If you teach Pilates, you live in Joe’s shadow, whether you teach like he did or not.
If you teach Pilates, you are advancing his legacy through your own work, whether you know anything about him or not.
Making someone else’s work you own is often difficult. It’s so difficult that we don’t need to look beyond it to explain the rift in the Pilates industry between the hard line classical devotees who stay true to what they believe is Joe’s work, often without having a clue what they’re doing, and the modernists who have fused and made Joe’s work contemporary, often without having a clue what they’re doing.
Unless and until you, what I call, “bring the story of your life to your work”, you’ll be selling the commodity that is “the P word” and when that happens, your efforts to position and promote yourself will be competing against the efforts of studios with advertising budgets and/or square footage and/or equipment investments that are bigger than yours, and/or more established than yours, who have staffs of teachers with more experience than you/yours.
When that happens it’s really a shame because the thing that makes it so amazing for clients isn’t that you’re teaching whatever it is you’re teaching, it’s that they’re working with YOU.
How do we know that it’s you, you, you at the very center of the client experience? Your clients are completely free to go anywhere, to work with anyone, at any time. You don’t own them, they’re not indebted to you, their not bound in any way to you.
They’re with you because of YOU!
There are other industries where creators step, in one way or another, aside giving their work over to others to interpret, to evolve, to be the starter for their own interpretation of the same thing.
There are other industries where “bringing the story of your life to your work” is on display, for all to see.
Paying attention to similar situations helps us get smarter about our own realities.
And then watch this.
Bob is absolutely a genius beyond measure and his interpretation of his own work is, without question, amazing.
But there’s no dispute about the power of Kesha’s interpretation of it. And if you read the article on what Kesha’s been going through, you’ll absolutely hear in her rendition of “It Ain’t Me Babe” every bit of her pain, her hope, and the deepening of her gift. Remember in the article how the author talked about her pauses? Patience is hard to learn; Kesha’s performance of this piece let’s us know she’s learned it.
Kesha has a right to interpret Bob’s work, even with Bob still alive and performing it himself.
You, and how you teach, and how you work are the only way for Joe to be relevant today.
Without you, and your next client, Joe’s work will be as dead as he is.
You have every right to Joe’s work – we all do.
You have every right to make it your own – we all do.
Then and only then will your unique talents, gifts and genius shine through.
Then and only then will you have brought the story of your life to your work.
Be like Kesha and boldly perform master work, even right in front of the master or his most judgmental legacy holders.
Be like Kesha and bravely make genius works your own.
If you don’t, the world won’t know you, and what you can do – and neither will your clients.
If you don’t, you’ll be the cover band of Pilates teachers.
The world doesn’t need more impersonators of Joe, the world needs YOU!
Joe got his chance. Make sure you get yours.
Need help? I’m right here.