schedule like this. In fact, I currently feel that I’m in need of a little “balance check” (writing the phrase “attempt to rest” reminded me of that). For me personally, these hours are not sustainable long-term, but they’re working for me right now and I’m lucky to love what I do. I’ve chosen to add the online component that takes up a lot of my time because I absolutely love it and love interacting with my online clients.  I’m so passionate about it that I can’t help myself. The more women I can reach and the more women I can encourage in their health the better.

If you have a blog, I’d love to see you share a day in your life. Write up a post and share a link the comments below!

5 Comments
  1. Catherine 9 years ago

    this is really cool to see! i’ve always wondered…:)
    for me, it changes depending on whether i’m working as a counselor on a school schedule, or on my summer break working massage (which happens to be right now). my schedule varies, but today it is:
    june 19th…
    7:45 alarm goes off, snooze til 8.
    8:00 get up, bathroom, oatmeal, watch the latest on my hulu queue
    9:00 a good girlfriend arrives at my house and we have wonderful chat/quality time together (we talked so much that we forgot to take the walk we had planned!)
    12:00 friend leaves
    12:00-1:30 finish my hulu queue…i am having a hard time finding energy for anything that’s not the couch.
    2pm-10pm massage. i will massage 7 clients tonight, totaling about 7.5 hours of massage straight through. i don’t realize how hard it is on my body standing that long until 10pm rolls around and i can’t grip a pencil!
    10:30 arrive home. eat something. write emails to long distance friends. watch dawsons creek. facebook.
    12-1am eventually shut my eyes for sleep.
    (disclaimer–i hate staying up this late but when i get off work so late i wanna feel like i still have a life after! and i pack my mornings with girlfriend time to feel “balanced” but i end up burning out anyways).
    continue this every day this week until i leave for colombia on monday, for a month:) then i will sleep, take naps, and exercise to my hearts content! 🙂

    • Robin Long 9 years ago

      Wow, Catherine! How do you massage for 7 hours straight?? That is amazing to me. I can only imagine how exhausted you are after that. I don’t blame you for feeling too tired for exercise with that many clients in a row. Columbia sounds amazing and I bet there will be some beautiful runs over there 🙂

  2. Catherine 9 years ago

    notice there was no exercise in there…which is sad but true for me the last 2 weeks i’ve been on this schedule. massage takes it out of me….but i will definitely bring my running shoes to colombia!

  3. Sandy 9 years ago

    Can you tell me how you received your training in Pilates? I am interested in being able to teach but don’t know who to get in touch with for training.

    • Robin Long 9 years ago

      Hi Sandy! I did my training through BASI (Body Arts & Science International). All in all, it takes a little over a year to get certified on mat & equipment if you’re dedicated to getting it done. Training for mat only takes a bit less time. I will write a post about this soon and share more info. Thanks for asking 🙂

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