When I was first beginning and building my Pilates business, I also worked at a few different gyms to supplement my income. One facility I worked at was Prairie Life Fitness. I taught mat classes and reformer and occasionally spinning, too. I began working at Prairie Life in 2010 while I was still a full-time employee and Director of Marketing for a healthcare company. Once I took the leap and decided to set out on my own, I picked up as many classes as I could initially. It was fun, I liked the students and it was great place for me to test out new ideas.
As my own business grew, little by little I began cutting back the classes I taught outside my studio. The busier my business become, the less it made sense to be driving to various locations to work for someone else. While I was happy for the success of my business, it was bittersweet because I truly enjoyed the friendships and opportunities Prairie Life had afforded me.
It’s been over two years since I have worked at Prairie Life or any other facility besides my studio. I am proud of what I have built and have truly wonderful students that make my days rewarding. Having the confidence to fully embrace self employment was the best decision I could have ever made.
Twice this week my husband, a chiropractor, has had patients tell him about a Pilates instructor they loved at Prairie Life who is no longer there. I wasn’t married when I left Prairie Life – so these folks don’t know me as a “Renkens” and had no idea they were talking to my husband about me! Imagine their surprise when they realized their Pilates instructor married their Chiropractor who incidentally was her chiropractor first, too! (not exactly appropriate doctor protocol dating a patient… but a blog for another day!)
It made my day to hear about the impact I had on these women. It’s been more than two years and they are still looking back fondly on the classes we shared together. In life we do lots activities, classes and meet many people. We have many opportunities to impact others every day. To realize that I had made an impact and left a fond memory was so rewarding to me.
I believe we often don’t realize the impact we do have on others. By being a friend, a teacher, a confident, comrade or whatever your role may be you are impacting others in ways great and small.
Often times, we may not know the struggles of others, and it is a moment of kindness that could have a real impact. Some times students come to me and have been told they ‘can’t’ to the point of believing it. Finding someone who says – yes you can – could be life changing. It can be the little things that have a big impact. I had a former student with many trials in her family life and she confided in me that she came to Pilates because it was an hour she could leave all that behind and be happy. When you consider that – we each hold a lot of power – that we could use for good. Every day is an opportunity to be a positive impact.
I am reminded about this often with my stepsons. We spend a lot of time together playing but I also try to teach them new skills and expose them to new things so they will grow up to be successful, self-sufficient and kind young men. The memories they take away and the things they talk about often aren’t the big trips or expensive presents … it’s the little things like making muffins together, washing the car together, donating toys they have out grown to a charity, and eating as a family. I believe impact comes from giving of your time, kindness and compassion.
This holiday season may you celebrate, find joy, and use the power of your impact to brighten someone’s day.